I've got the house to myself for a couple of days. Tetsu is on a business trip to somewhere in Japan (now that we have cell phones I don't need to know where he is going...) Of course "alone" is relative since the cats and Choco are here to keep me company. I also have a very small English class tonight because three of 5 boys are off on a school trip. Maybe I'll make cookies with the other two boys.
Japanese schools do a lot of school trips. There is a whole, huge business dealing with school trips! Tourist buses run... Guides are provided... accommodations for hundreds of children are ready and waiting.
Let's see... There are always field trips away from the schools... the children learn things like "how to go shopping." I guess they don't learn that when they go out with their mothers?
At around fourth grade my kids went on a field trip to visit a soy sauce factory. I still have the soy sauce container that the factory gave the children. Also in fourth grade is the first overnight stay. I don't remember where they go but 35 students board a tourist bus and off they go.
In fifth grade (the three boys who will be absent tonight are fifth graders) the school takes the class to the seaside for three days and they learn to make salt among other things.
In sixth grade all schools take the children off to places of cultural importance. I think Leiya's class spent 4 nights in the Tokyo area and visited the Diet building, a Buddhist temple and Disneyland. (very culturally important that Disneyland!)
Once the children get to jr. high school, the school trip quality improves and the students have a chance to go south and spend time in the historic cities of Kyoto and Nara. I thought it interesting that most of the transportation around the cities was by private taxi. Four of five children to a taxi! Think how crazy the teachers and chaperones must get with a couple hundred students (in jr. high more classes) let loose in an unfamiliar city! I've never heard of any school losing a child so I guess all the rules are obeyed and the students get back to their hotel at night!
When the student gets to high school the trips get even more extensive and some classes go overseas to Europe or China or something for 10 days. And yes, parents pay for all of this! We start saving money for the mandatory school trip early! (But Takumi's high school wasn't interested in taking the students to a foreign country and thought a trip to Nikko was enough. Takumi was disgusted. He did manage to convince the bus driver to let him off at a corner so that he could walk home instead of going back to the school in the next city over.)
Oh well, this is a rambling post that has nothing to do with anything. I'll be sitting in my chair surrounded by cats waiting for Tetsu to get back tomorrow night. A little extra time in the sewing room?