I would like to take the opportunity to give a shout out to one of my favorite new blogs. I have been following Monica's other blog Latin Baby Book Club for awhile now because it is full of great reviews of both bilingual books and books in Spanish. Monica recently started a new blog, Mommy Maestra, to chronicle her journey into bilingual homeschooling.
This is a topic that fascinates me because I do not know what the future holds concerning our children's education. My oldest son attended a Spanish immersion preschool last year and will again this year. The school plans to offer a Kindergarten class that we would gladly take advantage of it, but then what?
We have a few choices. Diego could attend our local public school which is within walking distance from our house. This choice is not acceptable to us since the school is an English-only environment as it has no Spanish education. We want the boys to be educated in both English and Spanish. We could try to send the boys to one of the Spanish immersion or bilingual elementary schools scattered around the area. The problem with these schools is that they are extremely difficult to get in. You have to live in that specific area and even then a lottery system is used to select students for the program. If I could find one and could afford it, a bilingual private school would be an option. So far I haven't found any. This is shocking to me given where we live.
Many people have suggested that I just let the boys go to public school and the boys will keep their Spanish because it is our home language. I know from experience that it is not that easy. One of our nieces did not speak a word of English until she started Kindergarten. By the end of the school year she was fluent in English and now as a third grader, she refuses to speak Spanish. I taught a Spanish for Native Speakers class at the high school level for five years. The majority of my students who grew up in the US spoke Spanish at a conversational level but could not read or write. While speaking Spanish is a very useful skill, the job market for these kids would be greatly widen if they were able to read and write in Spanish at the same level that they are able to read and write in English. This is what I want for my children. I would like for them to receive a balanced education in Spanish and English.
At this point in time, bilingual homeschooling seems like an attractive option for our family. I think that I could provide the type of education that we desire for our children. I love that Monica has started her Mommy Maestra blog so that I can get a glimpse into the life of a successful bilingual homeschooling family as we try to make this huge decision for our family. Whether you are homeschooling bilingually or not, I highly recommend this blog for excellent advice and information.