Spanish MOM Blog

Helping with Homework

Helping with Homework

      Homework. In many homes, this is a four letter word.  When kids start bringing home homework, many parents are flooded with the emotions and anxiety they experienced themselves as students.  Now kick that up a notch, because not only is your kid bringing home homework but it’s in a language you can’t read. Great….      Ok, deep breaths.  One of the number one things parents considering immersion education for their child ask is, “How am I supposed to help my kid if I don’t speak the language?” As a non-Spanish speaking parent to a second grader in a full immersion program,...

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Book Review: The Language Immersion Life-A Book for Parents

Book Review: The Language Immersion Life-A Book for Parents

Ever wish your child came with an instruction manual? I mean, I remember back to those first nights home from the hospital with my oldest, thinking, “Who decided I was ready for this?  Where are the professionals?” Since those early days over 7 years ago, there have continued to be many of these moments in parenthood, including enrolling our son in a Spanish immersion school, where I was left wondering what in the world am I doing? Where are the darn directions? That’s where the book, The Language Immersion Life: A Guide for Families by Millie Park Mellgren, comes in...

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Children as Global Citizens

Children as Global Citizens

Growing up in small town Minnesota in the late 80s, my life itself was pretty small. I remember when our class got a new student, something that didn’t happen often, and he was all the way from Maryland. So exotic! Everyone wanted to be friends with him because he had come from so far. That world has changed so much.  I’m raising my kids in that same “small town” but there’s really nothing small about it anymore. Regardless of population, our kids’ worlds are a million times bigger than ours ever were at that age. They literally hold the world...

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Raising Readers When You Can't Read Spanish

Raising Readers When You Can't Read Spanish

Raising Readers When You Can’t Read Spanish Often when I first tell people my son goes to a Spanish immersion school, the very first thing people ask is, “Oh, do you speak Spanish too?” That then is often also followed by a slightly perplexed look when I respond, “Not at all.” Sometimes people think because they don’t know the language, they couldn’t possibly help their child, therefore making immersion education seem like an unlikely choice.  That is not the case! Just because I’m not an astronaut, doesn’t mean my son can’t go to the moon someday. Just because you never...

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The Second Grade Slump

The Second Grade Slump

     The holidays are over.  We’re back at it and into the thick of it.  The newness of the school year is long gone and we’re in the grind. The second half of the year.  But instead of approaching the year with a renewed vigor and resolve, I’ll admit I’m a bit apprehensive. And that’s because I have a second grader.       Second grade has been a year of changes in our house.  Not only is my sweet innocent little boy starting to show twinges of the tween years ahead, but his school experience is changing too.  Two and a half years...

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Las Posadas: A Latin American Tradition

Las Posadas: A Latin American Tradition

The holiday season.  A time of year so obviously seeped with rich traditions. Regardless of your religious affiliation, chances are there are some type of festivities you participate in this time of year. But one you may not have heard about is Las Posadas. Several years ago, while teaching 5th grade, I had an excited little girl, newly immigrated from Mexico, tell me about Las Posadas. Through her limited Engish, I gathered the importance of this holiday in her culture and knew I wanted to know more.  Las Posadas is a Latin American holiday, mainly celebrated in Mexico, rooted in...

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Finding Children's Spanish Books

Finding Children's Spanish Books

I love books. I love the feel of a new book.  I love the smell of a new book. Before I had kids, I used to tell my husband, “We will never say no when our kids ask for a new book.” Seven years into this parenting gig and so far, I’ve held up my end of that deal, which is a fancy way of saying we have a lot of books around our house.  Children’s books go through a life cycle of sorts. Starting with the Goodnight Moon board book that seemingly every pregnant mama brings home from a...

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Día de los Muertos

Día de los Muertos

Día de los Muertos. The day of the dead. Over the past few years, we’ve started seeing imagines from this Mexican holiday throughout American culture but not many know what they mean. Truth be told, Halloween isn’t my thing. In a world were just turning on the nightly news is scary enough, I don’t really enjoy the creepy traditions of the holiday. So when the colorful and decorated skulls make their way into popular culture, I just didn’t get it. Why would someone try to turn something as grim as a skeleton into some beautiful? Little did I know, these...

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Types of Immersion: A Quick Explanation for Potential Immersion Parents

Types of Immersion: A Quick Explanation for Potential Immersion Parents

Memories of the first time I saw a Spanish immersion classroom in action remain fresh years later. Stepping into the brightly colored kindergarten classroom, 25 energetic kids darn near bouncing off the wall with excitement while I, a late 20 something teacher with a master’s degree, couldn’t understand a word they were saying. It was both humbling and fascinating to say the least. It had me in awe and I knew I had to know more. Fast forward 10 years and lots of research, and I was sending my baby off to full immersion kindergarten. But just how did we...

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Tools and Tricks: Google Translate

Tools and Tricks: Google Translate

“Wow, your kid goes to a Spanish school. You must speak Spanish, huh?” Um, no…I do not in fact speak Spanish. Prior to my son starting kindergarten, my Spanish knowledge was limited to what I picked up from Sesame Street in the mid-80s. I took 2 years of French in high school so could order a mean Croque Monsieur on our honeymoon in Paris but that isn’t going to do me much good now. Hey, I was better off than my husband and his high school Latin experience, but nevertheless, we were starting from scratch. Either way, we quickly learned...

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