2015/12/22

Winter vacation homework nowadays

My 6-year-old son was given his winter vacation homework from his teacher yesterday.

One of them was a booklet called "Fuyuyasumi (Winter Vacation)".

It is a comprehensive homework for elementary school students including Kanji dictation, calculation, book report, crafts, picture diary, and so on.

I had told my son to finish his homework as soon as possible because we will visit the in-law's house for 5 days during the New year's vacation.

On our way home, he told me:

"I can't wait to do my homework!"

He started doing it as soon as we came home.

The booklet was well devised so that children could enjoy it.

For example, I thought it was an clever idea that students paint in a different color depending on a calculation result, allowing the picture of the snowman to be completed.

I also liked that questions included puzzles and Kanji dictation.

He enjoyed doing it and he finished eight pages!


After a while, my son suddenly started playing "Ode to Joy" from the symphony No. 9 (Beethoven) using the keyboard harmonica.

I was surprised that it was also his homework in the booklet!


"Ode to Joy" is one of the seasonal traditions played at the end of the year in Japan.

I thought that it was also a nice homework which taught children about the customs in Japan.

Children learn how to play the keyboard harmonica at elementary school.

When I was an elementary school student, we also had similar homeworl booklet.

But I don't remember such kinds of homework.

It is good for children that they can enjoy doing their homework.


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4 件のコメント:

  1. Hi Kumi-san,

    Another great article. Your son is fortunate to have a good study ethic. That will surely be to his advantage later in life. I did not know that all Japanese children were taught instruments at school.

    Here is a list of some of the issues I found while reading the article:

    This line:
    It is a comprehensive homework for elementary school student including Kanji dictation, calculation, book report, crafts, picture diary, and so on.

    Should be:
    It is a comprehensive homework for elementary school students including Kanji dictation, calculation, book report, crafts, picture diary, and so on.

    This line:
    I had told my son to finish his homework as soon as possible because we will visit in-law's house for 5 days during the New year's vacation.

    Should be:
    I had told my son to finish his homework as soon as possible because we will visit (our/the) in-law's house for 5 days during the New year's vacation.

    This line:
    "I can't wait for doing my homework!"

    Should be:
    "I can't wait to do my homework!"

    This line:
    The booklet was considerably devised so that children could enjoy it.

    Should be:
    The booklet was well devised so that children could enjoy it.

    This line:
    For example, I thought it was an attractive question that students paint in a different color by a calculation result, and the picture of snowman is finally completed.

    Should be:
    For example, I thought it was an clever idea that students paint in a different color depending on a calculation result, allowing the picture of the snowman to be completed.

    This line:
    I also thought it was enjoyable questinon that includes a puzzle and a Kanji dictation.

    Should be:
    I also liked that questions included puzzles and Kanji dictation.

    This line:
    I was surprised that it was also his homework on the booklet!

    Should be:
    I was surprised that it was also his homework in the booklet!

    This line:
    "Ode to Joy" is known to one of the seasonal traditions of the end of the year in Japan.

    Should be:
    "Ode to Joy" is one of the seasonal traditions (played/sang) at the end of the year in Japan.

    This line:
    When I was an elementary school student, we also had homework like the booklet.

    Should be:
    When I was an elementary school student, we also had similar homework booklet.

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    1. Merry Christmas Terry!
      With best wishes for Merry Christmas.

      Thank you for the correction.
      I would like to ask you, when I write the sentence:
      When I was a elementary school student,
      I always think that this sentence is a little long amd I want to know another better expression.
      If you have any suggestion, could you give me advice?

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    2. I am not really sure there is a clearer way of expressing:

      When I was an elementary school student ...

      Mainly because you are making clear both what your general age must have been and that you are talking about school.

      You could use:

      In elementary school ...

      For example:

      When I was an elementary school student I liked to sing and dance and do my homework.

      Could be rewritten as:

      In elementary school I liked to sing and dance and do my homework.

      The above sentence still has all the same information in it. It also makes clear that you are talking about yourself.

      If you wanted to make it even shorter then you could rewrite it as:

      In elementary school singing and dancing and doing homework was fun.

      In the sentence above it doesn't directly mention that the sentence is about you, however it is implied. Like the other sentence it does still tell you that it's about school and specifically the time period and age when you would have been in elementary school.

      If you want even more implied meaning you could write:

      School singing and dancing and doing homework was fun.

      In the sentence above it is not making explicit that the sentence is about you but depending on what you wrote previously it can be assumed. You also are no longer mentioning the time period (the time when you were in elementary school just that you were in school, so again it would have to be implied, which it would be to anyone who grew up in Japan, as they would know what sort of activities you did in elementary school and could guess the general period of time you are talking about).

      One thing you can do with almost any sentence is if you have previously mentioned a topic and are refering to it again the second time you can generally just make it implied.

      For example:

      When I was an elementary school student I liked to pratice my calligraphy. The elementary school also had classes on flower arranging.

      In the sentence above elementary school is mentioned more times than it really need to be, so removing some of the repetition can make it sound neater:

      When I was in elementary school, I liked to practice calligraphy, they also did flower arranging classes.

      The word they in this example is being used as a substitute for "elementary school" or "the elementary school". It's understood from context exactly what they is referencing.

      I think technically these substitution words are called pro-nouns in English and 代名詞[だいめいし][daimeishi] in Japanese although I am not certain.

      I am not an English grammar expert so I can only suggest looking up more information on google for a more indepth explanation of grammatical phrases.

      As I am a native English speaker I generally did not need to learn all the grammatical rules of the language I use as it was learned just by listening, which unfortunately makes it very hard for me to explain it in grammatical terms which would be useful to you. Your grammatical grasp of English is probably more extensive that most native English speakers.). This is usually the case for people who learn a second non-native language as you have to learn or are taught the rules of the language using grammar rules.

      So in summary:

      I would stick with what you have it is clear, specific and can not be misinterpreted, all other shorter version require context to be understood and as a result if the reader is not paying attention can be misunderstood.

      If I did not understand the question correctly or you need more information please let me know.

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    3. Thank you Terry for another long explanation!
      When I write my diary, I often tend to translate my Japanese sentence to English though I don't think it is not best way, I know I have to think in English.
      We say "When I was an elementary school student," "私が小学生だったとき、".
      But we can also say:
      "小学校のとき"
      "小学生のとき"
      "子供のころ"
      We can omit the subject and say in other way.
      I think "In elementary school " is the shortest.

      I understand that explanation about grammer is difficult for native speaker.
      If I am asked about the difference of postpositions, I will be difficult to explain!
      Thank you so much!

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