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CityExperten Blog

Got a question or need some “how-to” advice to make life in NYC smooth sailing? Review our expert blog featuring topics ranging from parenting advice, product reviews the NY school system, important laws, taxes, moving tips, and more.

BASIS Independent – Curious Students. Expert Teachers. Endless Potential.

Basis Independent School Brooklyn

Curious Students. Expert Teachers. Endless Potential.

It’s no secret that BASIS Independent Brooklyn has captured the attention of families across New York City in the few years since it opened—it’s hard to imagine when we laid the first brick in 2014 that we would be bursting at the seams as we are today. So what is it that truly makes BASIS Independent Brooklyn stand apart?

The Curriculum 

Our advanced, well-rounded curriculum lays the foundations for high-level learning in content-rich courses.

A unique blend of liberal arts and sciences, the BASIS Curriculum is built from best practices from around the globe, educating students to the highest international levels. It is designed to encourage students to take risks, help them build confidence, and equip them with the knowledge and grit to succeed throughout their entire academic journeys.

The Teachers

Ask any expert and they’ll tell you that, more than any other factor in education, teachers make the most significant, lasting impact on a student’s learning. Great teachers are essential to our school’s success: our educators are subject experts in their chosen discipline, be it Calculus, Mandarin, musical theatre, engineering, or astrophysics. They utilize their expertise and passion for their subject to make classrooms come to life, inspiring students to love what they are learning day after day. What’s more, BASIS Independent teachers are wholly invested in their students’ success, providing the support and encouragement to help them excel.

The Culture

Our joyful learning culture is present in every classroom, hallway, and auditorium.

It creates a spark in the minds of all our students, one that motivates them to forge their own path of learning, become independent thinkers, and pursue their ambitions—and we ensure they are supported every step of the way.

Within just a few short years, our students, staff, and families have come together to create an unparalleled school community, one that is determined and eager to face whatever challenges come next.


Curious to learn more? Join the BASIS Independent Brooklyn interest list to receive updates on upcoming admissions events and tours.

Accepting applications for Fall 2018. Visit our website for more information.

BASIS Independent Brooklyn

556 Columbia Street

Brooklyn, NY 11231


(718) 643-6302

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Raising your kid bilingual – Everyone’s journey is unique

Bi-lingual education is a rocky road. When you were pregnant you probably thought you would speak German to your child, German only. And English to your better half. And then your beautiful child is born and everything is a bit off and not quite the way you thought it would be. You feel bad that part of your family does not understand what you are saying, so you pull away a bit. Or you give in and don’t speak German with your child as much as you thought you would.
And then soon she will start school and the American language and culture seeps into all aspects of your child‘s life. Or you decided to enroll your son in a German Immersion program and you are afraid that together with the Portuguese that he is learning from your mother he will be behind on the Gifted and Talented applications.
In short- you find yourself in a stressful situation as opposed the enriching learning environment you wanted to create for your child…..
All the above scenarios are from families that we know at Rella’s Spielhaus. Bi-lingual education is indeed messy. The rocky road you have embarked on not all that clearly marked. But I am grateful to tell you after over 7 years founding a German Immersion school that it is all part of the precious thing we are trying to do called bi-lingual education.
Maybe you can only send your child to a couple of weeks of German Summer Camp/year. Or you have committed to one Day of German Communication with your kids… it will all be precious material to be used and integrated later into your child‘s web of experiences.
What matters the most in our opinion is the joy of learning you share. Try to avoid to add German as another must on your child’s schedule. Create memorable experiences. Easily said, not so easily done. But UNIQUELY YOURS.
Guest blog by Barbara Rellstab
Founder/Director of Rella’s Spielhaus, Manhattan‘s First German Language Preschool and largest offerer of German classes for kids in New York. MA candidate fir bi-lingual/bi-cultural childhood education at Columbia University‘s Teachers College.
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Alles, was Du über die Baby Shower wissen musst

Wie läuft eine Baby Shower in den USA typischerweise ab? Wer wird eingeladen? Und was solltest Du bei den Geschenken beachten? In unserem Beitrag erhältst Du alle Antworten, die Du brauchst, um perfekt auf die nächste Baby Party vorbereitet zu sein!

