Saturday, May 9, 2009

Why do I choose to homeschool?

In a Dec 22, 2008 report, <http://www.asiaone.com/News/Education/Story/A1Story20081222-109613.html> Singapore's Minister of Education said that 19 out of 26 homeschoolers in the country met the ministry's PSLE (Primary School Leaving Examination) benchmark.

A Malaysian Christian homeschooling group that I belongs to started a discussion about this and asked everyone opinion on are we measuring up to the standard? Do we need to measure up?Etc.

My question is why should it be a BIG surprise that some of the homeschooler failed to measure up? Are we operating on the presumption that homeschooler is academically better than those attend national school? Is that why we homeschool our kids?

May be that is the reason some of the people start homeschooling, but not me.

I have never thought I am a better teacher than those who are academically trained. I did not choose to homeschool Den because I think I can teach her better than a kindergarten.

I choose to homeschool because I want her to build a strong foundation in God. For knowing God is the beginning of wisdom. I want her to be wise instead of knowledgeable.

I choose to homeschool because I want to help her build up good attitudes and habits that can last her for life:
  • Love for books
  • Thirst for knowledge
  • Self motivate
  • Perseverance

There is always pressure from those around you, everyone seems to think since you choose to homeschool it must be because homeschool is better than normal school, so your kid must be better than other, that kind of crab.

I have to admit from time to time, I will compare too. Is she doing better (academic wise) than those who go to school. But very quickly, I will give my self a mental shack. That's not why I choose to homeschool. Come on, if I choose to send her to school, she would have learned to read by now. Instead, we are struggling together with phonic (but loving it!).

If I fallen into the trap of trying to keep up academically, I will start to worry about may be I need to teach her this, may be I need to teach her that and slowly and slowly, homeschool will just be another smaller scale school.

Please don't get me wrong, I have no problem if she can keep up academically, but never at the expand of loosing focus on the important things.

When you focus on faith and character building, then you would not mind so much about not meeting academic target, missed lessons, etc. A day out with friends is a good day in learning too. At the same time, you got to withstand the heat too. Your kid might be slower academically.

It is easier say than done. If not with the support of ST, I will never begin this journey. I have to tell my self again and again, what I am doing now is planting a huge tree. The root need to be buried really really deep and one day one day, it will be come a big tree that last for a long long time. My hope and my prayer.

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