Jul 16, 2019

Starting Kindergarten in Japan: The Pros and Cons

Without getting into too many details, it took my husband and I a long time to come to an agreement about putting my son in kindergarten here in Japan. There was a lot more pressure than I expected about when he would start. There never seemed the option of not putting him in kindergarten at all. Except when it came to my husband. He didn't want to pay for someone else to watch Jake when I could do it.

I understand his reasoning and later I'll talk about why it was that he may very well have been right about not sending him to school. 

The Pros

I want Jake to learn social skills, something I can't teach him at home, making friends.

I want him to have a better grasp of Japanese before he has to use it to learn at school.

I want him to be familiar with Japanese customs so the things he will have to do every day will be second nature. Jake should do things the Japanese way even though I refuse to do it myself.

I can have free time during the day. There are some things that can't be done with a child hanging off you.

Even if my health isn't the best, I wouldn't have to worry about caring for Jake. He can catch the bus and ride the bus home. 

The Cons

I wouldn't be his only influence anymore. The other students, the teachers' views and the material he would see at kindergarten would change how he sees the world. 

His time spent with me would be drastically decreased and the number of things I would need to do would increase. School obligations are ridiculous. There is at least two every month. Add that to my daughters' elementary school and I have to go to school once a week.

When I am feeling sick, getting him just to the bus would be hard.

Buying all the things needed just to start would break the bank. 

Dealing with the Japanese way of doing things and having to defend my own would be troublesome. An example is wearing a hat in summer. I am not Willy Wonka. I don't put a hat on the top of my head.

Starting Kindergarten in Japan: The Pros and Cons photo

Every person I know asked on a daily basis about Jake and why he didn't start in April. I would have to defend myself and the biggest reason was financial. But everyone was so sure Jake should be free to enter kindergarten. Even when I asked at the city hall, they told me he should be free because he is the third child. My husband didn't think Jake would be free. He called and asked about it and that was when he conceded. Turns out Jake is not free, but I will rant about that at a different time.



American step mom with beautiful Brazilian babies. Raising them in Japan. I'm a crafter too