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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Turning Japanese


Welcome to the July 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Learning About Diversity
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared how they teach their children to embrace and respect the variety of people and cultures that surround us. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
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Friends, I am SO beyond excited about this carnival topic. I had a difficult time choosing what to write about! I love culture, and I had about five possible posts waiting in my drafts folder that fit into this theme, and I had been hoping to post all of then soon, so it was tough. I prepared a super vague "How to Experience Culture With Kids" post, which I was almost ready to run, however, at the last second, I totally ignored that and wrote something about as far away from that concept as possible. Rather than vague and out there, I went micro specific, and wrote about my experiences teaching Adora about Japanese culture. I realized that when I look for ideas for Adora, I love seeing other people's true experiences and pictures, and adapting them to my situation. It's nice to have the specifics, from which to branch out, so I decided to share with you my attempt on teaching Adora Japanese culture. Enjoy!
PS: This is fairly discombobulated, because my goal was to provide pictures of our activities and games for families to use as a guide. Due to that, I kind of threw a bunch of random activity pictures together with explanations, and my transitions are terrible and/or nonexistent. Please bear with me, friends. I promise, it all works together(ish).
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[ まって, まって! ]  Adora calls out. Our days overflow with Japanese and Sailor Moon, Obentou and Uwabaki. At the beginning of the summer, Adora started showing interest in speaking Japanese. If one thinks this seems sudden, it is likely one has not visited my room full of Japanese books, clothing, and other assorted paraphernalia, spent time in my kitchen full of Japanese food, viewed the Japanese toys and books Adora plays with daily, or heard the Japanese words I speak to her (hoping for a little immersion? Guilty as charged). Although I've been exposing her to many cultures, it's logical that she might take interest in that one. I'm not sure how I feel about the whole "influencing Adora into speaking Japanese" thing, and I know some families might be uncomfortable with my decision to go forward with teaching her, however, I'm attempting to be very intentional as I work with her on Japanese. My goal is to help her learn Japanese only if she is interested in it, so we've embarked on this journey with her interests and thoughts in mind. I plan activities and games I hope she will enjoy, however, she is the final verdict on whether or not the will occur. So far, she has enjoyed it, so my plan is to continue as long as she is interested. 
   I've really been enjoying speaking Japanese with Adora. She is eight, and although logically, she could learn Japanese through complete immersion, we are alone over nine hours a day together, and at this moment in time, effective communication trumps language fluency. I love immersion, but I'm not sure whether it's something that would be best for myself and Adora, mostly because of communication problems. I think that, although immersion might be effective with her, it may be frustrating for both of us. She's old enough to become super frustrated if she cannot understand what I'm saying; in fact, she has perfected a sassy "What are you talking about?" face for when she misunderstands me when I am speaking English! I have a feeling I would be seeing a lot more of that face if I completely switched to Japanese, so I nixed the idea. I've decided to go for an immersion based-ish learning style. Most of the words I teach Adora in Japanese stem from our normal conversation. Adora asks a lot of questions about Japan, and I also point things out about culture or language while we are talking, so this has been easy. Sometimes I translate English words into Japanese of my own accord, but usually she will ask how to say a word, so it's fairly self directed. Currently, when she asks about a word, or I mention a word, I tell her what the word is, and she repeats it (as many times as necessary to solidify the general pronunciation). I then write it on a small, rectangular card (I'm recycling old business cards, but anything will work). We then tape the card on Adora's "Word Wall", which we review and talk about whenever we can.

