Paula, Professor Pocket and Raising a bilingual baby

Is anyone out there?

Still pushing for bilingual babies!! July 21, 2009

Filed under: Bilingual,Personal — Paula G, Professor Pocket and My Pregnancy @ 6:27 pm
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As I mentioned in previous posts I want my little Leo to be bilingual, and I have been diligent about speaking to him mostly in Spanish. It’s amazing now that he is a bit older he is understanding and responding to things Joe and I say. This morning I tested out his comprehension of both languages.

Leo has this awesome fish mobile above his changing table and he and I have a ritual every morning of saying good morning to the sleeping fish. I always say it Spanish, “Leo, dile buenos dias a los pecesitos!” and Joe says it in English. Lately, when we say it he’s really grasping what we are telling him and he looks right at the fish and gets a huge smile.  This morning, I said it in both languages and his eyes went straight to the fish both times. It’s working!!!!

A friend of mine (thanks Danny B) found this great article today and it just reiterated everything I believe in and the reason why Nat and I started Professor Pocket. The business is going through a tough transition, and this article reinforces why we should be super successful one day.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_med_healthbeat_bilingual_tots

 

It’s never to early to learn a second language February 20, 2009

Filed under: Bilingual,Personal — Paula G, Professor Pocket and My Pregnancy @ 2:23 am
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dr-seussgoodnight-moon

Now that I have a baby I am living up to the expectation I set for myself even before I had children, which is to raise my little ones bilingually. As a business owner of a bilingual childrens’ company there is no excuse for me, my child must be bilingual! Joe and I made a pact when we found out I was pregnant, I speak Spanish and he speaks in English to the baby. So far so good. I am enjoying singing, reading and talking to Leo in Spanish so much, plus it really is great practice for me and my rusty Spanish. He loves all of the Spanish nursery rhymes that I remember from my childhood, and I have found some classic books in Spanish to share with him as well. Not only that, he is already at 2 1/2 months a huge Professor Pocket fan! He loves the songs and music, and as soon as I can get it on film I will post him listening to his favorite song. Buenas Noches Luna…

 

Giveaway…your chance to win! October 11, 2008

Filed under: Bilingual — Paula G, Professor Pocket and My Pregnancy @ 10:37 pm
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Eating their way through Spain!

Eating their way through Spain

My business partner Nathalie has a great giveaway on her blog and I want you all to have the opportunity to win. If you love travel and food, this is the prize for you. Win a free pass to the series “Spain…on the road again” with Mario Batali and Gwyneth Paltrow. Join Mario and Gwyneth as they travel and eat their way through beautiful Spain. Just visit Nathalie’s blog and leave a comment on her post. She will select a winner at random. ¡Que disfruten!

 

A Parents’ Choice Award…woohoo!! October 3, 2008

Filed under: Bilingual — Paula G, Professor Pocket and My Pregnancy @ 6:11 pm
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I have to once again congratulate Professor Pocket and celebrate a little on our own behalf 🙂

Our second release, Our Hawaiian Hula Adventure, has won a Parents’ Choice Approved Award in the category of Audio/Storytelling. This is a huge honor for a small company like ours, as Parent’s Choice is very exclusive in the choices they make. Here is a little about the organization from their website www.parentschoice.com

“The Foundation’s purpose is to search out and recommend products that help kids grow – imaginatively, physically, morally and mentally—fairly priced products that are fun, safe and socially sound.

Parents’ Choice reviews books, toys, music, television, software, videogames, websites, and magazines for children and families of all achievements and backgrounds.

If you’re looking for a list of “Hot Toys,” you won’t find them here. Parents’ Choice recommends toys with staying power, books with honesty and integrity of characters, illustration of elegance and imagination, music that families can sing together, storytelling that teaches us lessons from lands and cultures close and far away, magazines that do not mask editorial content in advertising, television that teaches with civility and not chaos, and software and videogames that encourage sharpening skills not leveling landscapes.”

As a small business out there trying to establish ourselves in the bilingual children’s market, this certainly gives us a huge boost of encouragement! Congratulations to us!

 

Start Up Nation’s 100 Home Based Businesses October 1, 2008

Filed under: Bilingual,Uncategorized — Paula G, Professor Pocket and My Pregnancy @ 5:07 pm
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Hello All,

Nathalie and I need your vote!! Professor Pocket is up for StartUp Nation’s Top 100 Home Based businesses and we’d love to get your vote to help us win.
 
Simply visit this site, click on Professor Pocket and then click Vote For Me!! It will take you seconds and will help us out! By the way, you can vote on a daily basis so add this to your browser and make a quick visit each morning!

