Fathers play such an important role. In this challenging season, daddies find themselves in the unconventional situation of having to juggle multiple roles of being a husband, father and employer or boss all in the same time and space. While this allows for more opportunities for family connectedness, it presents its share of frustration as well.

Now that you are home all the time, the boundaries of work, family and home get blurred. Your children want you to play with them. Your work demands your attention. Your spouse hopes you can help out with housework.

You are feeling stretched and wish that you have a man cave to retreat into for a while.

Dads at home, we hear you.

Starting tomorrow, three homeschool dads will share their stories with you. We hope that these will encourage and support you as you balance work and family at home.

Learning at Home: Your Questions Answered.

Adjusting to this unique situation takes some time, and we know many of you have some questions about learning at home that you hope to find some answers to. We have compiled some of the commonly asked questions here to help you ease into your new “normal”:

Q: How do you cope with learning at home, chores and meal preparation when you have no helper at home?

Lynda: Kids’ school work are prepped the night before. For meal preparations, I usually wake up slightly earlier to prepare the ingredients and set them aside for 1 dish/pot meals. Morning is our school time so chores are NOT done during this time of the day. Kids are rotated for 1 to 1 or independent work. Set aside 45 mins at the end of the day for a speed clean around the house with chores delegated to kids. Dishwashing are usually done after the kids are asleep, or my spouse will handle it.

Dorcas: Institute early bedtime for the kids, and this is the best time to reset their biological clock. When they go to bed early, I have the evening time to prepare lessons and meal plan for the next day. Enlist the kids’ help in chores and make it fun for them. Show them appreciation for their help and use this time to foster a cohesive family life. On some days, I just ensure that I have food on the table for everyone. After all, a healthy mind and happy heart is more important than a meticulously clean home.

Q: How do you balance work and teaching the kids at home?

Zhen Xin: Assess the amount of work to be done for both you and your child, and the estimated time taken. I will discuss with my children on the time I have to do their work with them. If your children are quite independent, set up their work space near you. Children can then ask you for help easily while you are working. When my children are done with learning, it’s their free time to just play quietly. I will let them know that I am still “at work”. Let them know when to expect you to be back with them. Keep communication open so everyone knows what is expected. This will also prevent children from coming to you all the time and break your train of thought during your course of work.

Q: My kids are fighting with each other all the time. HELP!

Dorcas: I think it boils down to the climate of the home, and understanding that it is normal that everyone will get a little more temperamental when we are shut in for extended periods of time. Parents can set the tone by waking up cheery, being positive about things that might not have gone well during the day, etc. Children pick up our vibes and they will respond with a more positive mood, resulting in less bickering. If a home is filled with parents’ nagging and raised voices, the children also get all snappy at each other. When things get rough, it might be a sign that we need to all take a breather – game time, yummy snack treat, or just a group snuggle in bed.

Valerie: In our home, raised tantrums (from the adult or child) are often a result of an empty love tank. It’s worthwhile to take the time that we are at home now to find our child’s love language (check out the 5 love languages of children). I will use our morning time to fill up my child’s needs. Usually it translates to a smoother morning when she can sit down and do her learning while I get some work done. After tantrums, kids move on faster than we do. Don’t mope over it but instead have a “do over” when things go awry. Bedtime is always best to “debrief” for the day, so we can set the tone for the next morning.

Q: Will my kids’ academics suffer if I don’t do worksheets with them?

Dorcas: It’s about perspective and what we want for our children. Not every child is configured to thrive academically. Some excel in other aspects. Academics only makes up a fraction of a child’s life and there are so many other things important and vital to the child’s development. An academic mind can certainly be achieved without worksheets because an academically inclined mind is inquisitive, investigative and industrial among many other traits. I am not against desk work but I acknowledge that desk work is not the main objective of education. This is a great time to reflect and rethink our goals in life for ourselves as well as for our kids. What is important to you and your kids?

Can’t find the answer to your questions? Then hop over to our upcoming Homeschool Curriculum Fair Online, where parents will be available to answer your questions “face to face”. Share, Inspire, Encourage. Register for your slots now at the Homeschool Curriculum Fair 2020 Facebook event page. More information coming your way over the next few days.

