OUR STORY

For years we've had a large world map on display in our home. In fact, I had one long before my wife and I got together. Something about knowing the world—where places are, where they are in relation to each other, what continents look like—always fascinated me. Our world map now plays a huge role in a little project that has come to mean so much to all of us.

OUR STORY

For years we've had a large world map on display in our home. In fact, I had one long before my wife and I got together. Something about knowing the world—where places are, where they are in relation to each other, what continents look like—always fascinated me. Our world map now plays a huge role in a little project that has came to mean so much to all of us.

As our young daughters began Kindergarten and Grade 1, a series of life events and the tone of the news made me realize something: I had to ensure our girls would want to explore the world, not hide from it. I wanted them to know how neat the world was! So the girls and I started a project.

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{L-R: Marika, Dave (the guy speaking to you through the words on this site) and Kiana.}

Every week I would research a new country, create a colourful, vibrant and fact filled country profile sheet for it, hang it on the wall beside our big world map, and that country would be our theme for the week.

Our girls came to expect a new country on the wall every Monday morning. Upon discovering it, they would take the previous week's country profile sheet and place it lovingly within a plastic sleeve and into a binder for future review and fun. Then they would search our map on the wall for the new country.

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{Kiana, our oldest, takes great pride in finding the countries we've done.}

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Over that week, we would try to find family friendly videos of people travelling through our country of the week or videos about things in that country. Other times we would simply cook up some food from that country. Some weeks we maybe found music to listen to that the country is well known for or a movie that had some connection to it. There were weeks we explored a lot, and other weeks we didn't. That was it. Simple, really.

{Marika loves flipping through our past countries, looking at the photos and practising her reading.}

Over that week, we would try to find family friendly videos of people travelling through our country of the week or videos about things in that country. Other times we’d just cook up some food from that country. Some weeks we maybe found music to listen to that the country is well known for or a movie that had some connection to it. There were weeks we explored a lot, and other weeks we didn't. That was it. Simple, really.

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{Marika loves flipping through our past countries, looking at the photos and practising her reading.}

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It is hard to know the precise long term effects this project will have on our daughters. What we know now is that they're becoming empathetic, understanding and very curious global citizens (in-between being your typical young children of course!). Their understanding of the world today rivals that of many adults I know, including my pre-Country-of-the-Week self.

When I asked Kiana (at 9 years old) what Country of the Week means to her, she replied with "I'm not afraid of the world anymore." Upon expressing my surprise that she might have ever been afraid, she simply commented that she had been comfortable with what she knew--our country. Now, she continued, that comfort is worldwide for her.

The only negative result so far is their bucket lists. Both of our daughters now have extensive travel plans! I'm not sure that mom and dad will be able to finance those adventures. We might have to call in the grandparents!

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Our primary purpose with Country of the Week now is to extend the positive impact we have experienced with many more children, their families and yes, you, you curious adults. If we accomplish that, a better world is sure to be in store for everyone. 

Ready to explore how it works?

How it Works

"Both girls ask what the new country is on Sunday and check the wall on Monday to make sure I changed the picture. I love watching them get excited about learning the location and some of the facts of countries they have or haven’t heard of. I also love learning along side them!"

- Kristen, Josh and the girls, COTW family

{Winter View of Hallstatt, Austria}

"Both girls ask what the new country is on Sunday and check the wall on Monday to make sure I changed the picture. I love watching them get excited about learning the location and some of the facts of countries they have or haven’t heard of. I also love learning along side them!"

- Kristen, Josh and the girls, COTW family

{Winter View of Hallstatt, Austria}

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