Friday, October 25, 2013

Oyako Eigo (Mommy-Baby English)

Timing is a funny thing. Often when something doesn't work out, it's as much to do with the timing as the idea itself. When I tried to start an English class for moms and babies at our church two years ago it fell flat on its face. I was beyond bummed. I put so much effort into planning and advertising, yet no one came. I didn't have the connections into the mom-community to get it off the ground. In fact, that's why I wanted to start it: to make mom-friends. At the time I was pregnant and trying to find other moms in my neighborhood. (I didn't yet know about the importance of routine in making friends in Japan.)

This year, however, after months and months of slowly building relationships in a variety of contexts, I felt it was time to dust off my curriculum and get back in to the teaching game.

The moms I met through swim class and the neighborhood park were eager to join. I was blown away when at out first class, two weeks ago, 4 mom's showed up with their children: two park moms; two swim moms. Woot Woot!

The lesson for the day was colors. We sang songs, played games, made a craft all using our new English words for the colors of the rainbow.
Practicing our new color words while we draw together

Today was the second Oyako Eigo class. 6 Moms came: 3 park moms; 3 swim moms. The new "park-mom" hadn't yet met the other "park-moms," so I had the pleasure of introducing them. They live less than a block away from each other and they met for the first time at church while singing silly songs. The moms are slowly gelling. You can definitely see the two group from how they sit on different side of the circle. But, as with all relationships in Japan, slowly but surely, they'll get to know each other and soon this new group will be a common connection point. Not only that, but these 6 moms have now been inside of a Christian church. Twice! That's huge!

Today's lesson was body parts. We sang the ubiquitous "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" and played Simon Says. The craft for today was making Funny Felt Faces.

For fun, I thought I'd write out instructions for today's craft, incase any of you want to play along at home. :)
For the record: it's not too clear from the picture, but
I used tan felt for the faces, not white,since the kids are Japanese. 
Felt Funny Faces
Felt (various colors)

Cut out large-ish circles for heads out of felt.
Draw and cut out a set of
in different colors. (I made a variety of shapes as well. Ears were a bit of a pain. Mine all looked like kidney beans.)
Seperate parts by kind.

Pass out faces
Let kids/ parents choose one of each for their face. They can mix and match colors or go monochomatic.
The beauty of felt is the kids can reposition and change out the parts as they wish. After a bit it all starts looking like a Picasso, but that's fine. ;)

*** Pro-Tip: to get the felt to stick to itself, scratch it up with your nails. The rougher the felt is, the better.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...