[ADVERTORIAL] Alternative International Education in Hua Hin

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Lev
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[ADVERTORIAL] Alternative International Education in Hua Hin

Post by Lev » Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:05 pm

ADVERTORIAL

Alternative International Education in Hua Hin
This small private home-school co-operative has been open in Hua Hin for the last four years, run by an American/British family of teachers, co-operating with families to meet the needs of our children. Our alternative program provides a truly international education, incorporating aspects from British, American, Australian and Thai curriculums, developing the important skills that children of the 21st century need: critical thinking, creative problem solving, confidence, and responsibility to name a few.

Parents, teachers and students work together to design a course of study to meet each child’s needs and individual interests. When programs are tailored to fit, children thrive and excel. We focus on inquiry as a teaching style: asking questions and encouraging kids to think for themselves. We do a lot of physical activity, developing creativity and curiosity and confidence. Students learn inside and outside of the classroom, and are empowered to become lifelong learners.

Following the home-school model, we get our accreditation from overseas. Our three-term year allows us both Thai and Western summers.

For 2010, our schedule follows:
Rainy Term: 3 May – 30 July 2010
Fall Term: 6 Sept – 10 Dec 2010
Dry Term: 3 Jan – 1 April 2011
For 2010-11, membership is 33,000 per term.


Please use this thread to ask any questions and communicate with school representatives who will also respond here.

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Re: [ADVERTORIAL] Alternative International Education in Hua

Post by JimmyGreaves » Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:17 pm

Age groups?
Diplomacy is the ability to tell a man to go to hell so that he looks forward to making the trip

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Re: [ADVERTORIAL] Alternative International Education in Hua

Post by sandman67 » Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:28 pm

Following the home-school model
you had me all the way till that bit.

Which model? Not one that includes Intelligent Design I hope.

Exam qualifications?

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Alternative International Education in Hua Hin

Post by padma » Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:43 pm

Thanks for your interest JimmyGreaves –
Right now we have children in Grades 2-6 (age 7-12), but they keep getting older every year…! We offer new courses to meet their needs as they mature. They will be able to get their High School Diploma through this program as soon as they are ready.

I like your attitude sandman67 -
Some families enroll in a program from their own country (two families from Norway and Holland do this), the others can do it in America through me. None of our current families are interested in or follow the Intelligent Design model, but we try to honor all belief systems. We ask kids to inquire and use their own intelligence. In response to “What happens when you die, we have a conversation that goes something like, “Some people believe that when you die, you go to Heaven (and we talk about Heaven). Other people believe that when you die, you get re-incarnated (and we talk about reincarnation). Some people believe that when you die, it’s just over, like a candle flame getting blown out. What do you think? What do your parents think?”

I’m not exactly sure what you are asking when you say ‘exam qualifications?’. If a child is following a course from their home country, they will have their own exams, and whatever credentials come from that. Our own weekly tests and end of term exams are based on information learned through the Australian, British, American and Thai materials that we use. The accreditation for my program comes from the California alternative home-schooling program that our program has been accredited by, and students can get yearly transcripts for that, and eventually a High School Diploma from the US (if they want/need it). The enrollment for overseas programs always have their own expenses (about 30,000 Baht per year), and so far nobody has needed the overseas transcripts in order to progress to another school.

Hope that’s clear! Let me know if I need to clarify more.

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Re: [ADVERTORIAL] Alternative International Education in Hua

Post by bigideas » Fri Mar 26, 2010 7:19 pm

Hello Padma,

Can you tell me what facilities you have there?

and

What specialist tuition do you offer? eg. languages, music/singing, drama, sports etc

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Alternative International Education in Hua Hin

