On my bedside table (and, in my Feedly) – part 7

books libros reading espanolita bilingual parenting bilingualism(Photo via Sharon & Niki McCutcheon, Flickr Creative Commons)

“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines who you will be when you can’t help it.”

– Oscar Wilde

Periodically here on the blog I share with you what I’ve been reading lately, both in the way of books (on my bedside table) and blogs (in my Feedly). Hope you find something that grabs your interest. Happy reading! Unconditional ParentingI referenced Alfie Kohn’s provocative book in the last blog post on positive reinforcement and language development. I highly recommend this book to any and all parents. Kohn challenges the conventional approach to parenting (in the United States in the past 30 years) through a critique of punishments (time out), rewards (positive reinforcement), and their ultimate effect on children. I also appreciate his acknowledgement in the appendix (which I’m reading now) that the idea of unconditional parenting will look different depending on ethnicity, socio-economic status, and culture/country.

The Whole Brain Child – I first heard about this book from friend and fellow blogger, Emily from The Orange Slate. Written by two pediatricians who approach parenting from a neuroscience perspective, this book seeks to help you understand the developing brain of young children and consequently better understand their behavior. I particularly like the notion of “engage, not enrage” (responding to a child right brain to right brain). Another insightful and highly recommended read for all parents.

Top 10 Montessori Principles for Learning – Are you new to the Montessori educational philosophy? This is a great overview of what it entails. D. and I are rethinking our home space so that it better accommodates our 15-month old E. and so that it stimulates and facilitates her learning at home. I especially love #7 and #8.

What learning 20 languages taught this polyglot– This article addresses the misconception that in order to be considered bilingual an individual must speak a language perfectly. My favorite quotation from the article: “If the standard of speaking a language is to know every word — to feel equally at home debating nuclear fission and classical music — then hardly anyone is fluent in their own native tongues.”

Video of confessions of moms from around the world -How do culture and geography affect motherhood? This is a fascinating five-minute video.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – British writer C.S. Lewis is one of my favorite authors. He is most known for his writings on Christian thought and apologetics, as well as for his children’s series The Chronicles of Narnia. The second in that series, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, is a wonderfully fantastical story for children, as well as a beautiful analogy of the life, death, and resurrection of the Biblical Christ. I read this during Lent in preparation for Easter.

The Prodigal God -This book by Reformed Christian philosopher/theologian and minister Tim Keller provides a radically new look at the famous parable of the prodigal son from the New Testament. While most people think “prodigal” means wayward or rebellious, it actually refers to a person who is wastefully or recklessly extravagant. Keller’s book gives an interpretation of Jesus’ teaching that focuses on the father, not the younger of the two sons, in the story.

Why being outside (in nature) is good for your kids – Spring has sprung here on the East Coast of the United States! That means lots more time outdoors for little E. and me. I’ll leave you with this thought from the post: “Maybe we need to do less of the scheduled stuff and allow our children to spend more time letting their brains relax in nature.”

What have you been reading lately? I’m always looking for recommendations, so drop me a line!

2 thoughts on “On my bedside table (and, in my Feedly) – part 7

  1. Hi Españolita! I’m new here, but very much enjoying your blog. I’m married to a Puerto Rican and we have a 3yo little girl. We recently switched from a wildly inconsistent OPOL (with me as majority language speaker staying at home with her) to Spanish as our family language because we’ve realized that her English is much stronger than her Spanish & we need to make serious changes if we want her to be bilingual. At any rate, I’m enjoying reading your perspective as a mama raising a child in a non-native language. I LOVED the post from the polyglot, and especially the quote you pulled out. It seems like languages draw out this quest for perfection and the desire to classify others’ abilities. I often hear of people seeking to define what “bilingual” means (hint: it’s in the dictionary, lol), and discuss whether or not one “thinks” in the second language or just translates so fast they don’t quite realize they’re doing it. It all seems silly to me. Anyway, I really enjoyed that article.

    I also have a question. Do you know of any resources for a fluent Spanish speaker to refresh grammar and fill in a few gaps of her Spanish education? Specifically, I’ve never learned to conjugate vosotros and would like to and I’d also like to learn all of the rules of accents. I don’t remember ever learning the drujula and the other types of words that my husband talks about. I don’t usually make many mistakes with accents, but knowing the “why” is important to me. That and just ways to increase vocabulary. I’ve started maintaining a vocab notebook (though I’m now questioning if this is the best manner) again with words that come up in reading our kiddie books or doing preschool learning. I’ve been thinking about also reviewing synonyms, particularly to verbs. Anyway, any advice you have or resources you know of would be great. Thanks!


    • Hi! So sorry for the delayed response. I’m so glad you stopped by the blog, and thanks for sharing a bit about your family.

      I’ve been thinking a lot about your question regarding a Spanish grammar book b/c I also want one, but don’t have anything currently. I will ask a few people and will get back to you.

      Your other techniques of keeping up the language are GREAT! I also have a mini notebook to jot down words; I also write new words on flashcards and tape them to the insides of my kitchen cabinets so whenever I open them I am hit with the words.

      I’ll be in touch,


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