Multiculturalism: The Foundation of Our Homeschooling Education.

beeswax 'bandera': the eagle, snake in beak, on the nopal on lake Texcoco

Creative Commons. Image by C Newlin de Rojas

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Homeschool Blogging Carnival hosted by Lisa at The Squishable Baby and Keisha at Unschooling Momma. This month our participants are talking about Multiculturalism.

I think many homeschoolers will agree with me that learning should be a pervasive part of life and not something that happens between the hours of eight and three. I feel the same way about multiculturalism.

As as a Mexican-Franco-American family living in South East Asia, multiculturalism is not something we have to remember to work into our schooling. It’s woven into every aspect of our life. From the guards the girls greet with Wais every morning to the Amharic they hear when we visit two of their playmates. Expats typically get to meet a fairly diverse group of people if they are open to it —and sometimes even if they aren’t!

That said, living nestled in a multicultural environment can pose its own challenges. For starters, cultural heritage is a wonderful place to begin introducing kids to different cultures. But between our multiple moves and birthplaces, they are a little confused about where they come from. One of my daughters will tell you she is from Singapore. It’s true she was born in Singapore but 18 months was hardly long enough for it to have a huge cultural impact on her. Whereas my 6-year-old, who was born in Brooklyn and lived in Singapore from 2.5 to 4, still sings Oh Singapura and bemoans the loss of chicken-rice hawkers. She would probably happily swap passports if given the chance.

My time with them at home as both their mother and educator also translates into my cultures playing a dominant role. The girls are half Mexican but culturally you wouldn’t know it. Living on the other side of the world where Mexican expats are as rare as helmet-wearing Thai cyclists translates into a lack of opportunities to really embrace their Mexican roots. This would have been a different story had we stayed in Brooklyn. This saddens me but I try to remember that it’s more than just our cultural heritage that’s important.

What we need is a deeper understanding and acceptance of others around the world. That’s the true key to gifting them a ‘rich’ future. Cultural literacy should not just be a nice add-on a couple of times of year. I love that people are embracing world holidays and their favorite cultural snapshots but learning about Mexico or Sweden needs to be more than a lesson about Cinco de Mayo & pickled herring, respectively. Multiculturalism needs to be part of the engine of our children’s education, not just an enjoyable accessory like seat-warmers for those stuck in Nova Scotia!

I was reminded of this last night when a caucasian friend of mine who has adopted a gorgeous brood of ethnically diverse children and lives in the US shared a disheartening story. Today, her six-year-old African-American son was told by his supposed best friend —who is ethnically Chinese— that his mother doesn’t talk to brown people. Her son was understandably deeply upset by this. What’s more astonishing is that these two boys go to a school that is in fact incredibly diverse. There are only 2 white US-born kids in the class and their teacher is African-American. (That’s going to make for an awkward parent-teacher night when it rolls around.)

Sadly prejudice runs deep and is usually the offshoot of ignorance and fear. It’s also still pervasive and can affect kids by osmosis. If we want to change this, we need to expose our children as early as possible. With this in mind, I’ve decided to radically shift our approach and embed multiculturalism at every level. As homeschoolers, we are privileged to have the flexibility to place multiculturalism as a pillar in our children’s educational foundations. Please join me and let us be at the forefront of this movement!


p.s. I will be writing a lot more about this and I hope to create a repository for resources. One of the latest things out is The Global Education Toolkit. It looks amazing. I haven’t got my hands on a copy yet but I’ll definitely be reviewing and likely implementing lots of ideas from it. Please share any relevant links and Pinterest boards too!



Visit The Squishable Baby to see how you can participate in the next Homeschool Blogging Carnival where we will be talking about Homeschool Mythsconceptions . hmschool blogging button


Please take the time to read the submissions by other Carnival participants:


7 thoughts on “Multiculturalism: The Foundation of Our Homeschooling Education.

  1. Great post! I look forward to reading more about all the ideas you have to incorporate multicultural global learning into your homeschooling. That’s really the future of global ed and how we, as parents and educators, can have the biggest influence in how our kids look at and engage with the world. Well, that, and starting early, as you also suggest!

  2. Hey Cordelia,

    Fantastic post! You are right. Multicultural is more than celebrating Cinco De Mayo. Well said. Your girls are having opportunities that very few get – and that’s wonderful. They are “experiencing culture.

    I think the honest effort is what’s important – you know. It’s so important to have a global education. Children who are so inwardly focused, it worries me a lot. As homeschooling parents, we have the power to inspire our children. Just imagine what a wonderful world this could be!

    Thank you so much for participating in this carnival with us, despite everything. I know it was very difficult for you and I really appreciate hearing your thoughts!

    • Lisa, I can’t thank you enough for letting me slip in under the wire with this one. It meant a lot to me & the carnival was the push to get me out of my blues. Can’t wait to read everyone’s pieces later when I get some ‘me time’!

  3. Love it:). I agree- we do need to incorporate multiculturalism understanding with our children from a young age. The fear of anything “different” stems in part from not ever being exposed to varying perspectives and always believing we are “right.” You are doing such a great job with your girls!!

  4. Pingback: Home School Education | Start Your Home School

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