How to Make It Your Own

Bonnie-small.jpgWould you like to have a peek into a craft workshop? Our today’s guest will give you such an opportunity.

Bonnie Scorer, a mother of three, a former educator and a very creative person (and the one who inspired me to make autumn felt leaves), is going to share her secrets of planning crafts, arranging materials and getting children involved. She is also going to prove the axiom that creativity runs in families and passes from generation to generation.

Meet Bonnie, the author of the website “Make It Your Own”.

Doc McStuffins

Doc-McStuffins-Mobile_0.jpgHi! My name is Dasha. I’m nearly six years old.

What’s your name?

I want to tell you about my favourite cartoon. My favourite cartoon is “Doc McStuffins”.

I have got a whole folder about “Doc McStuffins” and I’m drawing her clinic. If you want, I can show it to you.

Love is in the Air

small_window.jpgSpring has come and revealed something new in people's hearts. Along with melting snow and blossoms beginning to bloom one can feel extraordinary tenderness, open-mindedness and love. Love is everywhere: in the singing of birds, in the bright blueness of the sky, in the smiles of children.

Have you uttered "I love you" this spring? Or is something holding you back?

Art for Small Hands

Julie-Voigt_0.jpgA few weeks ago I came across a blog I didn’t want to leave for a very long time. Would you believe your luck if you discovered a treasury of detailed clear-cut instructions of how to teach children to draw illustrated with photographs of real-life works and accompanied with a printer-friendly version? Well, I couldn’t.

The blog "Art for Small Hands" is run by Julie Voigt who has taught art for over twenty-five years in public, private, and Montessori schools, both in the United States and Hong Kong. Julie has a degree in art education and her teaching experience spans pre-school children through eighth-grade. I am happy to have Julie as a guest.

What are you reading now?

What Your Birthday Reveals About You_1_0.jpgDo you like to read books which tell you something about your personality? I do. In fact, I am reading a book like that right now.

Parent-Child Quality Time

small_window.jpgNew mothers tend to spend as much time as possible with their babies. But sooner or later every mother discovers that it is possible to be together with the kid all day long without even noticing him or her. On the other hand, there are days when you only spend half an hour together - but what a halfhour it is! The more mature a mum gets the more fully she realizes that what really matters in her relationship with the child is not the amount of time spent together but its quality.

Number Rhyme

clock_0.jpgThere are various number rhymes which can help your child with different mathematical aspects. One of my favourite rhymes is about a big clock.

Getting Things Done

Clock-2_0.JPGIt has always been difficult for children to grasp the concept of time. Time is abstract and intangible. It seems to have nothing to do with everyday activities. But parents keep looking at clocks and watches and insist on getting things done. Done on time.

Mother and Child Relationship

Childhood_0.jpgTwo of the most important relationships in one's life are the relationship with one's mother and the relationship with one's child. This post is a collection of quotes and links from different sources. All of them have reached the very bottom of my heart.

How to fold a sailing boat

Summer-craft_0.JPGIt is fun to speak English and create something special with your hands. Today we'd like to teach you how to make a simple origami boat. It will not take a lot of time and efforts. Read the instrustions carefully, look at the pictures and make your own saling boat.

On my way

22 June 2009

I remember that day like it happened a couple of days ago. It still aches in the deep shades of my mind to see the faces of my dear parents, giving me last goodbyes before we separated for a long time.

My Emerald Soul

images_0.jpegOnce upon a time…

That's how about any fairy tale starts, is it not so?

Well, as for me, I think it’s about time to share the part of my life which makes other people wonder, “Does things like that really happen to people?”. Let me tell you the story about a simple girl with highly unusual life. That is the real story about real people. And if this will be hard to believe, don’t worry, it can happen to anyone - you never know…

Teaching Children English

small_Ideas.jpgOn the one hand, teaching children is easier than teaching adults: children are more responsive; they take everything in like sponges and readily share what they have assimilated. On the other hand, dealing with children can be a far more demanding job: they flat refuse to do what they are not interested in, their attention is easily distracted and they float from one topic to another in a butterfly-like manner.

