016: Raising a Bilingual Child, Even if You’re Monolingual with Karim of Spanish Educational Solutions
Have you ever considered raising a bilingual child? Even if you’re a monolingual family? In this episode we have Spanish teacher and family travel veteran, Karim Morato of Spanish Educational Solutions, give us inside tips on how best to raise bilingual kids, even if you’re not bilingual yourself! Learn why learning another language can make travel more enjoyable and open doors to your child’s future!
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As a former school teacher, a homeschooling mom of three, and bilingual language learner herself, Karim offers a unique perspective on why families should work together to become bilingual. From being able to travel more safely and confidently to being able to connect to the people and culture you’re exploring, learning a second, or even fourth, language can be beneficial for the whole family.
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Who is Senora Morato of Spanish Educational Solutions and What Does She Know About Raising a Bilingual Child?
Sra. Karim Morato is a homeschool mom of three, Guatemalan native, and is an online Spanish instructor and curriculum designer. She creates Spanish online programs and courses for elementary, middle and high school students, helping them to speak Spanish more natively. Karim loves traveling with her own family from Bolivia to North Carolina and beyond and believes families should try to immerse themselves in the cultures they’re visiting for a more enriching travel experience.
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In This Episode, Karim from Spanish Educational Solutions Covers Raising Bilingual Children and…
Why She Started Spanish Educational Solutions:
Karim was only a teenager when she immigrated to the United States she immediately began trying to figure out how to cope in her new culture. She didn’t even know how to say “hi” and she was scared to even try. However, she knew she had to learn English and she wanted to help others. She knew education was the answer. After so many people wanting her to help them with Spanish, she knew that was her life path. She became a public school International Baccalaureate immersion teacher and had a 16-year career before starting her home business.
How Her Own Experience Becoming Bilingual Has Shaped Her Teaching Methods:
Unlike many language teachers in the states, Karim has first-hand knowledge of having had to not only learn another language but to be truly bilingual to survive. She wants her students and parents to understand that it’s more than a subject, it’s a people, it’s a culture and should be treated as such. Your goal shouldn’t be about learning the language, but to understand a culture.
How Homeschooling Her Three Kids Opened Up the Door to Creating a Spanish Curriculum For Homeschooling Families Online
While she was teaching Spanish to her high school IB students, she was also homeschooling her 3 children. After 16 years she needed a new challenge and her husband encouraged her to look into teaching online. While at first, she thought he was crazy she quickly began to see the benefits and began a course at the local university to learn the best online teaching practices to begin developing her own curriculum. However, it was only for high school students in the beginning, despite everyone requesting an elementary program.
Later she began to see how her own daughter was struggling to be bilingual and refusing to speak Spanish at home. She was so distraught and it was a source of tension in her home, until her daughter came to her and challenged her to develop a program for children her own age.
The Differences Between Teaching Elementary and High School
Through research and experience with her own children, she realized that she needed to approach the two age groups differently. With Elementary kids they need to start with areas they’re already comfortable and then use a lot of repetition and spiraling. But with high school, she uses themes that are relatable to her students. She also emphasizes speaking from day 1 for both elementary and high school. Listen to minute 25 on in the episode for more details.
Why You Can’t Teach Every Child the Same
As parents and educators, we know that each child is different. They have different strengths and weaknesses and learn in different ways. However, it can be hard to remember when homeschooling and you sometimes treat them all the same when teaching them. We discuss this idea further that “fair isn’t always equal”.
How You Can Raise a Bilingual Child, Even If You’re Monolingual.
Karim reminds us that we all have our own strengths and weaknesses. Even when homeschooling her own children she has realized she has her own limitations and so has hired experts in other areas. She recommends you do the same. Use other people. Find experts to help you. You can use books in other languages, apps, tv programs, and tutors to expose your child and yourself!
Why Learning Another Language is Important
While English may be the most widely used language in the world, it’s not the only language. If you want to travel with your family and really experience a culture you need to expose yourself to languages. Even your daily life is impacted by other countries from politics to your food, we are all interconnected.
In addition to cultural and future employment benefits, there are also intellectual benefits. Studies have been done that the brain of a bilingual person is more activated than monolingual and it helps you with other areas of your life.
How Raising a Bilingual Child Helps When Traveling
Even though English is widely used around the world, it’s not the only language and you miss a lot of the culture when you don’t know the language. Even knowing simple phrases and words can help you connect to the people and the places, as well as help you feel more comfortable.
When you open yourself up to the language, you also open yourself up to the people. It’s about connecting to the people, the religions, and the traditions. It also changes your attitude towards a place to be less about consumption, and instead more about understanding.
Where to Find Karim of Spanish Educational Solutions:
Email: [email protected]