Hola! I took Spanish in high school, three years, but don't seem to really remember too much. I can pick up words here and there but sadly it didn't stick with me. B is now in first grade and luckily his school offers Spanish class once a week to all students as a special. As a parent, I know being bilingual will help my kids throughout the rest of their lives.
The most recent studies have shown that introducing a foreign language is not only important, but the earlier the better. Children's brains develop so much in the first five years of life, that introducing them to a foreign language then, is a smart choice. I know when B, S, and Baby C see and hear a foreign language, especially on television, they are quick to pick it up and reuse it later in conversation.
I was thrilled to know that MBP would be partnering with a company that focuses on teaching Spanish in a fun, new, and exciting way for kids--The Boca Beth Program.
Boca Beth was created by Beth Butler, a mom and teacher. Beth studied Spanish in junior high and high school, but also lived in Chile and Mexico as an exchange student, she then also married into a Latino family and Spanish became her second language. 13 years ago, Beth enrolled her toddler in preschool so she could be the music resource teacher for the school. She knew she had found her calling after sharing her songs, written with Spanish words to familiar songs, with the response from the students. The Boca Beth program focuses on a bilingual presentation for children ages birth to eight. Beth's goal is to share the Boca Beth program with youth using a fun and easy concept of music, movement, and creativity.
Boca is the cute puppet guide within the Boca Beth program. He was created as the language instructor in 2002 and can speak Spanish and English. He can be found in the DVDs and in the learning book. Boca also can be found as a 7 foot tall mascot that travels with Beth to schools, community events, and more.
Check out this video of Beth and Boca to learn a bit more:
I worked directly with Beth and she is fantastic. She was in constant contact with me to make sure I would have all the information and products I needed. You can tell how much she loves her company and sharing it with others even without meeting her face to face, her enthusiasm and knowledge is completely evident in all she does.
To get started, Beth sent our family the Boca Beth Beginner Backpack full of goodies and ready to be explored by all three of the kids. The label is bright and colorful and of course features Boca. The kids were immediately drawn to the package and curious to know more.
Since B can read, he knew something to do with Spanish would be inside. He loves making connections with things in his life outside of school, to things he does inside of school. This was one of those times where he couldn't wait to see what he might already know.
Carefully labeled so that nothing can be damaged in shipping. I love that companies take extra care to make sure their products arrive safe and sound for their customers.
Inside our package we found all of this cool stuff from Boca Beth
- The white page was a letter from Beth introducing the company to me. Boca Beth is helping empower young children to learn Spanish and English by providing tools to parents and teachers that is fun, easy, and affordable.
- The orange page was a list of the Award winning Boca Beth products, including some that would be inside our package.
- The small brown item is Beth's business card with all of her contact information. This is great to keep on hand for any questions that may arise.
- The yellow page is more of a "How To" Guide for the Boca Beth program. This guide was filled with helpful information about the company, its goals, and ideas for using the Boca Beth products.
Then we got to this. This is the Boca Beth Beginner Backpack. It retails on the site for $39.99 and includes an array of products including: My First Songs in Spanish music CD, I Like Animals bilingual DVD, and a language learning activity book, all inside a great little clear backpack.
Beth also included two maracas and an egg shaker so each kiddo could have their own. Of course pink for S, blue for B and purple for Baby C. These are available for $3.49/2 shakers and come in variety of color options. They are durable and safe for all ages.
S immediately was drawn to the Boca Beth Coloring and Activity Book.
This book retails for $4.99 on its own and is filled with 43 pages of fun. The first page features Boca saying hi or Hola! S loves the word Hola and already had it in her vocabulary. She quickly colored Boca and practiced the letters of Hola to learn how it is spelled.
I love that every word inside the book is in both English and Spanish. We have not only used the book as a coloring book, but we read through the whole book every time and read each word in both English and Spanish. S has quickly picked up a handful of new words just from the book alone. There are words for food, family life, toys, colors, numbers, shapes, and more. This is a great, great, product and I would highly recommend it to anyone.
