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Because everyday counts routine

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Many schools started classes last month.  In this Spanglish house we started last week.  A whole full year of knowledge, fun and surprises are awaiting for us!  Of course this year will have more Spanish because kiddos are growing and Spanish is more spoken en esta casa. We start our school days with a Calendar, in…
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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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Me llamo Cecy, ¿Cómo te llamas?

My first lessons for my Spanish Students is about learning to say their names in Spanish. As I was preparing my lesson I made myself this question, “Do names have a translation?” The answer is no, because people’s names are proper names. Proper names in people identify a particular person.  So, if my mom called me Margarita, I will be Margarita here, there and everywhere.  What is more, if I were to translate Margarita to English, it would be Daisy not Margaret.  Can you see what I am saying?

So I must look for the equivalent of a name in another language. Here a short list of equivalent of English – Spanish names.

Men   names Women names
Alexander – Alejandro
April – Abril
Alfred – Alfredo Anna – Ana
Anthony – Antonio Barbara – Barbara
Charles/Charlie   – Carlos Dorothy – Dora
Christopher –   Cristóbal Elizabeth – Elisabet
Daniel – Danilo Ellen – Elena
David – David Eliza – Elisa
Doug – Diego Eve – Eva
Edward – Eduardo Grace – Gracia
George – Jorge Helen – Elena
Henry – Enrique Hope – Esperanza
James – Jaime Lorraine – Lorena
John – Juan Margaret – Margarita
Jonathan – Jonatán Mary – Maria
Joseph – Jose Natalie – Natalia
Mark – Marco Patricia – Patricia
Michael – Miguel Rachel – Raquel
Peter – Pedro Rose – Rosa
Richard – Ricardo Roxanne – Rosana
Robert – Roberto Sarah – Sara
Stephen – Esteban Sonya – Sonia
Thomas – Tomás Susan – Susana
William – Guillermo Violet – Violeta

I am Cecilia everywhere. But I must say pretty much everybody calls me Cecy. Some people say it Cece others Cesy.

Y tu, ¿Cómo te llamas?

 

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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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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.

Commitment,

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!

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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.