How To Start Homeschooling In Singapore

If you’ve landed here I assume that you want to learn how start to homeschooling! Well, the good news is that setting your child up for homeschooling can be done relatively quickly. Children are natural learners and you’ll be surprised what your children can learn without you even teaching them. However, initial enthusiasm can get you by for probably a few days, maybe even a month but you will need to add some structure and tick a few legal boxes to get ready to homeschool.

All four of my children were homeschooled and have now gone to university and are working. Some of the information you’ll read here took me 20 years of homeschooling to discover.

Don’t expect to absorb all this information on how to homeschool in one sitting. Why not bookmark this page for your future reference?

How to start homeschooling

Tips To Get You Homeschooling

I’ve spoken to so many people who unexpectedly found themselves needing to know how to start homeschooling, so I’ve condensed my message into what I think are the essentials.

Decide Why You Want to Home School

Determine your motives for homeschooling. This will impact so many of your choices.

Investigate homeschool methods. This will affect your curriculum options and save money in the long run.

My Homeschool is based on the Charlotte Mason method which is favoured by families globally, with thousands choosing to educate their children using this tried and true method. With My Homeschool you can homeschool with the confidence that you are offering your child a rigorous education alongside hundreds of others within our international community.

How To Start Homeschooling Legal Requirements

Expatriates living in Singapore are not subject to the Singapore Compulsory Education Act and so are free to make their own choices about the best educational pathways for their children.

Singaporean Residents Homeschool Requirements

In Singapore, the Compulsory Education Act makes schooling compulsory for children who are Singapore citizens residing in Singapore and of “compulsory school age”. This requires all Singaporean children who are at the age of 6 years old to be registered in a local primary school to allow them to start primary school education the following January.

This means that for those families wishing to homeschool instead, must apply for permission to do so. This is done through the Ministry of Education (MOE) – Compulsory Education Unit (CEU). Homeschooled children can be granted an exemption from compulsory education.

The timeframe to apply for an exemption is between July and October, so you may need to concurrently enroll your child in school as well as apply to homeschool. CEU officers do advise parents to register with a national primary school even if you are wishing to homeschool to ensure that your child has a place at school in the event your exemption is not granted. Given this, you may need to actually register at your local school in June or July before even making the initial call to the Ministry of Education.

The CEU Application Form requires a Curriculum Vitae (CV) of the homeschooling parent to be submitted as a part of the application process.  It is worth preparing this CV before contacting the CEU because you will feel more confident in your ability to teach your children at home. Please be aware that the MOE requires the homeschooling parent to hold a degree. However, this can be negotiated if necessary by parents demonstrating their commitment to teach their own children well.

Homeschooling in Singapore Exemption Process

  1. The first thing you need to do is register with the Ministry of Education (MOE). You will have to fill out an application form which includes details such as your name, address, contact information, etc.
  2. After receiving approval from MOE, you will then need to apply for a teaching license. This process involves filling out another form and paying a fee. If you are planning to teach your child up to grade 12, you will also need to pay a $1,000 annual licensing fee.
  3. Once you have registered with MOE, you will receive a letter from them stating that they have received your application. This means that you are now officially registered as a home schooler.
  4. To register with MOE, you must first complete a self-declaration form. This form states that you are aware of the rules and regulations regarding home schooling. It also states that you understand that you are responsible for ensuring that your children are safe while at home.
  5. After registering, you will also need to apply for a Certificate of Registration (COR) from the Department of Social Services (DSS).
  6. Once you have registered, you will receive a letter stating that you have been approved as a home educator. You will then need to provide proof of your qualifications and enrolment details.
  7. DSS will then issue you with a COR after they verify your registration with MOE.
  8. You will then need to provide proof of enrolment at your child’s current school.

There are two main ways to homeschool in Singapore. One is by enrolling your child in an approved private school. Another option is to teach your child yourself. However, both options require approval from the Ministry of Education if you are a Singaporean resident.

