This is an (edited) email response to a reader who wrote in. We received many email of such nature and are very similar – some may be able to relate. This person’s child is now in primary 2 of a Chinese school. He is labelled an underachiever and always being beaten by his teachers for failing his subjects. He returned from school with his exam papers in tears. He practically managed to fail all his subjects. His parents noticed that his learning style is more of a visual learner, and loves arts and wants to be a scientist one day.
We would like to share our (edited) reply with you.
What we have in our education system is an archaic system that limits, oppresses and separate children’s minds that are originally pure and innocent, inquisitive and highly motivated to learn. But for some strange reason, people think it best to send children to this institution called school, so that they can learn. But learning under stressful and overly structured environments only serve to do the opposite: children become fearful of learning because they are not allowed to be themselves, to question, to probe, or even to resist activities that go against their natural will. Or they turn into ugly monsters in the form of bullies!
We’ve been homeschooling our children since they were young: my eldest is 13, the second one is 12 and my youngest is 5. We’ve learnt a lot from them, how they learn, the different styles, temperament, and even challenges. Going against society’s accepted norm can pose some difficulty sometimes, but on the whole, we are unperturbed and are happily doing what we do at home, as well as with other families who have the similar values as ours.
We are of the opinion that as parents to our children, we have the right to educate them in a manner that we feel adequate and beneficial for them. Homeschooling is a way of life that is natural and unique for each child and family. In my opinion, one does not need to apply to homeschool. You just do it whenever you feel you’re ready! The problem with the current situation is, that the education ministry does not seem to know much about homeschooling, and there does not appear to have any proper guidelines in place to deal with this issue. What’s in their book is probably this: those with learning disability can attend the special needs schools that are set up in various government schools, and “normal” kids should attend regular school like everybody else. So only those with severe cases of disability should resort to homeschooling! Would you want to apply under such circumstances?
There are many families happily homeschooling over the years, and the number is growing steadily here. You will not be alone as you can find support from the internet and seek out those who live near you. Even if you may not be able to find any initially, there is no stopping you from doing what comes naturally to you, that is, teaching your own children the basic foundations of life!
The results may not be in the form of A’s or B’s or C’s – but who needs those anyway, when we have something even better – the minds and hearts of our children intact and alive!
We would like to wish you all the very best in this endeavor and we will strive to help you in any way we can to help you along this joyful journey they call homeschooling!