Setting up the Ipad

This morning I finally got around to setting up an iPad for Henry.  It’s an old one with iOS 5 (no child lock feature) so not sure how well it will work, but I did transfer our Little Pim DVDs to it (using handbrake) and download and test out a few apps.  PlayTales has a bunch of ebooks to download in Spanish that are different from the selection of real books at Idlewild.  The downside is that each costs a few dollars to download, so I’m going to try out some of the free ones first.  First, DeCuentos, which has videos of adults reading or demonstrating stories in Spanish (and some in English) that you can download and “favorite” to make them quickly and easily accessible.  Also, Scholastic Storia, which comes with five free books (in English) and includes ‘read to me’ and interactive question options.  Will see how it goes over with the 2 year old!


Materials for Kids of Different Ages

Tonight I again find myself looking at the site for Ladybug and wondering what people do when they have kids in different age ranges.  Do they buy a Babybug (6m-3y) for the baby and a Ladybug (3y-6y) for the preschooler and read them to the children separately? Together?  Or just read the Babybug to both or the Ladybug to both?   Similar question for the English magazines like Highlights…

Spanish DVDs/videos other than Disney

This morning I am using Handbrake to transfer Henry’s Little Pim DVDs to my computer (for later transfer to an Ipad).  After I do that, I’ll be looking for some more shorts in Spanish so he’ll have a nice little library for times when there is no internet (no Netflix – agh!) like in the car or in restaurants.  

Any recommendations?  I’m hoping to find things I can just download from the Itunes store rather than having to rip through Handbrake and transfer…



Should a non-native speaker ever read in Spanish to her kids?

I’m figuring this out as I go, but after a month with our new babysitter, here is what I am doing:

  1. Texting with sitter in Spanish
  2. Speaking with sitter (partly) in Spanish
  3. Reading bilingual children’s books with my 2-year-old son* and watching Little Pim DVDs and Spanish shows like Pocoyo with him
  4. Taking a short, 75 minute beginner conversational Spanish class each Saturday at Idlewild Books
  5. Occasionally reading Spanish-language sites such as People en Espanol 

*Initially I mostly read in English, hoping that our sitter would read the same books in Spanish and he’d figure it out., and eyeing the Spanish myself while I was reading to try to pick up some vocabulary and grammar.  Our sitter has mostly been taking advantage of the warm weather, however, rather than staying indoors reading, and some of the books are only in Spanish, so I do sometimes read to him in Spanish and hope he doesn’t pick up my non-native accent from that since he hears far more Spanish from his sitter.  Please let me know your thoughts on this in the comments!

Welcome & About

 I’m a Brooklyn mom on a  journey (crash course?) to learn conversational Spanish so that I can speak with our bilingual babysitter (who prefers to speak Spanish) and support her efforts to teach our children Spanish.   Here I’ll chronicle my efforts, resources I found useful for both me and the kids, and whatever comes up along the way.  Hope you enjoy.