How to Raise your Kids to be Bilingual

Posted March 28, 2016 by Julie in Parenting, Reviews, TopPosts / 36 Comments

Did you know that raising a child to be bilingual has amazing benefits for them? Learning a second language develops a child’s creative thinking and concept skills. It can help a child read at an earlier age since being able to think about concepts in two languages teaches them how to use language in complicated ways.  If the second language is due to the child’s heritage, then learning two languages helps the child bond with grandparents and other extended relatives.

I was raised bilingual since I was born outside the U.S. My family speaks Russian and so I grew up hearing it from my parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. Even though I started school in America, I still grew up speaking both English and Russian. I would love to raise my own child to be bilingual even if we don’t live next to my Russian-speaking family. I have to remind myself to say a few things in both languages to him to try to develop those skills in him. But living in Texas means another language is also important to learn: Spanish. With so many Spanish-speaking Texans, it makes perfect sense to focus on this as another language to learn. I mean, maybe my kid will grow up tri-lingual? Or at least, he might know a few words in each additional language, and even that is awesome.

raise kids bilingual

Thank you Kid’s Candor for providing a complimentary subscription box to facilitate my review.

How am I planning to teach my child a second (or third) language? Well, flash cards, games, and activities are great ways to explore language and promote learning. That’s why I’m excited to learn about Kid’s Candor, a company that creates bilingual education subscription kits.

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I received this lovely kit that teaches about plants and flowers in both English and Spanish. This particular kit is age-appropriate for children aged 1-2 years. Check out those lovely flashcards, the cute book, and a toy! The kit comes with ideas for activities and crafts to do, and gives you, the parent, the tools to teach these language skills to your child.

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That flower stacking toy is especially fun and my little man enjoyed pulling it apart and watching me stack the flowers again.

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Seriously, look at all this fun we are having!

This particular flower stacker toy is perfect for 12 months + and comes with a stand with two flower stacks and leaves, petals, and even some cute animals. This is a great way to develop language skills as well as fine motor skills.

This kit allows us as parents to teach our children while playing games and doing activities, which is wonderful on so many levels.

Are you bilingual? Will you try to raise your children to be bilingual? Try Kid’s Candor.

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JuliepicI'm Julie, a new mom who works full time and blogs, all while wishing I had more time to read fun books. I write about being a first time working mom in order to help myself and other working moms in our journeys to find balance between family, responsibilities, and hobbies so we can thrive both at home and at work.
I can be found blogging at Fab Working Mom Life and Chapter Break, and hanging out on social media: Twitter ~ Pinterest ~ Facebook ~ Instagram


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36 responses to “How to Raise your Kids to be Bilingual

  1. Correct me if I’m wrong but I read that the best ages for children to learn a second language are ages 2 – 5. My 1 yr old is turning 2 this September and I plan on ordering Kid’s Candor around then ?

  2. Thanks for sharing these tips! I too am trying to raise my kids to be bilingual!

    Personally, I wish I learned more languages when I was a kid! Now being a mom/adult, it just takes more time and effort!

    Will definitely try out some of the tips in this article.

    Cheers,
    Evelyn

  3. Gwan

    My son is 18months & the idea has been on my mind for some time, I can read or write in Spanish but I would love for him to learn it as a second language. His books areally in both languages ND speaking toy speak two languages too

  4. I have actually thought about purchasing Rosetta Stone to teach the entire family a second language. I’ve heard it works really well. I would love for my younger children to be fluent in several languages. Thanks for sharing with #momsterslink.

  5. I would love to do this! I teach in an inner city school with mostly minority students and have so many parents that I cannot communicate with because I can’t speak Spanish. I would love to speak another language myself. I’ve always heard the best way to learn a language is to immerse yourself in it. Maybe I can work with my kids a little here and there so they will know more than me! Thanks for linking up at Friday Funday and please come back again next week!

  6. Raising your child bilingual is a beautiful gift and an important skill. Thanks for sharing at the #ThisIsHowWeRoll Link Party on Organized 31.

  7. My hubby is Dutch & I am English, my eldest daughter spent her first 4 years living in england and refused to speak dutch with my hubby so he just gave up and spoke to her in English. I tried to expose her to as much dutch as possible by playing lots of Dutch childrens tv programmes, she also had exposure to the language with family visits.

    When she was nearly 4 we moved to the Netherlands and she had to start school speaking very little Dutch but I think the rate at which she began to speak the language was phenomenal. Within a few months of living here she was speaking and playing in pretty good Dutch.