     This is the most recent picture I have of the wall.  The cards are pretty simple. I write the word in Japanese, and then I translate any of the letters she is unable to read into English beside the corresponding hiragana or katakana(two simple Japanese writing systems). We're attempting to embark on the journey towards reading Japanese, so you might notice that some of the letters are untranslated. She has begun recognizing the letters I taught her, which I am thrilled about. Next to the word, I draw a picture of what the word means. I'm hoping to avoid any Japanese/English association, instead going for word/picture association. The dream is that when she thinks of くさい, she will think only of くさい and not the English word, "Stinky" (this is her favorite word. When her younger sister arrived to pick her up, she yelled [グリマー が くさい!](Glimmer is stinky!). Oh, my. I blame myself). It's actually been going quite well, which pleases me. She likes learning new words, and she can point out letters she knows in the new words we add to the wall, which is satisfying. I'm also seeing her move away from the Japanese to English association, so all is well. The wall is really useful as a quick reminder of which word she is familiar with, as well, so I definitely recommend it.  

     We have attempted a lot of different games and activities to teach Japanese sentence structure, so here comes the fun and disorganized part of this post! I'm kind of throwing together all my pictures and explanations, so hopefully they all make sense.



     This game was meant to introduce the sentence structure, "Noun is Adjective" (such as, "my sister is noisy"). The first paper is a noun, and the third (or the second large one) is the adjective. The last word, [です], means "is", and [が] indicates the subject (does anyone have any tips on explaining what the subject of the sentence is to an eight year old? Like, how would you talk about what the phrase"subject of the sentence" indicates? What the sentence is talking about, correct? I attempted to explain it, but eventually just told her the particle (が)  was necessary to make the sentence sound correct. Maybe  this song?). I asked Adora to blindly choose a noun for the first blank (she cannot read the letters completely, so she remained oblivious to what the word was), then had her choose adjectives for the third blank to describe that noun. Then, after she had finished choosing each adjective, we said each sentence with the adjectives she had chosen. I was hoping that games would be an interesting way to teach structure, since Adora has not expressed much interest in formal lessons. They have been going fairly well,  and she can put together sentences, so VICTORY! I would be interested to see how games like this would play out in another language. For instance, could you do the same for Spanish or German? If anyone has tried, or would like to try, I would love to see. It went very well for Japanese, so if you are interested in trying it with your kids, go for it! It was simple and fun.

   Adora's been having trouble telling the vowel sounds apart from one another, so I fabricated this game to help her learn to hear the differences between them. It entailed matching a drawing of a specific Japanese word (I drew the pictures instead of writing the words, because she can read the vowels! It would have been a little bit too simple if I had written them) with the word's first letter. For instance, the first row (letter A) includes Princess Aiko (Aiko Hime), love (Ai), and blue (Ao). I used words from her word wall, and she was able to recognize most of them upon viewing the drawing ( Despite my mediocre art skills, WOOT WOOT). This was entertaining, and is another great game for families teaching Japanese. It helped as both a word review and assisted with pronunciation, so it was a win-win. I'm not sure how applicable it would be to other languages, especially if your child can already read English, seeing as many foreign languages use the same letters. However, it may be helpful to solidify sounds or letter recognition. She had some trouble matching the picture to the letter, but it was a nice way to review the letters and the sounds they make, and to talk about pronunciation.
      Adora really enjoyed both games, and I found them seriously helpful, because with Adora, I wouldn't like for language to be something that I teach by "lessons" or classes". Language can be learned through life, and language is fun. Rather than sitting down with Adora and forcing language learning, I hope for it to be something she naturally picks up by hearing and playing, enjoying and speaking. Games may not be strait immersion learning, but they have been a useful tool when learning with Adora. She shows little interest for classroom learning, and without games, I'm not sure she would pick up speaking and structure. I hope that learning language can be something Adora enjoys (so far, so good), and not something she feels she has to do. 
     Language aside, we've also chosen to experience firsthand certain aspects of Japanese culture, right from my house! I think that one of the best ways to teach small people about culture is to live it. Reading about different cultures and places and discussing culture can open your children's minds to new ideas, but to really, truly experience culture, one of the best ways is to, well, experience it! It definitely depends on the child and the family, but generally speaking, doing hands-on cultural activities explains culture and opens it to kiddos in a whole new way. For instance, the other day, I was watching a TV show with Rory, in which a woman was receiving her Ph.D in Native American studies. Another character asked this woman to teach him how to perform a Native American rain dance, a subject she, in theory, should be very familiar with. She obliged, and after about an hour of dance coaching, in which the male character was getting nowhere, she was forced to admit that, although she had read extensively on the subject, she had never seen a true Native American rain dance in person. "That's insane", I instantly thought, "I've seen at least ten rain dances!" I couldn't believe that this character would not have seen such a dance, even though she was on a sitcom. My Grandfather enjoys Native American Pow Wows and get-togethers, and since Preschool, I have been attending these sorts of events with him. If my Grandfather did not make the effort to take me to these events, I would know much less than I do about Native Americans. It's definitely unlikely I would have seen ten rain dances, for sure. Going to events is great, but doing projects at home can be a great way to experience culture, as well.
Adora and I recently did "Japan Week", during which we experiences life in a Japanese school, and went to a Japanese festival. In theory, of course. We did everything from home (PSHH, who needs a car? NOT US! We do most things from home, and when travel is necessary, we hitchhike everywhere, so that's safe, but whatev's)!
 My Kimono tying practice was not in vein! Adora loves her purple Yukata...

