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Welcome to The Cultured Kid's Blog

AMANDA BLAKLEY ON RAISING CULTURED KIDS

You’re a mama and adventurer at heart but you’re also an entrepreneur, can you tell us what your day-to-day might look like?

As an entrepreneur (and mom) days are sometimes unpredictable. Atticus started senior kindergarten this year, so it’s been a whole new stage with him out of the house all day! I usually walk him to school in the morning and then pop back home to spend some time with little Archie before he heads off to a program or play date with our amazing caregiver.

His mornings out buy me time to respond to emails, take a meeting or fit in a workout.

My business partner and I met at nursery school pick-up/drop-off two years ago – the boys are now at different schools but on a similar schedule, so we tend to meet in the mornings to discuss design ideas for future collections, check in with our sewers or powwow at the fabric showroom for design inspo.

If I’m not attending an event, I will often grab lunch on the go or use that time to eat with a...

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HOW TO CREATE A BILINGUAL ACTION PLAN

Creating a Bilingual Action Plan

Last year I spent a relaxing week in Bali with my husband. We were so excited to go and take some time off and decided during the week to explore Seminyak so we’d hired a car and were planning to drive to the beach as it was only a short distance from our hotel. It seemed simple enough. There was only one small flaw in our perfect plan. After driving what seemed to be in circles for over 30 minutes we realised that we really didn't know HOW to get there. We needed a map. As we hilariously learnt (and really should have already known), reaching your destination is always a million times harder when you don’t know where you’re going.

The same applies to teaching your child a second language! You already have a goal, for your child to fluently speak another language. This is a really great start. However one of the most important things you need is a plan to help you get there.

Starting on a language learning journey can often...

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8 TIPS ON HOW TO TEACH YOUR CHILD A LANGUAGE AT HOME.

Raising a child to be bilingual can be an intimidating task, particularly if you’re not fluent in the second language.

Many parents are fearful of incorrectly pronouncing the vocabulary, or not being able to speak in the proper sentence structure and choose to hold off introducing a language until the child is old enough to go to school. The only problem with this approach is that the best time to teach a language is before the age of 7 when a child’s brain is hardwired to learn one, or two or more languages!

If this sounds a little like where you’re at, rest assured, you’re not alone. There are many barriers that can stop you from taking your first step, particularly if you are a monolingual family. Here are a few tips to help you take the leap and introduce a second language today.

  • Start Slowly.

Taking this approach is best, particularly if you haven’t introduced a language before, plus it will be fantastic for your confidence to get some...

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SYDNEY WITH KIDS - CITY GUIDE

Sydney might be our backyard but with a city as vast and beautiful as this one, there’s always a million and one new places to discover, especially when you’ve got a tribe full of little ones to entertain! To help you find some of these hidden treasures we chat with Sydney mama and photographer Bel Pangburn (@belpang), about her favorite spots to go on kid-friendly adventures with her little girl, Sunday (3).

WHAT ARE THE BEST PLACES IN SYDNEY TO…?

HANG OUT AFTER PRESCHOOL / SCHOOL?

We don’t usually get home til 5:30-6pm so its straight into dinner, bath and bed. On our days at home, we wander down to Clovelly Beach for an afternoon paddle and play.

GO ON A SATURDAY?

We either head for the beach or take a CBD adventure, but always brunch first!

HAVE A FAMILY DINNER OUT?

Three-year-olds are the best for taking to dinner… we’re a pair who loves to brunch. Our brunch favs are Bread & Circus or Mecca in...

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NEW ITALIAN IMMERSION LANGUAGE SCHOOL IN SYDNEY

When my kids were really little, we introduced them to the French language through informal community classes, regular engagement at home and videos found on YouTube. For their toddler years, this was great and served as a wonderful foundation for the language, however, when the time came to send them to school, our language options were drastically reduced.

