Translation:My parents are from Tokyo.
From what i've learned, pretty sure about it now, is that hiragana and katakana (mostly hiragana i think, not 100% sure about that one) is how elementary schools teach japanese to children. Then as you grow up you will be learning full hiragana, katana and some basic kanjis ( like 800 or so till you reach what? high school?, not sure about that either). The thing is: kanji is how real grown japanese people write and therefore should know how to read. You could write hiragana and most people won't have any trouble when reading but its childish. Besides, most books are written in kanji. As you may have noticed, hiragana is used for particles or to complete some kanji. It also gives japanese writing some sort of spacing in between, particles use hiragana: kanji-particle-kanji,hiragana-particle... and that helps a lot when it comes to reading. What elsee.... it also has been demonstrated that reading using kanji can be 20 times faster, than reading using roman alphabet. They say chinese, japanese (who ever uses ideogram people see images and not just words, so they get faster ideas of whats going on. This is too long, so resuming: Difference? u dont use just hiragana in real life. Why kanji and hiragana? basically for a cleaner writing. Jaa ne!
All three are used in regular Japanese writing. Katakana is often used for words borrowed from other languages, hiragana is used for particles and words that don't have kanji or words whose kanji are not often used. For example, こんにちは、私の名前はエレノアです。 こんにちは=hiragana, 私=kanji, の=hiragana, 名前=kanji, は=hiragana, エレノア=katakana, です=hiragana. All three alphabets are used in the same sentence. It is true that people learn kanji throughout their whole lives, and young children are taught hiragana and katakana first.
A lot of Japanese words have similar pronunciation but different meanings. If we write them in hiragana they would look the same and would be pronounced the same. Then, it would be difficult to differenciate between the meanings of such similar words. That's where Kanji comes. Each Kanji has it's own unique meaning(s) and so we can know the meaning of the word in which it is used more precisely. It's easier to depend on Kanji which are all unique than always depending on context. Try writing and reading only using hiragana and you will know someday what I mean. Hope this helps.
For the love of all that's holy add some kanji here, my eyes are bleeding... If you've just introduced 私 (which is used so often it'd be hammered in by now if you introduced it) and 東京 (because it's plastered everywhere if someone has any contact with Japanese media, so a lot of people would know it anyway) It would be more readable. Why can't you teach Kanji alongside the words you introduce? Or at least make that an option?
What you perceive as breaking in the middle of the word is probably their doubling of consonants or vowels, and yes it's normal in Japanese. 東京 is pronounced とうきょう .. That is, you have the "o" sound that is part of the syllable "to" (と) and then that o sound is prolonged -- or "doubled" if you will, by the う. The same thing happens with the second syllable, kyo, (きょ) where the o is again shown to be extended by the う. We have this doubling in English across words, but we don't have words themselves that mean one thing with a single sound and another thing with a long vowel or consonant sound, but this also exists in some other languages besides Japanese. It's just something we have to get used to, just as the Japanese have to get used to the fact that row and low are different words, since they don't make the l/r distinction in their language.. Good luck!
The small っ is not exactly a pause (although it works that way if you are doubling a "stop" such as g, t, etc. For an "s" or "sh" you pronounce it longer. The っ is used to double the following consonant, so that (theoretically) you pronounce it twice as long. Pay attention to the g sound when you say "Big one" as opposed to "big game." We don't say big -- game, we say something more like biggame.
The respectful prefixes ご/お are usually used for others' relatives. If you speak about your own relative to a third person, you should use words without these prefixes. A Japanese usually belittles everything (and everyone) related to himself and shows esteem to everything related to another person. The word 親 (おや) may mean one parent as well as both of them (depending on the context). The word 両親 (りょうしん) always means "both(両) parents".