Browsing Tag


It’s Finally Here! Summer Release of Part 2

August 22, 2023

The dragonflies circling above and the slight yellowing of the rice fields signal that summer’s end is drawing close. Meanwhile, in Japan many students begin Term 2 of the school year, and some of their international counterparts start the first semester.

As the summer heat gives way and the “best” beach days become numbered, now is the perfect time to help your preschool-aged child jump into language immersion that is simple, fun, and play-based!

Children living outside of Japan can be given the tools to fluency in a second language by enjoying a Japanese language experience like no other, filled with hundreds of links to Japanese children’s songs, picture-book recommendations, art projects, crafts, physical activities, and more.

Children living in Japan can have the opportunity to benefit from a program that is the only one if its kind – a one year home education program that enables English speaking parents or caregivers to teach hiragana (the Japanese phonetic alphabet) with a schedule that is simple and easy to follow.

For more about our one year program and the Part 2 release, read below!

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Special Summer Sale!

August 18, 2023

Hiragana at Home, Part 2, is on track to release very soon!! 

Hiragana at Home is a one year home education program for learning hiragana (the Japanese language) using a downloadable PDF schedule that includes a variety of fun resources and activities. It is preschool-level, but can be adapted for older children as well. 

Whether you live outside of Japan and desire to immerse your young child in a second language, or live in Japan and want a home education alternative to preschool and learning hiragana (the Japanese phonetic “alphabet”), Hiragana at Home is a fun play-based option that builds language skills and fluency through a variety of multi-sensory resources and ideas.

This second installment of the Hiragana at Home program will feature 160 additional song links, as well as an extensive seasonal and theme-inspired booklist, and lots of new activities! 

If you have already purchased our 3-part program, you can expect the Part 2 digital file resources to appear in your Gumroad downloads soon!

If you have not yet purchased our program, you will have an opportunity for a special discount during our summer “back-to-school” sale! Whether you prefer to start school from the spring as is traditional in Japan, or in the autumn, our program is designed to be used at any time of the year!

From today through August 22nd, 2023 at 11:59pm (Japan time), you can visit our product page (see here) and use the code: TERM2 to receive 10$ off of our 50$ program. 

The price includes Part 1 (already released), Part 2 (scheduled to release next week!), and Part 3 (releasing at the end of this year).

To learn more about our program, see here. To purchase Hiragana at Home, click here

Coming Soon: Hiragana at Home!!

February 8, 2023

I’ve been keeping a secret!!

We are excited to announce the upcoming release of a brand-new home education resource:

Hiragana at Home!

As a mother living in Japan and a second-language speaker of Japanese, I longed for a home education resource for exposing young children to Japanese language in a way that was gentle, simple, play-based, and not time-consuming or filled with busy work.

Home-educating a bilingual child should not mean that their language skills have to suffer!

However, there are few home-education resources available for people who desire to teach the Japanese language to young children (including overseas), and little support is available to families in Japan who decide not to enroll their child in preschool.

Eventually, I realized that if I wanted a home education program for our family that met my expectations, as well as would allow our children to thrive without losing out on their language development, I would have to make it myself – and so, I did!

**Note: this post was updated on March 24th, 2023, to reflect updates regarding the spring 2023 release!!**

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Purchasing an Akiya in Japan

September 3, 2022

Photo: sunflower fields in Saiyo, Hyogo

It has now been a little over 2 months since we moved into our new residence!

Our “new” fixer-upper home located in rural Hyogo, Japan, was an akiya, a Japanese word used for homes that have been unoccupied or abandoned for some years.

In the past, Japanese houses were thought to have a “lifetime” that could be used up.

Older houses often fall into disrepair after their owners pass away and younger generations choose to remain in the city (resulting in over 8 million unoccupied houses in Japan!!), and newer houses, similar to housing boom suburbs in the U.S., frequently have weaker building standards than traditional houses and are often not built to last.

However, while newer homes and apartments are still generally preferred by consumers, reforming old houses is gradually becoming more popular in Japan.

There are many reasons to buy an akiya instead of a newer home!

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We Are Moving!

May 12, 2022

We are moving!!

This meaningful update has been in the works for a while, and a process full of hopeful anticipation and prayer.

We are so excited to finally share the news!!

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Creating a Routine That Works

February 6, 2020

Those who know me well know that I like “doing all the things”, maintaining a healthy life, being organized, and making the most out of time.

Since Masashi and I run our own business, finding a balance between work and home is absolutely essential! We want to create and maintain a home culture based on our values and beliefs – and we believe that with the right amount of planning, any family can choose to do this!

The way we do this is through creating a routine that works.

Do you desire to create a routine that will keep your home organized? If so, let’s get started!

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Cost of Housing in Japan

January 5, 2020

I’ve heard it said that Japan is a very expensive place to live.. and while that may be true compared to low-cost countries such as Thailand, living in Japan does not have to be overwhelmingly expensive! It really depends on where you live, your lifestyle, effective budgeting, and your line of work.

Perhaps you are planning on moving overseas, or simply wonder how much it costs to live abroad.

While we feel that living in the countryside is one of the best housing options, Masashi and I have both experienced a variety of living conditions in Japan. You can read about our experiences and the pros and cons of different accommodations below.

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December 24, 2019

Hello there! My name is Hannah, and The Haruna Home is a site for sharing about our international family, what it’s like to live overseas as an immigrant, and country life in rural Japan.

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