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Monday, June 16, 2008

What I have been doing..

Yeah, again back to my favourite topic : Homeschooling (wont be able to be online most of the time). I was and still is doing research + readings on Homeschool again, as I really want to homeschool my kids till they are 12years old.. or even up to pre-uni level..

Why homeschool? Lots of reason that I cant/dont have the time to pen them down here. But I need to seek courage to do it.. Lil C is only 3, and he is enjoying school at the moment. I dread to think ahead where he had to study and struggle to get good grades in school exam... sigh! I remembered my time when I was in school, and now I see my nieces are having such problems... I dont want to see my boys having such stress!!... So, am I ready to follow the journey that is less travelled? Check out this site : Homeschool Malaysia

Recently I added my books, and just finished reading the Learning Beyond Schooling from the mentioned website. Either you are against/for homeschooling, it is the book that I highly recommend parents to read, to look into the reality of school system. I ordered the book directly from the author: Ms Chong Wei Leng, with her signature! And she mentioned that the group might visit Sabah in August! hope to be able to meet up with them.. :)

Home schooling: In the comfort of their home
IT'S not your exclusive expensive private school or the humble pondok of the east coast that have produced some fine scholars.

Henry K. Pillai says home-schooled children learn how to think critically.
Henry K. Pillai says home-schooled children learn how to think critically.
This is home schooling, education provided by mum and dad right at home, and it looks to have set root in Malaysia.

There are an estimated 1,000 children who are being home schooled in the Klang Valley, according to Henry K. Pillai, the chairman of the Petaling Jaya Homeschooling Association.

"The number is increasing," said Pillai whose association, which was set up in 2000, acts as the resource centre for about 200 home-schooled children.

There are many families home schooling their children but there is no way of knowing the exact figures as they are unregistered.
"Many families in Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu and other states are calling us to get more information on home schooling," said Pillai.

Home schooling is not a new concept. American presidents such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore F. Roosevelt were home-schooled.

The list of luminaries also includes Florence Nightingale, Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Mozart and authors Agatha Christie, Mark Twain and Charles Dickens.

It was common among the privileged and rich members of society.

King Mongkut of Siam, in the celebrated film The King and I, had in the early 1860s "installed" an English teacher in the palace for his children.

The growing number of families in Malaysia turning to home schooling are no aristocrats. They are well off and can afford the time and effort to look into home schooling for their children.

Chong Wai Leng, 43, who works from home, and her husband, K.V. Soon, 44, made the decision to home-school their three children, Amrita, 12, Samanta, 11 and Arian, 4, after years of researching the pros and cons.

"In a (national) classroom, the children are learning in an environment which could prove to be jarring, with 40 to 50 other children in the same class," said Chong.

"The noise, the pressure to perform, the punishment meted out by school authorities can be traumatic and difficult for a child to handle."

Looking for a holistic approach to education, the family attended a home-schooling convention held in California in the United States, attended by over 500 families from all across the nation.

The experience was an eye-opener for the couple who saw that home-schooled children were much happier.

"That was when we decided to aim for the unstructured approach.

"Home schooling is basically learning according to the child's interest.

"There's no timetable, no real syllabus per se. It's freedom in learning," said Soon.

"It struck us because they were learning so much more, more than what they could get in the classrooms. We decided that alternative education brings out the best in them."

The couple's two-storey house in Subang Jaya is a mini-education hub, complete with a small library, computers and musical instruments.

There are also opportunities to conduct educational excursions as there is no time constraint.

"Just a few months ago, we organised a trip to TV3 to learn about television programming, together with other home-schooled children.

"There were about 100 of us, including parents. Parents of home schoolers have organised many educational trips for their children," said Soon.

Chong and Soon are also the founders of www.familyplace.com.my, which has become a meeting ground for home educators.

Chong is also the author of Learning Beyond Schooling: Bringing out Children's True Potentials.

Kam Thean Au, 62, and his wife, Audrey, 50, home schooled their daughters, Grace, 13, and Joyce, 12, for three years.

"After doing much research, we found that the home schooling system is the best for our children.

"They learn how to regulate themselves and become more independent and disciplined," said Kam.

Contrary to popular belief, home schoolers are not sheltered from the outside world.

"They have opportunities to socialise with other home schoolers and they take part in numerous social activities.

"In many ways, they are better equipped to face their college and university years as they have been trained to be independent," said Kam.

Soon said the home schoolers' social spectrum was wide.

"In school, they will only get to know those of the same age or closer to their age, whereas when they are home schooled, they can socialise with people of all ages, races and all walks of life," said Soon.

Kam said many parents of gifted children choose home schooling as they could pursue their own interests, an opportunity which was not available in national schools.

A home-schooled child may not face as much pressure as their school-going counterparts may face, said Pillai.

"It's not all result-oriented, so there is little or no pressure on the children."


Sandra@miabambina said...

really admired you , makcik.
I love the idea of proper home schooling. And admire parents who do that. I wish I could but I dont have the patience. hehehe....
And Indy is the challenger type. she always think what I said is not true but what teacher said is true. HOW YA?
I dont mind she listen to her teacher, but it's really annoying for me . I hope this is just a phase.

Elaine said...

at a point of time, after I read that book, I was also thinking of homeschooling my children. I gave it a lot of thoughts, I spoke to my parents and hubby, but none supported me. (You know la..my family members from aunties to uncles to my parents were/are teachers from gov school) in fact they were quite against the idea. Hub had his own view on why we shouldn't homeschool too. After some thoughts and consideration, I think the most important is the role we parents play, be it at school or homeschool, what expectation we have on your kids, how we guide and coach them through .

Rayhana said...

Hi there,
I'm glad I stumbled upon your blog, and tks for the link to FamilyPlace!

I am really considering homeschooling my kid/s (I have a 18 month old son at the moment) but am not sure where it stands in our country!

I agree with you on how schools seem to be a battle ground of who is the smartest, and gets the most As, there is more to life than that! What about the joy and love of learning?

It surprises me that prior to capitalism, and industrialisation, there weren't schools!

Once again, thanks a lot.
It'd be great to find more mommas who are bent on homeschooling their kids, at least can get some support and learn from each other!

Sandra@miabambina said...

Celine you should try to homeschooling and then make the group for homeschooling moms in KK!!!
Agree with Rayhana, the school try to push the children to get straight As and it make me scare. My dd is going to primary next year and it is more important to me for her to enjoy the learning and not to force to sit down and do piles of homework every day.

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