WHY ARE YOUR KIDS NOT IN SCHOOL AND AT A THEME PARK IN APRIL?!
Because we are SPECIAL! 😂
Almost 8 years ago when Matt was born, we were MOE school teachers. We've seen so much of what school is for the vast majority of children in Singapore and decided it wasn't for our kids. So yes, we have gone through the difficult process of getting officially exempted from school and approved for homeschooling. (We are happy to connect with anyone who is considering homeschooling and share how we navigated the entire process! Just click on the chat button!)
Homeschooling, Road Schooling and Unschooling is exactly what are doing with our kids turning 8 and 5 this year. Let's define this for those who aren't familiar with it:
Homeschooling: Children are schooled at home, usually by a parent or parents at home.
Unschooling: Instead of following a rigid traditional syllabus full time, learning is self-directed by their interests. Although we try to do this as often as we can, we are still bound by the fact that our children will have to take their PSLE exams later on. So we do engage in curriculum-driven learning to ensure they will be ready for the statutory requirements.
Road Schooling: Yes it means what it means! We've packed up our lives and are working out a life of schooling on the road as we travel, work and learn!
THIS SOUNDS IMPOSSIBLE!
Learning can be done ANYTIME and ANYWHERE. Many of us have been made to think that learning only happens when a student is seated quietly in his chair behind a desk while a teacher talks on. The fact is, very little meaningful learning is really happening. The BILLION dollar tuition industry in Singapore is the greatest single piece of evidence that proves this.
IT HAS BEEN A GREAT WEEK OF LEARNING!
We've based ourselves in an apartment for the past week in Genting Highlands. We've driven the winding roads and marvelled at the beauty of the rain forest and cool weather! We learnt about altitude and how Bukit Timah Hill is 164m and the Genting resorts were 1645m above sea level. When we walked among the clouds and feel that sense of wonder, we learnt that clouds are AEROSOLS - a suspension of air and liquid droplets! We enjoyed the sounds of the forest and researched on a variety of flora and fauna including ORANGE MOSS! (We've only seen the green ones!)
I've learnt as an adult that what we do to nature profoundly affects the future custodians of Earth - our children. Gwyn was visibly upset when she saw the construction team across our apartment cutting down the trees and preparing the ground for construction. She kept saying "they are ruining MY forest! MY forest!".
WE CAN LEARN WHEN WE ARE HAVING FUN AT THEME PARKS TOO!
The children have learnt a great deal in the few days we've visited the arcade and theme park! We've learnt to plan our time, budget and route around the place. We've learnt to be resilient when our feet are hurting having walked more than 10 thousand steps in an afternoon. We've learnt to be patient and gracious when papa led us the wrong way and we have to walk back up the steep hill. We've learnt to maximise fun with the limited tokens we have in the arcade card. We've learnt that it is okay for children to be afraid of loud noises and wearing the ear muffs help them cope + protect their ears from excessive noise.
THE WORLD IS OUR CLASSROOM
We know that learning can happen when we sit down and complete our workbooks. But learning happens in more ways that we can ever imagine. On this grand tour, we learn whenever we feel the wind in our hair, the exhilarating rush on theme park/cable car rides and journeys across the world.
Learning is not the product of teaching.
Vincent & Debra Kwan, Founders of Hiro & Jack and stay-at-home parents with the odd life.
Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org