New Life International School - Kofu, Japan

What is a Christian, Western-Style Education?     (日本語 ー 下)

The following is to clarify what a Christian, western-style education is and what are the expectations of New Life International School. This will also offer some practical suggestions for parents to help their child to be successful in our school.

1.  We use the Bible and other Christian resources to help us understand our world.

When Christian teachers teach, we help students see the world created perfect by God, damaged by sin, and redeemed by Christ. Students, whether Christian or not, are taught to use the Bible as a tool to work towards a better world.
Suggestions for Parents
-Encourage your child to read the Bible and spend time with him or her studying the Bible’s stories and principles. 
-Discuss both Christian and non-Christian things with your child, encouraging him or her to think deeply about the meaning of what happens in the world around us.
-Encourage participation in church as well as Christian youth groups, camps, and activities. NLIS offers an opportunity for 3rd grade through high school to go to a Bible summer camp every summer.

2. We use English as the language of instruction and require the acquisition of a high level of English to be successful.

We teach all subjects, except Japanese classes, in English. We are not a language school. While we value the many benefits of multilingualism, students at NLIS will be completely immersed in the English language during classes. This is required in order to assist them in the full acquisition of the language, including listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Students must demonstrate both an aptitude and a strong work ethic to be successful.
Suggestions for Parents
-Read to your younger children in both their native language and English and encourage your older children to read English fiction and non-fiction works for enjoyment. If you don't speak English, provide English books and videos for your child. Your children may borrow books from our school and the libraries in town. Buying a Kindle might be a good investment for the older children.
-If possible, speak some English in the home to reinforce your child’s language acquisition.   
-Pursue opportunities to be immersed in English such as summer camps and travel.

3.We strive to educate the whole person.

Academics are very important since we want our students to continue to higher education. However, NLIS endeavors to educate the whole person, spiritually, academically, socially, emotionally and physically. A western-style school tries to balance the student’s education by not emphasizing one over another. We look for individual talents and teach students to use the gifts God has given them. We push our students to do their best, to develop strong character and leadership qualities, to learn to live in a global community, to serve others, and to accept responsibility. We celebrate with the students their unique talents, (i.e. creativity, kindness, athletic or music abilities), and we support different types of learners.
Suggestions for parents:
-Help your child discover his or her unique and special gifts and talents and encourage your child to do his or her best.
-Support your child’s involvement in extra-curricular activities by attending his or her performances and competitions.

4. We believe a student's success is achieved with parents' help.

Research supports that parents' involvement in school is crucial for children to be successful in school and in life. Parents and teachers should keep in regular contact with each another through e-mails, meetings, phone calls, and by parents' involvement with school activities such as school presentations, class projects, and class parties. Parents are expected to encourage and assist their children at home in their studies and activities. However, we will not ask the parents to come to numerous school meetings or events. We believe time in the home should be valued and we don't want to interrupt family time after school hours.
Sometimes a parent may have questions or a misunderstanding about the school (i.e. teachers, support staff or administration). If there is a problem please talk directly with the person concerned. Both parties should try to listen to one another to see clearly what the facts are regarding the area of concern. If after meeting the issue cannot be resolved, the school principal or other administrator should be contacted to become involved in mediating.
Suggestions for Parents
-Frequently ask your child about school life and his or her academic progress. Homework should be checked frequently and praised when appropriate.
-Communicate with the teacher when you have a question or concern.    
-Show your support through attending school activities, such as dramas, school presentations, and open house. Volunteer to help with a classroom party, a field trip, be a speaker at our school, or teach a lesson to a class.
-Be sure you are able to clearly communicate with the school and the teachers. For some families this means having a plan in place to translate English messages to and from the school.

5. We use a variety of assessment tools.

Assessment is done frequently and in a number of different ways. Success or achievement is never measured by one test alone. We use paper-and-pencil tests, verbal, anecdotal, portfolio, project, and presentation forms of assessment.
Suggestions for Parents
-Encourage your child to place value and importance on every assignment he or she receives and not put all of his or her efforts into one or more test scores.
-Monitor your child’s progress closely and help him or her to not become too discouraged by one test score.
-If your child is struggling academically, be sure to communicate promptly with the teacher.

