30 Mar 2015

Bilingualism does not (necessarily) mean sacrifices

There have been a few recent articles about how many sacrifices you have to do to raise bilingual kids or how much money you need to spend. Some have suggested that they even sacrifice their own language learning and their relationships for their children's bilingualism. (And yes, I have the courage to link to them). I guess I am not the typical reader or target audience of these articles because I, personally,  find them rather disappointing and pointless. 

Alarm bells, anyone?

3 Mar 2015

The school issue: sacrificing learning for language?

Ah the school issue!

There comes a point in every parent's life where they have to make a decision as to where to send their kids to school. If there is a choice to be made, it often is a very tough one. Parents often feel that their child's future is at play. When you add to the equation languages and how best to support your child's multilingualism, it makes it even more difficult.

22 Feb 2015

Are 3 (or more) languages too many for a child? Preparing for baby's arrival

People often ask if there is anything one can do to prepare for a bilingual baby coming into a household. I am sure that if you search the web, you will find some very useful lists of things you could do. I am not going to write one here. I will instead tell you about the challenges I encountered before our first was born and how I prepared (or failed to prepare) our own family.

12 Feb 2015

10 tips for a road trip in Florida with kids

Freshly back from our holidays in the U.S.A. I did compile a little list of observations while we were on the road. Road tripping with kids is never easy but we love it. Hopefully, these little tips will make your life easier. 
Just a word of warning: this is written from a European's perspective. Most of you in the US may find this obvious. But to us, Europeans, it wasn't necessarily.

10 Feb 2015

Our French-Portuguese-English wedding

I am not sure why but I have never written about my wedding here even thought it is a topic I like to talk about (who doesn't?). In a previous post, I wrote about having to go through several administrative land mines to get there, but I never really wrote about the wedding itself. 

2 Feb 2015

Multilingualism in my family: Audrey's story

Meet Audrey and her young family from the East Coast. Audrey is a non-native Spanish speaker. She has a  background in linguistics. She is only beginning her journey into multilingualism as a parent but she offers some great advice for other parents starting out.

Photo by J. Chan via Flickr

29 Jan 2015

Travel journal for kids

Before we left for our 3-week road trip, I had been looking for ideas to answer several problems: minimize endless questions about what we would do when, keep a 5-year-old entertained, and create a memento.

26 Jan 2015

Numbers and bilinguals

Have you ever wondered why you remember phone numbers between in one language over another? Or why you or your kids always count in one language over another even if it is not your dominant one? Have you noticed that your child is better at maths when it is explained to him/her in another language? Rest assured, that it is totally normal. Culture and language matter a lot when it comes  to numbers.

22 Jan 2015

Washington D.C. with kids (in winter)

The piri-piri family is currently out enjoying a little holiday in the U.S.A.. In case, you have not been following us, we have completed our Washington, D.C. leg and are currently in New Orleans.

19 Jan 2015

Why bilinguals may be mistaken as language delayed (research evidence)

I am sure you have heard about a bilingual child being labelled as 'delayed' in terms of language development. Maybe, it is your own child who has been described as such. A professional (paediatrician or teacher) may have even mentioned this to you, as his/her parents. This is an all too common occurrence. Have you ever wondered why these people may have the impression (as it is often not a proper diagnosis) that your child is delayed? Here is a piece of research that may help you understand it.

15 Jan 2015

Our U.S.A. road trip

As you read this, I am, hopefully, high up somewhere over the Atlantic trying to get a 9-months-old to nap in a cot and entertaining an almost 5-years-old with nothing more than a book, a pen and a paper (and in-flight entertainment hopefully).

12 Jan 2015

Je suis Charlie and my (almost) 5-year-old

I don't normally do heavy topics on here but I could not let this one pass. 
This week people were killed for expressing their opinions. Any kind of extremism and terrorism act is just plain wrong, shocking and worrying.  The religion of these people bares no real impact on the fact that they are/were terrorists. Freedom of speech, the freedom of the press is more important than religion. I won't go any political debate as this is not the topic of this blog. I wanted to focus instead on taking my children to one of the many peaceful rallies that happened in France (and all over the world) this week.

8 Jan 2015

Learn about the world through books

"You can't buy happiness but you can buy books and that's kind of the same thing!"

This rule certainly applies in our household. Our shelves are bursting with books. Children books, travel guides, photography books, cooking books, novels, cartoons...

5 Jan 2015

Multilingualism in my family: Michelle S's story

It has been a long time since I have posted an instalment of this series. So, here it goes: an English-German speaking family in Germany. I really love Michelle's last comment about mentioning bilingualism from the get go when looking for childcare. This has always been crucial to me too and always asked how they felt about it.

via mkorsakov (Flickr)

25 Dec 2014

Season's greetings

Wishing all of you the very best for the end of year celebrations!
See you in the New Year.

14 Dec 2014

Cookies, biscuits and other baked treats

With the festive season in full swing, I am often to be found baking. I am not the greatest cook. But baking, I love. My hands are full all day every day with baby E. Yet, whenever I can, I pop him on my back (front carry is impossible now or he will crack the eggs for me) and turn on the oven.

10 Dec 2014

Christmas crackers & other borrowed traditions

As expats, over recent years, we have come to make our own Christmas traditions. We have borrowed a little bit from different countries we have lived in and from our own birth countries. These traditions have become part of our family and are becoming our family traditions.

7 Dec 2014

Why we celebrate Christmas as an atheist family

Christmas time is a magical time in many families. Our family is no different. Yet, it is no big secret that my family is not one for religious celebrations. We do not attend any kind of religious services. I am not baptised, my children are not either. P and I didn't have a religious wedding. So why do we celebrate Christmas? Christmas is, after all, the main Christian holiday.

24 Nov 2014

Myths busted: raising multilingual children blogging carnival

As I lay in bed next to my 7-month-old, waiting for him to fall asleep, I think about the conversation I had with a good family friend recently. On hearing about LJ's great progress in German (she is fluent by now), he brings back (because we have heard it before) a story about a bilingual friend of his who constantly mixed and confused languages, who could speak neither language "properly" and who remained so for his whole life. The story comes from the mouth of an educated, language-literate person who speaks a decent second language himself and uses it frequently. 

13 Nov 2014

30 minutes for 30 days challenge #mkb30for30

As the weather turns grey and cold, we tend to stay indoors more often and forget to enjoy the great outdoors especially with a little baby. November is the month for grey dull and rainy weather where you have to pull out of your drawers the winter coats, hats and scarves.

10 Nov 2014

Bilingual story time: how does it work?

My daughter attends a story time hour at a local American library twice a month. For her, this is one of the only opportunities she has to hear other children speak English on a regular basis. The stories are read by a lovely American lady and they usually do a craft or a game after the stories. LJ, 4, loves it.

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