04 October, 2016

Parenting hope

This week is SWOW (School Without Walls) week at CAJ for the high schoolers. There are no classes and students are taken on different activities and focuses on leadership training. 
  • Grade 9 does mostly on-campus activities as well as service in the local community and a sizeable hike (David is with the Grade 9s and did this yesterday, he had trouble keeping his eyes open at dinner time last night). 
  • Grade 10 does on-campus activities, visits a museum in the city, and spends a couple of nights next to a lake near Mt Fuji for more leadership and teamwork training. 
  • Grade 11 does an epic "wilderness" hike where they go into the wilds of western Tokyo and climb mountains for four days and three nights. They take all their shelter and food on their backs. This too is about leadership, team work and also self-exploration.
  • Grade 12 goes north for four nights doing service in the tsunami zone as well as learning more about Japanese culture and history.
Our eldest son is in grade 12, so he's gone for the week. They've got some photographers on board, so we're seeing various interesting photos along the way on a dedicated Facebook page. It's exciting to see the kids growing up and maturing. Many of the grade 12s at CAJ are older than I was when I started university and are starting to look like adults. 

We provide them all with desks and the dining room
table is available outside of mealtimes.
Why do they choose to do their homework on
the lounge or on the stairs?
It's been great to see our son's growing maturity in the last few months too. On Saturday he volunteered to go a couple of hours across Tokyo all on his own to help out at a clean-up day at the campsite he spent a week at in July at a Christian high school camp. It's on the coast and was hit hard by one of the typhoons that came through last month. It was great to see his initiative and willingness to go and work hard even though none of his mates were going. Plus his independence in being able to navigate his way across Tokyo and back (about 10 trains in total).

Having more than one child, it is great to see the eldest one actually "getting it", there's hope for the other two who come behind him. So that even as I deal with younger boys who won't go to bed or take a shower or behave themselves in class or respect me, I know that there's hope for the future! 

And I go back to that verse that's sustained me many a wearying-parent-time:

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatian 6:9, NIV)

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