Rabbits, Horses, and Elephants-Learning at Kindergarten

Saturday was a special open house for Annie and Annie at their kindergarten. Parents came and watched their children participate in some “normal” school activities and see some of the interesting dynamics going on.

Here is a video clip of Owen doing a welcome song with three of his close friends. It was such a great joy to see his personality shine, finally. After a full year in Japanese school, we can really see Owen able to be himself, playing in Japanese and doing the same silly things at school that he does at home.

Owen’s grade every year makes bamboo stilts, called take-uma, or bamboo horses. The dads and kids put them together- I’ll need to post some pictures later when Owen gets to use them outside (it was raining like crazy on Saturday.)

Saturday was the first time we’ve seen Annie in action at her preschool. She seems to be doing better, although it’s still obvious that she doesn’t know a lot of what is going on except by watching her friends. She shined during the songs!

We loved watching her sing- even if she didn’t know all the words, she can fake it beautifully… and Olivia was right there by her side wanting to join in.

In both classes, they took a special class photo with the parents, too, to give to us before we leave for the U.S. Here’s Annie’s class…

Perhaps it was Annie and Owen’s parents who learned the most at Kindergarten on Saturday. Eric got to learn how to be a rabbit and an elephant (OH- was I ever lucky for holding Olivia at the time that one parent had to go forward!)

And here’s what Mom learned… to double-check the fliers that give the instructions for special days! Often I double-check with another mom to make sure I’ve got all the Japanese right, or to ask about some part that I didn’t understand. This time, I read it quickly and it made sense– Annie, first year, had to wear her normal school uniform; Owen, third year, had to wear his gym clothes (since they were making the stilts). Shortly after Owen’s class started, Eric motioned to me from across the sea of children and parents in the room… and it suddenly dawned on me that Owen was the only one of 30 students wearing his gym clothes. All the other kids were in their uniforms! When I came home and checked the instructions, I realized that it was the 2nd year students who were to wear gym clothes. Big oops. Thankfully, Owen is fairly self-confident and only one time made some comment. Another mom who I shared my horror with said, “Oh, I just thought his uniform must be dirty.” That was kind.

ALL of us continue to learn at Kindergarten.


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