It’s a universal truth — all good things must come to an end. And today is that day. But before the end, a little story about the beginning. Three years ago a producer sent me an email asking if I could create a series for parents who were looking to supplement their children’s learning. This was a huge deal for me. I couldn’t believe it! I was excited, thrilled, honored, and absolutely 100% terrified.
But I did it. I enlisted the help of my family and together we created thirteen episodes for PBS Parents. We invited viewers into our home, literally. Viewers watched as we ran electricity through play dough with our friends, we cooked pancakes in our dining room, wrote to our real-life pen pals, and journaled about how we were feeling. I took you all, along with my children, on a trip back to my hometown to gaze up at the stars from the same view I had as a child. We invited you into our living room, and had you join our neighborhood as we raised money for charity. And that was just the beginning. For three years, we’ve been making art, reading, doing math, and playing together. It has been a most epic adventure. And now for that universal truth I mentioned…
This is my final post for Adventures in Learning. Our team is closing a chapter so that an exciting new one can begin!
As I head out, I offer an extended hand to you as a partner on this journey. I don’t know what you look like and I’ve never heard your voice, but I’ve felt your presence all along the way. You are the ones raising the next generation; parenting with open-hearts and lots of love, and hoping that you’re doing things right and worrying that you aren’t. But I’m here to tell you, you’re doing a beautiful job and you got this. You really do.
So from the bottom of my heart, thank you for going on this journey with me. Now, for one last adventure together.
The World of Hello and Goodbye
In China when they meet someone they say “Ni hao,” in the Philippines “Kamusta,” and in Jordan “Marhaba.” All around the world it’s customary to greet someone when you first meet. It’s considered polite, not to mention a great way to kick off a friendship! Today’s adventure is a simple one — learn how to say hello and goodbye in a different language. It’s a fun way to jumpstart conversations about the world around us. Plus, it might come in handy one day when you set off for a real-life adventure of your own!
- First, figure out what language you’d like to try out. There are nearly 7,000 different languages spoken in the world. That’s a lot to choose from.
- Do your research. If you or your child are lucky enough to have a friend who speaks another language, ask them for help. If not, you can try Google or an app like duolingo. And while native speakers and apps give you the advantage of actually hearing how things are supposed to sound, you can also hit the books at your local library.
- Make a list of how many different languages your child can say hello and goodbye in. Write each one on a strip of paper and turn them into a paper chain.
- Or turn it into a game. Say hello to your child in one language, have them identify which language it is, then have them say goodbye in the same one. You can make it as silly or serious as you’d like.
- And finally, realize you’re probably going to make a mistake. Learning a different language can be a challenge, but don’t give up! Reaching out to others, keeping an open mind, and practicing kindness are excellent life skills.
Take it further! Tips for raising a citizen of the world
- Diversify your news sources. Get news from a variety of outlets from around the world. Share stories of people making a difference in their communities near and far.
- Keep a library of books written by authors from other countries, races, religions, etc.
- Expand your circle of acquaintances and friends.
- Encourage your children to listen to others before making up their minds about them. Have your kids see you doing the same.
- When meeting new people, encourage children to ask the other person questions more than they talk about themselves (e.g., ask them what books or movies they like, where they go to school, etc.).
- Listen to music from different parts of the world. Learn about musical instruments that form the auditory experience of a foreign land.
- Visit art exhibits that feature the works of artists from many cultures around the world.
And now it’s time to say “Goodbye,” “Adieu,” “Alvida,” “Ma’ al-salamah,” “Arrivederci.” Farewell friends. On to the next great adventure!