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Fed up with Schools - What do you think of home schooling?

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    ssheng is offline Registered User
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    Fed up with Schools - What do you think of home schooling?

    To say the HK school system is ridiculous is an understatement, but I at least assumed the exorbitant cost of school and long waiting lists were worth something. Well, the other day I accompanied my daughter to her high-priced preschool where her teacher, a non-native English speaker, proceeded to pronounce words incorrectly (not just accented, but incorrectly), and spend part of the class chatting to a local parent in Cantonese. As a native English speaker, I thought to myself, why am I paying so much money when I could teacher her more fluent English. (Note that this is an school whose primary mode of instruction is English). Of course this might be a fleeting thought, but for those who have tried home-schooling in Hong Kong or even thought about it, do you have any advice on (1) things to consider, (2) practicality, (3) length of time to do it, (4) advantages/detriment, and (5) how to go about home schooling.

    Thank you!

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    Gataloca is offline Registered User
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    I think that when you send your child to school, English is only one of the many things that he or she will learn.
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    peainpod is offline Registered User
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    Agree with Gataloca. For us, socialization is our biggest reason for sending our child to pre-school/kindie. (In fact I would say our son learned his reading and numeracy skills from me at home rather than at school.)

    Anyway your child will be learning his/her English mostly from you (guess that's why they call it mother tongue!) so if you model correct speech to him, I'm sure his English will be fine. But I agree that it's annoying to pay so much and then find that the teacher's English doesn't measure up.

  4. #4
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Children who are home-schooled also learn a lot. Being home-schooled is often the best option for many children. My brother is a classic example. He had ADHD and although very bright and able, didn't function well in traditional classrooms. He did great when he was being home-schooled in primary school.

    I don't home-school but have two close friends who have home-schooled all of their children in Hong Kong for various reasons. One curriculum that is recommended for early learners is Sonlight . But there are many other good ones out there for every budget and taste. (I also have a friend who is a nuclear physicist with the United States Marines and was homeschooled his entire life).

    I know a person in HK who is homeschooling his son through a Montessori-approach. He has a master's degree in early childhood education, though. His work with his son is fascinating and of a much higher quality than you typically see in regular classrooms. I am amazed by all the hands-on learning they do and the cool projects they come up with--some really deep learning going on there.

    Let me direct you to the Hong Kong home-school meetup group here where you can contact others who are homeschooling directly.

    Pre-primary education in Hong Kong is not mandatory so at this stage you really have all the freedom in the world to teach your children in whatever way you wish. There is a debate about the legality of homeschooling in Hong Kong. The majority of people homeschooling their children here are probably expatriates who may fall into a "grey area" as far as school requirements for their children go.

    If you have the right personality for it, homeschooling can be a total joy I've heard. It takes a huge investment of time and sometimes money (for resources) on the part of the teacher--that is probably the biggest consideration, next to personality. Let us know what you find out. :)
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

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    if you are a permanent resident, you MUST get permission from the education dept in order to home-school. i looked into it and made inquiries... i was then flatly refused by the edb.

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    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by carang View Post
    if you are a permanent resident, you MUST get permission from the education dept in order to home-school. i looked into it and made inquiries... i was then flatly refused by the edb.
    I'm not sure on the residency status of the people I'm thinking about. It might be interesting to ask them. All of them have been her a long time and consider HK their permanent home. Yet, people are still homeschooling here and doing fine with it apparently. I think it's one of those things that is almost unenforceable and also a very low priority for the government--whatever those "crazy foreigners" want to do with their kids.... Now, when it comes to local children there has been at least one court case over it. I think a lot of the older kids who homeschool here in HK are actually supported by distance education as well.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

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    carang's Avatar
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    once the child reaches the age of 6, home-schooling is technically illegal in hk. the ONLY way you can do it legally is to gain permission from the edb. that said, for people here on work visas for a limited stay, i don't think the gov't would do much about it. for those who are permanent residents, the gov't takes a much stricter view.

    a few years ago they threatened a local with either a stiff fine or jail (i can't remember the details) because he refused to send his daughter to school.

    the gov't believes that since they provide 9(i think) years of free schooling there should be no reason why ANY child doesn't go to school.

    i don't necessarily agree with it, but that's the law.

    please keep in mind this only applies to kids 6 years and up.

  8. #8
    elle is offline Registered User
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    How old is your child and have you thought of changing to a different school? There seem to be plenty of preschools on HK island with qualified teachers who are native English speakers. We recently pulled our daughter from her preschool because a teacher at the school posted photos of her class on her Facebook page and we were very unhappy that it happened (such bad judgment on the teacher's part even if it was innocent as we have been assured) and with the school's response. After looking at other preschools have decided to wait a bit longer to enroll her in another preschool and have signed her up for some baby art and Kindermusic classes (all taught by native English speakers) instead, primarily for the socialization with other young children. We and our nanny are teaching her basic words, colors and such that she was learning in her class and we read to her a lot. I don't think she is missing anything at her age not being in a formal preschool anymore ( the classes were just a couple hours anyway). Have you thought about a playgroup for social stuff and doing the teaching bit yourself (assuming your child is younger than HK's mandatory school age)? None of my friends back home send their kids to preschool before 3 or 4 years and in HK they seem to think it odd if your 18 month old isn't in "school" yet.

    The international schools for primary on up with English as a teaching language seem to have teachers who are all or almost all native English speakers (except in foreign language classes of course).
    Last edited by elle; 09-10-2011 at 11:24 PM.

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