Tag Archives: early learning

Teach Your Child A New Language in 5 Simple Steps

Teach Your Child A New Language in 5 Simple Steps

Teaching your child a new language doesn’t have to be difficult.
I’m going to show you how to teach your child a new language in 5 simple steps.  Although children can easily learn multiple languages, oftentimes we aren’t sure how to teach them. However, helping your child learn a new language is easier than you think.  Let’s take a look.

1. Listening to Music

Baby Listening to Music

Exposing your child to music is one of the simplest ways you can introduce them to a new language.  As we know, children learn by seeing, listening, and interacting.  When you play music in another language, your child will become familiar with the rhythm of the language. Listening to music will introduce them to new vocabulary, pitch, inflection, and the nuances of the language they are learning.

When I was trying to teach my children Spanish, I played a lot of Spanish music for them.  The simple songs were very catchy and encouraged my children to sing along.  Even if they didn’t understand the songs at first, they were developing essential skills for future communication. Hearing and repeating Spanish songs will help your child become a natural in the language.  If you want to help your child learn a new language, play music for them as often as you can.  It’s all about creating an environment for learning.  Playing music is one simple way you can set the stage for your child’s journey in language learning.

2. Watching Videos/Programs

MonkiSee "Todo Sobre Mi"

If you want to know how to teach your child a new language in 5 simple steps, pay close attention to this one.  Having my children watch videos or TV programs in another language is one of my favorite ways to teach them a new language.  I highly recommend finding some good DVDs or shows they can watch.  I love using videos because it incorporates two forms of learning – seeing and listening.  While music is great, videos can give your child a visual representation of the words they are hearing.  It’s great for parents too.  While you might not understand songs, a video makes it clear and allows you to learn right along with your child.  I’ve just released my first baby Spanish video, “Todo Sobre Mi.”  This is perfect for introducing your child to familiar first words and body parts in Spanish.

3. Reading Books

Reading Book to Baby

We know that reading to children is extremely beneficial, and reading them books in a foreign language is just another way to increase the benefits from books.  When children read books in a foreign language, they become acquainted with the structure of the language.  Seeing individual words is quite different from reading full sentences.  Look for simple picture books that you and your child will enjoy reading together.  You may want to practice reading the book first so your pronunciation is correct.

Look for translations of popular kids’ books, nursery rhymes, and bilingual books.  I appreciate the bilingual books since I can read it in another language yet still understand the story.

* If you find it difficult to read to your child in a foreign language, see if your library offers a story time in Spanish, French, or whatever the language may be.  You could also download Ebooks in another language.  Some Ebooks have an audio option and will read to you.

4. Viewing Flashcards

Baby with Flashcards

Flashcards have always been a favorite of mine.  They are quick, fun, interactive, and effective. Out of the five steps listed in how to teach your child a new language in 5 simple steps, this is one of the easiest.  Whether you purchase flashcards or create your own, start showing your baby flashcards about 3 times each day.

You might choose 10-15 words to quickly flip through when they wake up, after a diaper change, during bath time, or whenever is convenient for you. It should only take you about 30 seconds per session to review the flashcards.

Another way you can utilize your flashcards is by taping them up around the house.  I used to have flashcards all over the place when I was trying to teach my children Spanish.  I would have them on the fridge, chairs, light switches, dressers, and wherever else I could place them.  When I’d walk around the house I’d show my baby the word and say it to them a couple times.

Flashcards are great because they are so versatile.  Not only can you use them as review cards, but they’re also great for playing cards.  My kids loved playing Spanish matching games with our flashcards.  No matter how you use them, find what works best for you and start incorporating flashcards into your daily routine.

5. Conversing with Others

Mom and Baby

We’ve reached our final and maybe most important step in how to teach your child a new language in 5 simple steps.  Conversation.  If your child does not view flashcards, or listen to music, or read books, or watch TV, they can still learn a new language simply by conversing with others.  If your child is constantly spoken to and engaged with those who speak another language, he will learn to speak it as well.  I have witnessed this occurrence time and time again. Conversation is key to a language transformation.

I must admit that none of my children speak Spanish.  Although I showed them flashcards, and read them books, and did all I could, I don’t speak Spanish.  My efforts have not been a waste. They know some Spanish and it has blessed them in other areas, but they are not fluent Spanish-speakers.  Why?  They were rarely spoken to in Spanish.

This is why I encourage you to find someone to talk to your child in a foreign language.  If your child is consistently hearing the language spoken and being “forced” in a sense to respond, they will grasp it.  Perhaps you can take them to a class, or hire a babysitter to watch them for part of the day, or visit friends and family that speak the language.  Do whatever you can to allow them to communicate and interact with those who speak the language you want them to learn.

