One of the greatest things about being out and about with Booklandia around the Bay Area is that I keep on meeting fabulous bilingual mamis who are just as passionate about books as I am.
I met Verónica Villa of Nene Bilingüe at Molcajete Dominguero in San Francisco last year and was really happy to learn about the literacy work she was doing when she started posting on Instagram. I asked her to a collaborative blog post with us and here's an interview to get to know Verónica and her work better. Read it and at the bottom of this interview, you will find a link to the post and activity on her website. Enjoy and share!
We love the resources you provide on Nene Bilingüe, tell us why you started this site?
Being raised speaking both Spanish and English, I always felt there was a time and place for each. Rarely did I mix them, rather it was more of an either-or mentality. The rule was:En la casa se habla español and at school and everywhere else it's your choice! Now that I have my own children I want them to maintain their mother-tongue to be able to communicate with the world! I want them to use Spanish at home and out on the street, I want them to use English when they see fit, I want them to choose the right words in whatever language to share their feelings and thoughts. I want them to beBILINGÜE.As a teacher turned stay-at-home mom I have our ownescuelita at home where I do my best to find activities that will best foster my children's language development and learning. I found that activities, books, and resources in English were easy to come by, but found myself working and planning extra to provide same or similar experiences in Spanish. I want this site to be a place to share our bilingual journey and inspire other parents in their journeys raising bilingual children. All in all, I am documenting and sharing what goes on in our home.
Tell us more about yourself.
My name is Verónica Villa. I am a Chicana wife, mother, COO, educator, and blogger. I have memories of playing school from the age of 5! I longed to be a teacher and that is exactly what I studied to be. I hold a California Multiple Subject Credential and have taught grades ranging from 1st-5th. I also have an MA in Interdisciplinary Education of Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Reading and Language Arts. I've been out of the traditional classroom for three years in order to be with my little ones and oversee operations for our family business Fúchila Fresheners. I began blogging and started Nene Bilingüe in 2019.
What is your favorite literacy-focused activity to do with your kids?
Aside from reading and coming across new books to read together, we spend lots of time practicing identifying letter names and sounds. Our favorite way to do this is using bath foam letters! We take a small bin, fill it with water, and place the letters inside. While they soak I use a dry-erase marker and write the alphabet on our glass sliding door. We take each letter and match it by sticking it on the glass. Occasionally we sing the Spanish alphabet sounds. Playing and learning go hand-in-hand.
What has been the most valuable lesson so far your kids have given you?
I have two toddlers who are 17 months apart. I knew motherhood wouldn't be a walk in the park and having two babies so close together wouldn't be easy. When we do have those tough toddler moments I've come to realize that all they need is to feel connected. Be it a kiss, a hug, or a back rub the parent-child connection is the most wonderful feeling. They have taught me to enjoy and cherish every moment (the happy and the not so fun times) because today is today - tomorrow will come with more opportunities to connect but today cannot be relived or redone.
What are you working on this year with Nene Bilingüe?
For Nene Bilingüe's first year, I am working on many projects. Our weekly blog posts will continue, filled with tips and resources for parents. Collaborations with experts and providers in the field of bilingual education and parenting are in the works. Not to mention, providing parents with easy activities to help support biliteracy in our monthly Bilingüe Book Buddy publications. Lastly, I look forward to unveiling a Nene Bilingüe curriculum for preschool aged bilingual children with the target language being Spanish. Lots of exciting material ahead!
Where can we find you?
Parents can always find us on our website nenebilingue.com or on social media Instagram @nene_bilingue and Facebook @nenebilingue
You can find the post with the activity here on her website HERE>>