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Raising Multilingual Kids Blogging Carnival: Hidden Opportunities

freedigitalphotos.net/Stuart Miles

freedigitalphotos.net/Stuart Miles

Welcome to the July edition of The Raising Multilingual Children’s Blogging Carnival.  This month’s theme was Hidden Opportunities where I asked people to submit blogs based on the unexpected occurrences of bringing up multilingual children.

Opportunities for the Kids

Spanish Playground opens up this month’s carnival with some encouraging news for anyone still struggling to teach two or more languages: she has been there and done that and now has three grown kids.  In her post Teaching my Children Spanish – A Few Observations Now that they Are Older she identifies the advantages they now have, some of which she never ever dreamed of when she started out on the road to bilingual education.

Came to Find – Vim Encontrar is nowadays a grown up bilingual English and Portuguese speaker.  She writes about the day that changed her life and all of the opportunities she has now that she is bilingual.  And just to prove the point, you can read Perks of Being Bilingual in English or Benefícios do Ser Bilíngue in Portuguese.

Over at Kids Yoga Stories we hear how Integrating Spanish and Yoga made for remarkably effective learning opportunities.  Like all the best ideas, it seem that this was devastatingly simple once the connection had been made.

And if you aren’t quite ready to do the downward-facing dog then maybe you can exploit a different strategy to keep your child interested in another language just as Open Hearts Open Minds describes in Hidden Opportunities in Bilingual Parenting.

Mmmmmm europeanmama.eu

Mmmmmm europeanmama.eu

What Do Multilingualism, Video Games and Sweets Have in Common?  If you want to know the answer you’ll have to read  The European Mama. As you do so you’ll also find that she had to break some rules to find a much more sensible way of eating, playing and using languages.

Expat Since Birth had a family dilemma; how to find the time to fit 5 languages into their busy schedule.  She ignored all professional advice, and her own professional training, to find a new path to being truly multilingual in When you End up Talking Another Language with your Kids.  It seems that breaking the rules is a common experience among many multilingual families

Despite serious health problems, Adventure Bee decided to experiment with realising some of her life’s dreams in her Hidden Opportunities post.  In doing so, she discovered unexplored depths in her daughter’s ability to understand American history and an awareness of what they both need in order to grow and be challenged.

Look what I got! Spanglishbaby.com

In The Day my Daughter Learned it Pays to be Bilingual  a very proud mum from SpanglishBaby tells a great story about the day it dawned on her daughter that there are distinct upsides to being bilingual.  Parents know that being having more than one language increases your worth in the job market, but not all kids know that.

When you are your partner are monolingual you have to actively hunt down as many opportunities as possible in order to give your child the best possible chance of growing up multilingual.  That is exactly what SoulTravelers3 had to do and in this post, Bilingual Baby – Learning Spanish as a Second Language, she gives the benefit of her experience and shows just how possible it is.  If you are short for time, you could just check out her video for how it is done: Teach Your Child Spanish – Multilingual Kid.

Choosing a name for your new child is always an important decision, especially so if you are trying to reflect more than one culture.  The name All Done Monkey chose for her son has turned out to have more importance than most as you can read in The Boy who Couldn’t Say his Own Name.

Opportunities for the Parents

Of course, it isn’t just the children who can make the most of those hidden opportunities.  MotherTongues: Wear Words, Celebrate Cultures explains how she has benefitted from having a multilingual daughter in her article called Learning Another Language After Turning 40.  She might be a bit slower than her daughter, but she’ll get there eventually.

It can sometimes be hard to tell if all the effort we are putting in to include other languages in our families is actually working or not.  In Culture Parent describes an experience when she could answer the question Is all the Hard Work of Bilingualism Paying off? in the affirmative.

The Art of Home Education reports on a lesson that she has learnt through home schooling.  It seems from Learning to Let Go of my Learned Beliefs and Trust on his Curiosity that, just like many of us, it seems to be a lesson she has to learn over and over again.

Bilingual Monkeys

At the zoo with the Bilingual Monkeys

From Bilingual Monkeys we hear a wonderful story of creativity and how all bilingual parents need to be able to ‘think outside the swan planter’ in order to find as many opportunities for language development as possible.  Bilingual Monkeys was one of the first sites I came across when I first started to read about multilingual families and I have learned so much from it that it is now an honour to be able to host Outside the Box: Creative Solutions to Challenges Raising Bilingual Children.

LadydeeLG has got a tremendous amount out of raising her son to be speak Spanish and English.  As well as a bilingual child she has set herself ambitious goals and been successful in meeting them.  You can find out how she accomplished this in You Never Know Where a Blog Will Take you.

A Blogger and a Father looks at the bigger picture for some of the reasons he would like his kids to speak his native language in Why Raise Bilingual Kids.  While he starts off thinking about the advantages for his children, we also get to see potential global improvements and eventually how it connects the father to his younger self.

It1s never too early to start volunteering. babylingual.blogspot.com

It’s never too early to start volunteering. babylingual.blogspot.com

When Babylingual started volunteering at her local library she had no idea where it would lead her to.  Nowadays she has at least four jobs (two of which are paid), discovered new passions and provides invaluable support to the community.  In her words, her only regret is that I Just Wish I Had Started Volunteering Sooner!

We started off this carnival with a report on what it is like when you have raised your multilingual kids.  We (almost) finish with Dads The Way I Like It who is at the other end of the journey: right at the beginning.  I’d like to wish him good luck as he and his wife find out that having a bilingual child can help them integrate even more into the local community in Being a Bilingual Parent.

And last, and probably least, is my own effort.  Our son was introduced to cars by his vovo (granddad) and this quickly turned into an obsession.  Take me Riding in the Car Car describes how what  could have easily become very tiresome has actually turned out to be a wonderful learning opportunity.

And thanks to…

I would just like to thank everyone who took the time to submit posts to this carnival.  I have had a great time reading through all of them and I strongly recommend you all have a go and hosting one in the future.  Big thanks go to Piri-Piri Lexicon for organising the whole carnival and for giving me a the politest possible kick in the pants to get myself sorted out.

blogcarnival2This is the latest installment of the Raising Multilingual Children Blogging Carnival, re-created by Piri-Piri Lexicon.  For more information on the carnival, including  how to get involved, visit the carnival’s main page. You can find past editions of the carnival here:

All Done Monkey – Travel and Multilingualism

The Piri-Piri Lexicon – General Theme

Multilingual Mama – Looking Back  

Written by
Noah Cooper

I'm the head of the Cooper heard. My wife and I moved abroad when our first son who came along in May, 2011. I am a typical Brit abroad with a family to raise and am sharing the journey of the expat life abroad.

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Written by Noah Cooper