Tuesday 10 April 2012

It is official...

I am now the mother of an elementary school child (and will have to start paying for him on the trains!) We usually get up at 6.10am but got up 10 minutes earlier so we didn't have any crazy rushing around. All his clothes were set out the night before and his bag packed ready to go.
Yesterday we were given a list of which things he has to take in on which day so they are now sat in piles on the floor, so he knows what to take and when.

The meeting spot for his walking group is actually the house across the road and his hancho-san (buddy) is the girl who lives on the corner of our street, her little brother was supposed to start today but he wasn't there, not sure why.

Ebi-kun was quite excited to go today, he had 3 big girls fussing over him as he left, only the first graders have to wear the yellow flap on their bag. The kids have to walk a set route and in their own group, I think there are 11 in Ebi-kuns group all together, they pick up more kids on the way, for me it would be say a 10-15 minute walk but for the kids probably 30 minutes. Not like Heathers kids who have to yomp up and down a mountain! Also, along the route there are nominated parents who wear high viz jackets and flags where the children have to cross the road or on dangerous spots. I have to do this about 5 times a year.

Coming home though, the different grades have different finishing times so, the walking groups don't have a big kid to keep an eye on them. For the first few weeks there are a couple of parents walking with the groups but eventually they will walk alone.

So, the last three days have been pretty chaotic which is mirrored by the state of the house, I think today I will try and get back on top of everything, get everything sorted and the tomorrow I can throw myself back into work mode.


  1. i just bump in to your blog a month ago and i find your post really informative and i love the post about kids. am a teacher and i miss kids! hahaha.

    this ones cute. being organized is a big factor so as not to rush. ahahaha.

    will be visiting your blog again.

  2. Congratulations! Hope he gets spoiled by the big kids!

    I love the view of your neighbourhood, it looks so friendly and European!

    1. European really?
      it is a newish area so there are loads of young families and loads of kids, we have 21 on our street alone!

  3. Ohhh doesn't he look thrilled! I'm really surprised he wears a name tag. Even here in the sticks they did away with name tags for the walk so strangers don't know the kids names. Not that your average bear can read.... ;P

    11 kids is a nice healthy walking group too. And a fellow grade 1 just across the street? Bonus! Amy is the one and only grade 1 on this mountain this year and as such she will go to the after school centre rather than walk as, anti-helicopter mum as I am, I am not up to her walking the last kilometre up the uninhabited mountain alone at 6 years old!

    Here's to a fabulous first year!

    1. must admit, I am not happy with the name tag thing.

      I am with you on Amy's issue, I wouldn't let Ebi-kun do that either.

  4. I find this so interesting. I love the idea of organized walking groups and parent volunteers who help the kids along the way. What an absolutely amazing concept! And the bag alarm...is that in case the child is in an emergency situation? I live in Toronto, Canada. I love reading your blog I always leave with the feeling that I have travelled the world. Congratulations on having a first grader! Good luck.

    1. I feel better knowing he is in an organized group, going to school is OK but 1st graders walking home is a bit scary. Luckily there are loads of kids who live nearby so there will always be other kids walking home at the same time even if his group is small.


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