Teaching Your Kids About Hispanic Culture with Picture Books

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Teach About Hispanic Culture with Picture Books -- Huge Collection of Books and Unit Studies
Do you want to teach your kids about Hispanic culture? Not all of Latin America has the same customs. For example, a tortilla is made of flour in some countries whereas in other countries like Spain and Argentina, a tortilla is a potato omelette. Here in the United States we all know what tacos are, but in some countries in South America, tacos are not something you eat, but rather something you wear…high heel shoes! Just because Spanish-speaking countries all speak the same language doesn’t mean they share the same culture. One way to introduce your kids to different Hispanic cultures is through picture books and unit studies.  Here is a long list of books, unit studies, and lapbooks you can use to teach about the many Spanish-speaking cultures. All the unit studies and lapbooks can be found on Homeschool Share.



Gauchada-The story of a necklace made by a gaucho {Argentine cowboy} that is given to several people.  While this book may be out of print it is not to be missed!!  As of the time of this posting it can still be found cheaply on the used market. Here is the HSS unit.

On the Pampas-This is an excellent book to teach various aspects of Argentine culture on the pampas {Argentine grasslands}.  Kids will learn about mate, the rhea {South American ostrich}, and gauchos. There is a HSS unit available for this book.

The Magic Bean Tree: A Legend from Argentina-A legend from the pampas about a carob tree.


A Pen Pal for Max-This book tells the story of Max from Chile and what happens when he slips a note into a box of grapes that his family has grown headed for the United States.

Mia’s Story: A Sketchbook of Hopes & Dreams-A girl from a village in Chile searches for her lost puppy.

My Name is Gabriela/Me llamo Gabriela (Bilingual): The Life of Gabriela Mistral/la vida de Gabriela Mistral -The story of Gabriela Mistral, Nobel-prizing winning poet.

Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People-The life of another famous Chilean author


Up and Down the Andes-Highlights a Peruvian festival.  Cultural notes in the back of the book.

Tonight Is Carnaval-Another look at a festival. For more information and activities for this book, click here.

Moon Rope/Un lazo a la luna-An ancient Peruvian tale

The Llama’s Secret – A Peruvian Legend-A version of the Flood story

At Homeschool Share there is a lapbook available for Colombia!

Biblioburro: A True Story from Colombia-the story of a traveling library.  A great time to teach the word “biblioteca” to your kids if they are learning Spanish.

Waiting for the Biblioburro-Another story about the same concept


Abuela’s Weave-The story of a grandmother and granddaughter.  This story highlights Mayan culture, weaving and the idea of taking goods to a market.



Hill Of Fire -A true story of how a volcano was formed in Mexico.

Cuckoo-A Mexican folktale

Under The Lemon Moon-A touching story of generosity.  With Spanish sprinkled throughout the story.

Diego-The story of the great Mexican muralist, Diego Rivera

Puerto Rico

There’s a Coqui in My Shoe-About the famous frog of the island

Juan Bobo: Four Folktales from Puerto Rico-Juan Bobo is a well-known character from Puerto Rico

The Coqui and The Iguana-This story takes place in La Paguera, one of Puerto Rico’s bioluminescent bays.


Roberto’s Trip to the Top-A boy takes a trip to the top of the mountain near his village


Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale


A lapbook for Spain is available here.

The Story of Ferdinand-A classic, not-to-be-missed story about a bull named Ferdinand.  You can teach about bull fighting without the gore of it.  Here is a lapbook to go along with the story.

Don Quixote and the Windmills-Every child that studies Spanish should at least know who Don Quixote is. The Misadventures of Don Quixote is another picture book that introduces the character of Don Quixote.


Books from Various Countries

A Picture Book of Simon Bolivar-The life story of the liberator of parts of South America.  Simon Bolivar is sometimes known as the “George Washington of South America”.  The country of Bolivia was named after him.
The Gold Coin-Lovely fable set in South America
The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred-A story of creating rice pudding, a typical Latin America dish.
Personajes del Mundo Hispanico-A series of books written in Spanish about several famous Hispanics {Gabriela Mistral, Miguel de Cervantes, Jose de San Martin, Simon Bolivar, Pablo Neruda}.

