After School Care

20 Apr

I must have ranted on here about the After School Care at our school. I’m not sure if it officially has ‘Program’ at the end of that but god damn it, it is a free for all run-amoc mess of bad language, shit supervision and bordering-on-dangerous antics.

It is cheap as chips though. Only 3,500 yen (roughly $40) per child PER MONTH. This price doesn’t change during the summer holidays either when the kids can go for the ENTIRE day.

It is a cheap, and only, alternative for working parents.

In first grade Shou’s language, attitude and behavior changed drastically and in direct proportion to time spent at After School Care (ASC). During the summer holidays of that first year I remember getting almost panic-like attacks when I’d go and pick him up – wondering what the supervisor woman was going to say. It was a fuckin joke. I’d get lectures on how Shou told HTB to ‘get out of the way’ and HTB was so upset he just about crawled into a fetal position and cried for the remaining two hours. In the end I said I was removing Shou from the ‘program’ for the rest of the holidays as I couldn’t be fucked hearing ridiculous shit like that every day and Shou getting in trouble for saying ‘get out of the way’. HTB was such a shit in first grade I actually admire Shou for not saying ‘get out of the way you dumb fuck’. (yes, there were some times when Shou deserved what came to him – like the time he put an older kid in a headlock)

By no means, or any stretch of the imagination, has Shou been, at any time, on his best behavior at ASC. He has calmed down a lot and there are definitely other kids up there on the shithead spectrum. Nice kids. Lovely in class but if they can run wild at ASC, well then wild they will run.

A couple of weeks back – in between the ‘prick’ incident and rulergate – I was working late and hub went to pick the kids up. They arrived home and Shou had a long scratch under his eye and hub was muttering something about bamboo and eyeballs and nearly-a-trip-to-the-hospital and stupid bitch.

Shou and HTB had apparently been playing commando, or Kill Bill style pretend sword games with a couple of 2m long bamboo stakes that were leaning against the outside wall of the ASC room. HTB, and his retarded snail exercise abilities, landed Shou with the scratch. I’m perplexed as to why my athletically gifted son was unable to jump or duck or dive roll out of the way like McGyver.

Seriously though, another 2mm and the fun would have ended because someone would have actually lost an eye.

Hub was livid. Who lets 8 year old boys play with long sharp objects? I mean seriously? Its not the Jackie Chan school of martial fuckin arts you know.

When I went to pick Shou up the next day I was able to speak to the lady about it. Instead of saying “I know, I’m sorry about your son hurting himself while under our supervision. The sticks have been stored away out of site and perhaps we could both have a word with Shou about dangerous play”…. or something, she said “yeah, well I did tell them to stop but they didn’t listen”.

And that was it.

Heeellloooooooooooooo!!!! Earth to ADULT SUPERVISOR getting paid to ensure our children have a safe environment in which to play and do their homework???

Boys will be boys and all that garb but she really needs to figure out a new approach when talking to parents. She also needs to be able to physically remove things that are dangerous and introduce a few more rules. Tis the same lady who when questioned about the drawing-pins-in-Marina’s-shoes incident immediately placed the blame on the school.

Hub is over it and told me we should take them out of ASC completely. Which is OK for him to say as he isn’t the one therefore having three kids not-supervised at home for two hours every day while I teach English four days a week. So we compromised and I said I would pick them up straight after school 3 days but not the other two days cause those days were just too hectic. They won’t be at home alone – my English classroom is 3m away.

I told the ASC woman the next day and she was all upset. We are into our second week and the kids aren’t complaining anymore about not getting their ASC snack on the three days I pick them up directly. Of course the woman said they could come and get their snack but I said no, it will be a drama picking them up. They would get a snack at home. She then said that Marina’s best friend was just starting ASC too – as if that would make us change our minds. When Marina said she wanted to come again tomorrow and not go straight home the woman said that she couldn’t come back everyday until her daddy said it was OK.

WTF? Just say ‘zannnenn’ or something.

She even texted me expressing her disappointment that this one bamboo stick incident was behind us not feeling like our kids were safe under her supervision – followed by a sad crying emoticon.

God, if I’d had tequila I would have lined a few shots up on the bench.

LOL, this one incident.

There are so many bloody accidents slash incidents slash ridiculous attempts at supervision going on at that joint tis a miracle they still get funding.

I wonder if they have to report them all? I remember in NZ when Ryu stubbed his toe at kinder I got handed an accident report sheet with an outline of a child’s body showing what part was hurt and whether or not the accident had resulted in death.

I know it is one extreme to the other but could there not be a happy medium, where my children are left to dance playfully in fields of daffodils before sitting nicely and finishing their homework before having some green tea and homemade rice cakes?

Oh – in good news – I got a form home today about after school extra study classes from 3pm to 5pm every Wednesday for third graders and above. It isn’t compulsory and the classes are run by locals as opposed to the school teachers or ASC people. They are aimed mainly at Japanese and math revision. Wahoooooo. This effectively means Shou will be in ASC for two and half hours one day and 45 minutes the other day. Surely such a drastic reduction in hours spent at ASC means there is a lower risk of losing an eye?

Right, lets go and see if I can get to sleep beside my snoring husband.







5 Responses to “After School Care”

  1. T in Tokyo April 25, 2015 at 5:47 pm #

    Seems such a contrast to the strictness I remember at Japanese elementary school. I wonder why the ASC is not more similar to that – it kind of seems like this woman is particularly lacking in knowledge of how to supervise children – all she did was tell them not to and then let it go on when they ignored her? Wtf. Do you think people are afraid to complain because the ASC option might disappear if they do?

    • gaijinwife April 26, 2015 at 2:06 am #

      Definitely I think there is a bit of ‘head in the sand’ stuff going on. The majority of mums here work and the ASC is the only option. Hub has printed out city and prefecture regulations stating what qualifications the supervisors need to have and highlighted stuff about accidents. We got made to sign a form saying we would not hold the ASC liable/responsible for ANY accidents. He has written down what he wants to say (incase he gets a mind blank) and is taking Tuesday off for the sole purpose of having a go at the ASC people. #wanttobeaflyonthatwall but unfortunately will be at home with the kids getting dinner and stuff underway so hub and I can go to the PTA dinner at 6!!

      • bri65 April 26, 2015 at 5:28 am #

        Well, good for hub for taking the day off from work to try to safeguard his children. From what I understand, taking a day off for just about any reason is frowned on over there.

  2. gaijinwife April 26, 2015 at 8:39 am #

    bri65 – it is unless it is for anything funeral related or PTA related! The PTA head at the school is ‘usually’ a father and he must have to take about 12 days off over the year just for related shit. Lord help him if a family member passes away. Luckily they never actually take their paid leave for holidays!

  3. Ruth April 29, 2015 at 7:52 am #

    Any update? I’m logging on for the next instalment!

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