Monthly Archives: October 2011

Introducing Our New Free Lesson Plans!

By Dani Greer

When Rana DiOrio envisioned her What Does It Mean To Be…?® series of picture books for children, she wanted a springboard by which teachers and parents could initiate meaningful conversations about the issues of the day. Further discussions would expand on basics themes within each topic, and adults could guide the conversations to emphasize aspects of the themes they felt were most important. Because that “next step” could involve a bit of time and energy, the team at Little Pickle Press has long planned to offer lesson plans to go with each title.
After considerable research, planning, writing, and teamwork, we are thrilled to announce our first lesson plan for teachers and parents! The What Does It Mean To Be Global? lesson plans offer additional guidance to adults to expound on the basic themes within this picture book, and includes three projects teachers can use to build values and create positive understanding about issues that affect people all over the world. Building on commonalities, while also pointing out differences, children explore other cultures and develop values that foster understanding and cooperation.
The lesson plan aligns with the Common Core State Standards Initiative for Speaking and Listening. The Common Core was recently adopted by the majority of states and is especially pertinent for educators in the United States.
And guess what? The lesson plans are free to download from our webpage! Click on the link here and download it now!
We’d love to know what you think of it, how your classroom projects turned out, and any ideas and suggestions you might have for us to incorporate into other lesson plans. Please leave us a comment here or at the lesson plan link above. We hope you find our contribution useful and a fun way to build on the themes What Does It Mean To Be Global? initiated.

If you are not familiar with the book, please watch the book trailer:

To purchase a copy of the book, please click here. Also available in French and in Spanish.

Introducing Our New Free Lesson Plans!

By Dani Greer


When Rana DiOrio envisioned her What Does It Mean To Be…?® series of picture books for children, she wanted a springboard by which teachers and parents could initiate meaningful conversations about the issues of the day. Further discussions would expand on basics themes within each topic, and adults could guide the conversations to emphasize aspects of the themes they felt were most important. Because that “next step” could involve a bit of time and energy, the team at Little Pickle Press has long planned to offer lesson plans to go with each title.
After considerable research, planning, writing, and teamwork, we are thrilled to announce our first lesson plan for teachers and parents! The What Does It Mean To Be Global? lesson plans offer additional guidance to adults to expound on the basic themes within this picture book, and includes three projects teachers can use to build values and create positive understanding about issues that affect people all over the world. Building on commonalities, while also pointing out differences, children explore other cultures and develop values that foster understanding and cooperation.
The lesson plan aligns with the Common Core State Standards Initiative for Speaking and Listening. The Common Core was recently adopted by the majority of states and is especially pertinent for educators in the United States.
And guess what? The lesson plans are free to download from our webpage! Click on the link here and download it now!

We’d love to know what you think of it, how your classroom projects turned out, and any ideas and suggestions you might have for us to incorporate into other lesson plans. Please leave us a comment here or at the lesson plan link above. We hope you find our contribution useful and a fun way to build on the themes What Does It Mean To Be Global? initiated.

If you are not familiar with the book, please watch the book trailer:

To purchase a copy of the book, please click here. Also available in French and in Spanish.

Being Global According to Kids

By Cameron Crane

When Rana DiOrio, released her first title What Does It Mean To Be Global?, she hoped that it would encourage children to explore, respect, and cherish the world’s diverse cultures, traditions, languages and ways of life. The concept of being “global” is still a fundamental part of who Little Pickle Press is today, and we have spent the month of October discussing what it means to raise global citizens. Today, let’s find out what children have to say about what it means to be global.

Do you know what it means to be global?

Alex (6 years old): “It means picking up trash on the street, even if it’s not yours picking it up.”

Jacquelyn (6 years old): “It means being a part of the world.”

Katie (8 years old): “Well one of the things I know about a globe is that it shows you where everything is. It shows you the whole world.”

Ryan (7 years old): “It means trying different types of food from all over the world, and meeting new people from all over the world. And it means learning different languages.”

How are you global? Are you learning to speak another language in school?

Alex: “In school we are learning how to talk in Spanish, up to ten.”

Katie: “Sometimes we learn to say some things. Like we learned how to say ‘Hi’ in Japanese. And ‘Aloha’. That means goodbye and hello.”

Ryan: “No, not really. I want to. I really want to learn French. Because it’s fancy.”

What is your favorite type of food to eat that is from a different country?

Jacquelyn: “I like pizza. Pizza is from Italy.”

Katie: “I really like pop-stickers.”

If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?

Alex: “I would want to go to Australia”

Jacquelyn: “I think I would go all over.”

Ryan
: “Paris.”

Katie: “Well I saw the Lion King. It was in 3D. So I think I would go there to see the animals.”

Do you think it is important to learn about people from other countries?

Alex: “Kind of.”

Jacquelyn: “I think it is important because that’s how we know who is there in the world.”

Ryan
: “Yes. Well, it’s important to know that people are different and people speak different languages. And where they come from and stuff like that.”

Katie: “Yes, it is very important to learn about. Some of my family are from Germany and they came and told us about what it is like.”

What is the most important thing for people to know about the world or being global?

Alex: “That there are many different types of people in the world and to be nice.”

Jacquelyn: “You should always try your best.”

Ryan
: “That if you read the book Sofia’s Dream, you will see that you shouldn’t litter to the world.”

Katie
: “Everybody should be treated fairly. You have to take turns and be nice so that nobody gets their feelings hurt. You can hurt someone’s feelings without knowing.”

Being Global According to Kids

By Cameron Crane

When Rana DiOrio, released her first title What Does It Mean To Be Global?, she hoped that it would encourage children to explore, respect, and cherish the world’s diverse cultures, traditions, languages and ways of life. The concept of being “global” is still a fundamental part of who Little Pickle Press is today, and we have spent the month of October discussing what it means to raise global citizens. Today, let’s find out what children have to say about what it means to be global.

Do you know what it means to be global?

Alex (6 years old): “It means picking up trash on the street, even if it’s not yours picking it up.”

Jacquelyn (6 years old): “It means being a part of the world.”

