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Every Kid Deserves the Chance to Learn and Grow

Pair these FREE educator-developed printable activities with your favorite Encantos videos, books, and songs to help your child develop critical reading, writing, math, and social emotional learning skills. Plus, check out our Tips for Grown-ups to help reinforce the teachable moments in each lesson.

Oct 08, 2021 -

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What are the New Fundamentals and Why Do They Matter?

Today’s kids are encountering challenges their parents didn’t have to face, so it goes without saying that they’ll need different skills to navigate a fundamentally changed world.

Today’s kids are exploring a world that’s more interconnected, more multicultural, more technologically advanced, and far more complex than the one we grew up in, and they’re encountering challenges their parents didn’t have to face. 


Turning to digital and social media for information and entertainment is natural to these kids, while artificial intelligence and e-commerce have changed the way they experience things we once discovered on our own. In more ways than one, these media have replaced playgrounds as primary gathering places for kids, so it goes without saying that they’ll need different skills to navigate this fundamentally changed world.


And when we fast forward to when these kids are grown, they’ll enter a job market unfamiliar to their parents. Research has shown that the modern labor market requires an increasingly diverse skill-set, with abilities like critical thinking, problem-solving, adaptability, and curiosity. Since the current education system in the United States was created almost 100 years ago to serve the needs of a vastly different economy, we need to ensure that our kids develop the necessary skills now. In this way they will attain the learning agility to be successful no matter their professional future.      


The New Fundamentals are the skills required to thrive.

We define the New Fundamentals as the Learning, Literacy, and Life skills that every child needs to reach their full potential. 


Learning Skills prepare children to think—and enjoy learning—in changing situations. These are often described as the 6 Cs: Collaboration, communication, content, critical thinking, creativity, and confidence. 


Literacy Skills are the foundational skills they need to be effective and informed as future adults. These are things like financial literacy, information and media literacy, multilingualism, numeracy, and environmental literacy. 


Life Skills are the things we usually think of as character and mental wellbeing, like adaptability, grit, compassion, curiosity, and leadership. 


Taken together, these New Fundamentals help kids succeed in a changing world, form relationships, and care for themselves and others.


As parents, we want to prepare our children for the future, giving them the tools they need to be healthy (both mentally and physically), happy, and proud of who they are. A complete education—one that includes these New Fundamentals—helps kids develop all the skills they need to flourish, giving them the best start possible.


That’s why Encantos has established itself as the home of these New Fundamentals. It’s why we encourage storyteachers, families, and educators to broaden the aperture on kids’ learning. Because we believe the new fundamentals are teachable, even if they don’t always fit into the classroom curriculum, and we want to help our kids thrive as the world continues to change.


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Ask a Bilingual Expert

Raising a bilingual child? On this page, our very own Director of Learning Design and Efficacy, Sophia Espinoza, addresses some of the most common questions, concerns, and curiosities around the benefits of bilingualism. Get the scoop below!

Sophia Espinoza is a career educator and curriculum designer with seven years of experience teaching in private and independent schools across the country. She is an expert in 21st-century education, including technologically-powered personalization, multilingual and multicultural curriculums, and social-emotional learning.

Sophia began teaching in Chicago Public Schools through Chicago Teaching Fellows, learning to support both English Language Learners and students with neurodiverse needs. Among her proudest accomplishments is launching the AltSchool Spanish Immersion Program, with the mission of creating bilingual global citizens who are socially conscious and environmentally aware. Sophia holds a B.A. from Northwestern University and M.A.Ed. from Dominican University.

Benefits of Bilingualism (FAQs):

Any advice on managing two Spanish dialects in the household? Does this cause confusion for kids?

What do you recommend if I’m not completely fluent and my child’s school doesn’t have an immersion class?

Do you recommend teaching different subjects in different languages? For example, the solar system in English and the days of the week in Spanish? Or is it better for kids to try to learn in both languages all the time?

We speak Spanish and English in our home but my child almost always answers or talks back in English. How can I go about encouraging her to respond and speak more in Spanish?

Should I set aside time or create activities for each language or is it okay to mix them both together?

Any advice for households where one parent speaks Spanish and the other English? Can this be confusing for children?

How can my child learn language through play?

What are the social and cultural benefits of bilingualism?

What are some of the cognitive benefits of bilingualism?

What are some strategies for raising bilingual children?

What are some common misconceptions about raising bilingual children?

What are some of the cognitive benefits of bilingualism?