My Experience With Homeschooling

I read the discussions on homeschooling with great interest.Β  I homeschooled my son when he was K1 n K2 .

I have friends who homeschool their children and know enough of what the homeschooling community’s activities are like.

Why I want to Homeschool?

1. The schools have rigid, one size fits all curriculum. It is impossible to customise learning according to each child’s need, interest, potential and progress.

2. Learning in schools is very much geared towards passing tests and exams. There is no true learning as in the kids have no idea why they need to learn maths, English, MT and science other than to score in exams. I feel there is no link between what they are learning and the world they live in.

3. In primary schools, kids only learn 4 subjects and they are limited by the level they are in or they are forced to catch up to the level they are in. At home, if there is a topic the kid is struggling in, he can take a longer time to digest and understand. On the other hand, if there is a topic the kid is good at, he can just accelerate the learning time and move on.

4. The homeschoolers I know learn geography, history and literature at primary level through fun activities like songs, drawings, model makings. (Homeschooling community holds education fair where kids showcase their works) In my opinion, these kids do have more general knowledge than the regular pri sch kids of the same age.

5. The homeschoolers I know have passion for learning and love learning. Most are independent learners who never stop at textbooks.

Why I chose not to continue homeschooling my children?

Though I am confident to cover the 4 subjects at primary level, I do not have enough specialised knowledge to teach secondary school subjects. Hence, I will have to send my kids back to mainstream secondary school when the time comes but, regardless of the PSLE results, homeschoolers can only choose the secondary schools after the secondary posting exercise is done for mainstream students, whatever vacancy that is left will be offered. This is the condition that I have to accept if I want to continue to homeschool my children. I feel that I should not deprive my kids of the chance to study in the sec sch of their choice.

What do I do now?

I send my children to mainstream primary sch and try my best to instil the love for learning at home. I try to expose them to subjects that are not covered in sch eg geog, history n literature. I try not to put too much emphasis on test n exam results. I try to let them develop at their pace.

My girl is already in P3 this year and I am proud to say that she is in the best class in her school even as I try to do the above. My son is just starting P1 this year and I am keeping my fingers crossed that he will turn out as well as the sister.

 

Thanks for sharing

Thanks for sharing, mummy Lock. I wish you had been able to keep teaching your children in primary school, too. Really, primary education is not rocket science. Any reasonably educated parent will be able to do a good job. Sadly, the unfavourable rules here make it a difficult choice for parents. I wish it was possible to send kids to part-time school for specific subjects, and homeschool the rest.

Homeschooling won't work for PSLE

 If you see the statistics, homeschoolers never score in PSLE as they don’t have the competitive environment to study and their parents tends to lose focus in the main subjects as they thinks it is always good to introduce them with subjects like geography and history…. I would not say it is no good to learn more but ultimately the 4 main subjects is still the most important and critical for PSLE. I would suggest you homeschool your children till K2 and don’t go beyond that. I personally homeschool my son the whole year of K2. I excelled him to do Maths to P6 level and both languages to P2 level. He can do 30 sums of 2 digits X 2 digits in just 5 minutes. He is just 6 years old this year and will go P1 next year. I put in so much effort in teaching him… I don’t think I will continue homeschool him for primary level eventhough I think I can do a good job.

thanks for sharing

thanks for sharing

Thanks buds. Everything u

Thanks buds. Everything u mentioned is exactly my thots as well. ha

You are so right on the change in the kids’ learning attitude when they attend mainstream schools and u are also right that as long as we choose to put our kids back to mainstream, we just have to accept the whole package that comes with it. No point fighting against the norm, it is more productive to make use of the situation to your best advantage.

The truth is I hardly can do any ‘homeschooling’ stuff with my P3 girl now during sch days. Other than spending long hrs in sch, she still has to do hmwk, learn her spelling n tests. And I have to be realistic and get her to be exam smart as well and we all know that is largely thru doing numerous past yr papers and assessment bks.

Sch holidays will be the time we rekindle our homeschooling joys and throw the sch texts, exam papers, assessment bks behind us. That’s the best balance I can provide for my children now. πŸ™‚

I think...

Having been there and done that myself, i think what you think too.

And as educators, we know the safe level of maintaining the nature

of our homeschooling approach & also the standards of what’s norm

in the different academic levels of the structured school curriculum.

I never regretted the results, the time and the efforts of having home-

schooled for those moments i did. I can proudly say that those were

the best times my children ever had in getting to learn holistically at

their own pace and the learning came so naturally (not forced at all)

from within them and their hunger for knowledge was a motivation

that spurred me on. They don’t have issues about doing purposeful

work. They enjoy work and enjoy learning all on their own… asking

questions… going for our outdoor learning experience… learning

about other cultures, food and norms… from our family vacations

and not having to conform with normal school environment that does

not promote asking questions nor thinking outta the box… i can never

see the same joy as when they are placed in the norms of the education

here that we call schools. This is why i put forward my friend’s experience

to share that there has to be some balance to homeschooling so that the

children we care about will not get too much of a culture shock of the reality

of life out there. Especially when they are expected to join the rest in schools

eventually. Unless of course the children are privileged enough to go through

the entire growing years being homeschooled by us. That would be an entirely

different calling..

Dearest Lock, thank you for your time in making the effort to understand where

i am truly coming from… i do appreciate it.  From the bottom of my heart,

i wish you well always and hope for the time that we have at hand to introduce

the other stuff that school can never cover with our children, we can at least

rekindle that same bond we shared with our children when they were younger,

anticipating learning and never seem tired of it (the learning process).

Frankly, the minute the children are packed off to the school the learning

process becomes too standard, too dry and un-interesting. The excitement

and hunger towards wanting to explore learning doesn’t come naturally

anymore but instead it becomes a have-to (learn) situation. It is sad but

it is the effect of adhering to the norm.

