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FSM 190: FRIENDSHIP TIME!        (FN 299) DO
Over 100 Easy Ways to Spend Time with JETTs & Teens!--And Conversation Starters!--By Sara D.
Copyright: Aug. 1991 by Family Services, Zurich, Switzerland.


Part Seven--Required Reading for All Adults & EAs
(18-21 Years Old)!
(Parts or all of this FSM can be read by Senior Teens.)
Pages 4-7 of this FSM may be photocopied.

Introduction       1
Got Your Ears On?       3
Over 100 Easy Ways to Spend Time with JETTs & Teens       4
Conversation Starters & Questions to Ask JETTs & Teens       6
Important Tips for Personal Time!       8
JETTs Learn to Speak Thai!       9
YCs Learning Japanese!       10
Pioneering a Six-Week "Crash Course" to Teach Our Children Japanese!       11



       Isn't it going to be fun to spend more time with our young people?! Since we're now becoming more aware of the needs of our young people & spending time with them has become a priority in our Homes, you may have noticed that there are many hours throughout the day that could possibly be used to further good relations with our JETTs & Teens.--Hours that are already slotted in our daily schedules that we could better take advantage of to spend time with & enjoy being with our young people--talking, listening, laughing, praying, sharing our dreams & fun adventures--just being friends! We could refer to these times together as "Friendship Time"!

       What Is "Friendship Time"?

       The goal of Friendship Time is for us adults to get to know the JETTs & Teens better & improve our relationship by spending individual, edifying, constructive time together. The aim is not necessarily to always talk or discuss "deep" subjects while together, but your time together should always be quality, constructive time. In other words, time spent with a young person should not just be wasted. You should do something, no matter how small, to redeem that time so that when it's over, both of you will feel satisfied, like you've accomplished something, that you know or understand each other a bit better, or you've learned something together. Friendship Time would most likely be spent during work period or Family Time or on Family Day, or Get-Out time or during a time designated for adults (not just parents) to spend time with our young disciples. (Please note that there is a difference between Friendship Time & Personal Time. This point is explained on pg.2, "Friendship Time Does Not Replace Required Personal Time!")
       You're most likely really looking forward to pouring more training & quality time into our young disciples. But maybe you're thinking, "I'd like to be more of a friend to our JETTs & Teens, but where do I start? What do I say? What do I do?" Here are some suggestions to help you avoid any unnecessary nervousness & to make it easier on everyone involved as we get used to this fun new challenge of improving relations between adults & JETTs & Teens. First of all, why don't you & a JETT or Teen plan to do something together while you talk & get acquainted? On pages 4 & 5 you'll find "Over 100 Easy Ways to Spend Time with JETTs & Teens." This is a list of fun ideas for walk-talks, projects, Get-Outs, exercise times, outings, etc. This list will give you some ideas of how you can spend time with JETTs & Teens either while doing a routine, daily job together or while enjoying a special activity together.
       Kids don't necessarily have to have other kids to be their friends. Adults can make wonderful friends! (See ML#2526, "The Devil's Challenge to Our Garden of Eden", GN 384.) If one of the adults in the Home were to say, "I'm going to restore this old furniture today, wanna help me?!" surely the young Member would be delighted to accept the invitation! And while the adult & the JETT or Teen are sanding & varnishing the furniture, they can spend some constructive time together talking & getting to know one another in a casual relaxed setting. It would be a great help to busy parents if other adults, especially single adults, would help provide this needed "Friendship Time" for their children in this manner.
       So whether you & a JETT or Teen fix a bike or cook a meal together or whatever, remember that the aim of "Friendship Time" is to ensure that the conversation shared & the time spent together is quality, edifying, constructive time that provides a Shepherd's oversight & a listening ear, or just the enjoyment of being together! And you don't need to feel that you have to have all the answers. Just remember that while spending Friendship Time together, whether it be talking, learning, constructing, laughing, praying or working, the best thing you can do is be a real Shepherd, a good listener, a prayer warrior, & a friend. We adults need to care & love enough to not only take the first step to invite a JETT or Teen for special "Friendship Time", but also to be their Shepherd & friend whenever they're in need of help or prayer, or they just want someone to talk to.

Talking Should Not Distract Your Concentration If Doing Dangerous Jobs!

