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Part2 Educational Reform Q&A
Q7: Sometimes I do not know the best way to raise my children.I live apart from my own parents and there are no local people whom I can ask for advice.What support is there for parents like me?

A:The Ministry of Education,Science,Sports and Culture(MESSC)produces and distributes the Home Education Handbook,Home Education Notebook and videos and has set up a counseling system offering24-hour advice for parents.

The Home Education Handbook and theHome Education Notebook

The Home Education Handbook is a pamphlet for expectant and nursing mothers and parents of infants which explains home education for in-fants using cartoons and illustrations.It is the same size as the Mother and Baby Health Hand-book(A6 size).In cooperation with the Ministry of Health and Welfare,MESSC distributes the Home Education Handbook to all parents of children in the relevant age group on one of the four following occasions:(1)when the Maternal and Child Health Handbook is given out;(2)at the18month health checkup;(3)at the3year health checkup;and(4)at the elementary school entry health checkup.

The Home Education Handbook,Home Education Notebook and Home Education Videos

The Home Education Notebook is a pamphlet of the same size that explains home education for elementary and lower secondary school age children using cartoons and illustrations.MESSC has distributed it to all households with elementary and lower secondary school age children through elementary and lower secon-dary schools and schools for the blind,the deaf and the otherwise disabled.At the end of these pamphlets,there is an information page for each prefecture which provides information on parenting and discipline,advisory services and youth associations.These pamphlets are also available for sale(200yen/copy excluding tax).They can be pur-chased at government publications service cen-ters and official gazette sales outlets or ordered through local bookstores.

Home Education Video

MESSC has produced the Home Education Video which covers three important home edu-cation themes:(1)participation by fathers;(2)discipline;and(3)relaxed and calm parenting,with about15minutes devoted to each topic.Copies have been distributed to prefectural and municipal boards of education nationwide.In addition to being shown at infant bealth checkups and other occasions,the videos can be borrowed from the department in charge of Home Education at your local municipal board of education for viewing at PTA and parenting group study meetings.

24-hour Home Education Telephone Coun-seling(Parenting Hotline)

It is essential that parents with concerns or inse-curities about child rearing are able to receive counseling services after they have finished their daily housework or job,or even at midnight in cases where they become unsettled.Therefore,MESSC is working to extend the operating hours of the current telephone counseling service to24-hours a day in order to respond to inquities from parents.In addition,MESSC is working to extend and strengthen the use of Home Education coun-selors with qualifications in clinical psychology and medicine in the counseling system for par-ents with especially serious concerns and anxie-ties.For details,contact the department in charge of Home Education at your local board of edu-cation.


MESSC is taking a variety of steps to support home education.These include the holding of mobile home education advice clinics with home education telephone counselors and university instructors in local public halls,the establish-ment of contact places for parc5nts in local public halls and kindergartens,and the promotion of networking among parents bringing up children.

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