 

 bÜds

Buds, u r right on the

Buds, u r right on the following points:

1. There is no perfect way.
We are all made differently, which by itself is a beauty. Hence, there is no perfect way of learning. Some parents cannot homeschool and some kids cannot be homeschooled, just like some kids adjust very well to the structured MOE sch system and some just don’t. And different phases of growing up and learning require different mths of teaching and environment. At every milestone, we have to assess and decide which learning mtds or environment is best for the kids at that point of their growth. What works for one may not work for others. So, ultimately, u got to know what is best for your kids. πŸ™‚

2. Homeschoolers are sheltered from the many different types of children out there.
In a way, buds is right. Homeschooling community is unregulated. There is no set curriculum or activities one has to adhere to. Hence, there will be some families who literally just homesch their kids within, with very little exposure to the outside social activities. Recognising this flaw, I made sure my kids attend various enrichments to buff up their social activities and also, like buds mentioned, to expose them to the various types of teachers out there.

To conclude (my opinion) to those who are homeschooling or intend to homesch:
When we choose to homesch our kids, we have to make sure that the kids also have a holistic education. Do not just focus on the academics (which is the easiest part), there are the aesthetic, physical and social aspects as well. Having said that, I dun mean that u try to cover every aspects on your own. Do not hesitate to engage outside help for areas u can’t provide for your kids.

That’s just wat I think. πŸ™‚

Different strokes for different folks, y'all...

My point is, whether the kids are homeschooled or not, bullying exists. And homeschooled kids are not necessarily protected and unable to defend themselves because they don’t go to school. In fact, it’s interesting in today’s ST, an article reports that research has shown 9 out of 10 kids have been bullied somewhat in school!

Once again, just to re-iterate… it’s a lil’ more sheltered. Not "protected" aiyaaah…

Sheltered from the many children who are out there. Not all homeschooling parents are involved in homeschooling communities. There are a few who just homeschool their own kids. Period. There are many different strokes for all the different folks hence there are too many scenarios/possiblities to list down. My friend just homeschooled her own kids for awhile, before letting them join in the rest out there. She is not involved in any community whatsoever. Only the mingling with other cousins from a relatively big extended families, neighbours and many playdates with other frenz.

Naturally, for homeschooled children parent(s) are around to observe, to monitor, to quickly point out the rights and the wrongs of behaviour, manners, of dangers.. (etc) unlike children out there. So naturally, children who are homeschooled tend to be better behaved as they are very fortunate to have adult supervision.

I have been on both sides of the fence. In fact, many sides of the different fences.. I have homeschooled… i have sent them to schools… and i have taught children who were homeschooled and who’ve been to schools as well… 

To each his own. Experiences wise and also in perspective sense. While my friends and i have good vibes and experiences with homeschooling, it does not mean that it’s all good and likewise it doesn’t mean that putting the children into schools after meant it was all that bad either. Both school of thoughts / ways have its merits and concerns. There is no such thing as a perfect way.

What has been cited / commented are just my end of the perspectives and my end of the experiences + sharings.. not judgmental against any school of thought whatsoever. Just to be more precise and not to be misunderstood. I’m no believer of one specific methodology that will work 100% cos there is none. Different children showcase the best of their abilities in different learning styles. Hence there are many schools now that promote the approach which so-called incorporates multiple intelligences… which sadly few of the kind actually have dedicated teachers to actually see to it that the children in their care do get it. Children learn best when they are given the opportunities to best expand their potential.

And remember that majority of kids go to preschools at very early age these days so I am curious why your friend has cited homeschooling as a probable cause her dd did not defend herself when bullied.

As mentioned in above comments, my friend homeschooled her children hence citing it as a probable cause. Her children DID NOT attend pre-schools at a VERY early age.

 

If u think this is the first time he has to face a bully due to the limited exposure cos I homeschool, then u are wrong. Last yr, he was the target of a bigger boy in his Aikido class. The bigger boy never failed to pick him as his sparring partner and wld be very rough with him, pulling him ard (when it is uncalled for) or pushing him real hard on the grd (also uncalled for). My son failed to make him stop and I had to intervene and speak to the teacher. This same boy tried once to disturb my girl and aft a stern telling off fr my girl, he never dared go near her again.

Aikido Class is… an enrichment activity and a good form of exercise as well. And here it presents itself as an example where this external programme outside of homeschooling hours; in the form of an Aikido Class does help provide exposure to children of different nature and upbringing and temperament;  apart from those he has the good privilege of being acquainted with within the homeschooling community / environment.

The comment was intended as simply this : Homeschooled children have "less exposure" to the many different children out there. Not at all implying that they are protected in any way.. Just less exposure. To the actual reality of the environment out there. That there are people who are nice and people who aren’t nice… there are teachers who aren’t nice too… people who do care… people who don’t care… teachers who speak well, are patient and endearing …. teachers who speak broken English, impatient and scream a lot…  There are children who use bad words or are manipulative… and / or teachers who do use not so encouraging words…. etc etc etc… Never intending to impose on anybody’s perspectives in any way… but simply sharing an honest point of view based on personal experiences.

This is after all an open forum and everyone has varied opinions, experiences and different lifestyles.

 

 bÜds

Adjusting to Primary Sch

I missed out on this point in my previous post.

The year before my kid enter P1, I wld talk to them about sch life, classroom size, routine, trs’ expectations etc. I am a MOE trained teacher and taught in govt-aided sch for 7 yrs before I become a SAHM, so I am very familiar with sch life and how trs conduct classes.

My girl did not face much problem adjusting to sch life other than she often came home feeling tired. I remembered she had to take a 3hrs nap everyday aft sch and still cld sleep at 9pm (kids’ bedtime) when she was in P1. Now she doesn’t need any naps and enjoys sch life, other than the tons of hmwks, tests n exams. Ha.

