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Showing posts from 2019

Why my Children Won't Believe in Santa Claus

Tonight all across the world, children are waiting for Santa with bated breath. They've made lists of wants and perhaps written letters addressed to the North Pole, baked cookies, set out milk, and dream of sugar plums dancing in their heads. But not my children. Well, maybe the dreaming of sugar plums part, but definitely not the white beard, chubby and plump right jolly old elf part. Even before my two biological children were born, my husband and I made the decision to not deceive them with the narrative of Santa, and in fact, not give them any gifts at all on Christmas. Intrigued? Infuriated? Here's why... My husband is from Guatemala and was raised Jehovah Witness , and one of the tenants of that faith is a strict adherence to not celebrating anything here on earth. This includes not celebrating Christmas or birthdays , and not giving gifts to commemorate these days. While he isn't a practicing Witness right now (instead we attend Celebration International Church

Today a reader, tomorrow a leader

Every night, we read books together before Maya goes to bed. I like to read bedtime-themed books at bedtime, because it helps to set the tone and model good sleep routines for her. Usually we read one or two books in English, and one or two books in Spanish, and we switch them out periodically. See our list below of some of our favorite  Last night, we read The Going to Bed Book, then Goodnight Octopus, and finally Buenas Noches Luna, which Maya decided she wanted to "read" to me by herself. I was impressed with how many of the items in the illustrations she was able to identify, as she held the book and turned the pages, narrating what she could. But instead of saying "good night," or "buenas noches" to el globo rojo, la viejita, los tres ositos, la luna, los caletines, los gatitos jugatones y el ratoncito, she said "Hello!" to all of them! It made me laugh, and reminded me of when I would do running records and miscue analysis on my ESL s

Bilingual Business Builder

Three years ago, our local Patch affiliate sent out an open call to spotlight local small business owners for Small Business Saturday. I worked with Francisco to recount his story, and it was published on " Framingham Small Business Spotlight: Barrios Landscaping ." Here is my husband's success story as a rising emerging bilingual,   told by Francisco Barrios and composed by his wife. It's  evidence that bilingualism is a rewarding lifetime journey. I came to the United States from Guatemala 13 years ago with the American Dream. Nineteen years old and hoping for a better life and more opportunities for work, I had no idea then of the trials and challenges that lay ahead of me, nor of the possibilities for success that awaited me in the distance future. I knew not a word of English and began my American life as so many other immigrants--working two part-time jobs at two different supermarkets. It came as quite a surprise, actually, that I didn't

Two Spanish-Speaking Gringas

When Maya, Mateo, and I were out running errands today I heard a little boy say as we walked by, "They're speaking Spanish!" Two thoughts struck me as we rushed across Target, looking for the bathroom. First, I was impressed that the boy identified what language we were speaking. Then, it made me wonder what people think when they see an undeniably white mama speaking Spanish with her mini-me: a blond, blue-eyed little girl. For all of Maya's life, we've spoken both English and Spanish at home, as my husband and I made the decision before I even got pregnant to raise our children bilingually. Even when choosing baby names, we thought about this, because we wanted something that was pronounced the same way in English and Spanish, so our children could easily transition from one cultural circle to the other. Because she has learned both languages since birth, Maya is considered a simultaneous bilingual child. But at this point in time, I would say Spanish is her

La Mamita Barrios Preschool Class of One: Identifying Shapes

La Mamita Barrios Preschool Class of One: Identifying Shapes This morning we used some leftover cut outs that I nabbed from the Holliston Public Library 's Play Learn and Grow group on Monday for our Preschool Class of One. They were perfect for Maya to practice her tactile skills of glue and paste, in addition to identifying the shapes in Spanish: cuadrados, triagulos, y circulos.  We divided the shapes into piles, while also identifying the colors and classifying by size, too, grande & pequeno. (The grande shapes Maya called "Mama" and the pequenos she called "bebe.") And it wasn't long before she realized she also had some colored circulos on her pijamas, too! #raisingemergingbilinguals #bilingualathome #bilingual #EnglishEspanol #espanolencasa #learningshapes #experientiallearning #tactileskills #cutandpaste #terribletwos #homeschoolpreschool #preschoolathome

Thankful Turkey/ Pavo De Gracias

Thankful Turkey/ Pavo de Gracias I was inspired by @busytoddler on Instagram to start this tradition with family, but decided to put an Emerging Bilinguals spin on it. Thankful Turkey is a project where the kids list something they are thankful for each day of November, and then write it on a "feather" to attach to the "turkey." Since our home is bilingual, I decided to make one turkey for each girl. The top one is for Sofia and the bottom one is for Maya, both at their own respective heights. Since Maya is Spanish-dominant and Sofia is English-dominant, I figured Sofia's feathers would mostly be in English, and Maya's would mostly be in Spanish, but of course both of them are welcome to respond in whichever language they want. (I have a feeling "candy" might make an appearance on Maya's turkey, thanks to all of the sugary treats that I had to hide away due to Harvest Night celebrations!) Here's a closer look at what the tu

An Introduction to La Mamita Barrios

Introducing... La Mamita Barrios con su Vaquita Lola y Pollito Pio Pio I'm stay-at-home mom for the year, and while I can attest that this job is harder than teaching middle school, I am so thankful to be able to have this opportunity to see my two littles grow and develop every day! Momming is hard, and running a bilingual, bicultural household can be hard, too, so I decided to start this blog to share my experiences of how we keep it fun and fresh.  California born and bred, I learned rudimentary Spanish in school and on mission trips to Mexico, but I really became fluent when I met my husband and started spending time with his Guatemalan family and friends. In 2014, we adopted his youngest brother and sister from Guatemala, and since they spoke no English, Spanish became our primary language at home. When I went back to work after having my daughter in 2017, my husband's cousins came from Guatemala and stayed with us to help take care of her when I was at wor