Homeschooling has attracted the attention of parents in Singapore even before home-based learning became a safety measure. While it can be overwhelming for parents to personally homeschool their child, it’s still a great way for children to learn in an environment that is tailored to their own needs and pace of development.
If you’re considering homeschooling your child in Singapore but don’t know where to begin, here’s all that you need to know!
From reasons to homeschool, to how to apply and what methods you can use, we’ve made the ultimate guide to help you start homeschooling in Singapore.
Why Should You Consider Homeschooling In Singapore
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Before applying for homeschooling at the Ministry of Education (MOE) in Singapore, you should look into why you would want to homeschool your child instead of enrolling them for mainstream schooling. Here are a few reasons as to why homeschooling might be a better fit for you and your child:
1. Parents get to customise their child’s learning environment
Schools in Singapore do offer a great academic environment for your child’s learning journey, but some parents may want to choose how their child will come about to learn about various subjects and life skills.
Homeschooling allows parents or tutors to find a teaching method that best fits the child’s development. They also get to have control over the kinds of values and activities they want their child to engage in, as well as their daily schedules and routines.
2. Flexible schedule for both parents and children
Homeschooling enables a more flexible schedule for children and their parents or tutors. This eliminated the worry of dropping kids off at school and picking them up later.
Since you’ll also be planning your child’s schedule for the day, you can set a pace of learning. This way your child can catch up on various subjects during the day.
3. An incredibly supportive community
There are homeschooling support groups in Singapore where parents receive moral and community support from other families who have chosen this path.
Parents and their homeschooled children also get to be part of social activities regularly organised by such community groups.
This is especially important as it not only allows parents to get the support they need, but also enables the kids to interact with their other fellow homeschooled peers.
4. More bonding moment between parents and their children
With the amount of time spent learning together as well as in indulging in fun activities, homeschooling parents and their children have more valuable bonding moments.
It’s a great opportunity to build a close relationship within the family as your child moves forward in their schooling journey.
But while all of these advantages sound enticing for families to start their journey of homeschooling in Singapore, it’s also worth remembering that it isn’t for everyone. Not all parents may have the time or resources to homeschool their children, especially if both are still working.
But for those of you who want to start homeschooling your children, here are a few things to note.
FAQs On How To Apply For MOE Approval Of Homeschooling In Singapore
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Who do you contact?
Since children in Singapore are required to undergo compulsory education. Parents will need to contact the Compulsory Education (CE) Unit to be granted approval to homeschool their child. Children can start homeschooling once they’ve been exempted from CE.
For more information, you can reach out to the CE Unit at MOE through their email MOE_CEU@moe.gov.sg.
When can you apply?
Parents can apply for MOE approval of homeschooling in Singapore starting from July to October the year their child turns six-years. Do take note of the time period when applications open, since the entire process could take several weeks or more.
To ensure that your child has a place at school in the instance that your CE exemption is denied, CE Unit officers advise parents to register their child at a national primary school at the same time as your application.
What will you need to apply?
According to MOE, parents who wish to homeschool their child will have to meet certain conditions such as:
Satisfy the ministry’s objective for compulsory education
Your specific reasons for choosing to homeschool instead of mainstream schooling for your child
Prepare a teaching plan for Character and Citizenship Education
A curriculum vitae, which is a list of the homeschooling parent’s educational credentials and work experience
A timetable to show when you’ll be covering subjects over the course of a week of homeschooling
What happens during registration?
Once you contact the CE Unit, an officer will brief you on the procedure and the prerequisites of homeschooling in Singapore. Afterwards, you can expect to receive an application packet in the mail.
This packet includes:
The application form
Detailed information on the requirements you will be needing to receive CE exemption for homeschooling in Singapore
Details on the entire application procedure
PSLE benchmarks for homeschooled students
Once you’ve submitted your application form and all the necessary documents, you can then expect a call from a MOE officer to schedule a home visit. The officer will get acquainted with you and your child, then review your home environment to assess your suitability for homeschooling.
When your application for homeschooling is approved, you can then expect to receive a certificate confirming your child’s exemption from CE.
What if my child has special needs?
If you’re a parent who want to homeschool the child due to their special needs, you will need to submit documents provided by a registered psychologist to confirm your child’s assessment and diagnosis.
Different Methods Of Homeschooling For Parents
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Each child is different. This is why it’s important that they get to learn under a method that is fitting to their needs and interests. Although, it’s also important to remember that there isn’t exactly a perfect method or curriculum so don’t be turned down by trial and error before finding one that works well for both you and your child.
To help you with your plans to apply for homeschooling in Singapore, here are some of the most popular homeschool methods and curriculums you can use:
1. Classical Education
This method follows three phases of learning based on your child’s age, these are:
Concrete: Preschool – 12 years old
Analytical: 13 – 14 years old to
Abstract: 15 years old and above
Classical education is also language-focused and literature-intensive as it is oriented toward training of your child’s mind.
2. The Traditional Method
This is when you ‘import’ a traditional or official school curriculum to adapt to your home setting. The schedule and syllabus you follow will be structured similarly to how they would be in a formal classroom.
3. The Eclectic
Also known as the ‘relaxed’ approach, the Eclectic method is popular among parents. It allows you to choose elements from various methods and preset curriculums to produce your own unique syllabus.
This lets families cater to the different needs of children at different ages.
4. Formal Preschool Methods
Different educational philosophies such as Montessori, Waldorf and Reggio Emilia are well-known methods for preschools. These are actually child-centred and developmentally-attuned approaches to homeschooling.
Parents can incorporate these philosophies into their homeschooling plans from primary up to secondary level.
Unschooling or ‘natural learning’ involves an unstructured approach rooted in the belief that children learn intuitively and continually.
You can shape your choice of subjects naturally according to your child’s interests by providing them with the appropriate resources, opportunities and guidance.
6. Unit Study
While Unit Study isn’t a curriculum, it’s a way of learning where kids explore and learn about a subject through multi-sensory activities and experiences.
It still includes a lot of reading but this method highlights field trips, art activities, real-life experiences, hands-on projects and thematic play.
If you’re thinking of homeschooling your child, we hope this will help you in making an informed decision.