12 Tips on teaching about a country you just visited!
Homeschooling mamas, are you wondering what to teach your children at home? What topic are you focusing on this month? Have you recently returned from a holiday abroad? Well why not merge the two! Follow up your children’s learning experience through fact finding, and further learning when they come back home. You will find your children will have a lot more to say after experiencing the holiday itself. They will have more of a desire to write, draw or learn more about their holiday experience. I’m sure many of you have seen this already after returning from a holiday. So how do you go about doing this?
Here’s what we did after our family holiday to Malaysia. We wanted to use the holiday and experience we had there to find out some more about Malaysia when we got back. And because I already had all this in mind, I picked up all the key souvenirs that I knew would come in handy throughout our theme. So here’s 12 tips to get you started and planning in advance:
1. The preparation – We set up an area in our learning room with souvenirs we brought back. Any books, maps or pamphlets we picked up. I even managed to buy a ‘Traditional Malaysian Stories for children’ book. I painted a beautiful scene from the Island of Langkawi which my daughter recognised easily! We draped the beautiful batik printed cloth on the table as well. We slowly added to the table as we learnt more.
2. Where in the world did we go? Next up we wanted to start with the geography of the country. Where is it situated? How far is it from where we live? How did we go there? Questioning is important in ensuring your child speaks. Don’t give your child all the answers, let them come to their own conclusions whilst you facilitate. So rather than pointing to where Malaysia is on the map, maybe give them some clues to say its close to China, and borders with Indonesia for example. You can follow up by drawing the map and highlighting where you stayed or travelled to within the country too. It’s a great way of talking about capital cities, towns, islands etc.
3. Make the flag! I’m sure you may have come across the flag for the country you visited whilst there. Maybe your child will recognise the flag in your atlas or photos. Enjoy colouring or decorating the flag with accuracy and attach a plastic straw to one side at the end to make a flag craft!
4. Climate and weather! Ask your children about the weather of the country they visited. Remind them of the clothes or accessories they had to pack. We had a very tropical climate, which meant it was humid but rained on some days which for us was such a treat!
5. Writing! Look over your holiday snaps and attempt writing a recount for each day of your trip to share with family or friends. To make it exciting, we made hand made booklets similar to the ones we picked up in Langkawi.
6. The people! We enjoyed researching about the different kinds of people that lived in Malaysia, their languages and religion and how they dressed. You can do the same for the country you just visited too. Ideally if you can find a good book that covers this as we managed to find one that was perfect to help us in our learning.
7. The animals! Luckily for us we visited a bird park and a zoo. So we enjoyed talking about the animals that could be found in Malaysia. We also happened to see some monkeys for example in Langkawi. For younger children, this would always be an exciting topic, but even for children between 7 and 10, there is so much to look into with regards to animals (habitats and climate etc).
8. The History – Although we didn’t really touch on this with our little ones (3-5 year olds), this would be fabulous topic to look into. How Islam spread to the country you visited for example? Instead we looked briefly at the masjids/mosques we saw and visited and looked into other prominent ones too.
9. The Arts – Malaysia is known for its beautiful batik patterns on their clothing, so we wanted the children to experience batik patterns which turned into a lovely craft. We also visited the Islamic Art Museum and looked a little into Islamic art patterns and designs.
10. The food – Whilst fish and seafood was quite popular, we decided to look at the popular fruits from Malaysia, including coconut, durian, papaya etc. You could attempt to make a popular dish of the country of the country you visited.
11. Speaking the language – We enjoyed learning a few phrases in Malay such as simple greetings and asking how someone is! I think this is a great first step to introducing different languages and knowing that there are different people and languages around the world. We showed the children some simple phrases being taught by Malaysians from Youtube.
12. Cultural Day – We finished our theme by bringing together everything we learnt into a cultural day. The children dressed up in Malaysian clothing, ate some Malaysian sweets and coconut crackers which we brought back with us. We burnt some scented candles brought back with us and even put on some organic sea cucumber cream. We practised our Malay. It was a nice end to the theme where we tried to use all of our senses to re-experience the beauty of Malaysia again! You could invite your friends and family and make a treat for all!
To find out more on our top 5 places to visit with kids in Malaysia, click here!