Schooling. It’s a huge topic for parents that requires much thoughts, often resulting in confusion or dilemma. “When’s a good time to send my children to school? Should I enroll once they’re eligible, or should I wait a year?”
“What kind of school should I send them to? What kind of curriculum is most suitable?”
“Do I really have to send my children to school? Is school really necessary?”
Recently, we’ve met many mothers whose children are nearing the appropriate age for school. And boy, are we feeling the confusion with them! Based on this alone, we decided to go on our own super-sleuthing, to put our ears on the ground, and hopefully to shed a light into the discussion.
The way we see it, when it comes to formal education, there are two schools of thought (pun intended!): the one who believes that school is unnecessary because children can learn from anything, anywhere and anytime and that education should not be restricted merely to the four walls of the classroom; and the one who believes that formal education is an absolute necessity, not only for personal, character, and social development but also for skills and socially-acknowledge degrees that cannot otherwise be attained.
While we believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinions and that these opinions were shaped with good reasons, we also believe that learning is an essential skill that needs to be acquired. Perhaps formal education is not necessary, but encouraged learning definitely is. We also believe that no one understands the needs of their children better than their parents. So, we want to encourage you, whether you believe in sending your children to school or not, whatever decision you want to make when it comes to your children’s education, have their best interest at heart.
As we dug through this topic, we found three thoughts that were particularly interesting:
1. As parents, you are your children’s primary educators.
When you view yourself as the primary educator in your child’s life, you will also view schools as third-party vendors (or “contractors” that you can outsource a part of the project to). So, if you choose to “outsource” your children’s education, choose the schools that teaches in-line with the way you parent your children. Then monitor their program and progress closely and be involved. If you choose to take up the project on your own, you need to equip yourself, because your children are entitled to learning.
2. Your child is a unique individual with unique needs.
Some children progress faster, some bloom later. In a mass education system such a school, you need to be aware of your children’s uniqueness. Don’t make other children’s uniqueness be the benchmark. Get to know your child and identify his needs.
School will harm your children when it goes against their development perspective. As parents, you need to be aware of which growth phase your children are in. And when you do something for your children, don’t do it because you feel insecure as you compare yourself to other parents or your children to other children; do it because it is in line with their growth phase.
No one can decide what’s best for your children besides you. It sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? But it is, and there’s no way we can make it sound any easier. You do have a huge responsibility on your shoulders and whatever you decide will impact your children – not just today, but for their entire lives. But you know what? You’ve got this. As long as you’ve got your children’s best interest at heart, and you know what you want for your children, you’re going to make the right decision.
MUA: Mimi Kwok | @momogi