HOME SCHOOLING / INTERNATIONAL
Japan
Japan

March 9, 2011

Former HSLDA Staff Attorney Guest Speaker at Japanese Homeschool Conference

Homeschoolers are a tiny minority in Japan, but their numbers are almost sure to increase.
Homeschoolers are a tiny minority in Japan, but their numbers are almost sure to increase.

By Scott Somerville

In mid-November 2010, several hundred families gathered at CHEA Japan’s annual homeschool retreat in the Japanese Alps. Scott and Marcia Somerville flew to Japan to encourage and inspire these Christian parents, who are willing to do whatever it takes to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Scott and Marcia Somerville
Scott and Marcia Somerville

Homeschoolers are a tiny minority in Japan. Most Japanese homeschoolers are Christians, but Christians make up less than 1% of the population, and many of those are elderly people converted shortly after World War II. Some churches actively encourage homeschooling while others oppose the practice. As a result, homeschooling has grown fairly slowly in Japan.

Homeschooling is growing however, and will probably continue to do so, because Japan’s public schools are in crisis. Japanese citizens of all faiths have concerns about the educational “reforms” of the past 20 years, which appear to have eroded their traditions of respect for teachers and obedience to authority. Japanese parents fear the violence and bullying in the schools, while many students simply refuse to go to school.

Homeschooling offers Japanese parents an effective education that preserves the best of Japanese culture and tradition. The government’s educational experiments have shaken this nation of 180 million people, but the public school problems don’t hurt homeschoolers. Japan’s educational troubles have opened the door for courageous and godly families to share a different way of life with their neighbors.

To discover more about Scott and Marcia Somerville, please visit Tapestry of Grace.

 Other Resources

Learn more by visiting HSLDA’s Japan page.