    I believe the early exposure had hard wired into her brain and was already sitting there.

    My husband now speaks Dutch with my girls (8 & 6 years old) and I speak English. The girls mix the languages up a lot at home but at school they speak perfect Dutch and when on holiday in England they speak only English.

    Later on the kids have such an advantage so it is really worth pursuing – keep it the good work 🙂

    • That’s wonderful that your girls speak both languages so well. That full immersion thing really works. My Russian is only good when I’m around family, but is terrible when I’m away and with my English-speaking friends.

  8. I always wish I’d stuck with learning another language. I have very basic french, german and spanish. I would be happy to give reading or writing in those languages a go but much less confident at speaking them. I’d love my little girl to learn languages though and some great ideas for her age here!

    • It is great that you have basic exposure to 3 other languages, that will help your little one to see that you can speak other languages too.

  9. I’m so happy to see you here at my party. I encourage other parents to begin enrolling their children in language classes early. Especially in public schools. We have a requirement here but where we live it is often necessary so we may be able to further educate our children to speak to others as they come into our society.

    • I had to take a foreign language to apply to colleges but that was in high school. Obviously for me it was different since I was in ESL so I started a “foreign” language from first grade ha.

  10. I think it’s amazing that you are teaching your son a second language. This seems like an awesome program. My daughter loves spanish, and she was taking classes. I need to enroll her again. I think it’s so important.

    • I try to remember to speak Russian to him. Spanish is harder for me since I don’t remember much of it from high school so it almost requires me to re-learn before I can even use it in simple naming of items. That’s great that your daughter enjoys learning Spanish and you are wanting to enroll her again 🙂

  11. My boys are growing up bilingual. The speak English at home and German at kindergarten. It is amazing how quickly they can switch between the two. They sometimes confuse sentence structure though, speaking in english with a german structure for example. All part of the learning curve though. #momsterslink

    • That’s awesome that they are learning German in kindergarten! I definitely understand confusing the sentence structure though, languages are so complex.

  12. I think that it’s a great idea to introduce a second language at an early stage. I speak French and a little German and hope to introduce it more as my two little ones get older. Russian is such a beautiful language!

    #momsterslink

  13. I love how in the US your second language is Spanish. In Canada it’s French and while it’s a beautiful language, it’susefulness is quite limited to a couple countries. Looks like your little guy was having loads of fun learning!
    Tori
    http://www.TheMamaNurse.com

    • That’s true, the most common second language in the US is Spanish. But in our case I’m hoping that would be a 3rd since I want Russian to be his second. He has to be able to understand Grandma heh

  14. I started learning English at a very young age. Even though I feel a lot of it since moving to Belgium (and learning Dutch messed up my pronunciation a lot), I’m an advocate of teaching kids a second language at a very young age.
    It goes way beyond the communication aspect itself. They learn how to break barriers and have an open mind for other “structures” naturally.

    • Very good point Debbie, a second language does help prime the mind for learning other patterns and structures. Thanks for stopping by:)

  15. That is such a cute kit! I keep hearing that kids will have an easier time learning a second language if they start it sooner rather than waiting until later (like high school). This was a great reminder that it would be fun to teach my son a few Spanish words. 🙂 And I love that your son is lucky enough to be learning three languages!

    • Well, I wouldn’t say learning 3 languages, but maybe learning a couple of words in different languages. I still mostly speak English with him, though I keep having to remind myself to speak more Russian to him. Even after 3 years of high school Spanish, I’ve forgotten most of it, so I need to re-learn before I can use 3 different words with him for everything. Man, who knew that raising kids would be a full-time job?

  16. I love this! My daughter married a fella from Costa Rican… they just had a baby boy (my first grandson)! And yes… he will definitely be raised bilingual! And my daughter is now bilingual (English and Spanish) and it has created many open doors for her to put that on her resume!

  17. I’m a huge fan of hape toys and that one looks so fun!! 🙂 I agree that languages are so important and the younger you can start the better! I don’t think anyone regrets being able to speak more than one language, right?

    • Shape toys are awesome, and he’s finally starting to get the hang of them and not just throw the pieces around. Ha, no I guess people don’t regret being able to speak more than one language, but as a kid I know it was hard for my parents to make me keep up with my Russian. They spoke to me in Russian, and I answered in English. Stubborn, and now I wish I was better at it heh.

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