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May 2016

A Celebration of Homeschooling: Wedding Day for Japanese Grad

By Haruto Yoshii

The Kawanishis family

Haruto’s son-in-law and daughter

I would like to share with you a story of encouragement.  Our daughter Hannah was married to a wonderful Christian man on November 23, 2015. The celebration made me start to reminisce about raising our children and our decision to homeschool.

When my wife Aiko and I decided to start home educating our daughter in 1994, homeschooling was very uncommon. Figuring out how to educate our daughter, and two sons who followed, was a new challenge.  We had difficulties because home education meant our family at times turned aside from the “proper way” within Japanese culture to raise children. But as I look back it made for a wonderful experience.

Some of the benefits of homeschooling for our family in our culture were being free from the mindset of “school competition” and the intense comparison that is part of the public school system in Japan. 

However, as our children grew it meant that they had to be motivated to learn on their own and look for tools how to learn.  It is a big undertaking, but also a true joy, to help create the motivation to learn.

When my daughter was in her teens, she suffered with comparison and an inferiority complex toward her peers. We thank God that she was encouraged by her fellow homeschooled friends to overcome. She developed a good group of friends to walk alongside her in our homeschool journey.

She was motivated to finish her studies and to get the necessary qualifications to get a job after graduation. Nowadays she spends her days as one of management staff in a private hospital in urban Tokyo, along with her husband who is a salesman.

Homeschoolers in Japan continue to work to help more parents see the benefits of this form of education. We expect someday that home education will be regarded as an alternative choice for all families, and not reserved only for special cases.

Haruto Yoshii is Director of the Association of HomeSchoolers in Christ, a homeschool support group in Japan.

 Other Resources

Learn more by visiting HSLDA’s Japan page.