Friday, March 7, 2014

Homeschool Cultural Studies

My favorite thing we do, in our homeschool, is what I loosely call our cultural studies. It's a self guided history, geography, sociology, and research/using your resources course, that I've added to their curriculum. Each project takes the entire month, as they work a little here, a little there, on top of their usual daily studies.

I came up with the idea, after becoming frustrated with the lack of world history education kids get in school. When my kids attended either public or private school, they learned a good deal of US history (which is great), but no real world history. Most students take a one year, quick, on-the-surface world history course in high school. This breeze through the basics curriculum lacks any depth. There's an entire world beyond our borders, and I want my kids to know more about it. My ultimate hope is to travel abroad, with each child, before they graduate. In the meantime, this is what I've come up with.

Once a month, each child chooses a country. Sometimes, they sit with the globe, spinning and searching. Other times, they know exactly which country they wish to study next. Once they settle on their nation, they study the geography. They draw, color, and label a map (including bordering countries and the capital).

Next, they research the country's history, and take extensive notes. From these notes, they choose a specific time period or historical event, research it further, and write a report on it. Once they've completed this task, they study the culture (including the beliefs, customs, government, arts, local cuisine, and schooling traditions). They then illustrate their discoveries, along with the country's flag.

Lastly, each child prepares a traditional meal (they plan the menu and cook it, with my help of course). Photos of the meal and preparation go on a poster board, with the culture illustrations, history report, and hand drawn map. Each kid designs, types & prints, arranges, glues, etc. 100% on their own. These completed projects are treasures, in our house.

for example

Currently working on Tibet and Germany.

my daughter's favorite part

What is one of your favorite elements, of your homeschool?


  1. Oh wow that is great. I may have to steal that idea. My 2 love maps and geography. This would take it to a whole nother level. As of now my favorite element of homeschool is taking our time and working on our own pace.