       You'll notice that some of the following ideas--such as making extension cords, burning trash or organising a tool room etc.--require more concentration & safety-consciousness than some of the others mentioned. Some of the jobs we do in the Family are a matter of life & death, they can endanger the lives or safety of yourself or others. So we'd like to remind you of an important safety rule here: You should not get into deep conversations together when you are doing a job that requires concentration, because we certainly don't want to risk having accidents! No one can concentrate on two things at once, as "a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways," so you need to be sure that if you're going to undertake a job together with a JETT or Teen that involves a lot of important details, you should not be involved in serious discussion or heart-sharing when you should be concentrating on your work. Even talking while doing something like fixing a bike together could distract you from being aware of all the safety measures that should be carefully considered during such a job. For example, if you're distracted with lots of conversation while fixing a bike & as a result you overlook a faulty brake, it could cause a serious accident!
       However, some of the following ideas & duties are more routine jobs that can be done without much concentration, such as raking, watering plants, skimming the pool or washing eggs. So when having Friendship Time, please do make the careful & prayerful distinction between jobs that require lots of concentration & attention to safety measures, as opposed to jobs that are very simple & routine & can therefore provide ample time & opportunity for talking & discussion while on the job.

Friendship Time Does Not Replace Required Personal Time!

       Please note that Friendship Time, as it is described above, is not meant to replace "Personal Time", the one hour a week of personal counselling &/or Heart-sharing time that is now required for all of our older children & young disciples from 9 to 20 years old. The reason for this is because the casual conversation that you would usually have with a JETT or Teen when doing an activity together during Friendship Time does not accomplish the same purpose as the personal individual counselling &/or the opportunity to pour out their hearts that our young people should receive during Personal Time. Although sometimes Friendship Time may lend itself to deeper conversation & heart-sharing, this should not take the place of the one-hour weekly scheduled Personal Time.
       We pray that the following list of activities will help you avoid the awkwardness of not knowing what to do or how to spend Friendship Time.
       P.S.: With Friendship Time you may get less done or not go as fast as usual as it's hard to concentrate on two things at once--the job at hand & the conversation. You might find eggshells in your cake, or the kitchen cupboards you organise together might not be perfect, but please don't blame anyone or feel too bad about these little things--because in spite of little flaws here & there, at least we'll be taking care of the most important things & we'll have more satisfied kids & better relationships with them. PTL!

(An anecdote taken from the book, "Help!--I've Just Given Birth to a Teenager!" by Pat Baker)

       Nothing is required--except time--when we are asked to listen to our teens. At times listening becomes one of the hardest things that parents of teenagers must do. Your teens will cause you to reflect on the days when you were either expressing or suppressing similar feelings. You have the solutions to their problems--now. You didn't then. They don't either.
       When your teens talk to you, they don't necessarily want to hear your opinions. They're only asking that you listen. Listening is one of the greatest contributions you can add to your teens' lives. When you listen, you are letting them reveal who they are, not what you want them to do or be. You're helping them solve certain situations, but not necessarily the way you would solve them. Listening lends them the support they need. If you listen to them, they won't feel that they have to go to someone outside the family for support.
       If your teens ask you to listen to them, they aren't always expecting you to give them answers. They want you to hear them out--completely, with no interruptions. Unconsciously, we are so anxious to offer advice from our vast field of adult knowledge that we cut our teens off before they can finish talking. One of our daughters chose to discuss something with me. I immediately began a monologue that must have seemed endless to her. She interrupted as politely as she could and said, "Mom, I don't always expect you to talk after I've told you something. I'll have to work out some of these things for myself." I had thought it was my parental duty to talk after she had told me something. I was relieved to know that I didn't have to give answers or suggestions unless she asked for them.
       A mother said that after she had asked her daughter four times what her plans were for the week (& had been answered), the teen responded, "You never listen, do you, Mom?" We look at our teens while they're talking. We see their mouths moving. We hear sounds coming from their throats, but our minds have an innate tendency to do other things while they're talking. If we're lucky we can catch just enough of what they're saying to throw in an occasional "uh-huh", "yes," or "I see." We also may be deciding what we'll fix for the evening meal, thinking about the phone calls we've had, or making final plans for one of the monthly meetings over which we preside.
       Some teens were asked, "How do you know when your parents aren't listening to you?" They came up with the following answers: "If they're not looking at me." "If they're reading the newspaper while I'm talking." "If they keep vacuuming or cooking and say, `Go ahead, I can hear you.'" Then the teens were asked, "How do you know when your parents are listening to you?" Most of them said, "If they stop what they're doing when I'm talking to them."
       It's essential that your teens feel that you have time to hear what has happened to them through the day. Everything that affects their lives away from home is going to affect you & the rest of the family.
       If they've had a bad day at school, your teens may be so upset that they won't be rational. They may cry or use language you're not prepared to hear. Listen to them, but don't get upset yourself. It'll be a matter of minutes or hours before they're back in control of themselves. While you're still fretting about what they've told you, they have forgotten this crisis and are braced for the next one.

