Saturday, July 7, 2007

Raising Bilingual Children and Having Fun

As a mom and educator, I am always looking for fun, creative ways to enhance my children's bilingual development. I was busy planning the summer curriculum for our parent/child classes, when I fell upon a treasure. Due to the state's educational budget cuts, many important programs have been cut in various districts. I got in touch with a teacher who had her language department eliminated due to budget cuts and was selling and getting rid of ALL of her materials, lessons, supplies, etc. I was so disappointed for her that the early language program had fallen victim to our state's ecomony woes/budget cuts. Although it is unfortunate for that particular district to have lost a language program, it was certainly fortunate for me that she allowed me to take ownership of her materials.

I am so passionate about the advantages and benefits of early language instruction, thus the reason I started my company ( The treasure that I have been given this summer has given me a wealth of new ideas, games, toys, lessons, music, books, and supplies that I am actively using in our classes and with my own children. As a public school teacher for many years, I took for granted the ability to purchase new materials, and receive new information and supplies. As a private business owner, I do not have a budget and all materials/supplies comes out of our own pocket. It is so important to keep things fresh and exciting for children, and the games and lessons we will be doing this summer will be just that.

This week my own children and I had a parade of countries as we played one of my new songs and marched with the Latin American flags in our hands. We also have been playing various forms of Bingo, thanks to the new games I received. We have also been singing and dancing to some new CDs, and making picture dictionaries using thematic words/situations.

Raising bilingual children is not always easy, as we strive to maintain consistency with their language exposure. Anything new and fun stimulates their interest and gives us more opportunties to play and learn in Spanish. Although my own children have a strong foundation of the Spanish language, we continually need to stimulate them to stay motivated and interested in learning more. No matter what the language level or the age of the learner, having fun always makes acquiring a new language a positive experience.


Tse Family said...

Hi Jennifer! I just wanted to say that I agree these programs are great, but sometimes I wonder why there isn't more Spanish. They already have the attention of the children, so why not add in more. We are in a land where Dora speaks French and English in place of the Spanish, but we still count in Spanish, French and English when reading her books. Our kids have not been forced to learn French here because we are surrounded by English speaking people, but they are learning some. We will be encouraging Spanish again when we return to the US because we want to learn as well and what better way to learn, than to teach!
Thanks for including us in your blog. We loved that commercial before we left with the Chocolate song...Hannah still pulls out Spanish words and now sings Bonjour with her socks on her hands occasionally.
We miss you guys!

DA said...

Hola Jen~

I am so happy that you were able to use the materials! You are truly an awesome teacher and an inspiration to many.

Buena Suerta!

~Former Spanish Teacher,

Tse Family said...

Oops! I meant to comment on the post about Handy Manny, et al...It makes more sense that way.