A couple of weeks ago, I was chatting with my friend, who also happens to be a therapist, about how hard it’s been to find ways to connect with my tweens and teens. I couldn’t quite put my finger on why, because if you’re like me, you’ve seen them a whole lot more than you ever have over the last year and a half, so it feels like you should be connecting with them.

But in her infinite experience, she explained what I, and probably many parents are feeling: because we’re oversaturated in quantity time, we’re not actually getting that quality time.

And that’s where our sponsor The Great Courses Plus and our We Time Project comes in. As much as we’re feeling the need to connect with people outside of our home (ah friends, remember them?), we really need to have those moments with the people in our homes too.

They’ve got over 13,000 courses that you can stream from any device, whether your teen is interested in the culinary arts or psychology or learning a language or pretty much anything in between. And because The Great Courses Plus is offering a free month trial, you get access to all of these, for free!

Understanding Japan: The Great Courses Plus | sponsor

Over the past couple of months, we’ve taken a gardening course, and a memory course. But this month, we’re trying Understanding Japan, which my two little Japanophiles are super excited about. If you’ve got kids like mine who love animé and manga and all things Japan, this is such a cool way to connect with them over it. And let’s be honest, a trip to Japan is probably not in the cards anytime soon, so this is the  next best thing.

I hope you’ll join me, Quinlan (my 16-year old) and Bridget (my 10-year old) for this course. It’s free with your The Great Courses Plus free trial. Yay! Grab some Pocky and a couple Ramune, and take a few minutes every day this week to learn a bit about Japanese culture and history. (And please be sure to reach out to me on social if you do; I’d love to hear from you and to connect our kids!).

Then, head over to our Facebook page on May 25 at 9pm ET for a Facebook Live with me and Bridget, where we’ll be talking about the class, what we learned, and why we love Japan so much! We’ll bring green tea candies!

We know how important shared experiences are with our own friends; it’s not surprise that shared experiences with our kids would help us connect and engage in a positive way. I’ve definitely got the engaging over the “please bring all the bowls in your room to the kitchen” way  down quite well. Whether you take this course with us, or decide on something else, I hope you find some joy in those quality moments with your kids.

Top photo: My Japan-loving teen in Japan.