Possible Benefits of Home Schooling

‘Home Schooling’ is a real eye opener to the education system in Malaysia and the rest of the world where the current state of education is concerned. Malaysia’s state of education has fallen to such a deplorable and irreparable situation that nothing short of a miracle can extricate it from its current predicament.

Enter home schooling in Malaysia. A minority group of parents here have taken the initiative to home school their children for the sake of the children’s future. In Malaysia, state interference in educational matters has degraded the education system terribly. This is all done with the active participation of state actors to maintain a stranglehold over the compliant population to toe the line. Any sort of dissatisfaction from parents to the state of education is not entertained at all.

My son attended the national school here for a few years but we decided to teach him the necessary subjects after school. This was to ensure that he did not slip behind in his studies. Some teachers (not all) in Malaysia are not fit to teach at all. In their view, teaching is just a job that pays a salary at the end of each month.

Fortunately, I was a teacher in a private school and now am into training the English language for working adults here. Education is close to my heart. Hence, I am able to notice the difference in the education system of this country quickly. My wife and I pulled out our 10 year old son from the national school beginning January 2012. It was a wise decision. Two and a half years of teaching him at home the necessary subjects transformed into home schooling in January 2012.

Never ever tell a child that a subject or topic that he/she is learning is difficult. Always tell the child that it is easy provided the necessary backing in the understanding of the subject is made clear to him/her. In this way, the child can attempt difficult topics with relative ease. I have always endeavoured to teach my son using the logical method. What the child learns now must be logically related to what has been taught before. The child will be able to grasp the relationship easily. Right now, my son is attempting mathematical problems of that of a 14 year old. His English language command is strong. He is able to comprehend and articulate any piece of English prose easily.

The teaching of English, Mathematics and Science is not enough. The learning of History and English Literature is also important to develop his imaginative skills and teach him human nature. This is the holistic part of education.

In classical education, the TRIVIUM is composed of grammar, logic and rhetoric. Every country in the world should try to adopt this TRIVIUM into their education system. At the very least, I try to align my son’s home schooling based on these lines.

In short, what I’m trying to say here is that home schooling will be a success with the active participation of the parents. In this ‘rat race’ age, it becomes incumbent upon parents to ensure the proper development of their child/children.

Advertisements

Home Schooling

My wife and I conduct home schooling for our 10 year old son. We decided to teach our son at home when he was in Standard 2 itself. The reasons being that no teacher will teach the subjects in a proper manner, a lackadaisical attitude of the teachers towards teaching (their time is spent at canteens), a very, very, very SHALLOW knowledge of the subject matter despite they being graduates in their respective fields, etc. The list of negatives is endless. My wife teaches my son Science based on the Singapore syllabus whereas I teach my son Mathematics and English. I took the bold step of introducing my son to the School Certificate Mathematics and English taught in the early 1940’s to 1960’s in this country. My father bequeathed these books to me when he taught me Maths and English at home. After two and a half years of teaching my son in a logical way, he is able to solve mathematical problems at Secondary 2 level of the present Cambridge IGCSE O Level standard. The English syllabus that he is doing right now is that of the School Certificate standard days. He is able to identify the different parts of speech, compose sentences according to the three different structures, write essays skilfully, etc. The present Cambridge IGCSE O Level English paper is peanuts! It doesn’t test one on the mechanics of the language at all. Apart from the above, I also teach my son History (of Malaya and the world) and English Literature (in little doses suitable for his age). This is the holistic part of teaching. I have an interest in education as I have taught primary and secondary students the English language. I am not a school teacher. I am currently an English Trainer with experience in the corporate world. What my wife and I did two and a half years ago prevented us from many headaches and heartaches.

THE REAL STATE OF EDUCATION IN MALAYSIA

As a Malaysian parent who is very much concerned with the state of education in this country in general and the education of my son in particular, I find the apathy displayed by the Malaysian authorities towards our education system very revolting. At the same time, I am not bewildered or shocked by their actions. It is expected.

When Malaysia introduced the teaching of Maths and Science in English under the stewardship of our former prime minister in 2003,
I was not ecstatic. My wife was but not I! Deep down in my heart of hearts I knew somehow that this policy will not go far in its implementation. The reasons are very obvious for even an imbecile to see.

First and foremost, there are three worlds colliding in Malaysia. These three worlds have been perpetuated to exist side by side by the political class for their own benefit and relevance. These three worlds are the Malay schools (national and religious), Chinese schools and Tamil schools. Each type of school has an agenda of its own with its vehement supporters (and also detractors). Throw in the private schools and international schools, you have an explosive situation ready to burst. As much as we try to delude ourselves into the false belief that these various schools (with their own agendas) complement each other and do not compete with each other, the fact remains Malaysians are further divided and torn apart through the education system.

The second obvious reason is the curriculum which is outdated. It is not challenging and does not STIMULATE thinking on the part of the students. Quite harsh words but aren’t they the brutal truth. Parents spend hundreds of ringgit for each child every month to attend tuition classes. Why is that need for them to do so? Does it make sense?  If a country has a good education system backed by good teaching staff in schools, colleges and universities, the education system in Malaysia will not be in the doldrums today.

The third reason is the teaching staff in our schools, colleges and universities. Realistically, only a minority group of our teaching faculty in these institutions are truly teaching.

The time has come for Malaysians to take stock of the situation and  turn it around for the sake of the younger generation. To do that, Malaysians need to be bold and take the bull by the horns.  Stop begging and start DEMANDING from the authorities! It is an unalienable right for every citizen of any democratic country to demand an education system that brings out the best in his/her child.

Society cannot reward mediocrity for long. It goes against the grain of industry and the law of nature. A society that exists on this line  will eventually collapse prompting a ‘restructuring of society’ based on right principles. A state that thwarts and stifles its citizens in this manner will produce submissiveness and rebelliousness in its citizenry. Each member of the state has to recognise which group each belongs to eventually.