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Christian, Western-Style Education

Christian Education

What is a Christian, Western-Style Education?

The following is to clarify what a Christian, western-style education is and the expectations of New Life International School. Also included are practical suggestions for parents to help their child succeed in our school.

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1. NLIS uses the Bible and other Christian resources to help us understand our world.

When Christian teachers teach, we help students see the world created perfectly by God, damaged by sin, and redeemed by Christ. Students, Christian or not, are trained to use the Bible as a tool to work towards a better world.

Suggestions for Parents

-Encourage your child to read the Bible and spend time with them studying the Bible’s stories and principles. 

-Discuss both Christian and non-Christian things with your child, encouraging them to think deeply about the meaning of what happens in the world around us.

-Encourage participation in church and Christian youth groups, camps, and activities. NLIS offers an opportunity for 3rd grade through high school to go to a Bible summer camp every summer.

2. NLIS uses English as the language of instruction and require the acquisition of a high level of English to be successful.

We are not a language school. We teach all subjects in English, except in Japanese classes. While we value the many benefits of multilingualism, NLIS uses immersion in English in every lesson except Japanese, thus assisting the students in fully acquiring the language, including listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Students must demonstrate an aptitude and a strong work ethic to succeed.

Suggestions for Parents

-Read to your younger children in both their native language and English, and encourage your older children to read English fiction and non-fiction works for enjoyment. If you don't speak English, provide English books and videos for your child. Your children may borrow books from our school and the libraries in town. Buying a Kindle might be a good investment for older children.

-Please speak English at home to reinforce your child's language acquisition as much as possible, especially in the formative years.

-Pursue English immersion opportunities, such as summer camps and travel.

3. We strive to educate the whole person.

Academics are fundamental since we want our students to continue higher education; however, NLIS endeavors to educate the whole person spiritually, academically, socially, emotionally, and physically. A Western-style school tries to balance the student’s education by not emphasizing one over another. We look for individual talents and teach students to use the gifts God has given them. We push our students to do their best, to develop strong character and leadership qualities, to learn to live in a global community, to serve others, and to accept responsibility. We celebrate with the students their unique talents (i.e., creativity, kindness, athletic or musical abilities) and support different types of learners.

Suggestions for parents:

-Help your child discover their unique and special gifts and talents and encourage them to do their best.

-Support your child’s involvement in extra-curricular activities by attending their performances and competitions.

4. We believe students succeed better with parents' help.

Research supports that parents' involvement in school is crucial for children's success in school and life. Parents and teachers should keep in regular contact through emails, meetings, phone calls, and parents' involvement in school activities such as school presentations, class projects, and class parties. However, we only ask the parents to attend a few school meetings or events. Parents should encourage and assist their children at home in their studies and activities. 

Sometimes a parent may have questions or a misunderstanding about the school (i.e., teachers, support staff, or administration). Parents should make every effort to resolve issues at the level where they arise; that is, the parent should discuss a class-based problem directly with the teacher. However, if this is too difficult, the parent should talk with the Principal. 

Suggestions for Parents

-Frequently ask your child about school life and academic progress. Check your child's homework frequently and praise them when appropriate.

-Communicate with the teacher when you have a question or concern.   

-Show your support through attending school activities, such as dramas, school presentations, and Open House. Volunteer to help with a classroom party, a field trip, be a speaker at our school, or teach a lesson to a class.

-Be sure you can communicate with the school and the teachers. For some families, this means planning to translate English messages to and from the school.

5. NLIS uses a variety of assessment tools.

The students at NLIS have frequent assessments in many different ways. One test alone is never the sole measurement of Success or achievement. NLIS uses standardized tests, normalized tests, online tests, paper-and-pencil tests, verbal, anecdotal, portfolio, project, presentation, and exit slips to assess understanding.

Suggestions for Parents

-Encourage your child to place value and importance on every assignment they receive and not put all their efforts into one or more test scores.

-Monitor your child's progress closely and help them not to become too discouraged by one test score.

-If your child is struggling academically, communicate promptly with the teacher.

6. NLIS emphasizes higher-order thinking skills.

While NLIS uses rote memory of content in most classes, analyzing and applying concepts are more emphasized and valued. Teachers use facts to problem-solve and apply information to real-life situations. Our emphasis is on more than how much the student has memorized. Teachers teach each child to learn where to find information, to decide if it's correct and valuable, and to apply this knowledge to solve a problem.

Suggestions for Parents

-Encourage your child to think through problems they encounter at home or with schoolwork. Don't always give your child the answers or simple solutions; allow them to ponder or puzzle with problems. Please help your child to reach solutions by giving hints but don't permit them to get too frustrated.

-Play simple puzzles or mind games together as a family, or encourage your child to do this alone.

7. NLIS disciplines fairly and consistently to modify inappropriate behavior.

NLIS never uses corporal punishment. Discipline should be a consequence of the action, not a reaction against the student—discipline at NLIS balances Christian principles like justice and grace. NLIS sees the teacher and administration working as a team with parents to instruct children in the appropriate behavior. Consistency and fairness in the administering of discipline are always important.

Suggestions for Parents

-Support teachers and administrators when it is necessary to administer discipline.

-Frequently talk to your child bout school life and their friends to keep the line of communication open.

-Parents and students should read and become thoroughly familiar with the school policies outlined in the NLIS student handbooks.

8. NLIS places a realistic emphasis on grades.

NLIS teachers believe that over-emphasizing a numerical or letter score may sacrifice authentic learning and create an unhealthy situation by overly stressing a student. Mastery of life skills such as collaboration, leadership, and honesty is more important than grades. Western education tries to emphasize the joy of learning and doing one's individual best. Christian education encourages students to seek ways to honor God by using their gifts and talents. Creativity and imagination don't always translate to a higher grade point average (GPA) but are attributes that have long-lasting rewards. Learning should be a rewarding activity, not solely a means to achieve good grades. NLIS wants to foster a love of learning where students desire to learn throughout their lives. One of our learning goals is that students are "Loving to Learn."

Suggestions for Parents

-Offer incentives or rewards for good grades but avoid putting too much pressure on your child.

-Avoid stern punishment when you and the teacher can determine that your child has done their best. Some children bloom or become motivated later in their school career.

-Remember that some children excel and have gifts in areas of school life outside of academics. Parents should praise them for their efforts.

9. NLIS emphasizes developing a personal worldview and living consistently using that worldview.

Our core mission states that we equip students to be active, independent, expressive, and loving. We challenge our students to learn about the world and then make wise choices about what they believe, how they react, and how they live. Whether Christian or not, all students should be able to articulate and defend their beliefs using faith, evidence, and sound reasoning. Students are encouraged to participate in service projects and outreach programs and express love and respect to others in and out of school.

Suggestions for Parents

-Ask your child regularly what they believe and why they believe it.

-Challenge your child to show behaviors consistent with what they believe and with high standards.

-Discuss both Christian and non-Christian things with your child, encouraging them to think deeply about the meaning of what happens in the world around them.

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