TLC for Kids Japanese Class

Let’s learn Japanese
through song!

The following families have chosen our products.

  • I want my child to be able to communicate with grandparents in Japanese.
  • I want children to learn while having fun.
  • I want my children to learn hiragana and kanji. 
  • I want to learn from professionals in teaching children.
  • I want my child to be able to read Japanese books. 
  • I want my children to learn pronunciation systematically from the basics.
  • I want to take high quality lessons even online. 

6 Reasons Why TLC for Kids


Chosen by Japanese-American families

We also recommend this service for Japanese Americans who want their children to communicate with their grandparents in Japanese. We have received testimonials about how helping grandchildren with their Japanese homework has strengthened family bonds.


Small group of 2~4 people

The ability to express and empathize in Japanese with the teacher and students (2-4 people) who are participating together will be enhanced.In addition, the ability to communicate effectively will be developed.


Stimulate the five senses and learn in an engrossing way

Using original flashcards and songs, children can develop reading and writing skills while stimulating their five senses and having fun. The picture cards (flashcards) that correspond to the songs enhance comprehension, stimulate imagination, and foster flexible thinking skills.


Bilingual support

Initial inquiries and educational consultation are handled by our Japanese-English speaking staff, who can discuss the content of TLC classes and homework assignments in detail. In addition, educational consultation is free of charge and unlimited for members. You can consult with us anytime about anything you are concerned about at any time.


21 years of teaching experience, over 5,000 students in total.

The founder, Toru Funatsu, is a professional who has been involved in the education of over 5,000 children (of all nationalities) in Hawaii, Los Angeles, and Shanghai over the past 22 years. The carefully programmed curriculum is designed to provide children with fun, result-oriented programs that give them a sense of accomplishment and motivation to continue learning.
Authored books: World Standard Child Rearing: How to Raise World Standard Self-esteem, etc.


Our alumni are global!

TLC graduates have gone on to Harvard, Yale, Brown, the University of Pennsylvania, and other top universities around the world; including the world’s most prestigious Ivy League schools, and are active globally. The most recent acceptances include, to the University of Tokyo and Yale in 2020, and Yale in 2021.

You will learn the following skills at TLC!

T is for Thinking Skills

The ability to think is necessary to create one’s own life.
At TLC, we nurture the ability to think, and we nurture children who can realize their dreams.

L is Language Skills

TLC’s Japanese language curriculum will help you develop your Japanese language skills to an academic level in a short period of time. Students will develop the ability to read and write Japanese and express themselves in Japanese.

C is Communication Skills

As the future demands the ability to communicate and collaborate smoothly with people from all over the world with diverse backgrounds, TLC for Kids incorporates skills such as singing and drama into its lessons to foster global standard communication skills.

Testimonials from Parents 

I am also glad that I found TLC for Kids early on.

My daughter started attending Japanese classes at TLC for Kids at the age of 1 year and 6 months. At the time, she was barely speaking, so the only “Japanese” work I did was reading to her once a week in class and once a day at home from the homework printouts, just as I did with picture books. By the time she was three and a half years old, when she was able to speak well, she was able to read both hiragana and katakana, and began reading picture books on her own. What surprised me was that she could also read “~ha” and “~he” in sentences. Now that she is 4 years old, she enjoys writing letters to her grandparents in Japan. I am also glad that I found TLC for Kids early on, as she was able to develop an interest in letters in a playful way at a young age and learn them without any difficulty. F.M.

(4 years old, Japanese & English class)

He can easily read Hiragana!

I have been enrolling my son in TLC for Kids since he was 4 years old. I had raised my son in an English-only environment, so he started with very little understanding of Japanese. But after six months, he has improved to the point where he can easily read Hiragana. He is now able to read hiragana with ease. His Japanese vocabulary is also increasing with the songs and flashcards he learns in the lessons. In addition, they are learning many things at TLC for Kids that cannot be taught at home, such as math and memory training. Recently, he has shown interest in Japanese culture in addition to the language, and I feel the value of the knowledge and experience he has gained from TLC for Kids over the past few months. I hope that he will continue to learn Japanese well at TLC for Kids and be able to communicate with his grandparents who live in Japan through conversations and letters. M.S.

(5 years old, Japanese class)

3 Steps to join a trial lesson

Hearing of current situation

Apply for the trial lesson participation form. Our staff will reply to you shortly. We will ask you about your child’s background, family structure, history of Japanese language study, and schools attended, in addition to simple classifications such as age and grade. We will introduce you to the most suitable class and have you participate in a trial lesson.

Participate in trial lesson

Internet environment and a computer (tablet, laptop, or desktop is recommended for learning effectiveness. Please do not use a smartphone to participate.) TLC lessons will be conducted using the zoom facility. Please make sure your camera and microphone are turned on and off.(For onlone class)

Proposal of the best class

During the class, the teacher will casually assess your child’s level of proficiency in a natural way. After the trial lesson, the classroom manager will suggest the best class and direction for your child. You will also have the opportunity to make arrangements for the day and time of the class. After you sign up, we will discuss and decide on the specifics of how to do your child’s homework.

