Public School or Home School?

Sachie Inoue
Sugano Middle School

I want to go to high school. Maybe youfll think, g Whatfs so special about that?h but for me this is special. This is because I didnft go to school so much.

Have you ever heard about home schooling? It is to study at home. When I was nine years old, my whole family started home schooling. It was because my brothers who were normally happy were becoming withdrawn. My father heard from their teachers that they were having a lonely life in school. After much thinking, he decided to teach us at home. At that time, I was still small and didnft understand so much what my brothers were going through. So I just went with the flow. There was a time that I went to school, but something happened that made me very sad. And after that I really didnft want to have anything to do with school.

You may think that doing home schooling is much more lonely than going to public school, but in my case itfs not. We had several home schooling friends we could play and study with. At home school, besides studying, we were also involved with volunteer works such as visiting elderly people and taking care of small children. I also had a lot of opportunities to meet foreigners of several nationalities. I think all these were an important education, and I had been very happy with it.

However this spring, something in me started to change. I thought that going to high school would be a gonce in a lifetimeh experience. If I miss it, I wouldnft have another chance. Ifll have almost no gschool experienceh in my life. At high school I might be able to make new friends, enjoy club activities, and find out what I want to do in my future.

With these motivations, I decided to start going to school again. And then, through the 1st semester, I found a lot of things that were good for me. At school there are things that you have to do even if you donft want to. For example, with home schooling, you donft really need to draw, unless you like drawing. But I had to draw in art class, even though I didnft like to. And in doing so, I found the joy of drawing. Also for me writing drafts for this speech was very difficult. I really dislike writing sentences, much less paragraphs. But I had to do it for this speech contest, and I have learned a lot about writing while working on it. Public school has given me many opportunities to widen my possibilities.

Now Ifm very thankful for public school and home school as well. I especially thank my father and my mother for teaching me and encouraging me even through my hard days. And for now, I have chosen to take school education. I decided to forget what happened in the past. At that time, I didnft have the motivation to go, but now I do. And Ifm determined to go forward. I may face difficulties, or similar negative experiences. But Ifm not going to let that stop me. Ifm going to get over any challenges with a smile on my face.

(1-26 Speech in 62nd Contest, 2010)

(C)JNSA FUND/the Yomiuri Shimbun

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