All posts filed under “小学校 Shōgakkō (Japanese Elementary School)

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Undokai + Halloween 2020

This year, due to the pandemic, Miyu’s first grade undokai was shortened. I wasn’t disappointed, if I’m being honest. Crowded places, noise, and a language I can’t speak spells disaster for my anxiety. But the nicest surprise was that Ken decided to forego work and spend the day with us instead. Afterward, we shopped and ate, and then before we knew it, it was time to go trick o’ treating.

I’m happy to report that Miyu finally experienced her first ever full Halloween event. I got her a leopard/cheetah costume from Amazon that she absolutely adored. At around 6pm, Ken and I accompanied her as she went trick o’ treating on base. At first she didn’t really know what to do or say, but after the first two houses, she quickly got the hang of it and was on a roll.

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Miyu’s Morning Glory

During this Summer Break, or Natsuyasumi 夏休み, of her first school year, Miyu and her classmates were tasked with taking care of their plants at home. Their Summer breaks are apparently three weeks long beginning in August. During a parent-teacher conference in late July shortly before the break, I spoke with her teacher (they provided a translator, all was well) and then somehow…I found myself walking to my car at a paid parking lot some ways away, with the shown plant in tow. It would’ve been nice to receive some kind of forewarning that after the conference, parents would be required to take home a large plant, but I digress. I was thankful at least that it wasn’t raining and it fit in my car.

So every morning, Miyubear wakes up and I remind her to water her plant because it’s drooping. She asked me what “drooping” meant so I explained it to her, pointing at the way the plant leaves were bending down and looking sad. When I took the plant home a few weeks ago, there were no blooms yet, but now there’s a lovely bunch thanks to someone’s little green thumb. Lola Sandy encouraged her to talk to her plants the other day so she does that now. She says with vigor, “Good morning, plant!”

Come next Monday, when she has to go back to school, she’ll have to carry her morning glory with her on her fifteen-minute group walk to school. I’ll be giving her gardening gloves to wear because she has this thing with ants. 🙂

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Miyu’s First Day of School

Shortly before 0800, we left the house so Miyu could stand in line with the other kids in our neighborhood. The air was slightly cool but there was a promise of growing humidity later in the day. A volunteer parent was checking off names and made sure each child was in the proper subgroup. Her particular subgroup’s leader is a boy in the 6th grade. His job is to make sure he picks up and delivers the children assigned to him. I wonder what happens though when he is sick and unable to attend school? I’ll have to ask Ken about that…

Miyu had been so excited before leaving the house but upon seeing the other kids, she promptly freaked out and went into shutdown mode. We hugged each other goodbye and she cried but she dutifully followed the other kids when it was time to go.

After they left, Ken went to work and I promptly took an hour nap. It was an early day for the children so Miyu was due back around 1040. I waited for her at the same spot and this time around, she was really happy and excited. I felt bad though because the clothes she wore to school were a bit too hot and she was sweating profusely during her 15 minute walk home with the other kids.

After changing her clothes, we went on base to get my mail and packages, visited the toy store, and had lunch at Denny’s. I had to go to work at 1330. I had received my new work laptop earlier in the day and I set that up. I ordered a one-hear headset thing (the kind you wear at call centers?) so that when I call students, I can hear them better and at the same time not worry about not hearing the house. I’ll probably blog about that at some later time.

Overall, it was a good day today.

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Finishing the labels

Today’s priority was labeling Miyu’s gym clothes. I ordered some printable cloth iron-on paper from Amazon Japan, created the labels in Adobe Illustrator, and was amazed at how easy it actually was. I had been dreading this for months, but with her starting school next week, I finally pushed myself to do it. I just have a few more labels to do—some of her book bags, and then we’ll be ready. I think we’ll do one final check tomorrow though just to make sure all of her supplies are properly labeled.

1の2 basically translates to “Class 2 of grade 1” or “First grade, class #2.”