Katie (8 years old): “Well one of the things I know about a globe is that it shows you where everything is. It shows you the whole world.”

Ryan (7 years old): “It means trying different types of food from all over the world, and meeting new people from all over the world. And it means learning different languages.”

How are you global? Are you learning to speak another language in school?

Alex: “In school we are learning how to talk in Spanish, up to ten.”

Katie: “Sometimes we learn to say some things. Like we learned how to say ‘Hi’ in Japanese. And ‘Aloha’. That means goodbye and hello.”

Ryan: “No, not really. I want to. I really want to learn French. Because it’s fancy.”

What is your favorite type of food to eat that is from a different country?

Jacquelyn: “I like pizza. Pizza is from Italy.”

Katie: “I really like pop-stickers.”

If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?

Alex: “I would want to go to Australia”

Jacquelyn: “I think I would go all over.”

Ryan
: “Paris.”

Katie: “Well I saw the Lion King. It was in 3D. So I think I would go there to see the animals.”

Do you think it is important to learn about people from other countries?

Alex: “Kind of.”

Jacquelyn: “I think it is important because that’s how we know who is there in the world.”

Ryan
: “Yes. Well, it’s important to know that people are different and people speak different languages. And where they come from and stuff like that.”

Katie: “Yes, it is very important to learn about. Some of my family are from Germany and they came and told us about what it is like.”

What is the most important thing for people to know about the world or being global?

Alex: “That there are many different types of people in the world and to be nice.”

Jacquelyn: “You should always try your best.”

Ryan
: “That if you read the book Sofia’s Dream, you will see that you shouldn’t litter to the world.”

Katie
: “Everybody should be treated fairly. You have to take turns and be nice so that nobody gets their feelings hurt. You can hurt someone’s feelings without knowing.”

Pictures of Girltopia

Leslie Iorillo will be manning the Little Pickle Press booth #1012 at Girltopia today, which will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center from 9 am to 5 pm. For more information, click here. Be sure to follow all the action on Twitter using the hashtag #Girltopia to search. 12,000+ participants! Go Girl Scouts of America!

Pictures of Girltopia

Leslie Iorillo will be manning the Little Pickle Press booth #1012 at Girltopia today, which will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center from 9 am to 5 pm. For more information, click here. Be sure to follow all the action on Twitter using the hashtag #Girltopia to search. 12,000+ participants! Go Girl Scouts of America!

Sense & Sustainability and the Green Prize Awards

By Cameron Crane

Thursday, October 27, 7:00 p.m.
MLK Jr. Auditorium

601 Santa Monica Blvd.

Santa Monica, CA

Just last month, Little Pickle Press received the exciting news that one of our favorite titles, What Does It Mean To Be Green? by Rana DiOrio had won the Santa Monica Public Library Green Prize for Sustainable Literature in the School Age Nonfiction category. As a company that works very hard to maintain sustainable practices, we were honored to be recognized for our efforts by a program that is as passionate about protecting the planet as we are. And what is equally as exciting is that this evening, our Chief Executive Pickle will be accepting her award at the Sense & Sustainability and Green Prize Award Event.


Tonight’s event will be attended by a panel of local experts on sustainability, as well as several Green Prize recipients. The event will focus on today’s sustainable trends, and will incorporate the 2011 Green Prize-winning books, which were selected by the Santa Monica Public Library as the best green titles of 2010. The Green Prize also serves to recognize titles that “broaden public awareness of sustainability.” Here are the winners that will be in attendance with Little Pickle Press:

  • Alison Formento, Author of This Tree Counts! (Youth Picture Book)
  • Sarah Snow, Illustrator of This Tree Counts!
  • Debbie Cook, Board President of Post Carbon Institute for The Post Carbon Reader (Anthology)

The event will begin with an introduction to the Green Prize, and an award acceptance ceremony for this year’s winners. An exciting panel discussion about sustainability will follow, covering topics ranging from eating local to sustainable policies. A reception with refreshments and conversation will wrap up the night.

Tonight’s program is free and open to the public. We encourage anybody who will be in the area to come discuss this important issue, celebrate, and meet the cherished founder of Little Pickle Press. Space is limited, so it is recommended that guests arrive at least 15 minutes before the program starts.

For more information call (310) 458-8600 or visit smpl.org/Green_Prize.aspx. We look forward to seeing you there!

__________________________________________


In the Santa Monica area, but can’t make tonight’s event? Not to worry! Rana DiOrio will be back on Wednesday, November 9, to give a presentation on the newest title in her award-winning series, What Does It Mean To Be Safe?. The event will be held at the Santa Monica Public Library at 3:45 p.m.. Come and learn life-skills that will assist children stay safe when encountering real-life situations. Meet a real police officer, too!

Sense & Sustainability and the Green Prize Awards

By Cameron Crane

Thursday, October 27, 7:00 p.m.
MLK Jr. Auditorium

601 Santa Monica Blvd.

Santa Monica, CA

Just last month, Little Pickle Press received the exciting news that one of our favorite titles, What Does It Mean To Be Green? by Rana DiOrio had won the Santa Monica Public Library Green Prize for Sustainable Literature in the School Age Nonfiction category. As a company that works very hard to maintain sustainable practices, we were honored to be recognized for our efforts by a program that is as passionate about protecting the planet as we are. And what is equally as exciting is that this evening, our Chief Executive Pickle will be accepting her award at the Sense & Sustainability and Green Prize Award Event.


Tonight’s event will be attended by a panel of local experts on sustainability, as well as several Green Prize recipients. The event will focus on today’s sustainable trends, and will incorporate the 2011 Green Prize-winning books, which were selected by the Santa Monica Public Library as the best green titles of 2010. The Green Prize also serves to recognize titles that “broaden public awareness of sustainability.” Here are the winners that will be in attendance with Little Pickle Press:

  • Alison Formento, Author of This Tree Counts! (Youth Picture Book)
  • Sarah Snow, Illustrator of This Tree Counts!
  • Debbie Cook, Board President of Post Carbon Institute for The Post Carbon Reader (Anthology)

The event will begin with an introduction to the Green Prize, and an award acceptance ceremony for this year’s winners. An exciting panel discussion about sustainability will follow, covering topics ranging from eating local to sustainable policies. A reception with refreshments and conversation will wrap up the night.

