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We had such a great experience at Tachibana Youchien from April – July of this year! It was close to our home, the senseis were very nice and supportive, and Evangeline loved it and made lots of friends. But, in the end we decided that we needed to pull her out at the end of her summer break. One reason was that we learned in June that the children were praying to Buddha at least twice a day. Although we got permission for Evangeline to sit silently during that time, it was still something we didn’t necessarily want her to be exposed to and struggling with every day. There were other reasons as well, including the time that was needed for me as her mother to participate in the various events and make her special bento lunch twice a week…these would have been made easier if I had been more accepted into the inner circle of the youchien moms, but in Japanese culture that can be very difficult. It’s not always the case, but this time it was. Besides all that, we felt like Evangeline would do well learning at home with her Aunt Angel and we were right about that! She loves learning and is doing really well. She is also still able to meet and play with some of her youchien friends each week. Thank you for praying with us about this decision and continue to pray as we will likely face more decisions and situations like this in the future as we raise our children in this culture that we love and have struggles with as well.

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