A viajar y regresar

Thankfully we made it back safe and sound from a very quick trip up north.  The drive was long, but very beautiful as all the leaves are changing and the air has that fall freshness. What I loved the most was watching the landscape gradually change, from evergreens to corn fields, grassy hills, and finally back to the familiar.  Although I have to say, one week makes a big difference and I can definitely see fall here in the South.  The temperatures are cooling down and everything is covered with a fresh dusting of leaves (that are nowhere near as colorful as those up north).

Coming back after being away and getting back into ‘the swing of things’ always seems like such a difficult thing to do, until it’s done.  This is especially difficult since I had to say such a quick “hello” and “goodbye” to both my parents (particularly my Mom).  But we are all excited for the upcoming holidays and more opportunities to spend time with each other.  So, with renewed excitement I am happy to return to helping you all again!

Ahora empezamos de nuevo…

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Megan

la influencia española

As many of you know, last week was the Republican National Convention.  I have to say I shocked myself and watched almost the entire thing.  That’s definitely something new for me.  I never was very politically active growing up.  I had a very vague and fuzzy idea about what was going on in Washington, D.C. (And I guess really, the whole concept about what goes on up there is vague and fuzzy).  And if you asked me, I would have told you, “I’m economically conservative and socially liberal.”  Yeah, I made it sound all fanc-i-fied.

When I reached voting age, I did identify myself as a Republican and have voted that way ever since.  But I felt like I had to hide the fact that I had conservative ideals because it seemed to make people upset and angry thinking things like, “Oh, she must be arrogant and narrow-minded.”  I also didn’t want to identify my ideals because honestly, politics is this giant issue that everyone fights about and I despise confrontation.  But you know what, you should feel comfortable about identifying who and what you are.  It doesn’t hurt anyone, it’s a free country, so hey, I’m a conservative young woman.  I’ve started my own business, I love working for myself.  So let’s get this economy back on track so others can share in the American Dream.

Okay, I’m off my soap box.  And all of that was to say that during the RNC we saw some great speeches.  I was very impressed and interested to see the number of Hispanic speakers who took part in the program.  Rep. Governor Susana Martinez made and very inspiring and uplifting speech.  Romney’s own son Craig made a short but beautiful speech (partly in Spanish) about how is father is the best candidate who understands Hispanic desire to come to this country and build a better life for the future generation.  If you didn’t get a chance to check them out (regardless of your affiliations) please do!

 

http://youtu.be/2y7Z9031EZU (Craig Romney)

http://youtu.be/NEewz5v04mU (Susana Martinez)

Learning more about Learning

This week I started working with the So Much 2 Learn Homeschool in Decatur, Georgia.  It has been wonderful and I’m enjoying every moment of helping out and helping the kids learn.  After seeing the children in the homeschool setting, I was wishing I was 5 or 6 again, experiencing it from their point-of-view.  Thankfully, I always did and always have loved school and learning (except for a couple tough middle school years) and was blessed with a family who supported me along the way–but I know I would have loved homeschooling if I were given that opportunity!!

In the classes last week we reviewed a lot of the basics, the continents, oceans, where our country is located on the map, evaluated reading, writing, and math levels, and began our Spanish classes.  As we catch everyone up to their various levels, I’ve noticed that there is quiet a disparity between the education I received in the public school system (15 to 20 years ago) and the education children are receiving today.  Some of those common, basic, essential concepts for a handful of children are severely lacking or completely missing all together–And that makes my heart ache.

This is a problem that should not be overlooked, but unfortunately due to lack of funding, lack of caring (and if I’m allowed to say it–government involvement) in our education system, the youth of America seem to be rapidly dumbed down.  This makes me want to stand on the rooftops and yell “Come on America!! Wake up, your children are the leaders of tomorrow!!!!”

Well, as my father says, “I’ll get off my soapbox” but I’d like to leave you with this little tidbit of information…some advice from today’s teachers.

Until next time….¡Chau chau!

It’s Official!