Tonight’s program is free and open to the public. We encourage anybody who will be in the area to come discuss this important issue, celebrate, and meet the cherished founder of Little Pickle Press. Space is limited, so it is recommended that guests arrive at least 15 minutes before the program starts.

For more information call (310) 458-8600 or visit smpl.org/Green_Prize.aspx. We look forward to seeing you there!

__________________________________________


In the Santa Monica area, but can’t make tonight’s event? Not to worry! Rana DiOrio will be back on Wednesday, November 9, to give a presentation on the newest title in her award-winning series, What Does It Mean To Be Safe?. The event will be held at the Santa Monica Public Library at 3:45 p.m.. Come and learn life-skills that will assist children stay safe when encountering real-life situations. Meet a real police officer, too!

Thinking Globally – Acting Locally as Homeschoolers

By Steven David Horwich
How do we become aware of other people, other lands, other ways of life?  Awareness of others, their differences and similarities to one’s self, starts with exposure.  Exposure happens best when one travels.  In lieu of travel, education is the next best thing.  Unfortunately, most history taught to school children, at least in the U.S., is local in nature.  Children are taught American history, but very little about world history.

Education creates perspective.  Education makes our place in the global scheme of things clearer.  An understanding of the world, its history and geography, changes one’s view of our relation with others. An example – whatever one thinks of the United States making war in Iraq, what we were doing was marching into the land where the oldest civilizations existed, the first cities and states.  More wars have been fought over that land than can be easily imagined, and the United States is now a part of a very long river of history that flows from the fertile crescent, found in Iraq.

Homeschoolers are not limited to the state’s mandate on what, when, and how to teach a child.  As homeschoolers, we are free to make certain that our children receive a broader understanding of the world, one that started long before 1776.  Homeschoolers are free to understand world history, and to investigate its relevancy today. We are free to look as we see the need to look, to look at others and consider their lives, their culture, even their beliefs.  A homeschooler is, in fact, as free to be exposed and to understand the world as his or her parents allow and support.
 

So the limits of understanding of the world that a homeschooling child will grow up with are determined by mom and dad.  I would argue that, as the student moves toward adulthood, there is little about history, other lands and their interactions with our own that it would not be wise for a child to understand.

There are numerous ways to approach teaching with a global perspective.  One might begin with the idea that world history should be the focus of history studies.  I believe in following the timeline in teaching history, rather than jumping around in “units” – today the ancient history of some particular group, tomorrow something else 500 years later in history.  I don’t think such studies help the student understand the actual flows and interplays of history.  If a student “starts at the beginning” and works forward (over several years of study, without the “deadlines” schools insist upon), he is likely to not only “learn” history, but to understand it and be able to apply his understanding to today’s issues.

I always ask students to apply what happened in the past to their own judgment and intelligence.  For instance, Alexander the Great tended to do two things with defeated cities.  He either made them allies and left their own people in charge, or he burned them to the ground.  Both approaches have value and flaws from a military or human standpoint, so I ask the student which approach he or she would take, and why.  I do this sort of thing when teaching any part of history.

I also often ask the student to apply lessons in history to today’s situations, and in current events studies to apply the lessons of history locally to solve global problems.  For instance, the world has a “food” crisis today – around a billion people go to bed hungry each night.  Students are asked to investigate poverty and hunger in their own country, and how it is addressed.  They then investigate how their country either creates world hunger or help alleviates it, and what organizations are active in solving this crisis.  The student then investigates such organizations to determine in what ways he may wish to contribute or get involved.  These are a few ways a student can use studies to think locally but act globally.

As our children become adults, they will determine the shape of international relationships.  Ignorance, bigotry and insulation lead to a lack of understanding of the world and of others, and most likely to conflict.  An exaggerated patriotism enforced through education, a sense of national entitlement and “me first”, inevitably lead to a combative nation.  After all, a nation is no more than its people, their education, their understanding of the world and how they apply it.  THAT’S how important a global perspective in education is.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Steven David Horwich has been an educator for almost four decades.  He has well over 20,000 hours of classroom time.  He started homeschooling his two children in 2002, and has spent the last decade authoring Connect the Thoughts, a homeschool core curricula covering life and study skills, history, science, creative writing, the arts, current events, and literature for ages 5-adult. To discover more about CTT, visit his site at http://www.connectthethoughts.com. You can also connect on Twitter and Facebook.

Thinking Globally – Acting Locally as Homeschoolers

By Steven David Horwich
How do we become aware of other people, other lands, other ways of life?  Awareness of others, their differences and similarities to one’s self, starts with exposure.  Exposure happens best when one travels.  In lieu of travel, education is the next best thing.  Unfortunately, most history taught to school children, at least in the U.S., is local in nature.  Children are taught American history, but very little about world history.

Education creates perspective.  Education makes our place in the global scheme of things clearer.  An understanding of the world, its history and geography, changes one’s view of our relation with others. An example – whatever one thinks of the United States making war in Iraq, what we were doing was marching into the land where the oldest civilizations existed, the first cities and states.  More wars have been fought over that land than can be easily imagined, and the United States is now a part of a very long river of history that flows from the fertile crescent, found in Iraq.


Homeschoolers are not limited to the state’s mandate on what, when, and how to teach a child.  As homeschoolers, we are free to make certain that our children receive a broader understanding of the world, one that started long before 1776.  Homeschoolers are free to understand world history, and to investigate its relevancy today. We are free to look as we see the need to look, to look at others and consider their lives, their culture, even their beliefs.  A homeschooler is, in fact, as free to be exposed and to understand the world as his or her parents allow and support.
 

So the limits of understanding of the world that a homeschooling child will grow up with are determined by mom and dad.  I would argue that, as the student moves toward adulthood, there is little about history, other lands and their interactions with our own that it would not be wise for a child to understand.

