Posted by: katlea611 | August 14, 2009

Unschooling Moment

The boys and I were at the supermarket the other day.  When we passed by the open refrigerator where the ice cream were kept, I suddenly thought of snow cones.  Last month we bought this ice shaver and have yet to use it.  Since I love snow cones (it’s a summer thing here in Japan) I thought of making some.  The ice is no problem but we didn’t have those fruit flavored syrups in the apartment.  I decided to search the aisles for some.  We found them in the bakery area and there were bottles with 3 different colors (red, green and blue).   I was almost positive they were the snow cone syrups (I guessed as much because of the location of the bottles, the maker, and the consistency of the fluid) but the text on the labels were in Japanese.  I got a bottle with red syrup from the shelf, looked at the label and wondered aloud to myself, “Hmmm… I don’t know if this is cherry or strawberry flavor..”  Then all of a sudden Nikki told me in a matter-of-fact tone, “It’s strawberry”.  Surprised, I said, “How did you know that?” and exasperatedly, he pointed to the label and told me, “There! It says I-CHI-GO.  Strawberry.”  Oh my goodness.  My 7-year0ld can read hiragana and katakana and understand it!  And I never even taught him that!  He learned them all from his Anpanman Nintendo DS game.  I was really amazed and was SO proud of him.   So I let him read the next bottle with green syrup.  He looked at the label and read, “ME-RO-N. Melon.”  And I found out that the blue syrup was blueberry flavor.  Galing talaga.  I supose it’s a good thing Nikki can read Japanese characters or I would have been wondering about the flavors of those syrups.  Anyway, this experience opened my eyes more to the beauty of homeschooling.  I mean, come on!  I can’t even read hiragana and katakana.  My son has surpassed me in this case.  I mean sure, I can say the usual arigatou and sumimasen when it counts but to actually read Japanese characters? Nope.  They just look so alien to me.  Anyway, I have decided to let Nikki practice his hiragana and katakana by getting Japanese books for him.   Hopefully he will learn the language better than me.

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