Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage With My Kids

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage with my kids

The following is a guest post by Latina mom, Monica Divane. It's part of our Hispanic Heritage Month 2020 series.

As an Indigenous Latina, passing on my culture to my kids has always been something I’ve felt was important. I always look forward to Hispanic Heritage month as a way to celebrate who we are and where our family comes from. 

Every year, I plan activities and find new books so that my kids can continuously learn about the incredible contributions Latinos have made in the US. I always share these resources too so that other Latinos can learn their history and take pride and for non-Latinos to learn about us. 

First, we start with who we want to learn about. I make a great list and then I try to find books about them at my local library. 

I also print out country booklets from Teachers Pay Teachers for my kids to color in as we learn. They include facts about the country. Sadly, not every country is represented, but we make do with what we have and cover the rest with supplemental resources like books & YouTube. 

Latin America Country Booklets

When talking about Frida Kahlo, we create art inspired by her. We discussed Sonia Sotomayor’s life and how it resembles our own struggles. With the Autumnal Equinox, we discuss the harvest importance of Cesar Chavez & Dolores Huerta with the rights of migrant farm workers. 

Frida books and crafts

Then comes the extra fun part! We do a drumming lesson when talking about Tito Puente, & we dance to the music of Celia Cruz, Selena, Gloria Estefan, Shakira, Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, and even J Balvin & Bad Bunny. We learn about musical styles from different countries and their form of dance. We rap along with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s music as we talk about his amazing contributions to Broadway and music in movies. 

Another fun activity for HHM is playing fĂștbol and discuss it’s origins (the Maya refer to it as pok-a-tok) and play baseball as we discuss sports icons like Roberto Clemente, Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa. 

We talk about Ellen Ochoa shooting for the stars and pair it with a space craft like a space mobile or galaxy snowglobe. For Sylvia Mendez, we talk about the importance her case played in desegregating schools which happened before Brown vs Board. There are many famous actors/actresses and activists, and let’s not forget the powerhouse Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. 

We can’t talk about Hispanic Heritage Month without acknowledging our indigenous roots. During this time, I make sure we read more Spanish books, but also folktales from our culture (Mayan), as well as from other cultures. We weave, make chocolatl, build temples out of LEGOS, cook traditional foods, and so much more. 

With traditional public schooling, I was barely given a slice of my heritage to celebrate. As homeschoolers, we can dive further into Hispanic heritage & history which gives us all a sense of pride of our diversities and similarities. We know that if those famous Latinxs could reach for the stars, despite starting off with so little, so could we. Representation is everything. 


Monica Divane

Monica is a queer Indigenous Latinx bruja and a homeschooling mom of 2. She has been married for 16 years and is currently living in Central Florida. You will usually find her crafting something new, raising monarchs, gardening, reading, dancing, hiking, hanging out in the beach or springs, and at Disney. Monica works for Veggie Mijas which is a WOC/NBPOC Collective that focuses on veganism, decolonization, and environmental justice and also as an Auror & part of the Cheer Squad in Potterhead Running Club. She’s a geek and an activist and is teaching her boys to do so much good in this world.


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