There are numerous ways to approach teaching with a global perspective.  One might begin with the idea that world history should be the focus of history studies.  I believe in following the timeline in teaching history, rather than jumping around in “units” – today the ancient history of some particular group, tomorrow something else 500 years later in history.  I don’t think such studies help the student understand the actual flows and interplays of history.  If a student “starts at the beginning” and works forward (over several years of study, without the “deadlines” schools insist upon), he is likely to not only “learn” history, but to understand it and be able to apply his understanding to today’s issues.


I always ask students to apply what happened in the past to their own judgment and intelligence.  For instance, Alexander the Great tended to do two things with defeated cities.  He either made them allies and left their own people in charge, or he burned them to the ground.  Both approaches have value and flaws from a military or human standpoint, so I ask the student which approach he or she would take, and why.  I do this sort of thing when teaching any part of history.

I also often ask the student to apply lessons in history to today’s situations, and in current events studies to apply the lessons of history locally to solve global problems.  For instance, the world has a “food” crisis today – around a billion people go to bed hungry each night.  Students are asked to investigate poverty and hunger in their own country, and how it is addressed.  They then investigate how their country either creates world hunger or help alleviates it, and what organizations are active in solving this crisis.  The student then investigates such organizations to determine in what ways he may wish to contribute or get involved.  These are a few ways a student can use studies to think locally but act globally.

As our children become adults, they will determine the shape of international relationships.  Ignorance, bigotry and insulation lead to a lack of understanding of the world and of others, and most likely to conflict.  An exaggerated patriotism enforced through education, a sense of national entitlement and “me first”, inevitably lead to a combative nation.  After all, a nation is no more than its people, their education, their understanding of the world and how they apply it.  THAT’S how important a global perspective in education is.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Steven David Horwich has been an educator for almost four decades.  He has well over 20,000 hours of classroom time.  He started homeschooling his two children in 2002, and has spent the last decade authoring Connect the Thoughts, a homeschool core curricula covering life and study skills, history, science, creative writing, the arts, current events, and literature for ages 5-adult. To discover more about CTT, visit his site at http://www.connectthethoughts.com. You can also connect on Twitter and Facebook.

The Global Homeschooler – Meet Khadijah

By Khadijah at Yemeni Journey.com
When people hear that I grew up Catholic in a village of 600 in southwestern Wisconsin, they wonder how on Earth I got to where I am now- a Muslim woman living in a Yemeni coastal town with my African-American husband (his father is from Benin) and our little tribe of eight children. The answer is that I was raised to think globally, an attribute that I strive to pass onto my children.
The Kickapoo Valley is a vibrant place. “Hippie” type back-to-the-landers co-exist with a well established good old boy network. In the fall migrant workers came to pick apples, and when they came into town I was fascinated, listening to their rapid-fire Spanish. While tension would sometimes exist between these groups, in general they all lived together fairly companionably.
My parents raised me to be open-minded and curious about the world around me. That being said, it was a difficult thing for them to cope with my marriage; mostly, I believe, because they thought it would make my life somehow more difficult, being in an interracial marriage. They ultimately accepted it, though, just as they accepted three out of their five children becoming Muslim. Our family was incredibly diverse once we all started getting married. My eldest brother married a Jewish woman, my other brother married a Pakistani, and one of my sisters married a Moroccan. Can’t get much more global in a family than that, right?
My parents were right, though – things were difficult for us in some ways, not only due to the mixed race issues, but because of the anti-Islam backlash after 9/11. While I was busy teaching my children to learn about and understand that we don’t live in a box, a lot of other people seemed to be moving backward into their own little mono-culture worlds. This is not only depressing, but dangerous. When we moved to Yemen I thought some of our problems would be solved, but they were not; they simply changed to different prejudices and intolerances.
I homeschool my children for a number of reasons, but one of the greatest benefits is raising them to understand that we live in a huge world full of different ideas, values, cultures and experiences. They must see the good they can bring not only to themselves, but to the world and the people in it. A positive, proactive approach empowers them as individuals to work towards bettering themselves and the world they live in.
Here are some of the things that I have found help them relate to our global community:
  1. Life is a bit like one of those huge sampler boxes of chocolates. You don’t know what you’re getting when you first encounter one, and each one is unique in its own way. You don’t have to like every single one, and certainly you will have a favorite, but it’s good to know about each one and what makes it special.
  2. There are numerous examples throughout time of different peoples and tribes co-existing peacefully. I teach them this from both world history and, more specifically, Islamic history. We have to learn to deal with people who don’t look like us, or believe like us, in the correct, just, fashion- and this is a lesson that is sorely needed in the world today.
  3. I teach them to value each person as an individual, not to always think in terms of groups- “us” and “them”, “good guys” and “bad guys”. They have to understand that individual people are faced with choices every day in which they can make a difference. Every group is made up of these individuals. So while it is easy to vilify a whole group, it is not one solid unit. Rather, it is made up of strong people and weak people, educated and uneducated people, leaders and followers; by thinking of them all as one unit, we devalue and dehumanize them, and it is easier to slip into an “enemies” mentality. I want my children to celebrate the diversity within themselves, as well as understanding the diversity of humanity as a whole.
These are just some of the approaches I take when trying to instill an understanding of global community in my children. Some may resonate with you, some may not. I would love to hear some of your ideas and experiences concerning this vital issue in our world today.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
You can read more about Khadijah’s creative homeschooling ideas at Riehl Life where she regularly guest posts, and shows us that necessity truly is the mother of invention.

