Wednesday, September 30, 2015

5 Resources for Studying Spain in your Homeschool


To close out September, I'm happy to be participating in the Multicultural Kid Blogs' Hispanic Heritage Month series. There have been some wonderful posts written so far with lots of wonderful resources for exploring Hispanic culture.

My contribution today is sharing some fun resources to supplement your world cultures lesson plan on Spain. (All the book links below are affiliate links. When you click on them Amazon takes a small percentage and puts it on a gift card for me so I can buy more books for my own children's education or for reviews here on MommyMaestra.)

Be sure to read all the way down because there's a wonderful giveaway FULL of amazing prizes that I just know most of you will want to enter!


1. National Geographic Kids: SPAIN

A simple jumping off place is the National Geographic Kids website. You can find a very general description of the country as well as some fun basic facts such as the capital city, population, and more. Here's where your kids can see the country's flag up close and learn about the people, the geography, its natural resources, and government.

2. Color Your Own Spanish Masters Paintings by Dover Publishers

This fabulous little book is a collection of line drawings that reproduce some of the paintings of Spain's most famous artists: de Goya, Dalí, Velázquez, Borrassa, Miró, Gris, and others.

The full-color originals are displayed on the inside covers so your child can reference them. Then he or she can color in the black-and-white illustrations on his/her own. Each one is printed on only one side of perforated paper so you can tear the completed page out and frame or otherwise display it!

This is a great resource for art history and studying Spanish arts.

3. The Adventures of Don Quixote de la Mancha Interactive eBook

Oh, my. If you haven't discovered this app yet, then you are going to be really happy when you read this. Miguel de Cervantes' most famous work, as we all know, is Don Quixote. It was an instant international bestseller and is considered the first Modern Novel. Now, it has been transformed into an eBook with 42 interactive scenes. This is a lovely introduction for children. Audio in English only.

4. ¡Olé! Flamenco by George Ancona

I totally love this book by photo-essayist, George Ancona, who describes this passionate, colorful, and explosive art form that is often passed down from one family member to another.

The story begins by introducing us to Janira Cordova, a young girl from Santa Fe, New Mexico, who is following in her family’s footsteps by learning the beautiful dance of her ancestors at a Santa Fe dance company called Flamenco's Next Generation. Ancona’s beautiful pictures brings us inside the classroom for a quick look at the student's school time, then they take us around the world to Spain and back, to learn about the three main parts of the dance – song, dance, and music – and each one is described in some detail. Young children will enjoy seeing the rich (and dramatic) facial expressions of the cantaores, as well as the boldly patterned costumes, traditional musical instruments, and fluid body poses. Ancona really does a lovely job expressing the movement, beauty, and emotion of this subject.

5. Kids in Barcelona

This is a fun site that explores the beautiful city of Barcelona. Learn about some of the must-see attractions in the city, such as the Magic Fountains, the Sagrada Familia cathedral, and Montjuïc Castle to name a few.

Multicultural Kid Blogs Hispanic Heritage Month Series and Giveaway

Hispanic Heritage Month Series 2015 | Multicultural Kid Blogs
Multicultural Kid Blogs is excited to be hosting its FOURTH annual Hispanic Heritage Month series and giveaway! Throughour the month (September 15 - October 15), you'll find great resources to share Hispanic Heritage with kids, plus you can enter to win in our great giveaway! Visit our main page for a full schedule of the articles in this series.
Enter below for a chance to win one of these amazing prize packages! Some prizes have shipping restrictions. In the event that a winner lives outside the designated shipping area, that prize will then become part of the following prize package. For more information, read our full giveaway rules.
Giveaway begins Monday, September 14 and goes through October 15, 2015.

