Early childhood is critical time for children to acquire basic life skills and learn how to learn.
At JCQ, we provide an original program based on three main skills; Core Skills, Creative thinking, and Self-expression, in order for children to foster international perspective and pioneer spirit, and to be a confident lifelong learner.
Core Skills：Children obtain developmentally appropriate core skills; knowledge, mind, and physical skills. These basic skills lead to creative thinking and self-expression.
Creative thinking：Through daily routines, such as project works, learning centers, children become to think creatively and learn how to solve problems and make decisions.
Self-expression：Children have opportunities to express themselves in Japanese and English.
We believe it is important for children to cultivate presentation skills and self-expression in order to present themselves as global citizens.
At Aoba, we provide inquiry-based learning in order for children to maximize their learning opportunities and gain these basic life skills.
First Pillar: Core Skills
Children learn basic life skills based on their developmentally appropriate mind, skills, body during early childhood.
Children develop manners, sense of justice, compassions through daily routines. Children learn to respect others. Daily tasks help children learn to respect their environment and build the sense of responsibility. Team work is important for children to build compassions towards others and they acknowledge that children have different abilities. Children learn to express their feelings clearly and develop empathy.
Physical development is important, not only for developing their body, but also to learn how to follow rules and the enjoyment of physical education. At Aoba, we provide extra curricula as followed every week in addition to our outdoor play in the morning.
Exercises (2 yrs ~)
As this is the important time for children to develop their fine/ gross motor skills, we have professionals coming from Japan Association of Physical Education to teach various physical activities.
Karate (3 yrs ~)
Karate class is taught by a famous Karateka, Ryuta Noji, who participated in the world championship. Not only are children learning self-defense, but also perseverance and the etiquette of the sports.
We also provide swimming class (4yrs~), dance class (optional) and ballet class (optional).
We provide children with opportunities to develop basic skills.
We provide many opportunities for children to verbally express their ideas and thoughts in front of the peers. Children 1~2 years old start to use crayons, 3 years old use pencils to learn proper grip and posture, and 5 years old practice to write simple sentences in Hiragana.
Children enjoy cards, toys, stickers to learn numbers and number concept.
We promote children to develop interest in numbers which leads to better focus on later on problem solving and following direction.
The oldest class has soroban lesson.
Children learn through hands-on experiences, such as observing seasonal plants and flowers, exploring magnets, mixing colors. Children research before going on field trips.
Children have opportunities to interact with nearby community and learn about the world around them.
Second Pillar: Creative Thinking
During the summer festival, children set up their own store in mixed age groups. Children discuss among themselves to decide what store to do, what materials to use, and so on.
As a part of annual school events, children perform a play which produced entirely from script to props by the children. Children collaborate with each other to create a performance.
Children work on various types of seasonal and age appropriate projects. Children in 3 years old class, they start to use their own imagination and ideas to enhance their creativity. Children work individually or in groups and create theme-based project using different materials and tools.
Children develop investigative skills collaborating with care givers through classroom activities and free project.
Children have opportunities to share their knowledge with their peers.
For example, if a child is interested in sea creatures, they can research and create a model with recycled materials and share with a class.
Children learn to organize their thoughts logically through writing about their ideas.
The oldest class writes journal entries after special events. Children reflect on the past experiences and learn importance of sentence structure and working to clearly communicate to the reader.
Children cultivate thinking skills through real life experiences, such as catching bugs, growing vegetables, and going on field trips. Through these experiences, children learn about the life cycle and when problems are arise, children work together to come up with solutions.
By experiencing these events first hand, children feel deeper connection to the life around them.
Third Pillar: Self-expression
English communication/ English Language
Children age 1-2 are exposed to English through music and dancing by native speaker to build solid foundation of English communication skills.
Children age 3 focuses on building communication skills through storytelling. Children are exposed to English naturally through daily routines.
Children also have Chinese lessons. Increasing presence of Chinese language, we feel the necessity for children to learn Chinese.
Children become familiar with music through finger plays in Japanese and English. Eurhythmics cultivates listening skills and creative expression. Using various instruments lead children to learn about other countries. Children develop sense of rhythm and perfect pitch by imitating simple rhythmic pattern. Children in 5 years old class are encouraged to compose music.
Children age 1-2 start recognizing facial parts by arranging stickers and later drawing parts with crayons. They also practice drawing circles and faces. Children age 3, they do observational drawing of fruits. Children age 4-5, they draw from their experiences, stories, and imagination.
The goal of the presentations is to encourage collaboration between children, and the sense of accomplishment after the performance help children build confidence.
Each class has age appropriate activities and children work individually on mat exercises, bar exercises, vaulting boxes and so on. Children age 4 or higher work together in team to perform relay, parachute, and gymnastic formation and so on.
Each class enjoys performing Christmas songs and dance.
As a part of annual events, each class performs songs, dance, or play on a big stage to the audience.
Children in 5 years old class perform a play both in English and Japanese.