Thank YOU!

 

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Since I embarked on this bilingual journey of mine in May, I have found so many resources with amazing ideas to help me teach my kids spanish as well as teaching them around the world!

Bilingual Myths

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There are a lot of myths about learning multiple languages that have been inaccurately presented to people as fact.  I have seen many of these myths plague people’s education all of my life.  Today, I would like to talk about one in particular through my own experience:

“Myth: Parents who speak a language other than English to their children will hurt their children’s chances for academic success in this country”* 

When we moved to the states I was placed in an ESL (English as a Second Language) class to help learn English.  I remember there were quite a few of us from all over Mexico. Once I was moved to a regular class, some of the same students that were in the program with me were immersed in English at school and at home.  I also met other students of Mexican descent who were practicing full immersion in English in their homes, too.

Their parents believed what the school taught them.  In order for their kids to be successful in school, they had to do everything in English.  So, unknowing that they had been told a myth and not a fact, the parents obliged.  They cut off all Spanish from their kids’ lives.  I’m sure it’s not something they wanted to do, but they were told this would help their kids so they did it for their kids. I have heard some of those same kids (now grown) say they wished they would have kept Spanish in their lives.

My parents never bought into this myth.  They knew that being bilingual would be an advantage.  Also, they are proud Mexicans and no one was ever going to take that away. Being able to communicate with family in Mexico meant everything because family IS everything. I again thank them for sticking with their beliefs.

It is now believed that students who learn more than one language are able to process information better, work out problems more effectively and, because they know there is more than one right way to do or say something, are better able to understand different topics. I’m not saying that all bilingual or multilingual children are smarter than monolingual children at all.  What I do believe is that children who understand that the world doesn’t center around one language and one culture but is multifaceted become multifaceted individuals themselves.  And who wouldn’t want that for their children?

What myths have you been faced with in your lives?

*Common Myths About Bilingualism: http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~haroldfs/540/bilingtl/myths.html

(If you would like to share my blog, I would be so grateful. You can find it under www.bilingualeyes.wordpress.com. You can also find it in Spanish at www.bilinguazo.worpress.com and on Facebook under www.facebook.com/bilinguazo. And don’t forget to hit me up on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bilinguazo. Thanks a bunch!)

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Music Magic

I am a total advocate of music being the best tool for teaching.  I don’t think my kids would know the Spanish that they do know without it.  We still have a long way to go, but whenever I hear them sing in Spanish, I can’t help but feel so proud.  I mean, just look at these guys.  They melt my heart every day.

Both boys spend most of the day dancing and singing already.  What better way to make learning fun than adding Spanish songs to the list of songs we sing?  M picks his favorite songs on the Kindle for us to dance to. We also have a couple of CDs we listen to and dance to for our dance parties and I sing to them at night. To my surprise and pleasure lately they have been singing the songs I sing to them at night.

Today, I decided to share one of these amazing performances with you as one proud mama.  Please enjoy this lovely song in Spanish performed by my loves.  Have a happy day!

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I Studied, I Graduated and Then Asked “Now What?”

Can you see the fear of the unknown in my eyes?

Can you see the fear of the unknown in my eyes?

As I was putting the finishing touches on a blog post for a site I am a contributor on, I started thinking about where my head was at in college. I was a double major by default. By default I mean that I was never too sure what I wanted to “be” when I grew up.  I took the courses I HAD to, and flavored them up with courses that interested me. Then after a few years of that, I went to my graduate advisor and said “this is what I have, what do I do now?” He looked at my file and said that if I stayed a little longer and took a couple more classes I could get two degrees. I said, “cool” and went on my way. I took the extra time and graduated with two degrees by chance. But then what?

I took Spanish courses because I knew I could. I thought they would be easy since I am from Mexico. Turns out I had to study a lot; not so much the language, but everything else. I really did learn so much that I didn’t even know before.  I learned about literature I hadn’t read, music I hadn’t heard and history I probably heard from my family but didn’t pay attention to because I was a rude teenager that acted like she didn’t care. But now I do.  I want to keep learning and I want my kids to learn, too. If they are anything like me, they will dismiss me because I am mama and have no authority in those subjects. They already tell me that their teachers teach them new things that I know I have tried to teach them myself.  Somehow it just sounds better from someone else.  Karma, I suppose as I was the same way to my wonderful mom and very knowledgeable uncles.

