Education, Parenting and Personal Musings

Are They Sponges? Do Children Learn Languages Faster Than Adults?

Children's Handwriting in Catalan

When we moved to Barcelona, we had a big decision to make about our children’s education. They could go to an English-speaking school where they would speak primarily English and learn some Spanish; or they could go to a school where the primary language is Catalan, and they would have some instruction in Spanish and English.

We chose to go for the Catalan school. First, our children speak English and will continue to master the language because we speak it and read in it at home. Second, we weren’t sure exactly how long we’d live in Barcelona, but with no current plans to leave, we wanted to settle in, learn the local languages, and be part of the community rather than living on the edge of it. Third, we wanted to take advantage of the valuable opportunity for our children to master new languages learning from native speakers, which isn’t easy to come by in U.S. schools. Continue reading “Are They Sponges? Do Children Learn Languages Faster Than Adults?”

Parenting and Personal Musings

Best Things To Do in Barcelona with Kids


When we moved to Barcelona, we didn’t just have kids; we had little kids—as in tears on the sidewalk, “carry-me-I’m-tired,” “can-we-go-home-now” little. After we arrived, everyone wanted to hear about our adventure and where to travel with kids in Europe. The truth is we were just trying to survive the walk to the grocery store with our small children who were used to riding in the car.

While I know we would never have ventured on a European vacation with our three- and four-year-old, I also know some of you parents out there are much braver than we. So for those of you who are ready to explore Barcelona with kids, here are a few of the gems where our kiddos smiled more than they whined. Continue reading “Best Things To Do in Barcelona with Kids”

Parenting and Personal Musings

Our Lives in Barcelona: Things We’ve Learned So far


Living in Barcelona

We’ve been living in Barcelona for a few months now, and we’re learning all the important things, like how to say “thank you,” “good morning,” and “doughnut” in Spanish and Catalan, that sandwiches are a breakfast food, and restaurants don’t serve dinner until it’s our bedtime. We’re also learning other important things like how to share toys and cookies at the park, what to do when someone throws sand on you, and what to do when you throw sand on someone else. Continue reading “Our Lives in Barcelona: Things We’ve Learned So far”