Online Community for Homeschooling Families | About Ghost School

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What’s “Ghost School”?

“Ghost School” is the first online school in Japan specifically designed for homeschoolers and is operated by our association.

The community is operated using an online service called Discord, and participation and use are generally free of charge.

However, there are some services, such as “Project Participation,” “Online Class Participation,” and “Report Production Support,” that may incur fees. (The use of paid services is entirely optional.)

Additionally, participation by learners alone is not allowed, and we kindly request participation under the account of a parent or guardian with their consent.

Please refer to this gallery for the contents of the brochure.

About homeschooler’s

In Japan, homeschooling refers to a learning style where students, typically from 1st grade of elementary school to 9th grade of junior high school, do not attend school regularly and instead focus on their studies primarily at home, covering the compulsory education curriculum.

Specifically, within HoSA, learners who are homeschooled through the compulsory education curriculum are defined as “homeschoolers.”

Ghost School is open to homeschoolers and their parents who can communicate in Japanese, and anyone, regardless of their location (whether in Japan or abroad), can participate.


Background of the foundation

2021年以降、コロナパンデミックの影響を受け加速する不登校の増加、また、リモートワークならぬ、リモートスタディへの関心の高まりを受け、「ホームスクール有識者による、ホームスクーラーのためのコミュニティが欲しい!」「子どもたちの居場所、保護者のトピックごとの相談場所が欲しい!」などの声から、同協会理事の佐々木 貴広を中心に、各地域の不登校事業に携わるオピニオンリーダーや有志の保護者で運営をスタートしました。

In 2021 and beyond, the increase in truancy accelerated by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the growing interest in remote study, led to voices such as “We want a community for homeschoolers led by homeschooling experts!” and “We need a place for children and topic-specific discussions for parents!” These voices led to the initiative, with Takahiro Sasaki, a director of the same association, at the center, along with opinion leaders and dedicated parents involved in truancy projects in various regions.

Since its launch in October 2022, the user base has steadily increased, and in July 2023, it officially established its operating structure as a community project of the NPO Japan Homeschool Support Association (NPO Japan Homeschool Support Association).

Background of the name

The name “Ghost School,” when directly translated, means a school without a physical presence or an ethereal school.

The origin of this term is linked to the concept of “ghost restaurants,” which are next-generation restaurant business models that have gained global recognition due to the evolution of online communication. In a similar vein, “Ghost School” represents a modern approach to education that is not tied to physical locations, offering a unique and innovative way of learning for students and families.

“Ghost restaurants,” also known as “virtual restaurants,” are businesses that operate without physical storefronts and primarily rely on online orders and delivery services to provide their offerings. This model allows customers to enjoy traditional dining experiences from the comfort of their homes, without the need to dine in at a restaurant. It has become widely popular, and various segments of the food service industry have been entering this market to meet the growing demand for online food delivery and takeout options.

There is a community (service) that is not found in schools.

Traditional education has been characterized by physical environments such as blackboards, designated textbooks, pencils, and teachers. However, in the personalized learning that homeschoolers aim for, these elements are not necessarily the optimal solution.

There are families who, in order to support learning that looks ahead 20 years and aligns with their children’s interests and inherent characteristics, are beginning to define the entire society around them as a learning resource.

With the proliferation of remote study, as opposed to remote work, educational organizations will increasingly move towards online and virtual platforms. Homeschoolers, who have been adept at online learning for a long time, are naturally expected to establish and take the lead in this new style of learning for the future.

In Ghost School, the main focus is on the children. Children take the lead in planning, and adults are there to assist. This environment, where children have the opportunity to take charge, can indeed be seen as something new and innovative.

Seems like it’s there, but it’s not. Seems like it’s not there, but it is.

Indeed, that’s the origin of the name “Ghost School.”

The slightly unconventional naming is meant to pique children’s curiosity and make them think, “What’s that!?” It’s a part of the name that our staff really likes.

The main activities are conducted through “club activities” and “project based.”

Currently, Ghost School has various club activities, including gaming communities like the “Minecraft Club,” as well as clubs such as the “Cooking Club,” “Art Club,” “Music Club,” “Philosophy Club,” and “Literature Club,” among others.。

In these communities, homeschoolers choose and participate in club activities that align with their interests.

Adults serve as facilitators in these club activities, and communication takes place through text chat and voice chat, allowing participants to interact and engage in the activities.

There are different types of activities, including collaborative projects where participants plan events together or create significant works collectively, and individual projects where each participant creates their own work to showcase.

Most of the activities are free to participate in, but for some that involve costs like materials or other expenses, there might be a request for advance registration within the community.

How to Join Ghost School

The participation process for Ghost School involves several steps.

  1. You need to create a Discord account (this is an external communication app unrelated to HoSA).
  2. Attend the “GS Participation Orientation” held on the first Saturday of every month.
  3. Once you provide your consent to participate, you will officially enroll (join).

Details, including school orientation information, are regularly posted on our social media channels, so please refer to them for updates.

Please feel free to ask any questions or send messages through our social media channels.

We are looking forward to hearing from you through various platforms such as X (formerly Twitter), LINE Open Chat, Instagram, Facebook, and more.

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