"Homeschooling" Primary 1

Academic support for Primary 1

"Homeschooling" Primary 1

Postby Flurrying » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:19 pm

Hi there,

I am Singaporean but live abroad. My son is in Kindergarten this year.

I am looking to 'home-school' him for Primary 1 subjects in English, Maths and Chinese.

I was wondering if there are any recommendations for what textbooks/workbooks to use for teaching a Primary 1 kid. I see on Popular Book's website textbook lists for various schools, but it all seems so different.

When I went to school in Singapore, all the textbooks were standardized, but it seems different now?

For instance, for Maths, I see some schools use "My Pals Are Here", and other schools use "Targeting Mathematics", and I also see "Shaping Maths". Is there a difference between them at all?

In sum, can anyone recommend the textbooks/workbooks I should buy? I will be coming home for a visit over Christmas, so would like to have some ideas of books I can purchase.

Thanks in advance! :smile:

Flurrying
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Re: "Homeschooling" Primary 1

Postby SAHM_TAN » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:43 pm

If your child has a slot in a primary school here, you can use that primary school's booklist to buy the textbks/workbks you need. If not, you can pick any school's bklist as a guide. cheers

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Re: "Homeschooling" Primary 1

Postby slmkhoo » Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:34 pm

Will your child be attending school in the country you live in? Will it be in English? I have done what you intend to do - my kids grew up overseas and attended kindy and school in local schools (not in English) and I taught them the Singapore stuff at home. We switched them to English-medium international schools when they were 8 and 10yo. They are teenagers now and we are planning to return to ingapore next year.

Frankly, the Singapore textbooks are all about the same in coverage. Just pick any of them and the accompanying workbook. Add in another assessment book if you want. I found that there is generally a lot of overlap between what is taught in any Pr school in the world and in Singapore, so I just concentrated on 'filling the gaps' rather than do everything. We did about an hour or 2 a week to cover the material, mostly during the vacations. There's not much taught in P1.

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Re: "Homeschooling" Primary 1

Postby Flurrying » Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:05 am

Thanks SAHM_Tan and slmkhoo for your replies.

To answer your questions:

No, my child does not have a slot in a Primary school school in Singapore, as we have no plans to return. But who knows?

Yes, he will be attending the local school; the medium of instruction is not English. This is why I am planning to 'home-school' him for a few hours each week in English and Chinese. I was also thinking of doing Maths as well, as it seems the local curriculum where I am is not as comprehensive or 'challenging' when compared to the Singaporean curriculum, at least at the elementary level.

I was pretty confused with the textbook lists, since when I was growing up, everyone used the same textbooks in Primary school, and now there are all different variations. Even amongst the 'elite' schools, the textbook lists are different, so I was wondering if there is one textbook out there that is 'better' than the others. I was from NYPS, maybe I should just use their booklist! :wink:

I feel like a kiasu parent. I thought I wouldn't be. But when I hear about how 'advanced' my peers' kids are in Singapore, I feel bad that my child is falling behind, and that I am not doing my best for him. Seems like the Singaporean way of education haunts us even when we are abroad. :lol:

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Re: "Homeschooling" Primary 1

Postby slmkhoo » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:18 am

Since you aren't planning to come back, then you can just use the textbooks as a guide to topics. You can also look online for other worksheets, some of which could be more interesting than Singapore workbooks.

If your child is not being schooled in English, the most important thing in my experience is to try to make sure that his reading level in English is roughly the same as a native English speaker's. In the early years, listening, speaking and reading skills are the most important. Formal writing, technical grammar rules, spelling etc don't really matter too much until about 3rd grade. If the child is strong in English, then he can read textbooks, instructions etc much more easily. But if you are also going to do Chinese, be aware that the load on the child doing 3 languages is very high, and attainment in each one is likely to be behind a child who is only learning 1 or 2 languages. At some point, you may have to decide to drop one of them.

Have you decided whether you want English or his school language to be his main language? Which one do you envisage he will use in sec school, university? In my experience, most kids will need to switch to schooling in their target language by mid- to late Pr school. Even then, those who want to do humanities may find that their command of the language will always be a little weaker that similar ability students who have been learning in that language all their lives. The issue may be less of an issue if your child wants to do more math/science courses.

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Re: "Homeschooling" Primary 1

Postby slmkhoo » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:29 am

Just to add - be measured about 'enriching' your child to keep up with Singaporeans. Ask yourself whether your child is enjoying other activities and enrichments which Singapore kids aren't getting, like more play and exploration, more unstructured time, more sleep! 'Falling behind' academically is not really a big problem as academic skills can be picked up fairly easily later on as long the child has the innate ability. In fact, some academic skills are learned more quickly when a child is older and more ready - a child of 7yo may learn something in 1 mth, but a child of 9yo may learn it in 2 days! Ask yourself if other less tangible skills may be missed in the process of gaining academic skills, and whether those can be made up later in life. I'm not against doing more academic work than school provides, but as I said, be measured.

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Re: "Homeschooling" Primary 1

Postby sweetbaby » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:55 am

slmkhoo wrote:Just to add - be measured about 'enriching' your child to keep up with Singaporeans. Ask yourself whether your child is enjoying other activities and enrichments which Singapore kids aren't getting, like more play and exploration, more unstructured time, more sleep! 'Falling behind' academically is not really a big problem as academic skills can be picked up fairly easily later on as long the child has the innate ability. In fact, some academic skills are learned more quickly when a child is older and more ready - a child of 7yo may learn something in 1 mth, but a child of 9yo may learn it in 2 days! Ask yourself if other less tangible skills may be missed in the process of gaining academic skills, and whether those can be made up later in life. I'm not against doing more academic work than school provides, but as I said, be measured.


:goodpost:

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Re: "Homeschooling" Primary 1

Postby SAHM_TAN » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:07 am

That is so true, the last post by slmkhoo.

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Re: "Homeschooling" Primary 1

Postby Flurrying » Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:03 pm

I am not too worried about my child falling behind in English. English is his mother tongue. We live in an English-speaking environment; his dad speaks only English, and we are an English-speaking household.

I know it's kind of strange that we live in an English-speaking environment, yet he does not attend school where the medium of instruction is in English. He is in an immersion type of programme, where until the local equivalent of Primary 4, the curriculum is taught entirely in another language. At the Primary 4 level, the medium of instruction tips 80/20, where 80% of the curriculum is taught in the immersion language, and 20% in English. Primary 4 is also the level where they start to learn English (grammar etc.). As he progresses through to high school, the medium of instruction gradually tips further at every grade level, until it is around 15/85, where English (85%) is the main medium of instruction the last year of high school.

I would love to teach him Chinese so that he could be somewhat proficient when he grows up. He currently attends Chinese classes once a week for an hour. The class is a play-based class. They sing songs, learn nursery rhymes, etc. He seems to enjoy it a lot, and my hope is he would grow up trilingual.

I completely agree with you that one should be measured when 'enriching' your child to keep up with Singaporeans. At this point, I don't push him at all, because he is afterall, only 5 years old! Believe it or not, he is the one that constantly ask me if we can do 'homework'. I figured since he's asking and keen to learn, I might as well take advantage. I am quite sure the 'more homework please' phase would end sooner rather than later! :smile:

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Re: "Homeschooling" Primary 1

Postby slmkhoo » Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:16 pm

That's a very interesting educational system! Sounds like your son will definitely be very bilingual, and with some Chinese thrown in the mix, reasonably trilingual too. Well, make the most of his interest in 'homework' - you're right, it usually doesn't last!

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