You are highly vested in your child’s well-being, education and success.
Why? Because you have been entrusted with a most sacred thing – a life. A life to guide, nurture and care for as he/she grows. This is no small task. After many conversations with parents and educators, it is clear we all face numerous parental challenges. Our intentions are good, but may not be enough. We might think we are prepared to help our kids with social dynamics, based on our own childhood. But do we understand how the changes in media are impacting their relationships? Their world is very different. Further, did you know that marijuana has a different chemical composition now than it did 20 years ago? How does this impact our children and their development?
This summer we are launching a Parent Education Series to address these and other challenging topics. We have scheduled engaging and dynamic speakers that will present at Sombrero Time starting in June. In the video below Ruth presents her passion behind the summer series and introduces our first two speakers.
Check out the video and details below:
Join us for the first two presentations.
Dr. Ken Logan – “The Mind of the Adolescent”
Dr. Logan will present on understanding the mind of the adolescent, how their brains are developing, how development impacts behavior and how to parent them.
Date: Wednesday, June 20th Time: 7-8:30pm Location: Sombrero Time Granite Bay Cost: $25 per person
Patty Ingram – “Drugs and your Child”
What drugs are on the street, how to talk to your child about drugs, the progression of addiction, how drugs and the law has changed since we were kids.
Date: Wednesday, June 27th Time: 7-8:30pm Location: Sombrero Time Granite Bay Cost: $25 per person
Space – Limited to 50 seats for each session.
Register – On Eventbrite. Click HERE to reserve your seats!
Last Month we started a new video series in which Ruth describes her personal journey as a “Special Ed” student with little promise of making it in school and how she overcame to become a successful entrepreneur and owner a thriving education company. If you missed part 1 or 2 of the series click the links below:
Recently we started a new video series in which Ruth describes her personal journey as a “Special Ed” student with little promise of making it in school and how she overcame to become a successful entrepreneur and owner a thriving education company. If you missed part one click the link below:
Today we continue the series as Ruth tells us about being accepted to Davis, graduating as a human development major on her way to being a teacher but still struggling to speak, let alone teach, Spanish effectively. Check out the video and provide your comments below.
How does someone go from being “Special Ed” to Developing Spanish Curriculum? As many of you know Sombrero Time develops Spanish Language Curriculum for K-6 grade students. In a previous series called “Why Sombrero Time Curriculum Works” we discussed a few features that make Sombrero Time Spanish Curriculum unique. What we haven’t done is share a bit about why we develop curriculum in the first place. In order to make it meaningful we wanted to share a little of the real life story behind founder and Spanish Curriculum developer, Ruth Finsthwait. In this new video series Ruth describes her personal journey as a “Special Ed” student with little promise of making it in school and how she overcame to become a successful entrepreneur and owner a thriving education company. In part 1 below Ruth tells us about her early school experience and being diagnosed with dyslexia.
Ruth and I are routinely asked by parents with toddlers, Pre-K & Kinder students, who are concerned about the “negative” impacts of their children being exposed to multiple languages too early. While these concerns are valid current research actually supports very early exposure to multiple languages and shows positive impact on neurological development. Babies actually seem to have an amazing capacity to adapt and recognize pattern and show accelerated cognitive skills very early on.
Today I read an article from the Seattle Times that underscores this point.
What I found even more intriguing is that research is supporting the idea that language learning happens in a social setting, ie, a class room or between groups of people. Put babies in front of TV or even recorded langauge and they learn nothing. Dr. Patricia Kuhl, co-director of the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences at the University of Washington, a leading researcher on the formation of language in babies was referenced in the Seattle Times article:
“Previous research by her group showed that exposing English-language infants in Seattle to someone speaking to them in Mandarin helped those babies preserve the ability to discriminate Chinese language sounds, but when the same “dose” of Mandarin was delivered by a television program or an audiotape, the babies learned nothing.
“This special mapping that babies seem to do with language happens in a social setting,” Kuhl said. “They need to be face to face, interacting with other people. The brain is turned on in a unique way.”
If you are a parent and have concerns about multiple language exposure with your child please consider what current research is showing. You may be providing them a great opportunity to advance their cognitive and language development skills during a very short window of time.
To read the full Seattle Times article click HERE.
During our recent family vacation to Mexico we had the opportunity to explore a great dual immersion primary/secondary school called Mission Colegio. This private school offers all subjects in both Spanish and English with separate language instructors at each grade level. The campus is set in a beautiful area with top notch facilities, friendly staff and promotes a strong ecological value. We spent five days visiting with instructors and staff learning about the school while our 3 kids attended classes from 8-2pm each day. Suffice it to say we had a ton of opportunity to speak Spanish and make new friends. One of the things we discovered was how so many students and teachers are true global citizens. We talk about creating global citizens here in the States but do we really understand what that looks like? Ruth and I had the opportunity to interview one of the instructors at Mission who really fits the description. We will be sharing more information about how you can visit this school in the future. For now, check out the video and let us know what you think:
For the past two year we have had the privilege of working with Sierra Elementary School to develop some creative language solutions. Sierra Elementary is progressive K-6 school in Rocklin, CA with International Baccalaureate World school focus. The school provides Spanish instruction to all students as part of the core curriculum two days/week. In addition, private after school Spanish classes are offered four days/week. Both programs use Sombrero Time curriculum, methods and instructors.
Starting this fall, we are excited to announce a new class at Sierra Elementary. Sombrero Time has been asked to offer Spanish for Kinder students! Similar to our after school program, Kinder Spanish will run shortly after the normal Kindergarten class from 11:30-12:15pm, 4 days/week, Tuesday-Friday. Each session is 45 minutes and will be conducted by one of our trained native speaking instructors and is filled with traditional Spanish dance, Song and Music activities. The class is intended to introduce new Spanish speakers to the language and prepare them for entry into the Spanish program starting in 1st grade at Sierra Elementary. Kinder Spanish will offer a great transition for students enrolled in Kids Junction as well.
Education Entrepreneur Ron Fairchild of Smarter Learning Group recently published an article in the Huffington Post about Sombrero Time. Smarter Learning Group helps nonprofits, foundations, and school districts develop, grow, and sustain quality education programs and policies.
Ron Fairchild is the founder of the Smarter Learning Group. Prior to starting the firm, Ron served as CEO of the National Summer Learning Association. The Association’s work built on over 15 years of experience and success as the National Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins University, where Fairchild was executive director from 2002 through 2009. He is widely recognized as a national authority on how to expand learning opportunities for young people. His frequent appearances in the media include segments on NPR, CNN, C-SPAN, NBC Nightly News, and the CBS Early Show.
Sombrero Time is passionate about helping kids do the extraordinary. Language instruction develops a child’s ability to share ideas and communicate across cultural boundaries. Sombrero Time Curriculum coupled with our Professional Development for instructors creates a powerful solution for schools.
Article Excerpt – “Last week Education Week ran a story about huge cuts to foreign language programs across the country. When I was in California recently, I learned about a creative solution to this problem involving two parents, Dave and Ruth Finsthwait, who created an inexpensive Spanish language immersion program for schools, called Sombrero Time.”
Click HERE to continue reading the article and please leave your comments!
As many of you already know our instruction philosophy leverages frequent exposure to Spanish in a fun and immersive class room environment. One of the greatest benefits of Sombrero Time is the rapid pace which students begin to learn and use their language skills. To demonstrate this we are publishing a series of videos featuring students in our programs, all at various levels of development, having two way conversations with their instructors. The first of our videos is published below. Enjoy the Spanish being spoken and kindly provide your comments.