In addition to homeschooling, our kids go to Utsunomiya International Christian School (UICS) three days a week. It’s a small, wonderful Christian school with loving teachers and a real family feel to it. Our main reason for sending the kids there is to help them develop in their Japanese ability, but they also benefit greatly from the fun and educational field trips, music lessons, and various yearly events put on by the school. And, of course, they have been able to develop some great friendships with fellow students.
Last weekend was the annual UICS Christmas party. Austin and Ethan joined the other lower elementary school kids in playing a Christmas song on an instrument called the “pianica” (a word meaning piano + harmonica). The pianica is a little piano with a tube that you blow in to create sound. After playing their song, the kids sang the Japanese words while another older student accompanied them on the piano. Other kids in the school also performed songs on various instruments and we all sang Silent Night in Japanese while holding candles.
The event was pot-luck style, so we got to feast on lots of great food contributed by all the parents and teachers. There was also a hilarious food tasting game where various groups of people were called up (first the preschool kids, then the elementary, Jr. High, and High school students, and finally all the dads) to taste food or drink in front of everyone. Almost all of the people had something normal to taste, but one person had someting strange or different from the rest. After the tasting, the audience got to guess who had the odd food. When the fathers came up, most people had a normal drink, but one dad had a cup of sauce for Japanese noodles! With the younger kids, most had a vanilla cream puff, but one child got a cream puff with a chocolate candy in the middle. Austin lucked out and got the special chocolate one. 🙂
Here are some photos of the event.