By Maria Hawkins
Photo credit: ThomasLife

A few days ago a parent in my youngest daughter’s soccer class asked my advice on teaching her daughter to read.  I took a deep breath to collect my thoughts before I answered.  Her daughter had just turned three.

The world of reading and writing opens so many doors for our children, yet I often feel like there is an unnecessary pressure to kick them open before its time.  If we just wait and encourage and fill their environment with literacy, I feel like the majority of kids will open the door on their own, or at least walk through with you, no kicking necessary.

Really your baby’s introduction to literacy begins with you talking to her and reading to her while she is still in the womb.  Missed that window already?  No worries! Just start reading and talking lots now.  Whether your baby is a few weeks old or a few years old she will benefit immensely from being read to as often as possible and being surrounded by language.  You can fill her world with language (or languages, as the case may be) knowing that you are setting the stage for literacy down the road.

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Homeschool

Bilingual Homeschooling: Reading and Writing in More Than One Language

by Maria
Learning to read.

By Maria Hawkins Photo credit: Neeta Lind Let me share a secret with you.  Reading and writing are just more complex ways of speaking and listening; they are just two more ways for you to communicate with the world around you. That is how I introduced my Kindergarten students to these ideas many moons ago. […]

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Homeschool

Bilingual Homeschooling: How We Got Here

by Maria
writing

By Maria Hawkins Photo credit: Erin Kohlenberg About 5 years ago we were visiting my sister and brother-in-law and they asked if we would ever consider homeschooling (they were a few months from having their first baby and thinking perhaps it was a good option for them).  At the time my son was on the […]

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Families

Bilingual Homeschooling: Teaching Children at Home (in More than One Language)

by Corey
homeschooling kids

By Corey Heller “Last year when my son started school, things really started to change,” reported a woman in my seminar on Raising Bilingual Children. “I can’t get him to say one word in Chinese anymore.  He even said that he hates it when I speak Chinese with him!” Another woman piped in saying “Now […]

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Families

Bilingual Children: Why Does Each Child Speak Less English?

by contributor
Bilingual Children: Why Does Each Child Speak Less

By Ingrid Weilguny Photo credit: Jason Bolonski I remember before my children were born that we planned how it would be. Bringing them up bilingually, that is. We agreed on the one parent-one language approach. We decided that English would be the main influence within the house as outside the door they only heard German. […]

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Book Extracts

Language Is Our Music: The Natural Way to Multilingualism

by Corey
Language Is Our Music: The Natural Way to Multilingualism

We are delighted to have the opportunity to share a chapter from the book Language Is Our Music: The Natural Way to Multilingualism, by Yo Sakakibara! If you are raising a multilingual family and/or are simply interested in multilingualism in general, you really should check out this book. In the chapter below, titled “Language’s Beautiful […]

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Expert Advice

Bilingual Children: Why You Really, Really, Really Should Start When They Are Young

by Corey
bilingual children why to start when they are young

By Corey Heller Photo credit: Christina Rutz There are thousands of reasons out there for why you should help children learn a language when they are young – very young. Some studies point to the brain benefits of children who are raised with more than one language. Other studies explain how children naturally lose the […]

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General Multilingualism

9 Online Resources to Help Support Multilingualism for You and Your Child

by contributor
multilingual child online resources

By Ingrid Weilguny Photo credit: Alex Dixon Looking for ways to support your or your children’s multilingualism? Or maybe you have been searching for resources and support to keep yourself and your children motivated and inspired? Before you do anything else, make sure to check out what is available online. Whether you are looking for […]

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Expert Advice

Why Raising a Bilingual Child Is Very, Very Simple – and Very, Very Difficult

by contributor
bilingual_family - bilingual monkeys

By Adam Beck Photo credit: Bill Selak On one hand, raising a bilingual child is very, very simple: given sufficient exposure to two languages, and a genuine need to use both, the growing child will become bilingual quite naturally. In my work as a longtime teacher of bilingual children, having watched hundreds of children become […]

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Review

English Language Program for Children

by Corey
Bilingual Children, Multilingual Children English Language Program

In 2012 I was looking for ways families could help their children learn new languages and I came across a company producing language learning products specifically for children in a multitude of different languages: Dino Lingo! For families looking to teach young children a new language at home (homeschoolers, children who haven’t yet started school, […]

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Review

5 Great Bilingual Books of 2013: Get Exploring Languages!

by contributor
best bilingual books 2013

  By Jeffrey Nelson Photo Credit: John Morgan For a fun way to teach your children about different cultures, expose them to books that will give them a greater appreciation for other nationalities. Children will be fascinated by other customs and traditions that children just like themselves experience. Below is a list of the top […]

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