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2019年6月17日
COLUMN

Let’s teach our children to count in English!

Many Japanese families want their young children to learn English but are not sure how to teach them.
Teaching young children how to count in English is one suggestion.
This is because it includes vocabulary that is easy to remember and there are many fun ways to learn how to count in English. In this article, we will introduce some fun ways to teach English to young children.

Let’s teach our children to count in English!

Counting familiar things around them in English!

When counting in English, it is effective to look at the actual numbers.
For example, write 1-10 on flash cards and line them up in order. Then your child can say the number with you as you pass him/her the card.
When you get up to 10, you can switch and have your child hand you the card as he/she says the number.
Touching the cards will help your child remember what the number looks like and what it sounds like.
Coloring each number, a different color will help them differentiate between numbers.

Singing the counting song in English
Young children learn through rhymes. If parents or teachers use a “counting song” to teach children how to count in English, it will make learning fun and enjoyable.
It is even more effective if you include a video along with the song.
There are many “English counting songs” but we recommend “Ten Little Indian Boys”.
In this song, 10 cute little Indian boys appear one at a time and children count them one by one.
The cute characters will draw young children’s interest. Children can also practice using their fingers to count along with the song.

Using a game to learn numbers in English
Playing the “Memory Game” in English using playing cards is another fun way to learn how to count in English.
Take out the Joker, King and Queen cards and only use the 1(Ace) – 10 cards. Turn over all the cards and mix them up.
Decide the play order and have each player pick up 2 cards and say the number in English. For example, 2 & 6 is “two and six”.
The rules are just like the memory game where the player keeps the 2 cards if they are the same number.
Players can go again if they get a match. Continue playing until you run out of cards. The player with the most cards at the end wins.
This game will encourage your child to count from 1-10 many times which will help him/her remember the vocabulary.

If children are not having fun learning to count, they will not want to continue.
It is important that parents and teachers find fun counting activities that children will enjoy doing.
To further encourage English learning, it is recommended to attend baby and toddler English classes with Native English-speaking teachers from a very young age. Once your child shows an interest in learning English, please check out the English schools around you.

Using a game to learn numbers in English
2019年6月11日
COLUMN

What is the definition of an International School? What are the requirements to enroll?

Along with the globalization of our society, the number of parents who feel that their child should grow up learning to speak English has increased. There are a variety of ways for children to learn English and one of them is to send their children to International School. However, many Japanese parents are unaware of the details of International School and the requirements to enroll. We will cover this information in this article.

What is the definition of an International School? What are the requirements to enroll?

What is an International School?

International Schools were originally created as schools (kindergarten, elementary, junior high and high school) for expat families living in Japan to attend. Therefore, they do not follow the Japanese School Education Act and are divided by age. All classes are held in English.

Currently, many international schools accept children of a many different nationalities including Japanese nationals.
International school is available for children between the age of 3 years and 19 years old. On average, the cost for a child to attend International School from kindergarten through high school is about 28,500,000 yen to 36,000,000 yen for 12 years.
This makes the tuition for International School more expensive than Japanese schools.

What are the requirements for enrollment at International School?
Most International Schools require students to have an English level that will allow them to follow along in class and with the homework.
Some schools also require parents (or at least one parent) to also understand enough English to communicate with the school and teachers.

Families who are interested in sending their child to International School but are not confident in English, should start by sending their child to International Preschool from a young age. This will give their child the opportunity to gain the English skills they need for future international schooling in a fun environment.
It is not required for children or parents to speak English to attend an International Preschool.

Do International Schools have entrance exams?
English checks are required to enter most International Schools.
Whether the check includes reading and writing depends on the school.
Sometimes, the test also includes math and other topics. Some schools even have parents come in for an interview and English check. When applying to International School it is important for both parents and children to be prepared.

Attending International School, will require parents to invest a lot of money and children to pass difficult English tests.
For parents who want their children to learn English, there are other options such as English conversation schools and English language cram schools.
It is beneficial to start English learning as early as possible by attending baby and toddler classes at schools with native English-speaking teachers.
This will help prepare your child for future English learning whether it is at an International School or English conversation school.

Praise your child for picking up new words and phrases
2019年6月5日
COLUMN

Using reward stickers during toilet training makes the process easier!

Toilet training your child requires persistence. Many parents get stressed when it doesn’t go well.
Toilet training will not be successful if your child is not motivated.
If they are afraid of have an aversion to the toilet, they will not be successful.
Reward stickers are often an effective way to encourage children to use the toilet.
In this article, we will introduce the benefits of using reward stickers for toilet training and how parents can implement this method.

Using reward stickers during toilet training makes the process easier!

The benefits of using reward stickers during toilet training

They increase motivation
It is important for parents to be motivated and encourage their child to use the toilet.
But children’s motivation is an absolute requirement for successful toilet training. For many children, having a reward chart and receiving stickers is big motivation to use the toilet.
As their stickers increase, they feel a sense of accomplishment and are encouraged to continue to receive more stickers.