Meanwhile, #StaySafe #StayHome #StayCurious


Learning at Home Series: THANK YOU!

THANK YOU! Yesterday marks the last of our Learning at Home stories that we have been posting across Instagram, Facebook and on our website.

We hope the Learning at Home series has encouraged you to embrace home-based learning with your children.

There are bound to be many questions and doubts that arise as we navigate through these uncharted waters. Tomorrow, we will explore some of these Frequently Asked Questions. Some of us will share how we manage work, studies and chores with everyone at home. If you have any burning questions, post them in the comments below.

Meanwhile, let us continue to encourage and inspire one another.

Have a restful Good Friday. Till tomorrow!

Bonus Story Day 20: Flow with your child

This morning’s work is an art of our last night’s dinner – venus clam shell and crayfish. We started out the session with some mindful observation of the seashell. Then, we drew using 3 different mediums, markers and crayons, and then painting the drawing. We also painted the shell. The kids did not want to paint the crayfish as it looked scary. As I painted, I described what I saw, it’s eyes, its shell etc. We counted its legs together.

The picture may look to others like an art class. But really, it is a mindfulness class, a science class, a math class and an art class all rolled into one. In practising mindfulness, we used focused attention to observe the shell’s spiky, shiny and rough texture. We observed it near and we observed it far. We observed its colours, its shape and its lines. In our math “class”, we did geometric shapes by analysing that the clam shell looked like a triangle and its curved lines on the shell. We also did counting. During our science lesson, they wondered where the bone of the crayfish was, to which I explained that their bones are on the outside and they are called exoskeleton.

All these are learning happening: Multidisciplinary learning, applied learning. They are happening because we have big, juicy conversations about their interests and wonderings. We forget that children can learn as adults do, through life-long learning, it does not have to be confined within four walls and through mastery of a single subject with no relation to the world we live in. Often, we weave our learning in stories or themes as we do life. It gives us the opportunity to revisit the story and create new memories (learning points) together. Another day could be turning the clam shells to decorative alphabet toys or reading a book about the sea. In our homeschool, we don’t do school at home; we’d really like to think of ourselves as lifeschooling.


Bonus Story Day 19: Never Bored with Board Games

First confession: When I started playing board games with my children, I saw it merely as a (fun) downtime from serious and intentional learning.

Second confession: From the start, I did not see much merit in it for myself, when I introduced my children to the games I grew up with. I felt that I would always be far better than them (it was wrong and warped!) as I have already played those familiar games for many years. 

Third confession: Time and again, I found myself amazed by the adroitness and versatility of my children’s application skills after they have grasped the strategies and concept of each new game. Eventually, I also found myself competing with them on the same level as I would with another adult. And, inevitably, I would lose to them at times too!

Then I realised that playing board games is no child’s play!

One of the greatest benefits I culled from playing board games with my children is that it allows me to study their (and even my) problem-solving skills from the way they strategise their moves. Sometimes, I even learnt a trick or two from them!

We play board games as a family after dinner most nights. It has become a routine which we enjoy because it allows us to unwind together. 

Whenever we have guests over for dinner (pre-COVD-19), we would invite them to play along. I get very tickled and amused to witness how my normally-serious friends would quickly morph into giggling, child-like creatures once they are engrossed in the games. Board games are indeed community-bonders and laughter-inducers! 

Try it… and you’ll find that board games chase away boredom!


  1. Remember the board games you grew up with? Well, you could start off with introducing your family to these old and familiar board games. And, in time, you will discover some favourites that click with your family. You could also share your childhood stories whilst playing the games. Board games are also great for starting, and maintaining, conversations.
  1. When you invite guests or playdates over, you could ask them to bring along their favourite board games so that your family is introduced to new games by people who know how to play them well!
  1. You could also use board games to teach concepts, logic and strategies. There are many games, which could be purchased online. They explain the rationale and benefits of the games too. We also discuss our winning strategies after each game and that increases our level of competitiveness for future games!

Madeline Ang

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