La Tela di Carlotta
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5 apps to teach English to your kids —Part 1

Nov 6, 2015

We all know it, English—and languages in general—is so important, a key skill for current and future generations. It opens doors and it’s one of the biggest gifts we can give our children.

As a mother, my job is exactly that, to give a gift — possibly fun and entertaining — that my son will enjoy for the rest of his life (gift that my mother gave to me).

If I think as a teacher, though, I know that English is not always seen as a gift by children, and it often becomes a responsibility for parents. If you’re a private teacher, you’ll soon find out that parents are the true stars of all your lessons. They not only spend every day with your students (while you see them only a couple of times a week), they also review with them, make sure they do their homework, learn themselves in order to help their kids.

So when it comes to English, I like to share all I know with parents. So for the next five weeks I’ll be sharing my five favourite apps to teach (how to write) English while playing.

Work with Phonics!

I wrote about Jolly Phonics several times, but I’ll say it again. Work with the sounds of the letters (the phonemes), not their names—don’t teach the classic “aee, bee, see, dee”, but the sound that the letter makes in the word. Without the “ee” part, basically: when spelling “cat”, don’t say “sii-aee-tee”, but “k-a-t”. All the apps I work with use phonics.

This week's app is a must for getting started

It’s a great app to get familiar with phonics, to recognise letters alone or in words. All my students from 3 to 11 years old love it (and I caught parents playing with it as well ;-)  Here it is! {scroll up for pictures}

Phonics Match by Bram Van Damme:

Age: whenever they can use an iPad ;-)Price: $2.99

This is the best app to learn all the letter sounds (phonemes). It’s the typical “find the pairs” game where you have to pick two identical cards. Each card corresponds to an English phoneme (again, the sound of the letter, not its name) and each sound is associated to a word, so children also learn new vocabulary.

As I’m a true fangirl of the English language, I also like this app for another reason: you can choose between American, British or Australian accent. Getting used to different accents since a young age is essential to learn new languages, develop listening skills and reproduce different sounds.

All three levels are included in the app, so no extra in-app purchases. Triple fun!

In the next five weeks, I’ll share with you my favourite apps to teach kids written English. If you want to receive the next posts straight to your mail write your email address here and I’ll send them to you!

Tell me what you think

Did you like it? Do you agree or disagree? I'd love to hear from you.

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The blog

I write mainly about Montessori, parenthood, and multilingualism. Here are some recent posts.

Montessori
One day a few years ago my husband came home and said, "Why don't we put a mattress on the floor in the baby room? It'd be much more natural". "Never" was my reply. That's how our Montessori journey started. Since then we've been living, breathing and applying the philosophy at home day in and day out, starting from ourselves. Because educating children starts from the parents.
Kids understand if you give them honesty
Bean and seed mosaic
I'm not perfect. I'm aware
DIY yoga cards for kids
Children at the restaurant: let's recalibrate expectations
Don't ask your children to share their toys
Those "good job" that erode our children's confidence
Our Montessori birthday
Two alternatives to screens that my kids love
Using fear and threats to control children is never right!
Living sustainably
Living sustainably for me doesn’t only mean to have a more eco-friendly lifestyle. It means to make decisions that are sustainable for our planet, the people on it, but also for our life, our lifestyle, and our happiness. It means to take any daily chance to evolve and be happier, healthier, kinder, more responsible and more caring human beings—the only sustainable way for a meaningful future.
Face yoga is an act of self love
Why you should wear the same outfit twice on Instagram
The power of creating habits (and why you should do it, even if you then break them!)
Responsible eating is the diet of the future (Would you like to teach it to your kids?)
The power of NOT complaining: can you do it for a whole month?
Clean up your planet, please!
Infographic: 8 steps to switch to cloth nappies (a guide for reluctant parents)
A personal note on happiness
A personal note on social media
A change of life always widens your horizons
New to La Tela?
I’ve prepared collections on various topics that I’ve written over the years. Perhaps you’ll find one that interests you.

Travel

We sold everything to travel the world for two years. We're currently in New Zealand.

Books

In 2020 I wrote 4 books for the Italian collection “Gioca and Impara con il metodo Montessori” curated by Grazia Honegger Fresco. The collection is a project by Il Corriere della Sera and La Gazzetta dello Sport.

We also implemented the workshops of the last 15 volumes of the collection with Oliver and Emily.

Podcast

On my podcast, “Educare con calma”, I talk about various topics, from Montessori to sustainability. Only in Italian!

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Nov 6, 2020 • 16m
La rabbia, le urla dei genitori e una storia tibetana
In questo episodio sono stata ispirata da una storia tibetana a parlare di rabbia e del perché urliamo quando siamo arrabbiati. Riconoscere i perché e analizzare le mie reazioni quando urlo è stato per me il primo passo per imparare a gestire la rabbia. Nell'episodio menziono questo articolo: Spiegare come funziona il cervello aiuta i bambini a controllare le loro emozioni. Mi trovi anche su www.lateladicarlotta.com e su Facebook e Instagram come @lateladicarlottablog.
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Instagram

I update Instagram almost every day to be "close" to my family far away.

Why La Tela di Carlotta?
I dreamed of the name La Tela di Carlotta. One morning I woke up and in my dreams I had created a blog named just like the American novel (Charlotte's Web). Many years and endless ups and downs later, this web of thoughts and stories is my work. It took me a long time to understand what kind of online presence I wanted and today I know: I'm transparent, I show real life, I don't advertise, I only recommend sustainable brands (and not only because they pay me) and I believe in the value of my blog and my courses—because if we don't believe in the value of our work, no one will believe in it for us.
Carlotta
Carlotta dreaming of La Tela
I know! I don't want it to be over yet either.