Classes will be held every other Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm; please see our calendar for exact dates. Instruction focuses on developing the students’ Finnish language comprehension and oral skills. Our older students also practice their Finnish reading and writing skills. Each teacher plans an engaging school day with fun activities to encourage the students practice their Finnish skills in a range of ways. Arts and crafts activities are incorporated into the school day to further increase the children’s understanding and appreciation of the Finnish culture and traditions. Each group gets to visit the school library to take out some Finnish books for home. The school day also includes a break for lunch and recess.

Pikkuo­ravat (3-4 yrs)

Little Squir­rels are our youngest stu­dents. We be­lieve that young chil­dren learn best through play. Little Squir­rels focus on spoken Finnish in a stim­u­lating and nur­turing at­mo­sphere. Our var­ious ac­tiv­i­ties ad­dress mul­tiple aspects of learning, in­cluding in­tel­lec­tual, phys­ical, and so­cial growth.

  • Book used: Pikku Treenit: Pu­uhaa ja pulinaa (Tammi)

Isot Oravat (5 yrs)

Big Squir­rels class con­sists of stu­dents who are about five years old and who study Finnish through games, rhymes, songs, sto­ries, and crafts. We also learn Finnish let­ters and letter sounds, but the main focus is on learning fluent spoken Finnish and en­riching the stu­dents’ vo­cab­u­lary.

  • Book used: Pikkumetsän esiopetus (WSOY)

Ketut (6-7yrs)

The Foxes class con­sists of stu­dents who are six to seven years old and who study Finnish through games, rhymes, songs, sto­ries, and crafts. We learn the Finnish al­phabet and letter sounds forming syl­la­bles and short words. The main focus is on spoken lan­guage, but we prac­tice be­ginner level reading and writing skills as well.

  • Book used: Pikkumetsän aap­inen ja har­joi­tuskirja (WSOY)

Si­ilit (8-9 yrs)

Hedge­hogs are 8 to 9 year olds who al­ready know the ba­sics of reading and writing in Finnish. Even though the ap­proach is more aca­demic than with the younger stu­dents, there is also room in the cur­riculum for role play, games, sto­ries and crafts.  We em­pha­size fluent spoken Finnish and en­riching the stu­dents’ vo­cab­u­lary on var­ious areas.

  • Book used: Pikkumetsän lukukirja ja har­joi­tuskirja (WSOY)

Karhut (8-12 yrs)

Many chil­dren in the cur­rent Bears group were born in Fin­land and have lived there. They all are older chil­dren who have mas­tered the ba­sics of spoken Finnish and are also able to read in Finnish flu­ently. In this class, the em­phasis is on broad­ening vo­cab­u­lary in dif­ferent areas, such as bi­ology. We also work on ac­cu­racy of written text.

  • Book used: Uusi Salainen kerho (WSOY)

Il­vekset (young be­gin­ners)

Younger chil­dren with little or no pre­vious knowl­edge of Finnish form our Bob cats group. In the be­gin­ning, we con­cen­trate on sounds, stress and in­to­na­tion, and the Finnish al­phabet. After that, we move on to some key vo­cab­u­lary and phrases, which will be re­in­forced through dif­ferent playful ex­er­cises.

  • Book used: Avain­sanoja S2 (Tammi)

Porot  (older be­gin­ners)

Rein­deers are chil­dren from ages 9 to 13 with little or no pre­vious knowl­edge of Finnish. In the be­gin­ning, we work on sounds, stress and in­to­na­tion and the Finnish al­phabet.  From there we move into more com­mu­nica­tive ex­er­cises where chil­dren prac­tice telling about them­selves and an­swering basic ques­tions. The goal is to en­able the chil­dren to con­duct short con­ver­sa­tions in Finnish.

  • Book used: Eka Suomi (Ope­tushal­litus)