Today, Candice and I both joined Michael at Kitanokawa shougakkou (elementary school). Once again, spending time with kids is enjoyable. We talked about food with the 2nd graders, the body with 3rd graders and "what is this / that?" with the 5th and 6th graders, using visual aids (animals, colours and food). I ate lunch with the sannensei (third graders).
A few things to note about schools, in terms of interesting differences:
- Children don't bring a packed lunch to school; they all eat the same meal prepared at school and served in each classroom by children that are on lunch duty.
- The servers wear caps and masks while handling food -- the youngest children are very cute all dressed up as they do their duty.
- They have milk at school every day. I guess Japanese people like milk or see the benefit of giving kids milk.
- After lunch, just about everything is put in the correct place for washing or recycling. Milk cartons, cheese wrappers, and even straws are collected.
- Also after lunch, the children brush their teeth. Bodily care and material recyling are both big here.