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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!!

 

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Mercadito Boliviano

My boys are making the assumption that this time is their turn to go down South with mamá to visit los Abuelos just because last year I took the girls with me. Well, it is expensive for six people to travel to Bolivia, it is almost tempting to take the whole family down there and stay there 3 to 6 months.

So, Boys are crazy about making money for their potential trip, and they decided to start  una tiendita.  Besides la tiendita had to look like the little neighborhood stores down there.

Setting up a tienda had its challenges, too much kid’s intervention and clutter going on. Suddenly. my the eldest one had a bright idea. “Lets make a Bolivian tienda, but we will know that is Bolivian, because the Bolivian Flag will be displayed and all the prices will be in Bolivianos” . (Momma suddenly had a big smile)

So they set up their tienda de barrio. They offered to us (the adults), candy, their toys, their own newspaper, their best marbles, hand made book marks, and nick-nacks. They even had the idea of exchanging Dollars for Bolivianos (they needed the Bolivianos to run the store). Exchange rate was $1 to Bs1 to make it easier for them.

Obviously they had a blast, and without realizing they practice Spanish, Mathematics, Art, Writing and Social Skills. Here a few pictures of their tiendita Boliviana.

It was fun, the store is still there. Perhaps tomorrow they can make extra money for their future Bolivian trip.

Gallery
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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.

 

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Bilingual Homeschooling

Since my husband and I were expecting our first child, we would talk to him in Spanish and English. When he was born we chose a name that sounded normal in both languages.  We did the same with our other three children.  In fact, we chose Hebrew names that sounded pretty normal in both languages.

Before starting homeschooling, we went to a well known Christian Educational Program that was having an Open House.  The people saw me, Hispanic pregnant lady with three little ones, and suggested “you must get involved in our educational program. We bring the lessons to your house through our daily video classes”.  They tried to sell us a relief package!!!!  As my husband and I were walking to the car we did not know if we should feel relieved or overwhelmed.  Besides, we wanted something in which I could be active teaching my kids, in Spanish and English.

A good friend of ours suggested,  “slow down and enjoy the ride”.  So we did, I went to a used curriculum Homeschool sale.  When I started to talk to the people that were selling and buying the books, I started to feel more confident about the whole homeschooling business.  Next thing you know, I was buying my first teachers book!!! Saxon Math K.   My though was, I can always translate any math problem to Spanish. That is what I still do today.

 

Saxon K

 

 

Another friend invited me to her SWR (Spell to Write and Read) Seminar. I went, I liked the program and I bought the book.  I have to confess, my Spanish language tongue had to learn to move differently in order to make the sounds English has.

Phonics, Sonidos

 

Guess what? I started to use it in both languages!  I did more in English than in Spanish, but Spanish has less phonograms than English does. Anyway, kid 1 and kid 2 are reading in both languages.

I still have to work in their ability to communicate better.  They pretty much speak English and Spanglish, but they can read and understand what they read,