Frontier Horizon recommends that all host families make sure they are prepared before the host child[ren] arrive. We suggest:
- Most of the children hosted with Frontier Horizon speak little to no English. Some of the children are highly motivated to learn English and others are not so inclined. Families are encouraged to become adept at using Google Translate. Google Translate is a very helpful tool, particularly once you become proficient with it.
- Visit your local bookstore and purchase a phonetic Spanish or Russian/English dictionary. Having a phonetic dictionary will help you pronounce words more accurately when speaking to your host child. Books with a Spanish or Russian-to-English portion will also help you translate what your child is trying to say to you.
- Please sit down with your family prior to your hosted child[ren]’s arrival and compile a list of rules for your family and your household. Please prepare to share these rules with your hosted child[ren] starting at their arrival. Please do not assume that the child[ren] will “know how to act” or what is expected with regard to cultural norms and/or “manners.” Ensuring that expectation and behavior guidelines are explicit and clear will be very helpful in establishing a good experience for all involved. Most children are visiting the United States or Canada for the first time, and they will need a grace period to adjust to this new world of foreign culture, language, family dynamics, and time zone. The children you are hosting are absorbing a number of significant new realities when coming to your home. Please be sensitive to the challenges they are facing in adjusting to you and your home.
- Please be specific in your expectations for your hosted child[ren]. May they “help themselves” in your kitchen? Can they call their friends who are staying with other families? Do they need to ask before leaving the table, making a phone call, playing outside, etc.? Please also take the time to show your hosted child[ren] around your home so they can understand what is off limits and what spaces and devices they are welcome to use.
- There are many online resources available to help in translation of house rules from English to Spanish or Russian. We recommend starting with Google Translate. Frontier Horizon encourages families to ensure expectations and house rules are clearly articulated and/or printed for children able to read. Note: Please translate from English-Russian/Spanish and then back again from Spanish/Russian-English to be certain that you are getting the clearest translation possible. Some words are difficult to translate!
- Frontier Horizon cannot be responsible for the behavior of the hosted child[ren]. It is the responsibility of the host parent[s] to explain and enforce family rules and boundaries. However, if you are having particular trouble managing a situation with your hosted child[ren], please contact the Frontier Horizon staff and/ or follow the steps of the 72-Hour Conflict Resolution Plan.