It’s official, summer is finally here!  And for us, here in Atlanta today wasn’t much different from the previous few days.  It was hot, but not super humid (yet), and sunny.  I know that my family up north had a hot one today, 93 degrees!  So far it’s been a summer of pleasant surprises.  We’ve welcomed new students of all ages and levels, and we’ve added our new language (and lovely tutor) Mandarin.  It’s been so exciting and we’re so looking forward to the upcoming school year!

But I suppose we shouldn’t get too far ahead of ourselves.  In the midst of all these goings-on, I’m super excited to head north for a cousin’s impending nuptials!!  I can’t wait to see the family, congratulate the bride and groom, and spend some quality time with my dad.  I’m thankful to have such a wonderful family and am looking forward to visiting, relaxing, revitalizing, and coming home with more excitement for the rest of the summer and into the school year!

As always, let us know if you need us for Spanish, English, or Mandarin lessons!  Any age, any level!  And we look forward to hearing from you soon!

¡Chau Chau amigos!

Home Education

I know that I have mentioned this subject at least a couple of times before now.  That being the subject of whether or not to homeschool (my hypothetical (I say that because I don’t have any yet)) children.  Growing up, I always loved learning (still do) and really loved school, at least after middle school ended.  I enjoyed seeing my friends everyday, running on the cross-country team, being in the Spanish Club, and on the debate team.  And I think that desire to be involved, “always doing something” still lives on.  I despise being idle and when I have any free time I’m always looking to fill it was some productive activity.

I say all this because I believe that many parents are concerned that their children will not receive a proper ‘social education’ or stimulation if they are homeschooled.  Honestly, I used to believe that too, but after observing a few homeschool families I wholly disagree with this concern.  Many homeschooling families belong to homeschooling co-ops or organizations where their children play sports and have other classes or activities.  There are still others who are very active in their church groups or religious organizations.  Now, it’s true I don’t know the ins-and-outs of homeschooling but it appears to be just like anything else–you reap what you sow (or you put into it what you get out of it).  This possibility of homeschooling is a very exciting one–I’m always looking for interesting crafts and activities, thinking of methods to use, and so excited that when the day comes I can teach my own children Spanish!

Anyway, all this pondering (hoping and dreaming) has led me to discover the Southeast Homeschool Expo, where in the company of a friend I can hope to learn even more! This expo will be held at the Cobb Galleria Center, July 26-28.  You should come a check it out!

¡¡Bailamos!!

I had to share this video of my home-school girls! http://youtu.be/4-6x3qN0q00  They choreographed this whole routine (still working on the rest of it) and incorporated the salsa steps they learned a few weeks ago.  There is a lot of talent here, these two are very creative and I hope to see more in the future!!   Maybe as time goes on we can learn some more latin dances (i.e. the rumba, merengue, tango) and see where they lead!

Also, if you’re looking for a great home-school for girls in the Atlanta/Decatur area check out: www.somuch2learn.com, where learning is fun, creative and very interactive!!

Can you hear me now?! Good!!

The infamous “they” say that communicating is the key to any relationship.  I say this is very very true.  By communicating, we tell others what we want or need, how we feel, if we’re happy, sad etc.  As children we may not know the words, or the correct ones to say when wanting or needing something, but a child makes his needs known by crying, laughing, smiling (and I’m sure many other ways I have yet to learn!).

Even animals communicate with us to let us know when we are in danger, when they are feeling playful, sad, or scared.  And it is also true that some of us are better at communicating than others.  For some people, when they have something to say, they are quick, straight to the point.  Yet others may give mixed or subtle clues, while finally (perhaps after much contemplation and realization) reaching the clear communication stage.  In teaching a foreign language, it’s an interesting and exciting process to watch students go from the “What?? How do you say that?? What does that mean??” stage to the “Oh, yeah, I know!” stage.  Being able to communicate in another language opens so many doors, expands vocabulary, and broadens cultural knowledge.  Acquiring a second (third or fourth) language is so much more than just a skill, it’s an opportunity.

So, even though learning and communicating in another language may not change your “communication style” at least you can express yourself in other ways, perhaps ways you never thought possible!