Thursday, June 19, 2008

Homeschooling

What is homeschooling? I've heard this buzzword for some time and it's usually linked to Christian groups. I have nothing against Christianity but I am wary of overzealous people out to convert all and sundry, whatever the religion. I will like to keep an open mind on religion, let my children learn all they can learn of different religions so they can make an educated choice in the future. So, having over enthusiastic people on one religion around will make clouded judgement in the future. I digress.... What is homeschooling?

This is the limited view I have of homeschooling.

1. The onus on educating my children will be on me, sitting one to one with them.

2. Children who are homeschooled miss out on interacting with other children from all walks of life. Limiting their chances to learn social skills as well as dealing with trials and tribulations of childhood.

3. I will be breaking the law as children are required to complete Std 6 education in school.

4. Homeschooling centres are usually run by church groups, which I am ok with as long as they do not try to "convert" my children.

5. There is negative connotation to homeschooling. Kids who are homeschooled are square.

These are what I can think of offhand. From what I read here. This paragraph caught my eye:

To homeschool is to take responsibility of your child/ren�s learning because parents want to assume a bigger role in the education of their children. We want children to learn naturally � meaning, that they are able to use their naturally inquisitive and full of wonder kind of minds to explore and learn about the world around them. To do this, parents must view and value their children with love and respect and trust them to learn with all their physical as well as mental senses. We must give them space to express themselves through movements, art, music, songs and poems, whichever that attracts them most. We must allow them to speak their minds and say what is in their hearts.

What I want for my children but is homeschooling an option? I don't know enough to make that decision. Where can I find more information? Who can I talk to? That's what I'm going to find out.

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7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am quite troubled by this "not allowed to ask question" culture/attitude.

Btw, is it a governmment school?
Regardless, it seems to me to be a matter of public interest.

Looks like a potential civil society (for want of a better word) initiative. Perhaps some blogger/journalist would like to investigate this.

Interview some parents, teachers, students, and write some blog post/feature article to raise public awareness, or at least position the issue on the public domain to give it a good airing (!) if nothing else.

How many parents are similarly but silently troubled, I wonder? It will certainly indicate the quality of society we have.

-kpc stranger-

1:56 pm  
Anonymous Heather said...

Hi Min!

I liked that you confess your view of homeschooling is limited and appreciate your honesty.

Although it may seem like many homeschoolers are Christians, homeschooling is growing quickly among all demographics.

Homeschoolers represent people from all walks of life, religions and backgrounds.

You can find a few statistics here

Families choose to homeschool for a variety of reasons depending on circumstances, goals, needs and values.

All want what's best for their children.

I think that many groups meet in churches because most buildings large enough to accomodate a large group are not empty during the week.

Cost is also a factor. Homeschoolers usually live on one income, so keeping rent costs to a minimum is essential.

Churches are accomodating and affordable to use. Most want to reach out to their community and look for ways to do that. Many are not homeschool friendly however, for various reasons.

Homeschooled children are also very active in the community and socialize with many people, not just their peer group or children their same age.

I am not sure of the homeschool laws in your country. Homeschooling in the US is legal in every state. You would have to research more on that one.

I have met some pretty "square" homeschooled kids, but most are just like every other ordinary kid. Values may differ, though.

I hope this helps you in your quest to learn more about homeschooling. I would love to correspond with you and provide any additional guidance or help.

Blessings,
Heather

8:26 pm  
OpenID cleffairy said...

LOL,min...I was referring to homeschooling style of school in my previous comment, where there are around 15-20 children in a class(and they're not even churches)... not 1 on 1 teaching without having the kids interacting with other children and yes, these kids still have to sit for UPSR, PMR and SPM in their schools... =.= I'll try dig out the infos for you...

9:35 pm  
Anonymous Dana said...

Can't speak to what is going on in Malaysia at all, but just because homeschooling "seems" connected to Christianity doesn't necessarily mean that it is, nor even that those families who do so and are Christian necessarily structure their lives according to the stereotypes. There are a lot of stereotypes surrounding activities which are poorly understood.

But the socialization question is always an interesting one among homeschoolers. There are generally a plethora of activities for your children to get involved in to have that necessary social outlet. If you think of it, more so than in school where they are required to sit for so many hours per day and then complete homework afterwords.

This looks like an interesting group to check out. I know nothing about them...I just found it on a quick search, but they don't seem particularly religious. If you contact them, they might be able to give you more information.

9:49 pm  
Anonymous Summer said...

You do have a very limited view of homeschooling it seems. Luckily what you describe is rarely the case entirely. What we often have is a vocal minority, meaning the loudest and most seen are generally not representative of most of the people. The rest of us are just going on about our days normally, which means not making the news or getting noticed the most.

1. While yes in homeschooling it is generally up to the parent to provide that education that certainly does not mean they do not seek outside help. Co-ops, support groups, trading teaching with other parents, and even local community college classes for older children are all used. In areas homeschooled students can even take one or two classes at the local public schools.

2. This is absolutely false. Though it is a common myth spread to distract from homeschoolers the reality is that no one is locking their children in the basements. From the above listed areas where children see others there are also church, the park, the neighborhood, the grocery store, the doctor's office, the post office, the museum, etc... In many cases homeschooled children receive better socialization simply because they are free to interact with a wider variety of people of all ages and backgrounds and are free to do so openly. That far surpasses being locked in a room with 30 other children of the exact same age that you are not allowed to talk to.

3. I'm sorry that your area limits parental choices like that. In America it is considered a parents right to raise their children how they see fit.

4. Not all are church groups. There are many secular homeschooling groups

5. There are also negative connotations to kids who are not homeschooled. The common stereotype in America is that children sent to public school are ignorant, rude, obsessed with looks, and violent. The common stereotype of kids sent to private schools is that they are spoiled, snobby, obsessed with money, manipulative, and have limited morals. No matter where kids go to school they will be faced with someone else's stereotype of them. That also happens to adults based on the career or life they choose, yet rarely do we choose a job based on what others would think of us.

10:01 pm  
Anonymous Daddy Parenting Tips said...

Homeschooling is actually a trend in many parts of the world these days. Google up attachment parenting and home schooling. I have started to write about attachment parenting even though my child is less than a year old. Teaching your child starts young. http://daddyparentingtips.blogspot.com/

I am a Malaysian living in Tokyyo and I know Malaysia. Everything is Boleh - as long as you do not step on the wrong toes. So, maybe its not illegal and you can practically do whatever you want in Malaysia until ... we change the government who would accept critique better.

12:51 am  
Anonymous amy said...

Did look into it but I agree there isn't a lot of info on this matter. My daughter Alisa is in a government school nearby and I tell you the school sucks. They just supposedly teach , write on the board and that it. Whether she finishes her work, wheteher she bothers to write, they don't care. Exam orientated well this is their way, the nearere the exams, they load tons and tons of work with no clear explaination so the kids score. Alisa was lost and the parents mind our bz schedule have to teach them. It's as if they offload the burden to us.
A friend moved her daughter to an American base homeschooling in Tmn Melawati. 10-20 kids in a class maybe you would like to look into it. Best of luck dear.

Amy

4:43 pm  

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