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The Best Spanish Language Advice (Episode 4)

Quieres leer esta entrevista en Español? Leela AQUÍ

We have gotten in touch with book authors, bloggers, curricula writers, and other important characters that share a passion for raising future generations bilingually. They will bring you a breath of fresh air into the world of Spanish language education through their story, their experience, and their advice.

The BEST Spanish advice comes from families that have spent their efforts figuring out what works for them and their families; adjusting, and continuing to move forward. The best advice comes from real-life experience and involvement with the language for many years in the past.

Last time we interviewed latina mompreneur and bilingualism advocate Maritere Bellas. If you miss it, feel free to read it here. This week we are interviewing Colombian-American mama Ana Kim

Ana Maria Kim lives with her husband and sons outside of Washington D.C., in the United States. Ana’s husband is Korean American and together they have two sons ages 6 and 8. They love music, art, books, and spending time in nature. They travel often but love being home, best of all learning and making memories together the most. Continue reading to find out Ana’s family motives behind bilingual educating their children.

Ana, thank you for being here today. I am so excited and happy to get to know a little bit more about a fellow Colombian homeschooling mama! I can already tell this will be a fun time 🙂

I would love to hear a little bit about your background and learn more about your bilingual journey.

Why is bilingualism important to you (your family)?

I was born and raised in Medellin, Colombia. Spanish is a big part of who I am and I always knew that I wanted to give my children the gift of bilingualism. I want my children to have the chance to know and connect with that side of their heritage. I want them to know that they belong in the Hispanic community.

That is so important isn’t it? I work hard with my children sharing my culture and heritage with them because like you, I want them to know they are also hispanic and they have a world before them to explore about their roots and where they come from!

What are/were your favorite tools when you are/were teaching your kids a second language?

We are a homeschool family and that has given me a chance to really preserve and nurture my children’s Spanish throughout the years. I use children’s literature as our main Spanish input. We are always reading beautiful books in Spanish as part of our learning experience. I also like to incorporate lots of music, art and poetry into our Spanish learning.

That is so neat! I think your approach sounds very appealing and fun for any child! I know thats the type of thing my students and my own kids enjoy.

What were some of the biggest challenges your family faced during the journey of teaching your kids a second language, and how did you overcome them?

Our biggest challenge was finding resources in Spanish that were aligned to our education philosophies, and the way we want to introduce Spanish to our children, and the way we want to learn it at home. We wanted it to be a joyful and meaningful experience for them. After looking for resources for about one year without any success, I decided to start creating our own literature based resources. This is actually how Pequeños Lectores was born.

Congratulations on taking the step to create what your family needed. Also how amazing it is that you have decided to share it with other families that might be in your shoes as well. That truly shows you have a big heart!!

Can you share with us a little it more about the resources you create?

Pequeños Lectores is a project I started to introduce and teach Spanish to my sons using children’s literature. We read and explore beautiful books, and create resources for other families/classrooms that want to do the same. We use poetry, nature studies, music, art and handicrafts to explore the stories that we are reading, all in Spanish.

That is wonderful. Sounds like a very Charlotte Mason approach. Is that the methodology you follow?

Yes, we explore stories full of life, in Spanish, and we create resources so that you can do it too! Our Story Exploration Guides are inspired by Charlotte Mason’s educational methods and philosophy. With them, you can create a learning atmosphere that can give your little ones a wonderful journey through the stories in these books full of life.

That is wonderful! I love that about your resources. I have to tell you I have used a couple of your resources with my own kiddos and we all have enjoyed every minute of it!

When did you decide you wanted to create material about bilingual or multilingual education?

I knew I had to start creating our own resources about two years ago, when my oldest son started learning to read and write and I couldn’t find any Spanish resources that would work for our family. I also knew we couldn’t possibly be the only family going through this difficulty, so that gave me the hope and the last push I needed to start Pequeños Lectores. It made me very happy to think I could also share our resources with other families and communities that were looking to nurture and preserve their Spanish in their lives.

My main drive are my children. I truly want them to experience the beauty of the Spanish language. Of course, seeing that others families can enjoy our resources has been a big part of the why behind Pequeños Lectores. I’m happy to be part of a community that treasures and feels proud of our language and is working hard to keep it alive.

If you could give a piece of advice to families that are considering teaching their kids a second language, what would you tell them?

Make it joyful. That’s kind of my motto when it comes to teaching my children Spanish, or any other subject really. Make learning a joyful, meaningful experience. Find ways to bring the language alive and also to make it personal for them. Also, be patient and consistent. Learning is a process, sometimes a lifelong one. Enjoy the process with your children. Trust that they are learning all the time, even if it doesn’t always seem like they are.

I love that, Ana. I think anything with joy is always better. Especially in the training and upbring of future generations 🙂

What would you tell families in similar situation as you as far as homeschooling goes?

Be intentional and keep going. Take it one day at a time, and make each day count. We have the power to fill our days with beauty and meaningful experiences, even on the hard days. Homeschooling has been an incredible blessing to me and my family. We have grown together in ways I couldn’t even think possible. It has made us stronger, kinder, fuller. I know every homeschool family can enjoy these same blessings with a bit of consistency and intentionality.

Thank you for your chatting with us today, Ana. I wish you a joyful journey ahead.

And to all of you, readers, Thank you for reading this interview. We hope you feel motivated to keep pursuing a bilingual education with your children and we hope you can find the right resources to season your efforts with!

Here is Ana’s website

¡Buena suerte!

See you next time. We will be talking with Corrie Wiik from Llamitas Spanish and you won’t want to miss it!


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