Princess and The Rock

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Monday, 10 February 2014

Our Ideal School (A Variation of MP Denise Phua's Proposal)

It looks like I would be obsessing about the homeschool/mainstream school issue at least until Princess is enrolled in a mainstream school or we've successfully been granted exemption from MOE.

You see, there are many things I love about homeschooling but there are also things that I need to "sacrifice" for being a homeschool teacher/mother,
a very obvious one is personal time. Now if Princess attends a mainstream school, I'd have some one-to-one time with The Rock (something which I feel he can do more with) and I have way less planning to do as I only need to supplement her learning or supervise her revision at home. Also she may have access to a wide variety of activities and courses at a significantly discounted rate. However the much talked about competitiveness and pressure in school scares me quite a bit. MP's Denise Phua's proposition of having a "pilot cluster of schools" offer 10 years of through-train education, without the need of a high stakes exam got me thinking of the possibilities too.

So I daydream. I daydream about having the best of both worlds and this is how it would look like:

The Ideal Primary School for Princess and The Rock

  1. Let's start of with a three-day school week. Children need to go to school from Monday to Wednesday. 

  2. Thursday is field trip day/learn-a-sport day/volunteer day; almost anything goes but it must be an out-of-school learning day. 

  3. The weekend starts on Friday so every week is a long weekend! 

  4. Friday is indulge-in-favourite-activity day, so for our family, Princess would be painting, crafting and creating the most part of the day and The Rock would be scooting, playing with his ball and catching spiders/insects! All these with a lot of singing and dancing thrown in for good measure.

  5. There are regular assessments throughout the year, so that educators and parents know the progress of the students. Assessments can come in the form of written tests, group projects, oral Q&A or any other creative method. The aim of assessments is to recognise the progress students have made in their learning, as well as, for teachers to gather (indirect) feedback about their teaching methods. Assessments are NOT for the purpose of streaming.

  6. A lot of experiential and hands-on learning. The aim is for students to be aware and use all senses in their learning. The order of the day should not be worksheets.

  7. Routine and structure are important but there should be room for flexibility if there's a need for it in order for learning to be enhanced.
This "school" should evolve as the needs of children change. Right now, I think Princess and The Rock (and I, of course), would appreciate learning in this manner. :)

Mummies and educators, what do you think of this "school" I'm dreaming about?

P.S. Please note that this is not an in-depth exploration of the "perfect" (if any) education system and it may not work or be beneficial for all families, it is our dream, which we hope would be fulfilled. :)

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