In 2003, Singapore enforced a 6-year compulsory primary education system. The country has several education choices of unconventional paths that a student can take; to supplement the government, independent and autonomous schools, there is the homeschooling option available to the children. Those students, who follow the homeschooling option, do so with little regard to the Singaporean mainstream education system.
In Singapore evading the defined CE (Compulsory Education) is no easy task as there is PSLE (Primary School Leaving Examination). This test is meant to test a child’s understanding of all the subjects covered in school. There are people who may argue that the available private schools make use of a different curriculum, which does not put the students through the increasing strains of the PSLE. This is not so since these private schools are mainly international schools with many foreign nationals students.
Although homeschooling is not simple, it has not proven to be unworkable. Many parents, who had pursued their career goals prior to getting children, have numerous reasons why they make the shift; from the pursuit of a career to being parents and teacher to their children.
Your Choice As A Parent
Parents are urged to take the below-listed points into consideration as they decide which education method is best suited for their children.
• Schools purpose is to help prepare students to pass their examinations, while you as a parent, are better placed to prepare the child for a balanced adult life. This covers the family, marriage and work fronts.
• School’s way of teaching is compartmentalised, each subject is limited to the subject material while homeschooling covers all developmental experience.
• Increasing a child’s principles and morals are best taught to your child through continuous interaction with the child, as opposed to attending Civics and Moral Education (CME) lessons in school.
• While schools may have many devoted teachers, some may not have had the much-needed experience of raising children of their own, which makes them ill prepared in ensuring emotional balance is attained as well as enforcing ethical values to your child.
Homeschooling has no limitations. Your child can be exposed to various teaching methods, ranging from Shichida and Montessori methods that prepare your child for independent learning to methods sourced beyond Singapore’s borders.
Homeschooling offers your child many opportunities to experience important lessons that go beyond the limited scope of textbooks. Homeschooling adds insightfulness and knowledge to your child’s experience.
Homeschooled children have the freedom and flexibility to follow their interests. In building their interests and abilities in a favourable environment, they equally get the preparedness that will help them face life’s challenges in the future.
Homeschooling offers a way of life which has lots of potential for a child’s growth and happiness. This can be attained with the aid of a disciplined and loving and personalized atmosphere.
Kickstarting An Effective Homeschool
For a parent who chooses to take the homeschooling path, below are ways to make your journey easy and help you set up a favourable environment for your child’s education.
Apply For A Legal Permit
For your homeschool to be legalized, you will be required to write an application for exemption from the Compulsory Education (CE) six months prior to your child starting their primary education. After submitting a written application to the Compulsory Education Unit (CEU), you will be required to present the documents listed below for you to be issued the MOE Certification exempting your child from CE.
• Fill out the form of application sent by mail to you by CEU
• Complete syllabuses for Mother Tongue, Mathematics and English
• A complete timetable for your homeschool
• The educational certificates of the teaching parent
• Your child’s birth certificate
Shop For A Suitable Curriculum
Many curriculum choices are available at bookstores nationwide. However, focusing on getting the most suitable curriculum for the child’s intellectual capabilities is important.
At present, the Facebook page of Singapore Homeschool Curriculum Fair has a large following from local parents, who want to get informed of upcoming events and any book sales available.
Start On A Schedule
It is necessary that the MOE know the amount of time dedicated to your child’s study. This, however, does not limit where your homeschool would take place. In addition to your child’s educational endeavours, the firsthand experience like baking, photography and animal care is of importance to your child’s holistic growth.
A homeschool schedule helps in giving structure to your child’s study program. This also allocates time to the various activities that a child will be expected to take part in, besides attending to the academics.
Have A Private Tutor
The PSLE is used as a benchmark to measure homeschoolers when they attain twelve years. In hiring a private tutor, will help your child attain the academic aspect of their studies. A tutor will also bring their expertise to your child’s learning experience. Homeschooling your own child may not be an easy task, a tutor will come in handy on such occasions.
To ensure the homeschooled children get the most out of their schooling method, The Singapore Homeschool Group facilitates access of the needed facilities and equipment in a child’s learning. The group also holds extra-curricular activities for the group members.
Even though Singapore enforced a six-year Compulsory Education (CE) system for its citizens, many alternative methods of schooling are available and accessible for your child. Evading the CE in Singapore has proven to be difficult since there is the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE). The PSLE is aimed at testing your child’s understanding of the subjects covered in school.
Homeschooling as an alternative education method does not follow the conventional education style used by regular schools. Homeschooling exposes your child to various teaching methods that best suit your child’s learning abilities.
Before starting to homeschool your child, a certificate of exemption is required and can be obtained from the Compulsory Education Unit (CEU). The exemption needs to be applied for six months before your child begins primary education.
Most importantly, as parents, we do what we can to find the most suitable education for our children, whether it is going to a traditional Primary School, a specialized school or homeschool.
If you are interested in homeschooling or how your home environment can assist in your child’s learning, you can check out our articles on How Much Does a Bilingual Home Environment Help Young Students? and 3 Tips to be an Effective Home Tutor for Primary School.