Post by padma » Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:27 pm

Yes bigideas –

Our best resources come from our families – the parents, grand-parents, friends and acquaintances. We’re all working together and doing our best to make sure we meet the needs of our kids. One grandmother comes in to read with the kids each week. Another dad is a musician who has led drum-circles for us. Often moms will come in to cook a specialty from their country. Language wise: Right now we only do English and Thai, but I have had Chinese (Mandarin) speakers come and I wish that I could find the right person to lead us in Chinese. Do you know anyone? I have a person who would love to do Swedish, but so far no students for that course! Performances: We do a lot of singing and dancing and play writing and acting, but all informally (not with trained professionals). Sports: There is an English football coach that trains with the kids twice per week. One of the dads covers general PE, sports, fitness, group games. A certified yoga instructor teaches yoga weekly. Specialist tuition: I have a college professor leading the kids in a Survey of World Religions course, History of Civilization, Children’s Literature, Research Essay and Report Writing courses. Another college professor does a science course in Environmental Science and Climate Change, Modern Thai Culture & Careers & History. These courses are pretty sophisticated and only the most capable students participate. The younger kids do the more standard lessons. Families also invite their visitors to lead special lessons for us. A professional Norwegian performer came in and taught us to juggle... A rapper came in and taught us rapping basics one day…

Facilities: Again the families come together to meet the needs. One family has a condo at Hin Nam Sai Suay and invites us to swim in their (terrific) pool. The house itself is in a development that has its own pool and clubhouse, which makes an excellent site for hide-n-seek. The clubhouse has a courtyard where we play dodge-ball and basketball. There is also a “stage” area for theatre performances. At the house itself, we have a small play-ground with climbing structures, three “classrooms,” kitchen and a yoga/dance studio/room. One parent built us a puppet-theatre booth. The adjacent plots of land are vacant, so we use those for planting, growing, gardening, digging, sand-play, sometimes football, although there is a professional public football field underway just 1 km away that we have permission to use… Whatever we need, we have been able to find a way to acquire it. I’m sure we’ll have new needs, but with each family comes new resources – the power of community…! It’s a co-operative effort, so all ideas, suggestions, resources are welcome. The kids would love to find someone to lead them in hip-hop dance. Know anyone?

Thank you for your inquiry.

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Re: [ADVERTORIAL] Alternative International Education in Hua

Post by bigideas » Sat Mar 27, 2010 12:58 pm

Padma,
Thank you very much for your over-generous reply. It does show just how so much can happen from pooling together. However, I actually believe that as well as a whole range of opportunities, young people also need to get stability from routine. It may be difficult to learn skills well enough for them to be rewarding, unless they are done regularly enough to become well learned. Parents popping-in from time to time seems a little sporadic, unless they are properly committed. That would worry me slightly. The other thing that would worry me is how it is possible to educate or do activities with so many different age groups at the same time.

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Alternative International Education in Hua Hin

Post by padma » Sat Mar 27, 2010 3:51 pm

Yes, I got carried away talking about the special events and surprises that we’ve had. Sorry if that was misleading. Definitely those were just fun and inspirational, but not disciplined training. I do like to support the kids being excited about learning new things (just being inspired to learn is a quality that parents are proud to see in their kids), and so I never turn down those opportunities when they arise.

The stable routine comes from my full-time Thai teacher and my full-time self. We have a very disciplined program for reading, writing and spelling in English, reading and writing in Thai, and maths. I already mentioned the other subjects that also have regular weekly sessions. I do different programs for younger kids and older kids, each family has specific needs.

There are many benefits to mixed-age classrooms, and there are many activities where we separate the kids. I often catch younger students “spying” on the older ones, they look up to the older ones and get interested in the work that older kids are doing. Almost every day, a ‘little kid’ will brag to me that s/he can spell a ‘big kid’ word, because s/he was eavesdropping on the lesson. They often progress more quickly because they take an interest in what’s next and as a result of their enthusiasm, leap ahead. The older students often step into roles of maturity and leadership when they are in the company of younger kids. I’ve often seen older students reading to a group of younger students for fun. Also I remember this research project: Kids who were doing poorly in their grade level were given the task of tutoring a younger kid. Both of the kids improved in subsequent testing. The younger kids were more keen to learn from an older ‘buddy.’ The older kids reinforced their existing skills and developed some confidence and pride in their capability, which had previously been lacking.

