This year 3 of our kids are not just moving up a grade — they are moving to new schools and a new era. Joshua graduates from Japanese kindergarten — the same Japanese kindergarten where all of our kids attended — and Becca & Anna graduate from elementary school, ready to move up into junior high school.
When we originally came to Japan nearly 8 years ago, we made a big decision to put our kids into Japanese school so that they would learn Japanese fluently and be able to bridge cultures. We knew we wanted them to at least finish elementary school in Japan, and then when junior high school came we would reevaluate what we thought would be best for them.
As we move forward, we’ve decided to keep the girls in public Japanese school for now, and let them see what junior high school is like here with their friends from elementary school who are moving on with them. But we have also started to supplement their education with a healthy dose of a Christian online education in English, which will help fully round out their knowledge in the areas where the Japanese education is weak. Our goal is for them to be able to navigate the different cultures naturally and gracefully. It’s the same goal we have for ourselves personally, and they are well on their way with many advantages!