Make your own free website on

Steps to Creating My Website Project

(completed 11/19/99)


Step 1:  Planning

I will make a site for the non-profit group, Koala Bunko, located in Tokyo, Japan. The objective of the site is two-fold:  to provide information on Koala Bunko – it’s mission, organization, and activities – and to serve as a general resource on raising English-literate children in Japan.

  The site is intended to be a resource guide for parents of English-speaking children who attend public elementary school in Japan. There are basically two types of children who fit this category: native English speakers who have at least one parent who speaks English as their first language; and Japanese returnee students who have lived in an English-speaking country, received some formal education there, and have returned to Japan.

Site elements will include:

Home Page with description of  goals for this site, and a “Who We Are” summary including membership profile, mission, organization, contact information.

Links to:           

             What We Do at Meetings: library check-out, book reports, reading table, Q&A table, story time,   games, snacks/free play)

            Members’ Work Published Here!

           Studying English at Home: homeschool materials, Buying English Books, Internet pages

           Other Resources: international schools (summer, winter programs, sources for tutors), School Support Services, English Edventure, Association for Speech Therapists in Japan, Musashino Educational Center for Returnees and Foreigners, Bi-lingual Japan Association and newsletter

Step 2: Research

I searched for other websites for  volunteer or non-profit organizations, and by far, the most advanced web designs were in North America, in English. I could not find any sites with a similar goal in North America nor in Japan. There were, however, plenty of specialty groups catering to a need in the community. Here is a partial list of these websites:

Sites with Appealing Layout/Design

Arizona Parents Anonymous While the theme here is to prevent child abuse, this group does offer programs to the public, ask for volunteers, and give resource links. I particularly like the buttons for emailing them, and the idea of having a page of testimonials. I also like the way a one-sentence description of who they are is used in large print at the tope of the page, surrounded by logos.

ABC’s of Parenting is an inviting page, using cheery, friendly colors near the top of the page, and for labeled buttons. Text is also mainly in blue, which is easily read, and lighter in touch. It contains a variety of links for parenting issues. I particularly liked the idea of Discussion Boards and Chat, and would like to learn more about this for inclusion in my site.

Ocean State Online groups/litnor/  is a university website with a page for volunteer opportunities. They handled coming into the site from a page other than the home page well, using a colorful logo of their home site, clear labeling of category entered, nice graphic, and home button. This site has a link to calendar of events, other interesting sites, volunteer opportunities.

United Way Volunteer Center  has a very eye-catching homepage. It uses a series of statements or questions from a hypothetical visitor in about 16 pt. teal futura bold print, and a very small 8 pt. “More…” in purple to entice the viewer to learn more. It’s a very effective, very simple page.

The EdWeb K-12 Resource Guide This site had good content. The use of color was not very pleasing or eye-catching, but the information was organized clearly.

Sites that Annoyed

I only ran into one site that was annoying: Kidlink http://kidlink/org/index.html. There were far too many links – practically a link every third word. Organization was so poor, I only found by accident the information I was seeking. Each page had another slew of connecting pages,  seemingly endless at the time.

I was also annoyed by pages that took forever to load, search engine listings that made no sense whatsoever, and pages that were no longer available.

Step 3: Collect related web resources and media

Searched for internet pages on homeschooling and parenting, and found news groups, mailing lists, web discussion boards, chat channels, and web pages. Sites such as Jon’s Homeschool Resource Page have them all.

Step 4: Create an Outline of your website

I shared the draft structure below with the Koala Bunko group, and with others to receive permission and solicit information.


November 10, 1999

HOME PAGE            “Who We Are”

                                    Mission & Organization

            Contact Info

Join On-line Discussion


What We do at Meetings/ and Special Programs: library check-out, book reports, reading table, Q&A table, story time, games, snacks/free play (photos: Koala’s library, children reading or talking)

Members Work Published Here!

Samples of pages written by children. Begin with assembled sheets from ICBA Annual Meeting. Scan pages in to keep handwriting and drawings.

Studying English at Home

Homeschool materials – Textbooks

Finding an outside tutor

Where to Find English Children’s Books

Internet On-line Ordering

Library Website

Int’l Schools Book Fairs and Flea Markets

Retail Stores in Tokyo 

Internet pages  (list address, short description)

Jon’s Homeschool Resource Page

Carol Hurst’s Children’s Literature Site

ABC’s of Parenting

Organizations to Know:

International schools: (list names, address/tel., programs)

Summer/ winter programs                                   

Girl Scouts/ Boy Scouts

Recommendations to outside professionals  (counselling, evaluation)

School Support Services at CAJ

English Edventure

Association for Speech Therapists in Japan

Musashino Educational Center for Returnees and Foreigners

Bi-lingual Japan Association and newsletter

Organization for Foreign Wives of Japanese

Step 5: Prepare Content

Status: Ongoing

Step 6: Compose HTML content

Status: Completed basic website which includes several graphics downloaded from the internet. Composed page titles on the internet.

Step 7:  Test Your Site

Status: Was able to preview in Explorer, but not Netscape.

Step 8:  Obtain Server Space for Site

Status: Have not done. (I would appreciate more information on how to do this!) ( Note: This was later accomplished, as you can see.)