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5 Things About The Japanese Education System That Will Surprise and Inspire You

5 Things About The Japanese Education System That Will Surprise and Inspire You

So you say you like Japanese culture, but you’re shocked to know that Japanese public school students eat lunch in the classroom with their teacher? Read on, then, to discover more commonly unknown facts about the Japanese education system.

1. No Exams for The First 3 Years of School

The theory about why Japanese students are not required to take exams until after fourth grade is that the Japanese value excellent manners. According to the Japanese culture, it’s more important to teach proper etiquette to young students than to focus the classroom energies on cramming for upcoming standardized tests. The underlying belief is that children’s character must be developed. Therefore, it’s best to avoid judgement students’ learning progress.

Developing respect for others is taught in the classroom. Students must show deference to each other and, of course, the teacher. Of utmost importance is the student-teacher relationship. Ostensibly, students who don’t want to disappoint their teachers won’t act out.

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2. Not Janitors, But Students Clean The School

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    photo credit: Timothy Takemoto

    Japanese students have to clean up after themselves. They clean the classrooms and the bathrooms. The point is to teach students how to teamwork, share responsibility, and develop greater respect for taking care of things (not just people). Perhaps, the lesson here is that how students care for the place in which they learn reflects how the care for others. Opportunities to build character are not to be taken for granted.

    The students are split into groups according to tasks. The groups rotate throughout the year, so each student gets experience with all of the tasks. When cleaning, students are divided into small groups and assigned tasks that rotate throughout the year.

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    3. Students Eat The Same, Balanced Meals

    Aside from students with serious food allergies, Japanese students are served meals from a standardized menu. These aren’t just your average, American public school lunches, notorious for the poor nutrition, added sugars, and trans-fats. The Japanese teach their kids healthy eating from the get-go by prioritizing quality ingredients and realistic portions. Menus are a collaboration between healthcare professionals and trained chefs. Additionally, school lunches are largely made using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.

    Teachers eat lunch with their students, a practice that further solidifies the relationship between the students and teachers. Oftentimes, Japanese students serve lunch to one another as a way to distribute the responsibility of the well-being of the entire class.

    4. Public Schools Teach Traditional Art

    What is considered fundamental knowledge to the Japanese public school system goes far beyond the scope of the foundation identified by most American public schools. Japanese students are taught traditional arts like Shodo (書道、Japanese calligraphy) and haiku, a formal style of poetry. Shodo involves writing kanji and kana characters with a bamboo brush in ink on rice paper. The art requires language knowledge and help instill respect for cultural traditions. The craft of writing haiku works similarly to promote in students an awareness of and value for national, cultural traditions.

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    5. Japanese Students Wear School Uniforms

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      photo credit: elmimmo

      From junior high school on, almost all Japanese public schools require their students to wear uniforms. Standards vary, but many uniforms share the following aspects: military-style, black uniforms for the boys, and sailor blouse and skirt for girls. School uniforms are modest in color, cut and decoration.

      As with all school-related standards, there is a point behind the uniform regulation. The idea is that when students wear the same outfits, they feel a greater sense of community. Also, any social stigmatization that come with outward appearance is lifted, allowing students to focus on learning. Some Japanese schools also have strict rules on accessories like backpacks, as well as makeup and even hairstyles.

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      Featured photo credit: Tofugu via tofugu.com

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      Published on April 9, 2021

      50 Single Mom Quotes On Staying Strong And Loving

      50 Single Mom Quotes On Staying Strong And Loving

      Being a mom is not easy. Being a single mom is even more challenging. Having children means you are on the job 24/7. Even while you are sleeping, you are still ready to wake at the slightest peep because that is what moms do.

      Moms, especially single moms, need more people cheering them on. Your love and care matter to your kids. You are their superhero. I think single moms are superheroes, too.

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      The quotes below are words of encouragement for all of the single moms out there. Keep up the great work! Your hard work will pay off. Someday, they will be grown up and living on their own. Your job will never truly be done as a mom, but you can pat yourself on the back today and every day for doing mom duty day in and day out.

      Here are 50 single mom quotes to encourage all the single moms out there.