The Global Homeschooler – Meet Khadijah

By Khadijah at Yemeni Journey.com
When people hear that I grew up Catholic in a village of 600 in southwestern Wisconsin, they wonder how on Earth I got to where I am now- a Muslim woman living in a Yemeni coastal town with my African-American husband (his father is from Benin) and our little tribe of eight children. The answer is that I was raised to think globally, an attribute that I strive to pass onto my children.
The Kickapoo Valley is a vibrant place. “Hippie” type back-to-the-landers co-exist with a well established good old boy network. In the fall migrant workers came to pick apples, and when they came into town I was fascinated, listening to their rapid-fire Spanish. While tension would sometimes exist between these groups, in general they all lived together fairly companionably.
My parents raised me to be open-minded and curious about the world around me. That being said, it was a difficult thing for them to cope with my marriage; mostly, I believe, because they thought it would make my life somehow more difficult, being in an interracial marriage. They ultimately accepted it, though, just as they accepted three out of their five children becoming Muslim. Our family was incredibly diverse once we all started getting married. My eldest brother married a Jewish woman, my other brother married a Pakistani, and one of my sisters married a Moroccan. Can’t get much more global in a family than that, right?
My parents were right, though – things were difficult for us in some ways, not only due to the mixed race issues, but because of the anti-Islam backlash after 9/11. While I was busy teaching my children to learn about and understand that we don’t live in a box, a lot of other people seemed to be moving backward into their own little mono-culture worlds. This is not only depressing, but dangerous. When we moved to Yemen I thought some of our problems would be solved, but they were not; they simply changed to different prejudices and intolerances.
I homeschool my children for a number of reasons, but one of the greatest benefits is raising them to understand that we live in a huge world full of different ideas, values, cultures and experiences. They must see the good they can bring not only to themselves, but to the world and the people in it. A positive, proactive approach empowers them as individuals to work towards bettering themselves and the world they live in.
Here are some of the things that I have found help them relate to our global community:
  1. Life is a bit like one of those huge sampler boxes of chocolates. You don’t know what you’re getting when you first encounter one, and each one is unique in its own way. You don’t have to like every single one, and certainly you will have a favorite, but it’s good to know about each one and what makes it special.
  2. There are numerous examples throughout time of different peoples and tribes co-existing peacefully. I teach them this from both world history and, more specifically, Islamic history. We have to learn to deal with people who don’t look like us, or believe like us, in the correct, just, fashion- and this is a lesson that is sorely needed in the world today.
  3. I teach them to value each person as an individual, not to always think in terms of groups- “us” and “them”, “good guys” and “bad guys”. They have to understand that individual people are faced with choices every day in which they can make a difference. Every group is made up of these individuals. So while it is easy to vilify a whole group, it is not one solid unit. Rather, it is made up of strong people and weak people, educated and uneducated people, leaders and followers; by thinking of them all as one unit, we devalue and dehumanize them, and it is easier to slip into an “enemies” mentality. I want my children to celebrate the diversity within themselves, as well as understanding the diversity of humanity as a whole.
These are just some of the approaches I take when trying to instill an understanding of global community in my children. Some may resonate with you, some may not. I would love to hear some of your ideas and experiences concerning this vital issue in our world today.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
You can read more about Khadijah’s creative homeschooling ideas at Riehl Life where she regularly guest posts, and shows us that necessity truly is the mother of invention.

The Global Homeschooler – Meet Pamela Price

By Pamela Price
If I tell you that I’m a native Texan who homeschools her kid outside San Antonio, then you may draw a lot of conclusions right away.
For instance, you may think that:

1. I reject both evolutionary theory and the idea of climate change as hogwash.
2. I regard non-native speakers suspiciously and call them all “foreigners.”
3. I support the idea of a border fence between Texas and Mexico.
4. I say “y’all” a lot.

Only one of those statements is true. I’ll try now to tip you off to which of the three are incorrect:

We’re striving to provide our Kindergartner with an open-minded world view.

I guess, in a word, that’s teaching a child to be “global.”

So how does one go about nurturing an appreciation for a wider world and the people in it when the teacher’s desk is the kitchen table?

Well, it’s a lot easier than you might think. For starters, we decided to teach Spanish as a second language beginning with Kindergarten. We had other options, of course. We’ve already dabbled in French and Chinese. Latin and Greek are really big among homeschoolers. Yet here in Texas–an hour or so as the crow flies to the border–Spanish is at once accessible, cosmopolitan, and downright friendly.

A few weeks ago my son and I encountered a Mexican gentleman shopping with his family. My son, using his elementary Spanish knowledge, struck up a conversation. It was brief but warm. The man was charmed and my kid was ecstatic that they could converse together one-to-one.

Later in the car my son and I discussed the man’s cheerful reaction. We puzzled through how and why we humans like to be “met” with familiar words, especially when we’re away from home. We reflected too on how during a recent trip abroad that even the most feeble of attempts at French were greeted with enthusiasm. At the center of the impromptu lesson the notion of “respect” was revealed. We discussed that, too. A rich, post-Target expedition talk resulting from the kind of chat summed up at the front of every college-level Spanish textbook:
¡Hola! ¿Como se llama? Me llamo Pablo. 
It was pure gold. A remarkable teachable moment right there on the linoleum next to racks of cheap Missoni textiles.


Eat your heart out, Socrates.

Once one opens that kind of door to the world through language, of course, some new issues may arise over time. For instance, when he’s old enough to understand that “border fence” idea, we may have to parse through some heavy issues related to language, race, and nationality. Given that San Antonio proper was founded by Spanish speakers and much of the older architecture reflects Spain more than England, Scotland or Denmark (our ancestors’ homelands), I can envision a heart-to-heart about who “decides” who must be kept at bay with that fence. What are the political motivations for the respective parties? Financial incentives? What are the alternatives? How do facts counter stereotypes? Or, for instance, what does the rest of the world fail to understand about the the many otherwise “conservative” landowners along the border who oppose the fence? How and where does language come up short in explaining an individual point-of-view?

Will we use Spanish to discuss these ideas? Maybe. Or we may have moved on to Russian or Italian. In whatever language we use to converse and debate important world matters as our son matures, we’ll definitely take into those conversations one of the best lessons learned through the study of a foreign language: Showing respect opens wide one’s windows to the world.

Yep, even if one still breaks out with a hearty “y’all” in everyday conversation.

Pamela Price is an award-winning regional journalist and the founder of RedWhiteandGrew.com, where she covers a variety of topics. She can be found on Twitter @redwhiteandgrew and Facebook.

