Choosing A World Cultures Curriculum For Your Kids

So much of conventional learning focuses on the fundamentals: reading, writing, and math. It’s easy to forget that having a solid world cultures curriculum is just as important to our kids’ learning and growth.

Whether your kids homeschool or attend traditional school, they can all benefit from learning about the various cultures of the world. And the best part is, you don’t have to be constantly traveling to do it. You can worldschool right from the comfort of your home.

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A boy and a girl looking at a world map for their world cultures curriculum
Learning about the world at home (June 2020)

Trying out a world cultures curriculum with Deliberate Travel Kids

We recently had a chance to try out a new world cultures curriculum from a company called Deliberate Travel Kids. They are a U.K. based company, but their online learning platform is available for families all around the world.

Deliberate Travel Kids is a subscription based learning platform that lets kids learn about various countries. Each month, families are sent a workbook about one specific country. 

That workbook contains information, puzzles, games, and activities to help kids learn about the geography, history, and culture of that country. The workbook also incorporates activities and lessons from the online platform too. So it’s multimedia-based learning!

We received a copy of the Mexico workbook from Deliberate Travel Kids. It was packed with information about Mexico and helped reinforce the learning we gained during our time traveling to Mexico with kids. For a worldschooling family like us, a world cultures curriculum, like the one from Deliberate Travel Kids, helps make our travel experiences so much more meaningful and engaging.

Sculptures of alebrijes in Mexico City (October 2018)

Why it’s important to learn about different cultures of the world

Looking at a world map, you can see just how vast the globe is. But at the same time, it’s also more connected than ever. We can access information about virtually any culture in the world. And that in turn helps us build our knowledge about the world around us.

But even more important than just knowledge for the sake of knowledge, learning about other cultures helps us become better humans too. As a family who worldschools, this is a central part of our own personal learning philosophy. Here are some reasons why learning about the world is beneficial for kids (and adults).

Read more about how you can raise your child to be a world traveler here.

Flags from around the world hanging from the ceiling at an airport terminal
Flags at Dulles International Airport (May 2019)

1. Building empathy for others

Learning about other cultures helps children build empathy for others. They see what it’s like to step into another person’s shoes. This is an important part of being a conscientious global citizen and teaching kids about privilege.

When exploring other cultures, you can ask your child what they might do or how they might feel if they lived in that culture. Avoid using judgement-based words like “good” or “bad”. But you can use descriptive words like, “it looks like they use naturally made tools,” or “this place seems like a cold place to live.”

A woman, girl, and man walk behind two water buffalos in a rice field
Learning about traditional farming in Indonesia (October 2019)

2. Developing a global perspective

A world cultures curriculum can help kids have a more global perspective in their lives. They see that other cultures exist. And by learning about different cultures, they are learning that not everyone lives the same way. 

This helps kids prepare their minds to be adaptable and flexible. By exposing them to different cultures, even if initially through books or videos, they become primed to see their interactions in multiple cultural contexts.

A boy walks by a mural in Hanoi depicting a traditional scene in Vietnam
Walking by a mural in Hanoi, Vietnam (May 2020)

3. Using your world cultures curriculum to encourage growth

Another benefit of learning about other cultures is to encourage growth. Sometimes being exposed to cultures that are different from your own can be challenging for kids. This can be especially true for cultures with much different values than your own.

But stepping outside of your comfort zone to experience something different can be a great opportunity for growth. A good world cultures curriculum can provide those kinds of opportunities for kids.

Experiencing Mexican culture in Guanajuato (December 2018)

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Helpful tips for building a world cultures curriculum through travel

Learning about the world is easy when you travel. Just the experience of trying something new can be so educational.

Even so, there are ways that you can make travel even more educational for your kids and yourself. As you plan for your next trip, whether it’s local or abroad, try a few of these suggestions to make your trip more enriching.

AeroMexico airplane wing over clouds
Flying to Mexico (October 2018)

1. Prepare with resources ahead of time

Just as you need to prepare resources for travel, it’s helpful to prepare resources for learning during travel. This can include gathering supplies like journals and notebooks for jotting down thoughts and observations. Or it can involve gathering reading and learning materials about the places you’ll visit. 

Think outside the book! Tap into videos, learning websites, learning subscriptions, and interactive games to round out your world cultures curriculum. 

Interacting with online resources with Deliberate Travel Kids (April 2020)

2. Build in museum visits into your trip

Before your trip, research what museums you can visit during your stay. And then build time into your itinerary for those museum visits. 

Museums are a great way to incorporate hands-on learning and engage your kids in the destination. They also offer you and your kids a more complete view of a destination, besides just attractions or entertainment options. Some museums also have online resources available, so you can start your learning even before your trip!

