Classes will be held every other Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm; see calendar for exact dates. Students will start with an hour and a half of structured language instruction and then have a sack lunch break in the classrooms with their teachers. After lunch there will be an hour of electives, such as textiles, games or seasonal/holiday activities, which will further introduce students to Finnish culture and traditions. We believe that language instruction as well as cultural and craft programs will increase the children’s, and their parents’, understanding of and appreciation for Finnish language and culture.
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)
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)