Homeschooling is becoming a popular educational option for many students in Singapore.
Some believe that it is a good way to help students get a tailored education fit for their needs. Others say it will help reduce costs, especially now that schools are becoming expensive. A few say homeschooling will help students who are not able to cope with the strict lifestyle brought by traditional schooling.
Homeschooling is legal in Singapore and can be requested from the Ministry of Education. They will follow the same curriculum for their specific grade level and sit for their Primary School Leaving Examinations.
Where to start your homeschooling journey?
If you are considering enrolling your child into homeschooling, you need to know all about it.
In Singapore, it is recommended that parents join support groups to learn more about homeschooling in the country. These groups often share resources about homeschooling and answer related questions from curious parents. Forums are also available online to help parents decide if homeschooling is right for their child.
Aside from these places, parents should also speak to schools or institutions offering to homeschool. These institutions can explain to you how the system works and help your child become familiar with the course.
They can also guide you to the right resources to study and the materials your child will need to succeed. Some institutions will also help you if you want your child to be enrolled in school at some point.
Here are some of the homeschooling resources:
They are one of the biggest support group in Singapore that holds events and share about homeschooling journey. Their Facebook group community exchanges ideas and help those who are struggling with the homeschool curriculum.
Another supportive community that shares information as well as provide great advice on how to start your homeschooling journey. There are informal smaller groups that meet up so that their children get social interactions with children within a similar age group.
Like its namesake, this group caters to mainly expatriates who are homeschooling because they prefer their children to stick to curriculum closer to their home country in prep for repatriation in future.
This close knitted group specialised in gathering parents with children aged 12 to 17 and looking at sitting national examinations.
Now that you have an idea on what homeschooling is, its time to figure out if it is the right education system for your child.
Here are the pros and cons of homeschooling you should know before you decide to sign up your child into one:
• Flexible structure
One of the major features of homeschooling is the flexible structure it offers to students. Usually, students have to follow a set curriculum if they are enrolled in school. They could not deviate from it in any way even if the student is already proficient with the subject.
With homeschooling, teachers can jumble up the curriculum and let students progress faster than their peers.
• Tailor-fit to the child
Since homeschooling allows students to change the curriculum they follow, lessons can be changed as well.
Homeschooling allows teachers or parents to adjust the lessons to fit a child’s learning style and pace. If the child cannot pick up the lessons fast, they can stick to the lessons until they are proficient with it. They do not have to stick to the guidelines set in regular schools. They can also do their classes anytime they want.
• More practical learning activities
Unlike traditional schools where students are limited to how they are taught, homeschooling opens more chances for exploration.
Parents or tutors can use more learning aids to help kids learn the subject better. They can go to trips to museums or zoos to introduce concepts to kids. While schools do offer these trips, it is usually rare.
• Independence and maturity
Homeschooling also benefits children in the way that they can hone their sense of responsibility and maturity. They are the ones in charge of their success.
Tutors and parents can let the child do their homework on their own and they must know why it is important to do their work. The child is taught to be responsible for his own learning progress.
Homeschooling can also help students build their relationship with people.
If the parents are the ones in charge of the homeschooling, they can enjoy their child’s success and learn more about their child in the process. Their children will also be able to open up to their parents easily.
It is an awesome way to bond over studies!
• Time constraints
While homeschooling offers freedom on how classes are done, it can cause a lot of problems to schedules.
If the parent is the one handling their child’s homeschooling, they will be unable to work and focus on their child’s classes. Some will even need to leave their work altogether.
As the one in charge of your child’s education, you have to be with your child throughout the sessions and allocate some time to do the learning aids and check your child’s work.
• Financial Restraints
While homeschooling does not require a school fee, it may cause financial restraints for the family.
If the parents take in charge of the homeschooling, the other parent will have to take the slack and work double to finance the family. This can be a bit difficult for parents who both have stable careers.
On top of that, there are teaching aids and assessment books to purchase for your child to study. These are not cheap but the other alternative is to share resources with other homeschooling families or buy secondhand books.
Kiasu-ism strikes again!
For parents, taking on homeschooling can be quite daunting. You have to ask yourself if you will be able to monitor your child’s growth and help them with their education.
As you begin, you may double guess yourself and think that you are not doing the right thing for your child.
• Adjustment period
If your child is enrolled in a traditional school and you are considering shifting them to homeschooling, they may find it difficult to adjust.
Homeschooling has a different momentum and the activities you can do to help your child are immense. Your child may also find homeschooling harder because they are more familiar with traditional schooling.
For example, it is not about homework and exams anymore but learning through exploration and interaction. It will take your child some time to get used to homeschooling and you also have to adjust as well.
• Lifestyle change
Finally, homeschooling will also change your family’s lifestyle. If one parent takes over the child’s homeschooling, the family will have to work with one income.
Parents who take over their child’s homeschooling should look into alternative means to earn money to support the family. Some parents may find it easy to work with homeschooling, others may need to find ways to adjust.
Homeschooling presents a lot of benefits to children, as well as disadvantages. As parents, you need to research and see if this system works for your child and for the family.
Remember, every child have different learning preferences and skills. If you see that your child will learn better from homeschooling, check everything you need to know about it and go for it.
For more homeschooling materials, check these out: