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Homeschooling in Japan 2022/2/12 19:19
Hello and thanks in advance,

I am in Japan and wanting to homeschool my son. He is currently 4th grade, half-japanese and in Japanese public school. I want to homeschool due to some issues at his school (long story). I have followed a few threads on this forum for info, but they are all at least 4 years old and may not have complete information. Of course I could have missed something.

I am still in the beginning stages of doing this and worry about making mistakes in the complex Japanese system. I have been researching on my own for a few weeks and I am getting conflicting information (imagine that on the internet!).

I find that it does seem possible to homeschool, but I am not sure how to even approach the issue. I do not want to do or say the wrong thing and get myself on some ' troublesome person list' here in Japan. I just want what is best for my son with the least amount of problems for him.

Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks again you for your time.
Sincerely John
by JohnwB  

Re: Homeschooling in Japan 2022/2/13 14:38
There are a lot of variables which can change potential answers to your questions. The only thing I 100% know is that someone else on this forum will know better than I.

If your child has Japanese citizenship - that will change expectations on what happens.

I am aware that the Japanese education system is very different than the best - in all the good and bad that may be. If you have reasonable Japanese reading and writing skills I'm sure there will be a Home School forum somewhere on the internet.

Note that I am a former international teacher which used to live in Japan so I know more than some - but finding people who actually are going through the same as you will be helpful.
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Homeschooling in Japan 2022/2/14 01:19
Thanks for the reply. My son is dual citizen Japan/USA.

I will dig around more and try to find some homeschool forums regarding Japan. Thanks for the advice.

Sincerely,
John
by JohnwB rate this post as useful

Re: Homeschooling in Japan 2022/2/14 11:23
if your "homeschooling" means that your child never belongs to any educational schools, I think there is no homeschooling in Japan systematically.
in Japan, even the emperor's children are going to schools.

fundamentally, there are no fails in compulsory schools in Japan. a child can graduate the schools with a very few day's attendance.
but, it means a child have very low experience of communication with other same age students.
school is not only a learning place but also a communication place.

essentially, children are not belongings of parents. but, they tend to do that. recently a new word arises, 親ガチャ. children's future are influenced greatly by parents.

my opinion is,
if your child lives in Japan in future, he should stay in Japanese educational system and you can ADD your education to him. that will give more possibility for him. I think your present choice narrows his future possibility.

if he lives in other countries in future, that is another story.
by ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Homeschooling in Japan 2022/2/14 16:54
Hello John,

I understand that in places like the U.S., homeschooling is done very systematically, and that there are associations throughout the country. I don't think Japan has an equivalent to that.

But while every child residing in Japan has the right to be educated, and the child's guardian has the duty to educate that child, there is no law/rule that it needs to be done at a school. So, it's perfectly fine to educate your child at home, and the child can typically gain a graduation certificate if the principal of the child's district school permits it. (You need to talk to the principal for details.)

To get more information, you can talk to the school your child attends, in the order of homeroom teacher, grade head teacher (学年主任), sub-principal, principal, and if that doesn't work, the board of education (since it's a public school he attends). Meanwhile, you can also get information through your school counselor and your local city hall. The information they can provide would be about public organizations such as counseling services and the so-called "free school"s.

Meanwhile, there are also private-run organizations that help you educate your child. You can find them through the internet, and various paper information. For example, newspapers and bulletins (広報紙) often print ads of events that these organizations would run.

they are all at least 4 years old and may not have complete information.

You are right, but details would vary depending on your situation. Talk to the people I've mentioned. Have specific questions ready when doing so. You'd typically be talking for an hour or two per person. By that, you can narrow down your problem. Then you could come back here to ask more specific questions. But perhaps by then, you'd be finding better places to discuss it, such as local parents groups.

worry about making mistakes in the complex Japanese system.

You can't really make any big mistakes when your child is 14 yrs old or younger in Japan. But if I were you, I'd try to discuss it with as many people as possible. And the golden rule to avoid mistakes is to not do anything to fool your child. Not telling everything is fine, but it's best to accept the person as he is and to trust the direction he's heading to.

I am getting conflicting information

If you can tell us what that conflicting information specifically is, perhaps someone here can analyze it.

I do not want to do or say the wrong thing and get myself on some ' troublesome person list' here in Japan.