One of my students has excellent writing skills, but no imagination. His little sister can’t write at all, but loves to tell long imaginative stories. Perfect match! I let her dictate stories to him. A third student (between their ages) sometimes steps in and draws the pictures. He turns in a writing assignment that all three of them are proud to have read aloud for the class. This always inspires a series of other writing and drawing projects…

There are many other instances where the kids self-separate, or we separate them.

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Re: [ADVERTORIAL] Alternative International Education in Hua

Post by bigideas » Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:45 pm

Thanks for your answers. Sounds like another good reason to stay in Hua Hin!
Hope I can help at some stage.
Cheers!
:cheers:

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Re: [ADVERTORIAL] Alternative International Education in Hua

Post by sandman67 » Sat Mar 27, 2010 7:51 pm

Padma

thanks for the answers and further clarification - I like what Im hearing and will keep you in mind when we move Mrs S's kids down here. The fact you stress teaching kids to think rather than just repeat is right up my street. The exam / high school certificate answered my question about the end of the line paperwork.

I'd offer the occasional hand with odd jobs but it sounds like you have all bases I can cover better covered anyway. The offer stands tho - if you need a big lump to carry or fetch, hammer and bang drop me a PM.

Good luck folks, and well done for making a small change. Little acorns....

:cheers: :cheers: :cheers:
"Science flew men to the moon. Religion flew men into buildings."

"To sin by silence makes cowards of men."

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Alternative International Education in Hua Hin

Post by padma » Sun Mar 28, 2010 7:31 am

Thanks for your kind and supportive words bigideas and sandman67. I like “Little acorns…” :bow:

Yes! All contributions very welcome. It would be terrific to grow into a community center (invite more retired people) and offer an even more diverse range of activities too. I would love to see after school programs with a chess club, book group, knitting circle… :thumb:

Hammer and bang? Really? The kids have been asking for a rabbit hutch…!?! I also have an 11-year old boy who is very interested in carpentry, too. He’s been asking to build a ladder and I haven't been able to find what he's looking for… His little sister wants a fence around her garden, and everything we’ve tried hasn’t had ‘staying power’… The Thai people that I’ve hired just tend to do it themselves, rather than explaining, showing or working together with the kids. That is an area that we’re weak, for sure…. :naughty:

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Re: [ADVERTORIAL] Alternative International Education in Hua

Post by sandman67 » Sun Mar 28, 2010 5:49 pm

Ok - heres how to do the fence:

First, ask the kids what the fence is for - what is it intended to keep out or in? So.... what sort of fence do we need? How high, how long, etc. Then you look at what you can use to build it, and choose the right materials at the best cost. Takes in Carpentry, economics, planning, etc. and shows kids how to plan a project then build it the best way.

Rabbit hutch? Well there you can get the kids to look up plans on a PC, see how much room Mr Rabbit needs, draw plans, learn how to use power tools properly and care for tools in general, basic woodworking (ie building a secure open fronted wooden box on legs), when to use nails and when to use screws, etc etc. Then theres where to put it (sun is bad for furry things), making a rabbit run, etc.

Heres a suggestion though - teach them road safety, riding bike skills, why its important to wear a helmet, maintaining a bike properly before setting off on it, crossing a road safely (ie not from behind a bus or truck) etc and emphasise that distractions like phones will get you killed. See if you can save some from becoming tarmac pizzas.

Good luck folks and PM me is you ever need a hand.

:cheers:
"Science flew men to the moon. Religion flew men into buildings."

"To sin by silence makes cowards of men."

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Alternative International Education in Hua Hin

Post by padma » Sat May 01, 2010 2:59 pm

You can see some pictures and an informative article in the education section of the May issue of the HUA HIN TODAY newspaper.

Sandman67 - You inspired the title!

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Alternative International Education in Hua Hin

Post by padma » Sun May 23, 2010 7:32 am

We're up and running! You can see a little video tour at:


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Alternative International Education in Hua Hin

Post by padma » Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:35 pm

We are having a little OPEN HOUSE on Friday the 9th of July, from 4pm - 6pm.

Interested families are welcome to come and see our facilities and meet current members of our small community.

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