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. But it's not like other schools.
For young children, we follow the official Lao curriculum of course, but in a more interactive way than most schools. We have a strong focus on reading, and we make school fun. (In Dec. 2017 we asked how many would like the school day to be an hour longer; 100% voted in favor.) It works: In their first year with us, children learn to read, and also to love reading. We often use games, story-telling, and hands-on activities. In this picture, a visitor and an older student play an arithmetic game with two second-graders. They all learn some English from the visitor, as well as improving number skills.
In 2017-18 we have pre-school for ages 3 to 5, plus grades 1 to 4. We expect to add one grade (perhaps more) each year.
For young adults, too, we're using innovative approaches. This year, we have students who are want teacher training. They often help with the pre-school and primary-school students. 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 young adults 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. Often, even within a class, children who have learned something will 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.
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.