My husband reads the newspaper (Yomiuru Shinbun) every day.  That’s his daily routine–read the newspaper, then make breakfast.  (While I do “Mama Obama English Time” with our son.)

Anyway, we have also been subscribing to the elementary school version of the newspaper in Japanese.  (Yomiuri Kodomo Shinbun)  It is meant for our son–but I am the one who ends up reading it.  It has been great for Japanese practice.  I can highlight and write on it, plus I take it to my Japanese classes and discuss it with my teachers.

However, recently my husband suggested that we take the junior high paper instead of the elementary school paper.  I talked to the newspaper lady, and she gave me a sample.

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The above photo is a little confusing.  It is actually two different newspapers–the elementary school one on left, junior high on right.  The elementary school articles are simpler and the kanji has furigana. The junior high articles are more complex and don’t contain furigana.

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The above photo is entirely the junior high paper.

So anyway, I tried reading a junior high article….and it is difficult.  It has no furigana, and there are a lot of kanji that I can not read.

I brought them both to my Japanese classes and both my teachers think I should stay with the elementary school paper.  One teacher said, “After you pass N2, you can take the jhs newspaper.”

So it is a difficult decision.  My husband thinks I should challenge myself.

By the way, I have been looking more at the NHK news.  The easy news is not a good fit for me.  It’s too easy.  Way too easy.  So I have been going to the original news and listening to that while reading the article.  The problem is that they don’t always print it word for word, so that’s a bit of a pain.  It’s meant for Japanese people, not for learners like me.  (I wish NHK would print it word for word.)

Nevertheless, the NHK site is a nice (and completely free!  Don’t we all like free things!) way to learn current events in Japanese.


I told the newspaper lady that I wanted to stick with the elementary school newspaper for now.  I just don’t think I’m ready for the jhs one.  There’s still a lot of vocabulary I can learn from the elementary school one, plus kanji if I cover the furigana with my finger.

I REALLY wish my son would read the newspaper.  He has no desire.  It can’t be because it is not role modeled for him, because he sees me and DH read the newspaper.  It can’t be because it is too hard for him, because the elementary school paper has furigana.  He just has no interest.

Although when I was a kid, I never read the paper either–only the comics and Dear Abby.  So like mother, like son?