Every Chinese New Year, we are asked this question: Is Hannah attending school? And when I tell people that she’s not attending a kindergarten or a childcare centre, they’ll naturally ask why homeschool?
My reasons to people are never quite complete. I’ve learned to give different reasons to different people; mainly to avoid further questioning or run into a debate about homeschooling (or what’s best for my children).
Anyway, I’m penning down my reasons for homeschooling so as to remind myself why I grit my teeth and soldier on through those hair-pulling days (with a capital ‘S’).
It all started when Hannah around 16 months old. After being a stay-home mom for nearly 3 months, I was kind of bored at home with a toddler (I truly had no idea how blissful life was then…) Then I met up with a friend who homeschool her children. The word, “homeschool” was really something new yet exciting to me.
After much research (…prayers, self-doubt and worry), we embarked our homeschooling journey when most of Hannah’s peers start to attend childcare or play groups.
:: Learn together ::
Homeschooling has showed me God’s world with fresh perspective. It’s clearly evident that I don’t know a lot of things. I thoroughly enjoy researching and discovering the new with Hannah.
I find it such privilege to be by my children when they start reading for the first time, or see their faces go “A-HA!” when they finally understood a concept.
Learning together with my children has taught me how to rely on God for wisdom and direction. It has taught me to dig deeper into His word and to realise the marvellous creation He has made.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
:: Learn at our own pace ::
It’s generally acknowledged that school stress hits both children and parents in Singapore. The number of hours put into enrichment classes and assessment worksheets just throws me off.
I hope to hold back the pressure for as long as I can. We want our children to look at the world around with wonder and intrigue. They are allowed to develop at their pace, not by peers or stated benchmarks. We are created uniquely so why are we expected to perform uniformly?
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.Psalm 139:13-14
:: Grow as a family ::
A relationship with a sibling is probably the longest relationship you’ll ever have. Homeschooling has allowed the siblings to bond through tears and laughter. They are still learning how to share and get along with each other. Lots of squabbles and “..I was playing with this first…” But you know what? It’s really something when you see them walking hand in hand.
A friend loveth at all times; And a brother is born for adversity.
:: Faith begins at home ::
Life lessons cannot be found in textbooks but demonstrated by deeds and actions. Christ should not be only found in Sunday School but in our daily lives. People have jokingly said, “Are you thinking of raising a pastor?”
I’d say, “Why not?” I don’t want my children to think of Bible stories as fairy tales that took place in Neverland. What’s recorded in the Bible is true. It happened for real.
Homeschooling allows us to recognise the truth of God. If we don’t start now, then when?
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Having said all this, I don’t have everything mapped out. I don’t know if I’m homeschooling through the primary school years. It’s unnerving to have the weight of your children’s education upon your shoulders.
We are taking each year as it comes. Our family schedule is ever changing. But one thing’s for sure: No regrets taking this plunge!