Raising A Child In A Bilingual Household

Raising a Child in a Bilingual Household

If you and/or your spouse speak multiple languages, then one of the things you’ll need to decide is which ones you’ll use when speaking to your child. Many parents like the idea of raising bilingual children, but there are also those who believe it’s better to start with one language.

Here’s everything you need to know about raising children in a bilingual household, from whether it’s smart to the different ways you can do it.

raising a child in a bilingual household

Is It a Good Idea to Teach Children Multiple Languages?

This question can be answered with a resounding yes. There’s a misconception some parents have that children will become confused by hearing more than one language from an early age. In reality, children can distinguish one language from another very early on, especially when each language is much different.

The idea that children will become confused if they grow up hearing, say, English and Spanish, is a myth. The only other potential drawback people worry about is that their children could be behind when they get to preschool or kindergarten. This could happen, but it all depends on how much exposure the children get to each language. If you give them a good balance, they’ll be fine.

Now, let’s look at the benefits of learning more than one language as a kid. Being multilingual will be a huge advantage for your kid as they get older. They’ll have an easier time in school, and proficiency with another language could open up more job opportunities for them.

The idea that children can learn a language with ease is also a bit of a myth, but it’s certainly easier at a young age than it is later in life. And the best part is that by learning a second language while they’re young, children will be more likely to speak it naturally and like a native would, especially if one parent is a native speaker.

Methods to Raise Your Child Bilingually

Once you’ve decided that you’d like to raise your children bilingually, the next step is deciding how you will do it. There are several options here.

tips for raising your child to be bilingual

Each Parent Speaks One Language

This is a very popular approach for its simplicity. Children hear a different language from each parent and talk to that parent in the same language they use. With this method, each parent can use their native tongue (if those are different), which helps the children learn the language like natives would.

The potential issue is when kid interact with one parent much more than the other, in which case they’ll have far greater proficiency in one language.

One Language at Home, One Language Elsewhere

In this method, the family uses one language at home, and another language everywhere else. It’s sometimes used by immigrant families, and it’s nice because it allows everyone to speak with each other at home. Kids also get an excellent understanding of their parents’ native tongue this way.

There are two issues with this method. The first is that the kids will likely not be as proficient in their outside-the-home language, and that will put them at a disadvantage when they start school. If one of the parents only has a limited proficiency with the language spoken in the home, then they could make mistakes and cause their children to learn the language the wrong way.

Determining the Language Based on the Situation

This involves switching between each language. Children will use the language that fits who they’re speaking to and where they are. That could mean speaking one language with one set of relatives and the other with another set of relatives. Parents can also help their children learn how to do this by changing what language is spoken at home each day.

Learning this way is a bit more challenging for the children and requires more effort on the part of the parents. But it’s also a balanced approach that will help children communicate well no matter what they’re speaking.

Switching from Language to Language at Any Time

For parents who don’t want to be too rigid with how they speak, there’s this method. The family switches what they’re speaking whenever they want. Like the method above, this is a good way for children to learn how to communicate in either language, and it’s a very natural approach.

With this method, there is the possibility that children like one language more. That could lead to them using it more and not being as proficient with the other language.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to raise children to be bilingual, and the right method varies for each family. Whichever method you choose, you’ll be making the right choice in teaching your children another language from the beginning.

When to Fly to Avoid Flight Delays and Cancellations

Starting off your adventure with a canceled or delayed flight can throw a major wrench into your travel plans. During the lead up to a trip, you might find yourself worrying about the possibility that you could end up spending longer in the airport than you had originally intended.
The good news is there may be a way that you can stack the odds in your favor.  Travel sites and airlines are frequently known for keeping track of important flight data.  By using this information, you can learn a little more about the best times to schedule your flights.

Read on for tips to avoid flight delays and cancellations!

When to Fly to Avoid Flight Delays and Cancellations

The Best Times of Day for a Flight

When scheduling your next journey, one of the first things to think about is when in the day you’re going to take to fly.  In most cases, the early bird will get the worm with flight choices.  Flights that leave between 6 am and 7 am are generally the most likely to be on time.  This is because they haven’t had chance to be affected by other issues that might have appeared throughout the day.
The later in the day your flight is, the more likely it is that you’ll face a problematic “stacking effect”. One slight delay quickly becomes a huge issue, or even a cancellation. The trend for increasing flight delays continues up to 6 pm in most cases, at which point it starts to taper off again.
According to experts, even the smallest delay can cause a ripple effect causing even more delays in the future.

First thing in the morning, you’re starting with a fresh set of planes, fewer passengers, and shorter lines.  That means that you don’t have to worry as much about unexpected issues. What’s more, air traffic is lighter the earlier you fly.

