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The Bay Area Kinderstube (BAKS) is a German-language immersion preschool program dedicated to fostering support of the German language in the lives of children between the ages of 2 and 5 years.
Could any of the German or bilingual parents in the group give me feedback about the BAKS + after school program? I am looking to enroll my son into the 2/3 program for one afternoon, but we are new to the area to I'd love some feedback about the school. Thank you! Sabine
Hi there - This will be our third year sending our son to BAKS+ afterschool programs (in Berkeley). We are very happy with the progress he's made and with the curriculum. He reads and writes in German as well as in English - and that's not a small feat, given that he only attends 1 afternoon a week. His vocabulary is also better than I expected it to be. The teachers are competent and easy to connect with. So I would definitely recommend BAKS+! It's also worth noting that they offer summer camp, which helps with immersion learning if you cannot go back to Germany. Happy with BAKS+
I have one child who has attended BAKS+ for four years, and another for two. Both started with kindergarten (after attending the affiliated preschool). We are very happy with the program. BAKS+ is a German school specifically for kids who are growing up with German in the home, so the instruction is completely in German, and the focus is on reading, writing, fluency, and breadth, rather than starting from scratch with the language. I have found it absolutely awesome that my kids have learned to read German without my husband or I having to do the instructing! During the kindergarten year, the program deliberately holds back on teaching actual reading--as they know the kids have their plates full learning to read in English--but they work on the German sounds the letters make. And then in first grade, the reading takes off! The program uses reading books and workbooks from Germany, supplemented with other materials. For the younger grades, there are also crafts and games, and time for fun, so that kids enjoy being there. Kids that go all the way through the program can take AP and DSD2 prep classes and the tests through the program. I get a behind-the-scenes look at the program because I am on the Board, and I am constantly impressed by how much thought and care the directors and teachers of BAKS+ put into the curriculum, what materials to use, classroom dynamics, how to help individual students succeed, etc. Great German program!
Hello, I am looking for recent reviews of the Bay Area Kinderstube. As it is a 20+ student mixed-age group, can this be overwhelming for the more introverted kids? If you are a family with one German-speaking parent, did your child's German improve with exposure to the language at school? Is it, overall, a loving, kind, close-knit community/school? Any feedback welcome! Thanks. Hopeful Kinderstube Family
My four year old daughter has been going to Kinderstube for one year now and we are very happy as a family to be part of the Kinderstube community. The teachers are very warm and nurturing and the curriculum is engaging and fun for the children.
I'm the German speaking parent in our house and before going to Kinderstube my daughter would speak more English than German. Now her German is fluent and she speaks to me in German all the time. She has made really good friends and feels at home there.
Kinderstube has a mixed age group, but during different times of the day the children are separated according to age groups for special activities that are appropriate for their age; e.g. the oldest kids have special pre-k activities. The mixed age group has worked really well for my daughter as being together with the older children and the younger children has allowed her to develop a nice balance in her social development.
Kinderstube has a lot of community events for the whole family that I have really enjoyed over this past school year; e.g. camping trip, Laternenfest, Christmas tea e.t.c.
I would recommend Kinderstube to any Family who is interested in a German immersion preschool. Happy Kinderstube Parent
We just finished a five-year run with Bay Area Kinder Stube, first with my son for two years and then with my daughter for three. My husband is German and speaks German with the kids, I am American and speak English with them, and since I stay at home with the kids, German is definitely the underdog language in our family. My husband and I both feel that their attendance at Kinderstube (five mornings a week for their stints) has been key to their German language development, and I'm so glad we were able to have the kids there. It's a wonderful preschool with caring teachers, circle times, lots of singing, arts and crafts, games, science experiments, you name it, and all conducted in German. Depending on the kids, the kid-kid interactions can tend to fall into English--especially if both kids come from homes with more English--but the teacher-kid interactions and the programmatic material are all in German. Now both of my kids are enrolled in the preschool's offshoot program for school-age children, BAKS-Plus, one afternoon a week. Kids don't need to have attended the preschool to be in the after-school program, but they do need to already understand/speak German. My second-grader learned how to read German in the first-grade program--it was awesome! Chelsea
I am interested in the Bay Area Kinderstube in Albany. I'd really appreciate any feedback from parents whose children attend this pre-school. In particular, whether you believe a child from a non-German speaking family would still benefit from the exposure to German and not become overly confused or frustrated. Also, information about the quality of care in general and the facility would be terrific.
