I read the discussions on homeschooling with great interest. 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.