Other resources to teach about Spanish-speaking countries

Ecuador lapbook

Costa Rica lapbook

Debbie Palmer blogs about faith and homeschooling at The Architect and the Artist and about teaching Spanish at Debbie’s Spanish Learning.

Cook with Books: Recipe Roundup!

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Cook with Books Round-Up

Over the past year we’ve shared lots of recipe ideas to go along with some of your favorite stories.  This month we’re focusing on books that have recipes in them already and that have units to go along with them (for FREE!) at Homeschool Share.

cranberry christmasIf you’ve enjoyed Cranberry Thanksgiving, you should definitely try Cranberry Christmas!  The residents of Cranberryport want to go ice skating, but Cyrus Grape claims the skating pond is his and won’t allow it.  It’s up to Mr. Whiskers to try to save the day for the town’s children!  This book includes a recipe for Maggie’s delicious cranberry cookies.

a song for lenaIn A Song for Lena, Lena helps her grandmother make strudel (the recipe is included) and hears a story from her grandmother’s childhood.  A wandering musician asks for some bread, but the family gives him some of their strudel instead, and the musician repays the kindness with a tune on his violin.  This same scene is repeated year after year, until one year when the musician no longer comes.  This is a sweet story of kindness you will love to share with your children.

thunder cake Thunder Cake is also a story of a grandmother and granddaughter cooking.  In this book, there is a rapidly approaching thunderstorm which frightens the young girl.  To take her mind off her worries, her grandmother has her help gather the ingredients to make a cake.

cook a doodle dooCook-a-Doodle-Doo! is a funny book that tells the story of Rooster, the great-grandson of the Little Red Hen.  When he remembers that his famous great-grandma is also a cookbook author, Rooster and his friends decide to make her delicious strawberry shortcake.  Each of the animals adds his own special something to the cooking process and you’re sure to enjoy the results!

goody o'grumpityIf you’re looking for a good historical recipe, Goody O’Grumpity is a wonderful book to share with your kids.  In this simple story, Goody O’Grumpity, a Pilgrim woman, bakes a cake that has everyone in town waiting to try a piece.  Your children may be surprised at the difference between cakes now and then, but no matter how different the outcome, they will love the story and the memories.

Hopefully this will give you a start on planning some fun learning experiences for the new year!  I’m so excited about some of the great things we have cooking up for Cook with Books in the coming months!  Happy cooking and reading!

Cook with Books Pinterest Board

The Night Before New Year’s

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Are you looking for a good book to ring in the new year? The Night Before New Year’s by Natasha Wing is a great one to curl up with on December 31st!

Written in the familiar form of Clement Moore’s “The Night Before Christmas”, the story follows a family’s preparations to celebrate the new year. They purchase decorations, have fun foods, play games, and best of all, they get to stay up late. If you haven’t planned anything yet for your New Year’s celebration you might even get a few ideas!

The rhymes make The Night Before New Year’s a good story for beginning readers and they also make it enjoyable to listen to the story being read aloud. Even your older children will smile at this one because they will remember the first time they tried to stay up until midnight and see in the new year in.

Amy Wummer’s illustrations are fun and bright and will make you chuckle with their details like the expressions of a child who gets to eat three whole cupcakes! As you read further into the story you may see some of the same sleepy looks on the faces of your own children, too!

If you do New Year’s bagsThe Night Before New Year’s would be a great choice for one of your bags–and it’s available for the Kindle, too, if you’re a last minute planner! Regardless of how much or little you plan to celebrate, though, this book would be a great addition to your holiday book basket.

HUGE Homeschool Curriculum Giveaway — 6 Winners!

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We’re excited to present this HUGE Homeschool Curriculum Giveaway!

