Educazion a great alternative for Educacion

I admire homeschoolers that venture to Homeschool their kids in two languages.  I found Heather Magnuson that through her Homeschool Aventuras brings resources, help and encouragement to people like me or you, bilingual Homeschoolers.  She homeschools her kids in a dual-immersion environment and following a Classical curriculum.

Through Heather’s blog I found Educazion.net,  I have to say that I was in need of some structure to my Dual immersion homeschool experience. I think my kids are over the stage of learning Spanish, they need to speak because they can read, write and understand. Their brains are bilingual, they just need to let their tongues go and Escuelita en Linea, seems to be a good option for us..

Here a review of the Kindergarten and first grade level that Heather did for her readers.

 Educazion.net–A Comparison of Preescolar 1 thru Primer Grado

A reader asked if I could describe the contents of Preescolar 2 vs. Preescolar 3 through the Educazion.net (Also known as escuelaenlinea.net) online curriculum.  When I first enrolled my sons, I didn’t have any information to help me choose a level in which to register them.  I made an educated guess, and it turned out ok.  But I thought it might helpful to all my readers if I gave a synopsis of each of the four levels I have personally experienced.
About Heather and in her own words,
 My PhotoI am a homeschool mom to two little boys, blogging about our journey into the organized chaos (or chaotic organization) that we call our dual-immersion (Spanish-English), Classical, Christian school.  I am not a native Spanish-speaker, so it is my hope that as I document our successes and failures along the way, I might be able to offer encouragement to other non-native speakers who desire to educate their children in a foreign language.

Teaching Children to count in another language es pan comido

Teaching your children to count in another language is pan comido (piece of cake). Specially if you already have the second language. If you are homeschooler, it should be almost a part of the kids daily routine. And if you do not homeschool just while you spend time with your kids, just be casual and count while you play, cook or even clean.

Think about it, when you are playing with your baby picking him or her up you say:”uno, dos y tres.” You might as well say “Cuatro, cinco y seis.” next time!

With a toddler, going up the stairs you can just be casual and count in Spanish, perhaps you just have doce gradas, but next time try to do it from doce to veinticuatro.

When your toddler does not want to eat and you decide to help her, help her Spanish also by counting to veinte o treinta. According to how many bites of food are left.

You made cookies, or bread rolls. Remember, they need to be counted!

How about, apples in a bag, you can count them too.

You can count the birds you see in the morning, while they feed.

You can count the traffic lights in your way to the store.

How about the shoes in the closet as you and your child arrange them.

You can count las muñecas and los días de la semana.

We count the eggs that the gallinas lay, we count the gallinas as they eat, we count the cows in the field and the cars in the parking lot as we wait.

Count the stars, the clouds and seeds you plant.

You get the point, kids love playing and if you make learning routine, and not an obligation; then it is going to be as fun as it can be!

And do not forget count you blessings and teach them to count them too!!



Time to re-organize and re-plan in Español

10 years ago, when I did not have any children, a good friend of my husband was trying to convinced me to homeschool my future kids and do it in Spanish.  At that time I thought he was crazy, but now, I look back and I think he was right I should have done it all in Spanish.

I am homeschooling yes, his craziness was contagious, but I should have used more Spanish with my kids.  Living with my in laws, made a big difference in our Spanish.  Even my Spanish tongue has acquired an accent. I do not sound American, but I have been told that I have an accent.

I started to train my kids bilingual brains since they were babies, even before they were born I spoke Spanish to them.  But once we started to be more submerged in an English environment, in which I am the only Spanish speaker, the things started to change and they started to slow down in their Spanish acquisition process.

Our Starting Point as today,

Even though Spanish and Spanglish are in our everyday school time, here is where we are today:

They can understand any daily conversation and instruction in Spanish.  Yes, my husband and I need another secret language.

They use Spanglish in their day.

Great vocabulary, can recognize sounds and relate to things easily.

To my boys, I made sure to teach them to read through phonics (SWR and Veritas Press K and First Grade) and dictation.  And, I did my own cards for the Spanish Phonograms.  Thankfully, a lot of the sounds are the same, so I had to add a few extra sounds and structure.  It is easier to learn to read and write in Spanish that it is in English.
My older boy can read and understand it, and if I dictate it slowly he can also write.  He does not feel comfortable speaking in Spanish.  And I have to make him do it, sadly it does not come naturally.

My second boy complains of ear aches if I speak just Spanish for a long time, I know he can understand it.  He is also reluctant to Speak it, even during his once a week co-op class.

My older girl speaks English and Spanglish, and tries very hard to speak Spanish to please me.  She is learning her letters and sounds in both languages.  And she is not having any problems so far.

And the youngest cracks me up, she tells me, “I can not hear you, speak like me”.  I guess she gets more English from everybody in the house, but me. And she is trying to convinced me to join her team.


Today, March 4rd 2013 as a good homeschool mom,  I am going to change the weekly routine again. I will Introduce “oficially” Spanish as a daily group class.

Even though, I just have one first grader, I think this book will work. The book we will use is Coquito Integrado for first grade.

Why this book?  I have chosen this book because:

  • I already have it, and I like to use what I have.
  • It teaches to read through syllabic sounds. Lectura por Columnas and Pictures of the words.
  • It has components that I believe will encourage conversation.
  • Pictures that show action and a Personal Social Area for discussion.
  • Vocabulary
  • Sound recognition.
  • Teaches to count, that is always good to review.
  • The pictures are very cute.
  • Rhymes, are always good.

Well, I guess I will be telling you more about my Spanish class in my Spanglish house. And see if my new experiment works.