Hispanic Heritage Month Giveaway: Grand Prize

Grand Prize

Home Learning Series Level A Curriculum from Calico Spanish US Shipping Only
Puzzle and app from Mundo Lanugo US Shipping Only
Sheet of Mexico themed nail wraps from Jamberry US & Canada Shipping Only
Complete set of If You Were Me and Lived In... books (15 countries) from Carole P. Roman US Shipping Only
Large Latin American prize basket (scarves, purse, bracelets, books, map) from Spanish Playground US Shipping Only
Growing Up Pedro & Mango, Abuela, and Me (in English or Spanish) from Candlewick Press US & Canada Shipping Only
The Giraffe That Ate the Moon and Caroline's Color Dreams (bilingual books in English and Spanish) from Bab'l Books US, UK, & Europe Shipping Only
Bienvenidas las raras (bilingual book in English and Spanish) from Delia Berlin
Los Animales CD from Mister G US Shipping Only
Hola Hello CD from Mariana Iranzi US Shipping Only
Kids' T-shirt from Ellie Elote US Shipping Only
Hispanic Heritage Month Giveaway: 1st Prize

First Prize

Perú, México and Portugal books from the If You Were Me and Lived In... series from Carole P. Roman US Shipping Only
Smaller Latin American prize basket (scarves, purse, bracelets) from Spanish Playground US Shipping Only
Bienvenidas las raras (bilingual book in English and Spanish) from Delia Berlin
Los Animales CD from Mister G US Shipping Only
Hola Hello CD from Mariana Iranzi US Shipping Only
3 picture books: Finding the Music/En pos de la música by Jennifer Torres Water Rolls, Water Rises/El agua rueda, el agua sube by Pat Mora The Upside Down Boy/ El niño de cabeza by Juan Felipe Herrera (in honor of his recently being named the Poet Laureate) from Lee and Low Books US Shipping Only
3 board books: 3 Board Books - Loteria, Zapata, Lucha Libre from Lil’ libros US Shipping Only
Kid's foreign language T-Shirt (available in Spanish, French, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Swahili, Hawaiian, Italian, in infant onesies, toddler and youth sizes tees and tanks; women's tees and tanks SM-XL) from Mixed Up Clothing US Shipping Only
Hispanic Heritage Month Giveaway: 2nd Prize

Second Prize

Perú, México and Portugal books from the If You Were Me and Lived In... series from Carole P. Roman US Shipping Only
Smaller Latin American prize basket (scarves, purse) from Spanish Playground US Shipping Only
2 picture books: Maya's Blanket/La manta de Maya by Monica Brown Call Me Tree/Llámame Árbol by Maya Christina Gonzalez from Lee & Low books US Shipping Only
Bienvenidas las raras (bilingual book in English and Spanish) from Delia Berlin
Los Animales CD from Mister G US Shipping Only

Bonus Prize!

Luchador piñata
Mexican luchador piñata from Las Piñatas de Laly EU Shipping Only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Barriers of Bilingual Parents Wanting to Raise Bilingual Children

photo by Thomas Perkins

The following is a guest post by Spanish educator and creator of the Risas y Sonrisas curriculum, Leticia Smith.

The Barriers of Bilingual Parents Wanting to Raise Bilingual Children
by Leticia Smith


Despite their best efforts at encouraging their kids to speak Spanish, when only one of the parents is bilingual, they find that after a certain age, their children always revert back to speaking English at home, because mom and dad both understand it. This can even be the case in households where one parent makes the effort to exclusively speak in Spanish to the child as he or she grows up. Once kids start attending school in English, it tends to completely take over the other language at home.

This is an absolutely understandable and very common process. It happened to me as well! I spoke in Spanish to my two young children when I was alone with them and they responded to me in Spanish. And I spoke in English to my husband and children when we were together. Yet almost as soon as they came home from their first day of school, they would only want to speak and respond to me in English.

You cannot force your children to speak Spanish. Every child needs to experience it in his or her own unique way in order for it to click. Kids are much likelier to absorb a language when it is integrated into their daily world than when it is presented on its own, without consistency.

To begin, simply make Spanish a constant and fun part of your household environment. Find a Spanish Program that is fun and challenging for your children. Play Spanish music in the background (or dance to it!), read Spanish bedtime stories, play games and do fun activities in Spanish, and watch Spanish movies and TV. As you bring Spanish into your home, explain to your children why it’s important for them to learn and practice while they are young. Continue speaking to them in Spanish even if they answer in English. Up to a certain age, children have a truly remarkable ability to soak up languages, and every bit of exposure to the sounds and rhythms of the language will help this process.

Of course, there is no better way to learn a language (at any age) than complete immersion. If you have friends or relatives living in a Spanish-speaking country, strongly consider visiting or sending your kids to stay with them for an extended period of time. If they cannot be understood by speaking English, they will have to adapt and speak Spanish to communicate. This will not only immerse them in the language, but also provide them with memorable cultural experiences and, as they get a little older, give a feeling of independence and adventure. Even two or three weeks make a huge difference, and the change after two or three months is astonishing!

