JapanForum.com  


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
(#1 (permalink))
Old
Notsomuch (Offline)
New to JF
 
Posts: 7
Join Date: May 2009
Schools in Japan - 05-11-2009, 09:06 PM

Hi. I'm new (very new) to this forum. We are very excited that we may be moving to Japan in about 2 years. I want to take advantage of the 2 years to study everything I can before we leave -- the language, culture, housing, culture, and schools.

One of my concerns is the schools. I hear so much about Japanese schools. My children attend Montessori school here in America. I assumed I would send them to a Montessori school in Japan. But, am I right that the price is $20,000 30,000 USD a year? I pay $4,500USD now. To be truthful, this is more than I make.

I want my kids in a school where they are free to learn at their own pace -- no pressure and hours of homework. I still want them to work hard, I just don't want them to always be in school or doing school work.

Does anyone have any experience with Japanese Montessori schools (or any schools)? I hear a lot about "pressure" and children not having time to play in regular schools in Japan. What is your experience with the education system?

Any help or advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

Katy
Reply With Quote
(#2 (permalink))
Old
horridhenry (Offline)
New to JF
 
Posts: 2
Join Date: May 2009
Smile 05-11-2009, 11:39 PM

Hi Katy

It is good that you have started your search early. Good Luck. About schools, Are you or your husband Japanese and what age are your children. I am here with my 3 children so maybe I can give you some information on schools.
Reply With Quote
(#3 (permalink))
Old
RadioKid's Avatar
RadioKid (Offline)
Native Japanese
 
Posts: 1,304
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Yokohama, Japan
Send a message via Yahoo to RadioKid
05-12-2009, 12:03 AM

Here is a link to Montessori school in Tokyo.

The Montessori School of Tokyo (GD.com Profile)

Tel: 03-5765-7655

You can call them at +81-3-5765-7655.


Language makes Culture and Culture makes Language.

Links to Japan forum Tips :
1) How to remove spam massages on you screen
2) How to post Youtube movies or Pictures

... and
Ask professional translator for your business work. You can not get useful business resources for free.
Reply With Quote
(#4 (permalink))
Old
Nyororin's Avatar
Nyororin (Offline)
Mod Extraordinaire
 
Posts: 4,152
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: あま市
Send a message via MSN to Nyororin Send a message via Yahoo to Nyororin
05-12-2009, 12:21 AM

There are very few Montessori schools in Japan. In fact, there are very few "private" elementary schools in general.

I am not sure of the ages of your children, but I wouldn`t worry much if they are in the kindergarten to elementary school age range. Junior high and up is where things start to get rough.

My local elementary school has relatively short hours with quite a lot of recess time. At the elementary level, the amount of schoolwork is also very low (too low!) in my opinion.

If you are only going to be in Japan for a short period of time, then I would personally not worry all that much about schooling. The reason why there is pressure put on kids here is that they are aiming for harder to get into schools at later levels. If you`re not planning for a future of Japanese schooling, school can be a very relaxed and free thing. It`s all up to whether you`re pushing your kids to aim for entrance into somewhere prestigious down the line.

For example - regular school hours for elementary school seem to be 8:30 to 1:30 around here.
But it`s pretty normal for a kid to get up and leave for school at 7:00 (15+ minute walk to school, then an hour to socialize, play, or study before the day starts.) and get home at 5 or 6 (Cleaning duty for 30 minutes, after school sports practice until 3:00, tutoring for another hour+, then lessons in something like piano).
In other words, you could basically ignore all of the extra curricular stuff, and have your child get to school 15 minutes before the day starts and get home 15 minutes after the day ends. In my experience though, most kids will jump to join into those sort of activities at the elementary school level because all of their friends are doing so too.

You could leave it up to your children and find a good balance. If they want to come home ASAP after the day is over, nothing is going to stop them. I have noticed that the opinions of Japanese schooling really seriously varies with the attitude parents have toward it. If you feel your children need to be doing everything all the other kids are doing, it can be stifling. If you feel that your kids need to be pushed more in the classroom - it can be incredibly inadequate.

Beyond elementary school, the pressure does increase in the classroom - there are few students who aren`t aiming to go to high school, and to get into the school you want to go to you need to pass the entrance exam. High school isn`t mandatory in Japan, so kids study hard to attend the school of their or their parent`s choice. But, in the same thread as elementary school, if you`re not worrying about exams later on... You can pretty much just ignore it and glide right on through with a huge amount of freedom.


