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

Giveaway Announcement!!

April 14, 2023

Special giveaway announcement!!

The Spring Release Sale of Hiragana at Home has ended..

But, if you missed the sale and would still like to get our preschool-level home education language program at a reduced price, you might have an opportunity to get it for free!!

We have partnered with the blogger Hiragana Mama, and are offering one person the complete Hiragana at Home program (a one year program with a 50$ value) for free!! If you are interested in entering the giveaway, please head over to her blog at the link below!

Enter the Giveaway at Hiragana Mama’s Post, here!

Or, to purchase the full Hiragana at Home program right now, click here!

Hiragana at Home: Spring Release Update!

March 24, 2023

In our last post, we introduced a home education language-learning resource called Hiragana at Home.

You can read the introduction post here (which has been updated with some of the new information featured in this follow-up post), and additional details on the program and its 2023 spring release below.

What Is Hiragana at Home?

Hiragana at Home is a home education resource designed to expose preschool-aged children to the Japanese language in a way that is gentle, simple, and play-based. It can be used with children whether they live in Japan or elsewhere, and whether or not their parents are native speakers of the Japanese language.

The program features a detailed daily schedule of language-learning activities and ideas, and is offered in a digital file “pdf” format that can be downloaded and printed from home.

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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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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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Keeping Warm in Rural Japan

January 23, 2022

When I tell people that it snows in Japan, they are often surprised! They seem to imagine that Japan is a warm, tropical island locale full of bamboo and monkeys.

In reality, Japan is geographically diverse, and has four distinct seasons and a multitude of climates. The scenery varies widely, from pristine beaches and fields of lavender to crowded cityscapes and deep forestbamboo and monkeys included!

For example, the area where we live in Hyogo has been said to resemble Germany or Switzerland. The mountains are covered with towering evergreens that are blanketed with snow for much of the winter season.

Yet, unlike 90% of Swiss residential areas, homes in Japan do not normally have central heating, and the walls can be thin and lack insulation. This is perfect for allowing wooden beams to breathe naturally, and has many benefits including decreasing damage during earthquakes, as well as increasing air flow and reducing mold during Japan’s humid summers. However, it can make for some very, very chilly winters indoors!

To learn more about just how cold it gets during the winters in Japan and the traditional (and not so traditional) ways to keep warm in a rural home without central heating, read on!

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Overseas Travel With An Infant

January 13, 2022

Overseas travel looks NOTHING like it did a few years ago. My husband and I are both seasoned travelers, having been to a combined total of more than 10 countries.

However due to the continually changing travel guidelines, under the pandemic that has stretched on for over 2 years, overseas travel has become a completely new experience.

There are still long queues, longer flights, and an array of pre-flight preparations to consider. Add to this extra regulations, unbelievable layovers, and the wildly unexpected, and you have today’s travel experience.

While single or married this might present its challenges, but add to the mix an infant, and everything has the potential to become just a little more overwhelming!

While traveling overseas with a baby does require more careful planning, it is manageable if you are willing to be flexible (and can deal with the possibility of temporary sleep deprivation – which most parents of infants are experts at already!).

Our most recent travels overseas took over 20.5 hours of flights and layovers from Japan to the U.S., and over 34.5 hours on return (that is not counting driving to and from the airports both ways!).

Based on our overseas travel experience, here are our tips for traveling with an infant overseas.

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Baby Stations & Breastfeeding in Japan

June 9, 2021

Our son Jamie is EBF, which means exclusively breastfed.

Although you might not see a lot of people breastfeed publicly in Japan, many public spaces are supportive of breastfeeding. The building where we grocery shop includes a breastfeeding area on the third floor, which can be easily accessed via elevator.

I have taken advantage of a few of these public “baby stations”, and they are very convenient!!

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Upstairs Bathroom Remodel

January 13, 2021

One thing that I have become passionate about during the last few years is interior design and decor.

I had the opportunity to work on several renovation / interior design projects for our business locations (which I will hopefully get to posting about at some point!), and now that those are completed, I’ve turned my creative energy toward redecorating and redesigning our home.

In this post, I will be sharing about one of the smaller projects I tackled, which was the tiny upstairs bathroom! This was a neat project because so many bathrooms in Japan are really just a closet-like space with a toilet. Making such a compact space look fresh was a lot of fun!

But first, a little background about our home..

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