In short, there is no single trick or tool to make a child want to speak to you only in Spanish while living in an English speaking country. You can only fill their environment with Spanish, and encourage them to love it through positive associations. Be creative! It’s an exciting and fun process, and, with a little patience, you will be able to see the positive results of your efforts. Just wait for a trip or a situation with family members where your children can only be understood in Spanish, then you will really hear them speak it!

------------------------------------------------------

Leticia Smith is originally from Mexico City and has lived in Austin, TX since 1986. She received a BBA with a Minor in Marketing from Texas State University and an Accelerated Learning certificate from the University of Houston. Not knowing then the impact it was going to have in her future, she worked four consecutive years in the university's Spanish department where she acquired invaluable experience teaching college students twice a week and offering tutoring services. Later, when she had the opportunity to teach children, she discovered that her true vocation was to teach and inspire others to put joy into learning. Her years of experience as a Spanish instructor teaching children in all grades at elementary schools eventually led to the development of her award-winning program, Risas y Sonrisas.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

New "Little 101" Series from PBS Parents Available Online

Why does my nose sneeze?
Where do my tears come from?
Why do dogs pant?
Why don't birds fall down when they fly?

These are some of the questions I remember my kids asking when they were little.

Sometimes the littlest minds pose the biggest questions—questions with complicated answers that often leave adults scratching their heads. For instance, how do you explain to a kid why they get dizzy when they twirl around really fast? But now there is a new video series from PBS Digital Studio called “Little 101” that is here to help.

I think the new series is cute and fun and informative. It's a good way to explore those hard-to-answer questions with your kids. The first episode has aired (see below), and more are on the way. 

“Little 101” combines appealing multimedia formats and accessible language to answer questions such as “Why Do Stars Twinkle?” and “Why Are We Ticklish?” Narrated and animated by Nathan Shields, aka Saipancakes, the series will post a new episode bi-weekly on the PBS Parents YouTube channel. So subscribe today!


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

10 Latinas in History Now Available in Spanish


Some of my more popular products during Hispanic Heritage Month are my reading commprehension packets that introduce students to real Latinos who have had an impact on world history.

I'm happy to share that my latest packet, 10 Latinas in History, is now available in Spanish!

If you're like me, you probably like to see a sample. So I have put together just a taste with English and Spanish of what you'll find in this packet. Both the English and Spanish versions have one-page reading passages on 10 Latinas. They also have a quote from each woman and some fast facts that include when and where she was born and her birth name.


Both packs also come with reading comprehension worksheets, dictionary work, and other assessment pages. An answer key is included.


If you'd like to purchase the entire pack, you can find it in my TpT store: English version and Spanish version.

Enjoy!

Monday, September 21, 2015

App Review: Mundo Lanugo - Juega y Aprende


Oooo! I have another Hispanic Heritage Month opportunity for you! Our friends at Mundo Lanugo have created the most adorable little app to teach children about the Hispanic culture using their familiar characters.

It is simply too much and I know you will absolutely love it as a parent almost as much as your little ones do. But you'll have to hurry to download it because it is absolutely free to download during Hispanic Heritage Month! After October 15th, it will be $1.99.


Name: Mundo Lanugo: Juega y Aprende
Subject(s): Spanish culture & language
Brief Description: An interactive, Spanish app that teaches children about Hispanic culture and language through animated videos and interactive games.
Price: FREE during Hispanic Heritage Month, $1.99 after October 15th, 2015
Language: Spanish
Ages: 2 - 5 years
Device: iOS & Android

This little app is full of fun little games to keep your nenes busy and learning. All of the games and short videos are super cute and engaging. For example, your child may love helping Gloria, the ovejita, play imagination by dressing her up in different costumes (Don Quixote, Calaverita, Carnaval Queen). Or they may prefer helping Chuy, the little piggy, make special dishes such as guacamole and arroz con leche.

I love that children learn about good manners and popular children's songs in Spanish. My son (who is 9) actually enjoyed watching the videos and especially one of the last games where you can play and change The Cucaracha song by dragging different musicians to the stage. 

