Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Best of MommyMaestra 2015

Dear Friends and Familia,

2015 has gone by in a flash! It is so hard to believe that tomorrow is the last day of the year.

Over the last few years, I've done a "Best of MommyMaestra" post highlighting popular posts (and ones I really enjoyed writing or reading) for each month of that year. It is always fascinating to go through my site and discover which ones were the most popular.

But first, I want to thank MommyMaestra's wonderful sponsors who share such fantastic freebies every month to help MM readers teach their children a new language or new skills and concepts. A giant abrazo to Lectura para niños and Spanish for You!. I'd also like to thank Risas y Sonrisas for their support of MommyMaestra and articles to help parents raising bilingual children. I want to encourage each of you to visit their sites where you'll discover wonderful products to help you raise multilingual kids. And if you are a parent or educator who has downloaded their free content from MommyMaestra, please take a moment to just say thank you to them so they'll be inspired to continue to provide you with such great materials.

I also must thank all of the guest contributors to this site, who share such wonderful content with us.

MommyMaestra is always looking for guest contributors. We want to hear and share your stories to inspire other Latino families to get involved in their children's education. We want you to be excited about the things your child is learning and to take an active role in their journey of discovery. When I first started MommyMaestra almost 5 years ago, I only knew of a handful of Latino homeschoolers and there were NO blogs dedicated to education for Latino families. Today, it is rare that a week goes by when I don't get an email or message from a mother (sometimes a father!) who is looking for curricula, has questions about how to start homeschooling, or needs resources for helping their child improve in specific subjects at school.

May 2016 be a wonderful year for your familia.


Pablo Neruda: Lesson Plans, Videos, Books, & More

" probably already know that more than 20 unpublished poems by Pablo Neruda have been found. His publisher says the discovery amounts to 'a literary event of universal significance!' They were found among his papers in his native Chile. The late Nobel laureate led such a colorful life, and there are several children's books that have been published describing it."
This popular post shares resources for you to use as you introduce one of the world's most famous Latino poets.


App Review: Ortografía Paso a Paso

"I especially love that this app focuses on accentuation, an aspect of Spanish spelling that I think many students and heritage speakers find confusing or difficult."
App reviews remain in high demand with MommyMaestra readers, especially those that help young Spanish learners, such as this one!


"There are so many wonderful Hispanic women who have made an impact on our world's history. Today, I've chosen three who I feel have had the greatest influence. All three are simply fascinating, and while I've limited the information here, I would encourage you to delve into each one and study them yourselves."
This post turned out to be extremely popular with MM readers! And as a Hispanic woman, I really, really enjoyed writing it! ;)


"I am so thrilled to announce that PBS KIDS is celebrating Día de los niños, Día de los libros this year! How wonderful is it to have the holiday recognized on national television? Bilingual families and those with young Spanish learners will find this of special interest."
I am always excited to see major companies supporting Latino holidays and traditions. You guys loved this post and free download almost as much as I did!


"The Build Your Own Game Board and Activities comes with activity cards and links to activities and games that boost language learning. This particular freebie focuses on the months of the year, symbols or images associated with each month, and an audio file to help the players/learners with pronunciation. There's also a worksheet at the end for practicing the vocabulary."
I'm so thankful to Spanish for You! and all their wonderful monthly freebies for parents and educators to use while teaching children Spanish. Debbie's activities do a great job of boosting Spanish vocabulary in young learners.


"If you have a child who is crazy about dinosaurs then the chance are good that you've got those little dinosaur skeleton figures floating around in their toy chest. So why not use them to let your child role play a paleontologist?"
Tutorials for activities that can be done any time of the year are always fun, such as this one!


"All children - not just my own - need to have a smooth transition back to school. Abrupt change is hard even for the most flexible of people and that is why we need to prepare our kids emotionally, as well as academically, for the start of classes."
Of course, I love posts that help parents with issues they encounter all year long.


"Whether you are a parent teaching your preschooler at home or a preschool educator preparing for the new school year, it's important to have a collection of books that you read aloud to your young students. Children should be read to daily for at least 15 minutes. It's important to remember that those 15 minutes can be spread throughout the day and not limited to one sitting. So you might begin your day with one book, read another before nap time, and a final book before bed."
Literacy is SO IMPORTANT to a child's academic success! And that skill development begins at birth at home with you.


"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 was a super popular post in September. Special thanks to Leticia Smith, creator of Risas y Sonrisas, for sharing her expert opinion with us.


"Aren't they adorable? They are fun and so easy to make. Put them inside a super cute bolsita I designed that you can print and assemble yourself, and you'll have a fun treat bag to give your child or their friends this holiday."
Teaching our kids cultural traditions is fun and rewarding. Help your children be proud of their heritage and build their self-confidence so they'll succeed in life.


"This freebie matches my beginning sounds phonics center, but is in black and white. I send these pages home for homework when we are practicing deciphering beginning sounds...These are a great way to get the parents involved in their students' learning."
Lectura para niños is the best resource available for parents and educators who are teaching their young Spanish speakers to read and write in Spanish! Thanks to Leah for all the samples and free downloads of her creative materials.


"Peruvian retablos are a form of art typical of the Andes. They have their origin in the altar boxes brought by the Spaniards, but over the centuries they developed into a folk art expression."
Guest contributors, such as Mariana Llanos, are a valuable part of MommyMaestra. Thank you all for such creative and inspirational posts that share your experience and genius ideas!

See you next year!