Quite a few people asked me. So thought I’d share here how I get my children prepared for university in 2 to 3 years after their PSLE. I’m just a mum who does not want my children to go through the sad Singapore system (PSLE is enough). If this helps you, I am glad.
What I did was to select a Diploma course for my children when they finished their PSLE. Singapore’s Maths does give a good foundation to the children, so I make sure they learn that properly. In addition, my children do not go for tuition or anything throughout their Primary school years, but they read very widely. I don’t train them but I read to them alot, 4 of them started reading very early (at 4), my last child read later as I had very little time to read to him.
I am strongly against tuition because I believe that it kills the love of learning for most kids. Besides, tired kids cannot think and cannot excel. Done my research, all geniuses, from Einstein to Mozart, to Leonardo da vinci do not get ‘monitored’ 24/7. They are allowed to roam freely and learn at will. Most of them have only a notebook to keep their observations and learn from themselves. I believe in that.
Do your own bit of research…. how many kids who excel at PSLE top their "A" levels or in their uni? Safely, less than 1%. Don’t burn them out at such a young age.
With the love for reading and a good foundation for Maths, they are able to cope with very rigorous reading required at High School Diploma level.
After the PSLE, I give them these books to study (by now, they are very excited to start – as they see it a key to escape the choking system they are in). The course is modular, so they earn the credits as they finish each module. As they finish a module, I give them the next, I don’t really monitor and let them finish at their own pace. They then take the exams. I choose an online program so that I know when they have finished the module and pass them the next topic. Again, I don’t tutor. The self-learning skills they acquired through their primary school years without tuition and their passion I believe in instilling comes into work here.
My daughter, who ‘eats books’, finished the course in 1 year. My son took 2 years. Really depends on the propensity of the child.
After the recognized HSD, they can then sit for the SAT, all universities take that for admissions, including Singapore universities.
Key is, don’t push the child, let him/her develop the love for learning. That way, they actually go through the process faster… And, for my 2 children who finished, they actually thanked me for it, and did not detest it at all.
If you plan to hot house your child, forget it. He/She will probably be better off in the local system where everyone is hot housed anyway. Poor kids have a lot to handle already so don’t force them onto anything. To us, university is a way to pursue what you love earlier (I honestly don’t understand all the "basic" that we teach till "A" levels and then throw them all out later, basic should just be basic, then we allow our children pursue their dreams) – just my philosophy.
I did not have to opt out of the sec education. My children stayed in their schools and guay guay followed the school syllables. They did their HS studies only during holidays, or when they felt like it (remember, it is modular), when they were accepted by the universities, I simply enrol them in the university and then quit school. The RI headmaster was very nice, he promised to take my son back if uni does not work out. Again, he is a friend, but he has already stepped down! No more back up for my son in case he does not like uni!
My son actually likes uni a lot more than secondary school. He finds the autonomy and challenges in thinking fun. Just that his classmates are all so old…. His thinking also become soooo old. We keep him sane and connected through his sports and church.
Hope this helps you run from this system and still give your child a head start.