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Comments on the Survey Report on Home Education from Early Childhood to First Grade of Elementary School

Research on Home Education from Early Childhood to First Grade of Elementary School
Overall Review by Takashi Muto

What is necessary at the start of elementary schooling? Acquiring hiragana/numeracy skills are surely important. However, learning how to read the Japanese hiragana syllabary, or being able to write your own name can be acquired relatively easily without much training through the current Japanese lifestyle. Enriching the vocabulary is essential for reading skills, which is cultivated through having picture books read aloud or communicating with adults.

Moreover, the results of this study show the importance of the attitudes of learning to learn. Attitudes and capabilities like being able to stay focused and make challenges or to be able to communicate with others are core necessities. The basis of learning in elementary school is composed of these attitudes, which are built upon self-sufficiency in daily habits, as the results have shown. These are all developed through both education at home and at kindergarten/day-care center.

Early childhood education starts from the children's stable emotion, which provokes motivation to focus on play, leading to the attitude to make challenges. This is made possible when each of the roles of kindergarten/day-care center and home environments are fulfilled.

Takashi Muto (Professor, Director of the Childhood Studies, Shiraume Gakuen University)

Overall Review by Kiyomi Akita

Through this study, the following three points became clear. Firstly, hiragana/numeracy/logical thinking skills increased as the children's age went up, acquiring the required abilities by (the two months prior to school entrance. Secondly, daily habits such as not being a picky eater or being able to put things away varied among individuals, revealing the existence of some who did not acquire the sufficient skills and habits. Thirdly, regarding attitudes of learning to learn such as not giving up easily when making challenges, or active listening to others, most parents of both K3 children and first graders felt that their children had not acquired them sufficiently.

Daily habits and attitudes of learning to learn are the very skills which need to be brought up at home during early childhood. In addition, since these skills and attitudes decline when there is a change in environment, children acquire these skills as they adapt to the new environment; flexibility and resiliency seem to be important factors.

This study has showed that parental involvement at home plays an important role to make smooth transitions from kindergarten/day-care center to elementary school.

Kiyomi Akita (Professor, Graduate School of Education, the University of Tokyo)

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