Great Homeschool Giveaways December

Welcome to the December Edition of Great Homeschool Giveaways!

Each month, Homeschool Giveaways and Ben and Me, along with a host of homeschool blogging friends, are bringing the homeschool community GREAT GIVEAWAYS and FREEBIES!

Here’s how it works:

There will be 5 INDIVIDUAL WINNERS (one from each sponsor) and . . . One GRAND PRIZE WINNER, who will be awarded every prize in the giveaway, a value of over $460!

Some of the sponsors are also providing GREAT FREEBIES for everyone! This month our generous sponsors include Writing with Sharon Watson, All About Learning Press,  A Journey Through Learning, Brookdale House and Roman Roads Media .

Here’s what you could win (and don’t forget to grab your freebies!):


Write from History Giveaway

Brookdale House

Write from History ($216.65 value)

The Write from History series is an elementary writing curriculum for students in grades 1 through 5. Level 1 is flexibly designed for children in grades 1 through 3, and level 2 is flexibly designed for students in grades 3 through 5.

This series teaches writing via oral and written narrations, copywork, and studied dictation. By using historical narratives, children are given interesting and important stories to narrate. By way of copywork, these same students learn the proper way to put words on paper, mechanically and stylistically. And via studied dictation, students learn to identify their weaknesses, self-edit, and write.

Students copy age appropriate models written in a true handwriting font, and when the student is ready, he moves on to writing summations and writing from studied dictation.

Includes the following books:

Write from Ancient History Level 1 and Level 2
Write from Medieval History Level 1 and Level 2
Write from Early Modern History Level 1 and Level 2
Write from Modern History Level 2


Writing with Sharon Watson Giveaway

Writing with Sharon Watson ($54.95 value)

The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School

Frustrated with your current high school writing curriculum? Have your students almost given up on writing? Do they reach for the tissue box when you say, “Write an essay”? Do you worry they won’t be ready for high school or college writing? Do they say they think of things to write but can’t write them down?

With The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School, they’ll learn what they need to know for high school and will be prepared for college writing.

Includes student textbook and teacher guide.

Grab Your Writing With Sharon Watson Freebie!

Teach Your Students How to Take Notes

Do your students know how to take notes from auditory or written sources?

Are you worried that your students will not be able to keep up in a dual-enrollment situation or a college classroom?

With Teach Your Students How to Take Notes , a free 32-page eBook valued at $9.99, you’ll be giving your middle school and high school students critical note-taking skills that will equip them for high school, dual-enrollment classes, college, and for years to come!


A Journey Through Learning Giveaway

A  Journey Through Learning ($78 value)

The Secret Garden Literature Print Lapbook with Study Guide ($10)

Learn about: Yorkshire and the Moors, Roses in the Secret Garden, Robins, India and England, Gardening, and author Frances Hodgson Burnett. Includes discussion questions, field trip ideas, pretty notebooking pages, and other enrichment type sheets.

Americas Greatest Documents & Speeches Print Lapbook with Study Guide  ($18 value)

Includes Mayflower Compact, Patrick Henry, Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, The Constitution, Northwest Ordinance, President George Washington’s Inaugural Speech, Bill of Rights, Monroe Doctrine, Gettysburg Address, Emancipation Speech, President Roosevelt Infamy Speech, Martin Luther King Jr. “I have a Dream” Speech, President George Bush’s 9/11 speech.

Wonderful Winter Print Lapbook with Study Guide ($18 value)

Learn all about winter time with this Wonderful Winter Lapbook. It comes with a study guide which contains the answers you’ll need to fill out your lapbook! Topics include:What is Winter?, What is the Winter Solstice?, How are Snowflakes Formed?, What is Hibernation?, What Kind of Precipitation Do We See in the Winter?, How Can I Help the Birds?, Winter Weather Warnings, Sports Played in the Winter, The Winter Olympics and MORE!!”