My boy just started P1 this yr. He is in the afternoon session and does not need to wake up too early and he is used to not having afternoon naps so he does not feel tired in sch as well. And maybe being a boy, he is more active? But he has problem with trs who talked very loudly or are extremely fierce. He is quite afraid that tr will scold him. Ha.

Yes, I did homeschool my

Yes, I did homeschool my boy all the way till K2. My children attended both long-term(1 yr or more) and ad-hoc(less than 1 week) enrichment classes. The long-term ones they attended were Chinese@EduPlus, gym@Chinese High, piano@Seimpi, swimming@public pool and Aikido@CC. Ad-hoc ones were drama lessons@Act One, Chess@CC, art classes@Art Loft.

Most of the enrichment classes aimed at getting my kids to socialise with other kids of their age and also to expose them to activities that I can’t carry out on my own at home. πŸ™‚

I am hopeless at Chinese and we do not speak the language at home, so other than doing flash cards and read storybooks (with HYPY) with them at home, I sent my kids for Chinese enrichment and hol progs organised by the centre.

I followed the MOE holiday schedule, ie, we did not have formal schooling during the hols. During those time, I wld sign them up for various hol progs like those from Act One and Art Loft. These lessons usually last between 3 days to 5 days abt 3hrs each day. I take the hol break to rejuvenate and plan/prepare lessons for the next term. My kids welcomed a break from the routine as well.

Now that both are in mainstream sch, we cut down on the lessons. Now, they only continue with Aikido and swimming. For piano, we go to a pte tutor’s place and Chinese, we have private tutor who come to my place. We also stopped all ad-hoc hol progs cos they spend so much time in school during sch days that it is really difficult to continue our homeschooling agenda. So I use the sch hols to do our CM activities and studies and most importantly to spend more time with my kids before they are off to sch again.

well said Lock : )

double post

well said Lock : )

Thanks for sharing your children’s experiences, Lock.

I am curious again, hee…did you homeschool your boy all through preschool?

Did he attend any enrichment classes then? How did he adjust to primary school?

I probably have lots to learn from you, appreciate all your generous sharing! Buds, I also enjoy your posts a lot, especially your Montessori methods which I use to homeschool my dd. I do appreciate it : )

Same mtds but different results

Hi buds and icemountain,

I have 2 children; a girl and a boy. I raise them in the same environment with similiar exposures and I taught both the same way how to handle bullies but the results were different due to their different temperament and personality.

My girl has a strong and stoic character. She is seldom bothered by her peers’ antics and can be quite aloof at times. When she entered P1, she had classmates who liked to call others names and of cos she was targeted. She dealt with the bullies by telling them straight in the face not to do that. She does have a very stern expression when she is serious. From then on, nobody bullies her anymore till now. She is in P3 now and I know she can stand up against bullies on her own. πŸ™‚

On the other hand, my son is like a new-age sensitive guy who is the emotional, feeling type. He started P1 2wks ago and told me there’s a boy in his class who used his water bottle to hit him a couple of times. The first time, the boy hit his chest lightly (almost like tapping). He told the boy not to do it. (I taught both Sis n him the same mtd of handling bullies) I know he won’t sound firm enough to make the bully stop due to his gentle mannerism n disposition. True enough, on another day, the boy hit him again, on his hand. And this time he didn’t tell the boy to stop, instead he went to tell his teacher. (step 2 of handling bully when step 1 fails). I know this boy will continue to harass my boy simply becos my boy did not stand up against him firm enough. This is something he has to continue to learn to achieve on his own, under my watchful eyes.

If u think this is the first time he has to face a bully due to the limited exposure cos I homeschool, then u are wrong. Last yr, he was the target of a bigger boy in his Aikido class. The bigger boy never failed to pick him as his sparring partner and wld be very rough with him, pulling him ard (when it is uncalled for) or pushing him real hard on the grd (also uncalled for). My son failed to make him stop and I had to intervene and speak to the teacher. This same boy tried once to disturb my girl and aft a stern telling off fr my girl, he never dared go near her again.

Hence, in my opinion, everyone gets bullied at some point in their lives, and how successful they are at handling bullies has got a lot to do with the kids’ personality. It is not so much whether the kids go to presch or are homeschool. πŸ™‚

I totally get it buds : )

Hi buds

I’m not sure which part of my post led you to think I am taking bullying lightly. If my post did give that impression, I apologise cos that’s definitely not what I’ve intended! I’ve already mentioned bullying exists, and it affects all people regardless of age and situations.

All I am saying is that, I believe different people react differently to bullying largely due to their temperaments. I am sorry to hear about what happened to your friend and your own child. I have friends whose kids have been bullied in schools and I do know the anguish they go through. For the matter, I was also a victim of bullying in primary school! And I did go to kindergarten.

My point is, whether the kids are homeschooled or not, bullying exists. And homeschooled kids are not necessarily protected and unable to defend themselves because they don’t go to school. In fact, it’s interesting in today’s ST, an article reports that research has shown 9 out of 10 kids have been bullied somewhat in school!

And remember that majority of kids go to preschools at very early age these days so I am curious why your friend has cited homeschooling as a probable cause her dd did not defend herself when bullied.