Over 100 Easy Ways to Spend Time with JETTs & Teens

       Baby care:

       Clean baby equipment (strollers, highchairs etc.)
       Clean toys
       Fold diapers
       Play with baby
       Prepare baby food
       Make educational equipment, mobiles etc.


       Make breakfast
       Make foods for the sick or PGs
       Make ginger tea or natural herbal cough syrups
       Make jello
       Make lunch
       Make snack
       Meal preparation
       Bake a birthday cake or fun snack
       Peel garlic or ginger


       Make a vegetable or flower garden together
       Prune trees or bushes
       Rake leaves or grass
       Trim hedges
       Water garden or lawn
       Weed garden
       Build a composter

       Get-Out together:



       Build a birdhouse
       Change a tire
       Clean car interior
       Do a safety or security inspection together
       Repair an appliance
       Fix tape recorder &/or tapes
       Tune up or repair the car
       Burn trash together
       Home repairs & improvements
       Make extension cords
       Repair a bike
       Skim, clean or vacuum pool
       Sweep the driveway
       Wash screens
       Wash the car


       Clean kitchen equipment
       Clean & organise cupboards
       Clean refrigerator or stove
       Dish put-away
       Make shelf labels
       Mop or scrub floor
       Put away shopping
       Sort vegetables
       Discuss or plan fun meals or snacks
       Prepare shopping list


       Aerobic exercising together
       Art projects
       Build a camp fire
       Help organise their notebooks, drawers or suitcases
       Rearrange a room
       Cut flowers & arrange in vases
       Practise a musical instrument together
       Camp out together
       Build a camp fire
       Care for pets
       Cleanup job together
       Collate pubs or school materials
       Collect things--bugs, flowers, rocks, shells, stamps, coins, etc.
       Put together a tool box or sewing kit
       Cut hair
       Computer training
       Family Day together
       Go fishing
       Give Teen girls a facial
       Hand wash laundry together
       Iron clothes
       Mail Ministry cards & thank-you letters
       Make a memory review system together
       Make reading word cards
       Make birthday cards
       Make math dots
       Make teaching aids
       Eat a meal together, privately
       Hiking excursion
       Take a nature walk
       Organise forsake all
       Organise tools, videos, linen closet, Home Lit/Tape libraries etc.
       Organise games for little kids outside
       Organise survival supplies
       Take outings together--to park, beach,museums, errands, hikes, etc.
       Play board games together--See Activity Book 4, plus "Scrabble", Dominoes, checkers etc.
       Polish shoes & boots
       Take Prayer Vigil together
       Have private devotions together
       Hand mending clothes
       Try a new hairstyle on each other (girls)
       Hang laundry together
       Give a dog a bath
       Guitar music lessons or practicing
       Review memory work together
       Do a sewing project
       Shovelling snow
       Sleep overnight in your room for individual talk time
       Straighten up garage, basement, shed etc.
       Travelling together, visa trips etc.
       Wash curtains
       Take photos, teach them how to use a camera
       Wash dishes
       Wash windows
       Watch documentary or news together
       Water inside plants
       Go witnessing together

