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Parenting Column(記事)

The Social Skills You Want Your Child To Learn During Early Childhood

When children are very young they spend the majority of time with their family but as they get older they begin to interact with children and adults of all ages. They develop social skills through these interactions.

Social skills are essential to succeed in one’s daily life. It is much easier to develop these skills when children are young than when they are an adult. In this article, we will introduce how to best instill social skills on children when they are young.


Many Children Today Have Poor Social Skills

Due to the current trend toward nuclear families and the decrease in community exchange, children today do not have the opportunity to interact with large numbers of people from a young age. This is why we see so many more children with poor social skills nowadays.

However, even if children are protected by their mom, dad and teachers when they are young, they grow up into young adults and are expected to act on their own. It is very important that we teach our children how to successfully communicate with those around them (people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds) and help them improve their social skills from a young age.

What are Social Skills?

Although social skills are hard to define, we all can recognize a child with good social skills when we see them. Try remembering when you were a child. I am sure that there was at least one child in your class that was friendly, sociable and popular among the kids in the class. This child attracted the other kids in the class because he/she had good social skills.

What differs a child with good social skills from the other kids in his/her class? An American survey listed up the 10 most desirable skills for leading a successful school life.

●Being a listener
●Following the rules
●Explaining things in order
●Creating friendly relationships
●Having responsibility
●Thinking about others
●Not getting angry about the little things
●Being able to ask for help
●Being able to take endeavors

Children who have these skills are the ones who become popular and can lead a successful school life.

What type of social skills should children gain when they are young?

We expect children to be able to greet those around them and express their feelings (including saying sorry and thank you when necessary) from a young age. Being able to share one’s toys and think about how the other person feels is also an important form of social skills for this age group. Other important skills include being able to clean up after themselves, being able to understand that they cannot get everything they want and being able to work as a group.

The expected level of social skills will depend on the child’s age so it is hard to come up with a specific definition. However, young children gain the important social skills when they are given the opportunity to interact with other children and adults in a safe environment. This is why it is important to enroll your child in activities and also take them to the playground where they can meet and play with children their own age whenever possible.



元麻布教室と自由が丘教室はお盆休みの為、8/11(金) – 8/17(木)教室をクローズさせて頂きます。ららぽーと横浜教室は8/13(日) – 8/17(木)教室をクローズさせて頂きます。皆様が良いお休みをお過ごしできることをお祈りします。8/18(金)にまた皆様と会えることを楽しみにしています!


We will be closed for the Obon Holiday.

Our Motoazabu and Jiyugaoka Sites will be closed from 8/11(Fri) – 8/17(Thu) for the Obon Holiday. Our Lalaport Yokohama Site will be closed from 8/13(Sun) – 8/17(Thu) for the Obon Holiday. We wish everyone a very safe and relaxing holiday. We are looking forward to seeing everyone again from 8/18(Fri)!

Parenting Column(記事)

The English Children Learn In Elementary School is Useless! How Should We Teach English?

According to survey results, only 50% of students feel that the English they learned in elementary school is helpful when they enter junior high school. This means that half of all Japanese students think that the English they learned in elementary school is useless when they enter junior high school.

In this article, we will explain why this is happening and discuss how the Japanese schools should teach English in elementary school and junior high school.

小学校の英語は役に立たない!? 学ぶべき英語教育は?

The Difference Between English Learning in Elementary and Junior High School

There is a difference between how English is taught in Japanese elementary schools and junior high schools. Elementary schools in Japan just started teaching English so teachers are in the midst of their learning curve and teaching methods may change in the future. Currently most schools, hire native English speakers to lead the class so students can experience listening to English with proper pronunciation. Also, the class content is not focused on learning grammar but instead created so that children have fun and become less resistant to English. The interactive learning style makes children more likely to gain a positive feeling toward studying the language.

However, English learning in junior high school follows the classical Japanese teaching style. With this style, Japanese teachers focus on English grammar and vocabulary and children are expected to repeat and memorize what they learn. As a result, students have very little opportunity to communicate in English or listen to native English speakers. This leads many students to hate the English language.

小学校の英語は役に立たない!? 学ぶべき英語教育は?

What type of elementary school and junior high school English learning is desirable?

