In the third episode of the Families Exploring Culture Podcast, we discuss with LJ Sikahema from Lokua Labs about how to teach kids about different cultures and how families can learn about the world together.
Perhaps the next question is, how do we start to learn about other cultures and share that knowledge and process with our children? Can it only be accomplished through travel or is there another way?
LJ and Kaylie Sikahema started Lokua Labs to explore the way people perceive culture and to clear away our misunderstandings of other cultures. The Sikahemas wanted to travel the world, but that’s expensive with four kids, so they found ways to replicate the travel experience from home by learning about other countries as a family.
Some topics from this episode include:
- how to learn about the world from your home
- why it’s important to teach kids from a young age about different people and cultures
- some teaching strategies for elementary and middle school kids
- benefits from participating in Lokua Labs
Why is it important to teach kids about those who are different from them?
It’s important to teach kids about different cultures because they learn practical social skills that they’ll use their entire lives. We all interact with people who are different from us, so it’s important to start to teach kids when they’re young about how to talk to all kinds of people.
Lokua Labs teaches with the chief aims of education, which they call the four Cs:
- critical thinking
With these four skills, kids will be equipped to face the problems of the world because they will have been using their curiosity and critical thinking to find creative solutions with compassion in mind since they were young.
What are some teaching strategies for elementary and middle school kids?
For all age groups, the key is to teach by example and show your kids that you’re willing to challenge your own basic assumptions about the world.
As kids are growing up, they need a sense of normalcy, while still having opportunities to see that their normal is not universal for everyone else their age, and vice versa. I teach my kids the phrase “different, but not wrong,” which means that even if we both solve this differently, it doesn’t mean that one of us is wrong.
Middle schoolers are normally difficult to teach and work with because it’s difficult to be a middle schooler. As they bring up uncomfortable questions, they shouldn’t be “protected” from the answers. Treating them as adults and answering their questions (and being willing to admit when we don’t know something) helps them to learn through their struggles.
As parents, it’s our job to explain that what we teach our kids may not always be right and that they should explore and form their own educated opinions.
How does the “travel from home” concept work?
It is expensive to travel to other countries, especially with small children added to the mix. Fortunately, being a world traveler is not what makes you understand the world better, although it certainly helps.
The home is the primary teaching ground of other countries and their cultures, along with how to communicate and understand other people in our global family.
Thank you for joining me on this journey! Happy exploring!
LISTEN TO EPISODE 3 OF THE FAMILIES EXPLORING CULTURE PODCAST HERE:
Show notes links:
LJ and Kaylie Sikahema are the founders of Lokua Labs, which uses hands-on, interactive lessons to teach kids about geography, culture, economics, history, science, politics, language, religion, and the arts. . . and how all of those things work together to make the world work the way it does. They have three awesome, wonderful, trouble-making boys, and just had their first girl. They love to travel, but like most people, wish they had more money to do it.
Email: [email protected]
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