As U.S. expats living in Tokyo, A-JB’s bilingual programming and dedication to bicultural exposure provided the perfect mix for our family: affording us plenty of English support while allowing our daughter to acclimate to the Japanese language and culture.
Aside from the bilingual environment, we were drawn to A-JB’s focus on inquiry-based learning. We believe this model will help encourage Maddie’s natural inquisitiveness, inspire her to take the initiative in satisfying her curiosity and help establish a lifelong love of learning.
Aside from nourishing Maddie’s mind, we felt A-JB’s emphasis on physical activity and outdoor play would greatly benefit her as she grows. Prior to Tokyo, we lived in an extremely polluted city for several years, with limited outdoor time. Thus, we were delighted with the idea that Maddie would be able to spend time outdoors every day and even regular time in “forests!” In addition, given Maddie’s love of both music and dance, we were confident she would enjoy the special programs at A-JB. Indeed, both the commitment to outdoor activity time and the special programs showed us A-JB’s dedication to developing the ‘whole child.’
Our daughter, Maddie, is absolutely thriving at A-JB. She’s eager to go to school every morning while sad and reluctant to leave in the afternoon. Maddie loves all her teachers and has blossomed socially—establishing multiple friendships. The crafts and projects she makes at school are also major highlights of her school day, she often comes home to tell us about them or proudly show us the fruits of her labor.
We feel that she’s grown tremendously over the last year. Prior to enrollment, Maddie mostly spoke Mandarin at home with us. Now, not only has the amount of English she uses increased drastically, Maddie constantly sings, plays pretend, and lectures her little brother in Japanese! The more active environment at A-JB has also allowed Maddie grow more confident in stretching her physical abilities and limits. In addition, while Maddie has always been inquisitive, we feel that her logic in asking follow-up questions and drawing conclusions also improved. We are often delightfully surprised by her insights.
We are so grateful to all the A-JB staff and teachers for your care and nurturing of Maddie over this past year! It’s extremely clear to us that she feels safe, cared for and valued at the school, which is very important to us. The occasional notes letting us know when Maddie has said or done something amusing or of note, or follow-up when she seems to be having a rough day really shows us you care. We appreciate all the big and small ways you’ve helped our family adjust to Japan, especially during this pandemic.