Kids' Korner: Summer Vacation
What do you like doing over summer vacation?
Do you like going to the beach? How about hiking or going to the movies?
If you answered yes to any of these, then you have a lot in common with many children in Japan!
In Japan, as in the U.S., summer vacation is a time to have fun and enjoy the warm weather, spend time with friends and family, or go on vacation; but, unlike in the U.S., where students usually get two to three months of vacation time, Japanese students generally only receive five weeks off from school.
In addition to having less time off, Japanese students are also expected to complete a number of assignments over their summer vacation. Such assignments can include things like writing a daily diary entry, reading books and writing short reports, and independent science projects, all of which students turn in to their teachers when they go back to school.
The reason why teachers can assign their students summer homework is because their vacation falls in the middle of the Japanese school year, instead of between grades. This also means that students often go to school over their break to participate in activities like clubs and sports.
Many children go to summer camps as well. Some of the most popular kinds of summer camps are rural retreats where children can get a taste of what it is like to live in the countryside. Most Japanese live in cities, so it can be very exciting to experience things like camping, hiking in the woods, horseback riding, fishing, or even working on a farm.
There are also many summer festivals that offer fun diversions for the whole family. Especially fireworks!
So, what are you going to do this summer?