Friday, August 10, 2012

Homeschooling FAQs

A lot of friends and family have enquired about which school that Evan is attending.
When the question is directed to Evan, he will reply "homeschool." (HS)
We decided on HS because we feel that it's the best way for Evan.

This is an FAQ of some of the questions we've encountered.

Q: Are you sending Evan to a homeschool centre? or are you guys teaching him, yourselves?
A: 'Homeschooling' in a centre is akin to private schooling. In the truest sense, HS means parents educate their child(ren) at home (as well as outside our homes), rather than at a public or private learning institution. So, we are the main educators for our children. Thus, Evan stays at home instead of heading to a centre.

Q: By homeschooling, can Evan take public exams and enter university later?
A: This will depend on what he is interested to do in future. Of course, if he is interested to take up a course at a local university, he can sit for the SPM or STPM as a private candidate. Anyway, you don't need a university degree to be successful in life or to earn megabucks. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg is an example! Evan can choose to go to seminary or university - either way his choice will be dependant on his passion. By homeschooling, we hope to help him discover his passion. 

Q: Isn't HS boring for Evan? He won't have many friends at all.
A: Evan gets to socialize with people of all ages wherever he goes. There's church, cell group, ballet class, music school, field trips with homeschoolers etc. So, I am not too worried. Plus, HS will not be boring cos I've got lots of activities planned and lots of field trips in store too!

Q: Is HS legal?
A: Yes HS is legal in Malaysia. The Education Act 1996 states that primary education is compulsory and parents or guardians who do not send their children to school nor educate them in any way will be fined. Homeschoolers need to apply for school exemption from the Ministry of Education. However, more often than not, their applications are not successful. The authorities will allow HS for children who travel a lot with their parents due to the nature of their work and also if the child is gifted or has a learning disorder. Even with permission to HS, parents and guardians must ensure that the child is taught the KBSM syllabus and a progress report must be submitted.

Q: What's wrong with our schools now? We all went through the system and turned out OK.
A: Instead of elaborating on this, perhaps it's better if I just include the links to 2 talks by Sir Ken Robinson. The main points in the talks are:
- education in schools as we know it are outdated & outmoded. 
- traditional schooling do not cater for individual learning styles or take into account their talents, giftings and inclinations.
- schools and universities do not prepare our kids for the unpredictable future (the new world and new economy). 

1 comment:

My First Skool said...

While I really like the idea of homeschooling the kids, pros and cons are surely one to be considered about. Low risk of running into alot of bad activities like one of the pros many believe to be true. Education wise, probably homeschool can tackle as much as those being taught at school, how systematic it goes depends on how the parents or hired lecturer does their teaching. But one thing to consider is, even with influence of social network etc, one cannot learn how to socialize without actually being near another human being. Aren't you afraid that he will grow up to be a self centered and unable to think on people's perspective?

A class of 30-40 people brings in 30-40 different personalities and we are not even going to the possibilities of making friends outside of 1 specific classrooms yet. Include teachers in and how often can one be inspired by another's thought other than their own or people who are close to them?

I think main cons about home schooling is lack of exposure. Sure, you don't risk them being expose to bad elements but with that, the good ones are also being ignored.

Just my humble though though and do not mean to question the effectiveness of homeschooling at all.