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Love and discipline for the bilingual journey

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2017 is finally here!  I almost feel like I am living in the future  My kids are growing, life is changing.  Another page got flipped and it must be written so at the end of this year I will be able to read the story.  Am I going to write that story in Spanish or English?  It will be a bilingual…
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The A, B, C’s of Español in a Spanglish House

As many of you know, my first language is Spanish.  I teach at home to my children,  I am also a private Spanish tutor and a Spanish Elementary teacher.  I did not study to be a teacher,  but some things come just as wrapped gifts and life takes care to unwrap them in its time.  I find great joy in using my gifts to help people, and certainly a language is a gift.

I have developed lessons to teach kids the basics of Español.  I put lessons and fun together so my students can not only learn the language, but also love it.  It is a joy to share it with you, so you can use the resources and enjoy them.

And here you go, les presento a:

 

I still believe that learning a language is better if you are immersed in the culture. But, it is a good start for children to make them love the language through activities more than just plain theory.  At the end of the day, the key for any language, at any stage, is to live it as you learn it.

The A B C’s of a Spanglish House is the beginning of a bilingual house.  Most of the lessons will follow an alphabetical order but also, they are placed following an incremental approach.

I hope you enjoy using the material, as much I enjoyed creating it.

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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,