Cool Mom: Laurie at o-cha to wagashi

25 Jul

Have you stumbled upon the blog, “o-cha to wagashi” by blogger Laurie yet? If you haven’t, you’ll want to!

Laurie is similar to me… except, way more talented and cool. We are both trying to help our toddlers learn Japanese and both love Japanese culture and language, BUT she takes better photographs, makes yummier, more beautiful food (her bento boxes are amazing!), and she is not only bilingual, but TRILINGUAL! And she isn’t even Japanese! How’s that for amazing?!? She blogs in French but thanks to Google Translate, you can read her blog in whatever language you choose.

Laurie is someone I KNOW I would want to be friends with if I lived in France. I asked her if she would be willing to share a little but about herself and what she is doing to teach her son Japanese with us. Thanks Laurie!

*****

Interview with Laurie of o-cha to wagashi:

1) Tell us a little bit about your background.

I am a 33 year-old mama, living in France.
I have been in love with Japan for as long as I can remember, maybe all my life. Japan is my passion, I’ve been blogging about it for 7 years now. I visited the country 4 years ago and the time I spent there definitely was one of the most life-altering moments I’ve had the chance to live. A couple of years after I came back in France I became the mother of a little boy who’s now just about to turn 2 years old (on July 27 !).

(おたんじょうび、おめでとう!)

2) Why do you want to teach your child Japanese?

Well, it wasn’t really my intention at first. I tend to believe that parents cannot raise a bilingual child unless they know perfectly well the two languages they’re teaching. And it’s not the case here, for both my husband and I are French (and although we’re doing okay in Japanese, we’re not bilingual). We live in a very Japanese environment nevertheless. Because we both take our Japanese language studies very seriously we often address one another in Japanese at home. Plus, we watch Japanese TV all the time (TV shows, dorama, movies).
When our baby turned 6 months old (and absolutely despised solid food – he still does by the way), I started to show him videos of “inai inai baa” and “okaa san to issho”to divert him during meals and… it worked ! Well, it did not magically make him like food, but at least he’d eat whatever was in his plate. Then, later (and much to my surprise), the very first words he said were Japanese. We were amazed at how much he actually remembered of everything he heard ! His dad and I thought it would be sad to let such a chance go to waste, and decided to go on teaching him two languages.

3) What are you doing to accomplish this goal?

We sing Japanese nursery rhymes to him, show him Japanese TV shows (inai inai baa, okaa san to issho, miitsuketa, kodomo challenge, etc) as well as Ghibli animation movies (he just adores Totoro !). We read Japanese books to him, we use Japanese picture books to let him name the objects he knows… One of our good Japanese friends lives with us at the moment, so he and my son get to spend a lot of time playing and speaking Japanese together. And soon, he’ll go to a Japanese playgroup in our town.
Of course, the great material and ideas I find on Hiragana Mama are incredibly valuable help !

4) What is your favorite Japanese children’s book?

Kodomo zukan (series of 4 books).

5) Anything else you want to share..?

I’m constantly looking for cheaper ways to find Japanese educational material for my son. Where I live this is quite difficult (and/or very expensive). So, any help, hints or ideas from other readers are welcome !
*****

See? I told you she was cool! Be sure to visit her blog HERE to see what she’s up to. I love discovering other parents around the world who are rising up to the challenge of teaching their children a second (or third) language. Are you a parent trying to raise bilingual/trilingual children? Do you blog about it? What are your favorite blogs/websites/resources? Let us know!

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3 Responses to “Cool Mom: Laurie at o-cha to wagashi”

  1. Bicultural Mama July 25, 2011 at 8:38 PM #

    Great interview and I will check out her blog!

  2. V September 27, 2013 at 6:27 PM #

    Looks like Laurie’s blog is gone:(

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