It's All Coming Together Now... 
Hasekko Spend Time Adjusting to the Next Stage 

さぁ、同年齢の生活がはじまったよ。。 はせっこは次のステージに向けて同じ時間を過ごします

11月28日(金) A Fun Filled Friday! 楽しさいっぱいの金曜日!

It's All Coming Together Now... 
Hasekko Spend Time Adjusting to the Next Stage 


The end of the calendar year is a time of great growth in self awareness and creativity for the children.  Throughout the year, they benefit from being a member of classes which are mixed in age.  When they are new to yochien in the red year (3-4 years old) or blue year (4-5 years old), they learn a lot from those who have been at yochien for a year or two already- the rhythm of the day, what to do at each time, new life skills, how to express their creativity and ideas, and how to have fun with each other! 
Each year, from November until the winter break, Hase Yochien temporarily divides students into same-age classrooms.  This gives Hasekko an opportunity to get to know new friends their own age and experience a little of what life will be like at elementary school and the next year when the oldest class has graduated from yochien.  
Thank You for Coming! 
Hasseko Enjoy a Morning with Ina-sho First Graders
In the morning, first grade students from Inamuragasaki Elementary School came to visit Hase Yochien and play together with all of the Hasekko.  Later in the school year, the yellow year (5-6 years old) students will have a chance to visit local Kamakura elementary schools! All are special learning experiences for everyone involved, as it is helpful to get to know oneself through relationship with others.  Besides that, it's simply fun!
Hasekko wave goodbye to their elementary school visitors and thank them for coming to play.
訪ねてくれた小学生のみなさんに「さようなら」、そして「一緒に遊んでくれてありがとう 」と手を振ります。 
After saying goodbye, Hasekko moved into their lunch preparation, eating and then their afternoon routine.  First there was a crayon check, then students worked together to move the tables for lunch, grabbed their lunches from their lockers and prepared to eat.  It was special to see so many children wait patiently while those on the soup committee gathered their cups and their class leader went downstairs to fill their cups with the homemade satsuma imo (Japanese sweet potato) soup Manmo made that morning. 

Tool Drawer Check
Preparing for the end of the year, class leaders check students' tool drawers to make sure they have all the crayon colors.  The last several months of the year are also filled with creative time and a complete set will allow Hasekko to express themselves fully.  The children moved easily between highly structured and unstructured time, waiting patiently in line for their turn.
Bring on the Soup!
Their class leader looks on as members of the soup committee organize the cups neatly on the tray.  On days when soup was not served, the committee served tea.  The leader served everyone's soup safely today, since it was hot.
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Friends enjoy talking as they take out their lunches and wait patiently for their leader to return and serve their soup.  This time was really special and treasured.  Talking and laughing together helped the waiting time to pass by quickly.
The yellow year Hasekko look for and take their own cups off of the tray, being careful not to spill soup in the process.  As the children took turns reaching toward the cup tray, the class leader kept everyone safe.
After Lunch Fun
Hase Yochien is relaxed with the ending of lunch.  Although everyone begins eating together with a collective "Iitadakimasu!," when individuals are done eating, they are free to tidy up after themselves at their own pace. They put their lunch boxes away and enjoy an activity of their own choosing.  On Thursday, paints were set out for Hasekko to use after lunch in all of the classes.  They were also free to spend time in the library, play outside or make things together in their classroom until it was Clean Up Time.  
Kicking Back with a Good Book
Browsing the yochien library and choosing books to enjoy alone and with friends is a favorite pastime for Hasekko.  Books are an everyday part of life at Hase Yochien.  One girl leans back against a bookshelf with her chosen story, ready to read.  Her friends happily step over and around her to look for a book of their own.
Taking a Bit of Brush Time!
Hasekko are very creative kids, and everyone is free to spend time expressing themselves with paint and paper.  Individual styles are fun to see evolve over their years at yochien.  They discover new brush techniques and are excited to share them with each other.  Some are prolific, and others are happy creating just one piece.  Regardless, the leaders only limit them by time.  They can paint to their heart's content until it is time to clean up for the end of the day routine.  When the drying racks were filled, papers were added to the floors to dry the additional works of art!  Then the children washed out the brushes and put away the materials.
One yellow class Hasekko concentrates on her brush stroke while others paint and prepare to paint around them, putting on their smocks and talking. While creating a masterpiece, the children were often very focused, even with lots of activity happening in the room! 
One yellow class Hasekko finished painting his piece, and is taking it to the drying rack.  Hasekko slid their work onto individual wire drawers themselves.  If they needed help, they asked for it from whomever was around!
A red class Hasekko continues to paint happily as classmates behind her begin the process of cleaning up the room for the day.  Regardless of age, all of the children have a unique style and enjoy the process of thinking, experimenting with the brushes and painting.  She was not rushed to finish her work by her classmates.  They happily tidied around her until she was done.
When Clean Up Time has begun, all paintbrushes are washed out and set to dry by the children.  Everyone does his or her part to prepare the room for the end of the day routine.
A Fun Filled Friday!
Hasekko spent the morning enjoying an unusual snack of hot yaki imo (baked Japanese sweet potatoes) and planning for Hase no Sekkai, an upcoming arts presentation by the children. The oldest children discussed their plans and formed groups.  The younger ones planned through hands-on activities in the garden- building wooden structures with hammers and nails, painting and creating with dirt and mud.  Then everyone cleaned up, had lunch and enjoyed a musical afternoon as the Hase Mothers presented Mutter Musik!
Hot & Delicious
Manmo passes out delicious, hot yaki imo for everyone to enjoy! It was a special treat to have a morning snack!
Let's Clean!
Hasekko clean the table of dirt and mud from the morning activities. They had fun cleaning and called more friends to help!
That's MY Mom!!!
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The afternoon celebration of music included many styles of dancing and instruments from all around the world!  The performance thoroughly engaged the children and concluded beautifully with a ribbon finale and fun with toy shakers handmade from natural materials for each child by the moms in the Mutter Musik team.