Author Archive: Aya Kobayashi

SMILE Vol.26 December 9, 2017 (H29)

Being different is OK! Human Rights Week

Human Rights Week is between December 4 and 10. This is a week to learn about differences among ourselves, and to celebrate them.
When you parents notice that your children are involved with bullying or hurting somebody, it is your responsibility to teach them it is a shameful act. In so doing, it is better to tell them your genuine feeling about how much you love them, wish them to grow as nice people, and share the hurt feeling about your children being involved with bullying and discrimination instead of lecturing them about common sense morality.
In addition, I believe it is important that parents themselves show children by not having prejudice or discrimination against anybody.

Smile News Letter SMILE Vol.24 November 18, 2017 (H29)

The smaller the child is, the more it can be expected that they grow to be role model

The smaller a child is, the more it can be expected that they grow to be role model. The older they become, the less it can be expected that they grow to be role model.
For example, if parents wish their child to be a considerable, kind and warm-hearted child, parents should live so that the child can see the way parents wish their child to be. However, because parents do not act and just wish, they have to nag at their children.
I’ve always thought that children would not follow what parents say. However, children learn a lot from what parents act and imitate it well. If children do not copy what parents do and follow as what parents say, all children would grow up to be so brilliant. This is true to caregivers and teachers and education would become much easier. (Masami Sasaki “A gaze towards a child”)

SMILE Vol.22 October 28, 2017 (H29)

More family time in the fall!

According to the “Koujien,” a popular Japanese dictionary, 『団欒(だんらん) (family get-together)』 means to sit in a circle and chat happily. Aren’t we reminded that we spend very little time as a family? Why don’t we create more family time and enjoy some family activities such as family reading night, hiking on weekend, or a museum visit showcasing some kids art? Of course a simple dinner with all family members would be a great idea, too! Can we take a moment and think how we can enjoy this fall season as a family?

SMILE Vol.21 October 21, 2017 (H29)

Strength and Mysteriousness of Japanese

I read the book “Kanji and Japanese,” which I bought at bazaar last month. When we write a Japanese sentence, the sentence is a mixture of Kanji and Hiragana. Only a blend of both Kanji and Hiragana can make the sentences. Moreover, each character of Kanji has meaning. We cannot recognize the meaning of Kanji if we just hear the sound in isolation of the sentence. Hiragana, on the other hand, does not have meaning in each character, but it does have meaning unique in its sounds. Only Japanese is this way.
For example, if you hear “katei no mondai” in Japanese, you must guess ”katei” 『家庭(family)』『課程(process)』『仮定(Assumption)』by hearing the other word in the sentence. We must hear the context in order to derive meaning. It is normal for us, but it is also weird. In most other languages, we can get meaning just by hearing the sentences. In Japanese, we need to get the meaning of Kanji to understand the each kanji character’s meaning. Maybe this is the tough part of learning Japanese, but it is also a good hint for how one must learn it.

SMILE Vol.20 October 14, 2017 (H29)

Other-Oriented Life Style

We are all both self centered as well as other-oriented. When we don’t consider others, we may have trouble seeing clearly outside our personal focus. Also we may have a limited point of view and may judge inappropriately. However, when we see things in terms of others, we can influence others and help so much more. By discerning judgement we gain clarity otherwise missed. Keep in mind to be other oriented so that you can have a more purposeful life for yourself and others.

Announcement of rescheduling the school day Special SMILE October 13, 2017 (H29)

Due to a school meeting, we cannot use the Friends Central on November 11th.
Please note that we will reschedule all classes and events on November 11th for November 12th.
Thank you for your understanding.


Saturday, November 11th
Elementary Learning Festival (at New cafeteria)
Middle school Cultural Festival (at Main campus)


Sunday, November 12th
Elementary Learning Festival (at Linton gym)
Middle school Cultural Festival (at Main campus)

SMILE Vol.19 October 7, 2017 (H29)

What do you want to do in the autumns?

It is getting cool now. My car’s front glass became white which was frozen. These days is called as Yoztuyu in Japanese. That means the air is clean and the sky is blue. The moon in the night is shiny and also the trees become colorful around the houses. Then it fell down. Many bugs are singing. It is very comfortable season.

In japan people are using the many words which is involved with the hobby in autumns.
For example, those are a fall hobby, a sports fall, reading book fall.
What do you want to do in the fall?

SMILE Vol.18 September 30, 2017 (H29)

It is a season to fall in love with books

Japan School Library Association and The Mainichi newspaper conduct a survey every year about school kids reading. If a child reads no book in a month, it is called “No reader”. The results from May 2016 were that 4% of Elementary, 15.4% of Middle School and 57.1% of High School students were “No reader”. From this result, more middle school students than elementary and more high school students than middle school are not reading books.
It is very important to read books. We can lean so many things through books. We can lean widely and around the world. We can be a friend of an author. We can be a friend of different age groups and hundreds years ago people.

A reading week will start from Oct 27. The fall is also called “Fall of reading” and the night is long, quite, not too hot and not too cold so it is a perfect season to read books. To enrich the minds, the fall is a season for “Fall in love with books”! (2017 reading week slogan)