Homeschooling is Not For Me

I’ve been reading up a lot more about homeschooling curriculum ever since I vowed not to enroll him in any enrichment classes, hopefully ever. On the other hand, I also felt that formal schooling doesn’t do a good job of arousing interest in learning itself. I survived well in the formal school setting. But recently, I realized how poor my general knowledge is. I hardly knew anything about plants and animals besides the most generic things we learn in school. I’m sure Calvin will soon know more about nature than I do – like things about dinosaurs, solar system, sea creatures etc. I did read lots of Chinese folk lore when I was young though – all those stories about fox spirits (狐狸精),snake spirits (白蛇精) etc. Certainly, my Chinese is all the better for it. I’m surprised at how easily I picked up Chinese again after 10 years of not reading much Chinese except in manga and speaking only a smattering at best. This summer, I actually easily read two Chinese novels – 蓝血人 卫斯理 and 鹿鼎记 by 金庸, which honestly surprised me.

So basically, I hope that he can be free to explore his interests and learn because he enjoys it. While school teaches children knowledge, they don’t necessarily nurture a love of learning. Having him attend public schools will mean he has less time for fun projects we could do that interest him. Despite that, I would still like him to attend school so he can make friends and have a common childhood like everyone else. Sure enough, as antisocial as I am, it would be hard for me to seek out other homeschooling parents just so he can make friends with their kids and he doesn’t even have siblings to interact with. That and the fact that I would like some breathing space for myself. Preparing interesting curriculum is time consuming work. Granted, anything is better than reading from a textbook like it’s done in school, but if I’m going to do it, I’d rather it be done well.

So in a bit of compromise, he will probably go to school as planned and I can plan out his ‘enrichment’ activities with him. For now, that means more nature walks, even when it’s cold and all I want to do is huddle at home, and we are trying out lapbooks. We made one yesterday and he seemed to enjoy it. I’ll blog about that another day.


One Response to “Homeschooling is Not For Me”

  1. e* Says:

    I did well in a formal school setting as well, but had decent general knowledge. I think it’s because my parents bought me books like “1,001 facts” (I LOVE(D) that book – it had science, history etc. – the only thing was that it was very Anglo/Europe-centric, which is probably why I’ve always liked England/Europe more than Asia… because I was exposed to their history before I learnt Asian history in school) etc.

    I don’t think being well-rounded and going to a regular school is mutually exclusive. Maybe it is in S’pore, or if the kid gets lots of after-hours tuition on homework. But I had a lot of fun in my spare time doing lots of stuff (reading, researching on dogs, drawing), as did the Boy – the spent his spare time looking up demographic facts and collecting data on them.

    In any case, I think you’ve done a really good job so far exposing him to lots of general knowledge stuff, e.g. dinosaurs (of course, haha), the immune system etc. So I don’t think you need to worry about it.


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