Going to the toilet becomes a fun activity
Small children are often scared to go to the bathroom because it is such a small space.
A reward chart makes the room a more exciting place. If they know that if they go to the bathroom on the toilet, they will receive their favorite sticker, they will be motivated to try their best.

How to use reward stickers during toilet training
To start off, parents should prepare a reward chart and their child’s favorite stickers. It is best if you allow your child to choose his/her own stickers. This will make your child more excited to collect as many stickers as he/she can. The reward chart can be a design that your child likes as well, such as train tracks or castles.
It is a good idea to provide a small gift or event when your child collects a certain number of stickers.

How long should reward stickers be used for toilet training? 
Once parents start using reward stickers, they often worry about how long they should continue to use them.
However, this depends on your individual child’s situation and how he/she is reacting to them.
Parents should continue to use them until their child gets sick of them. If you stop using them in the middle of toilet training, there is a chance that your child will fall back on his/her progress.
It is important to follow the lead of your child and listen to his/her needs.

Sometimes children can use the toilet correctly one day and have an accident the next.
It is important for parents to try a variety of methods to encourage their child to be successful.
Parents who have not yet tried using reward stickers should definitely give it a try. It will make the toilet training process a lot more fun for you and your child.

Praise your child for picking up new words and phrases
2019年5月31日
NEWS

Join us for our popular Bubble Pass & Summer Camp!

Our 4-Class, 8-Class or 12-Class Monthly Bubble Pass is available from 6/1-9/8 for families with children between the age of 0-6yrs! Families can choose Mommy & Me or Drop-off classes in their child’s age range based on their busy summer schedules. Our 3HR and 5HR Summer Camp program is open to children between 1.5 and 6yrs. The 5HR preschool program will be held Mon-Fri from 9:00-14:00 and the 3HR afternoon program will be held Mon-Fri from 15:00-18:00 in July and August! Please escape the heat and rainy season and join us at Gymboree this Summer!

2019年5月30日
COLUMN

Precautions to take when studying English (foreign language) with your child – especially when singing songs!

English (foreign language) is important for everyone to learn.
Many parents want their child to be exposed to English (foreign language) from a young age.
Many moms and dads have their children listen to English (foreign language) songs to make language learning fun.
There are some precautions parents should take when using foreign music for language learning.

Precautions to take when studying English (foreign language) with your child – especially when singing songs!

Moving to the rhythm of the music!
Moving along to the rhythm of the music is helps us remember the lyrics.
When we move our bodies, we use both the sensory area and the motor area of our brain which stimulates our brain. The movement exercises also help make learning English (foreign language) fun.

Movement activities also encourage skin ship between parent and child.
This skin ship causes our brain to release the hormone oxytocin that helps both mother and child relax.

However, let’s be careful not to shake or move a newborn baby too much.
Especially with babies who are not yet able to sit up on their own.

Make sure to repeat the same songs over and over again
Many parents think that “their child will get bored of hearing the same song everyday” or “want their child to remember a lot of different songs”. However, babies and toddlers enjoy repeating the same activities and ask to listen to the same song over and over again.
It is very important for their learning to repeat the same song over and over again.
This is because as they repeat the song and practice singing and dancing to it, they will begin to pick up the words naturally.
Instead of listening to too many different songs at once, it is recommended to find your child’s favorite song and stick to it.

Moms and Dads who are not confident in English should challenge themselves!
Even parents who are worried about their pronunciation should join their children in English (foreign language) songs. Children have good ears and will learn the pronunciation from the CD even if parents make a mistake. It is more important that you are enjoying the song and singing as a family than how your pronunciation is.

Songs like “Twinkle, twinkle little star” and “Wind the Bobbin up” are recommended songs because many children and parents already know the tune and can move their bodies to it.
Another popular song is “One little finger”.

Praise your child for picking up new words and phrases One of the worst things, parents can do is compare their child to others or scold them for not being able to pick up English (foreign language). When they sing an English (foreign language) song give them an applause even if they made mistakes. This will encourage them to challenge themselves even more when learning the language.
It is effective to praise them in English using words like “very good”.

When singing in English it is effective to move to the rhythm and repeat the same song more than once.
Children get excited when their parents join in so moms and dads should not be afraid to sing and dance along.
Many children’s schools for English (foreign language) learning include songs and dance and make learning English (foreign language) fun.
Please consider joining one of these schools to help improve your child’s English (foreign language) ability.

Praise your child for picking up new words and phrases
2019年5月24日
COLUMN

How does doing athletic activities at the park affect your child’s development?

Children love playing at the park. Some children get really excited when they see athletic activities such as tree climbing and ziplines.
These activities are not only fun but they also have a positive affect on children’s development.
In this article, we will go over the benefits of doing these activities with your child as well as what cautions you should take.

Why are children afraid of strangers? How do we solve the problem?
What are the benefits of doing athletic activities? They improve physical strength and athletic ability
Many athletic playgrounds are made of wood and include Tarzan ropes, ziplines, ladders, swings and jungle gyms. Children are expected to use their whole body to grab, climb, swing and cross over, which are all activities that help improve athletic ability.
They learn about the strength of their grip and arms, how much distance is required between their body and things around them and about balance.

