Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My first "Mim"

There's this nice tradition among Turkish mommy bloggers to "mim" each other (mim literally means putting the finger on sb but here it's about getting to know other bloggers more and it actually stands for asking a question or opening a topic and then choosing other bloggers to answer the question or write about the same topic. It's like chatting among blogs :p)
My first mim's question is "If you had an extra 10.000 TL , how would you spend it for your little one?"
(10.000 TL roughly makes $ 7000)
First of all I'd keep the money for another few months, maybe years, since currently there's no need to spend any money for Ela. I'm not planning to travel anytime soon nor can I send her to any class or course since she's too little. BUT when she's 2.5-3 years old, I would spend the first few hundred Liras for our first trip to Germany and buy her the fanciest and newest things for kids that I wouldn't be able to get in Izmir. And then I would plan for another trip...and another...and another...
Traveling is one thing I really want to do a lot with Ela when she's a bit older since I believe that it teaches and develops children (just like adults) in so many ways and gives them the sense of being global, seeing and learning about new cultures and simply different places and people (and languages).
Secondly, if any money is still left (which I doubt) I would spend it for sports and art classes/courses since I decided a long time ago that I would like to send my child to a state school at primary level. And state schools here, more or less like everywhere actually, unfortunately, don't offer too many of these. So I'd start with a gymnastics course when she's three, then maybe ballet, an instrument she likes, horse-riding, etc. etc....anything she shows interest in and is also talented in, of course.
The decision not to send her to a private school might change, of course. But when I was working for Pearson Longman, I had the chance to visit almost every single private school in Turkey and also all state schools teaching English and/or German and according to this experience private schools focus so much on language teaching (but unfortunately mainly on grammar rather than speaking and writing) that in the end, most of the students, even after several years, can't speak or write  it properly. They also tend to neglect the other subjects and there's also the fact that private school teachers have one-year-contracts which means they change very quickly which is not very good esp. for younger students. In fact, in one school which is supposed to be one of the elite schools in Turkey I had to translate for a teacher when we visited them with a book author(!) Interestingly, this doesn't apply to German or French schools but the ones in Izmir are either too far or too expensive.
State schools, on the other hand, lack all the rich activities, of course...and can also be very crowded. That's why I will look for "Pilot  Schools" where there's a maximum number of 24 per classroom, better facilities, better teachers and education, in general.

The last few sentences have been totally irrelevant to the subject of this post, I know ;)) But I guess I had the urge to write about it right now!

Here are a few shots from today's Saysen Playgroup...


  1. You indicated one of the biggest problem about learning English İn our country. Gramer is the most important thing for our education system and teachers. Therefore most of use can not speak English fluently.
    However, your little one is very lucky because you are her mother and you can speak English with her.
    I wish Every child could be lucky as much as your little one.

    Best wishes


  2. Thx Ayse :)) In terms of languages you're right, Ela will have the advantage of having somebody around who's an English teacher(who can actually speak English :P)....but I wish I could send her to a state school where she could learn several languages properly (like in Germany, for instance).
    I can understand Turkish teachers, teaching grammar is easy, testing grammar is also easy. What's difficult is to actually teach students to talk and write and, of course, to test it. I have hope tho, new teachers come with much more background and knowledge and are quite efficient. But there's still the last generation of these grammar-teaching dinosaurs that need to retire ;))