There's a new Barbie in town and she can serenade and maybe play instruments, mi gente! In fact, she's Latina! Her name is Mariachi Barbie and she's making her debut just in time for Hispanic Heritage Month. She's actually not the first "Mexican Barbie" to hit the scene. Remember her predecessor from last year? Last year's Mexican Barbie got quite a few people's chonies in a bunch because at first glance she seemed laughably stereotypical with a bright pink traditional-ish Mexican costume, a chihuahua as a pet and a passport in hand, so we would all know she wasn't undocumented.
I'm kidding about the passport although many were not! Mexican Barbie is part of the Dolls of the World collection and all the Dolls of the World have passports because that's how they roll. Now, Mariachi Barbie is different ...
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.
August is the perfect month to celebrate your baby's unique personality. This month will be favorable for tapping into his or her developing interests and helping your baby learn how to become more independent . Here's a preview of each sign to help your baby be happier.
Finally, some good news regarding Latinos and higher education. The Pew Hispanic Center has just released some very encouraging numbers for 2011 and they basically show that for the first time, more than 2 million Hispanics ages 18 to 24 were enrolled in college. This means that Latinos are now the largest minority group with a record 16.5 percent enrollment share in the country's four-year college campuses.
When it comes to two-year colleges, Latinos now account for one quarter (or 25.2 percent) of the 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled.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 >
Thanksgiving is Thursday and I am so thankful for so much this year. Mostly, I am thankful for the people in my life. Everything else is icing on the cake. Like many parents, I have spent a lot of time and money trying to make sure that my children have everything I didn't. That was important to me because I know what it is like to go without. I grew up poor and we didn't have much. Everything we did have, we were thankful for because we knew what going without felt like. I overcorrected and I spoiled my children.
They are not bratty but they are not as thankful as they should be; not as thankful as I would have been. To truly appreciate the things you have, you need to experience going without. I am trying to teach my daughters to be thankful for what they have and to know that every person, thing and day is a gift.Continue Reading >
Día de Muertos or Day of the Dead, as it's called in English, is one of my favorite Latino celebrations. I love the idea of celebrating those who are no longer with us. Dia de Muertos gives me the opportunity to talk to my kids about death in a way that's not super sad or scary and it allows me to teach them even more about my beloved father, who left us way before they were born.Continue Reading >
Although I think we should celebrate our Latino heritage all year long, there's nothing wrong with taking advantage of Hispanic Heritage Month to help your children be proud of their roots. I'm not the expert when it comes to crafts, but my kids love them, so I make an attempt to do these with them whenever possible.
Here we share eight easy and fun Hispanic Heritage Month crafts to do with your kids so they can be even more proud of their heritage!Continue Reading >
Some of my happiest memories are of jumping rope outside with my friends, singing little songs to help us keep the rhythm. That's what I love about this short and simple video. It reminds me of the rhymes we sang as kids! I still love to jump rope, although now I mostly do it at the gym. But maybe now I will remember the cool rhymes that made jumping rope feel so effortless. This is a great video to share with kids.
Crafts are not my thing, but my kids love them and I've noticed how much fun they have when we do then, so I'm always on the lookout for those that manage to include culture or language. Luckily, there's an ever-growing list of blogs where you can find tons of activities & crafts that will make your kids' bilingual journey a lot more enjoyable.
Here are six of my favorite ones:Continue Reading >