Big Sister Mouse is our school on the outskirts of Luang Prabang
After many years of planning and construction, Big Sister Mouse opened in June 2016. It's a school; we have pre-school for ages 3 to 5, plus grades 1 to 5, and young-adult classes. But it's not like other schools.
For young children, we follow the official Lao curriculum but in a more interactive way than most schools. We have a strong focus on reading, and we make school enjoyable. (In Dec. 2017 we asked students how many of them would like the school day to be an hour longer; 100% voted in favor.)
For young adults, too, we're using innovative approaches. We help them develop a range of skills, from basic skills such as reading with comprehension, math, computer use, and English, to important life skills such as perseverance, problem-solving, and group cooperation. Young adults are eager to acquire a specific job skill, and we prepare them to become teachers. As they get experience with other things, some will decide to pursue other paths, but they feel more secure knowing they have several options.
Young adult students often help with the pre-school and primary-school classes. It gives us a chance to explore new techniques, and they get hands-on teaching experience. We try different approaches, then discuss what works and how to improve it
What do they like most? English practice with visitors. In this photo, several students practice English conversation, one-on-one, with travelers who have volunteered for a day.
We have strong interaction between different age groups. Children who have learned something help their classmates who didn't yet get it. This doesn't slow them down; on the contrary, it reinforces their own learning. Young-adult students frequently lead activities with children, too, and we're continually creating new games and activities. In the third photo, two members of our staff who are deaf demonstrate sign language to a group which includes pre-schoolers, older students, and a visitor.
Occasionally visitors have gone an extra lap. If this 22-second Youtube video perks you up as much as it did our children, you'll have a great time.
If you're in Luang Prabang, please enjoy a day in the countryside with us! We provide lunch and transportation. (More about volunteering). Current details are always posted at our shop in Luang Prabang.