I think I’ve spoken about it a hundred times. I’m not sure I’ve ever put my thoughts in writing, but I’ll do it now.
My thoughts on English versus all of the other extracurricular learning in Japan including sports, because, I strongly believe sports are important learning too.
I absolutely believe that, for your children, English is the most important thing to invest your time and money for.
In Japan, there are so many great things for parents to spend their time and money for, in regards to their children’s education. Piano, ballet, team sports, abacus and of course, the favorite in Japan, juku. All of those are good investments, I promise. And, also, I believe a variety of all kinds of learning will help kids most in their long term development.
I was asked recently, again, about my opinion on which extracurricular education was most important…
My answer was, and forever is, ENGLISH.
All learning is wonderful. All learning is important. But…
I believe, %100, that English makes the most difference for Japanese children. Maybe team sports and juku next for boys, and juku and music next for girls. That’s just my opinion.
I love music for boys and team sports for girls, depending on the character of the child.
Why English… right?
I believe, in Japan and the Asian countries, English speaking (and studying) ability changes a less than average child into an average child, an average child into a smart child, and a smart child into a genius child. “Level up” in Japanese.
Maybe your child is a piano, abacus, study or sports genius. In that case, follow that path!
But, probably your child is not a genius. That is the truth. Probably your child is a little below average, average, or just above average. That is the true math about us humans. We wish we were smarter. And our children were smarter than us. The fact is, they are probably close to normal.
Some of us are are lucky.
I guess D.N.A. is important. I’m SURE teaching our kids to work hard is important. Having enough money to support your kid’s education is OBVIOUSLY important.
So, we have to choose what to do with our money and our kids’ time. How much time and money do we invest in something that will help our kids? What do we invest in? Those are difficult decisions.
I believe in trusting the percentages. If your child is definitely a genius, invest in that. If your child is normal or close to normal, invest in English!
It’s cold but, I have to say it:
At some point, your kids will have to live by themselves. Give them the best opportunity to do that. That is our job as parents and as teachers. If they can speak English they will always have more opportunities to succeed than children who spent too much time doing things that were not useful for their futures. I understand that it is hard to know what will be important, but again just trust the percentages.
My philosophy: Proper education opens up your children’s chances in Japan. Add proper English education to that and it definitely increases their chances of a successful and happy life in Japan and, if they choose, other countries.
P.S. I always wanted to do quilting.
P.P.S. Please don’t laugh at my dreams.
P.P.P.S Ok, you can laugh at my dreams, but don’t laugh at your kids’ dreams until they are at least 25 years old.
P.P.P.S.2 (a pun on Apple) Don’t laugh at your kids’ dreams, but make sure you prepare them for plan “B”. Like piano and sports if they would choose to be a teacher (I respect teachers in Japan a lot, especially bukkatsu teachers and coaches). Or juku, ballet and abacus if they will want to own their own businesses (nothing wrong with the freedom of being a business owner, but hard work is necessary).