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Music Education Within Bilingual Education

Article by Mr. Stefan Alberti, Director of Music Program at German International School New York

While music may be thought of as a childhood hobby, studies emphasize the importance of music education in children’s lives to help develop memory, perception, language, vocabulary, spoken skills, and reading skills. Research shows that these benefits may last well beyond childhood. Music has an impact on both hemispheres of the brain and thus makes learning easier. To get these benefits, both listening and playing or singing are important. However, all the positive effects on cognitive development of young children are usually related to singing or playing instruments.

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Aufruf zur Blogparade: „Schwanger im Ausland“

Schwangerschaft und Geburt zählen zu den aufregendsten Ereignissen im Leben. Das gilt umso mehr, wenn man sich während dieser spannenden Zeit im Ausland befindet, fernab von Familie und Freunden. Deshalb wollen wir von euch wissen: Wie habt ihr Schwangerschaft und Geburt im Ausland erlebt?

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Bundestagswahl 2017 – So funktioniert die Briefwahl aus dem Ausland

Am 24. September ist es wieder soweit: Die Bundestagswahl steht an. Deutsche, die sich im Ausland aufhalten, sind ebenso wahlberechtigt wie Deutsche, die im Inland leben: Über die Briefwahl können auch sie an der Wahl teilnehmen. Wie das Ganze funktioniert und was bei der Briefwahl aus dem Ausland zu beachten ist, erklären wir in diesem Beitrag.

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Wie werden Kinder zu begeisterten Lesern?

Wie werden Kinder zu begeisterten Lesern

Dass Lesen wichtig ist, ist uns allen bewusst. Ohne die Fähigkeit zu lesen, ist Erfolg in unserer Gesellschaft kaum möglich. Lesen ist die Grundlage für Bildung in allen Bereichen und damit auch für eine selbstbestimmte Berufswahl und den Zugang zu “höherwertigen” Jobs.
Lesen ist aber ebenso wichtig für die soziale Entwicklung von Kindern: Indem sie durch Bücher die Welt aus verschiedenen Blickwinkeln kennen lernen, erweitert sich ihr Horizont und sie werden in ihrer sozialen Entwicklung unterstützt.
Auch in der bi- oder multilingualen Erziehung spielt lesen eine wichtige Rolle, indem Bücher neues Vokabular und grammatische Strukturen vermitteln.

Aber was tun, wenn Kinder nicht gerne ein Buch in die Hand nehmen? Wir haben für euch einige Tips zusammengestellt, wie ihr sie dazu motivieren könnt, bzw wie ihr schon bei Babys und Kleinkindern das Interesse an Büchern wecken könnt.

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Five Myths About Bilingualism

Five Myths About Bilingualism
And the real “scoop” on how bilingualism benefits your child

Raising a bilingual child is a big commitment, and it can be challenging. But your decision to teach your child more than one language is a gift that can offer tremendous advantages.

In this post, we’d like to set the record straight on five common myths about bilingualism.

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Grandma Wanted – Living with a Granny Aupair

Granny Aupair with young family | City Kinder

One of the biggest challenges for expat families is the lack of other family members living close by. Although regular Skype or Facetime sessions with grandma and grandpa have become integral parts of the expat’s weekly schedule, we can not just “park” the kids in front of the Ipad or computer screen and have grammy babysit from overseas.

With 12+ weeks of summer, several snow days during wintertime, and children getting sick every so often, there is no way for working Mom and Dads, to be there for their children all the time. Granny appear is one possible solution!

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Baby’s First Walking Shoes

Baby’s First Walking Shoes

We’ve all received those cute little sneakers during our pregnancy from family and friends that mean well.

But are those really going to be your baby’s first shoes? I personally didn’t have any use for the cute little sneakers, but now that my daughter can stand and already tries to take a step or two I had to buy her some walking shoes. The research was adventurous, but I was lucky enough to have been in Germany where these things are much easier for me to handle, when I bought her first pair of walking shoes.

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