Homeschool mum and writer for our Alumni series, Lynda, talks to our third interviewee, Ning. He graduated from Abeka with a high school diploma and currently holds two licenses as a financial advisor and estate planner.
It was a clear and sunny day when my son and I met Ning for a chat! I was very excited because I enjoy meeting new people. He had booked a small conference room in his work place so that we could have lunch while chatting. Tall and dashing, with an unassuming demeanor, Ning is the picture of quiet confidence.
Tell me a bit about homeschooling in the teen years!
I did not have much pain and struggles. Homeschooling gave me a lot of flexibility, and there was no pressure of deadlines (versus if I had gone to school). Being the youngest of 8 children, my siblings had mostly started working or moved onto institutions of higher learning. But this made me an independent learner at an early age.
A unique strength of homeschoolers would definitely be our independence. We not only are able to do things on our own, but we are also free of peer influence molding the way we think. This self reliance is something I find homeschooling really assisted developing within me.
Do you think you didn’t learn how to socialise as a result of homeschooling? Would it have been better in school?
I do not think so because I would go out everyday to play basketball with the neighbourhood kids, and had plenty of opportunity to socialise. Despite having an introverted personality, I have no issues interacting with people.
Do you feel different (unique or inferior) because you aren’t like most of the other kids who attend school?
Definitely not, even though many ostracize homeschoolers.
Do you think you would homeschool your own children?
Well, I think I may actually send them to school because school covers the academics aspect thoroughly. Some parents worry about bad influences in school but it is actually their job to guide their children.
Do you think that a child is “sheltered or protected” from the real world if he/she is homeschooled? Would you say that homeschooled children are unprepared for the real world?
For the first question, I would say yes, to some extent. I feel homeschool parents shouldn’t control their children too much. Negative influences should be countered by good upbringing as opposed to delaying it.
As for being prepared for the real world, I would still say that it’s the parents’ job to tell them what to expect from experiences such as NS and working life.
Personally, I had much opportunity to interact with a broad range of people, hence, the transition to NS was easy. My parents instilled in me the right values, which definitely made a difference. Parents are the key to helping homeschoolers transit into adulthood!
Where is a homeschool dad best placed to support your homeschool journey?
Dads can more actively interact and play with the kids!
What would you tell a younger version of yourself with the hindsight now?
I would definitely tell my younger self to study harder and to gain more knowledge. I would also ensure that my younger self understands that people do look at grades even though it doesn’t determine how successful one is in life.
What would you say to encourage other homeschooled kids?
What do you like doing? GO DO IT!
Many parents are worried about whether homeschooling their children will enable them to achieve paper qualifications required in Singapore. ALUMNI are stories from parents and homeschooling children who are now adults, who have “been there, done that”. If you have a story, email firstname.lastname@example.org