 6. We emphasize higher order thinking skills.

While rote memory of content is used in most classes, analyzing and applying concepts are more emphasized and more valued. We focus on using facts to problem-solve and to apply information to real-life situations. Our emphasis is not just on how much the student knows, but we teach each child to know where to find information, to be able to decide if it's correct and useful, and to apply this knowledge to solve a problem.
Suggestions for Parents
-Encourage your child to think through problems he or she encounters at home or with schoolwork. Don’t always give your child the answers or simple solutions, but allow him or her to ponder or puzzle with problems. Help your child to reach solutions by giving hints but don’t permit him or her to get too frustrated.
-Play simple puzzles or mind games together as a family, or encourage your child to do this alone.

 7. We discipline in a fair and consistent manner to modify inappropriate behavior.

Corporal punishment is not used. Discipline should be a consequence of the action, not a reaction against the student. Discipline at NLIS is administered by balancing Christian principles like justice and grace. NLIS sees the teacher and administration working as a team with parents to instruct children in appropriate behavior. Consistency and fairness in the administering of discipline are always important.
 Suggestions for Parents
-Support teachers and administrators when it is necessary to administer discipline.
-Frequently talk to your child to keep the line of communication open. You should talk to your child about school life and his or her friends.
-Parents and students should read and become thoroughly familiar with the school policies outlined in the NLIS student handbooks.

8. We place a realistic emphasis on grades.

We believe that an over-emphasis on a numerical or letter score may sacrifice true learning and create an unhealthy situation by overly stressing a student. Mastery of life skills such as collaboration, leadership and honesty is more important than grades. Western education tries to emphasize the joy of learning and doing one’s individual best. Christian education encourages students to seek ways to honor God by using their individual gifts and talents. Creativity and imagination don’t always translate to a high grade point average (GPA) but are attributes that have long-lasting rewards. Learning can be taught to be a rewarding activity and not solely a means to achieve good grades. NLIS wants to foster a love of learning where students desire to learn throughout their lives.
Suggestions for Parents
-Offer some incentives or rewards for good grades but avoid putting too much pressure on your child.
-Avoid stern punishment when you and the teacher can determine that your child has done his or her best. Some children bloom or become motivated later in their school career.
-Remember that some children excel and are gifted by God in different areas of school life outside of academics and should be complimented for their efforts.

9. We emphasize developing a personal worldview and living consistently using that worldview.

Our core mission states that we are equipping students to be active, independent, expressive, and loving. We challenge our students to learn about the world and then make discerning choices about what they believe, how they react, and how they live. Whether Christian or not, all students are asked to be able to articulate and defend what they believe using faith, evidence and sound reasoning. Students are encouraged to be active in service projects and outreach programs, and to express love and respect to others in school and out of school.
Suggestions for Parents
-Ask your child regularly what they believe and why they believe it.
-Challenge your child to show behaviors consistent with what they believe and with high standards.
-Discuss both Christian and non-Christian things with your child, encouraging them to think deeply about the meaning of what happens in the world around them.

キリスト教に沿った 欧米式教育を 理解していただくために

ここには、「キリスト教に沿った欧米教育とは何か」、「ニューライフ インターナショナル スクールが望んでいることは何か」について書かれています。また、「子供がこの学校でうまくやっていくために、お家の方がどのようにサポートしていけばいいのか」についても、実践的で役立つアドバイスがいくつかあげられています。

1、 NLISでは世界について理解するために、聖書およびキリスト教に基づいた資料を使います。

— お子さんに聖書を読むように促したり、親も一緒になって聖書にでてくる話や教えを学ぶ時間をもって下さい。
— キリスト教の教えに沿っていることも、そうでないことも、お子さんとよく話し合って下さい。まわりの世界で起きていることの意味について真剣に考えるようにお子さんを促してください。
— 教会はもちろん、クリスチャンの青年グループ、キャンプなどに参加するように促してください。NLISでは、小学3年生〜高校生までの希望者は、毎年夏、バイブルキャンプへ参加できます。