The next item in our backpack was My First Songs in Spanish CD
All three kids LOVE music and dancing. This CD, which retails for $9.99 is a huge hit. Beth has done a great job creating catchy lyrics to familiar tunes. She has incorporated over 100 words and 30 phrases in the CD in both English and Spanish. Our favorite song (maybe not B's) is #7, Beso es un Kiss. S is all about love and so is this song. She has really caught on to all the lyrics and asks for the CD over and over again. Baby C likes to bounce around and I know she is hearing the words too. B catches quite a bit of things he knows and likes to point out what he hears. This CD is great for all ages and is tons of fun.
Check out these moves and singing
The last item in our backpack was the I Like Animals DVD
This DVD is a great addition to our collection and is filled with over 125 words and 75 phrases in both Spanish and English. The DVD retails for $11.99. The kids seem to respond well to the video and like that Boca not only says the words, but they are written on the screen too. There are also music videos to go along with many portions of the DVD, which I think the kids like the most. I feel like the DVD is helpful but not as attention keeping as the CD, especially for S and Baby C.
The Boca Beth program has really kept the kids attention and I feel they are definitely learning from all aspects of the Beginner Backpack. The CD and shakers are our favorite part, it keeps the kids up moving and dancing while still hearing and learning. We will continue to use the Boca Beth program in our daily homework lessons and especially over the summer when we look for additional educational fun.
**Check out this important information too**
Boca Beth suggests five key strategies for starting your child's second language learning experience.
- Start the second language early
- Did you know that the most recent research suggests starting at birth and really emphasizes the first five years of life as the most optimum time to introduce languages to a child? A study out of Texas states that five languages up until the age of five can be learned simultaneously to one child. I personally encourage playing music CDs during a mom’s pregnancy and then talking to your baby from the moment of birth in two or more languages if possible. If you and your family speak only language then begin introducing a new language with bilingual music CDs and DVDs
Look for a bilingual language learning series that provides you and your child with the following four components:
- visual cues (in the form of a DVD, board book or language cards)
- music fun (in the form of bilingual music CDs and/or DVDs with music incorporated throughout the informal language lessons)
- beginning reading (in the form of board books, language cards and/or computer software/games)
- verbal exchange (in the form of DVDs that prompt occasional responses from your child, friends who speak the target language and/or computer software that allows for verbal acquisition)
- All four components are necessary for a well-rounded and fun language program. Always keep in mind that you should not be required to have second language experience or a teaching degree to use these products you choose during your daily routine.
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
- Repetition is the key for all the learning that takes place with your child. Think back to how you learned to speak English. Your parents pointed things out to you and said the word for those items again and again in English. Now, as a parent and a teacher, you can not only provide the English word, but you can also begin to introduce the new language word for that same item. Saying the words in both languages – side-by-side – provides a point of reference for the child and allows language acquisition to continue in the native language while learning a new language. This format is referred to as a bilingual format and is one of the best methods to use with young children ages birth – five.
Have Fun and Be Patient
- Try to never force the new language learning on your child. Gently guide your child along this second language journey. Your child may not verbalize for months in the new language. Keep in mind that your child’s brain is processing all of this information, wiring it for later language learning. Show a high level of confidence yourself. Even if you do not speak the target language well you are your child’s best teacher. Surround yourself with great tools to bring the learning to life and then remember that smiling works wonders with kids!
Show your child that you respect other cultures and value the ability to speak other languages.
- Make a point to attend multi-cultural events that bring to life the food, music, dance, arts and people of other cultures – reinforcing to your child that English is not the only language important to their future travels in our global society and that the United States is only a small part of a big and beautiful world! We are our children’s role models. If you show that others are important to you and that you value what they stand for and what they represent, then your child will also show respect for those people and the things important to them.
Want It? Buy It!
Ready to start your child's second language journey? Visit Boca Beth to shop and place your order, all orders include free shipping within the US. By using the code BLOCK, you can enjoy 25% off all products on the web site's store. You can also follow Boca Beth on Twitter or like Boca Beth on Facebook for updates, photos, information, and more. Find Boca Beth on YouTube for a large assortment of videos on all things Boca Beth. You can also follow the Boca Beth Blog and see even more interesting information.
Want It? Win It!
One MBP reader will win a Boca Beth Beginner Backpack. Just use the Rafflecopter entry form below to enter to win. Remember- if the entry field appears in BOLD, it's mandatory.
Thanks so much to Boca Beth!
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