Thursday, February 07, 2008

Starting school

Today was my children's first day at a New Zealand school. In fact, it was my son's first day at any school. They seemed to have a pretty good day, although they came home exhausted... my daughter falling into bed for an afternoon sleep with a slight fever. Hopefully it is just exhaustion and not the onset of something worse! It was an interesting experience for us all - everything is just so much more casual here compared to Japan - no entrance ceremonies - in fact we weren't even really enrolled properly to begin with - just turn up and we'll work it out kind of attitude! Other differences (I'll let you decide whether you think they are positive or negative!)
  • So much grass to play on (no big dirt fields called playgrounds)
  • Bright classrooms
  • School lunches taken from home.... maybe Japan is not all bad!
  • No textbooks
  • No set times for each subject
  • Individual teaching of each student for reading/maths subjects
  • All parents arriving at the gate to pick up their children at 3pm
Of course the list goes on and on, but that is enough for tonight. It will be interesting to see if the children continue to enjoy their time there and then how they will cope with going back to the more rigid Japanese system. The best news for today.... my daughter's teacher is more than happy for her to do her Japanese homework (kanji) as part of her school work in NZ. At least this way I don't have to keep pestering her at home!

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