As every parent knows, each child is unique and has different needs when it comes to learning and education. Most of us opt for a traditional learning environment because we believe that school is the best place for our child. But not all children may benefit from the rigidity and somewhat homogenous nature of a school environment, so a small number of parents opt to keep their children out of traditional school and give them an education at home.
What is homeschooling?
As the name suggests, homeschooling is the education of children in a home environment by parents, tutors or a mix of both. There are so many different reasons why parents may choose to homeschool their children – the child may have special needs, the parents may want to maintain a religious focus, or to be more involved and more empowered when it comes to the type of education their child is getting.
Is homeschooling legal in Singapore?
Yes. Homeschooling has been legal in Singapore since 2000.
For Singapore citizens
According to Singapore’s Ministry of Education, parents wishing to homeschool their child must apply for Compulsory Education exemption. They’ll need to provide details of their planned curriculum and subsequent educational outcomes, including instruction in National Education.
Homeschooled children will still need to sit the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) in four subjects (English Language, Mother Tongue Language, Mathematics, Science) at Standard Level and meet the same PSLE benchmark as children attending the San Yu Adventist School. They must also sit for the National Education Quiz before PSLE.
Foreigners are not legally compelled to send their children to school in Singapore. You may want to check the rules and requirements of the schooling in your home country if you intend to repatriate during your children’s schooling. Or if you plan to integrate them into a Singapore international school at some point, you should definitely check if the school has their own requirements for admission.
Where to start your homeschooling journey
There are loads of online resources to help you get started on your homeschooling journey. If you’re interested to know more, we suggest you seek out support groups here in Singapore as a first port of call.
Homeschool Singapore is Singapore’s biggest community for homeschooling. It has a comprehensive website, where it talks about the benefits of homeschooling, shares resources and hosts annual events. Homeschool Singapore also has an active Facebook community where members can share all things homeschooling.
Singapore Homeschool is an informal Facebook group run by parents who homeschool their kids. The group aims to provide a supportive, inclusive platform to share information, ask questions and make friends. All nationalities and religions are welcome in the Singapore Homeschool group, as long as you’re currently homeschooling a child between two and 18 years old.
A smaller, more intimate group exclusively for expats homeschooling their kids is Expats Homeschooling in Singapore. As the name implies, you must be an expat whose child’s education is not covered by a spot at international of local schools. This group is for homeschooled children aged five and over.
Exploring Homeschooling SG is a good starting point if you’re exploring your homeschooling options. If you’re unsure about where to start, or if homeschooling is indeed the right option for you, this group is a safe, nurturing environment to ask questions, find information and share homeschooling resources.
Homeschool Families with Teens Singapore is a group specifically for parents of homeschooled kids aged 12-17 years. It’s a forum to share events just for teens.
If you’re still weighing up your education options, whether it’s homeschooling, local school or international school, load up on information and advice at the Singapore Expat Schooling Forum on Facebook. It has nearly 3,000 members in the community of parents seeking out the best education options for their children.
Curriculum information and resources
Singapore Homeschool Curricula Share and Swap offers a marketplace for families to share, sell or buy used or new homeschooling materials.
If you want to adhere to an Australian-based curriculum, Complete Education Australia offers Mathematics, English, Science, Humanities and Social Sciences, The Arts, Health and Physical Education and Languages programs from Foundation to Year 10. Australians can contact the Education Department within their home state for further information on distance education.
Similarly, New Zealand citizens can follow the New Zealand curriculum via a distance education provider, like Te Kura.
U.S. citizens should check with their home country about eligibility for distance learning.
Special thanks to Singapore Expat Schooling Forum for providing some of the information for this story.
–Top image: Mi Pham via Unsplash
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