Conversation Starters & Questions to Ask JETTs & Teens

       What is the most fun thing you ever did?
       Who is your favourite teacher & why? What does he/she do that you like?
       What are your hopes, goals?
       Review verses or Psalms together
       Share a personal victory, lesson or correction you just received which may be helpful or edifying
       Ask what they read for devotions & what they got out of it, & share what they learned
       Share classes or ask about recent classes
       Use "What If" questioning games from "Safe Children" Home Educator Vol.1, Issue 5, pg.6
       If they have read the recent Kidz & Hope Mags, ask, "What did you get out of it?"
       What pub did you read most recently? Then talk about it
       Share healing testimonies
       Share witnessing experiences
       What was your most outstanding recent reaction on your OHR?
       Do you have any good ideas that you've never shared & why?
       What mail do you get from others?
       Are you overloaded in your responsibilities?
       Who is the person in the Family you admire most & why?
       Do you like to cook, sew, type, take photos etc.? Discuss whatever it is they like
       Who is your best friend & why?
       How is your health--eyes, teeth OK?
       Which Tapes are your favourites?
       What kinds of music do you like?
       What kind of tapes do you listen to?
       If I tell you my most embarrassing moment in life, will you tell me yours?
       Are you bugged by other kids, or having trouble getting along with others & why?
       What do you think your biggest NWO is? What victories have been won in your NWOs?
       Do you have any questions about anything that has happened to you this week, or any person who talked to you?
       Do you have any questions about World events?
       Who's your favourite ML character? Discuss him/her
       What ministries are you interested in & would like to get trained in?
       Do you like the meal plan? Any suggestion for better snacks or meals?
       What's your favourite food?
       What kind of outing would appeal to you most?
       What changes would you like to see in the Home?
       Do you like to witness? To whom? Where?
       Are there any animals that you've never seen but would like to?
       Do you like the schedule or would you like to see some changes?
       What do you think of the new ______ Tape?
       Am I making you nervous?--Anything I can do to make you more relaxed?
       What would you like to do in the Millennium or Heaven?
       What countries have you lived in? Which did you enjoy the most & why?
       What languages do you speak?
       What JETTs/Teens do you have good communications with & what about?
       What is the first thing you're going to say to Jesus when you meet Him?
       Do you understand all the Family abbreviations?
       Do you have any questions about Family rules you don't understand?
       Is there anything in the latest Letters you don't understand?
       Is there anything about your mom & dad or Grandpa & Mama Maria you don't understand?

       What type of movies do you like?
       What do you like to do for Get-Out?
       Are you getting enough to eat & enough sleep? Who are your close friends?
       What do you think makes a good friend?
       Do you need anything?
       Is there anybody you want to go steady with? Anyone you are interested in?
       What would make you happier?
       What do you look for in the person you'd want to marry?
       What do you talk about with your friends?
       Who are your mother & father? What kind of ministry do they have? Are you close to them?
       What do you like about your brothers & sisters?
       Do you have any secrets you never told anybody?
       Do you like to spend time with your parents? Why or why not?
       What would you like to do if you only had 10 days to live?
       What is your earliest remembrance in life?
       What's your favourite memory & why?
       Anything you don't like about your body?
       What's the next project you'd like to do in the "Charity & Charm" or "Becoming God's Man" Book? (Coming soon!)
       What is your favourite Book or Chapter of the Bible?
       What kind of special activity do you like?
       What would you say or do if you met Grandpa & Mama Maria?
       What do you like most about Grandpa? About Mama Maria?
       What do you like most about the Family? About your mom & dad? About your teachers? What don't you like?
       Do you feel free to open your heart up about what you're going through? To whom?
       What are your ideas for our next Personal Time?
       What do you think about the latest push in the Home?
       Is it hard for you to write your OHR? Why?
       Are you scared of rats, bugs, or spiders? (Then you could get into other fears.)
       How many children would you like to have?
       Do you have any question concerning your body & how it functions? Or your development?
       Who are some of your favourite historical characters?
       If you could change any moment in your past, what would you change?
       Who is your favourite of the 12 Disciples? Why?
       Who are some of your favourite Bible characters?
       Talk about interesting historical or archaeological facts relating to the Bible
       If you could relive a moment in your life, what would you do differently?
       Is there anything about yourself you don't like?
       If you have any spare time, what do you like to do?
       Is there anything about the System you feel unsure about?--Could you make a phone call, change money, go to the bank, shop?
       What suggestions would you have for better security in your Home?
       What would you do if you got separated from an adult on an outing?--Or if you were lost?
       Did you know Grandpa has written about reincarnation, Hitler, or _____________ (can fill in any interesting or surprising subject)?
       Is there any subject you want to know about?
       Have you ever been to System school? Tell me about it
       Do you know of any fulfilled prophecies?
       What miracles have you seen in your life?
       Have you seen anything supernatural happen?
       What is the most unselfish thing you have ever done?
       Do you wish you had any certain spirit helper?
       Do you have anything you want to talk about?
       You could ask them to come with a question to ask you for next Personal Time
       You could talk about what your life was like at their age & compare the advantages our Teens/JETTs have to System teens.
       Ask them to come with 3 questions, anything they want to know, they can write them down ahead of time
       (See also: "How to Talk with Practically Anybody about Practically Anything!" pg.53 of the "How to Love" Book; "Ten Ways to Start a Conversation with Your Child", pg.407 of the "Raise 'em Right" Book; "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk", pg.753 of the "Raise 'em Right" Book; & Talk Time #1 & 2 [EDITED: "coming soon!"].)

