Children, On Sale!

I recently asked my parents to dig out my birth certificate because I need it to get Rikuto his own British birth certificate. When my mum emailed me to say she found it, I started to reply…”Thanks mum! There aren’t any surprises, are there? I’m not adopted from a small African nation, am I?” I thought it was funny when I wrote it, but the smile was wiped off my […]

Download Songs for ESL Children

Once a week, I throw my Pooh bag over my shoulder and haul my collection of flash cards and toys to my local kindergarten. With a fresh bunch of children starting their English lessons in a couple of weeks, I’ve taken to revamping the curriculum I’ve been using, and injecting some energy into it with some very genki songs. The problem with classic children songs For years, I’ve made do […]

Elementary School Teacher Loves Dolch Words

I got a very nice email today from an elementary school teacher who wrote to thank me for my Dolch Words website: I love your dolch word website. I use the phrase activities all the time. It has helped with improving fluency and accuracy in a fun way. My students grades 1-5 enjoy the dice game and the rock-paper-scissors. We use all the activities and I have passed it on […]

Children’s Bedtime Stories

Rikuto is still less than two months old, but since he wouldn’t sleep and had joined me at the computer – well, in a basket on the floor next to me – I thought I’d find a bedtime story to read to him. A quick Google search for “Children’s Bedtime Stories” brought up Gordon Dioxide’s collection of stories for 5-11 year olds. Obviously these are nothing but random noise to […]

Kancho – A Japanese pastime

“Kancho is the ancient art of clasping your hands together, and playfully poking your friend or enemy,…in the rear. It is also called “The Friendly Enema”, and is practiced by children in schoolyards and classrooms around the world. is dedicated to spreading the good news about Kancho.” Source: When Japanese kids first started shoving their fingers up my bum about ten years ago, I was more confused than […]

Think you can teach Japanese kindy?

I’ve been teaching at Japanese kindergartens for years now, and I always have a lot of fun. The key to success in teaching these classes is to be fun and energetic. While some “proper” teachers complain that they came to Japan to “teach”, and not dance around like clowns, I believe that if your style of teaching is entertaining then your students are going to learn a whole lot more […]