Finding Day-to-Day Opportunities for My Daughters’ Learning
Published on: July 29, 2019
A hands-on mum reflects on what she’s picked up these last few years in Bangkok to help her be involved with her daughters’ learning and growth milestones.
By Elodie Delacroix
We’ve now been living here in Bangkok for four years. Being actively involved with my daughters’ education has always been a strong wish of mine. So when I arrived here, I took the opportunity of a new start and chose a professional path that would allow me to stay near my daughters and spend time with them while I work.
As a young mum living abroad, I’m constantly asking myself questions about their development, their education and their capacity to open up and awaken to the world around them. I try to guide them step by step and age by age, so I can be as close as possible and help them along their path.
While spending hours online, I found numerous resources to help support my children. I also found a lot of information about alternative education courses from my home country, which gave me general guidelines to follow. I was really surprised to see how detailed and focused the kindergarten programs from my home country were.
Each exercise was conceived to reach specific development goals for the child, which, for the early childhood stages, centered on five principles:
– Language, in all its dimensions
– Acting, expressing, and understanding through physical activities
– Acting, expressing, and understanding through artistic activities
– Building the first tools to structure thoughts
– Exploring the world.
What seems like common sense for us adults sometimes requires daily practice and learning for the younger ones. With my own means and some DIY, I developed games, exercises, and opportunities to help my daughters explore these principles and go deeper into what they learn from teachers.
This holistic education makes learning easier. For example, I try to keep specific moments for play, to feed the relationship between parents and children. I create soft toys and accessories for kids as my profession. So when my daughter comes into my workshop, we delve deeper into learning by using the materials around us to learn about colors (dark blue, indigo, royal blue, etc.), patterns (polka dots, stripes, plain, etc.), and other things of interest in that environment.
I strongly believe that reading is a privileged moment with your kid. Reading before bedtime is great, but children benefit even at other times. It’s also a chance for relaxation time or for playing games, depending on the book. Reading strengthens a link that is so important to me. Books also give some depth to realities or day-to-day discoveries; it allows children to connect the dots from discussions or to see with elements handled in the stories.
Living in Bangkok provides some undeniable advantages for our kids, as they’re living around different languages (their native language, Thai, and English), and this enhances their mental development. Learning languages is one thing, but being in a multicultural environment also helps develop open-mindedness towards different cultures, religions, geography (through comparing the country of origin with the country of living), and empathy. It’s a bottomless pit of opportunities that provides great tools for our kids.
Being a parent is so enriching as the children are not the only ones who learn from these experiences. I’m also learning with them and this gives me perspectives that I wouldn’t have considered in the past.
We’re also lucky because Bangkok offers many opportunities for creativity and play for all kinds of budgets. The Kids’ Museum in Chatuchak, Imaginia at Emporium, or the Planetarium in Ekamai are very good examples of places to learn while having fun.
Arriving in Bangkok four years ago, I was very removed from all of this. But as the days passed, I learned by experimenting, discussing, and sharing information with fellow parents. I still have many doubts and fears, but I have learned that many solutions are available. My message to other parents is to believe in yourself, but moreover to believe in your children. They’re the ones who guide us and give us the cards to play with. Let’s try to achieve this together!
Photos courtesy of Lubica Plankova Photography.
About the Author
After two years of traveling around the world, Elodie decided to settle in Bangkok and raise her family in this crazy city. Elodie completely changed her professional path and founded Melody from Paris, where she creates handmade soft toys and accessories for kids. Her creations can be found at Melody from Paris on Facebook.
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