Make the move!
The new Japan Forum Community -
Reply With Quote
(#5 (permalink))
Old
Notsomuch (Offline)
New to JF
 
Posts: 7
Join Date: May 2009
05-12-2009, 05:23 AM

Thanks for the link. This is a montessori school I've been looking at.

This info is very insightful. By the way, we're American -- from Louisiana actually. My daughters will be about 4 and 7 by the time we get there. We may stay up to 3 years. We'd stay forever if we were welcomed and the environment were right.

I like the sound of the elementary schools. I wonder why there is such an extreme change from relaxed and encouraging to hard and pressuring. Would someone be willing to share personal experiences with junior high school with me?

As far as all of the extra curricular activities, I would want them to choose. I wouldn't however want them to get involved because other children are doing so. Family time is very important to me too. I want them to see and learn the things I do at home so they can learn the skills of taking care of a home. I wouldn't want them to come home just in time to eat dinner and go to bed.

Side note: My daughter gave in to her first peer pressure today (she's now 4). She came home and said, "Mom, never make broccoli with dressing again!" I asked her why. She said, "Because all of the kids said, 'Ew!!!' I don't want them to say that anymore."

In my opinion, the schools in my area (Southern US) are not very good, and this is why I choose Montessori schooling here. I like teaching personal responsability and working together to make the classroom a better place.

Would it be wise for me to put my kids in a Japanese school since they're American, or should I put them into an American school in Japan? I am going to try to teach them Japanese as soon as I can find a good way to learn.

Any other advise would be appreciated. Thanks for these responses so far.

Katy

Last edited by Notsomuch : 05-12-2009 at 05:34 AM.
Reply With Quote
(#6 (permalink))
Old
MMM's Avatar
MMM (Offline)
JF Ossan
 
Posts: 12,201
Join Date: Jun 2007
05-12-2009, 05:49 AM

Considering they speak no Japanese now, immersion in a Japanese environment might be hard, especially for your oldest one.
Reply With Quote
(#7 (permalink))
Old
Notsomuch (Offline)
New to JF
 
Posts: 7
Join Date: May 2009
05-12-2009, 06:42 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MMM View Post
Considering they speak no Japanese now, immersion in a Japanese environment might be hard, especially for your oldest one.

Yeah. That is what we're thinking. Uck! So much to think about! Thanks.

Does anyone know what American schools are like in Japan? Are there public American schools? What are these like?

Thanks,

Katy
Reply With Quote
(#8 (permalink))
Old
MMM's Avatar
MMM (Offline)
JF Ossan
 
Posts: 12,201
Join Date: Jun 2007
05-12-2009, 07:02 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Notsomuch View Post
Yeah. That is what we're thinking. Uck! So much to think about! Thanks.

Does anyone know what American schools are like in Japan? Are there public American schools? What are these like?

Thanks,

Katy
Free American school? Never heard of anything like that.
Reply With Quote
(#9 (permalink))
Old
kawaionigiri's Avatar
kawaionigiri (Offline)
JF Regular
 
Posts: 61
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: indonesia
Send a message via MSN to kawaionigiri Send a message via Yahoo to kawaionigiri Send a message via Skype™ to kawaionigiri
05-12-2009, 07:10 AM

Montessori school using english / japan for the language?

I'm jelous with ur child katy T.T

I also want to go to school in japan.. But my mom won't allow me due to the language
Reply With Quote
(#10 (permalink))
Old
Nyororin's Avatar
Nyororin (Offline)
Mod Extraordinaire
 
Posts: 4,152
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: あま市
Send a message via MSN to Nyororin Send a message via Yahoo to Nyororin
05-12-2009, 08:13 AM

Quote:
I like the sound of the elementary schools. I wonder why there is such an extreme change from relaxed and encouraging to hard and pressuring. Would someone be willing to share personal experiences with junior high school with me?
I can`t share direct personal experience with you, but a close family friend`s son just entered high school this April (in other words, finished junior high in March). He is about as close to being a little brother as someone outside the family can be, so I can give some insight.
As with elementary school, it does depend a lot upon how you approach it. The biggest stress is entering university - and in order to reduce that stress, a lot of parents try to split things up. If you can get into a good high school, the base level is going to be higher so you`ll have less study and stress when exam time comes around for university. As high school isn`t mandatory, there is a huge difference in levels between schools. From the view of a parent wanting their kid to get into a prestigious university (with the job opportunities that brings) that can be something awful...