— 低学年のお子さんには、母国語と英語両方の本を読み聞かせ、高学年のお子さんには、フィクションやノン•フィクションなどの英語の本を楽しんで読むように奨めてください。もし、親が英語を話さない場合は、お子さんに英語の本やビデオを用意してあげて下さい。NLISや県立図書館から本を借りることもできます。高学年のお子さんには、電子書籍を買ってあげるのも後々のためにいいかもしれません。
— 早く英語力がつくように、家庭でできるだけ英語を使うようにしてください。
— 英語のサマーキャンプや旅行など、英語漬けになれる機会を利用してください。


— 自分のもつ独自で特別な才能や能力とは何かを、本人が発見できるようにサポートしたり、ベストを尽くすように促して下さい。 
— 学校以外でも、お子さんが参加する行事があれば、その発表会や大会を見に行ってあげることで、お子さんをサポートしてあげて下さい。


— 日頃から、学校生活や勉強の進み具合について、お子さんと話をして下さい。いつも宿題をチェックし、良く出来ている時は、褒めてあげて下さい。
— 何か質問や心配な点がある時は、先生に伝えて下さい。
— 劇やプレゼンテーションなどの発表会や、授業参観などの学校行事に出席することで、お子さんへのサポート心を示してあげて下さい。また、パーティーや遠足の手伝いをしたり、特別ゲストとして学校に来て教えたり、講演したりするなど、積極的に学校と関わるようにして下さい。
— 常に、学校や先生としっかり連絡が取り合えるようにしておいて下さい。英語でのやり取りが困難な方は、通訳などを介して、学校と家庭との連絡が取り合える環境を整えておいて下さい。


 — ただ単に、テストで良い点を取るために必死になるのではなく、「与えられた全ての課題に意味があり、大切である」と言うことを、お子さんに認識させるようにして下さい。
— お子さんの学習状況をそばで見守り、一回テストの点が悪かったらといって落ち込まないように、お子さんを支えてあげて下さい。
— もしお子さんが勉強のことで悩んでいたら、すぐに先生に伝えるようにして下さい。
— お子さんが、家庭で、あるいは勉強面で問題にぶつかったときは、最後まで考え抜くように促して下さい。すぐに答えを教えたり、楽な解決策を教えたりせず、問題について良く考えさせ、悩ませて下さい。ヒントを与えながら、お子さんを解決の方へと導いていってほしいのですが、この時、本人がイライラし過ぎていたら、イライラしないように伝えて下さい。
— 簡単なパズルや思考ゲームなどを家族で一緒にやったり、お子さん一人でも、自分だけでやるように促して下さい。


— しつけを行う必要がある時は、教師や責任者をサポートして下さい。
— オープンにコミュニケーションができるように、しょっちゅうお子さんに話しかけて下さい。学校のことや、友達のことについて話をして下さい。
— 親も生徒も、NLISハンドブックに書かれている校則を読んで、しっかり理解しておいて下さい。


— 良い成績をとった時に、何かご褒美をあげるのはいいのですが、お子さんにプレッシャーを与え過ぎるのは避けて下さい。
— 「この子はベストを尽くした」と、親や先生が感じる時は、その子に罰やお仕置きを与えないで下さい。生徒の中には、学校生活後半になってから、才能が開花したり、やる気になったりする子もいます。
— 学習面以外で、学校での色々な分野で秀でていたり、神から特別な才能が与えられているという子供もいます。そんな時は、その頑張りを褒めてあげて下さい。


— お子さんが「何を信じているか」「なぜ、それを信じているのか」を、たまに聞くようにして下さい。
— 自分が信じていることと自分の行動を、しっかりと一致させるように促して下さい。 
— キリスト教的の教えに沿っていることでも、そうでないことでも、お子さんとよく話し合って下さい。そして、自分の周りの世界で起こっていることの意味についても、真剣に考えるように促して下さい。