A real problem..

icemountain… bullying IS a real problem in the world out there. And not just in schools.. even in the adult world bullying exists. Bullying comes in various forms, physical bullying which one can see, emotional bullying (more subtle and not so blatantly telling)… just to only begin to name a few. Unless it happens to YOUR child you would never know how you feel when your child gets bullied. Yes, my friend may have been too hard on herself. Well, she is after all a parent honey.. You are blessed with a child who can stand up for herself automatically. This trait may not be something that can be trained. Like you said it cud be temperament for one… it could also be one with mildly nonchalant (nevermind i didn’t die so no need to fuss) kinda attitude… it could also be one who believes in not retaliating in kind cos it’s just not nice… it’s many many reasons. Bullying affects different children differently. The world out there is a matter of survival for big people and even the small ones we call our children. And being out there does pose more challenges for the small ones to learn from the environment and the experiences it brings. Having followed my friend to fetch her girl a coupla times, it was sad even as a close family friend to watch a girl so full of life and thirst to learn feeling so dejected over what people perceive as a weakness instead of a trait of nothing but goodness. How a child stands up for himself or herself are also different. Some complain to the bully’s mummy… some complain to their own mummy… some go right up to the bully… some don’t complain cos the issue at hand may have seemed too petty to complain… there are just many scenarios… just because your child has that confidence and strength in her doesn’t mean every other child has it in them too. Bullying can be a problem if taken too far and not detected early to help the victimized child/children. Do not take lightly the effect of bullying… my DD was at one time, bullied and threatened by a teacher, a teacher i trusted nevertheless… to care and nurture for my DD the best she could, but instead of protecting her interest, this teacher (and a few more i was disgusted of having made acquaintance with) bullied her emotionally and physically. Called her names and told the whole class to repeat the names to her when she wasn’t sure of something… physically shoved her and other children and even once in my presence. The perpetrator was the adult who left a traumatic and painful experience of growing up for her… no matter how she tries to forget it i know she never can. I repeat… NEVER ever take for granted the effects bullying has on a child. I did… i made that mistake and can never take away the pain from my child. I should’ve sensed something was wrong much much earlier.. I wished i could’ve detected it earlier before the bullying escalated.. But i didn’t. And for this, the millions of sorry-s i said to her while i hugged her and cried cannot make up for what she went through. Each time i’m brought back to the memory of that moment in time i cannot help but take it hard on myself too… I’m sorry DD. It was mummy’s fault. I should’ve listened more… i should’ve listened from my heart and not from what i see or perceive. Mummy’s very sorry mummy didn’t listen hard enough..

Sorry icemountain, i don’t mean to offend you.. but i never meant to say that homeschooled children = protected children.. only a little more sheltered than the average guy. I homeschooled my kiddies too AND sent them to school as well. May not have been substantial number of years but it was a tremendous pleasure having done it even for that matter of time. But just some bits of what you commented above struck a chord in me somewhat and i just had to pen my thoughts down to share the other side of the coin. You see dear… there are always two sides to a coin. Your points noted. And these points here are from my end. Just for sharing sake.

 bÜds

homeschooling = protected kids?

I read with interest the current discussion on homeschooling. Thank you Lock, for your insightful comments and generous sharing of how you homeschool.

I think we have much in common as I do intend to homeschool my younger kid, CM-style too : ). I also have the intention to send her to a primary school. We do much of what you’ve written and it’s a joy to watch her learn.

I’m just curious that there seems to be a common perception that homeschooled children are protected from the “real world” which arises the question of whether they can cope. Is it true that homeschooled children are being mollycoddled?

I don’t know, but being out in the “real world” day in and out, interacting with strangers, feels more real to me than being in a room of kids the same age everyday.

I know parents who tell me I should let her go “out there” (literally thrown to the deep waters to fight for survival kinda of analogy, she’s only 4 for pete’s sake!). At the same time, these are the parents who bugger their children to death to do their homework, sign up for all kinds of enrichment classes and tuition and won’t allow their kids to play at the playground.

Bullying exists everywhere, regardless of age or situation. A 3 year old and a 30 year old can be bullied. I do think how a person reacts to bullying is depends on his temperament. My own 4 year old for one, would not take being bullied lying down though I have not spoken to her about standing up for herself!

When bullied at the playground, she would march up to the offender’s parent and report that the kid pushed her. I didn’t do anything even though I knew she was being pushed around several times, I just watched to see what she would do and I’m glad I didn’t have to interfere!

Buds, I do think your friend was too hard on herself and took to blaming homeschooling for what happened. Think about this, a great majority of kids now go to preschools from a very early age and yet, bullying is also a real problem in schools! There are many kids who just can’t or won’t stand up for themselves and needed help.

I also know a few homeschooled kids and they are such a joy to watch and speak to. I agree on their unfailing politeness, maturity and most of all, their eagerness and motivation to learn for its own sake. That alone, is enough to inspire me despite the naysayers.

Today is a good day to

Today is a good day to start off teaching about Geography – our solar system. There’s going to be a partial eclipse and it’s a good chance for you to get your child interested on what’s happening around them.

I intend to bring my son to the park this afternoon to experience it. Heard that temperature will drop and it’ll be dimmer than usual. Hope the weather will be good πŸ™‚

Just Wanna Clarify

Hi.. Sorry.. Sorry… Just wanna clarify that I didnt say that our School System teaches our kids to be streetsmart.. (God Forbid)

What Im trying to say is… We may be able to teach our kids certain values or skills through books, newspapers or even videos but there are some things that the child has to experience for themselves… We can provide them with the theory on "how to do it".. but the practical aspect of "actually doing it" has to learnt through experience/exposure..

I was curious how this aspect is compensated in homeschooling and I got my answer..

Cheers!

Still not brave enough!

