Skip to main content


Showing posts from January, 2014

Granie i Śpiewanie

oraz ... niedokończona HISTORIA MUZYKIPiąta odsłona z cyklu Dziecko na Warsztat.Tematem piątych już warsztatów jest muzykowanie. Szczerze powiedziawszy to ponownie moja rola w przygotowaniu zajęć z muzyki została ograniczona do ... filmowania twórczości muzycznej dzieci.
Cała Trójka jest bardzo muzykalna, od najmłodszych lat chodzili (dwójka nadal chodzi) na lekcje muzyki. O tych lekcjach muzyki można poczytać po angielsku tutaj.  Śpiew jest u nas na porządku dziennym - wszyscy śpiewają: od najmłodszej Ani (3 lata), przez Jaśka (11 lat) aż po Zosię (16 lat).

Zosia kilka tygodni temu spróbowała swoich sił w przesłuchaniu do musicalu (jako najmłodsza), przeszła nawet do drugiego etapu przesłuchań, ale już nie dalej. Przygotowując się do przesłuchania cały czas śpiewała "Nothing" z musicalu "Chorus Line". Ania chcąc nie chcąc słuchała tej piosenki i oto rezultat:

Jaś ma również swój udział w edukacji muzycznej Ani:

I w czym ja mam tu pomagać?

Matching letters game

Making learning fun is very important in Babel School. My kids are much more willing to learn and remember more easily if the information is given to them in a fun and interesting form.

Few days ago I wanted to check if Ania really remembers the letters I have taught her so far. Sitting down with her, going through the flashcards (which we don't even have) and asking "What letter is this?" seemed a bit boring, so this is what I came up with:

First: I placed five different sets of letters in different places in two rooms - I didn't really hide them, just scattered the letters around.
I asked Ania to look for the letters in both rooms.
She  had to tell me the letter sound of the letter she has found.
Next: She was to place all the letters that she found inside a big basket.
I arranged the lower case letters on the floor and asked Ania to match the upper (and lower) case letters with them.

The final result:
Groups of 5 letters together.

Ania like…

From roller blading to ice-skating (After school classes part 5)

Sports, just as music, is an important part of our kids' homeschooling education. Since very young age we've always let them try different disciplines - soccer, basketball, cycling, skiing, swimming and of course roller blading and ice-skating. 

As a child, for quite a few years, I used to take ice-skating lessons (in Poland and in US). As I remember they were the only lessons I took outside school. 
I've always likes skating and it was obvious to me that Zosia should try it too. First time we put her on ice was in US when she was just over one year old. Later, after we moved to UK, I used to take her skating there. We had lots of fun on a big and empty rink in Peterborough

When we moved to Taiwan there was no ice-skating rink in Taipei, but roller blading was becoming popular. That's why Zosia started taking one-on-one roller blading lessons at Y17 台北市青少年育樂中心. She was getting really good at roller blading and was enjoying the speed. 

A year or so later first ice-skating…

Music all around us (After school classes - part 4)

The fourth part of our family's after school experience is going to be about music education.

In Taiwan it seems that all children at one point of time take music classes. Usually they learn to play piano or violin, there are also those who go for percussion lessons or to a choir. Kids start early, at 4 or 5 years old. So it's not surprising that under some pressure from people aroud us our daughter has also started her music education quite early.

When we moved to Taiwan, Zosia has just turned 4 years old. Grandparents and aunts wanted her to start playing piano and so we signed her up for classes at one of the big-piano-teaching-chain-schools. Piano lessons were taught in a group setting, there was no way for the teacher to know who follows the lesson and who doesn't. Zosia's Chinese was not very good at that time so she had problems understanding the lessons. It was a real struggle, she didn't like it, I didn't like it, she didn't like practicing at home…

Dance classes my kids take

When our kids got older we could see what they were becoming interested in and what they were good at. Both kids loved moving to the music and when Zosia was 4 years old, Cloud Gate 雲門 had just started it's classes for kids Cloud Gate Dance Studio 雲門舞集舞蹈教室.12 years have passed since then ... and Zosia is still dancing at Cloud Gate. 

During that time she did take a one year break - at one point she didn't really like the teacher and was not happy in the class so we decided to change dance schools. We signed her up for a 'proper' ballet class - with pink tutu, point shoes, performances etc. But she didn't enjoy that either. So we stopped dance class altogether. 
After a few months we asked her if she would like to try dancing again. She agreed and went back to Cloud Gate. The class and the teacher have changed and thanks to that Zosia has started enjoying dancing again.

At the end of elementary school she was chosen for Cloud Gate's scholarship class. The lessons w…

Classes for teeny ones

This is a 2nd part of a post about after school classes. To read the 1st part please go to Tough decisions about after school classes 才藝班.
Gymboree and swimming
We started first (while still in US and later in UK) with Gymboree Play&Learn program which was a great way not only for the little ones to have fun in a safe and fun environment, but also for the parents to meet other parents with kids of the same age. The classes were full of movement, music and laughter:

We wanted for Zosia and Jas to feel comfortable in water, so when they were less than 6 months old we started taking them for baby swimming classes. Thanks to that they have never been afraid of water and enjoy swimming a lot.

Whether or not to sign up for these classes and how long to attend them, was mom and dad's decision. It's obvious you can not ask a 6 months old if he wants to play parachute with other kids at Gymboree, but ... you can see if the little one is interested in the class, if he is having fun. …

Tough decisions about after school classes 才藝班

In Taiwan, where we live, it's very popular to send kids to different 'after school' (or in our case 'after homeschool') classes. Kids start going to so called 才藝班 creative arts - talent - interest classes at a very early age, you can even find classes for 2-3 year-olds.

Parents can choose from all kinds of classes and activities:
- music - piano, violin, drums, singing ...
- sports - roller-blading, baseball, soccer, ice-skating, gymnastics ...
- dance - ballet, modern dance, ballroom dance, hip-hop ...
- math - abacus, mental arithmetic ...
- languages - English, Japanese, French ...
- games - Chinese chess, Lego, Go ...
- arts - Chinese painting, ceramics ... 

The list can go on and on - whatever you want your child to learn, they got a class for it (at least in Taiwan)!

How do you decide? How do you know which classes to sign your child for?  How do you know what your child is interested in or what he is or will be good at?
In the next few posts I will share with you how w…

Homeschooling Outing in Warsaw - Museum of Modern Art

A day after a visit to the Centre for Innovative Bioscience Education (BioCentrum Edukacji Naukowej) for a lesson on DNA (you can read about it here) we went to the Museum of Modern Art for a museum lesson. Unfortunately most of the kids were much younger than Jas and the guide was speaking to them.
Jas thought it was boring and didn't want to participate in the art activity. Instead of making something out of nothing, Jas went to explore the rest of the museum.
In the album below you can see what he saw.