I realize that I have devoted quite a few posts to things that irk me about my children’s schools, so to prove I’m a glass-is-half-full type, here is a brief list of things I love about my children’s schools.
1. Morning Poetry
Every morning my son recites traditional Japanese poetry at school. He and his classmates are going to give a public recitation later next month. Being a lover of poetry and literature in general, I think this is great.
2. Ballet Workshop
At my daughter’s school, outside experts are often brought in to teach the kids things like indigo-dyeing and, now, ballet. My daughter gets to participate in a ballet workshop at school with a professional dancer tomorrow, and next month will be onstage in the chorus during a performance of “Swan Lake.” The boys don’t get to participate in the actual dance, but since I’m the mother of a girl, this doesn’t bother me.
I love it that the kids at both schools grow and harvest vegetables. My kids will never wonder where a tomato comes from.
4. Sign Language
There are some deaf schools in Japan, still, I believe, where sign language is not used. At my daughter’s school, however, everyone uses it. I also appreciate that kids in other schools learn at least one song in sign language.
5. School Lunch
In Japan, kids at school get healthy meals made with local ingredients. I also love that the kids help to serve the food and clean up afterward.
6. Music Class
When I was kid, we gathered around a piano, a songsheet clutched in our hands, and sang once in awhile. Maybe there was a tambourine or a triangle or two. But my kids get to play on real instruments. I also love the traiditional taiko drumming at the deaf school – and so does my daughter.