Hi concern2,
I am still not brave enough to continue homeschooling my kids beyond presch due to social norm n pressure. πŸ™‚
Having said that, I didn’t regret my choice to homesch my kids during their presch yrs 1 bit, even when they did have to adjust somewhat to mainstream school when in P1.
The experience is difficult to convey just thru words. Those who are thinking of homeschooling, i wld encourage u to just give it a try. Worse come to worse, just send back to presch. No harm done! πŸ™‚

Buds: Enjoyed reading your reply. And 3 cheers to TCS 8, ‘Together’ for the many teachable moments. 1 more show we love to watch is TCS 8, ‘Life Transformers 2’, on Mon, 8pm. Not only do my kids learn Chinese, they are also exposed to the lesser fortunate families in singapore and how we can do our part to help.

entrepreneurial kind

2ppaamm,

maybe you can share more of your boy’s ‘trade’ over here?

http://www.kiasuparents.com/kiasu/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4076&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

early last year, my boy thought that he could ‘sell’ his service to coach schoolwork for stuffs (he came back with stuff not belonging to him and on further probing, he revealed that his classmate offered him the stuff cos he helped to teach him some concepts). even if it was a gesture of goodwill, i made him return the stuff to the kid cos he accepted them based on the wrong reasons. i do know that my boy has a way of coaxing less streetsmart people (eg ds2 and occasionally my nephew) into seeing his way, and while he has the upper hand on the lesson of streetsmartness, it is not doing justice to the group of students who seek School as a safer haven from the outside world.

JMHO.

Singapore schools teach kids to be streetsmart?

Just reading buds  hubs comment there… how does our system teach our kids to be street smart?  Learning from the examples of their teachers or principals? 

Another story…  my son is the entrepreneurial kind.  When he was P4, he went to this tyre store and got some used rubber tyres, cut them into pieces and fixed to his robotic car (to create friction).  His car was the fastest in the class.  Seeing this, his friends asked for his ‘service’.  He charged $10 per car, fixing all of them.  In the end, his car did not win, but he pocketed a good sum of money.  $10 x 10+.  Street smart?  Got punishment.

Another one.  Two of my boys draw comics well.  The younger started selling his comics in school for $1.10 per copy.  He does about 4 per week.  He charges 5 cents per peek if they don’t have money to pay.  Street smart?  Got warning.

Tons more…  but I laughed them all off, and tell them to obey the rules.  And then, sell outside the school (like during birthday parties) when no one else is looking…

Have considered

Have considered home-schooling my kids when they became so well-behaved and ‘easy to handle’ and settled over the holidays compared to during semester. It is almost like they have no time to themselves during the ‘structured learning’ time in school and needed to ‘let loose’ when the were home. However, social interaction is definitely one of my main concerns and I must admit pulling them out from what has been accepted as a social norm (going to school) takes real courage and commitment – kudos to you, lock!

The world is out there..

Hi buds, u maybe right that the social environment among homeschoolers are not like the ‘real’ world out there. The homeschoolers I know (and mine included, I hope) are generally very well-behaved and have good manners. I credit these to ample teachings at home during the formative years. πŸ™‚

I agree with you on the formative years bit. If we fail to start grooming from those sensitive years, it may be lost forever. While the children still have their childhood innocence, parents should work on the children’s personal disposition regardless of whether the parents decided to homeschool the children or parents who have the need to outsource for their care ( ie. in childcare’s and kindy’s… ) It should not mean that children who are left in the care of others are lacking in good manners, responsibility and respect for the common man/person. I believe all children of God are born pure and beautiful inside and outside… it’s up to us to help our children stay that way through our guidance, role-modelling and also for some through our own faith/belief.

 

My children do meet kids who are not as nice at the playground, in church (erm…yes, I am ashamed to admit that but it’s true) and their other group classes with non homeschoolers. But I must admit that they do meet many more kids who are different and difficult in schools and I do teach them to stand up for themselves when being pushed over or just walk away when being taunted.

Yes, this was what i was highlighting about. My friend was saying that these can only be taught via trial and error. ( ie. when it happens.. ) Reading about bullies in books are not the same as the real bullies. She was thinking that had she pre-empted the rude awakenings/happenings of the "now" children… she would’ve have tried doing more, like role-playing or discussing prior to the incidents happening and affecting her girl. Do bear in mind though that from personal experiences of my own and my girls… there are times when truth be told, honest to God… walking away may not be the best of solutions to certain situations. I could only offer a hearing end for my friend, supporting her in her strength and telling her not to regret having homeschooled her beautiful daughter… i pacified her saying let’s learn together and deal with stuff like that together as it comes. We’ll deal with them as we go along this journey.

I do not believe being streetsmart means that you have to fight fire with fire. To me, being streetsmart means being able to sense danger before it actually happens and knowing how to avoid it and knowing how to turn situations to your advantage using your wits w/o compromising on values and morals. That’s my opinion. πŸ™‚

A daughter of one personal friend of mine got bullied a lot and felt sad about it. Her daughter never retaliated nor complained cos she was taught that it’s not nice to retaliate ugly with uglier.. to fight fire with fire.

My apologies for the above confusion.. ( in black print )… I didn’t mean to make it sound like being streetsmart means one must fight fire with fire… At that point in writing, i may have been unable to deliver my thoughts more clearly.. pls forgive me.

What i was trying to say was, my friend and i’m sure many other parents out there as well… do not promote or encourage children to stoop to the other child’s level. Hence, in her daughter’s case, she was seen as a push-over when it actually was that her daughter was more forgiving and the happy-go-lucky kind… where petty matters won’t bother her little mind for long. For the 1st year, her daughter became an almost instant target for bullies and high-handed bigger girls. Not being pushed to be in an environment where there may be occasions of any potential danger or problem ( in a private homeschooling environment ) …. or being in the presence of a crowd of school-going children…. children will not necessarily know when to look out for those unwanted situations. In my friend’s words, she says that mebbe her daughter is a little too sheltered. After a few years though, the girl learnt the ways of the world indeed and if i am not mistaken she should be doing her PSLE this year or mebbe if i lost count, the girl may already now be in Sec 1 or Sec 2. Yikes! How time passes by sooo fast..

