“Best New Parenting Books: Help your child understand diversity with this book’s fun activities, simple explanations, and ideas for gaining a global perspective.” – Scholastic Parent & Child Magazine, Nov. 2009
“Helping children to appreciate the myriad religions and cultures around the world is a daunting task. Growing Up Global: Raising Children to Be At Home in the World …is an outstanding place to start.” — Boston Globe, Sept. 6, 2009 “The Find” of the Week in Books
Top 20 Education Books of the Decade – Jacksonville (FL) Public Education Examiner
Elementary students inspired by Homa’s visit – read the story from Dallas Morning News.
Whether it’s mastering a greeting in ten different languages, throwing an internationally themed birthday party, or celebrating a newfound holiday, Growing Up Global provides parents, educators, and children with a rich, exciting background for exploring and connecting with far-flung nations they may have only heard about on television.
Homa Sabet Tavangar has spent her career helping governments develop globally oriented programs and advising businesses on how to thrive abroad. She is also the mother of three children, ranging in age from 8 to 18. In Growing Up Global: Raising Children to Be at Home in the World, Tavangar shares with all of us her “parenting toolbox” to help give our children a vital global perspective.
Chapter 4 of Growing Up Global is dedicated to education and focuses on ways to make your school more internationally competent – without having to spend a lot of funds or re-write the curriculum. It explores the methods being used by the best schools in the world, a wide range of achievable techniques, from relationship with teachers, lunch offerings, physical exercise, learning geography, reading great literature, making music and art, decorating halls and classrooms, or forging partnerships – with other schools, diverse community members, companies, and charities near or far.
Homa enjoys sharing ideas from Growing Up Global with school communities around the country. Her programs help schools take practical steps to become more globally-oriented communities. In addition to her professional experience, she served as the volunteer Cultural Arts Chairperson for many years in her children’s public schools arranging programming for artist and author visits, and has a keen awareness of what adult and child audiences enjoy and learn from.
An experienced public speaker, Homa’s approach is to engage and challenge participants, leaving them with a few key action items to take back, inspiration to get started, and stories to share with others.
Here are some ways you can bring Growing Up Global to your school:
Student Assemblies: Homa takes students on a journey around the world with her interactive slide show that features funny and profound lessons on cultural practices and universal virtues learned by her family during their travels in Africa and elsewhere — lessons on generosity, compassion, patience, judging others, environmental stewardship, and more. She’ll help students tap into great on-line resources and share creative global film clips with them. The interactive discussion she leads will help students consider how to continue the experience beyond the school assembly.
Homa’s presentations empower students to feel more connected to the global community and offer ideas for them to get involved, no matter where they live. Assembly programs specific to elementary, middle school, and high school students are available. The program can be tailored to your school’s curriculum, demographics, or other particular needs.
Here are a few examples of assembly themes. Each can be adapted to the students’ age group. And all of them are accompanied by numerous visual and interactive elements:
Friendship – How can you “be a friend to the whole human race?” Look at friendship in many different countries – what kids eat, play, watch, how they greet and more. How can this impact your ability to be a better friend right here? (This also can fit with an anti-bullying/character development/school climate agenda.)
Water & Environmental Sustainability – We know the earth’s resources are scarce, and our relationship with water demonstrates this clearly. How is water used, gathered, conserved, revered and more in various parts of the world? How do you use and conserve it? Homa will share first-hand experiences of the innovative conservation techniques she and her family witnessed in Africa, and how this can inspire us to take action at home.
Service – How can you think about some of the important issues facing world leaders and citizens? What role will you play in making a difference locally and globally? Why should you? How can this impact your career decisions moving forward (particularly for older audiences)? Let’s talk about your career paths, and also your personal service plan. Includes examples of other young people who have made a difference in the world, starting from humble beginnings.
These themes cut across all the chapters of Growing Up Global. Your school might choose a more particular focus from one or two chapters of the book, like Celebrations, foreign language learning, and more.
A School-Wide Presentation for Parents: Homa presents fun and effective ideas from Growing Up Global for raising your children to be comfortable global citizens. Learn how you can enrich dinner table conversations, turn world events into teachable moments, play engaging games on long car rides, or reach out sincerely to make a difference, as a family. These presentations demonstrate how to begin tapping into great movies, music, books, magazines, service activities, and websites for expanding your family’s worldview. Homa shares simple explanations that will help your children grasp the diversity of world faiths; suggests creative ways to improve your kids’ geography literacy; and highlight celebrations and customs that offer a fascinating look at how people from different cultures around the world live everyday life. These everyday “global literacy” activities, that parents can share with their children, serve as an important ingredient to helping them thrive in whatever course they choose for their futures, without adding another scheduled activity to the family’s busy life.
Workshops for Teachers and Administrators: Gaining a lasting global perspective involves much more than hanging a world map on the wall – although that can be a great first step. Implementing new methods in the classroom, leading exploratory discussions, and introducing new art, literature, films and even math word problems take careful planning, cultural sensitivity, and a heightened awareness. While researching her book, Homa found that, even at what are considered the “best” schools, teachers often felt unprepared to discuss the global implications of a topic, at all grade levels.
In her workshops for educators, Homa’s topics include curriculum elements and ideas for injecting global awareness into existing curriculum, tools to foster a global classroom, physical elements of the classroom, and partnerships to develop overseas relationships, and much more.
A School-Wide Bookclub: To supplement a presentation on Growing Up Global, your school community might consider making the book a reading selection for staff or parents, and holding a book discussion to explore the themes and suggestions in more depth.
Custom Events: Homa is happy to customize a presentation to fit the needs of your school.
For more information about bringing Homa Tavangar to your school, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.