Important Tips for Personal Time!--By Sara D.
(For further questions to ask kids, see "Talk Time" booklets, coming soon, D.V.!)

       As you know, it is a new Home Requirement that each of our young disciples, beginning with children age nine up to Experimental Adults age 20, receive one cumulative hour of Personal Time each week. In the beginning, when we are learning to spend this Personal Time together, it may seem a little new or awkward, & it may be difficult to know where to start & how to warm up in getting to know one another. To help things flow a little more smoothly, you can also use the preceding list of conversation starters suggested for Family Time for Personal Time. These are especially helpful where familiarity may hinder communication, or in situations where adults feel they just don't know where to begin.
       We pray that these compiled ideas will be a springboard to help you get started, & that along with a little bit of time to pray & prepare, they will help lead into good conversations or helpful counselling times in your Personal Times together. Of course, you don't have to use these Conversation Starters every single time you have Personal Time. As time goes by & as we learn to counsel & share our hearts together, conversing openly will come more naturally.
       In case a young person feels awkward about an adult inviting him for Personal Time, especially the first time around, it would be very considerate for adults to explain something like, "In case you're wondering, I'm just here to listen to whatever you want to talk to me about." It helps to make it clear to the child, JETT, Teen or EA if you have something specific to say, or you don't have anything in particular to say & you're just making yourself available to listen to them. By clarifying this, they'll probably feel less on-the-spot during your time together & they won't waste time worrying about whether or not you're going to be giving them some correction or talk to them about their NWOs etc.
       And if you do have something specific to say to them, it's usually better to at least give them an idea of what you want to talk to them about so they will feel more at ease & more prepared. For example, you could say something like, "Would you like to go for a walk & talk a little bit about the OHR you wrote last night?" or, "Hey, would you like to spend some Personal Time together? Maybe we could talk more about the things you've been learning about self-righteousness. I have a few points to share that might help you.--As well as some lessons of my own along the same lines, which might encourage you." With this type of brief explanation, at least the young person will know what to expect, & then as your Personal Time progresses, you can let the conversation warm up & listen to what they have to say & gently ease your way into the different points that you had planned to bring up.
       If the young person you're talking with doesn't have a lot to say, or if you need an "opening statement," you might want to use some of the Conversation Starters, in which case you could open your conversation by explaining something like, "I wasn't sure if you had something to talk about, so if you don't have anything on your heart to ask or tell me, I prayed about some questions I could ask you. Is that okay?"
       There are some very important points that adults should understand concerning any confessions, feelings or opinions our young people confide in us: Number one, these confessions, feelings & opinions should not be passed on to other young people. And number two, we should only share such things with other adults who are involved in their care & shepherding. The point here is that the information we learn from Personal Time & counselling our young people should never be "gossiped" to other people freely. Personal Time counselling is going to be quite sensitive for our young people, especially in the beginning, & they'll be especially concerned if you're talking with others about the things they've confided in you.
       Let's try to do all we can to handle these counselling sessions very lovingly & considerately & gently, so that our young people can get used to the fact that we are honest & open together for the sake of our growth & well-being as a Family. We want to help our young people realise why it's necessary that they open up & communicate with us & seek counsel. It's important that they eventually do understand that if we discuss what they have confided to us with other adults, it's for their good.--But it's not going to be easy for them to adjust to this at first. This matter is going to require a great deal of prayer that our young people will not feel offended or betrayed, but that they will truly see & appreciate the benefits of being honest & communicative. They'll need to see & understand the fact that the adult Shepherds work together on counselling & supervising them--and for that reason, the adults do sometimes need to talk about some of the personal things that they have shared. We want our young people to open up to us, & likewise we want them to trust that we will not share the information they tell us with others unnecessarily. So we all need to be very careful & wise about protecting their sensitive young hearts, & "do unto others as we would have them do unto us."
       One last reminder: Any adults--singles, parents or Shepherds--can spend Personal Time counselling our young people one-on-one. Family Time is meant to be a time when children spend time with parents or foster parents, but Personal Time is time spent by any competent adult together with one of our young people. (See FSM 185, "Special Family Time Tips!", & GN 465, "New `Back-to-the-Basics' Home Requirements!")