Inside My Body Print Lapbook with Study Guide ($18 value)

Learn all about the inside of the human body in a fun, hands-on way! Your child will study the nervous system, excretory system, respiratory system, digestive system, and skeletal system. Also covered is the brain, skin, muscles and joints, bones, skull, and heart!

Aztec Civilization Print Learning Lapbook  ($14 value)

At the time the first Spanish conquistadors reached the shores of what is now Mexico, the Maya had long disappeared as the ruling power of the land. The Aztecs had become the rulers. Who were the Aztecs and what do we know about this fascinating people?


Grab your AJTL Freebie

Overview of the 17th Century Lapbook

Your child will copy famous speeches, quotes, historical documents and newsworthy happenings while at the same time reinforcing spelling, grammar, and punctuation skills.


All About Learning Press $50 Gift Certificate

All About Learning Press ($50 value)

$50 Gift Certificate

Good towards any All About Reading or All About Spelling materials in the All About Learning Press store. The award-winning All About Reading and All About Spelling programs are easy to learn, easy to teach, and loved by parents and children everywhere. Based on the latest research, these engaging multisensory programs provide complete and comprehensive reading and spelling instruction using the Orton-Gillingham approach, making them a perfect fit for all learning styles. Add in our one-year guarantee and lifetime support, and you’ve got a program that can’t be beat! Take the struggle out of learning today!
*Gift certificate will be awarded in the form of store credit at www.allaboutlearningpress.com.

Grab your All About Learning Press Freebie!

 ABC Snacks

Eat your way through the alphabet with our ABC Snacks series! We’ve created yummy (and healthy!) snacks for each letter of the alphabet, and added in fun ideas for supporting pre-reading skills while you and your preschooler make them! Don’t have a preschooler in the house? These snacks are fun for kids of any age to make and eat!


Roman Roads Media The Aeneid

Roman Roads Media

ROMANS: The Aeneid:Unit 1 of The Romans Old Western Culture Curriculum ($62 value)

THE AENEID is the first unit of The Romans, year two in the Old Western Culture curriculum on the Great Books. This unit unpacks one the greatest classics of the West, the Aeneid of Vergil, whose impact profoundly influenced both Roman society and medieval Christianity. Wesley Callihan guides the student through the plot, poetic devices, background, philosophy, history, and aesthetics of the poem, as well as its lasting influence on Western culture and civilization. He then briefly turns to the Roman epics of Ovid, Lucretius, Lucan, and Statius.

Includes 12 lectures, a Student Workbook & Answer Key, a Guide to the Art booklet, 2 final exams (PDF), and the Great Book texts in digital format.


To enter, use the Rafflecopter below.

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Terms and Conditions: This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  Void where prohibited by law. Must be at least 18 years of age. This giveaway is in no way associated with Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. No purchase necessary for entry. Odds are determined by the number of entries. Selected winners will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prizes or another winner will be drawn. Entry into this giveaway will subscribe you to the Homeschool Giveaways and Ben and Me email lists.

December Grand Giveaway — Great Homeschool Conventions (3 Winners!)

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Great Homeschool Conventions Giveaway

Did you hear the news? Great Homeschool Conventions is heading to Texas in 2015! Homeschool families from all over Texas can get a jumpstart to the homeschool convention season by heading Fort Worth in FEBRUARY!



Of course, for those of you NOT in Texas, there will be conventions in three other cities around the U.S.:

Greenville, SC — March 12-14

Cincinnati, OH — April 9-11

Ontario, CA — June 18-20

Would anyone like to WIN a registration to the Great Homeschool Convention of your choice?

GREAT! Because we are giving away THREE!

GRAND PRIZE: Family Package – includes Family Registration and the following for immediate family members only: admission to hear Inge Auerbacher, Teen Track, and Family Comedy Night with Bob Smiley (value approximately $110)

PRIZE #2: Family Registration (valued at $50)

PRIZE #3: Family Registration (valued at $50)

To enter, use the Rafflecopter below.

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