Thursday, October 23, 2008

Back to the Preschool Ordeal

The preschool just outside our neighborhood is the desirable school for everyone with preschool aged kids. Not sure why, just the way it is. We were warned that more people would apply than open slots. So, we applied and hoped it would happen. Well, Eric gave me all the information when he got home and I'll try relaying it as best as possible. I wish I had been there to see it. When I thought of lottery I had envisioned them pulling names out of hats and those kids would be going there and everyone else would go home sad. Well, my envision was way to simplified compared to the actual event.
First off, you have only one week to put in your application. It just happened to be the week following us moving in so we lucked out. Second, the school year doesn't start until April! So, this process is done way in advance. It's like applying for college!
Eric showed up with Etta at 1:30pm and that was just for the reception. Not sure what went on during that time but Eric and Etta went around the school site seeing and checking everything out. Staff would give time updates, 15 minutes and lottery will begin, 10 min, 5 min, 3 min, and then it began. He said it was precise. There were 37 people their for 20 open slots for the first year preschoolers. Each of those were randomly given a number and Eric was given the number 17. Now, this is not one of the 20 though. How sad, that number represented when you would go pick a ball from a lottery like machine. That number would need to be between 1 and 20 to make it as a student. Numbers 21-37...too bad, try next year for second year preschool.
Now this part, I'm sure to get wrong since it seemed so detailed. You stood in groups of 5 based on the random number given to you. When your group went up you'd show your admission application and your number to staff as well as random parents there to make sure everything is fair and done accurately. Then, you'd draw your ball then show your number. They would put that information up on a board for everyone to see. Eric said that the process was incredibly lengthy when it could have been as simple as say drawing names out of a hat.
When it was Eric's turn he pulled out the number 21 ball. He was so close! After all the people drew balls they told 1-20 to stay put and sorry to everyone else. Eric put Etta in the bike trailer and headed over to Kuno Yochien (the other preschool) to apply. So, she's technically signed up for there but I'm just not sure if it's the right choice. I just doesn't feel right. Not sure if I can explain why. Not only will the 90 minutes of biking a day back and forth is the main reason, or just the inconvenience it will be to Chloe and her afternoon nap, or all the extra duties I'll have as a parent since there will be that many less parents to divvy them up to. That may not make sense for all those Americans out there, but parents do a lot of the work there and when there are less parents that means you do more. At Ooya at least there are a lot of parents and my work load wouldn't be quite so much and I wouldn't worry as much about lack of communication since I wouldn't be needed as much. Not the case for Kuno. They'll have to talk to me more which means lots of miscommunication. The pros however for Kuno, great teacher to student ration, really nice, and I know several other moms there (there kids are in older classes).
We are supposed to go next week and meet the teachers and of course it's during Chloe's nap and I really hate waking her up but Eric really wants me to go. Since I can't communicate that means Eric has to go which means we have to take Chloe. I am so frustrated that I can't do anything myself. So much so that I finally broke down crying since I have to depend on Eric to do everything. Yes, I cried about lack of communication. I never thought that would happen to me in my lifetime. So, we're going to go even though that means cranky Chloe for the rest of the day.
I still want to look at the private options, it may just be easier on me in the end even though it will be more expensive. Eric found one online and a friend gave us information on another. Hope I feel a strong pull at one place or another, even if it's Kuno. I would never expected getting preschool set up would be such an ordeal, but then again we are in a foreign country so things are just always more complicated. More on the subject at another time.
PS If you are wondering why not just drive, I suppose I could but there is no place to park so it makes it a little complicated. So, I suppose if I was just going to drop off or pick up (no extra duties or having to speak with anyone) then I could drive. Just not on a regular basis.


Laura said...

Why don't you homeschool her yourself and have you Japanese teacher teach her Japanese on her level. Overall wouldn't that give you everything you are looking for? Then you could set up play dates for her to have socialization. Then evaluate it again next year. I've learned in the past if it's not God's will you will not have peace about it and it usually doesn't go well until we submit to his will. Just listen to Him!

Jamie said...

oh christy, living here just isn't simple, is it? :( i'm so sorry about all this yochien mess. i've found that i'm frustrated the most here when things that are SO SIMPLE for me to do in America become huge, stress-inducing tasks in Japan -- either because of language barrier or different ideas of how things should work (the lottery is a case-in-point!) or just having a lowered capacity to do things that would be a cinch in the US. i'll be praying for you guys as you seek to make a decision, and praying that something comes along that you feel confident about as Etta and Chloe's mommy, and something that gives you the much needed break that you need.

let's do a 'mom's night' soon -- we can take books to starbucks to read and chat while the boys put the kids to bed! ;) and forget all about that japanese homework!!