Classes for kids who reject public education

There is a growing number of children in Japan who refuse to attend school. There are various reasons for it, bullying, inability to keep up with their peers, verbal and physical abuse by a very few teachers. The results range from underachievement to suicide.

Yesterday I went and talked with a volunteer group, “Kodomo no Ibasho,” or “*A Kid’s Place to Be,” (*my translation). They wanted me to do some English langauge classes for their junior and senior high school aged kids.

I volunteered to organize some gatherings twice a month at first. I’m not sure how successful I will be, and I’m not sure what the kids think. Our first gathering will be to find out what the kids’ goals are, and where their interests lie. My plan is that whatever their goals might be, we will learn through music, art, cooking, and outdoor activities. I will avoid text books and written printed material when possible.

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