Review: Japan Unit Study for High Schoolers

Want to add Japanese history, culture, and geography to your homeschool plans for high school? This online Japan Unit Study for teens can help.

My teen has been pretty immersed in popular culture in Japan for several years. Between his love for all things Nintendo (like, down to their business model), J-Pop, Studio Ghibli, anime, and manga, something rooted in Japanese culture shows up in a conversation in our home nearly every day. That’s especially true now that I’ve got a middle schooler sharing the same interests. 

Want to add Japanese history, culture, and geography to your homeschool plans for high school? This online Japan Unit Study for teens can help.

Looking back, I can also see there have been Japanese threads woven into his interests since he was a kiddo. From Pokemon to the samurai code to van Gogh’s Japan-inspired prints, he’s been sharing thoughts centered around Japan for as long as I can remember. 

(This is a sponsored post and I received free access to this course for review. You can read this disclosure to learn more, but know that all opinions are my own and I was not asked to write a positive review. This post also contains affiliate links.)

All that to say, he’s done plenty of his own research about Japan and we’ve covered Japan here and there as it came up in our history and literature units through the years, but we’ve never intentionally included a Japan Unit Study or something similar in our homeschool lineup. 

That’s where this Study of Japan for teens comes into the picture. My high school senior had a great experience learning more about Japan’s history, geography, economics, and culture through this course and I’m excited to tell you about it. 

Japan Study for High Schoolers: a Course on Japanese History, Geography, Economy, and Culture 

Before I share about my takeaways from the course, here’s an overview of the Study of Japan for Teens from Literary Adventures for Kids. 

Overview: Japan Study for High School

This online study consists of eleven units, but the course itself takes about a full school year to complete. With this in mind, it is the equivalent to a full credit of high school history or social studies.

Each unit follows the same general flow and framework and includes weekly reading, vocabulary focus, timeline notations, and follow-up questions. Along with these weekly components, other readings, writing assignments, and mapping assignments are woven in to round out the units. 

This Japan Unit Study incorporates Japanese history, economics, culture, and geography.

Also worth noting, the course uses a nice combination of books, videos, and internet links to facilitate learning. This mix is especially nice because it keeps things fresh and increases engagement. 

On that note, my teen has specifically talked about how much he likes the mix of books used for the course. They are as follows: 

Tales from Japan is one of the primary texts used for this Japan Study for Teens.
  • The Japanese Mind by Roger J. Davies (My teen LOVES the essays in this one!)
  • Japan and the Shackles of the Past by R. Taggart Murphy
  • A Geek in Japan by Hector Garcia
  • Tales of Japan: Traditional Stories of Monsters and Magic edited by Chronicle Books

Japan and the Shackles of the Past is the spine and covers most of the historical content of the course, but A Geek in Japan and Tales of Japan speak to the cultural elements covered. Finally, The Japanese Mind, my son’s favorite read from the course, introduces perspective and philosophy to the units. 

The Japanese Mind is one of the primary texts used for this Japan Unit Study for High Schoolers.

And finally, the course includes scheduling suggestions for easy homeschool planning. Then again, the course is also flexible, so you can take or leave the recommended flow and work it into your plans however needed. 

Related: How to Teach High School Language Arts Through Banned Books

Why add this Japan Unit Study to your homeschool lineup?

Now that you’re more familiar with this online Japan unit study, I’m excited to share what makes it a great addition to a high school lineup for homeschoolers. Here’s why you should consider it for your student:

Thorough and Engaging

It would be easy to provide a course that hits the quick and easy facts about Japan or one that focuses on Japan’s history alone.

Because this study encompasses cultural elements, geography, and economic elements as well, students get a fuller understanding of Japan’s past and present. And from there, students can understand how the past and present are likely to influence Japan’s future. 

No Prep Needed

Beyond purchasing the books needed and ensuring your teen has a notebook, there’s very little preparation needed.

A Geek in Japan is one of the primary texts used for this Japan Study.

It includes an answer key for parents, a recommended schedule with printables for tracking, and lots of information on what to expect through the course.

What’s more, there’s plenty of help for finishing strong with the course. It ends with a celebration and final project. The celebration ideas include Japanese recipes, activities, and decorations, so no extensive planning needed to pull them off. 

The Final Project

Speaking of wrapping up the course, I appreciate so much that this course incorporates a final project at the end. In particular, I love that there’s guidance for a research paper. Papers like this are a significant part of college life, so it’s nice for college-bound students to practice with no major stakes involved.

For what it’s worth, the research paper can pull double duty if needed. My teen submitted this as the writing sample for a required college application.

The Japan Study for High School concludes with a final project. This can be a research paper, presentation, or other deep-dive into a topic covered in the course.

With or without college plans, though, this final project provides students with an opportunity to further their learning about Japan and strengthen their writing chops while documenting the course overall. 

If your teen isn’t feeling a big research paper, no worries. There are other recommendations for the final project that incorporate a variety of skills and interests. In place of the paper, students can make an authentic Japanese meal, summarize the course through short form video, or complete a literature analysis. Regardless of what is chosen, all options are great ways to help students extend their learning and think through what they’ve learned. 

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE Japan Study for Teens

Ready to learn more about the Japan Study for teens? You can head to the Literary Adventures for Kids site to learn more and preview some of this course.

Preview the Japan Study Here!

Want to take a peek at the Japan Unit Study? You can learn more and preview some lessons through the link below. 

You’ll also want to check out all of their amazing high school offerings. There, you’ll find book club options, poetry courses, unit studies, and planning resources to help you homeschool in the upper grades. 

If you’ve been connected with us for any amount of time, you’ve likely heard about lots of these courses and resources. Even so, I’d be remiss if I didn’t highlight some of my favorites: 

  • Psychology for High School – My teen also LOVED this psychology course. Perhaps more importantly, you can enjoy this one for *FREE* as a Literary Adventures for Kids subscriber.
  • A Poem a Day course (for all ages) – Exactly what it sounds like, this is an easy way to include poetry in your daily homeschool rhythms.
  • Poetry and a Movie – This deep dive into poetry is a great way to engage teens. My teen worked through it a few years ago and loved how it combined poetry and film in a surprisingly natural way.
  • The Middle School Best Sellers bundle – My tweenager and I LOVED all of these literature units. The book options were stellar and the studies themselves were super engaging. 
  • Enchantment Planner – This is a great resource for homeschoolers who are inspired by Charlotte Mason’s thoughts on education but get a little lost in the weeds due to the rigidity often associated with it. 
Want to add Japanese history, culture, and geography to your homeschool plans for high school? This online Japan Study for teens can help.

In closing, this Japan Study for Teens is a fantastic way to explore Japan’s history and culture. It provides a comprehensive view of Japan’s history, geography, culture, and other elements, but does so through an engaging mix of books and video elements. At the same time, it helps students strengthen and exercise valuable writing and study skills they’ll use for years to come.