Japanese parents take education very seriously. Students do not always attend their neighborhood schools. They try to go to the best schools with the best reputations. They take written tests to compete for positions in the good schools.
In school, Japanese children must all learn the same material at the same level. They do not work at their own pace. Some children find this difficult since every child learns at a different speed. Students work long and hard every day and on the weekends because they get a huge amount of homework. There is a large competition among the students to get into the top high schools.
The school year in Japan begins on April 1 and ends on March 31. The students have so much homework they study throughout summer vacation. The subjects taught in a Japanese school are: reading, math, music, physical education, and art. They go on many field trips as part of the social studies and science curriculum. Most students also have after school activities such as; piano, dancing, violin, etc… The students also help keep the clean school. It is part of their job as a student.
Japanese mothers make sure their children keep up with their schoolwork. Some moms take classes so they can help their children with their homework. When the students are ill, some mothers take their place in class. During final exam time, mothers stand on line for hours to register them for exams so the students do not have to give up studying time. In Japan, mothers are affectionately known as "education moms."