Didn’t the year 2022 just begin? As I began composing this entry, I found myself staring down the list of what I now realise to be rather lofty ideas for this website. Two months have passed since the start of the year, and I am nowhere close to materialising any of them.
January & February: Gone Too Soon
On a personal level, I have more than under-estimated the time I needed to “set up school” for my children who are in the preschool, primary and secondary years. I had wrongly perceived how my homeschooling would get less hectic as the older children took on more classes that would not require much of my involvement. Ironically, as their day’s allotment was increasingly taken up by lessons conducted by other homeschooling parents and course providers, I found myself clamouring for some time back to carry out my own teachings! It has taken more than a month of experimentation and negotiating expectations, aspirations and limitations – and finally, we have crystallised a schedule that we feel confident enough to print out in multiple copies.
At the community level, I see variations of the same predicament. Even more so, the unrelenting challenges brought on by Covid-19 have visibly taken their toll. It is not uncommon for fellow homeschoolers to express their need to take a time-out from doing school (and subsequently having to play catch-up) in order to attend to multiple family members who have been hit by the virus. Luckily for many homeschoolers, “being out for a season” is a privilege we can afford.
For other homeschoolers, socially-distanced interactions persist via the many interest groups mainly on WhatsApp and Facebook. A vibrant homeschool support group may discuss any topic under the sun. In another group, members share discounts and deals that would excite the community. Cohort-based groups support those who seek input on matters specific to their children’s educational level. Recreational groups offer a variety of outings and activities curated by fellow homeschoolers for families to explore the island’s offerings. Through one homeschool mom’s sheer ingenuity and spirit to serve, homeschoolers have also been enjoying heritage learning journeys and museum trips arranged with SG Happy Tours.
For the youth, Yael Quek manages the Discord server for the community. The social lounge is open to all high school teens who would like to connect over games and conversations. The server also caters to Little U students and educators, so if you’ve signed up for any Little U program, get connected on Discord. For those who are thinking of joining Little U, check out its website or email the team for more information.
As for Homeschool Singapore, it found its mainstay lately in supporting the young Homeschool Alumni in the upcoming Homeschool Convention 2022 – Asia Edition. The unprecedented element in this year’s Convention is the goal of anchoring all content shared at the Curriculum Fair on this website, with future potential to grow. My personal calling for this project lies in how the pandemic has led many families around the world finding themselves to be accidental homeschoolers, coupled with the increasing number of parents wanting to homeschool their children due to various social and environmental factors. The upcoming Convention, especially the Curriculum Fair, will offer immense opportunities for homeschoolers and anyone with a heart for education to build a corpus of knowledge that we can collectively own and evolve from.
Albeit starting two months later, I am excited to announce some new happenings at Homeschool Singapore.
First of all, I proudly welcome Sophie Tan to the Editorial Team. Sophie is a young mom who is homeschooling her two children and expecting her third child very soon. During the quiet hours, she studies remotely for her Master’s degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Art History from Johns Hopkins University. She reached out to us with an incredible offering of novel ideas that we believe can bring the website to the next level. We are honoured to have her with us.
Secondly, staying true to our goal of capturing the voices of the homeschooling community in Singapore, we are launching several crowdsourcing platforms in the coming weeks. Pitch a story, contribute resources, give a shout out to fellow homeschoolers, and build up our collective archive. We invite everyone to participate in weaving our homeschooling stories via the dedicated avenues that we are setting up.
Thirdly, our Homeschool Consultation team is hard at work to launch an Information Guide on Basic Questions about Homeschooling in Singapore. We will be offering a sneak peek to the team and this project through an interview with the consultants.
I hope that these initiatives will sow seeds in growing a rich trove of information and experiences for current and prospective homeschoolers, as well as education enthusiasts alike. I look forward to the content of this website being further enriched with the material presented at the upcoming Homeschool Convention.