 

The Best Days for a Flight

You might be surprised to learn that Saturday is one of the best days to fly according to some statistics. That may be because people prefer to start their vacation earlier in the week.  Or maybe people assume that  weekends are going to be busy, so they ensure to book throughout the week instead.
Whatever the reason, research shows us that Friday is generally the worst day to travel. Up to 30% of flights being delayed that day on average. Additionally, Friday is also the day when more flights are scheduled.  This means that there are more chances for problems with air traffic and cancellations.
Here’s your insight into which days you should choose for your next trip or vacation:
the best days to fly.png

The Best Seasons for a Flight

Importantly, the details given above can differ depending on which airline you choose to fly with.  Also, which airport you’re traveling from, and where you’re going to.  Another point to consider is the season. Although the question of which season to pick is a little harder to pin down, here are some general rules to follow:

Avoid Fridays during Summer: You already know that Fridays are the busiest day of the week for airports, but the problem becomes even worse during summer when the children are out of school and more people decide to take vacations.

Be flexible around the holidays: If you’re flying around the holiday season, remember that a lot of other people will be hoping to get home to their families too, this means that peak activity levels and prices can both begin to spike.

Travel during the low season: Finally, make sure that you always look for the low season around your destination – which is when it’s less likely to get the most visitors. This will help you to choose a more delay-free time to fly.

Looking at all the above, it seems as though the best thing you can do is travel as early as possible on a non-holiday Saturday sometime during the year. Of course, even with statistics, you can never know exactly what’s going to happen with any given airline.

Ultimately, you should always be prepared to handle the stress of a cancellation or delay, no matter how hard you try to avoid them.  Building extra time into your plans to account for delays will help too!

 

I hope these tips have helped, let me know what you think and if you have any more to share!Don’t forget to check out my tips on staying healthy while traveling with the family!

The Next Step

So, I’ve been pretty absent from my blog for a little while now.  This past week, I think its really dawned on me why.

 

This is the year of change.  It’s time to starting thinking about what the next step will be for me.

I know it’s still a pretty long way off, but Freddie starts school in September.  All of a sudden, I feel out of a job.  Right from when Arthur was born I felt like being a Mum was my actual job.  Obviously not a paid job….We’ve all seen the motivational messages about no payment, 24hours a day 7 days a week blah blah blah.

I think that largely came down to the fact that when we moved out here it was through Mark’s work.  I didn’t feel like I was really had a role of my own. Then all of a sudden I had something super important to do, raising this teeny baby.  No one ever made me feel that was the case, but it was just what was going on in my head!!

So fast forward four and a half years (yikes!) Arthur has now been in school for over a year and I know it will be a blink of an eye until Freddie is in there too.

taking the next step

I’ve always joked about how excited I am for the kids to be at school and I can spend my days as I please, as a lady of leisure.

But the truth is, I’m freaking out.

I now feel like it’s the time to do something for me, there’s no ‘excuse’ any more.

I would LOVE to be able to continue to expand with my writing.

 

But What Is The Next Step?

 

I’ve been blogging for almost 5 years now and I love it.  Ive dabbled here in there in writing elsewhere. I contributed towards a book .  I’ve written a bunch of articles for an amazing travel site called Culture Trip about all things Seychelles, and I’ve even written an article for British Airways about Romantic Travel in Seychelles 

But honestly, I don’t know what it is I need to do to push it to that next step.

Obviously I’ll have more time in the day to dedicate to writing.  So, I guess initially I need to spend more time on my blog and getting it out there.  But, I’ve written before about not liking the ‘pressure’ of blogging and I still feel the same way.  I’m not going to join things to get comments from people who are only writing so that I comment back on their posts, or anything like that!

Do I start approaching people asking if they’d want me to write for them?  I’ve never been so great at anything like that!!  Or is it better for things to just be little more organic like they have always been up to now?  I feel like I’m so out of the world of work since we lived here that I just can’t focus or pin point any direction for myself!!

 

 

I didn’t really know what direction that blog post was going to go in when I started writing that!  It kinda turned into a mini affirmation for myself.  Sorry about that!!!  I feel like I’m freaking out about the next step for myself more than I did when I left school and university, is that weird?

Of course, these two will still always be my job, and that’s the best even if they can be total monsters, wake up at crap o’clock in the morning and make mess like no one I’ve ever met!!
the next step

How to Juggle Expat Life, Family, and the Need for Sleep

How to Juggle Expat Life, Family, and the Need for Sleep

Moving to a new country poses a whole bunch of challenges. This is even more true when you are moving with your family.  The transition means uprooting almost every part of your lifestyle and routine.  This can be stressful for everyone. While the adjustment requires time and effort, adapting to the new way of life will happen sooner than you think. Follow these tips to make this monumental move smoother for you and your loved ones.

