Homeschooling in Singapore: Should you?
Homeschooling in Singapore? Why do you need to do it when Singapore’s Education System is easily one of the best in the world?
Yes, judgmental as they might seem, these are the few responses that you might be getting from friends and relatives when you share your crazy homeschooling idea with them.
Don’t take it the wrong way, they are not trying to discourage you from doing it. In fact, as ex-educators, we think that homeschooling is a noble job. But before you take the leap of faith, let’s walk you through your reasons for doing it and what you need to know about homeschooling in Singapore.
Why do parents choose to homeschool their children?
We’re sure that if you are a concerned parent, somewhere in time, you’re going to be thinking hard about the kind of person you want your child to be and this is going to be a major consideration of the kind of education you are going to put them through.
Most parents who homeschool their children do it for 3 main reasons.
- Increase Bonding Time with their Children
It’s a very natural thing to enjoy watching your kid grow up and these parents who choose to homeschool their children enjoy spending quality time with their child.
They love doing activities together with them and get a great sense of satisfaction to be part of their child’s growing process.
- Be in Better Control of what their Children is Learning
Although the primary school route is good for learning, these parents don’t really want their child to be too academically-inclined. Instead, they value real world experiences and want to impart important life skills to their child while they are young and impressionable.
Unlike conventional school where there is a schedule to do everything, homeschooling parents prefer to give their child the time and space to explore their potential and develop their talents early. Afterall, a teacher is still a teacher, a parent should know their child the best.
- Personalize the Learning Experience for their Kids with Special Learning Needs.
Although there are special programs to take care of children who are autistic, dyslexic and other special learning needs, the class is still tailored to a group of children so the teacher in class might not be able to cater to the needs of these children.
Homeschooling these children will give parents a chance to understand their children better and give them the appropriate support.
What’s your reason of homeschooling?
You need to always be clear of that because there will be moments of self-doubt during the homeschooling journey. This reason is going to help you pull through and stand by your belief. You know it’s going to be all worth it and that’s why you are doing this.
What to know as a parent who is homeschooling in Singapore
In case you need a little support, homeschooling is not something that is totally unheard of in Singapore.
Some of you might have heard of former popular MediaCorp artists Evelyn Tan and Darren Lim who are homeschooling parents. They’ve shared that homeschooling helps them set a curriculum that is more suited to their children’s needs. In addition, there is also a homeschooling community in Singapore that has around 200 members in it to provide support to one another, so yes, you won’t be alone.
Now, let’s take a look at what you need to know to be a homeschooling parent.
- Get official approval from MOE
Since Primary school education is compulsory in Singapore, you need to seek formal approval from MOE to be exempted from the system. In order to ensure that parents who choose to homeschool their children are capable of educating their child, there are requirements that every homeschooling parent must meet. You can always check out the MOE website for more information.
- Keep your education goals in focus and plan well
Homeschooling is a 24 x 7 job and you need to have a clear plan of what you are going to do to achieve your education goals for your child. As a start, you can always refer to the MOE curriculum and use it as a guide, adjusting it accordingly so that it suits you and your child’s needs and interests. Planning a daily schedule can be very helpful, but remember to keep it flexible so that you won’t be feeling too stressed over it.
If you need resources, you can always do some research on Google or check with fellow homeschooling parents if they want to share resources. There are many learning aids and good tools out there. Choose the one that is adaptable to your child’s needs so that it is in line with what you are doing.
For English, check out these well-written books: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, The Secret Garden, The Magician’s Nephew
For Math, check out interesting Youtube channels like Math Antics and if you are looking for engaging practice testing, you could try out Practicle.
For Science, check out Kiwico for some fun hands-on learning and activity-based play.
- Manage your role well
It takes a lot to be a homeschool parent. There may be times of self-doubt and pressure when friends and relatives do not share your thoughts on education. Remember that it is your child and their future that you are taking charge of, and be affirmed that you are doing the right thing. As you’ll also be dealing with your child all the time, you’ll need to be able to tolerate your child’s good and bad sides and guide them along patiently. If you make a mistake at any time, don’t be too hard on yourself, you are only human. It’s nothing serious, just be sure to make it better the next day.
- Don’t forget about your child’s social needs
Unlike other children who get to mix with their peers in school, you need to remember to make a conscious effort in exposing your child to social activities to help them develop social skills. Make use of this time to bond with your extended families and friends. Plan play dates with other children, sign your child up for fun enrichment classes that you know they’ll enjoy or bring them to your religion school. This enables them to mingle with other children and make new friends.
- All children who are homeschooled in Singapore needs to take the PSLE (Primary School Leaving Examination)
When this pops up, a lot of parents start to wonder – How well have homeschoolers been faring in PSLE? Well, although there might be a stigma that children who are homeschooled might not be academically-inclined, this is not true.
According to a News Article on the New Paper in 2014, only 1 out of 3 homeschooled students who have taken the PSLE in the last five years have failed to meet the PSLE benchmark.
In case it concerns you, homeschooled children will need to take a test at the Primary 4 level as a checkpoint to gauge their progress. So depending on what you want to achieve, you can decide if you want to continue homeschooling your child or allow them to join the mainstream school when the time comes.
Can I still homeschool my child when they are supposed to be in secondary school?
Well, you can. This really depends on your level of comfort. Although it means learning new stuff, it’s learning it together. In any case, it’s too easy to tell. Go through the primary phrase and then decide.
Homeschool in Singapore – What’s Next?
We hope that this article has given you a clearer picture on what to expect as a homeschool parent in Singapore.
If you decide to go into it eventually, we’d suggest that you join a homeschool community in Singapore so that your journey will be smoother and supported.
Do you think homeschooling is worth the leap? Let us know in the comments below.