axon, my little peanut has been eleven months old for a couple weeks now. See is photo here. I’ve been kind of sad to write this because he is quickly growing and will soon be a year old. I can’t believe it has almost been a year since he was born…(happy tear). I love him more and more each day!
I love his little giggles…his happy screams! His little voice when we are in the car. The way he tries to eat my nose and click his tongue. How he stands on his tippy toes to reach all those things he shouldn’t. And how he climbs up the baby gate…such a little monkey. He is so strong! He would be a good linebacker. His daddy wants him to play pee-wee football. I think maybe he might be a dancer…he could be both. Haha! We watch cartoons every morning together and when they start to sing, he sits up with his feet under his bottom and moves back and forth to try to dance. The other day a commercial came on and out of no where he started to dance and smile. Such a happy baby. This past month Jaxon has mastered a few things…waving bye-bye, drinking out of a sippy cup and sneaking waffles to George when I am not looking! Now he is learning how to clap, but even more determined to walk…very soon! He took a few baby steps from the couch, but then fell on his bottom. I am nervous I am going to miss the big moment…so I always have my iphone ready!
We had such a fun first christmas! It was actually the first year that Thomas and I spent it together, we had always went our separate ways, which we hated to do but they were always at the same time. This year we had no rushing and we stayed in our pajamas all day! Jaxon opened a dump truck (which he loves) and some puzzles and blocks from Santa. We just wrapped a few toys because we knew our families would get him more. And they did. Lots.
I am excited to introduce to you, two guest bloggers, Emily Patterson and Kathleen Thomas. Emily and Kathleen are Communications Coordinators for the network of Austin child care facilities belonging to the AdvancED® accredited family of Primrose child care schools. Primrose Schools are located in 16 states throughout the U.S. and are dedicated to delivering progressive, early childhood, Balanced Learning® curriculum throughout their preschools.
Today they are sharing and article on Early Childhood Education, specifically on how to teach your child to learn a second language. Something that I have been thinking about. Jaxon and I watch Handy Manny every morning on the Disney Channel. It teaches young children the beginnings of Spanish (there is also a french version) and the importance of cultural diversity. Thank you, Emily and Kathleen, for this helpful advice!
Enjoy this weekend read!
The Best Time For Bilingual Learning
Despite the calls for greater co-operation and “interdependence,” human nature being what it is, it’s a good bet that the economy of the future will operate according to the Law of the Jungle. While no one really knows what the future will hold, if this economic trend continues, our child will be sure to grow up in a environment that is nothing short of cut-throat. It goes without saying that a good education is one of the best ways to prepare our child for the future.
The Bilingual Future
The existence of a diverse, global society is nowhere more true than in the United States. Almost from the beginning, the U.S. has been a land of immigrants, and while the “melting pot” has been an interesting theory, it has not happened in practice. On the contrary, most major U.S. population centers have become more of an ethnic and linguistic checkerboard; Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese and Chinese speakers represent some of the fastest-growing segments of the immigrant U.S. population.
Believe it or not, the best time to get ready is during the early ages of 2 to 5. While traditional wisdom has been to start teaching a second language in middle school, or even high school, research has shown that this teaching can begin with their parents at home or at a child care facilities. Studies clearly demonstrate that the optimal period in a child’s life for multilingual education is during the preschool years — at exactly the same time they are learning their first language. Yes, it is possible to learn a second and third language later in life, but it is more difficult, because that neurological “window of opportunity” — when the brain is most malleable — has passed. Parent need not to worry about it interfering with them learning their first (native) language either. According to Dr. Fred Genessee, Professor of Psychology at McGill University in Montreal, and many others, it’s just as easy for young children to learn two or three languages as it is for them to learn one.
The best and quickest way for a child to learn a second language is by actually speaking it in a total immersion environment. Anyone who has taken young children abroad to stay with relatives in a foreign country for any length of time has observed this happening. While not every child can experience the second language in its natural environment, parents can take an active role and try to find unique ways to being the culture and environment to them!