But, in your case, I honestly wouldn`t be that worried. Chances are your children will not be competing on the same field. They`ll have native English skills, and the option to attend university outside of Japan along with the ability to move out of the country. Even if they follow the most common Japanese schooling model, they`ll still be looked at differently when it comes to getting a job. They`ll have advantages and disadvantages unique to a non-Japanese living in Japan.

Quote:
As far as all of the extra curricular activities, I would want them to choose. I wouldn't however want them to get involved because other children are doing so. Family time is very important to me too. I want them to see and learn the things I do at home so they can learn the skills of taking care of a home. I wouldn't want them to come home just in time to eat dinner and go to bed.
This can be done. In the end it is really all choice. If one of them loves studying - they can choose to study, aim for the top of the class, etc. In the same vein, if one of them would rather do other things - they can breeze by at average levels and invest time elsewhere.
The key is the parents. If you are not pushing them into something they do not enjoy, things should be fine. The pressure of Japanese schools comes FAR far more from parents and their expectations than from the classroom itself.

Quote:
In my opinion, the schools in my area (Southern US) are not very good, and this is why I choose Montessori schooling here. I like teaching personal responsability and working together to make the classroom a better place.
In general, Japanese schools are very heavy on personal responsibility and working together. This can and often does rub parents from the US in the wrong way though... Emphasis is put on taking responsibility for your own actions, and putting harmony ahead of "being unique". For example, children clean their own classroom and school building from a pretty early age. This seriously cuts down on graffiti and general dirtiness. They learn very quickly that their actions not only come back to effect themselves, but also others. As the cleaning is doled out evenly, they end up thinking about how much it sucks to clean up someone else`s mess. Being punished for defacing something is one thing, but having your peers also be disappointed in you because they had to clean it up is another.
But a lot of US parents do not think it`s a good policy, and that only the kids who do make the specific mess should be involved - and that regular cleaning should not be the responsibility of the children.
It`s all a matter of thinking.

Quote:
Would it be wise for me to put my kids in a Japanese school since they're American, or should I put them into an American school in Japan? I am going to try to teach them Japanese as soon as I can find a good way to learn.
I am going to say the exact opposite of MMM. At 7 for your oldest, I would put them straight into Japanese school with no qualms at all. That is first or second grade (depending on the birth date). There is no stressful work, and everything is within the range that can be picked up in virtually no time. Entering an English speaking school, and never acquiring the lower grade level Japanese skills - and THEN switching over would be much much more traumatic. In first and second grade, none of the kids are all that settled in to school.
And at that age, picking up Japanese will happen literally before you know it. It seems to be pretty normal for a kid entering the lower grades with zero Japanese in April to be running around with no problems at all communicating with peers by the time summer vacation rolls around in July... And absolutely no difference at all in level before the year is done.

With your younger child, the possibilities are endless. Kindergartens are many and heavily varied. (Kindergarten is also not mandatory, but 95%+ of parents send their children.)
Kindergarten either starts at 3 or 4. 3 for 3 year kindergarten, or 4 for 2 year kindergarten. There are kindergartens which spend the day working on reading, writing, prep skills, etc... All the way to kindergartens which spend the entire day outside playing in nature with no academic expectations at all. It`s all up to the parent.

Quote:
Does anyone know what American schools are like in Japan? Are there public American schools? What are these like?
American schools? I understand that they use the exact same curriculum as in the US with the addition of a couple of culture / language classes related to Japan mixed in. They stagger the school year to match that of the US. Also, they cost $$$$$$. If Montessori sounds painful, then I wouldn`t even look at American schools. (Especially as I get the feeling you`re trying to get away from that teaching style.)
As for public American schools... Japan is not part of America. There is no such thing. If you are on a military base (considered American soil) then there is public American schooling available. It is not open to those not involved in the military.


Make the move!
The new Japan Forum Community -

Last edited by Nyororin : 05-12-2009 at 08:18 AM.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On




Copyright 2003-2006 Virtual Japan.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.0.0 RC6