Remember that consistency is key in all that you do.  Your baby can learn quickly and effortlessly, so optimize on this amazing period of time and give your child the gift of language. You can easily teach them a new language, all it requires is a bit of dedication.  I hope you found these 5 steps helpful, and I would love to hear about your ideas for teaching children language. Would you take a moment to comment below and let me know what language you want your child to learn?  Are you already teaching your child a foreign language? What methods do you like to use? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject, so don’t forget to share your ideas in the Comments below!

Best Ways to Introduce Children to Poetry

What are the best ways to introduce children to poetry?  We know poetry is important and very beneficial for children, but how can we expose them to poetry?  Although there are a variety of ideas out there, I’m really excited to be sharing some of my personal favorites with you.  As I continue raising my children to be poetry-lovers, I have found six simple ways to introduce children to poetry.  We’re going to look at each one and understand why these methods are so effective, and how you can implement them in your own life.  Are you ready?  Then let’s get started!

1. Reading Poetry to Children

The Best Ways to Introduce Children to Poetry

There is no better way to expose your child to poetry, than by reading it to them.  Reading kids poetry is at the very top of our list.  If you do nothing else, read your children poetry.  There are so many great poetry books that you can enjoy along with your child.  We already know that reading to our children is important, and when you read them poetry books, it’s an additional benefit.  Hearing the rhythm of the words and seeing the patterns within the text help children to recognize meter and rhyme.

A great habit to establish is  reading your kids poetry every day.  Whether it’s a short poem, a rhyming storybook, or simply a nursery rhyme, fit in whatever you can.  Incorporating poetry books in your story time is a great way to begin introducing your child to poetry.  Next week I’ll be sharing a list of my favorite poetry books for children.  Be sure to check back for that post, I am sharing the best of the best.  Remember, reading kids poetry is one of the best ways to introduce children to poetry.

2. Memorizing Poems

(This is my daughter reading one of the first poems she learned.  It’s so precious to see children enjoying poetry and she was so cute reading this to me.  I hope you enjoy it!)

I love having my kids memorize poems as part of their schooling.  It’s a great way to promote their memory skills, and they get to have fun learning a poem they enjoy.  As you continue reading your child poetry, you may want to advance to this next level.  Once they are continuously reading poetry, they’ll naturally begin to memorize it.  Start with short, simple poems, and grow from their.  Perhaps you can begin my having your child recite poems.  Let them read the poems to you.  Eventually, they will actually memorize the poems.  Poetry is so easy to memorize, and it’s all about finding poems that you love.

3. Writing Poems

As you continue filling yourself with poetry through reading and memorization, it will naturally begin to come out of you.  Fill your child with great poems and fun rhyming storybooks, and watch as they make up silly rhymes of their own.  You could have your child write a poem and draw a picture to go along with it.  Encourage him to write a poem for a  poetry contest.  In the beginning, maybe you start by copying poems you know and love.  Eventually, your child will progress to creating his own.  Either way, this is one of the best ways to introduce children to poetry.

4. Listening to Poetry Songs

The Best Ways to Introduce Children to Poetry

This one method of introducing kids to poetry is often overlooked.  Listening to nursery rhyme songs, is great way to introduce kids to poetry, especially for younger children.  Babies and toddlers love listening to silly music, and if you can find some nursery rhyme songs, or any songs of poetry for your children to enjoy, that’s a great way to expose them to poetry.  Here are a couple links to my favorite CDs for kids:

http://www.amazon.com/Nursery-Rhyme-Songs-Countdown-Kids/dp/B0053EM5LA/ref=sr_1_1?s=dmusic&ie=UTF8&qid=1429813441&sr=1-1&keywords=Kids+Songs+and+Nursery+Rhymes

http://www.amazon.com/Singalong-Songs-Kids-CEDARMONT-KIDS/dp/B000NVL9ME/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&qid=1429813060&sr=8-14&keywords=nursery+rhyme+kids+songs

5. Playing Rhyming Games

The Best Ways to Introduce Children to Poetry

One of the best ways to introduce children to poetry, is by playing rhyming games with them.  If you make poetry fun by incorporating it in games, children will quickly embrace it and begin developing an appreciation for poetry.  Poetry is meant to be fun, so playing poetry games is a great way to show your kids how great poetry can be.  I’m sharing a couple links to give you some ideas of poetry games and activities you can do with your child.

http://fun-a-day.com/rhyming-activities-for-children/

http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2012/12/rhyming-peg-board-learning-after-school.html

6. Watching MonkiSee Videos

The Best Ways to Introduce Children to Poetry

Another great way to expose your child to poetry is with the MonkiSee videos.  Since I am such a poetry-lover, it has definitely trickled into my business.  I love writing poems for kids, and try to fill the videos I create with great poetry.  I feel that poetry adds a unique element to the MonkiSee DVDs.  I believe that the poetry we include in the MonkiSee videos is one of the main reasons why our videos have helped so many children build their vocabulary.  If you read my post on the benefits of poetry for children, then you know that this is one of the greatest benefits of poetry.  Having your child watch the MonkiSee videos is one of the best ways to introduce children to poetry.