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      1. “Being raised by a single mother, I learned to appreciate and value independent women.”—Kenny Conley
      2. “As a single mum you’ll discover inner strengths and capabilities you never knew you had.”—Emma-Louise Smith
      3. “One thing I know for sure – this motherhood thing is not for sissies.”—Jennifer Nettles
      4. “Mothers and their children are in a category all their own. There’s no bond so strong in the entire world. No love so instantaneous and forgiving.”—Gail Tsukiyama
      5. “And one day she discovered that she was fierce and strong, and full of fire and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears.”—Mark Anthony
      6. “She never quite leaves her children at home, even when she doesn’t take them along.”—Margaret Culkin Banning
      7. “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”—Alice Walker
      8. “Everyone has inside of her a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be, how much you can love, what you can accomplish, and what your potential is.”—Anne Frank
      9. “Doubt is a killer. You just have to know who you are and what you stand for.”—Jennifer Lopez
      10. “You are more powerful than you know; you are beautiful just as you are.”—Melissa Etheridge
      11. “Motherhood is the greatest thing and the hardest thing.”—Ricki Lake
      12. “You don’t take a class; you’re thrown into motherhood and learn from experience.”—Jennie Finch
      13. “If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.”—Oprah Winfrey
      14. “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”—Charlotte Brontë
      15. “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”—Nora Ephron
      16. “When a woman becomes her own best friend life is easier.”—Diane Von Furstenberg
      17. “If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.”—Margaret Thatcher
      18. “Women have discovered that they cannot rely on men’s chivalry to give them justice.”—Helen Keller
      19. “Successful mothers are not the ones that have never struggled. They are the ones that never give up, despite the struggles.”—Sharon Jaynes
      20. “Success, they taught me, is built on the foundation of courage, hard work, and individual responsibility. Despite what some would have us believe, success is not built on resentment and fears.”—Susana Martinez
      21. “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”—Maya Angelou
      22. “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”—Ayn Rand
      23. “God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.”—Rudyard Kipling
      24. “The women whom I love and admire for their strength and grace did not get that way because stuff worked out. They got that way because stuff went wrong, and they handled it. They handled it in a thousand different ways on a thousand different days, but they handled it. Those women are my superheroes.”—Elizabeth Gilbert
      25. “There will be so many times you feel like you failed. But in the eyes, ears, and mind of your child, you are a SUPER MOM.”—Stephanie Precourt
      26. “Motherhood is the ultimate call to sacrifice.”—Wangechi Mutu
      27. “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”—Maya Angelou
      28. “A mother’s arms are more comforting than anyone else’s.”—Princess Diana
      29. “There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.”—Jill Churchill
      30. “There’s no doubt that motherhood is the best thing in my life. It’s all that really matters.”—Courtney Cox
      31. “I realized when you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.”—Mitch Albom
      32. “I have found being a mother has made me emotionally raw in many situations. Your heart is beating outside your body when you have a baby.”—Kate Beckinsale
      33. “Single moms, you are a doctor, a teacher, a nurse, a maid, a cook, a referee, a heroine, a provider, a defender, a protector, a true Superwoman. Wear your cape proudly.”—Mandy Hale
      34. “I’m not really single. I mean, I am, but I have a son. Being a single mother is different from being a single woman.”—Kate Hudson
      35. “Being a single parent is twice the work, twice the stress, and twice the tears but also twice the hugs, twice the love, and twice the pride.”—Unknown
      36. “For me, motherhood is learning about the strengths I didn’t know I had, and dealing with the fears I didn’t know existed.”—Halle Berry
      37. “A single mom tries when things are hard. She never gives up. She believes in her family, even when things are tough. She knows that above all things… a mother’s love is more than enough.”—Denice Williams
      38. “You do the best you can. Some days you feel really good about yourself and some days you don’t.”—Katie Holmes
      39. “I would say to any single parent currently feeling the weight of stereotype or stigmatization that I am prouder of my years as a single mother than of any other part of my life.”JK Rowling
      40. “Just because I am a single mother doesn’t mean I cannot be a success.”—Yvonne Kaloki
      41. “I didn’t plan on being a single mom, but you have to deal with the cards you are dealt the best way you can.”—Tichina Arnold
      42. “Nothing you do for children is ever wasted.”—Garrison Keillor
      43. “A single mom tries when things are hard. She never gives up. She believes in her family, even when things are tough. She knows that above all things, a mother’s love is more than enough.”—Deniece Williams
      44. “Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials.”—Meryl Streep
      45. “Having kids—the responsibility of rearing good, kind, ethical, responsible human beings—is the biggest job anyone can embark on.”—Maria Shriver
      46. “Mother is a verb. It’s something you do. Not just who you are.”—Cheryl Lacey Donovan
      47. “A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dates all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.”—Agatha Christie
      48. “A mother’s arms are more comforting than anyone else’s.”—Princess Diana
      49. “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.”—W.R. Wallace
      50. “Being a mother is the greatest blessing and the hardest challenge in all of life.”—Dr. Magdalena Battles

      Final Thoughts

      Single moms are remarkable women. They are to be respected and honored for all that they do. If you know a single mom, then share this article with them. Tell them “you are doing a great job as a single mom.” They need our encouragement and support.

      They may be parenting alone, but it is good to let them know that there are people in their life who care for them. We can all be there for the single moms out there. Even if it is just to say, “keep up the great work, you are an amazing woman!”

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      If you are a single mom, keep up the good work! You are amazing, and your kids are lucky to have you!

      More Tips for Single Moms

      Featured photo credit: Alexander Dummer via unsplash.com

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