Remember the story of the shoemaker and the elves?
You know, the old shoemaker puts a piece of leather on his work table each night before going to bed then some tiny elves sneak in and make a beautiful pair of shoes for him while he’s sleeping?
I wish there were elves for old bloggers, too.
The fact is, a blog post that can be read in minutes takes hours for me to write (and rewrite and rewrite and rewrite).
I’m not really complaining, mind you. The hours I spend writing are sometimes heaven for me. When the words are flowing, and I’m able to sink my spirit into the post, it can be very fun, very fulfilling. This is why I’m a writer.
But at other times, it’s hair-tearing hell.
142 posts to date
I haven’t shared much about my background as a writer, but I began writing plays when I was very young and went on to write and direct a lot of plays and musicals over the years, many of them with children. (That’s why some of my posts are written in the form of a playscript.)
After my kids were born, my work in theater tapered off, but I then started a humorous blog about my family (which lasted about a year) and I wrote my first novel, a comic romp for older children and adults (which will eventually see the light somewhere). At the same time, I became a writer and editor for the Hiroshima Peace Media Center, a wing of the Hiroshima-area newspaper.
My first blog post for Bilingual Monkeys was published on September 1, 2012—that one was The Ten Commandments (of Raising a Bilingual Child)—and since then I’ve written an array of articles on the subject of raising bilingual children. Today’s post brings the total to 142.
Although it’s hard to choose a handful of favorites, I thought it might interest you to know which ones, from my personal perspective, have been particularly fun and fulfilling to create. Some of these articles haven’t been nearly as popular as other posts on my site—so you may have missed them—but, to me, they vibrate most strongly with my spirit as a writer, teacher, and parent.
11 favorite posts
(If you like them, too, please share them with others! Thanks!)
My Son Disappears, I Lose My Mind, and the World is Beautiful
Last weekend there was a festival at a local shrine in our neighborhood. We almost didn’t go—and afterward, I wished we hadn’t…
“I Want to Be Bilingual”: Letter from a Newborn Baby
Here I am! Your new baby! I’m pretty darn cute, right? I know you’re surprised to see this letter. You didn’t expect me to arrive with a special delivery, did you?
Why Communicating in English with My Kids is So Important to Me
English is at the heart of who I am, and communicating with my children in my mother tongue benefits our bond throughout their childhood.
Are You Making the Moments with Your Kids Count?
Every interruption from your children is actually another fleeting chance to help stretch the minority language and deepen the parent-child bond.
A Sneaky Way to Get Bilingual Kids to Use the Minority Language
To get your children eagerly using the minority language, try making “mystery” a conscious tactic in your efforts.
Turn Your Kids into Eager Readers with This Fun, Simple Strategy
The use of “serial stories” can motivate children to read independently, and eagerly, in the minority language.
How Rats in the Bathroom Can Boost a Child’s Bilingual Ability
This new “captive reading” tactic can nurture more sophisticated forms of language, including advanced vocabulary.
It’s a Scientific Fact! Baby Praying Mantises Can Get Your Child Reading More in the Minority Language!
Once your children have begun to read in the minority language, look for opportunities to playfully encourage more independent reading.
What My Hiroshima-Born Children Think About the Atomic Bombing
What do my children think about the atomic bombing, about war, about peace? I sat down with my kids and asked them these questions.
“It’s a Little Bit Funky”: I Interview My Son On Being Bilingual
Interviewing my 6-year-old son about his bilingual ability confirmed that, to this point, his feelings toward his own bilingualism are quite positive.
To Reach Your Destination, You Can’t Just Sit On Your Suitcase and Cry
Pursue the bilingual journey as you would a long trip: deal with the difficulties and keep heading toward your destination.
(I also had a lot of fun writing and designing the infographic Recipe for a Bilingual Child.)