Japanese Children and Homework

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!


3 thoughts on “Japanese Children and Homework

  1. Yeah my boy is the same.. it takes time but they need to do it.
    at least your boy went to day care so his spoken Japanese will be very good and he can understand. (maybe). my boy only did 2 years of kindergarten so he can speak enough Japanese (kids style) but because he’s spoken English mainly out side of school there are lots of words he doesn’t know so remembering Kanji is hard because he hasn’t even got the words to associate with.. Maybe your boy is in the same boat!?
    yeah I’m not as strick as my Japanese wife is because I know as a foreigner learning Japanese it’s hard.


    1. Thanks Cameron for the comment.

      Well he gets it but as you said he was lucky to be in an environment of spoken Japanese, plus Erina speaks Japanese to them all when I’m not there as you know.

      It’s his lack of attention that is holding him back and his excuses he makes for why his doesn’t do his homework correctly. For example he would say that he has to play his 3DS first as his mind would be racing and he wouldn’t be able to concentrate and when he gets in from school his too tired to straight way get on with homework so he wants to watch TV or read one of his comic books.

      All down to attention span and I believe, hope, he will grow out of it but I was one who also hated homework when I was younger so perhaps it runs in the genes.


      1. He will my boy is in his second year now and hes finally getting the hang of doing his home work, of course we have to be on top of it all the time reminding him to do his home work but it’s gotten easier.
        Sorry about the slow reply i didn’t see the comments until i logged back into this site.


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