Sunday Inspiration: 5-Year-Old Prodigy Speaks 7 Languages

Plus Six Instruments, Two Types of Dance & Two Sports

Some parents go the EXTRA mile to make sure that their children are receiving unique opportunities. For one little girl, she’s being exposed to more in her short lifetime than most adults.

Five-year-old Mabou Loiseau’s parents spend $1,500 a week on tutors and lessons – and she spends seven hours a day in some type of instruction, with Sundays off.

She grew up speaking French, Creole and English, but her immigrant parents didn’t want to stop there. She’s also learning Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic and Russian.

“Russian is my most favorite. I just hear something, and if I don’t understand I say, ‘What does that mean?’ and they’ll tell me,” said Mabou, whose Laurelton house is plastered with flashcards in different languages.

“All the sacrifices in the world for her,” said her mom, Esther Loiseau, a piano teacher who taught French at an American school before leaving Haiti for Queens 15 years ago. “Furniture is not important. Education is.”

“But I make sure I leave enough time for her to play,” Loiseau said. “All she knows is learning. What becomes fun for someone is what they know.”

Loiseau tells the tutors to play with Mabou, speaking in their native language, for half of the lesson. They spend the other half reading, writing and practicing vocabulary.

She said a sure way to make the opinionated only child behave is to threaten to cancel one of her lessons – especially Russian.

Mabou’s dad works 16 hours a day as a parking attendant in Manhattan to pay for everything, and the Loiseaus have also started hosting other students for classes at their house.

The proud parents home school Mabou, but found out last week that she scored in the 99th percentile on the city test for gifted and talented schools.

I’m sure that little Mabou is going to be something else when she grows up!

Are you doing anything to make sure your children have unique opportunities to learn? How do you expose your children to different cultures?


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