Abrakadoodle Japan offers fun and eye-popping art experiences for children

By on January 22, 2015
“Our independent learning philosophy is in the context of promoting self-reliance, creativity in kids to foster total independence. Up until now, cram schools were only available to junior high school students. I have always thought that there is advantage to planting the seeds early through art classes. An opportunity came offered by Abrakadoodle programs in the USA and so four years ago, I decided to introduce it to Japan,” explains Rieko Higashi, Meiko Network’s director. Tokyo families asked her more about the school.

How was the response of parents to your Abrakadoodle’s arts program for children?
The program itself started in the USA in 2002 but it was not until four years ago that Abrakadoodle was made available here in the country. In Japan, there is a low level of awareness when it comes to art education. When we started, we had our own struggles in letting parents and guardians know the importance of art education in children. Arts school in Japan places a high importance on “results” and teacher’s evaluation. Abrakadoodle program places value on the “process.”

Four years ago when Abrakadoodle Shakuji school opened as the first art school in Japan, only a few understood its importance. Currently, many people have found our programs enriching and thus have continued coming to art classes.Abrakadoodle_Artwork-_Estivalet_Doodle_P_internet

Tell us about Abrakadoodle and what sets it apart from other schools?
We have a different theme each time. We offer over 2,000 age-appropriate curriculum, paintings, tools and design. This was made so in order to model a program to the current developmental stage in children that even a 20-month old child can express her own creativity. The materials prescribed for each curriculum covers world culture, design, architecture, music, modeling, movement, and etc. Although it takes a while for Japanese children to say something about their work, by the time the lesson comes to an end, they are filled with a sense of accomplishment and self-confidence. Children have fun in the class and would want to try an art theme they enjoy all over again. Here at Abrakadoodle, everyone has fun and the programs are enriching!

Do you do mixed-age classes or are your programs age-specific? What are the fees like?
Currently, we offer classes for three age groups

Mini Doodler Class 20 months to 3 years old 5,760 yen (2 lessons in a month) – Japanese class only
Doodler Class 4-6 years old 8,640 yen (3-4 lessons in a month) Japanese class only.
Big Doodler Class elementary grade student 9,180 yen and up (3-4 lessons in a month)
Japanese and International classes are available.

Tell us about the teachers.
Principally, we hire teachers who have completed the Abrakadoodle teaching program and who have both experience in arts ad early childhood education.

Do you hold special art events?
Yes, we do have regular events such as Halloween, Christmas and we offer Art Camps in the summer.

Lastly, what can parents look forward to from your programs?
Through Art education, you will be able to hone your skills at problem solving, empower the child through self-expression, and risk taking. We don’t tell children the answer to a problem, children work it out by themselves. In so doing, their critical thinking ability is awakened and from there, children are tasked to create something that makes them proud. This process of repetition I believe is what nurtures creativity in children. Here at the school, whatever they create is their own masterpiece. This gives them confidence, fulfillment and drive to try new things.

To enroll your kids at Abrakadoodle, go to http://www.abrakadoodle.jp/

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