Thursday, April 14, 2016

Throwback Thursday. Noah's yochien entrance ceremony 2009...

Hi you guys! You more then likely remember how I said last Thursday, that since this was April and for us in Japan, April means, "entrance ceremony season" so I thought it would be fun to do something relating to entrance ceremony or school....every Thursday this month. How was entrance ceremony for me at the yochien? Honestly it was fun! Entrance ceremony at yochien was zero stress at all. In fact entering yochien period, was zero stress. All items Noah needed for yochien were available for purchase directly from the yochien itself. For example, crayons, glue, scissors, everything he would need and that was "school approved" we bought directly at the school. The uniforms for the Roman catholic yochien they went to, we bought at a uniform shop in the city nearest us, which is right near where the school was located. So basically uniforms could be bought from 1 shop, in 1 fell swoop. And the school supplies could be bought easily at the actual private yochien Noah attended. So again, no running from store to store. Trying to scratch off items off your big long shopping "what to buy" list, like how we had to with elementary school here. At yochien it's seriously so easy peasy. Done super easy. Presto and done! So totally no stress. Nothing to fret about at all. Sure we did make sure Noah started school with a handmade seat cover which is where his safety earthquake thing was tucked into. How did we pick our yochien? Research and also word of mouth. For starters, our town has zero yochiens. Period! None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Yes, I told you I live in a true rural part of Japan. Our town does have a hoikuen though, only 1. Hoikuens are usually for kids with 2 working parents. There were 3 yochiens in the small city nearest our town. 2 private yochiens and 1 public yochien. And it is a VERY small city by the way. Hahaha. Anyways. We researched. We checked out all 3 of the yochiens. Noboru's coworker whose family lives near us. Anyway they were sending their kids to the private yochien which was big on band and musical instruments for all kids of that yochien but apparently they were also *big* on manners. And according to his coworkers they were tough and strict with the kids there! They actually said more like military style. To me...after hearing first hand from them about how big on manners they are. And how strict they are.  I wasn't really interested in that yochien only because I feel kids... preschool aged kids should have fun and also learn things. Not be afraid of their teacher and learn military type school manners at age 3. I want my child to have a kind teacher, not a drill sergeant! @_@ However we did drive over there and checked things out. It looked sort of like an old building. Creepy old long grubby curtains. I don't know. It just didn't seem like a happy peppy place to me at all. And again given how we heard... how strict they are. We vetoed that one. We then checked out the public yochien. For starters that school had a big population of kids. Which we wondered would our kids get lost in the shuffle...with that many massive amounts of kids? Also that school didn't start until age 4. So again, we didn't feel that was really a school for us. Then we checked out the 3rd and final yochien. A private Catholic yochien. It was very well taken care of. Nice grounds, fresh paint on the building. A very well taken care of school. The teachers were so nice and running and playing with the kids in the fenced in yard as we were parking our car and about to go and talk with their principal. The uniforms were super snazzy, out of the 3 yochiens we checked out, these were the nicest and most classic uniform. And it just seemed like a perfect fit. And given I'm Catholic. Started my education at a Catholic school too, it seemed to fit. And it was just..the best choice for our family. Zero regrets. We just knew that day....we had found "our" school. The school for us. And given Bran transferred to this yochien after we finished building our home and we moved here. Bran started here his 2nd year of yochien and finished here too. And we loved the experience and so when it was Noah's turn, we picked the same yochien too. As most of you know, I was an elementary school teacher in the states. And I also taught and worked in 2 yochien's here in Japan as well. So, I think I knew what to look for, when picking out a yochien. And as a mother. We are entrusting our most treasured loved ones in the care of that school. And so we need to find a school we feel comfortable with. And that is a perfect match for our family. For us, this school was the one for us. : )  Gratuitous shot of Noboru and Noah at the entrance of our private Catholic yochien and under the blooming cherry blossom tree. 

School officially started from April for all 3 year olds. However we started Noah in January of that year, so just about 2 months earlier than most of his 3 year old classmates. I think about 5-7 of his classmates also enrolled early too. I think for us this was best because Noah took about 10 solid days to get used to yochien. He cried every morning for 10 mornings when we dropped him off. And this happened with Branden too. It eventually stopped. And they got used to it. And they eventually waved us a quick good bye and ran off to play... but yes, remembering how it was for Branden. I thought it best that Noah got through his rough "transitioning" time in January versus in April when about 40 kids are crying their eyes out. That the time April rolls around. Noah's used to it. And he can perhaps help his fellow classmates out if they were scared or whatnot. That just worked out best for us. And again, like I always say, each family is different so just pick what's best for you and your family. Nobody knows what's best for you, but you. : )

One medium brown head of hair, in a sea of kiddos with black hair. No worries and they're all gorgeous. It's just easier to pick him out! And look, he was singing and doing jazz hands and everything! I was so glad that we worked out all of Noah's nervousness of being away from us, his parents...Noboru and I... back in January. Because in April, he was just a smiley happy little boy. : )

My pale one, with cute fat baby cheeks. Smiling at daddy/Noboru standing back there. Such a sweet boy! I met some of my most closest friends back from these years. Friends that we still go to movies together even now and still hang out and go to lunch. Some people say...when your child is in yochien that is your funnest time. And I agree with that. However, I find this time, the age and grade my kids are at right now in 2016, also some of the funnest times too. My kids are a little more independent, yet they haven't totally left the nest either though, you know what I mean? So yeah this time is fun also.  
Noah and a falling cherry blossom lands on his winter hat! 

Noah's entrance ceremony, so Noah's choice of place he'd like to go and eat! And yes we ended up at Coco's! Clearly you can see that our small city nearest us. Where the yochien is located doesn't exactly have many restaurants! Hahaha. : ) But considering our town has zero! It's totally fine with us, so Coco's it was! : )  Noah had lunch and an ice cream for dessert! : ) Yochien entrance ceremony, definitely calls for some ice cream! : )