最後の駆け込みが王道!? Doing the homework at the very last moment is normal!
Usually Japanese students get homework from school to do during the summer holidays. The level is different for each grade but everybody has to, for example, solve problems in their workbooks, create something with clay or wood, write an essay about a book, and make a picture diary. The toughest assignment to do at the very last moment is the picture diary. Some people do homework together as a family to meet the deadline on the first day of the second term. What memories of summer homework come to your mind? Let's look at some (standard) examples of summer homework.
You write and draw your memories of the summer holiday in a diary. This is one of the easiest assignments as homework, but one of the hardest to do at the last moment of the summer holidays. The biggest problem is that you probably won't remember the daily weather. In times past parents would have to search through old newspapers, now it would probably be much easier to find daily weather records on the Internet.
After reading an assigned book, or any kind of book, you write an essay about the book. Usually you have to write one to three pages on Japanese manuscript paper. You'll probably see at least one student in every class write just a few sentences, and get scolded for it...
Any kind of topic, usually in the science field, is acceptable. For example, elementary school kids might put their milk teeth in cider and see how they are affected, or watch ants to see how they make their tunnels, or find out what beetles eat. You can do any kind of research in any field, as per your own preference. You are free to choose the subject, but you cannot be free from the assignment itself.
Arts and crafts／図画・工作
You have to solve problems in workbooks on all kinds of subjects, such as Japanese, math, science, social studies and so on. Workbook is common for teachers who are not very creative in assigning homework. You can see the kids' personalities in that some finish their workbooks at the very beginning of the summer holidays and some wait to do them at the very end.
While watching music-related TV programs, such as "Meikyoku (= masterpiece) Album," you write about how you feel, your impression of the music and so on. The main purpose of this homework is just to get students used to listening to music and familiarize them with the work of famous composers.
You have to take your roll-call card and get it stamped every day after doing physical exercise to music and MC's voice on the radio. The toughest part is that the exercises start from six thirty in the morning all over Japan, so you have to get up early. This homework is also supposed to be to help you get used to getting up early in the morning.
I had homework such as picture diaries, independent research, arts and crafts, workbooks, music memos, morning exercises with the radio and so on. Some people finish the homework at the beginning of the holidays and some do it at the very last moment. You can see each child's personality from their choice.
カナダ・オーストラリアに留学ののち、ボストン大学コミュニケーション学部修士課程ジャーナリズム専攻、東北大学博士前期課程人間社会情報科学専攻修了。通信社の国際金融情報部、出版社にて国内・海外の取材記事や交渉ほかを担当。海外通販会社の役員を経て、諸媒体の翻訳・執筆・プロデュース などを手がける。 著書に『コトバのギフト～輝く女性の１００名言』（講談社）、『スティーブ・ジョブズに学ぶ英語プレゼン』（日経BP社）ほか多数。仕事と趣味で旅した国は50カ国を超える。