Cheeni for Tots is embarking on an exciting journey, a journey that begins with little “baby steps” — but whose ultimate mission is to “Empower Tots across the Earth”.
Of course, one would ask: what does empowering really involve?
Well, at Cheeni for Tots, we have a simple philosophy. To us “to empower” means “to strengthen the roots of”, that is, to build a strong foundation for the character, the values, and the health and well-being of our kids … who, of course, are our next-generation … the ones that will inherit the earth, and be the custodians of the environment, the world, and indeed of humanity itself.
Roots, of course, start with culture, and culture starts with language, all of which brings us to our story …
As a mother of a 5-year old, it was my quest to give my daughter the invaluable gift of being able to enjoy, appreciate, and respect not just one but two cultures – in order to strengthen and enrich her roots, as it were. The first, the one she was immersed in and imbibing here in the US, and a second, the one we all leave behind when we migrate to lands yonder. (I’ll explain a little later to why I was so keen to do that, but for now let’s continue with my story.)
I recognized that the simplest and soundest way to do that was by starting to teach her a second language – my native language.
For it is language that opens the doors to a culture, to a society, and even to an entire peoples’ hearts! (Have you ever experienced being in a foreign country and speaking the local language (even if it’s far from perfect), and seeing the look of pure joy on people’s faces, and how it warms the cockles of their hearts, and how they open up to you … yes? That’s what I mean!)
Know the language, and you are equipped to learn and absorb a remarkable amount about a culture – its history, literature, heritage, mythology, social mores, values, customs …. Why? Because language is the bridge that allows one communicate with a people, to truly understand them at a deeper-level, and to appreciate their way of life.
Therefore, I began looking for ways to teach my daughter my native language, so she could, for example, communicate better with her grandparents and experience the joy of hearing the captivating mythological stories (each of which would have a moral) that my husband and I had grown up with as children, and so she could experience the thrill of hearing these from her grandparents themselves! And thereby … gradually … become more appreciative of a new culture.
As I began to do that, however, there were a number of issues I had to grapple with.
The first was: what techniques are there to teach a tot a language other than English? For example, for teaching the Hindi language (which is the one I will focus on at present, since that’s the one I’m most familiar with; although later, I will show you that the techniques that I have developed, and that I am fine-tuning now, are pretty universally applicable).
I found there were myriad programs to teach/learn a language – for example, Rosetta Stone, a ton of material on YouTube, even several CDs/DVDs on learning Hindi. What I discovered, however, was that none of them was designed to teach tots (many are complex and involved, or assume a reasonable level of knowledge of another language like English, and many focus on self-directed adult learners – not fidgety little tots!), and many others did not provide learners (and, more importantly, parents) with a systematic approach to introduce the language to their kids.
The second was: how does one overcome a child’s natural resistance to conversing in a language other than English.
We all know that our tots spend a significant amount of time in school or daycare, where they are largely exposed to English, and often tend to not want to converse in a different language! (If you have a tot whose time in school has increased in the last year or the last few months, and you’ve tried talking with them in your native language, you definitely know what I’m talking about J) As I’ll show you later, there are little tricks you can effortlessly weave into your daily interactions with your tots, which go a long way in increasing their enthusiasm towards what you’re trying to accomplish, and get them excited about participating.
The third, and this was a toughie, was: how do I find the time to devote to “teaching” my tot?
With my husband and I both working, with both having busy schedules, often going from 7 to 7, how would we find the time to squeeze language learning for our daughter in there?? But as you’ll discover, once you know more about my “13-min a day program”, it is a matter of incorporating a few simple techniques into your everyday conversations with your little ones that make a substantial difference, coupled with a commitment to making “it happen.”
So, the question is: how was my experience over the course of the past year? What did I learn and discover? And, is it replicable??
– So, was it easy? … well, no, I’ll be honest with you and tell you it certainly wasn’t cakewalk … but it was great fun, and it certainly got easier with each passing day, as we saw regular progress! (Believe me, nothing motivates like progress!)
– Was it instantaneous … no, but it definitely was steady – a little progress everyday, a move towards a goal, little baby steps, building eventually to something quite substantial and satisfying!
– Was it really the “Everest to climb” that it seemed to be at first blush … certainly not! Indeed, even the tallest climb begins with but the first step! And that was absolutely true here, as I discovered …
What it did do is that it ensured a fun-filled, 15 minutes of joyful time with my child each day. It became a little ritual that we both started to look forward to and enjoy!