And I don't know of another app that teaches Latino dichos (sayings) to children. This is so clever! I can just hear my 'Buelita saying..."En boca cerrada no entran moscas."

OH! And there's also a game where the children have to match the artwork to the shape and all of the artwork is by Hispanic artists! From Frida to Dalí to Picasso. I just LOVE this one.

Of course, there are other games such as coloring, sorting, and matching that are important for preschoolers to master.

And parents can rest easy because there are NO in-app purchases! Hurray! (I really don't like it when there are in-app purchases in children's apps.)

I just think it is really neat that someone has created an app that incorporates Hispanic culture while teaching basic skills to preschoolers. Take a look at the little intro video for a better idea...




Hispanic Heritage Month Trading Cards Set 2: Artists


Last year for Hispanic Heritage Month, you may remember me sharing a set of trading cards featuring famous Hispanics. I had fully intended to make more, but got held up with the lack of graphics available. Fortunately, I've been able to find more, so I've been working on them and am happy to share a new set with you this year.

As you can see, this year's collection features Hispanic artists. The cards can be downloaded, printed on cardstock, cut out, and colored. For extra durability, I recommend laminating them. And if you want to keep them all together, just use a hole punch in one corner and slip them all onto a key ring.


Enjoy!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Review: Families of Puerto Rico DVD


Last week, as I prepared for Hispanic Heritage Month to begin, I was looking through the collection of media next to my desk for ideas on what to share next with my children. I found a new DVD from the Families of the World series, and it is awesome.

The series reminds me of some of the shows I'd watch and love as a kid. It basically gives you an idea of how children in other countries live by giving you a "sneak peek" of their lives. So for instance, the DVD we have is about Families of Puerto Rico (affiliate link). The show follows two children (nine-year-old José and eight-year-old Laura) and their families, letting you learn what a typical day in their life is like.

José and his family live in the capital city of San Juan. In the episode, we learn about what his parents do for a living and some of the history of the island. My animal-loving daughter liked him immediately when she learned that he wanted to be a veterinarian when he grows up.

Laura's family lives in the country on a farm. We learned about how her parents went to college and studied agriculture and then started their own farm growing bananas and then flowers. My son was absolutely intrigued when he saw how they had two little coquís living in their bathtub and heard their little croaking. (I'm still waiting for the day when I turn around in my shower and find a frog staring back at me.) And both my kids thought it was super cool when Laura's class visited the world's largest radio telescope.

My kids absolutely loved learning about the country. One of the first things they commented on was how even though it would be so great to live on an island, it sure wouldn't be fun having to deal with hurricanes every year! But by the time the video was over, they were ready to head to Puerto Rico for a visit. :)

There are 28 other Families of the World programs (affiliate link) and they are now available on video - just in time for Hispanic Heritaget Month! They retail for around $10 each and would be great for a school or library collection. The individual videos would be perfect for exploring family heritage, too.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this DVD for review purposes. Affiliate links are used in this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Bilingual Minibook on the History of Lucha Libre


If you haven't visited my TpT store lately, please do! I've added a lot of new materials lately, including this new bilingual minibook on lucha libre. Those of you who have used my minibooks before know that they are best suited for younger students, as they are a mix of fun coloring pages coupled with brief descriptions in both English and Spanish.


Older students may prefer my one-page reading passages. Currently, these are available in English only. (I hope to have their Spanish editions done by the end of the year!) These files also come with a reading comprehension quiz and answer key. I currently have five available:
  • A Brief History of Lucha Libre
  • The History of Day of the Dead
  • A Brief History of the San Patricios
  • The History of Cascarones
  • The REAL History of Cinco de Mayo
Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Multicultural Kid Blogs' Hispanic Heritage Month Series


Hispanic Heritage Month officially begins today! I'm so excited this time of year because suddenly there is a flurry of resources produced to help parents and teachers explore our heritage. There is so much creativity flowing that it's hard for me to keep up with all the crafts, books, activities, and other materials published.

This year, I'm really happy to have been asked to kick off Multicultural Kid Blogs' annual HHM celebration. I chose to write about why Hispanic Heritage Month is a vital event for our country. I often hear Latinos complaining that we shouldn't have only one month dedicated to recognizing the contributions of Hispanics to our country's history. That it is something that should be recognized year round. I totally agree, but the reality is, that if we didn't have this month-long observance on a national level, then we wouldn't have one at all. And our voices would continue to be smothered, the contributions of our ancestors ignored.