       JETTs Learn to Speak Thai!

By Gideon, Thai JETT Home
       God bless you! We wanted to share with you some of the methods we have used in teaching our JETTs to speak Thai. It has been exciting to see the progress they can make in a short time with daily consistency. We started off by teaching the JETTs useful words for around the house, like everything that's in the kitchen, the names of their articles of clothing, the days of the week, colours, etc. One of our nationals wrote the words on flash cards that are about 4" x 8" in size. (We use white card stock, which is easy to get as off cuts from printers.) She wrote the Thai word on the front & the English word & how to pronounce the Thai word on the back. We just flash these words to the JETTs for about 10 or 15 minutes each day & they are making very good progress. We also put the Thai alphabet on flash cards, which helped them memorise these quite quickly.
       The JETTs learned the important words with this flash card method, but for witnessing they needed to know more of the language, so when the Thai Phrase Book came along it was a real answer to prayer. It's a step-by-step guide to learning Thai the right way. It's really great for learning phrases & it teaches a lot of extra vocabulary too. When we first started using the Thai Phrase Book we couldn't quite get the phrases down until we decided to try the flash card method. This time, instead of just putting one word on the card as we did when learning the singular words, we put the whole sentence on the card. It worked really well & the JETTs loved it! We write using letters that are one inch high, so it's easy to fit one of the witnessing phrases on a card this size without bunching up the letters. (You can use any colour marker you want, as that doesn't matter for this age group.)
       There are lots of different ideas you can try when using this type of sentence flash cards. You can do fun skits & flash the sentences as they learn them. You can break up your class into groups & have challenging little quizzes at the end of each week. You may already have young people who read the language in your class, but you will be surprised how fast the beginners pick it up just by sight reading the words or sentences. If you use this method 10 or 15 minutes a day, the results will really amaze & encourage you.
       Our JETTs have been able to use these phrases out witnessing & people are really impressed. One of the JETTs, Daniel, was with his mother while she was doing business & he had the chance to witness to a Thai man, using his newly learned phrases & the Salvation prayer that he had learned earlier. He led the man to the Lord & gave him a Poster & got his address for mail follow-up all in Thai! He enthusiastically shared this testimony, as it was the first opportunity he had had to use the new Thai phrases he'd learned & the results were very encouraging for him!
       You may already be using this very helpful method in your local language teaching, but if not, we hope this little testimony is a blessing. GBY!
       (See also "Teaching a Foreign Language," pg.712 of School Days Part 1.)

       YCs Learning Japanese!

By Joy, Japan
       Here are some tips which I've found useful in teaching my YC class (two to four-year-olds) Japanese. For their morning Word class I've mainly been using flannelgraphs to give Bible stories & MO Letter stories. Since the children like to hear the same stories over & over again, I now tell the stories in Japanese. Now they know all kinds of words in Japanese.
       I've also been following the guidelines in Glenn Doman's "How to Teach Your Baby to Read," making big Japanese flash cards, which I flash after the story. They really like this! I choose real familiar words so they can hear them a lot. This is also helping them learn to read Japanese.
       Puppets really get their attention! We have some animal puppets, a dog & a frog, & we use these puppets when we sing in Japanese. These puppets also talk in Japanese to the children for easy practice of daily conversation like, "Good morning! Did you brush your teeth?" I repeat the same sentence every day (using the puppets) until the children can say it, then I go on to another sentence. It's been real inspiring for them.
       I am also doing Math Dots in Japanese so they can get used to counting in Japanese. When we can't have Get-Out outside we have exercise time & we count our movements in Japanese. The JETTs & I also do simple skits for them in Japanese & they really have fun & pick up the words right away.
       One lesson I learned was not to get discouraged, but just keep working on the vocabulary words over & over & the children will eventually catch on. At first the children couldn't understand me when I'd speak to them in Japanese, but now they are used to hearing Japanese, & they even ask me questions in Japanese. Also I learned not to expect too much from them at first or to try to force them to speak Japanese. It works much better if I just try to speak Japanese to them a lot & as they hear it more & more, it becomes easier for them. I try to make it really fun for them to hear Japanese, & I continually pray for new ideas. I hope these tips are a help & blessing.

       Pioneering a Six-Week "Crash Course" to Teach Our Children Japanese!

