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)

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)