Two Books: A Children's Introduction to the World and Give Your Child the World

Create Your Own Homeschool Curriculum with Literature

I don’t know about you, but I am always looking to streamline things in our homeschool.  I love it when I can combine different subjects so it doesn’t feel like we are learning separate, unconnected information.  Recently, I found two books that I am using to plan some of our lessons for next year.  You can use them to plan literature, geography, history/cultural studies and even some science lessons that all relate to each other and would last a whole year.

Cover for blog post Creating Your Own Homeschool Curriculum with Literature

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Give Your Child the World

The first book is Give Your Child the World by Jamie C. Martin, which is essentially a book about books and can be used to pick your literature choices for the year (or more)! There is a chapter for each continent and then within each chapter there is a list of books that are set on that continent.  There is also a chapter of multicultural books. The books are divided by age group and are appropriate for ages 4-12.  There is a 3-4 sentence paragraph describing each book so you can really make an informed decision before choosing a book. (Learn more by clicking on pictures.)

Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time
  • Martin, Jamie C. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 224 Pages - 06/07/2016 (Publication Date) - Zondervan (Publisher)

A Child’s Introduction to the World

The second book is A Child’s Introduction to The World: Geography, Cultures, and People- From the Grand Canyon to the Great Wall of China by Heather Alexander.  This book covers the development of the earth and then has a section dedicated to each continent.  It can be a good jumping off point to teach plate tectonics, astronomy, time zones, map skills, layers of the earth, biomes, weather patterns, and cultures.  For each continent, geography, culture, history and native animals of the major countries are covered.  The book is geared for 9-12 year olds, but you could definitely use it with younger children, with some extra explanation.

A Child's Introduction to the World: Geography, Cultures, and People--From the Grand Canyon to the Great Wall of China (A Child's Introduction Series)
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Hardcover Book
  • Alexander, Heather (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 96 Pages - 05/26/2010 (Publication Date) - Black Dog & Leventhal (Publisher)

Month One of the Plan

I imagine dedicating the first month of school to books listed in the multicultural section of Give Your Child the World.  I created a FREE printable that I plan on using with all of the literature throughout the year.  It gives your child a chance to practice typical reading comprehension skills about characters, settings, problems, and solutions, as well as to determine how the characters’ culture, location, and time period might influence the story.  On the back is a Venn diagram that allows your child to compare his or her life to the main character’s. It is designed to fold in half and be used as a bookmark. You can download it here:

Book with Reading Guide

The first month would also be a good time to read from the beginning sections of A Child’s Introduction to the World and dive deeper into plate tectonics and layers of the earth.  Some good resources for these topics are listed below.

Months 2-8

Then, I plan on studying one continent a month by picking books from Give Your Child the World and studying the corresponding sections of A Child’s Introduction to the World.  Study of biomes, weather, geography, art, architecture, and music can be added in as desired.  Here are some resources to get all of us started:


We already spent a year studying biomes, so we will just do some quick review this coming year.  Here is an overview of what we did so you can plan a whole year of biome study: An Easy Way to Study the Earth’s Biomes.

Our Biome Bundle provides you with notebooking pages and 30 vocabulary cards for each biome.  There are also biome sorting mats to review and practice what you have learned:

Cover of Biomes Bundle of products.

A Child’s Introduction to Natural History would work in well with many of the other resources here.

A Child's Introduction to Natural History: The Story of Our Living Earth–From Amazing Animals and Plants to Fascinating Fossils and Gems (A Child's Introduction Series)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Alexander, Heather (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 96 Pages - 06/14/2016 (Publication Date) - Black Dog & Leventhal (Publisher)

An entire unit on weather would also fit with the other subjects.  So many science possibilities!  Our Weather Vocabulary Concept of the Day Cards can be helpful with this subject.

Cover for Weather Vocabulary Concept of the Day cards

The Child’s Introduction to the World introduces plate tectonics and layers of the earth.  These topics could lead you into the study of rocks, volcanoes, earthquakes, and more.  Here are a few books to get you started.

Why Do Tectonic Plates Crash and Slip? Geology Book for Kids Children's Earth Sciences Books
  • Baby Professor (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 64 Pages - 03/15/2017 (Publication Date) - Baby Professor (Publisher)
A Journey to the Center of the Earth: Fantasy Science Field Trips (Fantasy Science Field Trips, Read Me!)
  • Throp, Claire (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 32 Pages - 02/01/2014 (Publication Date) - Raintree (Publisher)


My son gets the book, A Child’s Introduction to Art, every other time we go to the library and it would be a great resource for learning more about art.

A Child's Introduction to Art: The World's Greatest Paintings and Sculptures (A Child's Introduction Series)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Alexander, Heather (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 96 Pages - 05/20/2014 (Publication Date) - Black Dog & Leventhal (Publisher)

Life Led Homeschool is doing a series on Exploring the World Through the Art of Native Peoples.

We enjoyed Take Time for Art projects this past year in our homeschool.  Right now their kits cover Europe (Greece, Rome, and the Middle Ages) and Africa (Egypt) and everything you need is included.  We really enjoyed them!

paper-mache Egyptian masks

Art Class Curator did a series of blog posts a few years ago called Art Around the World, that could be helpful!

For music, checkout the World Music Network or look for some CDs at your local library.  Or this CD would be a great resource:

Around the World in 14 Songs - Travel Dreams Geography
  • Audio CD – Audiobook
  • Fun-Schooling with The Thinking Tree (Publisher)


We have used the Practice Makes Perfect Map Skills workbooks in the past and they would go great with the geography piece of these other learning materials.

Map Skills Grade 2: Grade 2 (Practice Makes Perfect (Teacher Created Materials))
  • Each book provides activities that are great for independent work in class, homework assignments, or extra practice to get ahead.
  • Test practice pages are included.
  • The book contains 6 test practice pages.
  • A total of 48 pages per book.
  • Teacher Created Resources Staff, Mary (Author)

I created a new set of sorting mats to go with this year’s worth of studies as my youngest still struggles with remembering the continents.  They review major countries, ancient civilizations, biomes, and fact for each continent.  You could use at the beginning of each month to introduce the continent and then at the end of each month set out the continents the child has learned about so far and let them match the information to the correct continent to review the information!  (Click the picture to see a preview of the product.)

Cover of Continent Sorting MatsAFrica Continent Sorting Mat with Matching CardsEuroper Continent Sorting Mat with Matching Cards

Other Literature

A Child’s Introduction to Poetry contains poetry from different time periods and areas of the world!  It even contains a CD of poems being read.

A Child's Introduction to Poetry: Listen While You Learn About the Magic Words That Have Moved Mountains, Won Battles, and Made Us Laugh and Cry (A Child's Introduction Series)
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Hardcover Book
  • Driscoll, Michael (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 96 Pages - 05/06/2003 (Publication Date) - Black Dog & Leventhal (Publisher)

My youngest son is going to be reading the Magic Tree House books next school year to continue to practice his reading skills.  I have aligned these books with what we are studying in history each week that further aligns with the continent of the month.  You can see the organized list of books and extension activities for them in Teaching History with Magic Tree House Books.PInnable Blog Cover Post for Teaching History with Magic Tree House Books

There are so many ways you can use the idea of picking literature based around a continent a month to teach all sorts of related information and skills.  You can look for videos, make recipes from each place you study, draw the flag for each country you study…the list goes on and on.  If you have some other ideas, please comment with them below!  I will be updating this post throughout the summer with new ideas!