.And she also was willing to tie mine on for me! Turns out all that practice payed off! Kimono are so much fun, and are relatively easy to find. You can often find yukata at thrift stores, or for fairly cheap online, and they are easy to tie and wear. Just be sure to place the left side of the kimono ON TOP OF THE RIGHT SIDE. If they right is over the left, it is reminiscent of funerals and is, therefore, a cultural problem. More specific instructions for kimono tying can be found here, however, they are  only necessary if the kimono is too long for your child. Kimono are meant to be adjustable, so a little long is just fine. Just follow the instructions, and it will be easy!
     One of Adora's favorite days was our "Japanese festival Day". On the day in question, we executed many of the games and activities available at a Japanese summer festival, which both Adora and I enjoyed immensely. Obviously, I would LOVE to be able to take her to a real Japanese festival, but that would be a long swim, so we went the DIY route. Here are some pictures, for anyone hoping to imitate it at home. Go for it, if you are interested! Adora absolutely adored it, and it was super easy to set up and clean up.
 Japanese festivals abound with game stalls, which generally involve games that entail scooping things up from water, oddly enough. I've always wanted to try them in person, but for now, we settled for simple home versions.


No fish, no problem! I hoped to try this goldfish catching game with Adora  but I wasn't able to secure any fish (or I really didn't want to clean up/care for/be responsible for the accidental death of fish?), so we used plastic fish. I created my own by drawing them on a milk carton in Sharpie and cutting them out (RECYCLING FTW!!). They are easy to make, and they floated fairly well. Then, Adora scooped them up using an ice cream scoop who needs a fancy scoop?), and placed them into an old orange juice bottle. It had a similar effect to the real game, but without any real fish to mutilate/catch. Also, she got to keep the bottle of fish, which she liked a lot, however, she does not have to feed them, which her family likes a lot. 


We also made these water balloons, by filling balloons with water(DUH?) and painting them. The handles are just rubber bands, tied to the balloon on one end, and with a finger loop on the other. Adora enjoyed designing them and choosing the colors, as well as enjoyed "catching" her balloons, much like in the true true Japanese festival game! As you can see, the water balloon game bears much similarity to the fish game, in that one must attempt to fish the water balloon out of the pool. We used spoons, rather than ice cream scoops, for this one, because they balloons were big, but it was similar. Adora invited Rory to play with us for her Project Nice of the day, and he enjoyed it, as well!

We also made chocolate covered bananas, a popular Japanese festival food. YUM <3 We enjoyed both making and eating them. Helpful Tip: FREEZE the bananas before you dip them in chocolate, please! If not, they become quite mushy, and may fall apart.
Alternatively, I found this delicious caramel apple recipe (caramel apples are another common Japanese festival food!) ,which also looks super fun. We had no apples (SOB), so we couldn't make them, but I thought I'd share it anyway, because it looks so good.