How to Juggle Expat Life, Family, and the Need for Sleep

Do Your Research Comprehensively

Avoid mistakes and mishaps through thorough preparation.  Be prepared way before you step onto the plane!  There’s all kinds of things to consider, from organising the best living conditions for your family to understanding the country’s culture.  Experts for Expats suggests that making a moving-abroad checklist is more than just a helpful hack.  It’s all about lists!

You should include the family too, find out what they want to get out of their new life abroad.  This helps reduce the load for you, and makes everyone feel included! Win win!

How to Juggle Expat Life, Family, and the Need for Sleep

Go Out and Explore

You can really only get used to a living in another country by getting out and exploring it.  The Spruce advises that spending time in your new neighbourhood and outside of it is imperative.  Familiarise yourself with the local spots, to discovering what clubs and classes you and your family might be interested in.  This will help you learn the local language, as well as immersing yourself in the people and culture.

Seeking out the expat community can really help too.  Look online for expat bloggers in the area, as well as expat groups.  If your kids are school age, this will be a perfect way to strike up social connections – for the kids and for you!

How to Juggle Expat Life, Family, and the Need for Sleep

Manage Your Family’s Stress and Sleeping Habits

Adjusting to the expat life can be overwhelming. Between being homesick and getting used to everyday life in a foreign land, it’s easy to bury yourself in all the distractions.  However, you don’t want to find yourself working too hard and depriving yourself of sleep in the process.  Leesa stresses that when you don’t get the appropriate hours of sleep, you tend to harbour a more unenthusiastic outlook towards life. Not only are your systems compromised, but you are also twice as likely to form negative memories more than positive ones. Needless to say, making sure that everyone in the family consistently gets the right amount of sleep is a top priority.

 

Stay Protected

As the old saying goes ‘health is wealth’.  Moving to a new country can really bring that into focus.  You’re in an unfamiliar environment which can definitely make you feel more vulnerable. Gain back some control by knowing which healthcare facility would serve you best should an emergency arise. Expatica underscores that looking for your medical providers via the help of your embassy will prepare you for almost any situation.  Apart from knowing your healthcare options, it’s also smart to have local emergency numbers in your directory. Being this forward thinking will definitely help lessen your healthcare worries!

How to Juggle Expat Life, Family, and the Need for Sleep

Moving Overseas? Make packing easier!

When you’re moving long distance, especially if you’re moving to another country completely, packing can be a complete headache. What do you take? What can you leave behind? How are you going to get it all done? These are just some of the questions that plague your existence as you plan the packing stage of a life-changing move. But you know what? Packing for an overseas move doesn’t have to be all that difficult.

make packing easier for moving abroad

Here are some simple tips to help you make your move easier:

 

Enlist Help

If you don’t want to go into total meltdown, then you’ll want to ask a few good friends or family members to help you out. Not only will they be able to assist you with the physical aspects of packing, but they’ll be there to help keep the kids occupied and encourage you to get rid of the unnecessary when you really don’t want to, which brings us to…

 

Declutter

If you’re living in a house that’s brimming with stuff, it’s going to be really, and I mean REALLY expensive to ship it overseas. In most cases, it just isn’t practical to take everything you own. This is why you need to get serious about your stuff.

 

Go through your house making an inventory of what you have.  Sit down and hash out what you NEED to take with you, what you would like to take, what can be left behind and what might be difficult to transport. Making Sell, Donate, Trash lists are super helpful.  Feeling organised is so empowering when you’re moving abroad.. If you plan to move back sometime, keeping your stuff in storage is also an option. Just bear in mind it might be tough convincing the kids to give up their much-loved toys!

 

Hire an Experienced Moving Company

make packing for moving abroad easier

Hiring a long-standing moving company who has experience with moving long-distance, like the ones at https://www.mybekins.com/locations/oakland-ca-movers/ , is essential if you want your stuff to reach its new destination, and in one piece. Of course, you’ll have to do your part by very carefully packing it up with lots of bubble wrap and the like to minimize the chances of it getting broken on its long journey.

 

Use Vacuum Bags

For all your clothes bedding and even soft toys, use vacuum sealed bags. They hugely reduce the amount of space these things take up. There’s some great ones at Bed Bath and Beyond.  It’s often volume as opposed to weight that you run out of first, so this really helps!  

 

Embrace Being Unburdened

make packing for moving overseas easy

 

If there’s one thing that will help make packing for an overseas move easier for you, it is embracing minimalism. There’s a certain feeling that comes with unburdening yourself of possessions you thought you’d always have that is so liberating. This makes it much easier to leave stuff behind. So, put the focus on your new life and remind yourself and the kids that you can always replace stuff if you really need to and packing should become very easy to you very quickly.