One thing you can do is to constantly make yourself verbally clear that you want to "cooperate" with whoever you're speaking to. For example, let's say you're talking to a teacher. By telling the teacher that you want to "work together" as parent-and-teacher, you can prevent yourself from looking like a "monster parent" who just wants to attack the other party. Again, be sure to talk to your homeroom teacher at the beginning stages. I don't really think it's a nationality thing. Every human being wants to be trusted rather than to be ignored. (Again, if the homeroom teacher is the problem, you can talk to the grade head teacher, and so on.)

My son was forced to be homeschooled, a long time ago in his early teens. For me, the key to anything I call "successful" was to talk to a lot of people, including neighbors, and to bow deeply whenever I gained help or asked for something. You don't really have to bow, but bowing is such a quick and easy way to show your sincerity and trust in Japan. As long as I bowed, I was free to say anything wrong!

I don't know what your problem is or what you want to do specifically, but even during the time my son stayed at home, I went to his school whenever they held parents' meetings. I even joined a parents' a committee. This helped a lot when my son finally decided to go back to the school after a whole year.

I hope tomorrow is a better day for you.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Homeschooling in Japan 2022/2/17 00:27
In Japan, homeschoolhng seems to mean'Futokou' (not going to school) and it means 'refushing compulsory education' while it is a one of schooling options or one of the learning ways and obviously not refushing compulsory education in some other countries. Maybe cultural reason, or just because of some infulencers on internet who don't send their kids to school... I don't know.

Anyway, I know some parents who are so badly blamed as if they are anti society people, just because their children do homeschoolhng. In fact, their children just can't go to school in spite of willingness of study due to physical reason, terrible abuse, etc. But they understand disadvantages of homeschoolhng, they even want to go to school. They study of course.

If your reason of homeschoolhng is like that, I am so sorry. If you are in the region with mura shakai system and what Uco san suggests doesn't work, I suggest an option of 'free school'. It is like a cram school where children go in stead of regional school. It helps with study and interaction with the other children so they can be socialized. Attendance at free school can be recognized as attendance at compulsory education nowadays so that there is no influence on juken.
by Asiansenior (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Homeschooling in Japan 2022/2/17 00:40
Oh excuse me if private-run organizations that help you educate your child Uco san said means free school.
by Asiansenior (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Homeschooling in Japan 2022/2/17 12:51
To avoid misunderstanding, going to freeschools doesn't give your child qualification to take entrance exams for universities because senior high school is not mandatory. They need to take and pass it to go to university (and the entrance exam, of course).

As for compulsory education, junior high and lower, your child will be able to graduate anyway. They are considerate enough not to destroy the child's future.

So, this "it's ok only if the child goes to free school" is wrong.
I have a couple of friends who went to free schools and one of them had a terrible experience there. It's a group of people just like official schools after all. Bullies, fights, and everything can happen as long as there are multiple persons in one place.
by Tai (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Homeschooling in Japan 2022/2/17 18:33
Juken is not just for uni. Even if pupils can graduate school without attending the classes, how many days they attend or absence still affect on high school juken. That is my understanding as a spouse of Japanese who works as a public school teacher. As well as someone had bad experience at a free school, there are many pupils who were saved by this organization.
by ... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Homeschooling in Japan 2022/2/17 19:21
Oh thanks for correction. So what I heard フリースクールへの登校も出席扱いになるケースも was wrong. It was about highshool entrance but 'being absence many days will be disadvantage at highshool entrance' was also wrong.

I did not say that free school was ok, I just wrote as an alternative way in case than could be better option anyway.
by Asiansenior (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Homeschooling in Japan 2022/2/17 20:01
Just to make sure that I didn't say that attendance of free school gives children qualification to enter highshool.
by Asiansenior (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Homeschooling in Japan 2022/2/17 20:12
And I didn't say 'it's ok if children go to a free school'.


https://www.mext.go.jp/march_lion/torikumi_futoukou.htm

https://tacao.crayonsite.net

by Asiansenior (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Homeschooling in Japan 2022/2/18 04:53
No one said 'it's ok if children go to a free school'. And what I meant by "private organizations" is not the same thing as "free school" which I mentioned in another paragraph.

Any person 16 or over who has no qualifications to enter university is free to take the government-run 高等学校卒業程度認定試験, which is a series of tests that grant you senior high school graduation qualification. With this qualification, the person can try out for universities.