Although there were no true fireworks at our festival, we made our own, using sprinkles and water! It was super easy. Just wet the paper by spreading water on it with your fingers, then scatter it with sprinkles. My tips: less is more when it comes to water! Although it may look as if it isn't progressing, it takes a few minuets for the dye to leave the sprinkles. More water makes the dye leave faster, but the effect is much less firework-y, because of the heavy spread of the dye.

One of our last activities was creating masks from milk cartons (milk cartons are my bestie, seriously). Creating the masks was super, SUPER simple. I drew the Adora's character of choice onto the milk carton (Sailor Jupiter, of course), and Adora colored the picture in and cut it out. We then added the stretchy strap, and viola-instant mask!

Even without speaking Japanese and doing Japanese activities, Adora has been taking in a lot of culture-she's really been enjoying manga recently, and her new favorite show is Sailor Moon.
....Okay, so maybe it's not the best cultural education, but, in reality, one night be impressed by how much children pick up from reading comic books and watching cartoons. Shows like "Sailor Moon" are probably not the best choice for introducing different cultures, but they can be an interestign starting point, and one may be surprised how much culture is really included in Japanese TV shows, especially shows that include school scenes. The other day, I watched an episode of "Sailor Moon" with Adora in which the titular character went to an onsen, a Japanese hot springs. Oddly enough, we had been discussing onsen recently, and it was nice to have a visual depiction, although it was a cartoon. Some things are just easier to understand when you have seen them, and Japanese children's books and cartoons sometimes include subtle nuances of Japanese culture-perhaps ones that can't necessarily be learned from guidebooks! At the bottom of this page, I've included a short explanation of which books and shows we enjoy, and why we enjoy them. Once again, they're definitely not comprehensive cultural education, but offering the choice of a Japanese cartoon over an American one may help to provoke interest in other cultures. I believe it may not be sufficient (imagine if the  only information Japanese children received about America came from the Disney Channel. The horror!), but it can be a good start. I'm definitely NOT saying that you should force your children to watch Sailor Moon because it's more educational;However, if your kids do watch TV, I think it can be good to open their horizons and bring more culture into their lives through that resource. We also love Japanese comic books; they are longer that American comic books, and certain books provide a real window into Japanese life, which I enjoys a lot. We have so many cultural enhancing materials at our disposal, and this is only the tip of the iceberg, but it can be a useful (albeit unusual) way to branch into more specific conversation about Japanese life and culture.

The festival, reading, and speaking Japanese have all been awesome, and we've also tried our hand at other Japanese activities, such as a day in a Japanese school, ラジオ たいそう (radio excersizes), and the tea ceremony, among many others. I love seeing Adora discover culture and ideas, and trying out different activities from Japan has provided tons of new ways for us to enjoy and appreciate that although every country is unique, we are not that different from one another, in the end. Although our Japanese friends live across the world from us, their experience bears many similarities to ours, and I love talking with kids about similarities and differences. Teaching culture teaches acceptance and appreciation of other people and places. I think that most people will agree that they hope for their children to become understanding and accepting little people, who likewise grow into understanding and accepting big people. Discussing and experiencing different cultures can be a gateway to teaching true acceptance. Culture is all around you, beckoning to you. Will you answer the call?
How do you discuss culture with your kids? Have you tried any "hands on" cultural activities? What has your experience been like?
OUR FAVORITES:
TV: Adora really likes Sailor Moon (A LOT..She loves it), but for something that discusses culture more directly, I recommend Bottle Fairy. If you can stomach the irritating American voices (I prefer it in Japanese..I recommend going Japanese with subtitles if you can, but if not, no worries) the show contains episodes that showcase Japanese culture during each month of the year, and is diabetes-inducingly cute. It features four fairies who desire to become human. Before they can become human, they must learn all that they can about the human world. Therefore, with the help of their neighbor Tama-Chan, they experience Japanese culture and holidays firsthand. It's a cute window into Japanese life, and is very childish. I haven't seen it in a long time, and certain episodes may not be the best for younger kids (I thought "February" focused on crushes too much..I don't need to encourage that habit in Adora, haha), so you might want to screen them first, but overall, I enjoyed it.
BOOKS:
I seriously cannot talk up Yotsubato! enough. Yotsubato! is a group of manga that feature a six year old girl living in Japan. It shows the child navigating through her life and learning about the world she lives in from the people around her. It's enjoyable for all ages (I actually started buying it for myself in Middle School, because I thought it was hilarious), and all the kids I work with love and relate to Yotsuba, the main character. I definitely recommend it. It's easy to read aloud with smaller kids, and older kids usually love reading it to me and informing me what the pictures mean, haha. Ir's well drawn, and the storyline are straightforward. The books are a window into the life of a Japanese child, and I seriously could not recommend them enough. 

