If you are living outside of your home country, you might struggle to share holidays, stories, and the history of your country with your children. We often don’t realize how much of our culture is shared through media, daily interactions, and local attractions! If you can’t visit a museum, go to a parade, or see tributes to historical figures on the magazine rack, how do you share this information with your kids?
- Buy books. Think about stories you want to share with your children and have them in the house. Pull them out to read together or allow your child to read or look at the pictures whenever they like.
- Celebrate every holiday you can think of and make up a few new ones! take a minutes to read the “I have a Dream” speech on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day or to draw a picture of Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria on Columbus Day. Having an understanding of the concept will allow your child to color in the details later.
- Talk about history! When you stumble into history and culture in your new country, compare it to your home country. Is there a monument to World War II? Talk about how the war affected the U.S. Is there an interesting flag flying near your home? Share the story of Betsy Ross.
- Share the story of your family as related to your home country. Talk about ancestors that fought in wars, overcame challenges, and participated in noteworthy events. Show how you are connected to your country and why it matters.
- Make the most of visits home. Visit landmarks, museums, and historical sites. You can try to cram it all in during the time you are actually in your home country!
Looking for Books to help? We suggest these options:
- American Holidays, Barbara Kliebanow
- What Foreigners Need to Know About America From A to Z, Lance Johnson
- American History Coloring Book, Leah Moorefield Evans
- Children’s Encyclopedia of American History, DK