Nihongo for the Homeschool

300px-Naruto_newshotIf your child has developed an interest in Manga/Anime, then you might want to consider adding a study of Japanese (Nihongo) to the learning line-up.

Finally, you can put that Naruto crush to good use!

Or may01be it’s Hamtaro that they’re obsessed with. Either way, it’s an especially good language choice for those visual learners due to its pictorial nature.

And best of all, there are lots of FREE resources available on the web so you don’t have to worry about busting the budget.

genkijA good place to start is with the free videos at GenkiJapan [you will have to scroll all they way to the bottom, then look under “Learn Japanese with Songs”]. Warning: these are songs are highly addictive. I once caught myself singing the number song at a corporate training workshop.

Don’t bother with purchasing their pdf downloads. You can get tons of free printables at Hiragana Mama. She has practice sheets for Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji.  Or you might try the Aiuebu site that she recommends for learning/practicing Hiragana.

ScreenshotIt was through her blog that I first found out about the Ready Steady NihonGo! Language project. This is a very well-done, 10 week course for children that is 100% FREE, complete with lesson plans, flashcards and a catchy presentation.

cat_grimm You will want to visit E-Douwa for some online children’s books, and KanKomie for books with audio as well as text.

bg_container_headErin’s Challenge is another good site for videos and lessons (best for older students).  Sometimes, I do not quite like her attitude, but it’s a well-done set of materials from the Japanese Foundation and worth some time.

learn-japanese-sunday2YesJapan has a slew of free resources as well. More content is available with registration, and I whole-heartedly recommend their accompanying course books. I like this program much better than most of the others on the market.

maggie-sensei-profile-avatAlso visit Japanese in Anime & Manga for fun vocabulary and games drawn for the art.  Maggie Sensei is also a hoot with its cute lessons from an adorable dog. [Not too cutesy to be off-putting to boys, however.]

More learning supplements are available at AjALT (Association for Japanese Language Teaching).

momoAnd if you’re willing to shell out a few dollars, consider purchasing the Momo’s Learning Japanese app. It packs a punch for just $2.99.

slimeforestAlso, think about forking over $5/$10 for Slime Forest Adventure. This is a role-playing game that will yield surprising results. Boys love it! And will learn without argument.

I have also heard good things about My Japanese Coach for Nintendo DS, but have never been willing to part with my $70.

gradedreadersI think the Japanese Graded Readers series is a much better investment. Some will want to purchase the Japanese in Mangaland books as well.  No personal experience with these, but they look fabulous.

And that should keep you busy for awhile.

Happy learning, ninjas!!!

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Yet to Come—————————-> More on the VSL