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The final workshop for the year took place last weekend and the final tutoring sessions were also last week so I am now on holiday.

I want to thank all the children and parents who I have met during the year, it is always a privilege to work with such wonderful students. The term from August to December is always so busy but as I spend time now reviewing each child’s learning and writing plans for next term I am constantly amazed by how much we have achieved.

I look forward to spending time with my family over the next few weeks and I wish all my subscribers a very happy festive season and a wonderful 2014.

Best wishes


The flyers for all upcoming workshops can be found below.


Read, rhyme, craft workshops for 4 – 6 year olds –  Read, rhyme, craft – Autumn 2013

Story and Craft workshops for 2 – 4 year olds (with an adult) – Story and craft

Due to popular demand I am delighted to announce two new workshops for the younger Smart Owls.  Story and Craft allow children aged 2 – 4 the chance to work with an adult to try a selection of different craft activities all based on a theme.  There is also an opportunity for them to have a break from crafts and play with toys for a while.  At the end we will come together as a group to share a story and some songs.

There are two workshops this term, Falling Autumn and Christmas Craft.  More information on the workshops and the flyer can be found here.

autumn owl 1To register or for more information please email Karen at

Throughout my teaching career I have often been asked by parents how to help children develop their writing skills and below, in no particular order, are 10 suggestions:

1) Read – Through reading children develop their imagination by visualising the stories they read.

2) Read – Reading teaches children about problem solving, perseverance and morals.

3) Read – Children see words spelt correctly in books and can apply this knowledge to their own writing.

4) Read – Through stories children gain a greater understanding of the world around them.

5) Read – Reading helps children to build their vocabulary by experiencing words used in different situations.

6) Read – A whole world of information opens up once a child can read.  Reading allows them to explore their interests in more detail.

7) Read – Through reading children meet many different characters who can influence how they feel and act.  They can ‘make friends’ with the people in the story developing emotional links and genuinely caring what happens.

8) Read – Books set in the past allow children insight into how life has changed and allows them to appreciate how technology has influenced their lives.

9 )Read – Reading with your child creates a shared bonding experience and allows you to talk with your child about the book and how this relates to their own life.

10) Read – Reading encourages confidence and independence by allowing children to access this amazing world of words.  As they read they begin to ask questions and search for answers which then generates more questions and the cycle continues.  This quest for knowledge and new understanding is an ongoing and motivating journey.

Good writers draw on ideas they have read then mix these up to create their own unique story.  They understand how to use words effectively to create emotions and help their reader picture the scene.

If you want to help your child develop their writing (and reading) then encourage them to read for 10 – 20 minutes each night.  If they are reluctant to read then offer to share the reading with them by taking a page or paragraph each (depending on ability level).  Also encourage them to try a range of different books, some children will happily read non-fiction but not fiction and some like the comic book style.  As long as they are reading on a regular basis they get the benefit and once they find a book they enjoy look for more by that author or in a similar style.  Finally think about setting up a book exchange with some friends so your child has access to different books without constantly having to buy new ones.

Do you agree good readers make good writers?  What do you do to encourage your child to write?



Thank you so much to all the children and their parents who attended today’s ‘Sunny Spring’ workshop.  It was not very sunny outside but that did not stop the fun that everyone had.  Below are a few photos from the morning.

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Happy New Year and I am looking forward to an informative and creative 2013.

I am in the process of organising the dates for upcoming workshops and hope to publish the information shortly. If you want to be among the first to hear about new workshops then just email me at and ask to be added to my mailing list.

Tutoring starts on Friday with a twelve week term ending at the spring holiday. I have extended my tutoring hours on a Friday so have several new students starting which is always exciting.

I look forward to lots of new ideas and activities this year.

Thank you for all the interest in the next few workshops.

There are still spaces at Creative Christmas on Saturday 1st December.  It will be held at Children First, Freiestrasse 175, Zurich and runs from 9 – 11.45.  The workshop costs 50chf per child.

If you are interested in your child attending then please fill out the application form here or email Karen at

Both other Christmas workshops are now fully booked.

Upcoming workshop dates

There are currently no scheduled workshops.


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