When we lived in Japan, I decided to send my three year old daughter, Lulu, to a local preschool just down the road. An American neighbor had sent her daughter there and said it was good for her child as there was no one who spoke English so her daughter learnt Japanese quickly.
I went down to the school with my daughter and an Aussie friend who spoke Japanese. We were treated really nicely and the Principal said that Lulu would have to have a entrance exam before being enrolled.
I was a bit concerned about what a three year old could be examined on, but arranged to bring Lulu along the following week when one of the teacher’s daughter who spoke English could conduct the exam.
While the exam was being conducted, I nervously waited at the back of the classroom, worried that Lulu wouldn’t pass. But, it was fairly basic with difference-sized beakers given to her to put them order of size and colour. And then, there was one saying what colour each block was. I was really relieved when I was told that she came through with flying colours and she could start the following week and I arranged to get her uniform at a local store.
A week later we set off with Lulu dressed in her navy skirt, white shirt and a navy jacket and beret. She look gorgeous and stood out with her blonde curls.
When she got home from school, I asked what had done. She quickly answered “We drew circles”. That was it. As the week went by, I got the same answer each day and wondered exactly what she was doing. She was happy to go off each day and seemed to make some little friends.
On Friday, she come running in with her school work. “Look at my circle”, she proudly brought me her work.
The beautiful drawing of the Japanese flag went up on the fridge. And Lulu spent almost two years there and was soon chattering away to her school friends in Japanese.