Have a good week, Lord willing mine will be exciting!


because I get to see the community

Even though Friday represents the craziest day from the very start of the day until my little ones go to bed, I just like Fridays.  I like Fridays because we get to see other homeschoolers and I get to teach to my other children (my K-1 students), my heart’s language, Español.

It is always refreshing to see other crazy peep that worked hard to teach her own children during the week. You share, you listen and you learn from real life stories.  It makes me realize that I am not alone in the homeschooling world. I have learned so much from these ladies experiences and wisdom, that I would strongly recommend, if you are planing to homeschool, look for a small support group.

Particularly in my Coop group I have found really kind, smart, active and experienced people. Friends that have helped me and supported me in ways than go further than advise in teaching my kids at home.

There are homeschool support group organizations that can guide you through the process of finding a small coop or group that meets regularly, according to the area where you are located. They can guide you through the legalities of homeschooling in the States, in your State and of course to plan and organize your coming year.

And it does not matter how lonely you feel, there is always a God that gave you the calling and will give you the tools to make it through.




If you can not access Spanish – English homeschooling resources

When I started to teach my kids at home, I had set in my mind that even though Spanish was my first language, the school taught at home must be in English. These were the reasons that 4 years ago set my mind,

  • We leave in the States, they must speak English and Spanish, being English their first language (especialmente porque solo uno de los cuatro adultos en la casa es hispano hablante).
  • Most of the available books are in English
  • Most of the curricula is in English
  • English is going to bring them more opportunities in their future life and studies, everywhere..
  • Eso si! Spanish with mom must be used most of the time, but during school time.

However, and as the time went by, I started to change things around. Somethings, I just wouldn’t know how to explain them in English. So, I started to quick in some Español. Here are the changes we have made so far.

  • Phonics, we do it in English first and then in Spanish.
  • Mathematics, I drill in Spanish.
  • We count in Spanish and English
  • Shapes, both languages.
  • Measurements, in both languages
  • If I read the Math  problem, I do it in Spanish. If they read it, it can be in English.
  • Spanish cognates, help a lot to quick some Español in our English Homeschool day.
  • Grammar, sometimes I talk about el Verbo, el Sujeto y el Predicado. The structure and parts of a sentence are similar.
  • Vocabulary time, can be with both dictionaries. An English dictionary and a Spanish dictionary.
  •  Science, Geography and History. Even though our curricula is in English, I always show them Latin words or names of places that have Spanish in it.
  • Play games in Spanish, they love it.
  • Libraries, have some Spanish material. Not a big selection, but a few books is better that nothing.
  • TV, we do not have cable, and I am picky with what we watch. So I use DVD’s from our local library. The best of all is that you can change the language set to Spanish.
  • And of course the internet, that has many valuable resources.
  • We have some Spanish language lessons.
  • Listen to Music in Spanish.

Results I have gotten so far.

  • They understand what I read, and what they read.
  • Their English Speaking Grammar has a lot of Spanish Structure. Americans do not like it, but I love it. That is why we study English Grammar as a subject right?
  • Even though, they do not want to speak much Spanish. They can understand it.  I believe I can solve that problem going to visit home for 6 months.
  • They like Sylvio Rodriguez.
  • They use a lot of bolivianismos in their vocabulary.
  • They are growing accepting other cultures and races as part of God’s Creation, the best is that they love it.



Learning about Cholitas

My older daughter is going to be some sort of artist or designer. She is crazy about art, color, texture, fabric, proportions, matching colors and beauty.

When she was 3, she told me “mommy, your pants are blue and your sweater is blue, but they don’t match”, and in deed they did not match.  This little one is the one that is less Hispanic looking of all my children, but the one that speaks Spanish without any fear.

Yesterday, she sat next to her American Grandmother to see her knitting. She asked and inquire about how to saw and knit. She wanted to knit something for herself.

Today, I had a surprise for her, we were going to talk about Cholitas.  Cholitas are Bolivian typical women, as clamor magazine.org describes them.  “The Cholita outfit is one of Bolivia’s most interesting cultural costumes. Tough-looking women wear their waist-length hair in braids connected together at the ends with tassled tullmas. They hurry about the busy streets of La Paz decked out in quadruple-layered underskirts called centros, bright polleras, little patent-leather or clear plastic slip-on shoes, fringed mantas neatly folded and worn across their backs, and small felt bowler hats balanced on top of their heads.  In the chilly winter or rainy summer, they throw on a pair of alpaca leg-warmers and sometimes wrap their hats in plastic bags, but still manage the muddy streets in their Cinderella-style slippers.”

To whom has visited La Paz – city, or the Bolivian Altiplano, this is a perfect description of this women.

So we talked about cholitas, how they dress and how they make their beautiful clothing.  Besides, she remembers them since she interacted with a few cholitas while visiting family in Bolivia.

I have a set of soft dolls, that represent a Bolivian family.  Un papá (cholo), una mamá (chola), dos niños (llock’allas) y dos niñas (imillas) . A symbol of nuestra familia.

Bolivian Family


By the end of the class, she was able to make her own set of Tullmas.  Yes, she made her own pom-poms, I made the laces, and we both put them together, here a few pictures of our hands on Bi-cultural learning.


Big brother saw we were having fun and tried to help with the laces.

After cutting the yarn and getting it out of the card board circles, she gave the last knot to hold the pom-poms together.  And I tied them up to the wool laces.  She was thrilled and proud of her work and her knowledge.

Here is the result.

And that is how they look braided and holding the woman’s hair. My youngest Cholita is showing them off.

Teach your children about your background. Teach them to learn where they came from. Teach them to accept and love other cultures. Teach them that all of us were made by God for His Honor and Glory, no matter where we were born.