Category Archives: education

First Year Wall (Part 2) – The (not-so voluntary) parent-teacher conference


In mid-April, I went to a parent-teacher conference. Actually, it was more like an enforced PTA committee, which one parent per kid had to attend. As a group. We sat at our kids’ desks (tiny!) and introduced ourselves. This was … Continue reading

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The First Year Wall (Part 1) – Gakudo and the Kid


Three weeks ago, our youngest daughter went to nursery school for the last time. The following Monday, she started gakudo (学童, short for 学童教育 gakudokyouiku, which is usually translated as “after school program”). Since both my wife and I work … Continue reading

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End of an Era: Goodbye, Nursery School


And so it begins. The end of the start of the rest of my children’s childhood. By which I mean our youngest daughter graduated from nursery school / kindergarten. Thinking back, we’ve been coming to our local nursery school every … Continue reading

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Farewell, Nursery. Hello, Kindergarten


After turning five in January, our youngest daughter finally made to the end of nursery school (“nen-cho,” 年長). Or so we thought. We had heard rumors in previous years that the system might change. It turns out that in this … Continue reading

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Self-reliance starts young


Two weeks ago, my daughter graduated nursery school. Last week, my grandmother passed away (my daughter’s great-grandmother). Today, my daughter walked to elementary school for the first time. And the cycle continues… This is cherry blossom (sakura) season in Japan, … Continue reading

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The end is the beginning


Our daughter is now leaving nursery school. From her birth to my wife’s maternity leave to my paternity leave, from building a new house to finishing a doctorate to switching jobs, from one daughter to another (who’s a completely different … Continue reading

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“Dutch backpacks” in Japan


It’s the end of February, and our oldest daughter is nearing the end of her nursery school experience. What a ride it’s been. Now she and her classmates are learning the “goodbye, our nursery school,” song which they will sing … Continue reading

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