Mom seeking bilingual education
My boys have been attending Kinder Stube in Albany for 1.5 years now (started at 3 years old). I could not be happier with the program. It is small and familiar and the teachers are exceptional. I like the European play-based philosophy of the school where the ''curriculum'' is based on themes with a lot of open play time. Music and art is a big plus in the program.
My boys' German has really flourished in the second year of the program, but they also get it from their Dad every day. So much depends on the child and their interest in the language and their linguistic development that is is hard to say how any one child without German in the home would do. I don't think confusion is a problem, however, since the children learn very quickly to understand the spoken German even if they respond to the teachers in English (although with time they are encouraged to respond in German, of course). There are many mixed families at the school with one parent that speaks German in the home. Talk to the teachers at the school about your concerns with the language as they have a lot of experience with many different learning styles. parent of BAKS
This is in response to the Mom seeking bi-lingual education at the Bay Area Kinderstube (Jan 2004): My daughter has attended BAKS since June 2003 and is doing wonderful in German. However, it is my recollection that the school requires at least one German speaking parent for a child to attend. Indeed, all the children there have one or both parents speaking German at home. The children who are in the full day program are progressing faster in their German than the children in the half day program. It also depends on the effort of the German speaking parent at home to always speak in German. You should contact BAKS and get clarification on their requirements. We are very pleased with the teachers, the program and the overall environment of the school. Our daughter is thriving at BAKS and I would give the school a high recommendation to anyone interested in attending. Lisa
The Bay Area Kinderstube (BAKS) is a small German language preschool that presently has openings for 2 to 5-year olds. Children do not have to be German speaking to enter the preschool. Children sign up for anywhere between 3 mornings a week to 5 full days per week. BAKS provides a very safe and intimate environment for the children, and all of the teachers are fabulous. My children have been going for almost 3 years and now speak fluent German. Also affiliated with the BAKS school is an after school literacy program for older children as well as a 'Krabbelgruppe', or informal playgroup, for children under 2 years of age. Contact: Anna-Maria Torok, (510) 525-3105
Hi, You may want to call the Bay Area Kinder Stube in Albany. There number is (510) 525-3105. It is a wonderful preschool as taught in the German Language. They also have afternoon programs for older kids, music, reading/writing, movement, etc. all taught in German. It might be nice to reinforce the language with other children. Dori
The Bay Area Kinder Stube is an intimate, language-based school for children ages 2 to 5. Our mission is to make German language development an integral part of the social-emotional, physical and cognitive development of the child. The language of instruction and interaction is exclusively German.
The BAKS community is mainly composed of families with at least one native German-speaking parent. But even for those with limited German, a commitment to raising children with a rich awareness of cultural and linguistic differences can make BAKS a rewarding educational experience.
BAKS offers a full morning program Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Extended care is available from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. three days a week. The class size is limited to 15 students under the care of two staff members and a teachers' aide.
BAKS was founded in 1994 as a parent-led German-language play group and opened its doors as a state-licensed preschool in 1997. Our bright, open facility includes a generous play yard, play structure, vegetable and flower beds and a unique German-language book and video lending library. BAKS is steps from Albany's Solano Avenue and easily accessible from Interstate 80, as well as by bus or on foot from the UC University Village.
Bay Area Kinder Stube A unique German-language preschool in the East Bay 842 Key Route Blvd Albany CA 94705 Phone: 510.525.3105 www.kinderstube.org License # 013412710