Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Last day of yochien

In Japan, from my limited understanding, children go to preschool and kindergarten from ages 3-6 and then enter formal school at grade 1. B has had his graduation ceremonies from both schools. They were very cute. The children sang songs. For one school, they had written books and these books were presented at the graduation.

I'm not sure what the ceremony was supposed to look like, but for both there were speeches and the children sang songs. Other than that, there was presenting of diplomas and a lot of bowing. B seemed to know what was going on even if his parents didn't.

Today is his last day of yochien. In one school, he will continue on to grade 1. In the other, we are probably going to move him to the conversational class. I guess it's to be expected that I'm feeling nostalgic. I remember when he started Japanese music class as a toddler. It seems strange to think that now he's going to be in a full academic more toys and circle time.

This summer we will have to practice a lot. We (he and I) are planning to go to Japan next spring. One of his friends told him about the cherry blossoms, and even though there are similar events in our city, I think it'd be nice to see them in Japan. I'm reading lots of travel blogs about going to Japan in order to inspire myself to save money and practice Japanese. So far it's helped with the saving money part but I still haven't been practicing Japanese enough.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Might have to move to fundamentals class

At the preschool level, the children mostly play. So in Japanese school, it hasn't mattered much that B can't speak fluent Japanese.

Now that he is going into grade 1, he'll have to do actual class work in Japanese. In one of his schools, they wait until grade 2 before the children are divided. But in his second school, the fundamentals class (where they learn how to speak Japanese) starts in grade 1.

Something tells me that the reason his teacher told me that she wants to talk to me about next year is because she wants him to go into fundamentals.

I guess part of me had been hoping that he'd be fluent by now, even though I knew I hadn't been doing enough and I myself am not fluent.

It's obvious that the only way he's going to become fluent is if I become fluent. I think if I let him go on his own he will become comfortable but not fluent. He likes learning languages because he likes people so he needs people to talk to.

I wish we could afford to go to Japan this summer.

I wonder if he can catch up or if he is already too far behind?