Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Homeschooling kids aren't weird

For the past 8 months, since our final months in the states till this day, I've been keeping the kids 24/7 with me. I withdrew them from school since November last year. So yes, I am homeschooling them! Jare should rightfully be in N1 and Jazz in K1. I get raised eyebrows and interrogated curious questions whenever I proclaim, the kids don't go to school. And it's not like they should be in the mainstream primary school, where schooling is compulsory.

The common questions or comments I get these days, from family (yes, even my parents), relatives, friends and even strangers are, "Aren't they in school?" "K1? Gotta go school!" Or when we're out playing on a weekday, strangers would chat up "No school today?" 

So hmm, I'm not much of a small chat person or when I don't feel the need to bring anyone through my personal decision, I'll just brush questions off with very simple replies. After all, a Mum knows her battles best. She knows what's best for the family, to work or not to work, to homeschool or not. We don't need to shed much light on justifying ourselves.

I don't think I'll be in a prolonged situation of homeschooling Js, sharing the load of bringing some bread and butter home is in my plan. Just that I'm caught in a situation of having little toddlers at home, childcare is our only option if I plan to work. Since I've not caught up with a job, it's only prudent that I keep them with me. While job hunt goes slow, I take my everyday opportunity to teach and guide Js.

I may not have the professional resources to teach Js, but I don't think I'm in total lack of ideas. There are tons of books and ideas in the bookstores and even online resources to aid my teaching. Along these months, I witnessed the kids' milestones, know close to heart their academic, mental and physical progresses. Academics and character building have been our very zoomed in areas. Academics fill our weekday morning schedule. We work on assessment books, readings, experiments and sometimes arty crafts. In our afternoon time, Js are free to play, with some days on board games, crafts, TV or even back to academics. Challengingly, both Js decided to give up their nap some time last year. Leaving me a more comprehensive schedule with them. I am constantly in search of ideas to keep them occupied. No home work is done on our excursion days, where we bring learning and playing out of the home settings. 

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Free play with their toys
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Free time for reading

I wouldn't know how well Js fair among their peers, but I know all about teaching and learning at their pace. I try not to get panicky when Js don't get the simple things right. It's my longest project ever to get Jare put on his clothes fuss free and almost perfectly. I understand they sometimes lack that effective learning in groups, or maybe an ineffective educator. We try our best to make learning fun and effective. After all, patient is one fine quality we can posses when it comes to successful teaching. I'm glad that I can tailor my teaching to their individual need and progress.

Social skill isn't a total neglect. Js pick up social interactions when we hang around with our friends' kids. We love doing play dates! Whenever we're out playing with other kids, we observe how they respond during play. Do they wait or push for their turn? Do they apologize for faults? Do they play nice? I confess to having that tad worry about how they respond in social situations.

Homeschool kids aren't short changed. It's lots of work hard and play hard too. Yes, lots of frustrations for us, but we make up with frequent hugs and kisses, any time of the day. The best part about being home with them and working away from home is, I can get my cuddles and kisses anytime of the day! 

A Mum plans her battles well, if she doesn't think homeschooling is her highly developed trait, she wouldn't. Preschools are readily available. In our culture today, homeschooling mums are uncommon and it isn't an easy route to ride on. Homeschooling requires huge responsibility, I feel sorry for Js if they are stuck home with me everyday, playing aimlessly and doing nothing purposeful or fruitful. It's my Motherly duty that they are taught and engaged meaningfully. It's very much about discipline and consistency, though I have lazy days too.

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That's our completion! A little of a tiger mum.

Stay at home Mums and homeschool mums may encompass different elements. I can be a stay home mum, but I've school going children. Academic is outsourced. It's a different perspective being a SAHM, working in the homeschool department. Nope, we aren't weird, so are our kids. For now, I shoulder that 2 titles. Breathing in, breathing out... everyday is a surprise.

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