They gain self-motivation and learn to think positively
Let’s allow children to play where they like in the park. Parents should let their child decide which activities they do and the order they do them on their own.
Allowing them to make their own decisions and challenge themselves will help them gain self-motivation and learn to think positively.

Children may not realize how high they climbed or how fast they are going when they are focusing on doing athletics.
If they do get scared, instead of rushing in to help them, parents should stand back and let them handle the situation on their own.
This will help them gain problem solving and risk avoidance skills.

They learn how to communicate and the importance of having manners
Children of various ages are playing at the park. They may even make new friends. The park is a great place for children to work on their communication skills and learn manners.
They learn how to wait their turn for the swing. It is important for parents to teach their child to have manners and wait their turn.
Some precautions to take when your child is using the athletic equipment Make sure that your child is doing age-appropriate activities
All athletic equipment has a target age range. It is important that parents check the target age ranges before they let their child play on them.
The age ranges are decided based on age as well as development stage. Playing on the appropriate play areas will support their physical development.

Make sure that your child is wearing the appropriate clothes
It is important to check what your child is wearing and holding when he/she is playing in athletic areas.
Wearing comfortable clothes is important but parents should also check if the clothing can get caught on the equipment and lead to injuries. Clothing with hoods and ribbons should be avoided. They should also leave their water bottle, bag and scarf on the ground or a bench when playing on the equipment.

Check how old the athletic equipment is
Parents should check if the athletic equipment is safe and not too old before they let their child play on it.
Check if the wood is weak or the rope is falling apart. Let’s make sure that our children don’t get hurt while they are trying new activities.
https://www.shutterstock.com/ja/image-photo/little-asian-girl-having-fun-adventure-278417681?src=2uUYHfBlcAeYiRtl5lR6LA-1-27

Playing on athletic equipment is not only fun but also has many benefits for young children.
During mommy & me and drop-off classes, children can learn how to play with balls and the basics of sports as well as communication skills.
So, parents should provide their child with a combination of indoor classes and outdoor play whenever possible.

Being afraid of strangers at 3 years and 4 years old is a part of their personality
2019年5月20日
COLUMN

Why are children afraid of strangers? How do we solve the problem?

Babies and young children who are afraid of strangers get scared when they leave the house, cry when they see new people and have a hard time separating from their mom. Many parents are worried when their child acts this way. However, being afraid of strangers is not something to worry about and often disappears as children get older.
In this article, we will cover why children are afraid of strangers and what parents should do depending on their child’s age.

Why are children afraid of strangers? How do we solve the problem?
When babies are afraid of strangers it is nothing to worry about

When babies are first born, they are unable to differentiate between people so they are not afraid of strangers.
Although it depends on the child, being afraid of strangers usually starts around 6 months after birth. At this age, babies can differentiate between those who are usually around them and people they have never seen before. This proves that they can now tell who their mother and father is so there is no need to worry. Parents should think of this as a positive sign that their child is developing correctly.

There are also some babies who are never afraid of strangers.
There is no need to worry if your child is not afraid of strangers. This is a result of their living environment and personality.

When 1-year-olds are afraid of strangers, it is OK to keep one’s calm

The fear of strangers that starts at about 6 months often lasts until the child is around 1.5 years old is nothing to be worried about.
Although parents want their child to play with others is often a difficult age to get used to new environments.
Many children cry whenever they are brought to a new place but this is normal.
Even some adults become bewildered when they are in a new environment. When children detect their parent’s agitation, they become even more worried. When this happens, it is important for parents to hold them close and help them calm down. At this age, it is more important for parents to develop a close parent-child relationship than to focus on creating relationships with friends. Let’s make sure to spend time with our child when he/she is this age.

Being afraid of strangers is a developmental stage for 2-year-olds

When children become 2 years old, they can walk and talk on their own. They are curious and imitate what their parents do and want to do things on their own.
This stage is also called the “terrible twos” and many children say “no” to everything.
Some children who previously were not afraid of strangers start becoming afraid at this age.
This shows children’s independence and that they can share their feelings which is proof that they are developing.
Parents should slowly increase the amount of time spent with other people and let their child get used to interacting with people of all ages and backgrounds.

Being afraid of strangers at 3 years and 4 years old is a part of their personality

The development of 3 and 4 years old is dramatic and the number of kids this age going to kindergarten is increasing every year.
Many children are unable to separate from mom when they first go to kindergarten and spend a lot of time crying. When parents see this, they get worried but children are very adaptable and when they get used to being away from mom and the new environment, they will be fine. Some children tend to play by themselves at first but this is also nothing to worry about.
Parents should avoid comparing their child to others and accept them for who they are.
When you act as a role model for your child and speak with those around you, they will learn that it is beneficial to do the same.

Parents are worried when their child cries in front of strangers. However, this is a natural part of development so instead of getting worried parents should be there to support their child. Giving your child the opportunity to interact with people from different backgrounds and of different ages from a young age at mommy and me classes will help them get over their fear of strangers naturally.

Being afraid of strangers at 3 years and 4 years old is a part of their personality
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