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be updated by afternoon July 9 with all the carnival links.)
  • A gift for my daugther — Amanda, a special education teacher for students with multiple exceptionalities, discusses at My Life in a Nutshell how she will enrich her daughter's life by educating her the amazing gifts her students will bring to the world.
  • The Beauty in Our Differences — Meegs at A New Day writes about her discussions with her daughter about how accepting ourselves and those around us, with all our beautiful differences and similarities, makes the world a better place.
  • Accepting Acceptance and Tolerating Tolerance — Destany at They Are All of Me examines the origins of and reasons behind present day social conformity.
  • Differencessustainablemum discusses what she feels to be the important skills for embracing diversity in her family home.
  • Turning Japanese — Erin Yuki at And Now, for Something Completely Different shares how she teaches her kiddos about Japanese culture, and offers ideas about "semi immersion" language learning.
  • Celebrating Diversity at the International House Cottages — Mommy at Playing for Peace discovers the cultures of the world with her family at local cultural festivals
  • Learning About Diversity by Honoring Your Child’s Multiple Heritages — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama looks at the importance of truly knowing your roots and heritage and how to help children honor their multiple heritages.
  • People. PEOPLE! — Kellie at Our Mindful Life is trying to teach her children to use language that reflects respect for others, even when their language doesn't seem to them to be disrespectful.
  • Just Call me Clarice Thomas — Lisa at The Squishable Baby knows that learning to understand others produces empathetic children and empathetic families.
  • Diversity of Families — Family can be much more then a blood relation. Jana at Jananas on why friends are so important for her little family of three.
  • Diverse Thoughts Tamed by Mutual Respect — Amy at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work thinks that diversity is indispensable to our vitality, but that all of our many differences require a different sort of perspective, one led by compassion and mutual respect.
  • Just Shut Up! — At Old New Legacy, Becky gives a few poignant examples in her life when listening, communication and friendship have helped her become more accepting of diversity.
  • The World is our Oyster — Mercedes at Project Procrastinot is thankful for the experiences that an expat lifestyle will provide for herself as well as for her children.
  • Children's black & white views (no pun intended … kind of) — Lauren at Hobo Mama wonders how to guide her kids past a childish me vs. them view of the world without shutting down useful conversation.
  • Raising White Kids in a Multicultural World — Leanna at All Done Monkey offers her two cents on how to raise white children to be self-confident, contributing members of a colorful world. Unity in diversity, anyone?
  • Ramadan Star and Moon Craft — Celebrate Ramadan with this star and moon craft from Stephanie at InCultureParent, made out of recycled materials, including your kid's art!
  • Race Matters: Discussing History, Discrimination, and Prejudice with Children — At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy discusses how her family deals with the discrimination against others and how she and her husband are raising children who are making a difference.
  • The Difference is Me - Living as the Rainbow Generation — Terri at Child of the Nature Isle, guest posting at Natural Parents Network, is used to being the odd-one-out but walking an alternative path with children means digging deeper, answering lots of questions and opening to more love.
  • My daughter will never know same-sex marriage is not normal — Doña at Nurtured Mama realizes that the recent Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage will change the way she talks to her daughter about her own past.
  • Montessori-Inspired Respect for Diversity — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells about her multicultural family and shares Montessori-inspired ideas for encouraging respect for diversity.
  • EveryDay Diversity — Ana at Panda & Ananaso makes diversity a part of everyday living, focusing on raising of compassionate and respectful child.
  • Diversity as Part of Life — Even though Laura at Authentic Parenting thought she had diversity covered, she found out that some things are hard to control.
  • Inequity and Privilege — Jona is unpacking questions raised by a summit addressing inequity in breastfeeding support at Life, Intertwined.
  • 3 Ways to Teach Young Children About Diversity — Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama recognizes her family's place of privilege and shares how she is teaching her little ones about diversity in their suburban community.
  • Teaching diversity: tales from public school — A former public high school teacher and current public school parent, Jessica at Crunchy-Chewy Mama values living in a diverse community.
  • 30 Ideas to Encourage Learning about Diversity While Traveling — Traveling with kids can bring any subject alive. Dionna at Code Name: Mama has come up with a variety of ways you can incorporate diversity education into your family travels (regardless of whether you homeschool). From couch surfing to transformative reading, celebrate diversity on your next trip!
  • Diversity, huh? — Jorje of Momma Jorje doesn't do anything BIG to teach about diversity; it's more about the little things.
  • Chosen and Loved — From Laura at Pug in the Kitchen: Color doesn't matter. Ethnicity doesn't matter. Love matters.
  • The One With The Bright Skin — Stefanie at Very Very Fine tries to recover from a graceless reponse to her son's apparent prejudice.

