About a month ago, due to circumstances beyond my control I became a “Stay at Home Mom”. After many years of working full time and only taking a break for B-school (which is like a job) and for two maternity leaves (which are like super jobs) I welcome the change. Yeah! #SAHM
This new “stage” in my life is giving me more time with my children (an almost 3-year-old girl and a one-year-old boy), which is awesome. Now that I’m spending more time with them I realize the things I was doing well as a mother (I believe all mothers do the best they can), but more importantly, where we as parents can step up our game. An area where we are doing OK, but we can do better is teaching them Spanish (mine and my husband’s native tongue) so that it will be their first language.
At home we only speak Spanish but the reality is that English is becoming our children’s first language. English is what they are exposed to at daycare, other friends, at the park, books, toys, TV, online and outside when they live the house. I accepted that I have to “compensate” for Spanish if I want my kids to be at the same level in both languages: speak, read, write, and think in Spanish.
My 3-year old is pretty much bilingual. She can communicate in both English and Spanish. She switches back and forth depending on who she is talking to, and if she is asked basic things like colors or numbers in a specific language she can tell without hesitation. But considering the emphasis we put in Spanish at home, her English is better. When I realized that she could read the letters in English but not in Spanish, I made a point to teach her. I went looking for educational materials (flashcards, books, etc.), and was surprised to find that the quality of the resources to teach Spanish was not up to par with the English versions.
I guess it’s ok; after all English is the most commonly used language in the US (by Wikipedia). Even though it’s unfortunate that resources and materials in Spanish are limited (I imagine it’s worse for other languages), must we accept inadequate, partial, insufficient, and sometimes erroneous material in other languages? Hell NO! I refuse! That right there is the end of my #SAHM because I just became a working from home mom. #WFHM
My new job is to advocate for Bilingual and Multilanguage households and to find, improve, create and innovate until there are proper resources to empower families to teach their children their language* of preference. (* I’m starting with Spanish because that is what I know, but once I get it down the process will continue J)
I’m starting this new role by sharing with you my review of the materials I’m using to teach my kids the alphabet in Spanish. Hopefully my experiences will make your life easier.
What tools and you using to teach your children the alphabet in Spanish?