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Sep 12, 2017

Back to school : School supplies

(This is more than 1,000 bucks in backpacks walking down the road)


It’s September and most schools have started back up in the states . here in Japan, summer vacation has ended and the second of three semesters has begun. But as with every beginning of school, so comes the list of school supplies and angry parent rants. Tissues, towels, paper, notebooks, facemasks, pocket tissues, calligraphy paper, and to top it off, there are monthly fees to pay for their tests and summer workbooks. Most of the items I don’t get my panties in twist about, but when I see that the single page year end test costs me 300 yen for each subject, it makes me wonder if these things are really that necessary. Does each individual child really need their own personal math set? I mean my girls literally just destroyed it after 2nd grade because it wasn’t going to be used anymore. That thing cost the same as half a week of groceries. We spent nearly the equivalent of 3000 dollars their first year because things like the randoseru (backpack), shoes, and school uniforms are all predesignated specialty items. And Japan does not have the custom of using hand-me-downs or gently used resale items. They don’t even think to sell their kids stuff even if it’s in phenomenal condition. A child wearing second hand clothing sticks out like a sore thumb. 

I recently read an article about how in the US, school supply lists have grown to ridiculous lengths with teachers requesting specific brands of tissues, scissors, copy paper, etc. it got me thinking about if my own frustrations at the school my girls go to are justified or not. Then I paused and realized that I am justified. But still just have to do it. The kids need the stuff to use it in class so we just have to pay for it. I have a right to be miffed at a 300 yen piece of paper and the teachers have a right to be irritated that we aren’t paying in a timely manner. The school can just judge us all they want and wait for payday. And if my daughters are the only ones using gloves from the previous year to pull weeds, well they are also the only ones leaving less of a co2 imprint on the planet. 


edthethe

edthethe

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


6 Comments

  • genkidesu

    on Sep 12

    The cost of those backpacks truly makes my eyes water...from what year of school do they need them? My daughter will be 3 at the end of this year, so she can start attending a school here in April next year, I believe - but I'm curious to know how that's going to be!

  • edthethe

    on Sep 12

    @genkidesu 3-6 years of age is kindergarten. some places have uniforms, others dont. but there are specific bags, playclothes shoes etc. kindergarten is more expensive because you will pay tuition too, but the randoseru starts in first grade, age 6. they use it all six years though. but then you'll have to re purchase everything in middle school because they have uniforms.

  • JTsuzuki

    on Sep 13

    I am not looking forward to buying all that stuff. We've still got a couple of years, but still, so expensive! Go you for making it happen.

  • reggygoes

    on Sep 13

    I saw a website selling randoseru up to $500-1200? It was like 70,000 yen!

  • edthethe

    on Sep 14

    @reggygoes the cheapest i have ever seen them sold is 25000yen. they are crazy expensive for some!

  • edthethe

    on Sep 14

    @JTsuzuki you should save up for those entry years. its not cheap