The Global Homeschooler – Meet Pamela Price

By Pamela Price
If I tell you that I’m a native Texan who homeschools her kid outside San Antonio, then you may draw a lot of conclusions right away.
For instance, you may think that:

1. I reject both evolutionary theory and the idea of climate change as hogwash.
2. I regard non-native speakers suspiciously and call them all “foreigners.”
3. I support the idea of a border fence between Texas and Mexico.
4. I say “y’all” a lot.

Only one of those statements is true. I’ll try now to tip you off to which of the three are incorrect:

We’re striving to provide our Kindergartner with an open-minded world view.

I guess, in a word, that’s teaching a child to be “global.”

So how does one go about nurturing an appreciation for a wider world and the people in it when the teacher’s desk is the kitchen table?

Well, it’s a lot easier than you might think. For starters, we decided to teach Spanish as a second language beginning with Kindergarten. We had other options, of course. We’ve already dabbled in French and Chinese. Latin and Greek are really big among homeschoolers. Yet here in Texas–an hour or so as the crow flies to the border–Spanish is at once accessible, cosmopolitan, and downright friendly.

A few weeks ago my son and I encountered a Mexican gentleman shopping with his family. My son, using his elementary Spanish knowledge, struck up a conversation. It was brief but warm. The man was charmed and my kid was ecstatic that they could converse together one-to-one.

Later in the car my son and I discussed the man’s cheerful reaction. We puzzled through how and why we humans like to be “met” with familiar words, especially when we’re away from home. We reflected too on how during a recent trip abroad that even the most feeble of attempts at French were greeted with enthusiasm. At the center of the impromptu lesson the notion of “respect” was revealed. We discussed that, too. A rich, post-Target expedition talk resulting from the kind of chat summed up at the front of every college-level Spanish textbook:
¡Hola! ¿Como se llama? Me llamo Pablo. 
It was pure gold. A remarkable teachable moment right there on the linoleum next to racks of cheap Missoni textiles.


Eat your heart out, Socrates.

Once one opens that kind of door to the world through language, of course, some new issues may arise over time. For instance, when he’s old enough to understand that “border fence” idea, we may have to parse through some heavy issues related to language, race, and nationality. Given that San Antonio proper was founded by Spanish speakers and much of the older architecture reflects Spain more than England, Scotland or Denmark (our ancestors’ homelands), I can envision a heart-to-heart about who “decides” who must be kept at bay with that fence. What are the political motivations for the respective parties? Financial incentives? What are the alternatives? How do facts counter stereotypes? Or, for instance, what does the rest of the world fail to understand about the the many otherwise “conservative” landowners along the border who oppose the fence? How and where does language come up short in explaining an individual point-of-view?

Will we use Spanish to discuss these ideas? Maybe. Or we may have moved on to Russian or Italian. In whatever language we use to converse and debate important world matters as our son matures, we’ll definitely take into those conversations one of the best lessons learned through the study of a foreign language: Showing respect opens wide one’s windows to the world.

Yep, even if one still breaks out with a hearty “y’all” in everyday conversation.

Pamela Price is an award-winning regional journalist and the founder of RedWhiteandGrew.com, where she covers a variety of topics. She can be found on Twitter @redwhiteandgrew and Facebook.

Featured Customer of the Month: Twin Parks Montessori Schools

By Cameron Crane

For the month of October, we are pleased to honor Twin Parks Montessori Schools as our featured customer. Twin Parks Montessori Schools has three facilities in New York: Central Park Montessori, Park West Montessori, and Riverside Montessori. Today, we welcome Dr. Kathy Roemer, Executive Director, to the Little Pickle Press blog.

Guided by the Montessori philosophy, we gently help children learn how to learn in a secure, prepared environment, laying a firm foundation for them to become confident, caring and successful human beings. – Twin Parks Montessori Schools’ Mission Statement

Please tell us briefly about Twin Parks Montessori!

Our schools have been accredited by the American Montessori Society (AMS) and the Middle States Commission on Elementary Schools (MSCES) and are members of the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS), the Independent School Admission Association of Greater New York (ISAAGNY), and the Parents League, as well as affiliate schools of Columbia University. Our programs invite children to develop a love of learning for a lifetime. All of our children are nurtured, valued, and respected. Children are free to learn independently at their own pace; and learning is allowed to occur naturally. Parents can feel comfortable knowing that their children are cared for in an encouraging learning atmosphere—one that is supportive of intellectual, social, emotional, and physical growth.

The same meaningful love of learning happens at all of our Twin Parks Montessori Schools, so a family’s choice of one school over the other is generally driven by the convenience of geographical location.

Is there something about your school that separates you from other Montessori Schools?

The fact that we begin with children 3 months of age sets us apart from other Montessori Schools in NYC. In addition, we have a generous Professional Development program for our teachers and parents. We offer several speakers throughout the year that teachers and parents participate in.

How did you hear about Little Pickle Press?

I heard about Little Pickle Press from Dr. JoAnn Deak (award-winning author of Your Fantastic Elastic Brain). Dr. Deak has spoken at Twin Parks to teachers and parents three times over the past two years. We all looked forward to her book coming out.

Can you describe your experience with Dr. Deak?

I introduce Dr. Deak as a brain research synthesizer. She is able to take current research in its written, raw and presented form all help educators and parents bring that research into action into schools and homes. Her knowledge is invaluable especially to those people working or living with children under 10 years of age at which time most development takes place. I have heard Dr. Deak speak at conferences over the past four years both in the U.S. and abroad to packed audiences who never get enough and wonder when she will return.

Anything else you’d like to add?

The quality of the Little Pickle Press books is outstanding. Everyone loves to touch the stone paper! Little Pickle is the best publisher for books about and for young children. I am so glad you are out there!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

About Kathy Roemer

Kathy is in her 8th year as the Executive Director of Twin Parks Montessori School. She is also the current President of the American Montessori Society’s Board of Directors. She earned a Doctorate in education from the University of Memphis; a Masters degree in Montessori education from Christian Brothers University in Memphis; and a Bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Temple University in Philadelphia. She is certified as an early childhood director and holds a certificate for advanced professional education from the AMS. From 1995 to 2004, she held the position of Head of School at Lamplighter Montessori School in Memphis, Tennessee. She has written articles and a column that are published in Montessori Life, the journal of the American Montessori Society.

