Every year, my son and I visit Japan after his school in the US finishes in early June. We stay in Japan for about 6 weeks in order for him to go to school in Japan. In Japan, summer vacation starts July 20th. Since my son has dual citizenship in the US and Japan, the Japanese government allows him to attend school in Japan. So, he can learn at the Japanese public school system for free during his summer vacation. In Japan most public schools have a swimming pool and swimming lessons are taught as part of the school curriculum. Also, each school has a big kitchen and school lunches are provided 5 days a week. It is not like a school cafeteria in the US with unhealthy fast food. Rather, Japanese school lunches are planned by nutritionists to meet children’s nutritional requirements.
This year, my son attended 3rd grade in Japan. He will also start 3rd grade at his US school in September. In Japan, school starts from April. Algebra is easier for him, since it is working with numbers and is not very dependent on language. However, learning the Japanese language is VERY difficult for him. Learning “Kanji” is especially difficult for him since the Chinese characters are getting more and more complicated. Japanese children learn about 4000 Kanji in school. He enjoys drawing Kanji with calligraphy. It’s more like art.
As a parent, I don’t expect him to be perfect at his Japanese school, but I want him to enjoy this valuable experience since none of his school friends in the US will have this opportunity when they are young. In the future, he will remember the valuable experiences during the summers with his friends and family in Japan. Also, it is important for him to learn about different cultures.
In my son’s 3rd grade class, I met a mom and daughter who came back from Malaysia. The daughter attends the International School of UK in Malaysia. She looked so happy to play with her friends in Japan.
The teacher said, this is also a great opportunity for students in Japan since they can help friends who cannot speak Japanese fluently, they can get more curious about different cultures in their early age, and they will discover new ideas and ways of life. I think children like my son are in the role of little ambassadors and I hope they will contribute towards world peace now and in the future.
After you have gotten married and have children, your children can also experience these valuable opportunities.
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