Wednesday 17 July 2013

8Y7M 6Y9M 集団登校、一人で下校 Walking to school in group, coming home by themselves








It's only 5 minutes walk to Osato Higashi P.S. from my parents' house. But we have never let our kids go outside of house without us in their whole life, I felt really nervous.

In the morning, children walk to school with a group of other children. The group is pre-formed and there is a group leader and a sub-leader. In Aratakara's group, the leader is a Year 6 boy, and sub is Year 4 boy, then 2 Year 3 girls are with them. When the leader arrived at the gathering location, he said to Takara, "You are year 1, and you have to walk just behind me." The leader leads the group and the sub leaser comes last.

It's very interesting and to be honest, a bit wired to see kids go to school in lines silently.

When children come home, there are no particular groups, except for year 1 children. For Takara's case, he came home with other few children to the nearest corner from my parents. From there, he had to walk alone for about 100 meters. On the first day, I went to school to meet him, but from the second day, we decided to go to meet him at the corner. As I was out on the second day, I asked my mum to go there.

But Takara came back one hour earlier than I thought! Takara had been only in Japan for 4 days and he didn't exactly know where my parents' house was... he got lost....

Smart Takara didn't cry. He found a hardware store and asked a man standing in front of a vending machine, "Do you know where Nakazato's house is?" Unfortunately he didn't know. So Takarak decided to keep walking. Quite soon, he realised it wasn't the right direction. He went back to the same store, and asked the same question to another man. This man knew my parents. (I don't think he realised Takara was my parents' grandson, though.)

My mum was still having a nap thinking she had another hour before she went out to meet Takara, so that all the doors were locked. But Takara didn't give up. He walked around the house and found a window which was unlocked. He opened it, and climbed thorough to the house. He then stood in front of my mum, who was still dozing off, and said, "I'm back, Obachan." Of course, she was so shocked to see him!

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