So take a hop on over to MKB to read my thoughts on why we as a country need Hispanic Heritage Month. Let me know what you think - are you for or against it? Why?

Oh! And while you're there, don't forget to sign up for the incredible giveaways they have going on! There are three fabulous gift sets.

Monday, September 14, 2015

A Game to Boost Spanish Skills at Home


The following is a guest post by children's author and Latina mami of three, Mariana Llanos.

Keep your children hooked on Spanish throughout the school year with meaningful games that’ll strengthen their communication skills. It’s often said that as children start school they’re more likely to stop speaking in Spanish. This in fact, was happening to my own daughter who just started Pre-K. One of the first days of school when we were walking back home, she said, “Mom, I don’t speak in Spanish. I speak en Inglés.” I looked at her, and told her calmly, “You speak in both, and you know why? Because you’re super smart!”

I knew right at that moment that I had to act, and I came up with a plan to make our Spanish language journey happier and more consistent. Although I don’t ‘make’ her speak in Spanish after school, I make a point to talk to her only in Spanish as soon as I pick her up. So the questions, “How was your day?” “Who did you play with?” “What was your favorite thing to do at school?” are only spoken in Spanish. At first she answers in English (I repeat in Spanish), and little by little she begins to switch code. Since we walk home from school, I point at the color of the trees, I talk about the weather, and we count acorns or whatever other treasure we find. Her Spanish of course isn’t fluent. But neither is her English yet. She has the ability to understand both perfectly. I certainly don’t want Spanish to feel like a chore. I want it to feel fun and good. I want it to be the language of family, laughter, and memories.

I’ve developed a game with the help of my children. It’s fun and easy to play, and it’s a great excuse to get together and speak in Español. I hope you join us on this Búsqueda de Tesoros.

Scavenger Hunt/ Búsqueda de Tesoros

Things you’ll need:

A smart phone/instructions/a pencil. Go to a park or take a walk around your neighborhood while you give the instructions. Take pictures as you find the objects.
  1. Encuentra algo amarillo, rojo, blanco y verde.
  2. Encuentra algo redondo
  3. Encuentra una semilla
  4. Busca dos hojas diferentes
  5. Encuentra un árbol grande
  6. Encuentra un árbol pequeño
  7. Encuentra la letra A
  8. Encuentra el número 6 
  9. Encuentra un animal. ¿Qué animal es?
  10. Encuentra una piedra.
  11. Encuentra un insecto. ¿Qué insecto es?
  12. Encuentra una flor. ¿De qué color es?
  13. Da doce (12) pasos (cuéntalos en voz alta) y toma una foto de lo que está adelante tuyo.
  14. Ahora voltea y toma una foto a lo que está atrás tuyo.
  15. Encuentra algo que vuele.
  16. Encuentra una sonrisa.
Take all your pictures and uploaded them in your social media with legend of what you found. If your child is old enough, let her type the object herself.

This game can be expanded and adapted to different age levels. You can also change the objects every week and you’ll have a brand new game. Also, if you prefer not to upload to social media, you may print your photos and paste them on a poster board. Then have your child write the names of the things you found together.

I hope this activity helps you keep Spanish alive at home. Also don’t forget to READ and sing in Spanish, habits as important as learning your uno, dos, tres.

------------------------------------


Mariana Llanos is a Peruvian born writer of children’s books in English and Spanish. She lives in Oklahoma with her family. To find her books go to: www.marianallanos.com or www.amazon.com/author/marianallanos. Connect with Mariana’s page on Facebook.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Teaching Kids Community Responsibility {PRINTABLE}


This post has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #1Million4Edu #CollectiveBias

One of the concepts that is frequently not taught in traditional schools is community responsibility. So that job falls on the shoulders of parents. I use our homeschool lesson time to teach my own children. From volunteering at a non-profit to reading about the difference one person can make to saving pennies or collecting labels, I use a variety of ways to help my children learn to do social good and see it as their responsibility. We recycle to help not only our community, but our planet, too. And we regularly donate gently used clothing and other items to our local mission/thrift store.

When I was asked to share with you about the Grand Stand for Schools initiative and its Labels for Education® program, I agreed. Why? Because this is a great way to earn money for your child's school and so I want to be sure you know all about it! In fact, Labels for Education is giving away $10,000 to 100(!) schools across the country.