My friend was just lamenting at how she COULD HAVE done it differently to prevent her daughter from a not so good 1st year’s experience in P1.. ( back then )… I simply told her though we try to teach our children as much as what we think they need to learn… there are times when part of growing up is also to just let them be out there to learn on their own. I added that she had raised 2 bright and extremely well-natured all rounder children and she should be proud of her achievements to date.. πŸ˜‰

I expose my kids to the ‘dangers’ of the society through crimewatch and other shows. (yup, homeschoolers do watch TV) ha. Currently, we are watching the 9pm TCS 8 show and just a few days ago, I got the chance to explain to my daughter the danger of being vain and yearning for glamour through the example of Jinhao (those who are familiar with the show will know what i mean) πŸ™‚

Hehee… Me too! My DD2 was sighing and tsk tsk-ing away saying why the heck Jinhao went back to more different men, when Xiaobei risked his life to get her out of their hold. And those instances of girls sashaying and parading skin so shamelessly were also good teachable moments to include some faith talk and some naturally wholesome momma’s naggings as well..

Ahakz!

 bÜds

more than 2cents worth

Hi Lock

Thanks so much for the suggestion.  I will try that again, probably overlooked this matter by taking for granted.  Also pushing her to be independent.  Ever since she knows how to read, I dont make that effort to read more. 

Appreciate that reminder!  

hi autumnbronze, The first

hi autumnbronze,
The first step to homeschooling is always filled with doubt and fear but as time passes, I am sure you will love the experience and bonding shared with your child.

Remember not everyday will go as u plan and not every lesson will be a success and neither all days are a bed of roses. There will be days when the kid is uncooperative and moody or even disinterested and there will be days when u dun feel like teaching or engaging your kid in any activity. There will also be times when you feel like throwing in the towel (esp when u hv ppl ard u who r unsupportive of homeschooling and keep urging you to give up). During those times, u have to go back to the very 1st reason why u chose to homeschool your kid and be convinced once again that u have made the right choice.

Though it is impt to have a routine and keep to the schedules and essons planned, it is ok to be flexible and play by ear at times. Afterall, u are the boss. πŸ™‚

Finally, do not homeschool alone. U will need support. 1st person will be your hubby. He must be supportive of your choice as he may need to help out in chores (to lessen your burden) or take over the kid once in a while (to give you some time on your own). And also, it is always more encouraging to talk to like-minded people, so go and look for families who homeschool too and make friends. πŸ™‚

Homeschooling is def a wise

Homeschooling is def a wise choice. Of course, Daddy would have to take up the resposibility of being only the sole breadwinner.

 

 

KUDOS Lock

KUDOS again Lock

Thank you for sharing your ‘source’ of resources and teaching ideas

At least now my ‘sense of direction’ is better.

Yes, I do agree with you with regards to teaching our kids to be streetsmart is thru watching shows like crimewatch and reading/showing them newspaper articles etc I do that to my DS esp when the news is about a toddler.   As for inculcating healthy competition and encouraging social interaction, that is one reason why I am kind of striking a balance by signing him up for sports/gym activities and Mandarin classes.

Believe me,  I did not arrive at this decision easily.  I too was initially enticed by the lure of advertisements by premier pre-schools etc..  I spent alot of time researching and visiting some of them.  In the end, there was always something that I did not feel comfortable with.  Hence, the idea of homeschooling DS on my own for the time being 

Quote "Regarding competition, I always tell my children that the only person they do compete with is themselves. They should always aim to do better than what they had previously achieved, only then can they keep improving. :)" Unquote

I like the above philosophy, Lock.  I will keep that in mind ….

autumnbronze

Forgot to add that news

Forgot to add that news featured in newspaper is also a source where I get my kids ‘educated’ on the real world. πŸ™‚

Hi buds, u maybe right that

Hi buds,
u maybe right that the social environment among homeschoolers are not like the ‘real’ world out there. The homeschoolers I know (and mine included, I hope) are generally very well-behaved and have good manners. I credit these to ample teachings at home during the formative years. πŸ™‚

My children do meet kids who are not as nice at the playground, in church (erm…yes, I am ashamed to admit that but it’s true) and their other group classes with non homeschoolers. But I must admit that they do meet many more kids who are different and difficult in schools and I do teach them to stand up for themselves when being pushed over or just walk away when being taunted.

I do not believe being streetsmart means that you have to fight fire with fire. To me, being streetsmart means being able to sense danger before it actually happens and knowing how to avoid it and knowing how to turn situations to your advantage using your wits w/o compromising on values and morals. That’s my opinion. πŸ™‚

I expose my kids to the ‘dangers’ of the society through crimewatch and other shows. (yup, homeschoolers do watch TV) ha. Currently, we are watching the 9pm TCS 8 show and just a few days ago, I got the chance to explain to my daughter the danger of being vain and yearning for glamour through the example of Jinhao (those who are familiar with the show will know what i mean) πŸ™‚
I

I See!!

Thanks for your answer. You deserve another round of kudos.

That means that the homeschooled child still has to be exposed to other forms of social interactions from ie: Church or other group activities within the homeschooling community to hone their social skills.. I see!!

Cheers!

Street Smart

The problem they do face is getting used to the school routine and loud, screaming, impatient teachers. Ha.

Include school children in there too!

Screaming, running, ill-behaved children… and some scary ones swear a lot too!

Homeschooled children who are taught pleasant disposition from the comforts of home that i know of, do find such behaviours un-natural and sometimes alarming that people can be mean…

A daughter of one personal friend of mine got bullied a lot and felt sad about it. Her daughter never retaliated nor complained cos she was taught that it’s not nice to retaliate ugly with uglier.. to fight fire with fire. So, my friend was lamenting aloud whether staying home made her girl too soft and not able to stand up for herself and too often being miss nice guy. She said her daughter was totally un-street smart. And she claimed it did occur to her that the lack with children with different backgrounds and environment may have contributed to her daughter’s plight. But academics wise, the girl did very well for herself…

So, she commented to me after having homeschooled her daughter that if i were to do it with mine and when it came to the "real" world out there, if a child is not used to such circumstances, it can be a culture shock. Adapt, they definitely will… she added.. just that she said she may have covered more on such circumstances of people problems had she anticipated them coming.

