As the product of 10 years in the Singapore public school system, I know first-hand how it took me away from my family for most of the day and then left me with a heavy burden of homework for the rest of the evening (Homeschooling not ideal environment for a child, by Mr Cheng Choon Fei, Feb 5).
As a pastor in a church of quite a few families, one of the constant regrets I hear from parents continues to be how schools take up all the time from their school-going children.
We seem to have forgotten that the first and primary unit of society is the family. My three young homeschooling children are closest to their parents and siblings, as they should be, and I intend to keep things that way.
Schoolchildren are herded together almost exclusively with those their own age, which is hardly reflective of "real-life experience".
On the other hand, my children have close friendships with those more than twice their age and are constantly interacting with adults and the elderly.
Public school is no less of a bubble than a home school.
Yes, we do keep our children away from the public schools also to avoid negative peer influences, like the flagrant use of vulgarities, which I learnt from attending school. We are unashamed to inculcate distinctly Christian values in our children, especially to teach them the things which we believe are a lot more important than getting good grades, competing for the best jobs, or even being accepted in society.
My children are also not restricted by a predetermined syllabus but are free to explore whatever subjects interest them. My five-year-old does worksheets too, but he also learns about the history of ancient civilisations, astronomy, geography, palaeontology and so on, and he excels in ways which cannot be quantified.
So, while I am grateful for the education I received, I do not agree in the least that "schools provide the best environment for a child's overall development".
Parents should be left to make their own decisions.
Au Yeong Hau Tzeng