Will I be left out in my own home due to a language barrier with my kids?

My boyfriend and I have been together for a long time and marriage is in the very near future as well as probable kids. I am white and my boyfriend is Hispanic, and he speaks both fluent English and Spanish. He has recently said that he wants his future children to learn Spanish. However, this makes me worried. Most of his immediate family speaks Spanish and they hardly include me in conversations. So I worry that if it happens now, it will only be 10x worse when it is in our household with the kids and my connection to them won't be as strong.

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What teachers want you to know about helping your kid with homework

As a 4th and 5th grade teacher, I rarely use homework for grades. I simply use it to ensure the kids understand what they have learned. I actually prefer it when parents do very little "help" because it generally is the parents coming pretty darn close to doing the work for them.

But of course you want to help your kid learn! So here's how I would advise you on helping your kid with homework…

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It turns out I love creating art with my four-year-old

No sooner had I drawn my first face (I love drawing from old black & white movie stills) had she swooped over to me with an intense look. "OOOH! Is that a NEW sketchbook? Can I draw in that too, mama?" I have to admit, the girl knows good art supplies when she sees them. I muttered something about how it was my special book, how she had her own supplies and blah blah blah, but the appeal of new art supplies was too much for her to resist. In a very serious tone, she looked at me and said, "If you can't share, we might have to take it away if you can't share."

We're beginning our journey as home schoolers

When I was pregnant with my son I felt as though there was an almost innate need for him to be home schooled. I had forgotten about it after I went through a very stressful birth with him. When he was 18 months and in Early Intervention for speech I revisited the idea. When I couldn't find a curriculum or school system I agreed with in public, charter or Catholic school I ended up walking through this door of infinite possibilities — home schooling! Many people started to emerge and extend their hand towards us, offering trips to conventions, curriculum, catalogs, websites and help.

The perfect classroom for a child is a hiking trail

Hiking is so much more than just walking around in nature with a hiking stick, a back pack, and some provisions. It can be a way of escape, it can be a time of meditation, it can be challenging, it can be educating, it can be down right frustrating. For us… it's all of the above.