Saturday, January 19, 2013

Learning Spanish

Second week of working with Celeste was different. Instead of doing a memory verse, I chose to try to speak purely in Spanish to her on 2 nights. I speak Spanish fluently (though I did learn it as a second language)> I have mostly been very focused on trying to teach her Fanti. This is my father and husband's tribal language in Ghana, West Africa. The problem is that I do not speak this fluently. I know phrases and some words. I have been teaching her pretty much everything I know in Fanti, which is really not that much. My husband has some trouble keeping himself speaking purely to her because he is quite frankly, more comfortable expressing himself in English since he was formally taught in English both in Ghana and the US and he certainly speaks it most of the time here. Also, of course, I don't understand everything he is saying so this makes it tough to not be tempted to switch back to English. I remember pestering my father when I was in high school and college. "Why didn't you ever speak to me in Fante??? I wish I could speak another language. It's all your fault I don't speak anything but English!" I would immaturely say. I always did wish that I could speak another language back then. I recently got images in my head of Celeste at age 13 saying the same thing to me "You speak Spanish! Why didn't you ever speak to me so I could learn!" I felt really bad. This hit me even more when we recently visited a Spanish only speaking couple's home. I was conversing with them in Spanish of course and Celeste walks up. They started to greet her in Spanish and turn to me, "Does she speak Spanish?" " guess I've been focused so much on teaching her my husband's language that I don't do any Spanish at all." I would say. I don't know what the right approach to this is. I know that I am finding it challenging to teach her a language that I myself am not comfortable with. My husband is interested in learning Spanish, so I suppose we could try as a family, but I did try once during dinner preparation time to speak only in Spanish to them both and he would just turn to me annoyed and say "I don't know what you're saying".  Aaaah...of course it's going to be harder for an "old dog" to learn compared to the young little sponge I have.

Well, the short bit of Spanish only time with just Celeste was mostly during bath/bedtime. It was incredible how much she understood just by my intonation and gestures. The most amazing reward was that at the end of the week, I think a couple days after the last time I spoke to her in Spanish I was bathing her again and she turned to the tub where I had just unplugged the drain and said "Bye bye agua" (water) I was so surprised! She retained this word after just teaching her. Again, I don't know the proper way to do this, but it looks like even the smallest most pitiful effort on my part will yield some results. I guess that's how I'm taking this entire working full time and trying to preschool my daughter thing. Every little bit is better than nothing.....

Friday, January 11, 2013

First week

Well the first week has gone by. Celeste DID learn Matthew 22:37! She usually has to kind of say it with me but she does the arm motions and know what comes next! It is really thrilling to see!!

Monday I came home and did some coloring and a maze or two with the Kumon book which my friend told me about. I also started the memory verse with her. We tried to get her to recognize the color red.

Tuesday we had our first swim "lesson". It was us playing in the water. She really LOVED it! I was so surprised when the instructor said "Kick your feet Celeste!" and she DID!

Wednesday I did more of the Kumon books and went through some different colors and then I did an activity with her that I saw in a book that given to me. We made a sock with old couscous in it (man, I've been saying I was going to make it for so long! Ah well...) and then tied the top. An open box was set a slight distance away. Her job is to toss the sock into the box. She really enjoyed it and progressed quickly and was able to move farther away!

Thursday I worked until late so I just reviewed colors with her while taking a bath before bed.

Friday I really wanted to take her to the museum as I am *supposed* to get out of work at 1pm latest, but this was delayed today. Instead I just let her play with our good friend's and their two children about her age. She loves playing with them! Many Fridays she gets her only real play time with other children, which is when my friend watched her. She had a lot of fun. I felt sad that I couldn't bring her to the museum but my goal is to do some activities this weekend outside hopefully!

I really am unsure if this is "enough" for a 2 year old for the humble beginnings of preschooling. I am not doing very much but I figure a child her age doesn't need hours of structured learning. She really does not know her colors which disappoints me but I am sure that persistence and repitition is the key.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Memory verse

This week's verse is going to be Matthew 22:37 =D

First post

This is to be a seperate blog just about some things that I am learning as a Catholic mama and would like to share with others who are interested in the same things. I find myself looking over so many other's blogs and feel inspired to post my own ideas too!

Today I am starting memory verses with my little daughter Celeste. I will try to focus on one verse a week. It came to mind when I was looking at an activity book and they suggested repeating a nursery rhyme (like "Humpty Dumpty" for instance) over an over so they can memorize it. I'm thinking, why would I want her to memorize that?? Why not God's holy word!! I was so excited and quickly found things on the internet.

Above is one nice web site with coloring pages and hand movements and all. I am excited to try this out. Will try to follow up with feedback on how it works out!