Well, that point of view was hers but thought to just share it here.

Just to lastly add, this friend did not join any homeschooling association or group out there. But she has a lot of cousins and my friend has many playdates since she first started homeschooling. Her daughter is well-spoken, well-mannered and confident. Dunno whether because she is a girl, she may seem a little timid… Has since lost contact with this friend of mine, but last i heard she went to a very good primary school in the east.

 bÜds

Dear Jogan, Did you do the

Dear Jogan,
Did you do the revision books with her? Most kids would love the company of their parents, regardless of what the activities. It could also be that she no longer find doing revision books interesting or challenging. As I have shared in the previous post, much can be learnt through stories. Why not read storybooks together and explore all possible learning through that? It may ignite her interest in learning again. Just my 2 cents worth

Answering JMHO's question,

Answering JMHO’s question, am I right to assume that with social interactions, one will learn to be streetsmart?

I think a lot of people think that homeschooling deprive kids of social interactions. This is actually far from the truth. Homeschoolers do not just confine to their homes and learn from their parents alone. They do engage in other group activities. Once a week, the homeschooling community will organise a leisure outing and among the homeschoolers I know, they conduct ‘mass’ lessons. Eg, 2-3 families will gather at 1 of the families’ hse and the host parent will conduct the lesson for all the kids. The lesson can be any subject/topic like art, chinese storytelling, calligraphy. My friend has ard 10 over kids running ard her hse during such sessions. πŸ™‚ On top of that, some parents send the kids for gym class or participate in other sports with non homeschoolers. For Christians, there’s always social interactions in church. πŸ™‚

I dare not speak for others but I think my kids are not lacking in social skills though they didnt attend presch. They play well with kids at the playground. Currently both are in mainstream school and so far none has problem with social interactions. The problem they do face is getting used to the school routine and loud, screaming, impatient teachers. Ha.

Regarding competition, I always tell my children that the only person they do compete with is themselves. They should always aim to do better than what they had previously achieved, only then can they keep improving. πŸ™‚

Thanks

Please do share..Thanks!

Cheers!

I am no expert. Ha. Am

I am no expert. Ha. Am still learning myself. But I can share what I have done. πŸ™‚

I have a question?

Its a great post & thank you for sharing…

I agree that homeschooling is good for both the child & parent.

However do kids who are homeschooled adapt well when the are thrown into the mainstream?

Im just thinkin that there are certains things which homeschooling just cannot teach and has to be learnt through experience & exposure… Eg. Skills to be streetsmart / healthy competetion among peers.

JMHO.

Cheers!

homeschooling

Recently I have funny encountered from my girl, she used to do a lots of revision books herself.  In fact, it is not necessary for me to ask her to take out revision books. Though I believe fun learning is critical for children nowdays.  I bought many board games for my girl to play, even send her to Mindchamps to learn her phonics.  

Now she is K2, lately she lost interest in academic revision books.  Any suggestions?  Sigh…. I worry that she will dislike revision books if I push too hard.  

hi lock, thanks for the

hi lock, thanks for the sharing. u r one of the few part-homeschooling parents i know who have older kids. i know quite a few in the homeschooling community thru reading their blogs. i admire those who choose homeschooling for their children becos it can involve quite a lot of preparatory work for the parents. i feel that for those who homeschool for the right reasons, eg. so that their children wil continue to enjoy the love for learning on their own, being curious abt their environment etc., wil generally find that their children will emerge more confident, more outspoken and definitely wil be naturally closer to their parents (who are so involved in the kids’ learning) πŸ™‚

perhaps u can be the resident KSP expert on homeschooling matters. so that other interested parents can benefit from your sharing of your experiences. thanks!

 

 

 

Learning through stories.

Some of you have asked me how I expose my kids to geography, history and literature. I don’t use any textbooks. Textbook writings are dry and meaningless to the kids, esp young children. I expose my children to the various subjects thru stories, well-written stories by passionate writers; writers who are expert in the areas they are writing on.

Let me give an example on the story “Coolies” written by Yin, published by Puffin Books.
The story is set in mid 1800s. It talked about a pair of brothers from China who went to America, San Francisco to work as labourers on the railway track for the Central Pacific Rqilroad Company. The story describes the agonising boat voyage, the harsh working conditions, the accident at worksite where one of the brother died and finally how the railroad was completed and the surviving brother stayed on in San Francisco, opened a store and became the 1st Chinese immigrant there.

History: This is a history lesson written in narrative form. Other than the fictional characters, the facts given in the story are real and can be traced to history textbooks. But presented in a narrative form, kids are more receptive and can remember the facts better. We discussed about China famine, the gold-rush period.

Geography: We traced the possible sea voyage from China to America on the world map. We discussed about san francisco. We compared the past (as presented in the story) with the present (researched from other informative books like children atlas). We look at the life of people living in san francisco or America in general.

Literature: We discussed about the feelings of the brothers; what would they (my kids) do if they were the brothers or one of the labourers. What do they think of the terrible sea voyage? etc…

Even for Science, we also learn about the animals’ behaviour, habitat etc thru stories. So, the key is to get well-written books for your children to read and start to explore the story in-depth together. Btw, “Coolies” is a picture book and not a novel. πŸ™‚
In my opinion, not all printed materials are worth a read and not all popular books are worth reading as well.

