Friday, October 28, 2011

Noah's pre-ichinensei testing and health check

I blogged all about the testing Branden had done when he was a pre-first grader. And so here are Noah's experiences. We had received a letter in the mail over a month beforehand. Noboru said, there were 2 dates. And as he rattled off the dates, I quickly jotted down the dates on whatever scratch paper I could grab for at the time, because I knew how crazy busy we all were for the month of October and I feared if I didn't jot it down, it would surely get lost in the shuffle. This was the back of a paper plate wrapper (for Branden's undokai), lol. But that is okay. Important thing is I wrote the info down at least. It says...Oct 13 & 25th Noah testing (not a perfect sentence, but just as fast as I could, jot down the important bits that I needed to remember for that day, lol). I later wrote it down properly on the real calender. So, October 13th rolls around and that's the reading, writing, understanding/comprehension, etc part of the testing for lack of better word. They basically want to know if you are on the same level as your peers basically type test. For the test on the 13th. We left the yochien early that day. We took/pulled Noah out early. Sera's mom also pulled out Sera early that day as well. So, we took Noah out on the 13th. We had lunch from a bakery and then we went to the shogakko. Other kids in different uniforms also showed. Kouiki's little brother Kaito, etc. We all sort of walked into the genkan of the elementary. For some, like Sera's mom and him, this was the first time entering that huge school. Meanwhile for others like Kouiki's mom and I, we've been down this path once before. So, when the greeter said go to the library, we took the stairs and to the library we went. Once inside....it was basically Branden's experience all over again. There were 2 very long tables. One table had all the hoikuen kids already there. No parents needed for them, their 2 sensei's came to help them...take them to the restroom etc. And the other hugely long table was left to us...mere 5 yochien kids and parents. No sensei's accompanying us. : ( 3 from the public yochien and us two... Noah and Sera from the private Catholic yochien. And wasn't there supposed to be 1 other kid from 1 more yochien? I thought there were 6 from yochien but now I only keep counting 5. Hmm. Anyway so only 5 of us from yochien. Three head teachers of sorts from the elementary came in, they read a list of all the kids names. All the boys into this line...all the girls into this line. I was very impressed about the hoikuen little boys...they all gave 5, to all the yochien boys as they ran into the line. When the guy said, last name Kaito-kun for example. All the hoikuen boys held up their hands and said, Kaito-kun...Kaito-kun. And Kaito-kun gave everyone 5! If you recall Branden's day...it was very separated, us against them type feelings : ( and the yochien kids felt awfully excluded for the first few weeks. But this time around doesn't seem the case at all. When they called Noah...they said...last name Noah-kun. And all the hoikuen boys all put their hands out and said...Noah-kun...Noah-kun!!! And Noah got all happy! : ) He high fived all the boys in his future ichinensei class! I was very impressed and very relieved, VERY sweet kids! This seems like this is going to be a very positive experience for these kids. I am so happy for Noah. These yochien kids felt so welcomed, so wanted by their future classmates. It was just a wonderful day, October 13th! Anyway now about the test. The man said, we will take the kids in groups of 5-6. Two teachers took 1 group each. They kept the kids a VERY long time. I don't recall them keeping Branden's age and classmates THIS long. Us yochien mom's kept saying wow this is a long time. Finally the first cluster of kids came back and they called the 2nd cluster. Noah went with the 2nd cluster. When he came back, we asked Noah what did they ask you? They had 4 different cards with words not with pictures. 1 said in Japanese.. car...another an airplane, and 2 others pictures They then asked Noah which one can fly? Noah said hikoki! (sp?) So he read quite a few of those card bunches and answered the questions. He also was asked to write a few things, which he did with no troubles at all according to his tester. He also read a short paragraph from a Japanese children's book. Answered their questions if they had any. Everything went swimmingly. So they brought them back. By now, Branden was done with school and met us in the library. I had seen him earlier since the library is on the same floor as his classroom. Noah's future classmates saw Branden. Branden was quietly doing his homework while waiting for Noah to be done..they all went and surrounded Branden...wow your homework looks really hard!!! @_@ LOL, those little kids. Branden just smiled. He also said, welcome to the school. They asked Noah, is that your brother. Yes it is, he said proudly. ; ) Anyway, I was glad Noah did so well on his "what do you know" part of his test. And I was glad that Noah got to see his future classmates again. Every extra opportunity for him to see them is best. In fact I'm thinking of hosting 2 get togethers for some of the future ichinensei's at my house. Just some play dates with about 4-5 kids at a time. So anyway that was the October 13th part of the testing. The next is the October 25th testing.
October 25th, the last testing for Noah. This was the health part of the testing. We picked up Noah early once again. We went home had lunch. After that we went directly to the Plaza (town plaza..community center and place to pick up yours kids from shogakko, place for ladies in our town to get our breast exams) Jack of all trades spot for our town basically. Anyway, note said, Starts at 12:45pm. We picked up Noah at 11:30pm, same time Sera's mom picked up Sera. We had lunch. Then went to the Plaza. I was expecting to be #5 or so. In Branden's day, I was #7 or so. So, I was early-ish. Not freakishly early. Considering we sat and enjoyed lunch and stuff first. I was surprised, I was #1. Wow, wasn't expecting that. Oh yeah..before I even got to the lady, she sees me and Noah walking hand and hand, I open my mouth to give our information... who we are etc. Before I even get the chance to say a single syllable, she said...last name Noah-san, okay let me check you off as here. @_@ Here's your #. You're #1. Wow...thanks, I said. So, we sat down on the tatami.

