[LMB] OT: not spoilery any more, middle school

M. Haller Yamada thefabmadamem at yahoo.com
Wed Jan 20 03:34:08 GMT 2016

I think it's pretty fascinating, that's why I jumped in. 

In Japan, it's all decided by the government Ministry of Education, and is 
standardized all over the country. High school, though, is really a privilege and 
not a mandate, so you see all sorts of variation in Japanese high schools. I 
personally know a girl who went to the US for HS, then came home after a year. 
Now she's going to start high school shortly before her 18th birthday (if she 
passes the entrance exam, which she will). I read somewhere that if you transfer 
high schools in Japan, you have to start back at Grade Ten (officially First 
Grade, High School) in the new school.

With the lower grades in Japan, you start first grade the year you turn six 
(between April 2 and April 1, I heard). 

OTOH, in the US, there seems to be such diversity. My friends and sister have 
kids going to school, and I believe I even heard them mention a 5-6-7-8 "middle 
school". In my experience, kids have a lot more flexibility about when they start 
school in the US, too. A first-grader could be five (turning six), six, seven or 
even eight if held back a year for maturity reasons. 

I do like the idea of keeping the puberty-stricken slightly isolated from the 
general population. I think they should get more teachers, too. Possibly a 
counsellor for every class . . . . In Japan, middle school is such a pivotal 
time. You choose the high school you are aiming at, and that pretty much 
determines your entire future unless you are willing to buck the system and run 
away to Canada to work in a Japanese restaurant . . . . And to have to do that 
with only 14 or 15 years of life experience and raging hormones . . . oof. 
Obviously, it can be done. But . . . .


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