First day of kindergarten

The start of kindergarten marked many firsts for our family...

The first day of school for our first-born son

First, we had to find the right place for him to spend the next three years.

I consulted with ママ友 (mamatomo/mum friends) and 先輩ママ (senpai mama/veteran or school mums) on the benefits of different kindergartens – school bus or bike,

bento or 給食 (kyuushoku/school lunch), school hours and extended childcare, extracurricular activities (dance, gymnastics, English, etc) and the level of parental involvement (PTA, reading picture books, etc). 

We decided that the teacher-to-student ratio and access to the outdoors was vital. 

little boy washing handsHis first time wearing 上履き (indoor shoes), a mask and learning where to put his things.

little boy changing his shoes

little boy putting art book onto shelf

The school we eventually chose has an emphasis on community, nature and play.

It has a beautiful library of picture books and plenty of space.

The students and their parents seem happy, and we hope our family will be too. 

kindergarten bookshelf with picture booksMy first time using a sewing machine (in 20+ years!)

flat lay of sewing book and materialsEvery student requires a book bag, a shoe bag and a bento bag, so with the help of a guidebook (and quite often, a new baby on my lap), I taught myself to use a sewing machine again. 

It was surprisingly satisfying to create something new.

Our son was not impressed (I guess new bags aren’t exciting for a three-year-old..?), but maybe one day he’ll look back and know how hard I worked, just for him.

kindergarten bags hanging in a rowMy first time making a 年少 (first-year) bento

This month we only need to make three bentos, although soon it will be four days a week. I borrowed recipe books from the library, joined a bento inspiration group and once again, asked my mamatomo for help. They said that in the beginning, the most important thing is for the children to enjoy eating together. With that in mind, I packed his bento with all his favourites – some fresh, a little frozen – and was delighted when it came home empty. 

bento bag with bento boxIt’s only been a few days, yet I’ve quickly realised the effort parents must make for their children.

The bags... the bentos...forever putting their needs before your own.

For now, I'm grateful he has a special friend in class, as he learns to settle in to the new routine.

Let’s see what next week brings..! 

Liz x