Featured Customer of the Month: Twin Parks Montessori Schools

By Cameron Crane

For the month of October, we are pleased to honor Twin Parks Montessori Schools as our featured customer. Twin Parks Montessori Schools has three facilities in New York: Central Park Montessori, Park West Montessori, and Riverside Montessori. Today, we welcome Dr. Kathy Roemer, Executive Director, to the Little Pickle Press blog.

Guided by the Montessori philosophy, we gently help children learn how to learn in a secure, prepared environment, laying a firm foundation for them to become confident, caring and successful human beings. – Twin Parks Montessori Schools’ Mission Statement

Please tell us briefly about Twin Parks Montessori!

Our schools have been accredited by the American Montessori Society (AMS) and the Middle States Commission on Elementary Schools (MSCES) and are members of the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS), the Independent School Admission Association of Greater New York (ISAAGNY), and the Parents League, as well as affiliate schools of Columbia University. Our programs invite children to develop a love of learning for a lifetime. All of our children are nurtured, valued, and respected. Children are free to learn independently at their own pace; and learning is allowed to occur naturally. Parents can feel comfortable knowing that their children are cared for in an encouraging learning atmosphere—one that is supportive of intellectual, social, emotional, and physical growth.

The same meaningful love of learning happens at all of our Twin Parks Montessori Schools, so a family’s choice of one school over the other is generally driven by the convenience of geographical location.

Is there something about your school that separates you from other Montessori Schools?

The fact that we begin with children 3 months of age sets us apart from other Montessori Schools in NYC. In addition, we have a generous Professional Development program for our teachers and parents. We offer several speakers throughout the year that teachers and parents participate in.

How did you hear about Little Pickle Press?

I heard about Little Pickle Press from Dr. JoAnn Deak (award-winning author of Your Fantastic Elastic Brain). Dr. Deak has spoken at Twin Parks to teachers and parents three times over the past two years. We all looked forward to her book coming out.

Can you describe your experience with Dr. Deak?

I introduce Dr. Deak as a brain research synthesizer. She is able to take current research in its written, raw and presented form all help educators and parents bring that research into action into schools and homes. Her knowledge is invaluable especially to those people working or living with children under 10 years of age at which time most development takes place. I have heard Dr. Deak speak at conferences over the past four years both in the U.S. and abroad to packed audiences who never get enough and wonder when she will return.

Anything else you’d like to add?

The quality of the Little Pickle Press books is outstanding. Everyone loves to touch the stone paper! Little Pickle is the best publisher for books about and for young children. I am so glad you are out there!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

About Kathy Roemer

Kathy is in her 8th year as the Executive Director of Twin Parks Montessori School. She is also the current President of the American Montessori Society’s Board of Directors. She earned a Doctorate in education from the University of Memphis; a Masters degree in Montessori education from Christian Brothers University in Memphis; and a Bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Temple University in Philadelphia. She is certified as an early childhood director and holds a certificate for advanced professional education from the AMS. From 1995 to 2004, she held the position of Head of School at Lamplighter Montessori School in Memphis, Tennessee. She has written articles and a column that are published in Montessori Life, the journal of the American Montessori Society.

Land Wilson Has a Dream

By Land Wilson

A decade ago, I set out on a goal of creating a tool to help our youth to want to protect Earth against pollution and frivolous waste. I found that astronauts had dramatic things to say about caring for earth. For my research, I interviewed three Apollo astronauts. Then, I wrote what would one day become Sofia’s Dream. My research and book publication then inspired me to accelerate my outreach by founding a non-profit organization called, The Earth View Society – a California Corporation organized to promote environmental stewardship through education – www.earthviewsociety.org

Since the publication of Sofia’s Dream, my interest in statements by astronauts hasn’t stopped. I have found that generations born after the Apollo program are in need of more content to fully understand the significance of the insights and knowledge that Apollo astronauts brought back to the world after their experience of seeing Earth from afar. Even generations who were around during the Apollo missions are inspired by reminders of what astronauts shared 40 years ago about the need to protect Earth.

The Earth View Society has just launched The Apollo Legacy Project on the funding platform, Kickstarter. The project aims to obtain and share with the world each Apollo astronaut’s one statement they believe would most impact others to become better stewards of Earth. The statements will be shared in a free educational e-book with images from the NASA photo archive. The free e-book will include:

• Prefaces by one or more astronauts and one world-renowned planetary hero
• A foreword by Pierre Cousteau
• An introduction by Land Wilson

The eBook is scheduled to be released in late 2012.

Kickstarter is an amazing on-line service and ranks as the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world. But much of the fundraising success boils down to the support that the creator generates among their community. It is an honor to be part of the Little Pickle Press community and it is a privilege to have the opportunity to share this project with you. Will you help make The Apollo Legacy Project a reality with a donation? Thank you!
For details go to: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/709234307/the-apollo-legacy-project
_________________________

We’re happy to share our latest news: Sofia’s Dream just won a Gold Medal Moonbeam Award in the environmental category! Congratulations to Land Wilson, Sue Cornelison, and the entire Little Pickle Press production team.

Land Wilson Has a Dream

By Land Wilson

A decade ago, I set out on a goal of creating a tool to help our youth to want to protect Earth against pollution and frivolous waste. I found that astronauts had dramatic things to say about caring for earth. For my research, I interviewed three Apollo astronauts. Then, I wrote what would one day become Sofia’s Dream. My research and book publication then inspired me to accelerate my outreach by founding a non-profit organization called, The Earth View Society – a California Corporation organized to promote environmental stewardship through education – www.earthviewsociety.org

Since the publication of Sofia’s Dream, my interest in statements by astronauts hasn’t stopped. I have found that generations born after the Apollo program are in need of more content to fully understand the significance of the insights and knowledge that Apollo astronauts brought back to the world after their experience of seeing Earth from afar. Even generations who were around during the Apollo missions are inspired by reminders of what astronauts shared 40 years ago about the need to protect Earth.