Within 10 minutes that room was bursting at the seems full! Kids running all over like crazy. A few kids sitting with their parents. Kaito was like #5. Sera-kun was #27. : ( So, Noah sat there. The 3 other kids from the the other yochien all wearing the same uniforms. The rest wearing normal clothes. And then Sera-kun came in wearing exactly what Noah was...phew! Yay, we smiled!!!! They smiled too! They came right to us. To sit. Then Megumi, the lady I remembered from all that time ago came. She sat down right next to me. We exchanged info again. And she showed me her Halloween costume in her bag...a witch! She was working earlier that day, she was a witch for her English class she teaches. : )

They then said...Number 1, 2 and 3, please come in this room. Noah and I went. First they wanted to see if your eyes were aligned. @_@. This was a cattle call, go from station to next station type mass thing. Next was the dental exam. Noah opened his mouth. All is fine, the dentist proclaimed. @_@ Okay...thank you. And then we went to the next station and here a doctor, listened to Noah's heart and checked inside his ears. Everything's fine... Okay next station. @_@ Show them your proof of immunizations. Good thing Noboru told me to bring it. I opened it, she looked...okay, looks all in order she said. Okay now go back to the tatami room she told me and wait. 2 more tests left, but the hoikuen kids have already been tested on a different day so they're done now and the last 2 tests are only for you yochien people. @_@ Wow that was more then I needed to know...but okay. : ) So, back to the tatami room we went. Now the room was super silent. Finally Kaito-kun and the other 2 kids from the other yochien came. So Kaito-kun/Kouiki-kun's mom and I chatted (the other mom from that other yochien, I also chat with too, she's very friendly and she also has an older child but her older child's not in Branden's and Kouiki's class though. Where was Sera? I wondered.: ( Anyway the hoikuen kids left. And they said...yochien kids first test.

The eye exam woman said she tests 1 at a time, but said she will take two kids in the room, even though she tests one at a time. So, Kaito's mom and I went in together with Kaito-kun and Noah. At this point, we had given our number around our necks all back. However no matter....Kaito's mom said, Noah was #1 so he should go first...the other 2 mom's said, yes that is most fair. Go first Noah-kun. Aww, thanks ladies, very fair, by the way. : ) I thanked them and so Noah and Kaito went into the room. This was the eye exam. Noah passed. And we left.

Next was the hearing test. She said, when you hear a sound, no matter how faint, raise your hand. So, Noah did that test. And right before we left, she said, can you name all the things on this paper please. Like 20 objects. So, Noah rattles the items off. Words, like button, in Japanese etc. Noah knew them all of course right away...he flew right through it. She said, Noah passed. We thanked her and went back to the place where we first started.


Noah and I brought the paper to the lady at the beginning. She stamped the paper that his test was completed. So...now that's it Noah completed both tests, both days. He did really well. As we were leaving, Sera was about to start the last 2 tests, we said our good-byes and waved and that was it basically. So not so bad. : )