Jul 11, 2024

Summer Plant Homework

My children are one day shy of starting their summer holiday. In advance of their own sojourn at home, they’ve brought home their school plants to dutifully care for over the summer. Well, technically, my husband brought them home following their parent-teacher interviews last week. In a similar vein, the person caring mostly for the plants so far is me. 

Still, they’re here.

My son, who is in grade 3 at elementary school this year, has a ホウセンカ, a housenka. In English, it’s called a balsam plant, or garden balsam. It’s a nice, sturdy plant so far, and I’m curious about its flowers. He doesn’t seem to have any summer holiday homework associated with it, aside from keeping it alive.

Summer Plant Homework photo

My daughter, who is grade 1 at elementary school this year, brought home this water-guzzling monster of an アサガオ an asagao, aka a morning glory plant.

Summer Plant Homework photo

Based on my photos from two years ago, my daughter’s plant is about a month ahead of where my son’s was when he brought his home for the summer, probably due to the heat this year and whatever has become of rainy season. 

Unlike my son, my daughter has to do some homework related to her morning glory plant as well as keep it alive. She has two picture diary pages, one for when the flowers bloom (ie. now), and one for when the flowers die off and you can see the seeds. She also has to track the number of flowers growing each Saturday and Sunday until the end of summer break.

Summer Plant Homework photo

I quite like the idea of taking care of a plant as part of a kid’s education, and I’m quite behind this part of their summer holiday homework. Now I just need to have them start doing the plant tending!



I'm Australian and married to a Japanese (post)man. We live in Chiba with our two children, and I work as a teacher.