Language Stars Programs {$500 Giveaway}

(Disclosure: This is a sponsored post but all opinions are my own.)

When I was in Junior High and High School I took Spanish classes. It was required to take either Spanish or French and so I sat through 6 years of it. I learned some vocabulary words and phrases but found that learning this second language was hard for me.

Looking back, I now know that the reason it was probably so difficult was because once a person hits puberty the brain changes and makes learning another language harder. If I would have learned it when I was younger I would have probably picked it up a lot quicker. I love that Language Stars has classes for young children to learn another language because kid’s brains are like sponges and they are at the right ages to learn a new language.

Language Stars currently has Summer programs going on that provide an opportunity for increased language exposure through a variety of fun outdoor and indoor activities to reinforce the language. I think that’s what I love most about these classes. They make learning another language fun! Children won’t be sitting there going over vocab flashcards the way I learned in school. They also have different options to work for your family’s schedule. They offer 5 day camps, half day options, and one day classes.

Learning doesn’t end after Summer. Language Stars offers programs during the school year like Parent and Tot classes, Kids only classes, and Foreign Language Blasts. The “blasts” are one time immersion classes with a fun theme that will get the kids excited about learning another language.

Language Stars offers a free trial class so you can check out the program before committing to a full class or program. I’m also excited to offer a great giveaway for $500 worth of Language Stars classes {and extremely jealous that I can’t enter myself}! Enter the giveaway by completing the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Has your child ever taken a 2nd language class? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comment section below.

6 Tips To Encourage Language Development

The following is a guest post by Dr. Jenn Berman, author of SuperBaby:

It has been shown that the sheer number of words spoken to a child is directly proportionate to the size of her vocabulary. However, this applies only to direct conversations you have with your child. The words she overhears from television, videos, radio, or other conversations do not count.

While the techniques recommended below were developed for children who are having trouble learning language, they are beneficial for any child. When using any of these methods, avoid seeming to correct your child’s language which can discourage language use.

Technique: Modeling
Description: Model the correct word your child is trying to say without correcting her.
Example: Child says, “Baba!” while pointing to bottle. Dad then says, “Would you like your bottle?”

Technique: Self-talk
Description: Describe what you are doing, thinking, feeling, seeing, or hearing.
Example: “Now I am putting your dirty clothes into the hamper. I want to make sure they are clean for the next time you want to wear them.”

Technique: Parallel talk
Description: Describe what your child is doing.
Example: “Shayla is putting away her toys.”

Technique: Expansion
Description: Develop a child’s utterance into a complete sentence, expanding on it without changing the order of the words or intended meaning.
Example: Child says, “Mommy eat.” Mom then says, “Yes, Mommy is eating lunch with Ashley.”

Technique: Recasting
Description: Create a statement or question based upon the child’s statement while also adding new information or sharing correct pronunciation.
Example: Child says, “You shirt is lellow!” and then dad replies, “Yes, my shirt is yellow!”

Technique: Extension
Description: Add information to a topic your child has initiated without necessarily modeling a complete sentence.
Example: Child says, “Airplane!” then Mom says, “Big airplane high in the sky!”

SuperBaby Book Review and Giveaway

I recently had the chance to review SuperBaby: 12 Ways to Give Your Child a Head Start in the First 3 Years, a book that came out last week. SuperBaby shows parents how to take advantage of the critical first three years of their baby’s life. As a mom of a one and two year old I found a lot of useful information in this book and I haven’t even finished reading it yet!

At first I didn’t know what to expect because I wondered if the term “SuperBaby” fit what I really wanted my children to be. The press release for this book explained though that “Raising a superbaby is not about creating an überbaby: a perfect, genius who will get into all the right preschools and colleges. Instead, it is about raising a child who is empathetic, resilient, and is emotionally intelligent. It is about nurturing a baby to help her reach her full potential.” That IS what I wanted for my children so I dove into the book.

In each chapter of SuperBaby, Dr. Jenn focuses on one of twelve areas that greatly impact a baby’s development. These include respectful communication, responding to cues, creating security and predictability, the importance of touch, promoting language development, sign language, foreign language, the importance of play, reading, screen (tv) time, reducing exposure to toxic chemicals, and eating & nutrition.

I was especially interested in the chapter on language development. Dr. Jenn says that “it has been shown that the sheer number of words spoken to a child is directly proportionate to the size of her vocabulary. However, this applies only to direct conversations you have with your child. The words she overhears from television, videos, radio, or other conversations do not count.” I was happy to learn this because I talk all the time to my toddler and was told by someone that I talked “too much”.

I also read something about sharing that made perfect sense to me but that I don’t really practice that often. Dr. Jenn suggested that parents share with their children (which I already do) but that when we do so we narrate what we are doing. Saying things like “I will share my drink with you.” “Can I have a sip of your drink…we are sharing a drink!” “It’s my turn, and then it will be your turn… we are taking turns… we are sharing!” A simple idea but putting words to our actions helps a lot!

Overall, I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read in this book and look forward to reading more of it over these next few weeks (and probably years as I refer back to it). I also hope to share guest posts from the author with more tips on how we can give our young children a head start in life.

Giveaway:

One person will win a copy of the book, SuperBaby: 12 Ways To Give Your Child A Head Start In The First 3 Years

How To Enter (leave a comment below for each one):

1. Tell me why you want to win this book

2. Subscribe to Making Time For Mommy

3. “Like” Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

4. Follow @aliciamarie112 on Twitter

5. Tweet the following: “Enter to win the book SuperBaby from @aliciamarie112 at www.makingtimeformommy.com “

6. Enter another giveaway and let me know which one you entered

Giveaway ends October 15, 2010 at 11:59pm.

(Disclosure: I received a copy of SuperBaby from Sterling Publishing for review. All opinions are my own.)