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 >
A few weeks ago, the annual list of top baby names was released and as usual it was filled with lots of goodies. I know some people try to avoid names that are on these lists altogether, but if you're trying that, you're probably making things a lot more difficult for yourself. Especially since as Latinas we have another factor to consider--whether some of our family members will be able to properly pronounce the names we choose! I mean, my grandmother is fluent in English and Spanish and I still can't imagine names like Asher and Avery rolling off her tongue so easily (sorry, Nana!). But taking a look at this year's names, there are quite a few that should be top contenders for bilingual families. Check out my top picks for boys and girls, perfect for our bilingual world.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 >
Do you celebrate Three Kings Day? In my house, we do! My husband is from Puerto Rico so he makes sure los Reyes Magos visit our kids every January 6. I used to celebrate it as a child back in Peru, but once we moved to the United States, we kind of lost the tradition. Ever since I became a mom, though, I've been happy to embrace it again and my kids love it.
Whether you celebrate it or not, here are some book suggestions to either teach your kids about this great tradition or to just read to them as the day gets closer.Continue Reading >
Kids love to sing or at least mine do. And music is a great way to expose your kids to Spanish. So since Nochebuena is right around the corner, why not teach them a few Christmas carols in Spanish? Known as villancicos, there are some really beautiful options out there. But if you don't know any or you don't remember the ones from your own childhood, check out the list below that includes videos of my kids favorite villancicos:Continue Reading >
The most important thing you can do if you're raising bilingual kids is expose them to as much Spanish as possible as often as possible. The truth is that the more they hear the language, the more they'll pick up new vocabulary and pronunciation. While you may think that's only possible at home or at school, there are a few things you can do in your own neighborhood to expose your children to even more Spanish.Continue Reading >
Last week, actress Gwyneth Paltrow made headlines when it was reported that she urges her children--daughter Apple, who is 9, and son Moses, who is 7--to speak only in Spanish. Paltrow learned Spanish herself when she was a teenager and is trying to make sure both her kids grow up bilingual too because it's obvious she knows the benefits of bilingualism first-hand.
And she's not the only famous parent out there doing so ...Continue Reading >