If you attend a senior high school properly, you will get the senior high school graduation qualification by graduating that school. But even if you don't attend senior high school, you still can get qualification by taking the tests. You don't even have to go to free school. Free schools just help you study and experience an environment, which of course is a great option.

So, all these are "options". No one can tell what's best, because no one can't tell what a "best life" is.

Again, ask the board of education. They will tell you the facts.
(I am resigning from this thread unless the OP has more questions.)
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Homeschooling in Japan 2022/2/18 09:46
Nobody said about qualification about university entrance either.

Free school is generally for compulsory education, not for high school students. So juken I meant is high school entrance exam. Then, again, it is not about qualification for entrance/juken shikaku/nyugaku shikaku. It is a thing that attendance record could infulence whether be able to go or not a high school (I had heard attendance rate and comment of teacher is important, not just test result).

I really don't know OP's situation, he/she even didn't say his/her child is a futougouji, but because of that, attendance record is a big concern for some parents of home schooling children. Yes, children can graduate primary school and secondly school without attendance, but graduation and having reached necessary academic level are not enough to be able to go to a high school.

While going to hokenshitsu is counted as attendance, going to a free school wasn't. So even if one has enough academic knowledge and entrance exam is not difficult, teijisei, tusinsei high school or kosothu nintei exam was only option, until things changed. Now attendance of free school is counted as attendance (although not all case) and helps some children who has already been absence a many days.

That is why I mentioned about free schools as an option especially since there is not home schooling system like US's one officially.

I came to Japan when I was a child and experienced schooling and juken in Japan, but there still might be misunderstanding. Even my understanding is not correct, please don't treat me as an arashi or troll. I genuinely wanted to share information because I understand how parents feel when general schooling is not available for their children and especially when BoE is not helpful or even mean for immigrants. I won't share information any more.
by Asiansenior (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Homeschooling in Japan 2022/2/18 11:53
> Nobody said about qualification about university entrance either.

That's why I talked a bit about it.

> Free school is generally for compulsory education, not for high school students.

Nope. The friend of mine went to the most famous free school in Tokyo and she said there were a lot of senior high aged children there. And senior high is beyond compulsory education.

> futougouji

It should be futouKouji if you mean 不登校児. I recommend you to avoid this expression as it sounds discriminative.
You may not know, but free schools are not only for Futoko children.
by Tai (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Homeschooling in Japan 2022/2/18 12:08
@Uco
Oh, sorry for the misunderstanding. :)
I added my 2 cents out of my second-hand experience because I've found you tend to criticize any official system as long as it's Japanese and I have worried about spreading misinformation.
by Tai (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Homeschooling in Japan 2022/2/18 13:02
I have no intention of discrimination against futoukouji at at all. I even have futoukouji around me as mentioned. I repeat, I genuinely shared information because of my sympathy and I used that term because I was told so since 登校拒否 and 登校拒否児 are not proper today.

Tai san, I know also that free school is not only for futoukouji though I didn't realize it is not just for compulsory education. I mentioned about it because futoukouji go there and it is even mentioned officially in the linked site as an alternative way of studying at the classmate.

Ok, I refrain from posting any more. I appreciate Tai for correcting my misunderstanding but the more I try to help OP and the other people in the same situation, the more unnecessary conflict led. It is pity.
by Asiansenior (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Homeschooling in Japan 2022/2/18 13:39
Sorry for being off topic. Just to avoid misunderstanding.

The friend of mine went to the most famous free school in Tokyo and she said there were a lot of senior high aged children there.

It doesn't mean 'free school is generally for compulsory education' is incorrect.

They might be people who didn't have an opportunity to receive compulsory education because of something, for example, mukoseki situation. They might be 17, 18.. even older but they can be junior high school student -those who are receiving junior high school education. Not just free school, in evening classes of junior high school have those students.

Getting a diploma of junior high school graduation without attending the classes is possible. However, it is IF only children are registered and entered officially at a school.
by emileang (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Homeschooling in Japan 2022/2/18 14:19
There could be free
schools that provide help with high school classes. Nevertheless I think free school in general means compulsory education. In fact, high school is not compulsory and level of schools are various. People who need to be eligible to study at university tend to take an exam to be qualified same as high school graduated or take an evening or distance course for a deploma.
by emileang (guest) rate this post as useful

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