Take a look at some of the unique museums we've visited during our travels:

Volandia Museum (Milan, Italy)

New York Transit Museum (New York City, USA)

Seven Fun Seattle Museums For Kids (Seattle, USA)

20 Amazing Family-Friendly Attractions in Jakarta (Jakarta, Indonesia)

A man and a boy looking at a poster with different types of pasta, as part of a world cultures curriculum
Learning about pasta in Italy (June 2019)

3. Make time for cultural workshops and classes

On the subject of hands-on learning, one way to build fun into your travel-based world cultures curriculum is to take cultural workshops and classes during your family trips. Like museum visits, cultural workshops and classes offer families a way to learn about the local culture while also building family memories. 

Classes and workshops help kids develop other skills as well, whether it’s a cooking class, an art class, or some kind of craft workshop. Kids are building skills and learning about a new culture at the same time. 

The following are great sites for finding workshops, classes, and tours during your travels:

Viator Tours

Urban Adventures

Airbnb Experiences

Explore more learning resources for worldschooling families here.

Learning to cook Balinese dishes in Indonesia (October 2019)

What to look for in a world cultures curriculum

We tried a variety of different curriculums over the years to learn about the world. We are somewhat lazy homeschoolers, so we’ll often use YouTube channels like Geography Now, Crash Course, or TedEd to learn about cultures. 

Or sometimes I’ll make my own curriculum by putting together a hodge-podge of books from different cultures. When my kids were new to reading, we liked the Ready To Read Living In book series. This series has books about many countries around the world.

Lately we tried out the world cultures curriculum from Deliberate Travel Kids and really enjoyed it. This online learning subscription is geared towards elementary school aged kids. 

We think it’s perfect for families who want to teach their kids about the world. It’s on our list for worldschooling resources that families can use wherever they are. Here are some reasons why we like Deliberate Travel Kids, and what you’ll need to look for when choosing or creating a world cultures curriculum.

Learning about Mexican geography (April 2020)

1. Representation and diversity in cultures

The world is made up of many different cultures. So choosing a world cultures curriculum that reflects the diversity of the world is very important. 

With Deliberate Travel Kids, every continent is represented by at least one country. And the company is planning on including many more, especially from South American and African countries. Having diversity in the countries that you learn about helps kids learn that not every part of the world is the same. 

Three rows of country names on cards from Deliberate Travel Kids world cultures curriculum
Photo courtesy of Deliberate Travel Kids

2. Interactive resources in your world cultures curriculum

Another element of a world cultures curriculum that you want to have is interactivity. Books are great. But kids these days need to be tech-savvy as well in order to navigate and access the wealth of information available on the web.

We like that Deliberate Travel Kids’ workbooks also include an online element, so kids can learn on the page and on the screen. The activities are varied and challenging, so our kids were never bored with the material. They incorporate a good mix of art, thinking puzzles, and educational videos, so the kids get to try different activities as they learn. 

Computer and iPad in a case with Deliberate Travel Kids Mexico Workbook world cultures curriculum
Deliberate Travel Kids Mexico Workbook (April 2020)

3. Education-focused, yet still engaging

Our family’s approach to learning is to make things interesting and engaging. We believe kids retain information better when it’s a subject that interests them. Also, by activating different parts of the brain as they’re exposed to new information, they can solidify more neural connections to retain information better.

What we like about Deliberate Travel Kids’ material is that it isn’t just one style of information sharing. Kids are reading, but they also are looking at various images. They practice writing words and drawing pictures related to different cultures. And they even do problem-solving activities. 

All of this helps to engage the brain in multiple ways, and helps them retain the information they are learning.

Learning about Mexico's original borders (April 2020)

4. Affordability and accessibility

Learning about different cultures in the world doesn’t have to be expensive. I like that Deliberate Travel Kids’ world cultures curriculum is pretty affordable. 

Families can subscribe to the country workbooks for £4.99 a month (roughly $7). That’s less expensive than buying two grande lattes at Starbucks! An annual subscription costs £49.99, which is roughly $70.

The other thing we like about Deliberate Travel Kids is its accessibility. Since the workbooks are downloadable and their learning platform is online, we love that we can access it anywhere in the world.

Want to learn more about worldschooling with your kids? Explore the topic more here.

A girl and a boy at a table in front of a computer, working with a world cultures curriculum
Completing the Deliberate Travel Kids workbook (April 2020)

Why we think families will love Deliberate Travel Kids’ world cultures curriculum

Learning about new cultures is an easy way for kids to develop empathy and tolerance. For our family, mastering these two skills are key to being a decent and kind human being. 

We know we’re not alone in this sentiment. If more kids grow up to be empathetic and tolerant, imagine how much more knowledge we can all gain from each other. Imagine how much more we can create together!

Finding a world cultures curriculum for your kids is just one tiny step in creating a better world!

Do you have a world cultures curriculum that you absolutely love using? Share it with me in the comments below!

Ready to take the leap worldschooling while traveling full time? Use my ebook, Hey Kids, Let’s Go Travel! as a resource for tools, advice, and action steps for planning your trip.

Disclosure: We received free access to Deliberate Travel Kids’ Mexico workbook. However, the opinions expressed in this post are completely my own.

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