Changing Seasons

Changing Seasons

How was your long weekend?

Did you spend time with your grandparents for Respect For the Aged Day?

Today was the first cool day we have had in a while! Although it has been a little bit rainy, it feels refreshing.

It makes us think back to our last day of pool…

なつかしい!

Now that fall is coming, we have many things to look forward to…

Sports Day…

Halloween…

cooler weather…

Thanksgiving…

and lots of yummy food!

We also have started a new after school program with Jojo Teacher on Wednesdays this month. A group of kindergarten and preschool students have been enjoying free time, game time, snack time, and craft time together after school.

Jojo Teacher and after-school kids playing duck duck goose

Only a few more days until the end of this month. Let’s enjoy the coming of fall together!

ILH Matsuri 2020

ILH Matsuri 2020

This year, we were able to try a new event! Since there have been no chances to go to a normal festival, we decided to make our own and it was a huge success.

Everyone looked so fashionable in their yukatas and jinbeis. It was a great chance to dress up, get some toys, and enjoy the summer!

Art Day 2020

Art Day 2020

Last Friday, we participated in a summer Art Day!

Usually, we host our Art Day in February, but due to many other schedule changes, we decided to enjoy the outdoors and get creative with lots of color!

After painting our uchiwas (a sneak peek into what we will be using for our matsuri!), we used body paint on one another and washed ourselves off (partly) with water balloons.

It was a great opportunity to get crazy and have fun together despite the hot weather and social distancing!

End of First Term Already?!

End of First Term Already?!

The end of July has arrived! How quickly this term flew by…

First we hosted our annual Speech Day on Zoom for the parents! We had a total of 11 kids: 3 Jupiters, 4 Saturns, and 4 Mercuries. Everyone was so excited to present and no one had any big blunders!

We also got to celebrate our July birthdays together. Our birthday students received their homemade presents in their shimmery costumes.

Before our last day of the term, we also had Cleaning Day! We have always done cleaning at the end of each term, but from this year, it now has a whole new meaning.

Our kids cleaned their own cubbies, toys, and craft supplies boxes. We also cleaned the floors together and made sure everything was sanitized.

A special thanks to the volunteer mamas who came to clean the harder-to-reach places for us 🙂

And last, but not least, we have been able to enjoy pool time (in low group numbers at a time) every day!

What a hot couple of weeks it’s been. And now it’s summer break! Have a safe time in this heat!

We are looking forward to seeing you again in a few weeks 🙂

Wishes for Tanabata!

Wishes for Tanabata!

Every year on July 7th, we celebrate Tanabata, which comes from an old Japanese tale of two star-crossed lovers:

A long time ago, a princess named Orihime fell in love with a farmer named Hikoboshi on the other side of the Milky Way.

The two got married and were so happy. But since they were so excited to be together, they both stopped working.

This made Orihime’s father force the couple to only meet once a year. But if they meet on a cloudy day, they can’t see where they’re going and it’s dangerous!

Since then, Orihime and Hikoboshi have promised to work very hard until they can see each other again. But they must pray very hard for good weather!

In Japan, we make our own wishes every year, too! We wish for health, happiness, and of course, good weather for Orihime and Hikoboshi!

早くプールできますように!

What do you wish for this year?

Here is our wish!

Big Birthday Party!

Big Birthday Party!

This week, we were able to have our first birthday party after a few months! We were able to celebrate all our spring month birthdays, as well as our June birthday kids!

This was the first birthday party experience for Jupiter class, so it was fun to see them be a part of the fun together.

This year, our gifts are mug cups, of which the kids design and bake in the oven themselves with Michiyo teacher.

After handing out the presents, we all played games together and had a lot of fun. Due to virus precautions, we didn’t eat snacks or dance together, but we were able to make some new traditions together.

We all hope that everyone felt special at our party 🙂

Morning Routine

Morning Routine

We are in the middle of June and everyone has found comfort in our new normal routine. Here are some pictures of what we do to get ready in the mornings, which has thankfully not changed much from its usual pattern.

At the entrance, everyone sprays sanitizer on their hands and stand in the entrance while they take off their shoes. One of our administrators takes everyone’s temperature during this time.

After putting shoes and socks away, they open their backpacks and hang their cups and towels on the rack. Lunch boxes and water bottles get put in their respective boxes. After that, they take out their sticker books and put their backpacks in their cubbies.

Our class teachers have sticker book and sign-in stations set up every morning. At the sticker book station, students take out their daily temperature sheets and contact books and put them in the proper boxes. Teachers help them find today’s date. A sticker of their choice marks the right spot.

Finished sticker books go in the blue basket, names are signed, and then the kids are welcome to grab their hat and shoes and play outside!

Once the weather gets colder we may start having students arrive in their uniforms to change out of, but for now we are spending our days in BOB shirts only.

Of course, Saturn class and Mercury class have known this routine for years, but these days Jupiters have also gotten used to it quickly!

It feels good to have a part of our daily schedule stay the same. We’re excited for more days ahead of us!

A New Start

A New Start

We are almost done with our first week back with all our students. Our morning greetings are with Saturn and Jupiter classes downstairs, while Mercury class does their upstairs. Each child sits on taped marks on the floor that is far away from their friends.

English class has been divided in half for each grade level. While one class is with the English teacher, the other half has free time with another teacher.

During lunch every day, our kids sit down facing the same way. When they are finished, they each have one picture book to look at to prevent too much interacting with the kids next to them.

After all students have returned home, our teachers all clean together for half an hour every day. Here is a detailed description of our daily routine in video form:

We are so happy to have all our kids back at school, but understand how stressful it is for each child’s family. It is our responsibility to keep our space clean and we are it very seriously.

Thank you for your continued support as we step into our new normal together.

Staying Healthy

Staying Healthy

Only two more days of our current situation at International Language House. Next week we will be planning to return to a normal-length school day without online classes.

With an average of 50 students every day, we have been thinking a lot about how to properly social distance. Our staff has been meeting and discussing options every day in order to make sure everyone will be safe and happy.

There are many ways things that will change once all our kids return to school.

Our teachers have been working hard to make each online class fun!

Jupiters who have not attended the kindergarten in person yet will need to get accustomed to our school rules and interact nicely with their new friends.

Saturn class will have to refresh their memory of what a full day is like at the kindergarten.

And Mercury class will need to adjust to most of their day being upstairs and prepare to move on to elementary school someday.

There may still be a lot of uncertainty as we start the month of June, but we are all in this together. Thank you for sticking with us.

See you again soon!

Changing Together

Changing Together

久しぶりです!

We are back from Golden Week with another new schedule at International Language House.

This week we have launched our new Zoom class system for students who have stayed at home. This has been a learning curve for both families and teachers. But we have been trying our best 🙂

How have you been spending your time at home? Please feel free to look at our Useful Phrases page in our menu at the top of the blog page to help fill in the gaps while staying at home with your child.

We have also sent out private YouTube links to our clients. These will pair with a large package we sent out to each student before Golden Week. Inside each package includes supplies for crafts, a picture book for each class depending on level, English workbooks, and other activities.

For our students who are taking online classes with us, we only ask that each day before class starts, please prepare yourselves with your Golden Week packages nearby in case we use the English books during our lesson.

Thank you for always following along with us, even with difficult times. We are working hard every day to make sure your child still has many opportunities to learn with us.

We hope to see you all under different circumstances soon.