With subsidised tuition fees and a wide range of intensive subjects, the education offered in Singapore is considered one of the best in the world. However, there are still families in Singapore opting for homeschooling.
Whether it is due to financial constraints, religious beliefs or even just wanting to provide a better conducive environment, the concept of homeschooling in Singapore is more prevalent now.
Homeschooling is less about stress and more about learning. It allows you to control what your child picks up and/or what environment he or she is in. If you choose to homeschool your kid or opt for virtual courses, monitoring their growth will instil values in your children that they learn from you first-hand.
This allows more bonding time but also a cognitive growth in their mental and physical wellbeing.
Traditional schools require students to learn subjects offered from kindergarten all the way to tertiary level. With homeschooling, parents have the liberty to choose the courses in which they think that their children can learn best. The rigid structure of a school is not enforced on children which is crucial for children who learn better in a flexible environment.
Preparing for Homeschooling
As a parent, if you think that homeschooling is a better option for your children, you would need to first apply for approval from the Ministry of Education (MOE).
It is compulsory in Singapore to obtain a primary school education. Therefore, to be exempted from the system, proper approval and strict adherence to homeschooling guidelines are crucial.
In terms of preparation, there are a number of things that a parent needs to watch out for.
- Set learning goals for your child. An education, be it in school or at home, should always be oriented with a child’s goals. With homeschooling, not having the learning goals set can hinder a child’s learning process. One sure way to start is by following MOE’s goals and tweaking it as you learn more about your children’s learning abilities. This way, the goals are not solely his or hers, but yours too.
- Managing expectations. Homeschooling will not be a smooth ride. Despite you being personally handling your children’s education without external obstruction, there will be good and bad days. Therefore, managing your expectations and that of your child can help avoid misunderstandings with the entire family.
- Prepare the necessary materials. Although eLearning is all the rage now. Buying the necessary textbooks, assessment papers and other teaching aids will provide more flexibility and benefits for you and your children, especially when it comes to hands-on learning.
- Develop a daily schedule. Although homeschooling offers a better flexibility for you and your child than that of a school. A timetable can still be vital so that there can be a clear path to achieving your children’s educational goals.
- Prepare social activities. Without classmates and co-curricular activities, children being homeschooled should be exposed to socialising so as to develop their social skills. Things that a parent can do include enrolling the child in sports clubs or even just a playdate can instil better interpersonal skills to your children.
Costs of Homeschooling
In Singapore, the average cost to homeschool one child is approximately $2500 annually, with costs going down with each subsequent child.
The cost is made up of the following:
- Updated textbooks
- Computer equipment
- Supplementary tutors
As compared to government schools in Singapore which can amount to approximately $103 per month.
|MONTHLY COST AS PER 2013||SINGAPOREAN PR||INTERNATIONAL STUDENT FROM ASEAN COUNTRIES||INTERNATIONAL STUDENT FROM NON-ASEAN COUNTRIES|
|JUNIOR COLLEGES/CENTRALISED INSTITUTIONS||$187||$727||$1,027|
Source: Ministry of Education
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