The Earth View Society has just launched The Apollo Legacy Project on the funding platform, Kickstarter. The project aims to obtain and share with the world each Apollo astronaut’s one statement they believe would most impact others to become better stewards of Earth. The statements will be shared in a free educational e-book with images from the NASA photo archive. The free e-book will include:

• Prefaces by one or more astronauts and one world-renowned planetary hero
• A foreword by Pierre Cousteau
• An introduction by Land Wilson

The eBook is scheduled to be released in late 2012.

Kickstarter is an amazing on-line service and ranks as the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world. But much of the fundraising success boils down to the support that the creator generates among their community. It is an honor to be part of the Little Pickle Press community and it is a privilege to have the opportunity to share this project with you. Will you help make The Apollo Legacy Project a reality with a donation? Thank you!
For details go to: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/709234307/the-apollo-legacy-project
_________________________

We’re happy to share our latest news: Sofia’s Dream just won a Gold Medal Moonbeam Award in the environmental category! Congratulations to Land Wilson, Sue Cornelison, and the entire Little Pickle Press production team.

Perspectives of the Boston Book Festival

By Tony Ritzie

Little Pickle Press took part in the third annual Boston Book Festival on Saturday, October 15, on Copley Square.  More than 100 authors were represented, and content covered every subject imaginable. The weather mostly cooperated, but it’s autumn in New England so anything is, and was, possible. The leaves were 10 days shy of perfect coloring, the apples were crisp and tart, and the pumpkins were ready to be carved. The crowds came out in force throughout the day, from all over the northeast, and some from as far as San Francisco. Many knew why they were there and others just luckily stumbled upon the event and thought it a good idea. They were justifiably confused, as it was not empirically obvious what Chevrolet, the Rockettes, yogurt, cupcakes, and a touring company of Peter Pan have to do with books, authors, and publishing.

There was a little something for everyone who came out to honor “the book”.  And a book is no longer just a book, in the traditional sense. The commonality is the respect and passion for the written word. What is different is the approach to delivering the content of the book to the end user, the reader. Audiobooks were just a few booths away, and traffic to the booth was steady throughout the day. At the other end of the Square were e-books, which had their own loyal following. There were long lines for book signings, and to my knowledge, a substitute for an author’s black sharpie on a hand-held, bound tome has yet to be developed, but I’m certain someone is working on it.

The Book Festival also hosted some terrific workshops. I was lucky enough to attend one regarding the graphic novel. The panel was comprised of:

  • Seth, whose current book is The Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists
  •  Alison Bechdel, guest editor of The Best American Comics 2011, amongst several other very notable and much deserved achievements; 
  • Daniel Clowes, whose latest effort is The Death Ray, the content of which made for an interesting juxtaposition at the event venue, the Trinity Church Sanctuary.

Each presented a slightly different take on both the current state and future of the medium, but all agreed it is here to stay, and is gaining in respect and credibility. If the number of devotees lined up for Seth’s autograph are any indication, they are onto something.

Little Pickle Press also participated in the Children’s Passport event, where the kids got to lead a scavenger hunt amongst the various booths that catered to them, with their parents in tow. A completed passport spelled out a secret message and yielded a prize when completed and turned in at the spectacular Trinity Church. I can’t divulge the message or the prize, as it wouldn’t be fair to all the young folks and all of their hard work, but they were all quite pleased.

Overall, it was a great way to spend a beautiful day in Boston, catch up on a bit of new technology, and add a title or two to one’s book collection.

Perspectives of the Boston Book Festival

By Tony Ritzie

Little Pickle Press took part in the third annual Boston Book Festival on Saturday, October 15, on Copley Square.  More than 100 authors were represented, and content covered every subject imaginable. The weather mostly cooperated, but it’s autumn in New England so anything is, and was, possible. The leaves were 10 days shy of perfect coloring, the apples were crisp and tart, and the pumpkins were ready to be carved. The crowds came out in force throughout the day, from all over the northeast, and some from as far as San Francisco. Many knew why they were there and others just luckily stumbled upon the event and thought it a good idea. They were justifiably confused, as it was not empirically obvious what Chevrolet, the Rockettes, yogurt, cupcakes, and a touring company of Peter Pan have to do with books, authors, and publishing.

There was a little something for everyone who came out to honor “the book”.  And a book is no longer just a book, in the traditional sense. The commonality is the respect and passion for the written word. What is different is the approach to delivering the content of the book to the end user, the reader. Audiobooks were just a few booths away, and traffic to the booth was steady throughout the day. At the other end of the Square were e-books, which had their own loyal following. There were long lines for book signings, and to my knowledge, a substitute for an author’s black sharpie on a hand-held, bound tome has yet to be developed, but I’m certain someone is working on it.

The Book Festival also hosted some terrific workshops. I was lucky enough to attend one regarding the graphic novel. The panel was comprised of:

  • Seth, whose current book is The Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists
  •  Alison Bechdel, guest editor of The Best American Comics 2011, amongst several other very notable and much deserved achievements; 
  • Daniel Clowes, whose latest effort is The Death Ray, the content of which made for an interesting juxtaposition at the event venue, the Trinity Church Sanctuary.

Each presented a slightly different take on both the current state and future of the medium, but all agreed it is here to stay, and is gaining in respect and credibility. If the number of devotees lined up for Seth’s autograph are any indication, they are onto something.

Little Pickle Press also participated in the Children’s Passport event, where the kids got to lead a scavenger hunt amongst the various booths that catered to them, with their parents in tow. A completed passport spelled out a secret message and yielded a prize when completed and turned in at the spectacular Trinity Church. I can’t divulge the message or the prize, as it wouldn’t be fair to all the young folks and all of their hard work, but they were all quite pleased.

Overall, it was a great way to spend a beautiful day in Boston, catch up on a bit of new technology, and add a title or two to one’s book collection.