Participation is easy. All families have to do is clip and save UPCs and Beverage/Sauce Caps from specific products, then turn them into their local school coordinator. You can earn:
"educational merchandise, such as computers, software, sports equipment, musical instruments, library books and even a minivan."
Schools, libraries and, yes, even homeschool associations (yay!) are eligible to participate. You can find out if your school or library is participating by clicking here.

I was thinking about how to make this program fun for the kids and decided a little friendly competition was in order. So I created these Label Collection Record Charts. They're available in English and Spanish. And so you can put the teacher's name across the top and hang the charts on your classroom door (or wherever you want to publicly display them). Once a week or as new labels and caps come in, you can count them up and total the number on the chart.


So my kids became even more interested in doing this when we were browsing around our local Target and discovered this:



And, of course, that was all she wrote for my Star Wars-loving kids.

Some of our other favorite eligible items for collection include school supplies!



If your school or library hasn't signed up yet, but wants to participate, they can do so here.

And guess what? If the majority of the parents at your school are Spanish-speaking families, it's no problem because Labels for Education even has a site en español. :)

To find out if you use any of the participating products, just take a look here: http://www.labelsforeducation.com/Earn-Points/Participating-Products. I'd love to hear your favorite!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Kids Going Back to School? We’re Doin' Good!



This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Minute Maid and DiMe Media. All opinions are my own.

Last week my Facebook feed filled up with pictures of my friends’ kids on their first day of school. Some of the parents were relieved to finally send their kids back to school while others were sad their family time had been reduced to those precious hours after school and on weekends. Those that homeschool like I do, are frequently relieved to get back on a set schedule after a few months of flying by the seat of our pants. Ha!

I’m reminded that once again, however, that it isn’t the amount of time we spend with our kids that matters; it is how we spend that time together. We can spend all day ignoring our kids or we can spend an hour talking, laughing, and loving them.

Most of the parents I know love their kids madly and are careful to seek out those precious moments at least once a day. They’re doin’ good as parents even when they are overwhelmed with busy schedules.

One of my best friends who also homeschools her kids, shared pictures of their first day of school. Even though she commented that getting her family back into the swing of formal lessons was tough, I’m amazed at how she handles homeschooling three kids. The youngest just turned 2 years old and, though not old enough to be taught formally, refuses to be left out of the schooling hours her older brothers enjoy. But my friend Robin is handling it really well, allowing her to be involved with simple activities such as coloring.



Homeschooling certainly presents its share of challenges, the least of which frequently is teaching multiple children at different grade levels at the same time. “At least school teachers are teaching students who are all more or less at the same grade level!” they say.

I’ve struggled with this also, but have finally found a routine that works for us by teaching only a couple of subjects separately and combining the rest. So as I begin my seventh year of homeschooling, I finally feel as if I’m doin’ good. I’ve never started a school year with that feeling!

At any rate, I know that parents all across the country - and even the world! - are working hard to raise happy, healthy children. And despite all our worries, we are doin’ good. Everyone has troubles and struggles, but too often we don’t give ourselves enough credit.

Are you doin’ good? Or do you know someone who is? Give yourself (or someone else!) a shout-out below. Let’s recognize our strengths and accomplishments instead of dwelling on our weaknesses or failures!

Monday, September 7, 2015

5 Tips from PBS KIDS for Parents and Kids on How to Deal with Emergencies

One of the things I love best about PBS KIDS is how they really focus on providing resources and tools to parents. They think of every situation imaginable that a child might experience and then the look for ways to help our kids deal with those situations in the best way possible. 

Their latest focus is on storms. (Living in North Carolina where hurricanes are regular threats, I can fully appreciate these new resources.)  And they are using characters from their popular children's programming to help children cope. For example, beginning this coming Tuesday, new storm-themed episodes of DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD and ARTHUR will premiere on PBS KIDS. The new ARTHUR episode features special guest star Idina Menzel as a caring therapist named Dr. Paula.


Below are five tips for you. But remember that you can find lots of new resources at http://pbskids.org/learn/.