The Best Ways to Introduce Children to Poetry

Depending on the age of your child, I would recommend having them watch one of the MonkiSee videos each day.  If you are introducing your baby to poetry, then the MonkiSee videos are perfect.  They will not only be exposed to poetry, they will learn the alphabet, colors, shapes, familiar first words, body parts, farm animals, and so much more!  If your child is a bit older, perhaps they would enjoy watching MonkiSee “Animals Under the Sea,” or “How God Made Everything.”

Overall, you can use any method you like.  The idea is to continue exposing our children to poetry.  I hope that these ideas were helpful to you.  If you have any ideas on what are the best ways to introduce children to poetry, I would love to hear your thoughts!  Please be sure to comment below and share with us your favorite methods.  Thank you so much!

 

Early Learning – MonkiSee and Me

Early learning getting a boost?  With the news out that President Obama has announced his 75 billion dollar Strong Start for Children Campaign, who can help but be excited?  The effects of a campaign of this magnitude are tremendous, far reaching, and loaded with benefits.  The best time to create change is with a new generation.  An early learning initiative of this degree will definitely impact this nation for the better.  How do I know?

My journey into early learning began almost 18 years ago when my first child was born.  I didn’t pursue early learning, it just kind of fell into my lap.  Being a new mom that was dealing with the frustrations of managing a home and a crying baby, I was skeptical but open to the suggestion from my sister-in-law that my baby might actually enjoy Sesame Street.  I couldn’t even fathom that a baby would be interested in watching television, but I was certainly wrong.  From that point on, educational programming such as Sesame Street, was a part of our early years.  The benefits were very visible.  I was able to supervise her from very close by, allowing me to prepare meals without a screaming baby at my feet- and they were learning.  It was somewhat of a magic formula to me.

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My daughter never ceased to amaze me with her knowledge of the alphabet, numbers, colors, and the like at a very young age.  She certainly impressed other people as well.  I noticed that she enjoyed watching television and could learn from it very quickly.

Several years and three children later, my early learning journey took another turn.  I discovered that little children, from babies up to age five, have a greater capacity for learning than I – and most people – ever realized.  I stumbled upon the baby reading movement and many key things happened that changed my path.  Reading the work of Glenn Doman was an epiphany for me.  For now I had four children of my own and I believed that just maybe, they could learn and understand more than I had previously thought possible.

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I jumped in with both feet and have not looked back.  My early learning “eyes” have been opened and now I will forever view little children differently.  Now I look at babies and young children as the geniuses they truly are, capable of understanding language in a way that we have long outgrown.  I have witnessed children under the age of five that can read and speak multiple languages.  I have seen children spelling, computing facts, and understanding geography better than I.  I have witnessed just how awesome our children can be, if we raise our standards and ideas of what they can be taught.
The best student is the young child.  They are eager to learn and discover everything.  They are curious and intelligent and unceasing in their quest to learn.  Any adult who has answered a barrage of ‘why’ questions from a toddler knows what I am referring to.  They are on a search for truth and they are not satisfied until they have found it.  We can cultivate this desire in children, this love of learning, if we are prepared to allow them to soar.  If we will respect them and treat them as they deserve the outcome is astounding.  Imagine a nation in which our children were given a love of learning early in life; where they were respected and taught, and allowed to excel in school and in life.  It would no longer be necessary for remedial programs, because starting with children when they are young would practically wipe out the need for such.

I have enjoyed the early learning period and watching my children soar.  Today I am the blessed mother of six wonderful, smart, loving, excited children.  Our journey has taken a path that led to the starting of our business, Intellectual Baby.  Our MonkiSee line of early learning products introduces babies and young children to language and learning in a fun and entertaining manner.  The MonkiSee line consists of books, flash cards, and our well-loved dvds- featuring the loveable monkey hosts, Howie and Skip.  Through the use of the MonkiSee products, babies and young children learn body parts, first words, colors, shapes, animals, actions, and more.  They are introduced to written and spoken language at a period where rapid brain development is taking place and they are able to benefit by being prepared to learn to read.

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Hearing feedback from our customers has been extremely satisfying as they now journey on this early learning path themselves.  Watching videos that they share of their children is a wonderful bonus, knowing that we have helped them establish a love of learning in their child.  The sad part of this story is that for every parent and child we help, there are far more that are doing nothing.  The proposed early learning initiative will impact and help far more children to be as amazing as they can and should be, as well as become good contributors to our society.  I eagerly look forward to seeing just how awesome this country can be with an investment in the new generation.

To learn more about the MonkiSee line of early learning products visit www.monkisee.com.