With the current English language teaching style that takes place at most junior high schools, it will be difficult for students to feel comfortable talking to foreign tourists and talking to the locals when going on vacations abroad. This is because they spend too much time learning about grammar and do not have much opportunity to communicate in English.

In elementary school, children learn the importance of communicating in English without worrying about grammar. This is why it is hard for students to exceed in junior high school English based only on what they learned in elementary school. Students know this and that is why they answer that the English they learned in elementary school is not useful in junior high school.

It would be best if junior high school English learning included communication and listening in addition to the study of grammar and vocabulary. This will help Japanese children be more prepared for speaking English on a daily basis when put in the appropriate environment.

It is also strongly recommended that Japanese children begin to learn English and are exposed to an English language environment before they enter elementary school. This is because young children’s brains are like a sponge and they absorb the language around them easily and are also more likely to try speaking without feeling embarrassed. The more children practice speaking English the better they will become and if they have a good foundation of the language before they enter junior high school they will feel more positively toward the language in general.

English that will be useful in the future is speaking and listening skills which should be taught when children are young. Parents should take the opportunity to place their children in an English language environment from a young age in addition to what they learn in elementary school and other schooling.


Join us for our 5 Class Summer Pass!

Daily Play Improves Sleep and Appetite! Our flexible 5 Class Pass, which can be used until 9/10, is a great way to escape the heat and enjoy our original classes with your child. Children 3 years and up can be dropped off so parents can enjoy some free time during the long summer vacation!




Parenting Column(記事)

Are Your Child’s Grades Linked to His/Her Sense of Control? What We Can Learn From the Marshmallow Experiment

The Japanese have a saying “What is learned in the cradle, is carried to the grave.” This means that the personality and behavior children develop during their childhood will stay with them forever. This concept is not only something that we feel based on experience but actually proven through research.

An experiment was performed at Stanford University for more than 50 years. In this article, we will introduce the contents of this experiment and the answers scientists have come up with.

子どもの自制心は成績にも影響する? マシュマロ実験で分かったこと

【An Experiment for Children Testing Their Sense of Control】 Are your child’s future grades linked to whether he/she can stop him/herself from eating the marshmallow?

The procedures for this experiment are very simple.
The researcher places one marshmallow in front of each child in the room and leaves the room.
Before leaving, the researcher explains the following 3 RULES to each child.

RULE #1: There is one marshmallow for each child and the one in front of you is yours.
RULE#2: You are not allowed to eat the marshmallow until the researcher comes back into
the room after 15 minutes.
RULE#3: If you do not eat the first marshmallow you will receive another marshmallow.

Let’s see what the results of these experiments were.

The experiment was performed with 186 4-year-olds.
2/3 of the children ate the marshmallow before the researcher came back into the room and 1/3 of the children were able to wait the 15 minutes for the research to return before they ate the marshmallow.

However, this experiment does not end here.
The researchers followed the participants until they turned 22 years old.
The data showed that even when they turned 22 years old, the children who did not eat the marshmallow right away when they were 4 years-old had more self-control than the participants who ate the marshmallow right away when they were 4 years-old.
The participants with higher self-control also had higher school grades.

The research continued until the participants turned 45 years old.
The data shows that the participants who did not eat the marshmallow right away still showed more self-control.

子どもの自制心は成績にも影響する? マシュマロ実験で分かったこと

How can we help our children develop self-control?

There is no reason to give up hope if your child was in the group that ate the marshmallow before the researcher returned to the room. Although it is hard to change one’s personality once you are an adult, children often change their personalities many times when they are young. If they develop self-control when they are young it will stay with them when they are adults.

How should we, as parents, help our children develop self-control?
Parents should set rules when playing games with their children and encourage children to play according to the rules. It is important that parents give penalties when their children do not follow the rules. When children follow the rules they are developing their self-control skills.

Children also follow in the footsteps of their parents and think of their parents as role models. Therefore, children whose parents break the rules often raise children who do the same. So it is important that we, as parents, make sure to live a life of self-control.

From the experiment results, we know that a child’s development of self-control is closely related to their overall development. Attending early childhood classes with your child and encouraging him/her to interact with children and adults of all ages will enable him/her to develop self-control from an early age.

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