As much as I know it's necessary, I dreaded the announcement that my kids' school would be closed for the rest of the year. We love them to death, but the 3 of them are...a lot.😂
My husband, Jason, and I were already both working full days from home when we had to embrace the learn-from-home model for our kids. Their teachers warned of hiccups along the way, but oh my god. The kids each have to sit down in front of screens during the day, and somehow we're expected to help them with their work...at the same time as our work.
Since it's not like we have weekend plans, we decided weekends would be used for catching up on schoolwork, so we could give them our undivided attention, instead of splitting it with Zoom meetings and work calls.
So during the week, they had more free time than ever, which was ok for the first week, but then they got bored. They took out an old painting set and used the floor as a canvas, they begged us to buy Animal Crossing even though we don't even own a Switch (that's a minimum of $260, parents), and they played a fun little game called "Who Can Scream Louder?" in the middle of my 4 o'clock weekly. And that's in addition to the 8 billion hours of screen time they were getting.
We needed help. I called all the parents I knew, asking if maybe we could set up some Zoom playdates, and one of them recommended the BBC's Muzzy, a language learning program for kids that is entertaining and educational.
Muzzy has introduced millions of kids around the world to new languages, including Spanish from Spain and Latin America, French, English, Chinese Mandarin, German, Italian, and Korean.
The way it works is that children learn a second language by simply watching the Muzzy movies and playing online games.
Because of the school closings, Muzzy is now giving all subscribers access to the 38 homeschool lesson plans for free (valued at over $150) and over 200 printable puzzles and mazes for kids to help them pass the time at home.
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This sounded perfect! We grew up with Muzzy, and figured it was the perfect time to introduce the kids to it - through fun stories and characters, they can learn up to 1,200 words of a new language.
Muzzy offers 7 languages, and we chose Spanish. We immediately sat down with the entire family and started watching Muzzy.
Within a few days, our family was starting to integrate Spanish into our daily life...Starting every morning with Buenos Dias and ending each night with Buenas Noches.
My husband and I had to seriously reevaluate our expectations during this time, but I cannot tell you how relieved I am that the kids are getting guilt-free screen time and some Spanish language lessons. The homeschool plans are great, and gave us some great tips for how to really navigate teaching, and make sure our kids are engaged and understand the material.
We also learned there's a short window of opportunity for learning a second language - after age 10, it becomes more difficult. Two of our kids are still in the window, and with this extra free time, they could really get ahead.
Working and learning from home has definitely shaken up our lives, but with some new priorities and Muzzy, I know my kids will feel safe, have fun, and get to learn some new Spanish words.
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