I thought I should explain our method of "teaching" our boys Spanish. I use parenthesis around the word "teaching" because I do not see it as teaching. We have spoke nothing but Spanish to the boys since they were born. Spanish is my husband's first language so I had no doubt that he could do it. I, however, learned Spanish over a fifteen year period of high school then college then studying abroad then finally living with my husband. I was not as confident in my abilities. It was strange at first. I had to buy CD's of children's music in Spanish because I did not know what to sing to my baby. I spoke Spanish but not "baby" Spanish. Now almost four years later I would not know how to speak English to my son. It is now our family language. My oldest son "D" spoke only Spanish until about six months ago. We maintained the Spanish only by using Spanish-speaking babysitters and Spanish cartoons. Now with the influence of my family, neighborhood friends, and English t.v., my son's English is quickly catching up. I am amazed at his ability to speak English to my mother and then turn to me and translate perfectly what he said to me. (I think that he thinks that I do not understand :) Now maintaining his Spanish is a priority. He still has a Spanish-speaking babysitter but he will also attend a Spanish immersion preschool two days a week. In addition, I plan to continue our projects, crafts, games, and field trips all in Spanish, of course.
As a teacher (part-time) I get summers off. This summer was very busy with my boys. Besides going to the park, the beach, playdates, the library, and the pool, we did several projects to work on my older son's knowledge of the alphabet, numbers, shapes, science, etc. I try to do a different theme each week for several reasons. First, I need organization. If I know what topic we will cover that week, I can get the appropriate books from the library, prepare my material, and research the topic if I need to. Second, my son knows what to expect and we can review the material for several days in a row. Last week we did espacio (space). We studied los planetas (planets), el sol (sun), las estrellas (stars), la luna (moon), y los cohetes (rockets).
3-2-1 Despegue (Blast Off) D is 3 1/2 and very interested in letters so I came up with this activity. First, we sponge painted stars and moons onto a large piece of butcher paper. Second, I taped a large "E" for "estrella", "L" for "luna", and "S" for "sol." Lastly, D glued the corresponding shape with the letter.
We like to decorate the light that hangs over our dining room table. The planets were just made by sponge painting with different colors.
I am the lucky mother of two wonderful little boys. My husband and I are both fluent Spanish speakers and are raising our boys bilingual in Spanish and English. I moved to teaching part-time high school Spanish when I had my last child so that I could spend more time with my boys.