 

Good luck with your move!

 

Pulling my head out of the sand

So its been a while.  Well, longer than a while actually.

 

Every time a long school holiday comes around I make these plans that I’m going to continue blogging through the holidays….. And of course every year I never do.

It’s not like I don’t have anything to blog about, quite the opposite in fact.  Of course its during the holidays when most of our fun adventures happen so there is LOADS to write about.

But maybe thats the problem.  Too much to write about, not enough time to do it justice.

 

Then comes the overwhelm.

 

And thats when I burry my head in the sand.

 

Usually, as soon as Arthur is back in school and Mark back at work I snap out of it.  Jump straight back into blogging.

This time I didn’t.  I’m not really sure why.

 

I love blogging.

Really I do.

I don’t like some of the crap that comes with it though.

The pressure

To join blog link ups and spend hours reading and commenting on other blogs.

The pressure to then sit and write some deep and meaningful comment and worry if you don’t you may as well not comment at all because it’s then a *thoughtless comment*

 

Ugh.

 

Then there’s the pressure I put on myself. Sticking to a constant blogging routine, because if you want to be successful you MUST blog consistently and regularly.

So I make these big plans for myself, I make little blogging schedules and timetables.  Then I never fill them.  Ever.

I start to hate that I ‘have to get this blog post finished today’.  If its a sponsored post, I don’t mind because I feel like that’s productive work.  But, *having* to finish a post about a trip I made to the beach or about my kids or whatever, is on reflection ridiculous.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I know that these systems REALLY work for some people, and clearly they thrive off it and are, as promised often successful.

Pulling my head out of the sand

I’ve decided, I need to give myself a break.  Remember, why I started blogging.

  • To give my poor brain a bit of exercise after it turned to mush staying at home with kids.
  • Enjoy the community that blogging can bring.
  • To document and share our lives here in this beautiful country.
  • To remember special moments in our kids lives

 

Everything else is a bonus.  I have been lucky enough to write for some fantastic companies and I’d love to do more of that.  In the meantime I’m going to focus on really enjoying writing again, and nurturing this rather neglected little blog of mine!!  I’m officially pulling my head out of the sand, and here I am, blogging again!  When I feel like it, and whatever I want to write about!  Hopefully you enjoy it!!

Here’s a, frankly gratuitous, picture of me and the boys with the world’s largest tortoise!  He lives on Bird Island where we vistited over the summer break, I do intend on blogging about that at some point….I’m just not going to set a date on it!!

pulling my head out of the sand

 

Making home more beautiful with Abodent.com *with 10% discount for readers*

If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll know that while there are lots of amazing things about living here, shopping is not the easiest!

Yeah yeah I know, first world problems right!? But, when it comes to making a house feel like a home it’s nice to be able to shop for little things here and there! Being far away from home makes it feel even more special when you get some lovely things for the house.

Making the house more beautiful

So, I was super excited when the lovely people at Abodent.com got in touch with me and asked if I’d like to check out their products!
They describe their style as contemporary vintage.  ‘Shabby chic’ definitely springs to mind too (do people still say that??!)
I couldn’t help but pick out the starfish and seashell coat hooks, they are so perfect for our beachy life!!
I also loved the picture frames, we don’t have enough pictures up in the house so now there’s no excuse…… Now just to find the perfect picture to put in it.

adding beautiful touches with abodent.com
Very few companies ship here so it really always is so exciting for me to find companies that do!
When my box of goodies arrived I was so pleased!! Everything is so beautiful and amazing quality, the hooks are really sturdy and aren’t just going to fall apart when you hang something on them!  I am totally in love with that slightly distressed feel.

beautiful coat hooks and home accessories from abodent.com

They had been packed really well, so no damage even after travelling all this way.  It’s so upsetting than post you’ve been excited about getting damaged on the way
I actually decided that my hooks are too pretty to have a towel or something hanging off it. They need to be out for everyone to see! So I’ve put them out on our veranda to hang our mason jar solar lamps on!  It looks pretty doesn’t it!?

adding lovely touches with abodent.com

Arthur was pretty excited about the whole thing too and insisted on a picture, such a cheeseball!

adding beautiful touches with abodent.com

 

I’m really happy to share that Abodent.com are very kindly offering readers of my blog a discount for the next month.  Use Coupon code ‘Seychelles’ at the check out to receive 10% off all your orders.

A huge thanks to Abodent for sending us these lovely things and helping us make our home that much more beautiful! I’ll certainly be ordering again soon….I’ve got my eye on some of those cupboard and door knobs too!!