Classes and Tuition

Recommended classes will be suggested by the Japanese teacher and educational counselor after the trial lesson.

Admission fee $100 (first time only)

Japanese class


160 USD (4 sessions/month), 45 minutes per session
for in-person/online

  • Starting Japanese language study for the first time
  • Ages 3 to 7 years old
  • Learning Hiragana sounds (Aiueo) from now on


160 USD(4 sessions/month), 45 minutes per session
for in-person/online

  • Can recognize hiragana sounds (aiueo)
  • Will learn katakana sounds from now on
  • Can read some words that kids know


160 USD (4 sessions/month), 45 minutes per session
for in-person/online

  • Can read 3~5 letter words at first sight
  • Can learn hiragana and katakana in one step
  • Can understand at least 500 living words

Private Classes / Japanese Language School Homework Assistance

876 USD (package of 12 sessions) 60 minutes per session 
for in-person/online

(Example) 4 times a month x 3 months course standard

We offer tailor-made lessons according to your child’s level of proficiency and needs, such as homework support for Japanese language school, etc. We can provide one-on-one lessons that are tailored to your child’s progress and personality.

The best class for you will be determined by our educational counselor after you apply for a trial lesson.

Further included in the tuition fee

We are ready to cooperate not only during lessons, but also at home to create a Japanese learning environment and support home study. With support from both sides of the family and TLC, your child’s Japanese language skills will soar!

1. Monthly curriculum song viewing

Streaming materials (repeatable) and video materials that can be listened to and played at home are available every month exclusively for students. The songs change each month, so you can enjoy them month after month. By watching the videos at home or playing them while driving in the car, children will naturally learn the phrases.

2. Monthly homework worksheets

After enrollment, we will customize the content and amount of TLC homework to fit your child’s lifestyle. The content of homework assignments is designed so that children can enjoy working on it without getting bored, so they can learn to work on it independently and develop their independence. We also provide consultation regarding changes in content and quantity.


In addition to worksheet homework, we will provide reading sheets. We start with content based on your child’s level. In addition to practicing at home, children will be checked on their reading within TLC classes, and if they pass the test, they will move on to the next level. Through this approach, children will be able to read Japanese passages with ease before long.

4.Monthly Education Column

This is a monthly educational column by TLC founder Mr. Toru Funatsu. The content of the column covers not only language education, but also school life, sports and art lessons, and much more. Please share this column with mothers, fathers, and others involved in your daily child-rearing activities, and use it as a tool to confirm the direction of your child-rearing efforts.

5.Consultation with an educational counselor (unlimited in principle)

Once enrolled, all staff members share information about your child’s progress and proficiency level. We also offer specific counseling and advice on how to help your child adjust to school.


How old is my child to attend online classes?

For children whose first language is English, we recommend Japanese classes from 3~4 years old. Please contact us for more information as there are individual differences.

I’m not sure if my child can stay focused online.

Group lessons are 45 minutes long. We have been studying the effective teaching methods of distance learning since 2020, and we are committed to making sure that our online lessons are as effective as in-person lessons. We are making every effort to ensure that you feel the same learning effect in online lessons as you do in face-to-face lessons.

Do you have homework?

Yes, we do. We have an original worksheet designed to strengthen your child’s Reading Fluency. The worksheets are designed in a spiral, step-by-step manner so that your child can steadily acquire skills while building confidence that he or she can do it! The worksheets are designed to help your child steadily acquire skills while building confidence in his or her ability to read.

Can I make up for an inconvenient day?

Yes, it is possible. However, please be sure to let us know by email at least 30 minutes before the class starts. Please note that an unexcused absence will be considered a missed lesson.

Is it possible to make up a day missed due to sudden illness?

Yes, it is possible. We ask that you contact us by email at least 30 minutes before the class starts. Please note that an absence without notification will be considered a missed lesson. For details, we will explain the terms and conditions when you enter the school.

How do you accept payment? Credit card?

Yes, we will use the credit card payment function called Square, which has been introduced by many restaurants. We will handle the payment by monthly automatic debit.

I live in the United States. Which should I have my child learn, Japanese or English?

It depends on the child’s age, language ability, and future residency plans. Generally, children of permanent residents in the U.S. are given priority in Japanese, while children of expatriate families and other short-term residents are given priority in English. If you attend a trial lesson, our counselor will advise you on the class that best suits your child’s needs.

Bilingual parenting can cause a variety of problems if the order in which the language is nurtured is not correct. It is extremely important to have a clear language development plan in order to raise your child to be an excellent bilingual. Please contact TLC for Kids if you have any questions or concerns about bilingual parenting.

I am concerned that my 3 year old will sit still in an online class.

