HOME EDUCATION / HOMESCHOOL – what is it and how you can implement it


Home Education
Features & Essays on Home Education
Homeschool Networks & Support in Japan
Resources, Rankings
Online Resources & Favorite Links
Homeschooling 101
A-M N – Z Subject by Subject Homeschool Help
Legality of Homeschooling
Our Homeschool Stories

Home education, home learning or homeschooling are terms that refer to the situation whereby parents seek to educate their children at home or to facilitate and enhance the process by which their kids learn at home. Afterschooling is loosely defined as the effort that parents put into educating their children after school. This website deliberately employs definitions that do not distinguish between parents’ full-time efforts to home-educate and supplemental efforts to instruct or facilitate learning in addition to formal schooling. Many parents both Japanese and foreign-residents home educate their children in many combinations, including homeschooling exclusively, homeschooling with tutoring, homeschooling with cramschool, afterschooling with public, private, or international schooling, afterschooling with tutoring or cramschool or distance-learning e-schools. Alternative education refers to an educational setting that is an alternative to traditional or conventional (public or private) school setting and includes distance learning or correspondence courses, online or e-schooling, homeschooling, free schools and other alternative options.

According to press reports, education ranks as the number one issue for voters in Japan, ranking even higher than the National Deficit problem. Most parents, Japanese and non-Japanese, are duly concerned about the state of education in Japan in general and about the quality of education that their children are getting, more specifically. Many parents are or want to be hands-on and closely involved in matters concerning their children’s education.

Why parents educate their kids at home: Some parents keep their kids at home because they have been bullied or because their kids have special needs. Some, because they are unhappy with the factory-mass-assembly-line conformist public school system that can lead to apathy, aggression, loss of individuality and creativity. Other parents home-educate because they trust that with individual attention and nurturing and the special bonds that develop between parent-and-child, their kids will blossom best and do well academically as well as socially. Still others do so because they think that segregating kids in the artificially created environment of a “school” separating them from mature and adult models, or from older children or other sex (as in private schools for girls or boys only) is socially and unnatural and breeds immaturity and low emotional intelligence(ie, poor social skills). Read Homeschool Days by Mindy Harris and Our Home Ed Stories(Under Construction) for insights on the local homeschooling scene.

The above links will lead parents to a pool of the best resources for home-educating children in Japan. They also give an overview on the state of homeschooling in Japan, on different approaches to a home education or homeschool, and discuss the issue of whether homeschooling is legal, and show how many carry out homeschooling in Japan. We trust you will find them helpful in educating your own children. Don’t forget to also check into our Reading Room and Book Room for hundreds of suggestions on reading titles and materials for children. If you are looking for a place for your kids to socialize, then you may find either our Homeschool Networks resource or School’s Out page useful.

There is already a great abundance of information of homeschooling and homeschooling resources out there on the great Information Highway. In supporting a home education, this website does not seek to provide comprehensive resources. Instead, we have tried to be helpful by providing selective TOP 10 rankings for available curricula, books and materials, and we exclude those that will not be accessible to residents in Japan, such as companies that are not prepared to ship to Japan. We have sought to categorize resources, articles and essays under topical or A-Z headings in order to help our readers find the information they need as quickly as possible. We have researched and compiled educational tips (Homeschool 101); views on whether homeschooling is legal given the law on compulsory schooling in Japan; reviews and helpful information online as well as gathered from the valuable members of our e-community here in Japan.

Many thanks to those who have in the past contributed the tremendous amount of information listed on this website and for the opinions offered by members of our affiliated discussion list who have tried and tested many of the educational materials and books amongst us all. Join hands with us in our efforts to actualize your vision of what education should be – please support this massive undertaking for the sake of our ever-growing community and for the good of the future generation. We value any reviews, tips, information and comments that you may send in.

-Your webmaster, Aileen Kawagoe


“The respect of parent’s freedom to educate their children according to their vision of what education should be, has been part of international human rights standards since their very emergence.” – Special Rapporteur to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights 8th April 1999


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