Sunday, September 26, 2010

Apple Orchard and Library day

Tuesday (かようび), my daughter's Japanese preschool is going to an apple orchard for apple picking (りんごがり), cider (アップルサイダー), donuts (ドーナツ), to go on a hay ride (トラクターにのります), and to pet little farm animals (しょうどうぶつ). Japanese preschools are very into seasonal things and do field trips, crafts, songs, and origami related to whatever the current season is. Last week they gathered acorns (どんぐり) outside and made spinning tops (こま) out of them with toothpicks.

Library day twice a week at the school has motivated me to once again read her Japanese books on a daily basis, usually at bedtime. I have a ton of Japanese toddler-age books. Last night, after I read a particularly long book, my daughter said, "Mommy, you read really good Japanese." :) That made me laugh. Even though my daughter is 3 and can neither read Japanese nor English, making her have no idea how well or terribly I read, I still like that she has a positive view of being able to read Japanese. If you have access to any Japanese kids' books, especially toddler books, I highly recommend them for some fun, stress-free enrichment reading.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I'm learning, too!

Although my husband and I are both American, I enrolled my 3-year-old daughter in a Japanese preschool this fall, so I am learning lots of interesting things about how the Japanese operate a preschool. First, despite the "academic" reputation Japan has, there is no math or flashcards or even alphabet learning! The goals for September are learning to make new friends, see the nature of fall (collecting acorns, etc), do crafts, try "cooking" onigiri, learn how to properly wash hands, enjoy eating a variety of foods, etc. I'm jealous because as a tiny tot, she gets to learn to communicate in Japanese in a fun way because she's playing kitchen and dressup and Thomas the Train with her new Japanese friends. If only we could recreate that in a high school classroom!!