Keeping Traditions Alive Essay

Your children will have no problem learning English and adapting to the culture of the country they live in because they are immersed in it.

Advantages of being bilingual

Keeping your culture and language alive at home will reinforce in your children a sense of identity and will build their self-esteem. Children benefit from learning to value their roots and their culture. Children must be taught that we are all different and that differences must not only be accepted but also celebrated and that their culture and language is something they have to take pride in. One way of helping children appreciate diversity is to teach them about different cultures and that all of them are different but equally important and valuable. Respecting others begins by respecting ourselves and our heritage.

When children can communicate with their grandparents and their extended families who can only speak their home language family bonds are strengthened. Immigrants who maintain their cultural and linguistic connections with their country of origin from an early age learn to speak English better and adjust more easily to their new culture.

Every day the population in the United States is more diverse and speaking more than one language will open doors for your children in the future. People who are bilingual have a great advantage over people who only know English. Keeping their home language will give your children more and better opportunities for studying, working, traveling and succeeding in their professional life.

What scientific studies tell us

Multiple neurological studies demonstrate that people who are bilingual from an early age can concentrate more easily, are better at multitasking and develop Alzheimer and dementia later than people that are monolingual. Dr. Ellen Bialystok, professor of psychology at the University of York in Toronto tells explains that bilingual people exercise certain parts of the brain more than people who only speak one language. The most recent studies have discovered that adults that know two or more languages, especially those who learned a second language before they turned 5, have a denser grey matter in the left hemisphere of the brain, where language and communication abilities are controlled.

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Categories Latino Parenting

This post contains a partial outline/overview of the introductory section of the chapter on “Holidays and Traditions” in Homepreschool and Beyond.

Remember, we have only ONE WEEK to make sure that all of our traditions/fun baking and craft ideas get done this year. Can you believe it?!

Christians need to reclaim the territory of our spiritual heritage. The onus lies on us, as Christian parents, to entrust our children with the true significance of these special occasions. Our celebrations must be distinctive, for the sake of our children and of a Christ-less world.

        -Ann Hibbard, Family Celebrations: Meeting Christ in Your Holidays and Special Occasions

We are a very “tradition-based” family come Christmas time. We tend to do the same activities in pretty much the same way every year. I think we all know that traditions are important (especially for little children), but have you ever taken the time to think about why?

-Traditions are about “the main thing”: building relationships. “Traditions help us strengthen our relationship to God, our families, and our children. They help us remember what is truly important.”

-Traditions provide security: In today’s world, children need to know that life at home continues pretty much the same as always. As much as possible, our homes should be havens from the troubled world around us. This is important to children of all ages.

-Traditions are part of our family identity and culture; they reveal who we are, where we belong, what is important to us, and what is unique about us.

-Traditions provide continuity between the generations, and they are a source of family memories and stories.

-A year is a long time for preschoolers, who depend on holidays to make sense of the passage of time. The book, Over and Overby Charlotte Zontolow  is a great book to help preschoolers understand the order of the seasons and the holidays (we skip over the two pages about Halloween.)

-Traditions allow us to make Bible stories and the history of our country come alive

– Traditions are FUN!!

Here is a list of some of the traditions we are going to keep this year:

-Christmas ornaments/decorating the tree:
Every year each child gets a new Christmas ornament. I write the child’s name and the date on the bottom of it with a Sharpie pen. We try to choose ornaments that reflect something memorable that happened that year. For instance, the year they learn to ride a bike, their ornament might have a Santa riding a bike; the year they got a new pet, an ornament with a cat or dog on it, etc. In addition, each child has his/her own ornament box. When the time comes to decorate the tree, each child takes great joy in looking over his/her own special ornaments, and remembering the past years (and past Christmases). Other tree-trimming traditions: Listening to Amy Grant’s Christmas Album; taking pictures of each family member putting their first ornament on the tree; eating pizza; and later in the evening, putting in a Christmas movie (usually It’s a Wonderful Life.)

-Baking and decorating sugar cookies (a messy proposition, usually involving tons of icing and sprinkles.)

-Making daddy popcorn balls and beef jerky (another messy proposition.)

-Reading TONS of Christmas books

-We have a special Christmas book we read each night in December, called The Advent Calendar Pop-Up Book, by Meryl Doney.  Each flap reveals a little more of the Christmas story. (There is one sentence I edit for accuracy).   Although it is out of print, it’s still easy to find on Amazon or E-Bay.

-Attending our church’s Christmas Eve service.

-Making a cake on Christmas Eve, and singing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus on Christmas day.

-This year, we’re making tons of Christmas art: The boys have already been busy painting resin ornaments and Santas. In addition, I hope to get them involved in more painting, metal art, puff art, shrinky dinks, felt ornaments, paper ornaments, and more! Here are links to some of my favorite, inspirational ideas:

Kid’s Crafts from Martha Stewart 

Family Fun Magazine

Activity Village

The Artful Parent

-Traditional crafts for older kids: Orange Pomanders 

–Metal garden lanterns or candle lanterns

-Inspirations for mommy-crafts:

Better Homes and Gardens: Embroidery stitches (how-to)

Better Homes and Gardens, decorating with pinecones (and pinecone crafts)

Have fun!

~Susan

This post contains excerpts from the book,Homepreschool and Beyond”; used with permission.© 2010, 2011 Susan Lemons all rights reserved. Copyrighted materials may not be re-distributed or re-posted without express permission from the author.

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This entry was posted on December 17, 2011 at 11:09 AM and is filed under Art, Crafts, Encouragement, Family Fun, Family Life, Holidays. Tagged: Art, Crafts, Family Fun, Family Life, Holidays. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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