Ideally, students should be able to sit for 20-30 minutes during the online lesson. However, it is rare for a 3~4 year old to be able to sit quietly for the entire lesson, so don’t worry. We do our best to keep children occupied during the lesson, but there are many children who cannot sit still. Parents worry that this may bother the teacher, but in most cases, after 2~3 months, the child will be able to sit calmly. They are learning in their own way how to conduct the class. In order for children to be able to sit down and work online, it is important to create study habits at home as well. In particular, reading picture books to children is an effective way to nurture their listening skills and language. Make sure to read a picture book to your child every day, and after 5 or 10 minutes of concentrated listening to your mother’s story, your child will be able to sit calmly in online classes.

I hear the homework is hard…

The main purpose of homework is to develop study habits. The success or failure of the homework is of secondary importance. If students do the assigned tasks steadily and diligently every day, they will develop a study habit and acquire the ability to learn by themselves. Without exception, children who succeed academically are those who have developed the ability to learn and study on their own. Note that if parents complain about mistakes on handouts, children will lose their motivation to learn. Please limit the amount of time spent on handouts to 20 minutes a day at most. The key to making children do well is not to leave them to do it alone, but to have a parent accompany them. If the child is not doing well or does not understand, provide support such as prompting with hints. It is not a good idea to let your child work on the worksheets for a long time; TLC for Kids worksheets are designed to be repeated, so it is okay if your child does not do the work at the time. The important thing is to acknowledge “good job” when the child completes a work. Children’s “desire to learn” grows when they are praised by their parents. When a child completes a work, give him or her a big hug and say, “Wow, you did a great job!

Do parents also need support during online lessons?

Children who are in the late 3-4 year old class or just starting to learn often need close parental support, while children who are over 4 years old or who have been taking lessons for 2~3 months and have become accustomed to the lessons can proceed with the class on their own without parental support. After 4 years old or after 2~3 months, children who are used to lessons can proceed with the class by themselves without parental support.

What level of Japanese can I reach?

TLC for Kids’ song classes are designed to help students acquire the level of reading skills required in the second and third grades of elementary school in Japan. Reading and writing in Japanese is important to improve Japanese language skills, and TLC for Kids teaches reading and writing with a program that we have developed ourselves. It is important to establish rudimentary reading and writing skills as quickly as possible.

I plan to live in the U.S. permanently. Does my child need to learn Japanese?

Even in families permanently residing in the U.S., if the mother’s native language (the mother’s most natural language) is Japanese, the principle is to treat the child in Japanese. The process of passing on the mother’s language to the child is not only related to the child’s language development, but also to cultural identity and human development. Note that many children who enter school age with an underdeveloped mother tongue will have difficulty in acquiring learning English skills.

How old do the students have to be to attend classes?

TLC’s singing classes (Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced) are designed for toddlers through age 7, with Reading Fluency classes available for children over 7. As a general guideline, children up to junior high school age can enroll in this class. The age of graduation from TLC varies depending on the age of entry and the child’s academic ability. The earlier you start, the earlier you will reach your target level.

What level of Japanese is required?

The goal should be to learn to read and write at the 2~3 grade level of the local school. When children start attending local elementary schools, they will be occupied with homework and assignments. It is best to build a foundation of Japanese language skills while the child is as young as possible. Once they are able to read and write, they will be able to develop their Japanese language skills on their own through reading.

Both parents are English speakers. How can I teach my child Japanese?

If both parents are English speakers, use Japanese audio materials. Use audio materials, online materials, and other media for children. When children are young, it is not advisable to show them television for long periods of time, so create an environment that focuses on playing music CDs. Children have an excellent ability to acquire information in their environment, so take advantage of this.

What kind of teachers do you have for your online classes?

TLC for Kids is taught by native Japanese speaking teachers who are not only experienced in teaching children, but are also “professionals in teaching children,” including teachers who have experience in music and theater, and teachers who studied linguistics at university.

My child speaks Japanese, do I need lessons?

There are two types of language skills: living language skills and learning language skills. All children can naturally acquire life language skills if they attend preschool or kindergarten. On the other hand, “learning language skills” cannot be acquired without being taught. It takes 5 to 10 years to acquire “learning language skills. At TLC for Kids, we focus on learning language skills. If you want to give your child high academic ability, it is more important to help them acquire reading, reading comprehension, writing, and thinking skills than conversational skills.

How long is each class?

Each lesson basically lasts 45 minutes (this does not apply to private lessons). Within the 45 minutes, we use flashcards, reading, games, and other activities to keep the class moving at a brisk pace and to keep students from getting bored.

How many students are enrolled in an online class?

Considering the effect of children learning from each other, we use small groups of 2 to 4 students in our online group lessons.

Classroom Hours

In person class

3142 Pacific Coast Highway Suite201,
Torrance CA 90505 U.S.A

Online Class Time

Los Angeles San Jose
San Francisco Seattle, etc.


Online Class Time

Salt Lake City
Denver, etc.


Online Class Time

Chicago Oklahoma City
Dallas, Playno, etc.


Online Class Time

New York City Boston
New Jersey, etc.