Find a Curriculum

So many families in Singapore have seen the benefits of recognising the standards of the Australian Curriculum, especially if they are considering university options abroad. The My Homeschool graded courses are based around the structure of the Australian Curriculum, giving you the confidence that you are using courses that adhere to a recognised international standard.

One of the hurdles all new homeschooling parents have, whether it’s short, or long term homeschooling, is knowing what is appropriate for their child. So, make a simple start. You will learn as you go.

Follow a basic guide at first for your homeschooling curriculum. As you get a feel for homeschooling, you will become more comfortable with what you are doing and you can make changes along the way.

Get to know how you like to teach and how your child learns. This will help you choose a curriculum in the future.

Don’t rush off and buy everything recommended. Get free trials or samples when possible. Resist the temptation to purchase your curriculum from the newsagent or book store. There are many that will suit your needs better.

Most newbies prefer to buy a pre done curriculum so look around and see who has a package you like. You can always go DIY later once you find your feet.

How To Get Lessons Happening

In homeschooling you quickly learn that subjects can easily be merged together to make lessons more efficient and less time consuming. An English lesson can also be a science, history or geography lessons. It can even be an art lesson. And so that is why we encourage the reading of books on a wide range of subjects. Inspire your child to read fiction and non-fiction. We have tonnes of booklists on different topics that may interest your child.

You don’t necessarily need textbooks. Living books work just as well.
Living books work just as well.

In primary school, math and English are the two subjects that take up most of the curriculum. So these are the two areas that you need to focus on. Thankfully these subjects are quite easy to teach, and you don’t need a lot of resources to do it.

In high school most of the time is spent on maths, English and science and then the other subjects.

For more ideas on teaching these core subjects look here:

How To Do Homeschool Tests and Assessments

Now I know if you’ve just come out of school you are probably addicted to worksheets and guided lessons (I know that’s an assumption and excuse the generalisation if that isn’t you) but the exciting news is – you don’t actually need worksheets to prove your child learnt something! Some of you don’t believe me – I know!

If you are looking for some friendly homeschool exams Charlotte Mason had some great ideas.

There are many other proofs you can have when you homeschool and because you are not mass teaching you can do a few other things that are much more enjoyable for the child and you get to assess on the spot if what you hoped they are learning is actually sinking in.

Set Up A Homeschool Schedule

Homeschooling takes a considerable commitment for it to work, especially in the early days. Work out how much time you can devote to homeschooling. Be prepared to make some sacrifices.

Even if you are only homeschooling for a couple of weeks or months, it is still a good idea to set up some sort of homeschool schedule. Having lessons in the morning and leaving afternoons free is a good homeschool habit to begin if you can.

If you have just brought your children home from school, then suddenly having them home certainly throws a spanner in your regular routine. Consequently, you probably don’t have the time to allocate a big chunk of your day to the task of homeschooling. It doesn’t seem feasible that you could provide supervised teaching for the whole time that a school does. You might be working from home, or you might be sending your kids off to grandma’s, or you may just be caught up in the reason you find yourself emergency homeschooling. But the issue is, your kids still need to be educated! And if they will be home for an extended time, it is wise to set up some strategies.

The good news is the academic part of homeschooling can be done in a short period of time (which makes a lot of parents wonder what happens at school). You’ll be pleased to know that you probably only need to allocate 2 hours a day to homeschooling, maybe even less for your kindergarten and first graders. Your kids can focus on school for a while, and then do some natural learning.

How To Start Homeschooling With Natural Learning

Homeschooling uses natural learning. This teaching method allows your children to discover and learn according to their own natural interests. Of course, this is within reason (they might decide they want to go to the moon next week). Free time can be used to pursue hobbies, read books, go outside and explore, try out new bike tricks, or teach the dog a new trick.

For my children natural learning included: cooking up a storm/yummy mess, teaching themselves art, making their own website and blogs, hair styling techniques, (which has now become a business), nail art painting projects, making a Lego movie, sewing, learning the guitar, and photography. You’ll find they can get quite passionate about these projects.