18 comments:

  1. I really like the activities you did! Scooping out fish (which was something I tried to do to our goldfish as a child - eep!) and the noun is adjective game both caught my attention. I can't wait to try them out here!

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    1. Wow, thank you so much! I appreciate your kind words. And please, go ahead and try them out! Haha, I tried them same thing when I was small. My cat also used to drink my fish water (EEEP!), but somehow, she never caught the fish.

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  2. So cool! I'll let you know how these games & ideas work in German. Mikko's also at an age where he gets too frustrated with the immersion route, so I'm exploring new avenues. So thanks for all the ideas! He also is interested in learning "karate language," aka Japanese (woot!), so we can use a lot of these ideas as is. His favorite manga series right now is Mixed Vegetables; it cracks me up how much he gets into it. I'll look up the others you suggested, too!

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    1. Thannks, Miss Hobo Mama! Oohh, I would love to see them games in German! Sounds super cool! Please, totally keep me posted. I'm stoked that people are interested in them. And yeah, I think there's a point where single handed immersion becomes frustrating, because your kids KNOW you speak English, you know? And they seem to only want that. Have you tried a German meet-up group with other families who speak German? It might be interesting, because it would not just be you and Mikko speaking, so he could have a variety of sources. Although, he did German preschool, right? So, I suppose he's already had experience with other German speakers, but it might be interesting to try! I used to be a part of an Asian meet-up group, and it was very interesting and cool. I also recommend German cartoons, if Mikko is on board (like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARBAYxY--p8). This can be frustrating at first, but I think it can create a nice outlet for hearing more German every day, especially because there are also the nice pictures, so kids can kind of infer what's happening, even if they do not understand the language. Haha, but those are just my random ideas. Keep up the amazing work! I think it's way beyond cool that you are helping Mikko learn German. A language is a gift your kiddo will be grateful for for their entire life, in my opinion. You are awesome!
      YAAAY for learning Japanese! WOOT! "Karate language"...that's hysterical. I love Mixed Vegetables XD Do you know what he likes about it? If he enjoys the cooking aspect (do they even cook that much..? It's been a long time since I read it..), he might like Kitchen Princess;I think it has a similar premise, and the artwork is super cute. It's about a middle school girl who attends a boarding school for gifted kids. I bet you can't guess her gift, haha. They focus a lot on what they are making and usually include recipes, so that's nice, too. I linked to Yotsuba, which I think he might enjoy; it's about real life, not a fantasy story, much like "Mixed Vegetables". When I was Mikko's age, I LOOOVED Manga. I really liked まほう しょじょう (Magical Girl) stories, or fantasy stories with females as the main characters. My favorites were Tokyo Mew Mew and Cardcaptor Sakura, and Sailor Moon, haha. Good memories! Do you use the PO Box on your blog? If you do, I can totally send you some materials for Japanese learning. Best of luck!