By Sweetie, Japan
       We're facing a problem here in Japan because most of our national & half-national children are not able to speak Japanese. Of course, it's very important for all of our children, not only our national children, to learn the local language because we are trying to witness to the Japanese people. However, it's a bit of a crisis situation considering the CA issue & the fact that our national children don't speak their own native language, so I think it's important to have an intense language course. Because we are very far behind, I believe we need to start now & devote a lot of concentrated time & attention to teaching our children to speak Japanese, especially our national & half-national children.
       There is a method that Comfort pioneered more than a year ago when she was living in one of our main Schools that worked very well. She took all of the national & half-national children out of their regular School groups & put them together in designated rooms of the School. The reason for these changes & the importance of the program was explained to the children, so they had a real positive attitude about being involved in this pioneer project. Then for the next six weeks Comfort & a couple of other national teachers taught all the national & half-national children from morning to night in Japanese. They would have their morning devotions, inspiration time, memory work, reading time, class work, even their arithmetic, Get-Out, Quiet Time, listening to tapes & Parent Time in Japanese.--Everything, from A to Z, all day long was done in Japanese!
       This method worked very well! It seems the main reason for the success is because, as we all know, it's a tried-&-proven fact that when children are put in an environment where all they hear & see around them is in a certain language, they pick up that language very quickly just as a matter of survival. This is especially true if there is the added incentive of "positive peer pressure" where seeing other children progress & do well, & their wanting to play with other children who speak that language causes them to press in more.
       Although a lot of our national children know some Japanese or can understand it when they hear it, they are still too shy to try to speak it themselves. They seem to have a funny attitude towards the Japanese language, so they don't feel comfortable speaking Japanese. One of the greatest blessings of this program was that when Comfort had all the national children together & surrounded them in that "Japanese environment" for six weeks, they got over that hump & they learned to have fun speaking Japanese. They learned to get along with their teachers & their friends & to do all the normal daily activities while speaking Japanese. Before long they learned that speaking Japanese is exciting & they got a real vision for it. Once they got over the mental or psychological hump of the language barrier, they really went on the attack & were able to make a lot of progress! PTL!
       Another advantage to this program was that after the six-week program was concluded & the children went back to their regular School groups, the non-national children who knew hardly any Japanese were very inspired to see the progress that the national children had made. Then it was easier for the non-national children to also make progress learning the language, although it was at a much lower level & slower pace.
       I feel it's very important to try some kind of intense course like this where we can ensure that our national children will finally learn the language. Because of the security aspects involved, I think we should especially zero in on our national & half-national children. Once we develop a program that works for them, then we can use the lessons we learn & also a lot of the written materials, the curriculum & even the same teachers to teach our non-national children.
       Years ago here in Japan, a lot of our children were schooled in Japanese. They learned their memory work & had their "Life with Grandpa" stories in Japanese, & they did quite well. It wasn't until around 1984 when the big influx of foreign brethren came into Japan that a lot of our national children even learned to speak English. So we know that they can have their schooling in Japanese & that it can work. Of course, in order to do this we would have to have good national teachers, but in a lot of our Schools most of the teachers are Japanese or they are Westerners who are mated to Japanese nationals, so they speak the language well enough to be able to teach the children Japanese. If some of our Schools don't have many national teachers, perhaps we could share the wealth of Japanese teachers so that all our Schools are adequately staffed.
       There are other methods of teaching Japanese, such as having live-out disciples come & teach the children for an hour a day. This has worked in some cases. In one of our Schools, a live-out Member comes in every day & spends about an hour with each group, & they have made some progress. One group memorised the whole Japanese tract, "Heaven Is Full of Sinners," & they learned a lot of vocabulary as well. So this more conventional method of having a Japanese language class once a day can bear fruit. But I can't help but compare the success we've had with that kind of Japanese language course to the success we had with the intensive six-week course, & I believe we would be wiser to go with the intensive course.
       Personally, when I was in high school, I took two years of Spanish & two years of French, but I only had a language class for an hour every day or two, & I didn't learn much. I remember very little of what I learned. Even at the time I was having the classes I don't think I remembered much. But in contrast to that, when I joined the Family here in Japan I was around national disciples--I was with Mika & Phoenix in the girls' room. There were only the three of us & they couldn't speak any English & I couldn't speak any Japanese. So just as a matter of survival I had to learn! And it didn't take long before I learned the language. So I'm a firm believer in the effectiveness of the "Japanese environment" & the incentive for learning in the intense training method. PTL! n

Copyright 1996 The Family