Monday, April 07, 2014

Getting ready for the 3rd grade and getting ready for junior high school

At the start of March, we went online and ordered Branden and Noah's name labels. They arrived way before Branden even graduated and Noah went on Spring break, so I was glad to have ordered them when we did. Just name labels for pencils, stapler etc, they came in different sizes.
While picking up socks for the boys, I picked up myself these 6 pair of socks. 

Branden brought home a booklet about junior high at the end of February, it said, what type of shoes to buy, where to write the name on said shoes. What type of socks are acceptable. Our school has a "must cover your ankle" rule for the boys. Your hair must not be longer then your eyebrow, if you are a boy. What bike is allowed. What type of junior high school bag is acceptable, our school rule for bags is nothing too bright or colorful. @.@ Again, we have had many things to read through, many things to learn. So we bought these 2 pack of socks for Branden. The socks on the left will cover his ankle for sure, but do they mean the longer yochien length, sort of like the ones on the right? Again, we have never sent a child to junior high in Japan before, so we are also learning. So we bought both packs and sure, in a month we'll know more and in a years time, we'll be old hats. But for now, again we're still learning, so we bought both lengths. But the bright side is, both do cover the ankle. : )  So 9 packs of socks for Branden for junior high school to start with. Not a bad number.

Under shirts. Last time, I bought Branden undershirts, I bought them at Nishimatsuya and he got Thomas ones and Ultraman ones. lol. Both my boys wore under shirts in yochien because it was expected since it was a yochien uniform, but they haven't worn them in elementary school. Now Branden needs a men's L. Lol, how funny. But again we use the dryer a lot for underwear and stuff like this and so we considered shrinkage of the undershirts too. So 6 undershirts for Branden. Again, not a bad number to start off with. 

The booklet said, all boys must wear a belt. Luckily these are found easily, at just a local country type shopping mall, it says for students and the price was very fair. Around $8.90 US.
Branden's uniform we ordered a while back at elementary school was ready, at the start of March and we went and picked it up. 1 school uniform which consists of 1 pair of winter pants, 1 blazer, 1 tie, the summer uniform pants we'll pick up when it gets warmer. The dress shirts we can buy anywhere we want, which is nice. His inside shoes had to be bought from the local uniform shop. And Branden also got 2 short sleeve gym shirts, 1 gym shorts, 1 long sleeve gym outfit (think sorta like a sweatshirt and sweatpants) with zip-up top. The junior high shoes you wear to and from school, according to our school, must be pure white, as in not 1 dot of color at all on the shoes, we bought Branden's from, ABC Mart. So around 6,000 yen for the inside shoes, 6,000 yen for the white school shoes, that's about $120 US just for the 2 pair of shoes alone.  For all of Branden's uniforms, shoes, gym clothes etc, if I were to guess and I also just asked Noboru, he says the cost for the clothes (uniform and gym clothes, 2 sets of shoes, under shirts, socks etc) and Adidas school bag, about 1 thousand US dollars. Or 100,000 yen for you in Japan. Not counting buying a bike. And if for example you take up Kendo in club that's another 40,000 yen or so on top of that at our local school. So again, maybe someday one of you will have a child entering junior high here and hopefully this information can at least give you a round about idea. Again each school is different, has different costs, different uniforms, I think that goes without saying. But this at least gives you a round about idea at least. Can you imagine having twins, or having kids 1 year apart. Wow, the cost! : )  Anyways....

Us one evening in March going through everything. making sure we had everything before Branden's graduation. Do we have this? Do we have that? Going off the list one by one, another one of us checking it off.  In this pic, you can see the belt, the socks, undershirts. The box on the right is the dress shirts.

My senpai mom friends, who have daughters in junior high school already, kindly told me last summer, to buy Branden's dress shirts form Cecile. I order both Branden and Noah's summer shorts and jeans from there, so I did not forget. They told me, that the quality is great and the prices fair and they have a place for the name tag on the dress shirts. Again, this info I got from them, was priceless. A man's dress shirt for example, wouldn't have a spot for a name tag like these would. So, I made sure to order these for Branden in January from Cecile. 

The one far left has buttons on the collar and the 2 on the right don't. The mom's leaving comments online at Cecile seem to like the ones without collar buttons, so again we have no experience either way, since this is our first time sending a child to junior high here, so we bought 1 with the buttons on the collar to see what we also think and 2 without. 3 dress shirts to start with, and we have a washer and dryer here at home and an iron, lol. And this is just my opinion, but I feel these shirts run a bit on the small side. I ordered these in size 160cm and I can see they won't last, size wise Branden in the Fall for sure, and I hope they last until June or whenever he switches to a short sleeve. Again it could be because Branden is muscular but they seem a bit small. Next ones I order will be in size 170cm for sure. Again, just an info share, if you can use the info great... if not, no worries. I do think these run a tad small though.

