Home schooling: A parent's experienceonSponge recently interviewed our journal panelist Trevor who pulled all four of his kids from mainstream schools and placed them under a home schooling system. Trevor describes how he and his wife San San decided to do it, touches on the challenges, rewards and offers advice to others who might be thinking of doing the same!
onSponge: Please provide a brief introduction of yourself and family.
Trevor: I am a Financial Planner and my wife San San is a stay-home mom who also teaches piano from our home. We have four kids: our eldest Rebecca who is 15, followed by 13-year-old Reuben, 11-year-old Rachel and our youngest, five-year-old Ranice.
onSponge: We understand both you and your spouse decided a few years ago to move your four children into a home schooling system. Please share with onSponge readers your thoughts that led to this decision.
Trevor: It was primarily the stress of the mainstream education system for the kids and us as parents. Our family lifestyle revolved around the kids' education. The kids were constantly occupied with school work, tuition and exams. They had no leisure, no time even to learn music from mummy. So we started exploring alternatives and seeking God for a wholesome approach to education. Christian home schooling had been on our minds for several years before we took the step of faith to move the three older ones into the system.
onSponge: What are the major challenges, if any, that you faced then, and how did you overcome them?
Trevor: Major challenges were from our parents especially my in-laws who were retired teachers. They felt that home schooling has no proven track record and will not be recognized. We had to reassure them by exposing them to the system and the changes for the better that they can see in our kids. The achievements of the kids under the new system also gave them assurance that we are on the right track.
onSponge: Looking back, would you have done anything differently? If so, what would that be?
Trevor: We may have started our kids earlier! That would have saved them plus ourselves of at least one to two years of stress and anxiety.
onSponge: Do you have any advice to give other parents who might be thinking of doing the same for their children?
Trevor: Have an open mind. If you are Christian seek God for directions. Explore the alternatives to get a better understanding. Talk to parents and even educators on the options. The system works well for kids who want to learn and excel at their own pace. Kids can set their own pace, learn faster in their strong areas and take more time for their weaker subjects.