Next week will be Ishra’s last week of school. We are homeschooling therefater. I am very excited about it and so is Ishra for she’s been talking about the things that she wants to learn more about. She’s also looking forward to spending more time reading rather than doing homework which sometimes served as copying exercises.
I started thinking about alternatives to the 5-day week schooling system when I realised classroom environment doesn’t suit my 4-year-old son, Aditya. At about the same time Ishra started displaying more interests in rhythmic gymnastics and music. Her passions, which she won’t be able to spend much time on, if she continues going to school.
I know I can’t continue sending Ishra to school expecting the institution caters to her interests and potential. Local public schools are generally academic-oriented. The curriculum was not designed with the aim of encouraging students to think for themselves . On top of that the examination system encourages children to regurgitate what they’ve learned. Developing one’s own opinions doesn’t seems to be part of the deal.
My observation is, if a student excels in a non-academic subject like sports or arts he or she is still expected to follow the same curriculum. Let’s take the Bukit Jalil National Sports School for example, athletes are expected to learn the same subjects as their contemporary in public schools. Interestingly though, for a shorter period. Yet, they are expected to spend a huge chunk of time on sports training.
Personally I think, education is about allowing children to excel in what they are naturally good at. I believe homeschooling allows me the freedom to teach my kids to think for themselves, to be free from fear and judgement and not let others dictate what they can learn and be good at, not matter what age they are at.
I also think that education should not be confined within the four walls of the classroom. Furthermore, I refuse to be a victim, who complains about the education system, the school, the government or even the teacher, yet do nothing about it.
Frankly, I can’t imagine anyone else, who’d put my kids interests and growth above everything else. Plus, as a parent, I have no interest in politicising my children’s education.