Raising a bilingual child is well…a lot harder than it should be.
From the get-go, M. and I have always determined that our children will be bilingual in Russian and English. He would speak primarily Russian and I would speak primarily English (though I am actively learning Russian and try to speak a little of it every day). With Yoda not quite talking yet (though I’m told it’s nothing to be concerned as long as he’s babbling and saying a couple of words), it’s becoming a challenge.
You see, since I work from home, I’m with Bear during the day. When he starts day care soon (more on that in a later blog post), he’ll primarily hear English. That means, the only way he’ll hear any Russian is via M. So we came up with a solution.
Let me introduce you to Exhibit A: Hugo.
He’s one of my many Russian cartoons Bear watches on a daily basis. We’re doing full-blown immersion. It also helps Mommy as well!
Exhibit B: Barney (I actually like and prefer Barney in Russian. I don’t know why he gets such a bad rep.)
Exhibit C: Thomas the Train (though the theme song doesn’t have the same cuteness as it does in English)
We also have Russian children’s books though Bo is more interested in tossing them than actually learning from them.
And of course, we’ve downloaded a few apps on Bear’s iPad for him to learn. So far those have been a hit.
My concern is to have my son and our future children know and understand there’s more to them than just one language and one culture, even though they’ll probably be viewed as Black children. It wouldn’t hurt them growing up being fluent in several languages. Maybe one day, I can catch up. 🙂