Tips for Parents During and After an Emergency
  1. Keep yourself calm. Use your calmest and most reassuring voice when talking. Explain who will take care of them and keep them safe.
  2. Control children’s exposure to media before, during, and after the event. This is one way to manage images that might be scary or confusing for them.
  3. Listen carefully to what your children are talking about. Acknowledge their feelings. Give them the words to describe how they feel, such as, “It sounds like you’re feeling ‘scared’, ‘unsure about what’s going to happen next’, ‘sad’, ‘angry’.
  4. Do something your children enjoy, such as reading a book, playing a game, or telling a story.
  5. Give plenty of hugs!

Helpful Resources for Kids
  • Watch helpful videos on what to do when something scary happens.
  • Follow along with your favorite ARTHUR characters as they prepare for a storm.
  • Children can draw pictures to show how they are feeling.

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, however, I'm a PBS Ambassador, which allows me to share new content with you as it is available. All thoughts and opinions are my own!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Star S'mores: A Lesson in Self Control

So today I woke up to images on my personal Facebook account of friends who trecked to stores in the middle of the night to be the first to buy the new line of Star Wars toys being released in preparation of the new movie coming out this December.

As much as I love Star Wars, I didn't do that to my kids or veture out at that late hour by myself. (My husband would have had me committed.) But just for fun and even though my kids are older, we had a total blast watching this parody by Sesame Street and I took reassurance in knowing that it is educational. :)


But yes, it's true, we'll be making our way to the stores today - in a self-controlled fashion, of course!

We'll be hitting up Target's new line (aff link) - I've already been browsing the collection online. (PSST! You can save $10 when you spend $50 or save $25 when you spend $100 on Star Wars items by using the code: FORCE)

And - get this! - we'll be hitting up our local JOANN FABRIC store! So be ready for some clever crafts over the next few months.

Are you guys excited about Star Wars?

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Would You Purchase Homeschooling Curricula in Spanish?


Most of the time, the emails I receive from readers are centered around homeschooling.
Can they really do it? How hard is it?How do they start?Where do they find resources?
From time to time, I'm contacted by companies who are interested in sharing their products with me and you, the MommyMaestra readership. I give them a look and share them when I feel they would be of interest to you.

But every once in a blue moon, I receive an email from a reader who is a Latina mom that is thinking about taking that leap and starting her own business in the education field. In fact, Hispanic women are leading the way in new startups. I myself am one. So it's important for us to support each other.

I recently received an email from a reader and she asked me to take a poll for her. She only asks one, simple question:
If popular homeschool curricula (such as those highlighted in Cathy Duffy’s Top 102 Picks for Homeschool Curriculum) were published in Spanish, would you purchase it?
If you have a moment, won't you please pop over to my Facebook page and tell her yay or nay?

TY!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

App Review: Ortografía Paso a Paso


One of the most difficult aspects of Spanish spelling is perhaps knowing where to put accents. I have found this to be one my greatest challenges especially since I was never formally trained as a child in Spanish grammar. But guess what? There is a new, wonderful app to the rescue!! This app was created by BQWare, whom you may remember also created Lee Paso a Paso, a Spanish reading app.


NameOrtografía Paso a Paso
Subject(s): Spanish accents
Brief Description: An interactive, Spanish app that teaches the students how to use Spanish accents.
Price: $3.99
Language: Spanish
Ages: 6 years (and up!)
Device: iOS

What I like:
My kids are not advanced enough to use this app, however, I am! So it is best used with advanced Spanish readers and writers. I love that the creators have used a child's voice for the vocal directions in this app. It makes learning the (possibly intimidating) subject seem easier and is more engaging for children.

The app tackles the grammar rules that go with learning accentuation. With this app, you or your student can learn and practice the following concepts:

· Identifying the sílaba tónica
· Words classified as Agudas
· Words classified as Graves or Llanas
· Words classified as Esdrújulas
· Words classified as Sobreesdrújulas
· Accentuation of Agudas, Graves, Esdrújulas and Sobreesdrújulas words.
· Diptongos
· Hiatos


Each concept begins with a simple description of the rule, some examples, and then practice games to allow you to practice the application of the rule. The games are not too long and focus strictly on the concept being taught.




This short video gives you an idea of how some of the games work. (Ignore the voice over because the woman's voice is not used in the app.) 




What I don't like:
The app is only available for iOS and not Android. Boo! I know the majority of my followers are Android users.

Disclosure; I received this app for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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