His inside shoes are on the left. And his school shoes are the plain Nike ones, on the right. Again, it could be just us, but Branden is a 26cm in shoes, Adidas, sandals, anything. And the inside shoes on the left again 26cm with a bit of room to grow. We bought the Nike ones on a day Branden was at school, in 26cm and figured it would be no problem because he's a 26cm in shoes. When we tried them on at home, they were small, like not even 1 dot to grow. Bursting out like the hulk, would be a fair description. Good thing we bought these shoes a week before graduation, because the 4 of us, went back to ABC Mart and the lady working there said, the Nike in these run small. We were like, you're right, we think so too. So, Branden's Nike's are in 26.5cm. 
Junior high school bag. This has been the #1 question most of Branden's classmates asked each other at the graduation dinner. Even last month. Even the mom's were curious. Everyone wanted to know, what sort of bag did you get and what does it look like. Hahaha. We bought Branden's online at Our school, you can use a backpack, or this type of bag. A sport's bag. I asked my girlfriend's/mama friends a lot of questions on the bag. What they said was, most mom's pick bags like this, because they are waterproof (if it rains no worries). So again info like that, greatly helped me decide. Also, they told me, to be careful that these bags are sold in size small, medium and large. And to be sure to buy Branden's in size large. They told me this again last Summer. Ever since then, I have looked at junior high kids bags in Japan and yes, they do seem to be a size large. Again, if they didn't mention it, I might have bought the wrong size (again though check with your school and see what's allowed, though this size Branden has, is the usual/standard size we see most places.) Branden brought home a stack of books a heavy big amount of books and thank goodness he has this large size bag. Plus imagine weekends when he has to carry his giant 26cm inside shoes home in the bag as well. Again, thank goodness for informative friends. And I am blogging this info, because if it helps at least 1 person, then it was worth me spending my typing this all out. I hestitate telling you this, but, this morning, we saw the boy next door, getting on his bike for the 1 hour pick up book day. His bag is a Puma one (black and white) but it's most definitely a size small. : ( Branden told me, the boy next door could not fit all his books inside his Puma bag, poor kiddo. : ( It was so small, you guys, like Noah sized. : (  I'm not sure if his mom maybe didn't know he needed a bigger size or what, I don't know. : (  Every body's bags, I saw today, Genki's, K's, Saya-chan's every one's bag is the same type of style and size as Branden's. The large size. Again, if you can use this info fantastic, if you don't need the info, truly no worries. Just trying to help. : ) 
Noah meanwhile needed a new pencil box. He got a new one in ichinensei (first grade), it was still fine in 2nd grade, but bit the dust around December 2013. I asked Noah to hold out, until the end of the school year and then we'd buy him a new one. True to my word, we bought him this one. : ) A nice yellow Mario one. : ) 

Noah needed new cleaning rags, since kids at our local elementary clean the school themselves. And he needed a new paint tray. I tried cleaning it, but, it was beyond cleaning and this was 150 yen about $1.50 US, so we just replaced it. This one better last, a good long time. Branden never needed a replacement. So we'll see. 

Noah's note said, he needed 5 pencils and 1 red and blue pencil, so we bought him these. Sharpened them and put name stickers on each pencil. And a piece of tape over the name sticker, so the name sticker stays put. 

A new hat for Noah. Branden won't be wearing a red and white hat anymore, they wear red and white hachimaki (like a headband). : ) 

I also washed Branden and Noah's shoes (Branden still needs clean regular shoes too hahaha) and Noah's inside shoes, though I did have a new pair already upstairs, these can be used when he does shuji or as an emergency pair (Branden told me once someone got shuji ink all over their inside shoes so maybe Noah should take this old pair just in case, hahaha, I'll think about it, couldn't hurt. 

This day was gray overcast and it did rain around 4pm, that day but everything was dry by then. Noah's gym clothes, gym bags, school bags, seat cover and disaster cover, plus their swim towels and the striped Ikea mat for the sink/bath area. I washed this all yesterday/ Sunday, the day before Noah started back at school. 

Branden meanwhile needed new batteries for his watch, cleaning rags and tape. I name stickered his tape. :)

I bought this bag at the Daiso, it's a huge navy blue bag for Branden's inside shoes, so he can carry his shoes back and forth on Fridays and Mondays. It looked huge, but it fits his size of inside shoes perfectly. Perfect size. 

Noah's school books for the 3rd grade. 
Branden received a ton of books today. Here's 3 of them...

Shosha on the left and math on the right...

Here's a few pages on the inside of his math book...

Math, Geography and musical instruments book..

His English book, they use a Sunshine book in elementary school too, but this is for older kids. The book next to his English book, is his history book.

Another look inside another book.


This is a big stack of books, not even counting he'll need notebooks for writing for many of these subjects as well. Tomorrow, Noah will be in school until 3pm. Meanwhile, tomorrow is Branden's junior high school entrance ceremony. Imagine parents wearing formal outfits again, with cameras and camcorders in hand. Both town elementary schools are merging into the 1 junior high school. I think 40 are coming from our school, since 2 transferred to different schools. And I believe 15 are coming from the other elementary in our town (don't quote me on that yet, I'll find out for sures tomorrow). I know that Branden is a chugaku ichinensei (junior high school 1st grader) in America we'd just say, he's in the 7th grade, lol.) He's in the ichinensei class A. Genki is in ichinensei class B. But Saya-chan is in class A with Branden. : ) The boy holding the flower straight up in the graduation pic, who was also in the swim team, is also in Branden's class. Branden's teacher/sensei is a man and Branden said he seems really nice.  : ) Tomorrow for dinner we are having yakiniku on the grill outside in the backyard, first bbq for us, for the 2014 season. I think a good way to celebrate! : )