思えば高校１年の春が間違いだった。七年半の海外生活を終えて、訳も判らないまま高校を受験して帰国枠入試トップの成績で入学してしまったのがいけなかった。私は調子に乗って遊び歩き、部活に燃え、半年ほど「まあ、帰国したばかりだから仕方ないよね」という甘えから、成績表の発する危険信号を察知することもなかった。しかし、某予備校の冬期講習に参加してから、英語に頼り切っていた自分の学力がいかに危ういかを思い知らされた。 そこで母親が探してきたのが伸孝学園だった。弟が先に体験入学して気に入っていたので、高１の三学期から試しに通ってみることにした。結局、高１の学年成績にはあまり影響がなかったものの、勉強をするという習慣を身につけることができ、高２の中間試験から徐々に成績が上昇してきた。絶望的だった私の国語力がおよそ一年で小６から高校レベルにまであがったということも、伸孝学園で鍛えられたからこそ達成できた。高３の１０月に理系から文系に変えた時も、伸孝学園だったからこそ何事もなく（母親とは一悶着あったけれども）、受験を乗り切ることができた。 しかし、高１で遊びすぎたという遅れからか、模擬試験などの成績はひどかった。数学は特に、偏差値が英語の偏差値の半分を下回ったこともあった。先生方には「重症」「集中力がない」「大丈夫かな…」とばかり言われていたのにもかかわらず、冬期講習では、徹底的にセンター試験の数学と国語を鍛えられ、センター試験本番では以前のマーク式模試などと比べ１００点近くも成績が上がり、その後の私大受験および国立大受験も同じ調子で、結局受験した大学はすべて合格できた。本番に強いと言ってしまえばそれまでだが、本番に強くなるような実力をつけてくれたのは伸孝学園に他ならない。 他の塾なら、模試の成績等で実力がつく前に志望校を諦めさせられていたかもしれない。実力がつくまでじっくり教えるという伸孝学園の教育方針のおかげで、今はどこの大学に行こうか迷ってしまうという贅沢な悩みも抱えているほどだ。
My Success Story: A.Hirao (International Christian University High School)
When I look back, I made a big mistake in the spring of the year I returned from the United States. Seven and a half years in America gave me a more solid understanding of English than many of my peers in Japan and grades that made it possible for me to achieve top scores on my entrance exam to ICU High School. I became less and less inclined to study than I used to be because I was so engrossed in my extracurricular activities and going out with my friends. The excuse I had for it was that I was, after all, a returnee, and should not be subject to the rigorous curriculum of studies common to Japanese school systems, at least, not right away. Little did I know that my report card was in such an appalling state that I was barely hanging on to the top half of my class and thanks to my proficiency in English at that. In my first winter session at a college preparatory school, I found out that any subject other than English was not even up to the standards of most high school students my age.
My mother then found out about Shinko-gakuen. First, my brother enrolled for a trial period, and since he liked it, I decided I would give it a try and started from the third term of my first year of high school. My attending Shinko-gakuen did not show much result at first, but as I got into my second year, my grades went on a gradual rise. Remarkably, within a year I was able to catch up on my Japanese, which was about sixth grade level when I returned to Japan, as I acquired the habit of studying. Because of the flexibility of Shinko-gakuen, I was also able to switch from science-oriented prep course to the liberal arts prep course without any trouble, except for my mother, that is.
My first year of high school, though, affected my progress later on. Scores from model examinations were such that I would have never allowed myself to get, were I back in junior high. My math scores, especially, were so horrible that the deferential value on my math score in one exam was under half of what it was for my English scores. The teachers kept telling me that I was impossibly lacking in mathematics skills, had little concentration or motivation, and that they were worried that I might not survive the entrance examinations. In the winter sessions, my teachers looked after my math and Japanese, which led to the astonishing scores on my Center exams, which were higher by about a hundred points than my Center Pretest I took a month before the real exams. I passed every entrance exam that I applied for Sophia University, Tokyo Women’s Christian University, and the Ochanomizu Women’s University, which is run by the Ministry of Education.
It could be said that I perform better under extreme conditions, but Shinko-gakuen has trained me so that I could face any odds in the entrance examinations I didn’t even have to use the returnee privileges that most private schools have. Other prep schools might have talked me into giving up on the school of my choice, but Shinko-gakuen took good care of me until the very last day before exams. Thanks to Shinko-gakuen, I now have a new problem: deciding which school I want to attend.