When I was not a mother myself I avoided working with children because of the difficulties involved. But raising a bilingual child has changed my attitude: now I adore teaching children as I can see in them much more potential than in adults. I hope my experience will be helpful for a colleague whose letter I received recently.

One year of doing Russian/English OPOL in Ukraine

Starting this post I found myself in a bit unsure position. On the one hand the audience is Russian-speaking and I clearly should address you in a conventional way. On the other hand we all should practice English more and, oddly enough, when writing about my experience of raising my son in English, I`m experiencing a weird awkwardness in my native tongue. So despite of possible flaws, let`s begin.

On expressive vocabulary of bilingual toddlers: Influence of reading and TV.

The frequency of being read to in each language was related positively with expressive vocabulary size in the same language. The frequency of watching television was not related significantly to vocabulary size in either language.

On early bilingualism

Three stages of early bilingualism:

(1) the child has one lexical system which includes words from both languages;

(2) the child distinguishes two different lexicons but applies the same syntactic rules to both languages;

(3) the child has two linguistic codes, differentiated both in lexicon and in syntax, but each language is exclusively associated with the person using that language.


Bilingual children have been shown to differentiate their languages as young as two years of age, and possibly earlier. In terms of developmental milestones, research suggests that there is no outstanding difference between bilinguals and monolinguals.

An Autumn Story

Ashberry-jam_0.jpgIt was autumn. The weather was dry and sunny. The fruits and berries on the trees had got ripe and were extremely happy. Their dreams had come true as now they could feel they were needed: people picked them, enjoyed their taste and made jam. It rejoiced the trees to see that children did not rush by any more but always stopped and never left without choosing the ripest apple or the reddest cherry.

Only the ash-berry tree was sad. Despite all its beauty, no one seemed inclined to try its berries. "It must be just that my time hasn't come yet", sighed the tree. 

India through a Kid's Eyes

small_India.jpgIf you have ever had a chance to visit India, you will never be able to forget it. That is exactly what happened to me. Although my trip took place over twenty years ago, my memory can still hold the minutest details of it. As I was only a child of ten, I didn't either study the Indian yoga philosophy or get acquainted with the country's cultural heritage. So, I am going to describe the facts of everyday life that struck my childhood fancy.

Helping People Understand Each Other

elena-tolmuch_0.jpegIn my childhood my father worked first as a translator and then as an interpreter. So I was able to see both positive and negative sides of the two jobs. I can still visualize him sitting well into the night with sheets of technical texts and dictionaries all over the table. There was no Internet at that time and he had to have my mother by his side as a counsellor on the technical part (she was a computer programmer). I didn’t envy him at all at such moments.

As an interpreter Dad visited more than 30 countries. I could have envied him then if I hadn’t noticed that he was not his own master. He had to accompany foreigners whenever and wherever it was necessary: to the circus, theatres, cinemas, restaurants and so on. His working day wasn’t over with the sunset. He could hardly afford to make any arrangements with friends and I don’t remember a single time when he was able to accompany Mum, sister and me on holiday.

So even entering the faculty of foreign languages I had a very clear idea that I didn’t want to be an interpreter like most of my fellow students. I was sure that although the profession may suit men and unmarried women, it can’t be the choice of a family woman… until I met Elena Tolmuch (ladywdele.org) who seems to be quite happy in her job. I couldn’t miss such an opportunity and asked Elena to answer my eager questions.

Femininity as I See it

femininity.jpgWhen I was a small girl, I remember looking at different women in search of a role model. I thought that if I found her, I would know for certain what kind of woman I would like to be. Years passed. While growing up, I got acquainted with a lot of different women about whom there was something I liked. One of them was gay and talkative, another always looked great wearing designer clothes and impeccable makeup. I got to know some women who were extremely wise and others who were charming in their childlike manner. But I failed to find the one who I wanted to resemble.