Sure I had fun jobs and met great people along the way. I also had tedious jobs, retail jobs and marketing jobs. All of them have helped mold the person I am now, of course. But what did I spend all that time in school for?

My college years were not there to catapult me into a life of riches with the highest paying job imaginable. Is it ever? Way too many graduates are still searching for the job of their dreams.  I can say that what it did was open my eyes to the world. It helped me meet people from all over and stirred a passion for culture and tradition. Was it worth the thousands and thousands of dollars?  That will always be a matter of opinion but I am grateful for all I have learned in and out of school.

I never really got a job having to do with either degree and it isn’t until now that I feel like I am doing what I like. I’m learning to be a better mama (little by little) and I have started taking the cobwebs off of my brain. So the question is, when did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up? Did you know since you were young or are you still searching?

Day 2

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Today is the second day of my challenges. Let the muse strike me when she’s ready.

I have a million ideas swirling in my head, yet my net can’t seem to catch them quick enough. I do think these challenges will help me learn to focus on my ideas better. Who knows when the words will flow like magic.

What inspires you to write?

#PiBoIdMo, #NaBloPoMo

Challange Accepted!

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I am taking on a double challenge this month.  I will be participating in the PiBoIDMo 2014 challenge (Picture Book Idea Month in which I will try to do 30 picture book ideas in 30 days). I will also be participating in the NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month and do blog a day). It’s a lot to do, but I think I can make it.  Wish me luck!

#PiBoIdMo, #NaBloPoMo

Mini Calaveras

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One of our Day of the Dead Crafts this year is mini skulls. Since it took me so long to get started, I decided not to spend any money and see what I had at home.  Last year my mom brought me some super cool lollipop molds with Calaveras on them. Instead of making sugary treats that would make my kids bounce off the walls even more so than they do without any sugar, I decided use them to make paper mache skulls. Using my mom’s engrudo recipe (homemade paste), I decided to test it out and see if it worked. It did!

Here is what I used.

  • Water
  • Flour
  • Cut-up newspaper
  • Candy mold

Steps

  1. Put a pot of water over low/medium heat – since they are tiny molds, I only used one cup of water.
  2. Add flour one tablespoon at a time until it reaches desired consistency. It should look like a creamy soup, or if you know Spanish food, like Atole. Don’t overheat or it will stick to the pot.
  3. Let it cool.
  4. Once cool, brush on to your newspaper pieces and place the wet pieces into the mold.IMG_2901
  5. When you fill your mold, let it dry overnight. I left mine in the sun all day and brought it in at night to dry indoors some more. The next day, I removed them from the mold and they came out so easily. What a relief.

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6. I painted them white with some acrylic paint my mother-in-law gave me (thanks, Bonnie) and let them dry.

IMG_29007. Once they were dry, we used permanent markers to decorate them. You can add more to them, of course, it’s your creation! We decided to keep them simple this year. Next year, I’ll give myself more time and make them super decorative. Oh, and don’t forget to trim the edges. I left that until the end, but you can do it right away, too.

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Now that I know this works, I will make them much prettier next time around. I cant wait to paper mache something else! It’s a great way to get the kids involved, too.  Let them get messy. What else can I make?

I hope you liked my craft! Have a Happy Halloween and Feliz Día De Muertos!

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Here is our finished altar. Thanks for the papel picado, Veronica Zavala, for the inspiration, Magui Talan and for the love of tradition, Margarita Talan De La Rosa.

(If you would like to share my blog, I would be so grateful. You can find it under www.bilingualeyes.wordpress.com. You can also find it in Spanish at www.bilinguazo.worpress.com and on Facebook under www.facebook.com/bilinguazo. And don’t forget to hit me up on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bilinguazo. Thanks a bunch!)