Click here…

 

The importance of bilingual education… September 22, 2008

Filed under: Bilingual,Uncategorized — Paula G, Professor Pocket and My Pregnancy @ 10:19 pm
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So, first and foremost,  this post is in no way a political statement, I am staying neutral on my blog about that. But, I found this article online and thought it was interesting and worth sharing.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-rush-holt/why-foreign-language-educ_b_127588.html

With our company Professor Pocket, Nathalie and I are focusing on getting children interested in learning a second language at an early age when they are most likely to absorb the new language.  In addition to capturing kids’ attention, we are also trying to get parents to understand how critical it is for their children to be bilingual or even multi-lingual on a larger scale and in a bigger picture. I think this article captures that.  It goes beyond all the cognitive benefits of learning a second language (ie. children who are exposed to multiple languages often show superior problem solving and math skills, increased overall school performance, and better cross-cultural understanding) and extends to benefits that will affect your child for the rest of his/her life.

The US is so far behind in bilingual education and quite frankly it’s an embarrassment given that we are considered a leader in our global community. I think I have mentioned this before but in my travels through Europe and even South America, most people you meet will at a minimum speak their native language as well as English. Language education is not and should not be considered an extra curricular activity, it should be part of the core curriculum in our schools.

There is no denying that our worlds are shrinking and everything has become globalized. Future careers and jobs for our children will most likely require multiple language skills given the increased global economic environment we are seeing. I am happy to see conversations on the topic starting not only in the education sector but also in the political sector. So for all you parents out there who understand the importance… Professor Pocket is giving you a leg up and helping your children start the learning process early on and in a way that they will find fun and engaging!

 

Becoming a new mommy and bilingual babies… August 14, 2008

Filed under: Bilingual — Paula G, Professor Pocket and My Pregnancy @ 1:07 am
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I wrote this blog for the Mommy 4-1-1 site and thought I’d share it here as well….

I am 23 weeks pregnant with my first little one. I have to say it was a bit of a surprise to find out we were pregnant. My husband and I were in the stage of starting to talk about it when VOILA on a vacation to South Beach I realized it had already happened. We felt lucky to have been able to get pregnant so easily and I have had a wonderful pregnancy thus far. I love watching my belly grow, and the baby is getting big enough where now I can actually see my stomach bounce up when he/she (we aren’t finding out!) kicks!

As the months pass and the time approaches when this little baby will enter our world, my husband and I are trying to get everything prepared. By that I am not referring to what color I want to paint the baby’s room, it’s more about what kind of parents do we want to be? How will we make sure to raise a bright, curious, cultured, socially responsible child? Top on our list is to make sure the baby is bilingual.

I was born in the Dominican Republic and spent my childhood between Los Angeles and my hometown of Santiago. During the school year I was the Americanized version of myself, and then summer would come and my entire family would pack up and get ready for Dominican. Those summers are the greatest memories I have of my childhood and I remember almost feeling like I had two lives. I rejoined my Dominican friends and Spanish once again came naturally, so much so that by the end of the summer I was thinking and dreaming in Spanish. I loved having that special experience that none of my US friends had. I loved being able to meld completely into two entirely different worlds. I want my baby to have the same multi-cultural experience, especially in this increasingly global world in which we live. The benefits of being able to speak Spanish and English are still paying off. I have been able to travel and live in multiple countries. It has made me so curious and open to the rest of the world.

I am so passionate and so determined to raise my baby bilingually that my sister-in-law Nathalie and I started a company to help other parents do the same. Nathalie and my brother Carlos are already raising their two children bilingually. We launched Professor Pocket, http://www.professorpocket.com , in 2005 and it’s been a wonderful journey. We produce Spanish/English CDs that use a combination of very funny storytelling and catchy songs to get both parents and their children excited about learning a second language. The key is to introduce the language early on. Children are little sponges, it is amazing how quickly they absorb what they hear. As a Spanish speaker my goal is to speak to the baby only in Spanish while my husband will speak in English. It may be intimidating for parents who don’t speak another language to introduce a second language to their child, but it is possible and I wanted to share my top tips for raising bilingual children….

1. Don’t be afraid!

Even if you don’t speak the second language, look for products, like Professor Pocket, that make language learning a fun and interactive process for both parents and children. As a parent you can learn along with the child.

2. Be consistent!

Make sure your child hears the new language every day, it’s the only way they will learn. Books and audio CDs are a must as well as everyday conversation.

3. Make it fun!

If it isn’t fun for you and the child, you are less likely to be consistent in your introduction. Music and stories are a great way to keep the child engaged while they learn.

4. Have no fear, your child will still learn English!

There are so many incorrect fears that introducing multiple languages will only confuse the child and delay their development of their English language skills. This is not true! Beyond becoming bilingual your child will show superior problem solving and math skills, increased overall school performance, and better cross-cultural understanding.

If you are interested in this topic here are some other sites to check out…

Bilingual/Bicultural Family Network
http://www.biculturalfamily.org

Teaching and Learning Spanish
http://www.teachinglearningspanish.blogspot.com

http://www.scrambledbacon.blogspot.com

http://www.professorpocket.com

Enjoy!