Natural learning is not to be confused with unschooling, that’s a different philosophy.

Conversation learning is BIG in homeschooling. And it is often the way we help our children understand many things. Getting in the habit of explaining ideas and encouraging them to ask questions are all on the spot lessons that don’t take preparation. And you’ll be surprised how much your child retains if they actually want to know the answer.

Find Other Homeschool Families

Making connections with other homeschool families is a win win.

Don’t worry about socialisation. Network with other homeschoolers. Get to know real life homeschoolers. Go to homeschooling events. Try inviting another homeschool family over you might connect with and find out what they do.

Homeschool groups are in most regions around Australia. Just ask around or look for a Facebook group. One word of caution – watch out for rubbish homeschool advice – it’s around.

How To Start Homeschooling With My Homeschool

I live in Singapore, can I still use My Homeschool?

Absolutely! We have families from all around the world using our graded courses.

My Homeschool is based on the Charlotte Mason method which is favoured by families globally, with thousands choosing to educate their children using this tried and true method. With My Homeschool you can homeschool with the confidence that you are offering your child a rigorous education alongside hundreds of others within our international community.

Yes, we consider the Australian Curriculum but that offers a global approach that many families appreciate. In addition, no more fussing around looking for region specific materials because we are happy to offer our international families global goodies for you to choose from.  We appreciate that our Singaporean families need to strike the right balance, including a focus on South-East Asia as well as international studies, so we give you a generous amount of resources to help you do just that.

We appreciate that you may wish to include bilingual resources and can help you with that. We also include aspects of Asian history in many of our grades and are pleased to offer Geography options that feature both global studies and the geography of Asia, that includes both physical and cultural geography topics.

Not sure how to address history and civics specific to Singapore? We can help with that too, no matter what age your child is, we have an online library that you can choose from to introduce these topics to your child, whether they are in primary or secondary school.

On the purchase of each graded course you receive a range of resources, all designed for you to homeschool well. This includes a planning template specific to that grade, as well as a Scope and Sequence to better understand how the course is structured.  These tools allow you to better identify where you may wish to swap out topics to respond to the needs of your international family.

Worried about getting organised? There is no need!  We provide a Weekly Planner with each graded course that you can print out so you know exactly where you are and what you will cover each and every week of the semester.  This is also provided online for those who need to check progress while on the go.

Compulsory Education Exemption

Both the Scope and Sequence and planning template will also serve to support you if you are intending to apply for a Compulsory Education exemption. Applying for an exemption requires parents to provide several details, one of which is their planned curriculum. The My Homeschool Scope and Sequence helps you with his and the regular progress reports that the Ministry for Education require are also covered.

With My Homeschool we have attended to all the details we know make all the difference. We know that end of term can be a busy time so we provide you with Term Report templates to help you report on the progress of your child through the term.  This is a powerful tool for parents, allowing them to know exactly how their children are going.  This, combined with the Scope and Sequence, can help you to ensure that your child is meeting the appropriate requirements, which gives you further confidence to homeschool well. It also assists Singaporean children being homeschooled in Singapore because they are required to sit the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) in English, Mathematics, Science and a Second Language all at Standard Level and an additional test in Primary 4 (My Homeschool Year 4).  For those expatriate families that don’t legally have to send their children to Singapore, or apply for the exemption, these resources give you peace of mind that your child is receiving a high-quality education.

Here at My Homeschool we aim to provide you with all you need to homeschool well! We appreciate that more and more families in Singapore, both Singaporean and expatriate, are choosing to homeschool. For some, this is a better alternative to the international schools on offer, while for others this serves to give their child the time and opportunities to pursue additional interests at a high level.  Whatever your reasons for homeschooling in Singapore, My Homeschool can help to meet your needs.

Hundreds of families in Singapore are enjoying homeschooling their children and enjoying the many benefits this provides their family and you can too!

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