I am so excited to be able to offer YOU my wonderful readers, through the generosity of Oznoz, a 20% discount on your entire shopping cart through Dec 29th! They offer books, movies, and products for bilingual children of all ages in multiple languages, our beloved Persian included.
“If culture was a house, then language was the key to the front door, to all the rooms inside. Without it, he said, you ended up wayward, without a proper home or a legitimate identity.” – Khaled Hosseini (from the book And the Mountains Echoed)
I don’t think anyone can deny the benefits of having your child/children speak another language and be raised bilingual. However, this is not always easy to do. From my personal experience and reading a little bit about this topic here are my suggestions:
If both parents speak Persian, make sure that that is the only language you speak to your children at home.
Often parents worry that their children will not be able to communicate in English (or the other language spoken in your country of residence) if Persian is the only language spoken at home. To address this, I made sure to speak English with my child during play dates, on our outings, classes, and interactions with other kids. And of course your child will also hear you speak this language outside the home with others and surely pick it up. So don’t worry about this. I often see parents speak to their child in English so that they will be comfortable in preschool. But what they don’t realize is that once the child is in preschool/school, the dominant language becomes English and the child’s tendency to learn the recessive/minority language (Persian in this case) diminishes greatly and teaching them becomes a struggle. Planting the seed of Persian language in them from infancy is key to success. However, if you are already past this stage, it’s time to throw in the towel. JUST KIDDING!! The key is not to give up!
If one parent is non-Persian speaking, allow the child to speak to that parent in English (or whatever language the other parent speaks), but make sure that your child speaks to you in Persian. Try to stick with it. Consistency is key!
Form a playgroup with Persian speaking children or parents. For the child to be surrounded by the language is important and shows them that there are uses for the language you insist that they learn.
Read them books in Persian. Start from birth! Reading is one of the most effective ways of teaching your children. If you do not know how to read Persian, I suggest you translate some of your favorite stories to Persian for them.
If your child watches TV, let them watch Persian cartoons. (GLWIZ has a free app for smart phones http://www.glwiz.com/player.aspx and I let my kids watch the cartoon channel)
Sing! Add some hand movements, and dance to make it interactive.
Ultimately the best way to learn the language is to be in the environment. A visit to Iran would surely boost their language and enthusiasm for it. I have yet to make this happen with all three children
Flashcards are a great way to start with smaller words.
Sometimes pretending that the grandparents don’t know any other language other than Persian can “force” the kids to tap into their Persian vocabulary and use their skills.
Here’s a recent study that came out that shows the benefits of bilingualism:
Happy Halloween! Here are just some of the decorations I made for the halloween party we had. Wishing you, and your kids a safe and happy Halloween!
Starting from top left:
A spooky tree the kids and I made with brown recycled wrapping paper and some paint and fake leaves (you can use real ones too)
The purple cake is my talented friend’s creation. Mina baked a fabulous layered chocolate peanut butter cheesecake with handmade, homemade edible decorations. The 5 ghosts represent my family. How cool is that?! This layer on layer of awesomeness was not only a work of art to gape at, but was a party in my mouth, and later jelly on my hips
Carved venomous spider pumpkin
Wall decorations (I used black disposable tablecloths on the walls and hung haunted mansion-style changing portraits)
My Cleopatra face (with fake bangs I bought from a beauty supply store)
Some wall/table decorations
Another pumpkin the kids and I had fun carving. We bought plastic fangs you could insert into your pumpkin.
My brownie coffins with chocolate skeleton dessert
Blood candles (I melted red candle on plain white candles)
My favorite added touch had to be the fake body under the garage door! This had my youngest yelling “Daddy dead” and running to the garage to look for the rest of his father. Oops! For this, I took some old jeans, stuffed them with plastic and placed some shoes at the end. I also used Caution Tape on the garage door.
Spider webs with plastic black spiders on them
Foam tombstone decorations purchased as a package from Walmart on the lawn
I recently picked up a box of these chocolates at Costco after sampling them there and what a mistake! Not only because, well, I shouldn’t really be indulging in chocolate anyways. It doesn’t do anything for my waistline, but also it’s full of unnecessary chemicals and newer questionable ones that I’ve never even heard of!
It seems that even the red m&m on the wrapper was warning me to stay away! The second ingredient listed is PGPR. What the hell is PGPR and why is it in my chocolate? Shouldn’t chocolate really just be a few ingredients (chocolate, cocoa powder, cocoa butter, and sugar)?
With the kids back in school, and the seasons shifting, we are bound to welcome the cold and flu into our homes again through our little carriers, our children. So I thought I’d share some of my favorite remedies to help ease the pain while the cold/flu runs its course. Disclaimer: I am not an M.D. (although as a Persian Momma I often do take that role and dispense unwanted free medical advice (which has happened to prove great so far!)).
For common colds/flu and associated coughs and even croup (khoroosak خروسك) here are my four favorite products that I always have on hand:
If you’re like me, and many other parents, every weekday you’re faced with the daunting question of “What do I pack for lunch?” So here are the few lunches from the first week of school. I forgot to take a picture of the other two lunches which included a cream cheese sandwich in pita bread with a side of cut-up watermelon and another lunch that was peanut butter sandwich with whole wheat bread stuffed with apple slices, banana, and honey. Yum!
Don’t forget to click on the pictures to enlarge them
Every now and then I also like to include a little note in my children’s lunch box to remind them that they’re lunches are packed with love and how special they are to me. (Plus it’s a good and sneaky way to get your beginner reader to read!)
Here are some pictures from my son’s 3rd birthday. Yes, I made the cake and the paper bags are the goodie bags. I tried to keep the snacks as healthy as possible because the cake had enough candy and sugar to please any kid or “big kid” (as my son likes to call adults). I hope these pictures can serve as inspiration. They are definitely not done by a professional baker, but somehow I’ve been appointed as the family cook, and pastry chef by process of elimination Enjoy and feel free to leave me comments and questions!