One of the most difficult things I have to deal with as a father to a mixed Japanese and English child is helping or encouraging them with homework.
From the age of six Japanese primary school children get flooded with homework and by the end of the first year it intensifies with kanji drills and a mad rush to catch up as at least two months of study time was spent practicing for sports days.
Now as I never had homework in primary school I don’t have the experience or knowledge of buckling down and getting homework done in time and to a standard that is expected of a six year old.
With my child he spends hours going through what should take 30 minutes and most of the time he daydreams. I always put it down to him being six years old (now seven) and that he will grow out of it and do his homework correctly.
But my wife is very strict and really ridicules him if he takes too long or daydreams. She will erase a whole page of kanji if it is written very poorly or make him learn math cards off by heart that most of the time he is still sitting at his desk when I come in from work which is late.
I used to say she was too hard on him but she said he has to pull his socks up or he will be placed in an afterschool club for children who don’t do their classwork or homework correctly and these classes can run from 3pm to 5pm in the afternoon.
The problem is he has to drill these kanji characters and math exercises very quickly that his seven year old brain just wants to explore and enjoy life but we have to be hard on him or he will fail!