Raising your children bilingual is one of the greatest decisions you can make as a parent. My parents did it with me and now I'm doing the same with my two kids. My reasons are a bit different than my parents', but in the end, it's all about the advantages of being bilingual, which are countless!
My daughter is 8 and she's finally starting to realize the power of bilingualism on her own--and nothing could make me happier! Check out a few of the advantages kids who grow up bilingual enjoy.Continue Reading >
As the mom of a first-grader who's growing up bilingual but goes to an all-English school, this is something that worries me tremendously. Until last year, when she entered kindergarten, my daughter Vanessa was exposed to Spanish the majority of her waking hours. Even though she attended preschool, it was only a few hours a day three times a week and the rest of the time she was home with her Spanish-speaking nanny and, later on, with her Spanish-speaking parents.
I wasn't too worried about her increased exposure to English (and decreased exposure to Spanish) during kinder because she didn't know how to read or write yet. But now that she does, I feel like I have to work overtime to keep Spanish alive at home.
Although I didn't grow up watching Sesame Street, I always knew I wanted to expose my kids to the wonderful, entertaining and educational program. Nothing made me happier than finding out that they were going to add an additional Latino character to their regular cast last fall and Mando has not disappointed.
But I've also been very grateful to see many Latino celebrity guests on Sesame Street, especially the ones that I can play over and over again to help my children with their Spanish. Check out the videos below and be ready to be surprised by some old school ones, including the one with Ricky Martin as a teen!Continue Reading >
Easter is right around the corner and besides making cascarones with my bilingual kids, I also like to take the time to talk to them about what this celebration is all about. One of easiest ways to do this in a fun and understandable way is through children's books in Spanish--especially if you have little ones who are still too young to understand some more difficult concepts.Continue Reading >
One of the most important tips I always give parents raising bilingual kids is to make sure they make the journey as fun as possible. The minute learning Spanish starts becoming a chore or a burden for your kids, I guarantee you'll run into all kinds of resistance.
Music and games are a great way to expose them to Spanish in a super fun way, but letting them watch videos online is also an option. Check out some of my kids' favorite ones and you'll be surprised how much vocabulary your niños will pick up without even realizing it just by watching them!Continue Reading >
Being bilingual has been a real blessing in my life. It has opened the door to so many opportunities that would've been unthinkable had I been monolingual. Although my reasons for raising bilingual kids have more to do with heritage than anything else, I'm not going to deny that the added benefits that you'll find below don't make me extremely happy that my kids speak both English and Spanish.Continue Reading >
In the last seven years since I became a mom and decided to raise my children to speak both English and Spanish, I've encountered many bilingual parents who've told me they regret not doing the same thing with their own children. When I ask what prevented them from doing so, I get all kinds of answers but, in the end, it always seems to boil down to lack of perseverance.
Raising bilingual children is not easy, but it's totally doable, especially if you avoid making these mistakes:Continue Reading >
One of my biggest complaints when I became a mom more than seven years ago was that I couldn't get my hands on quality bilingual and Spanish children's books. As an advocate for raising bilingual kids, I'm well aware that reading to our children in the minority language is of extreme importance in order to succeed. Fortunately, things have changed a lot in the last few years, which is why I'm able to share the following list of outstanding publishers you should know if you're raising bilingual kids.Continue Reading >
My kids LOVE music and one of the fun ways we've made sure to keep Spanish alive in our bilingual home is through songs. I try to expose my kids to all kinds of music genres in Spanish and that's why, right now, some of their favorites include Carlos Vives, Marc Anthony and Shakira. But I've also introduced them to a lot of the songs I used to sing as a child back in Peru and they love them!
The lyrics are short and can be very funny, but they're also an excellent way to help your kids expand their vocabulary in Spanish without even realizing it.Continue Reading >
Although I'm not huge on making New Year's resolutions because it's hard for me to keep them, I do like the idea of having some specific plans to ensure my children's bilingualism--especially because I feel like, lately, I've been slacking off a bit. And also because my son will be starting Kinder in the fall, which means he'll be exposed to even more English and I'm afraid his Spanish will start to suffer.Continue Reading >