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  3. Wow, I'm blown away by this post. Adora is lucky to have such a devoted mentor. "One of the best ways to teach small people about culture is to live it"--well said and probably true for adults as well. My Japanese definitely got better once I started living in Japan.

    I'm trying to raise my daughter to be bilingual as well, but being multicultural is just as important. I love how you've made learning both language and culture into fun activities. So amazed by this :)

    Miwa @ http://www.cranesandclovers.com

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    1. ありがとう ね, みわ ちゃん! みわ ちゃん が とても やさしい ね. ああ, ほんと に とん でも ない でも, 私 いっぱい がんばります ね.
      日本 に すんでいますか. すごい な! そして, むすめ と いっしょう に がんばって 下さい ね. みわ ちゃん が むすめ に とても すばらしい プレセント あげる ね.
      エリン

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  4. Replies
    1. Thank you so much! They were fun, as well : ) Please feel free to use them if you are at all interested! Hopefully I have made them user friendly. Please, do no hesitate to ask any questions.

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  5. if you're wary of immersion because of your communication issues, you could try to find people who are accepting of your difficulties...
    For kids, immersion is the easiest and fastest way to learn a language, and they do so very easily until the age of 10-12 (when immersed before the age of 10 they can even speak without an accent)

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    1. Thank you so much for the amazing advice! I appreciate your support. Yeah, immersion is the bomb. If Adora was my child, I would seriously do for it. However, she's my prodige (LOL? AKA the child I nanny for), so I feel it's not super achievable right now : / I'm working up to it, so please wish me luck!

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  6. You totally rock my socks. And I would send my kids to you for an immersion experience - do you hire yourself out? ;)

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    1. Aww, Dionna, thank you so much. You're so nice to me. You rock my socks, too! I love all the cool ideas on your blog. Haha, kind of? I'm a babysiter, and I always bring activities for my kids to do. So, I suppose I do, haha. Definitly come by if you're in the area! Free of charge : )

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  7. Ooooh what a fantastic idea! I do a lot of talking about culture with my kids, but little practice. Having young ones experience aspects of a culture is a wonderful way for them to gain respect for it. Brilliant!

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    1. Wow, thank you do much! Talking is wonderful, so kudos! Discussing culture with your kids is one of the most important things you can do to teach respect, in my opinion, so way to go! And thank you, once again! Experiencing culture is definitely fun. Next week, we are "traveling" to Ancient Rome!

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  8. Wow, you are amazing. What a fantastic way to introduce children to another country and its cultures, language, food etc, and there is no better way to introduce respect than what you are doing.

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm so grateful for your support and kind words. All this support is really heartening!
      By the way, I love your blog name. Are you English or Australian? Way cool. I call my Mom Mum, as well-at least, when I am not calling her "Okaasan". However, I'm NorthEast Coast American, haha. Your photo is way cute, as well. Did you make that doll? I'd love to do a craft like that with Adora.

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  9. LOVE IT!!! Your daughter is so lucky to have you for this amazing experience!

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    1. Aww, thanks, Amanda! You are so kind. I'm so grateful for your support

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