Isn’t this time something that you’d love to trade off to, at the end of say 6 months or 1 year, start seeing your child actually reading and speaking a new language?
You bet I would!
And … if you share the same sentiments as I, so would you – I guarantee it!
Want proof what happened after a year of effort, go check this video out…
Want some more proof, check this one out too …
Now do you see why I think the effort was worth it?
Wondering if this could work for you? Naturally, I had the same questions when I began …
So … to help you see and experience the same joy and the same progress for yourself, I am going to do something that I believe has never been done in the field of language learning before …
For those that qualify, we will enroll you in our 13-min a day to a New Language Learning program!
And why I am doing this?
– Because I was the archetypical harried, overworked, mom – running after my kid, balancing family and a job, worrying about promotion and healthy-eating all in the same breath …. you get the picture! But by incorporating a few key principles into my interactions with my tot, I was able to achieve wonderful progress.
Now here’s the thing … if I can do it, you can do it! …
Provided you have the least bit of determination, and you are truly motivated to help your kids.
– And, because I would like to fine-tune my system so that I can continuously improve it with your feedback and inputs, and put it to work to help even more parents achieve our common dream of giving our tots that ever-precious gift of language! (And, with it, a love of lifelong learning!)
BTW, let me also tell you that what begins as a mere 13-min of quality time soon grows to 14, then to 15 (minute by minute), and before you know it, you’ll be spending a half hour or more with your kid, and you’ll be figuring out interesting ways to do that. This is something that many of you, just like me in 7-to-7 rush (I call it) have probably never done before on any regular basis. And, boy did it enrich my relationship with my little daughter!
In fact, this was the other hidden benefit we experienced. I soon began going out with my daughter, Urvi – to the park, to the library, and began to find ways to keep her language skills active – by weaving language into all of our activities. And so can you! …. I’ll show you how ….
Right now, all I ask of you is that you set your doubts aside, and if you’re even the least bit interested, and willing to be committed for at least the next 4 weeks to invest 13 minutes a day in your precious munchkin(s), that you come join my 13-minute a day program.
All I ask you is that you be committed and willing to make this investment of time everyday for the next 30 days. And the changes that you will see will likely amaze you!
And if they do, then, my friends, you will truly be on to something big … you will have learnt a way of interacting with you kids to give them the gift of language while spending quality time with them – that can be a treasure for your kids, for the rest of their lives! Imagine that! Now, wouldn’t it be worth investing these 13 minutes for the next 30 days to at least discover what a great time you can have?
I don’t know about you, but Urvi and I sure are sure having a really great time.
Plus, I have the immense satisfaction of knowing that I am setting the foundation for my daughter to develop a love of not just one language, but many languages; not just one culture, but many cultures. I am broadening her horizons. And, why am I interested in doing that ….
… because, remember, we just don’t live in one corner of the world today, we live in a globalized (and rapidly globalizing) society. People travel, they migrate, the live in, and they do business with, different parts of the world – regions of the world different from where they grew up. 15 to 20 years hence, your own son or daughter may end up in Europe, China, India, or Japan. Then, language skills and cultural sensitivity, developed at an early stage, will be natural to them and stand them in good stead. (This is one key reason why I was keen that I be able to help my daughter learn another language and about another culture.)
How then does it help tots to know a second language?
For one thing, we all know that when they learn … those little “mental muscles” work, and when those little “mental muscles” work, those little synapses revv up, and when those synapses revv up, the neurons fire, and, when neurons fire their brains develop and your child becomes brighter, smarter, more enlightened, and more aware.
And, therefore, as a young adult, much more capable, in my view, of meeting the challenges this world will invariably have for them! For he/she grows up with compassion, respect, and appreciation of cultural/language differences, and confident that they can straddle disparate worlds. As a result, many of the “challenges” of interacting with people across the globe are no longer challenges …
They are just something that your child naturally grows up to know how to do….
So, come join me in my “13-Min a Day” program by filling the ‘Sign-up’ form above (below our picture), and please mention in ‘Comments’ section that why you would like your kid to join “13-Min a Day” Program !!! … If you’d like to talk to me directly — then dial 510-300-5719 to reach me between 9am – 4pm PST from Monday – Friday.