How Ali is Teaching Her Kids Spanish to Expand Their World

Ali is a mom of 3 living in California who had only learned Spanish at college.

Sadly since leaving, she hasn't spoken the language since but since having her 3 kids, she really wanted to expand her kids worlds and connect them to those who were different from them. 

Listen to how Ali introduces the Spanish language with ease and has her kids starting to speak the language from their very first week!

 Prefer to read the transcript of Ali's story? Keep scrolling to see how so moves forward!

My name is Ali Mooney. I have three kids. A six year old girl, a three year old boy and a one and a half year old boy, I started learning Spanish in high school, just have always loved it. I feel like it's a similar experience with a lot of people. You graduate high school, if you do it in college grade or not, basically you stop using it. If you're not directly immersed in that language.

So I've forgotten a tonne, but I decided this summer, my girl is about to start first grade and I homeschooled her for kindergarten. And she's about to go into first grade. So I decided like this summer we're going to just dive all into language. That's going to be what we're working on all summer long and then to build that foundation and then we can use it as the school year starts up again.

Language has just been important for us. It creates empathy pretty immediately. It allows you to connect to people that are different than you. It helps their brain in many other ways, besides just literally knowing another language, it helps them have more, I feel like creative reasoning and I feel it makes it makes them more curious humans .

In the United States where we live. It's just an undervalued skill where I feel like other cultures, other countries it's kind of assumed, you know, at least two languages. And I feel like that is one thing that's really lacking in our culture.

I just had to choose to just go for it because I realized what had been holding me back. The last few attempts was insecurity. So I decided I'm like, 'you know what this summer we're, I'm just going to go for it'.

Not be embarrassed or not care that I don't know everything and hope that they know that I'm trying and that having another language would be great. And so I just kind of had to decide and not look back. My kids, they don't have any insecurities or anything about it cuz they're kids. They don't, they don't think that way. That's me with all my adult baggage.

You know, they have such a natural interest. Both of them, my six and my three year old memorize things like those videos, they memorize it really quickly. My six year old memorizes it and understands the meanings really quickly. But my three year old memorizes the words, even if he doesn't remember that 'Oso' means bear. He he's like coloring and he's singing, you know, one of our Spanish songs that are in our playlist or just repeating 'que accion es esta' ? Like in the video, they've been super excited, love it.

They have the cutest little accents, I would say within a couple days they have, and were using those phrases, but they love the videos of kids and animals doing the actions and the words and, and the coloring sheets surprisingly have kept their attention because they remember the video, we talk about it, we sing about it. And so when I'm trying to make dinner and I throw a, you know, 'Bailar' coloring sheet at them, they're like, oh, I've seen this girl before and it works out great.

You can do, you know, 10 minutes a day or you can do one day a week of 30 minute lessons or how you gave those two options. So that I didn't have to think about it because as a mom, you're very limited brain power left over to think, oh how should I organize these lessons? So I really like to do this. You could do this, you could do this. And then also for me, just, I think cuz of my homeschool, I was like, or I could just do whatever I feel like is going to engage in the most based off of their, their, all their emotions for that day.

So I, I like how each lesson is so achievable so I could do the video and a worksheet in a day or if they're just really not having it, we just listen to the book in the car. I feel like, I feel like there's always a way to get a little bit in each day for my age. Kids is perfect. I told my husband like, this is exactly what we've been looking for. Short little lessons already, all laid out for us. They're doing all the thinking for us. So we're super thankful and it's been going so well and my kids I'm I'm so pleasantly surprised at how much they love and are receptive. And I hope that it means that they would be so super interested in learning more languages in the future.


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