Memories: Going Against The Grain

Homeschooling means different things to different families. Everyone has a unique story embarking on this unconventional journey. Prior to the Compulsory Education Act in 2003, a handful of brave souls in Singapore had already been homeschooling their children without any regulation and national examination requirements by the Ministry of Education, and under a much less sophisticated ecosystem of support, compared to what we have today.

Mr Lee Soo Cher and Mrs Lee Yoke Kuen, both polytechnic graduates, and their 8 children, now all grown up in their late twenties and thirties, represented one such homeschooling family who was featured on The Sunday Times 11 years ago on 3rd October 2010.

For the Lee family, going against the grain of mainstream education with a single income back in the early 90s called for much courage and sacrifice, but it was a choice they did not regret. Their decision to homeschool when their firstborn was in Primary 5, while his brothers were in Primary 4 and Primary 2, was birthed primarily out of a responsibility for the well-being of their children and a desire to form close bonds with them. The Lees saw early on that these intangible benefits of homeschooling far outweighed the costs.

In 2010, the eldest, then 28-year-old Luke Lee, had just graduated from UniSIM. His siblings were senior prison officer Jared Lee, 27; personal banker and UniSIM scholar Lee Xun Zhong, 25; patient coordinator Rebekah Lee, 23; national serviceman and Defence, Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) scholar Lee Xun Yong, 21; Ngee Ann Polytechnic student Joanna Lee, 19; Singapore Polytechnic student Lee Xun An, 18; and Micah Lee, 16, who was still being homeschooled.

Testimonials like the Lee family’s encourage those of us who are still trekking through our homeschooling journey. Unlike two decades ago, we are fortunate today to enjoy a lot more connectivity and interaction with other homeschooling families, both locally and around the world.

Come hear from diverse voices about homeschooling by seasoned homeschooling parents and their children, as well as educators from Taiwan, India, Indonesia, Philippines and Spain, at the upcoming Homeschool Convention 2022 – Asia Edition (7 – 9 April)