I am sure most parents had, one time or another, bought Pooh stories by disney for your little ones to read. Wait till u read the original classic written by the original author, AA Milne, you will realise the classic has so much to offer compared to the watered down disney version. πŸ™‚

It is my pleasure to share

It is my pleasure to share what I know. There are many methods for homeschooling; from structured lessons to laisser-faire ones. It is important to have an idea what the various methods focus on and choose the method(s) that suits your child.
http://www.homeschoollearning.com/approaches/

Personally, I adopted the Charlotte Mason approach. http://simplycharlottemason.com/
and use lapbooking as a learning tool. http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/jaminacema/228122/
Here is the free lapbooking resource site that I use quite extensively http://www.homeschoolshare.com/lapbooking_resources.php

One of Charlotte Mason’s focus is that it advocates reading good books from original sources and spending lots of time in nature or outdoor. And we (my kids and I) had lots of fun just doing that. During the years we homeschooled, I discovered that Singapore is actually a great place for homeschooling. Resources are everywhere and if we look and plan carefully, we can easily obtain free resources. For one, libraries are everywhere. We get most of our reading materials from the library but we do buy lots of books, esp those that are worth a keep.

Nature walk is a breeze, there’s botanic garden and Jacob Ballas Children’s garden. Planning excursion is not difficult too. To experience the culture of different races, we just went to Little India, Geylang Serai, Chinatown to eat their food, observe the things sold there and the colourful ethnic costume.
We also went to Oh’s farm to hold caterpillars and watch butterflies. We even bought a caterpillar kit and was fortunate to witness the caterpillar metamorphosed into a butterfly. πŸ™‚

You see, by doing all those, kids are already learning Geography and science. Of course, we did more than just go to the place, look-see then come home. Period. We went to library to read up more on the different races, we explored the life cycle of other insects.
(the above is just 1 of the things we did, to go into details of the various lesson plans I did with my kids will take pages…lol)

If there are any specific areas any of you would like me to elaborate on, do let me know. I will be more than happy to share my experience. πŸ™‚

Great Post

Wow …interesting read.

My DH and I have actually discussed about me homeschooling DS up till end of K1.  DH’s rationale is that he only attended a yr of kindy.  My worry is that DS won’t have the opportunity  to interact socially with his peers.  Also, I have to take his 2nd language into consideration.

At the moment, although I am still sourcing out pre-schools/kindy (those 3 hr type), I am taking my time on that.  As for the social interaction and 2nd lang part, in the meantime, I have enrolled him in a Mandarin playgrp/class 3x a week because I can only follow up/supplement on the 2nd lang part, I can’t teach it.  Also intend to enrol him for a sports/gym programme.  Its not ‘cost-effective’, if you look at it practically, but for me its worth the time spent/bonded with my child.   

So for the time being, I will try my best to cover the academic part, and if all goes well, I will continue to do so until its time for K2.

And yes, would appreciate it Lock, if you could share the timetabling/resources part.  His learning schedule is pretty unstructured at the moment

Thank you for your GREAT post.

autumnbronze

I am not sure if it is just

I am not sure if it is just my daughter’s primary school. She enjoyed going preschool very much and was looking forward to attending primary school when she was 7. She had those sparkling and promising happy eyes.  She figured it would be a much "bigger " preschool, so it should be much more fun. After first day of school, she was very disappointed with it. She came back looking so "sian" or sad. I asked her what had happened in school. She said it was boring. She stood there listening to principal talk talk talk. later after that she went to the classroom, her teacher talk talk talk. All students cannot talk, only listen the whole day. After one month, I looked at her eyes, they lost the sparkle and the light. She attends P2 now. She has the robotic look during school days. Her eyes only sparkle on Friday nights, weekends and holidays. Sad hor?  All my 3 kids behaved like that. Is it the school system or just normal growing up. I don’t know.

Kids learn best at home

Thank you for sharing. There was a time when I considered homeschooling my boy because he was often infected with all kinds of illnesses from his nursery/kindergarten.  In N2 I stopped him from going to school since early Oct after he was hospitalized due to HFMD. I wish  that I had been courageous enough to keep him at home until at least 5 years old, then perhaps he will be bigger and stronger now.

The fact is that even though he has been attending nursery and kindergarten, he has not learned much from school.   I have single handedly taught him how to read at home :

Reading Confidently at a very young age

Note that I am a full time working mom who can only teach him after I return home from work. If we find the right resources, it is also possible to teach our kids to read Chinese very well by the age of 6 :

Teaching Chinese at home

I have also taught him to add and subtract at home. 

I sent both my kids to kindergarten purely for social interaction, so that they know how to interact with other kids.  However, I think I should have sent both to kindergarten at 5 or 6 years old, and not before that.

Enjoyed your post! ;)

I enjoyed your post. Though i don’t really go into history and literature part…

The geography part i do try to find time to do with them. Montessori children

in Montessori schools do early Geography in pre-school stage onwards. As

for the His and Lit, like Faith Chua… i cannot wait to hear your sharings on

them too! Thanks for sharing your experience. Tho’ many have said that it

may not be ideal to have an unstructured learning environment for children

to be homeschooled, i do honestly think there ARE two sides to that coin.

I’ve done that a fair bit and trying not to succumb to the academia-mania of

our community, but i had to relent eventually due to Mother Tongue weakness

on my part. Despite ace-ing it….. we don’t really speak it. So off to school they

went.. hehee… My P3 is far from the best in class. She’s an average learner no

matter how much i pump in.. so i will be happy if the love for learning is instilled

in her… and continued throughout her growing years… from the first times since

our learning adventures at home together began…

 bÜds

Hi Lock, I am considering

Hi Lock,

I am considering homeschooling. Could u advise where we could obtain free homeschooling activities to do for K1 and K2. Would appreciate if you could also share on how and which resources to use for doing geog, history and literature on our own for primary level.

Many thanks in advance….

 

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