Shimajiro and Benesse’s distance learning program for kids

Self Taught Japanese

For those of us raising a child bilingual Japanese/English child, it can be difficult to find appropriate teaching materials, especially if you live outside of an area with a large Japanese population like California and New York. Fortunately, these are a few excellent distance learning (通信教育)programs designed for young learners in mind. Benesse’s “Child Challenge” (こどもちゃれんじ) program is one which I highly recommend, not only because it can be shipped to the US, but also because of the comprehensive materials included. (You can see my previous post on raising bilingual child here.)

This program has a series of programs, one for each year between age 1 and 6. The only one I have personal experience with is the first level (プチ, or “little”). My comments will be focused mainly that level, but I’m sure the quality of the program is same throughout.

This series features “Shimajiro”, a cute, lovable…

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