Best Japanese Homeschool Curriculum with Japanese From Zero!

As we headed into grade 7 I gave my son the option as to what homeschool foreign language he wanted to follow. To my surprise, he was insistent on learning Japanese! Carry on reading for the best Japanese homeschool curriculum from Japanese from Zero!

Japanese is the third hardest language in the world to learn, only Mandarin and Arabic are harder. So you can imagine my surprise when my son decided that he wanted to spend the next 4 years studying it.

In our home we only speak English, we can not speak any other language, and we live in South Florida. So you would think that Spanish would have been the language of choice. But no, he was determined to continue along the path of Japanese.

As we homeschool I didn’t want to say no, as that is one of the main reasons we homeschool. So after a lot of research, I found that there was only one way to study Japanese. With George Trombley from Japanese from Zero!

I am also going to share some other helpful Japanese resources we have found that we also use. This is the best homeschool foreign language curriculum for learning Japanese.

Japanese Homeschool Curriculum from Japanese from Zero!

**There may be affiliate links in this post. You can read my full disclosure at the bottom of the page.**

If you are looking for even more homeschool curriculum reviews check out all of the others we have reviewed over the years.

Best homeschool Japanese curriculum

Finding a good (and affordable) Japanese language curriculum was hard. I didn’t want to spend thousands on it, and more importantly, I didn’t want it to be boring.

So I did a lot of research and we found Japanese from Zero! My son uses the workbooks and the YouTube channel.

If your child also wants to learn Japanese I will share the other resources that we have come across before I give a detailed review of Japanese from Zero.

Japanese from Zero!

The Japanese curriculum we use is Japanese from zero! My son uses the workbooks and the YouTube channel. Carry on reading for our Japanese from Zero review.

Japanese from zero youtube

We also use some of these below as supplements to this homeschool curriculum.


We only use Duolingo as a supplement to Japanese from Zero to break it up a little.


It should come as no shock that Outschool has lots of Japanese classes, as they have classes in everything! We haven’t taken these yet, but my son will when he is a little more confident in the language.

Check out my Outschool review to see what other classes we enjoy.


Lingopie works slightly differently.

You watch TV in Japanese with subtitles and binge-watch your way to fluency. We used this when my son was younger when my son tried to learn Spanish, check out our Lingopie review.

As you listen to native Japanese speakers this is something we will start probably after the first year of study.

Japanese picture dictionary

This Japanese picture dictionary is the one we use as another supplement for Japanese from Zero.

japanese picture dictionary


On a Friday my son watches One Punch Man in Japanese with the subtitles on.

There are multiple shows on Netflix and other streaming platforms I am sure.

This is now something he looks forward to, and last Friday he managed to pick up a few sentences without the subtitles. Which was awesome.

watching anime in Japanese

Japanese from Zero review

If your child is wanting to learn to speak Japanese we both highly recommend Japanese from zero!

It teaches the 3 Japanese writing systems: hiragana (to spell Japanese words), katakana (to spell foreign words), and kanji (to represent entire words or names.)

This of course is self-paced. Which to be honest is nearly always our preferred option.

My son spends an hour a day Monday – Thursday with Japanese from zero! and the Friday he will watch anime in Japanese.

japanese from zero workbooks

The first thing my son commented on was the fact that George Trombley is hilarious! I am not sure if he would have continued with the YouTube videos if he didn’t like the tutor. He finds the stories he tells funny and apparently he is very likable.

The Japanese from zero! workbook has 5 pre lessons that go into the basics and how to speak naturally. Then there are 13 lessons.

Within each lesson, you will learn:

  • new hiragana,
  • new phrases,
  • grammar,
  • Q&A Japanese to English,
  • Q&A English to Japanese
  • writing practice
  • every day words
  • matching
  • translations
  • drill. If you can’t understand these phrases it will recommend reviewing the lesson.
  • sentence building.
japanese from zero review

My son tends to spend 4 days doing one lesson from the workbook along with the YouTube videos. He will also do Duolingo probably every other day as well. The Friday he will watch anime in Japanese with subtitles.

He is currently about halfway through the first book, and although is finding it difficult, he is enjoying it. Our plan is to do Japanese 1 for the first year, Japanese 2 for the second, etc.

So if he finishes book 1 prior to spending a full year on it (which he will!) he will go straight back to the beginning and do it all again! Not because I am a mean homeschool mom, but because I want him to be confident in the language.

We plan on going to Japan in a couple of years so hopefully, my son can be our tour guide!

Can I use Japanese as high school credit for homeschool?

Yes, but as Japanese from zero! is not an accredited curriculum he will have to take an AP test.

As my son started his foreign language credit for high school in grade 7, he will continue for the next 5 years with Japanese from Zero until he graduates.

The reason he will have to do so much is this is not an accredited course, and therefore to have it listed as a foreign language he will probably have to take an advanced placement test.

To be honest the whole reason for using this Japanese curriculum is so my son can speak Japanese at the end of it. Not just to complete a requirement for high school!

If you are looking for a Japanese homeschool curriculum that actually teaches you to speak Japanese. Japanese from zero! is the curriculum for you.

You will also enjoy learning about the continent of Asia with our free Asia continent worksheets.

Last Updated on 15 July 2024 by Clare Brown

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