We live in Sydney, and while there are many schools that do offer in-school language instruction, most kids only have one language to choose from and if it’s not the one you have introduced, it gets tricky maintaining it. Unfortunately for our kids, we didn’t have the option to continue with French as the kid's school only teaches Italian.

While it may be a while before we start to see schools introduce multiple languages in schools, I am excited to see that there has been an increase in the introduction of full immersion language schools – which would make a huge difference in how quickly a...

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THE ULTIMATE ‘PARIS WITH KIDS’ GUIDE

Travelling the world can be one of the most extraordinary experiences when you are young however studies show that taking holidays abroad WITH your children not only recharge your batteries but have significant benefits on their development.

I can’t wait to share with you today’s guest post from Filipa Pinto of LeToboggan as she shares some of her favourite child-friendly places to visit in her childhood home of Paris.

Rediscovering Paris through a Child’s Eyes

This year we holidayed in Europe. What a busy time! We travelled through Italy, France and also stopped by London. My family lives in Paris so it was fantastic for the children to catch up with their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Paris is very dear to me as it is the city I grew up in and where my family still lives. Naturally, this is where we spent most of our time. Our two children who are 4 and 3 have been learning French and Spanish so our trip was...

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LANGUAGE FLASHCARDS FOR KIDS

One of the best ways to introduce a language to a child is through the use of real-life items that will capture the attention of your child. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to use these items regularly which is why the addition of flashcards as a teaching tool is incredibly important.

As we teach our children a second language, it is important to remember that each child will learn in different ways. The use of flashcards takes this into account and are an important tool not only for visual but kinesthetic learners as well.

When buying flashcards or even creating your own, keep in mind that they need to be engaging for all children. Colors are important and make an impact on visual learners.

In taking steps to introduce each flashcard, it is important to show your child the flashcard picture first coupled with the correct pronunciation of the word. Once the child has made the connection with the sound to the picture, it is then best to show the text of the word....

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LANGUAGE SKILLS LINKED TO CAREER SUCCESS LATER IN LIFE.

The first five years of life are critical to learning and development. Your child’s brain develops faster than at any other time in their life. This is when the foundations for learning, health and behaviour throughout life are laid down. It should be no surprise then to hear that there has been a significant increase in the introduction of languages in the early learning years, with studies revealing that the best time to learn a language is before the age of 7.

Not only does the introduction of languages benefit a child’s development significantly, but it might also determine their level of career success later in life.  In the US, for example, demand for bilingual employees has more than doubled between 2010 and 2015.

Research reveals that there is a growing demand for bilingual talent in major industries in the United States. The report shows that employers increasingly desire workers who speak multiple languages,...

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TEACHING 2 LANGUAGES AT THE SAME TIME

Ever wondered the best method of introducing a language to your child? This week, the ABC’s Richard Glover interviewed Dr Karen Mattock, Senior Lecturer in Lifespan Development at the University of Western Sydney. In this interview, she shared a little of the research her team has uncovered around the best methods of language acquisition for infants. It’s definitely worth the listen!

You can listen to the full interview here: 

 
 

If you want to introduce your child to a language but don’t know where to start, why not come and join The Cultured Kid Community and come and talk to parents who are already doing that very same thing!

If you want a step by step program that will give your child a head start in life, check out our Parents Program in either French or Spanish. These play-based programs are a great tool to build on the foundations of a language for your child – while having plenty of fun at the very...

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70 FRENCH SONGS FOR PRESCHOOLERS

One of the most commonly asked questions in our community is ‘Where on earth do I find resource to help my child learn a language?!’

When starting your child down the bilingual journey, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin, especially if you don’t speak the target language yourself. Studies have shown that the best way to engage a child in a language is through high levels of exposure. Whether this is through an immersive preschool program that your child attends, regular conversation with a bilingual family member or even through watching television or listening to music, exposure is a key tool to language acquisition.

A 2016 study at the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institute found that musical experiences in childhood can actually accelerate brain development, particularly in the areas of language acquisition and reading skills. Chances are, if you have a preschooler you would know that not only...

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