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6Sep 2013
Sep 6, 2013

Blog 5

This week I got my children ready for school and waved a sad goodbye to the summer holidays, and it got me thinking about parenthood and what we want for our children. Personally I am not great at maintaining any kind of routine or work habits during the holidays, we learn things by doing new things but it is all very unplanned and informal, this doesn’t change the fact that I want my kids to be intelligent, and to do well at school and to learn plenty so they have lots of opportunities in life. I’m sure all parents want this; as an extra I also want my kids to speak more than one language, they have an advantage as their dad is from Ecuador, but they see him rarely and aside from accompanying me to classes on inset days don’t have a great deal of Spanish influence in their lives.

That said I do what I can at home (despite occasional protests) and along with Spanish they can both say a few sentences in French and sing you a song or two, plus my eldest has a fascination with all things Chinese. The thing is to them all of that is completely normal, like brushing your teeth every day, they’ve always been able to pick up a book and ask me to read it in another language, the same way I guess if your mum is an artist you’ve always had access to a wide range of art materials and the teaching that goes with it.

My two will have to forge their way in the world of art unaided I’m afraid as stick men is about as good as it gets, but languages we have covered. Really learning a language is like any other skill you want to teach your child, you have to work it into your daily life: at the moment we do a lot of number bonds (for the uninitiated that’s which numbers add up to make a certain number so for 5 you get 2&3, 1&4 etc. ) in the car…not my cup of tea at all, though at least it stops them yelling at each other and damaging my perfect driving record! My point being you can do the same with languages, make it part of the daily routine, spot different coloured cars whilst you drive along, count them, name the things you see etc. Making it ‘normal’ is what makes it easy, though I know, like my number bonds it does require superhuman effort on some days…

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