Homeschooling - The Educational Path Less Tread

This is a monthly post on 'Homeschooling'. Every 5th week of the month I will interview parents who are homeschooling their children of age 7 up.

Jan - Homeschooling A High Ability Child
May - Homeschooling 8 Children

This is the season when parents with children who are born in 2008 are busy securing a place for their children in the primary school they desired, especially if they are the first born.

At the same time, there is another group of parents who choose to tread the path less travelled, believing that homeschooling is the better way.  There is no right or wrong way.  We, parents, exercised our discretion basing on our convictions on what we deem is the best educational path for our children.  

To help parents better understand the path to homeschooling, I have started a series on this topic every 5th week of the month this year.  Today, I have the privilege to interview Jean, who homeschool her 2 children aged 10 & 6.  She loves fabric, & she sews, crafts, bakes strawberry shortcake during pockets of free time.  She also loves taking pictures under the sunny island!  Jean is also a mom blogger who blogs at Jeanstitch.

Me:  Jean, please share with us what made you & your husband decided to homeschool your children?

Jean: The decision to homeschool is a joint decision between my husband & myself.  What convicted our hearts to homeschool is that we are convinced that our children’s education is the sole responsibility of us parents, & that the injunction from God is to bring up our children in the fear & admonition of our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ. This, we cannot do if we sent them off to school, over which we have no control (in terms of environment, educator, curriculum, peers, & other forms). Every now & then, events happening around us strengthen our resolve & encourage us that the decision made is right.  Our children are able to learn at their own pace & also learn the academic subjects from a Biblical perspective.

Me:  Could you share with us some of your struggles homeschooling your children?

Jean: 1 of the challenges we faced when we first started homeschooling is discipline.  Trying to start school on time everyday seems impossible with so many to-do things in the morning!  Setting a timetable & adhering to it & not doing everything else seem tough too.  But 1 thing about time table is that it does help us or rather, my girl to be discipline as she follows it closely.  Definitely a plus point!  

Another very real challenge is patience.  Being the main educator of my children, there are times I find it so hard to be patient.  It is, especially, frustrating when my children are not able to understand certain topic after explaining many times over respectively.  However, when they did eventually, the feeling of triumph by both teacher (me) & student (my child) is tremendously wonderful.  A sense of accomplishment shared by both mother & child.

Me:  Would you mind disclosing what are the type(s) of material you use to homeschool your children?

Jean:  We started off using Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) for Grace, my eldest, when she was about 3 year old.  We used that from the preschooler curriculum to Grade 3.   We then changed to Alpha Omega Publications (AOP) which include Language (English), Math, Science & Bible Reading as we find it more appealing to her.  Being a student who needs to sit for Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), we do supplement her with the local curriculum such as local Science, Math, Chinese & Social Studies. For every semester, she also sits for examination using past-year exam papers. 

As for our boy, who will be in Primary 1 next year, we will be using AOP for him as well.  Other than these curriculums which we are using, newspaper is 1 media to let my children see what is happening in the world as homeschooling is not about total protection of them from the world.  We are living in the world itself thus, the need to equip them with news will broaden their views.  Encyclopedia is another good tool to enrich their knowledge too.

Me: What are some advices you would give to parents who are considering homeschooling their children?

Jean:  I, personally, think that in order to homeschool your children, both husband & wife must be supporting this joint decision.  If either 1 of us disapprove, we would reconsider the decision to homeschool as it has to be 100% in order for it to be beneficial.  Pray, let God lead & guide your every step, if you are a Christian.  Try not to compare what other families do so that you don’t get too stress up thus stressing your children as a result.  Most importantly, do not compare your children to others.  No 2 families are the same so it is individual family to decide whether to homeschool or not & what curriculum to use.  Each child is wonderfully & fearfully made & they come in their own unique personalities & needs so we, as parents, need to determine how they learn best because what work for 1 child may not work for the other child.  An example: how I taught my daughter cannot be applied to my son.  He needs more time to learn certain things.  So, in homeschooling or in parenting, we have to learn to be flexible & enjoy the children as they grow up very fast.

Me:  Thanks for the great sharing, Jean.  I am wondering how long do you forsee yourself homeschooling your 2 children?

Jean:  We are still praying for God’s direction as regard to this but we do discuss between ourselves.  God willing, we intend to let Grace go out to the world after Primary 6.  When I mentioned “go out to the world”, this doesn’t mean we don’t socialise with other people.  We do, in church, & with other children they meet along the way, at the playground, library & other places.  For now, we hope to teach them God’s way at home.

This is the 2nd last post on homeschooling.  On my final post in October, I will be sharing with you the process of applying for homeschooling.  Please pop by if you are keen on this topic.  See ya! 


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