Saturday, February 03, 2007

Of choices and Decisions

About the new preschool in the compound, at the beginning there was talk about the possibility of having a group for the Little One's age group. But its been over a month since they opened and still no group for the Little One. My G3rman neighbour is ever too eager to send her child there. I however thought that I wanted to sit back and watch first, see if they have enough teachers to handle the children or have the capability to handle them. For me its not the going to school part thats important, but the quality of the experience that the Little One will get. The school owner is a bussiness woman who owns a home facial/beauty business and now a preschool business. The manager who runs it is. to my knowledge not one educated in early childhood education. A Western teacher, another mother, a journalist by training, had some previous experience as preschool teacher but no qualification in early childhood education either. And 3 other helpers, again no qualification. The mums are there so that their children have a school to go to. A noble idea, just that I'm weary.

Whats the point in spending money on something that would not be enriching her experience? Perhaps I'm better off educating her myself?

In the meantime I have been trying to educate myself a little bit more on this area. Even before I had The Little One, I had been toying the idea of homeschooling. Once upon a time I was a teacher myself and I recognize the perils of a large class with just one teacher. The student to teacher ratio, in my opinion, is pertinent to the quality of time, attention and interaction the student will have with the teacher. Often enough, its the trouble makers who dominate the teacher's attention. With homeschooling, ideally the child would have the undivided attention of the educator.

But I also recognize that a homeschooling mum is one who is capable of setting up and following a schedule. Uh uh. I have problems when it comes to schedules and time management. Take my friend Y who homeschools her 3 children. She does not go on the shopping bus because her children have school in the morning. She sets up a proper school room in her villa. And she has the patience and the tenacity to handle the education of her children. Her three children are very well behaved, well adjusted and well mannered. Can I do it as well as Y can?

And then I came across the concept of unschooling. The idea that the child would determine what the child would like to learn, without following a set curriculum. Apparently John Holt coined the term unschooling. Thus I need to get one or two of his books to read more about his ideas and philosophy.

So what I do in the meantime? Just to shower The Little One with as much love as attention as I can I guess. Even while I'm nursing my PMS.


CK said...

Thanks so much for the lovely birthday wishes for Y.

Hope you'll be able to find AM find a good playgroup/hang out place! :)

Tammy said...

Your little one is so lucky!

Yes, yes, yes! Shower your Little One with love and interest. Show her the world! Explore with her. Love life with her. Show her what it is to be alive.

For my kiddos, being alive means a lot of things, workbooks included. School included. Sometimes a busy, organized schedule, other times laissez-faire hanging out.

We're "progressive homeschoolers", much like unschooling but we're not afraid of school. :) We do school if it's what the kiddos need, and what makes us all happy.

We do what works. We go where it works. We work together as a team.

And it sounds like that's what you're already doing!

John Holt is amazing. He used the term "unschooling", but what he meant by it and how it's interpreted now are so different. So don't focus on the name, focus on his theories, and see if they ring true to you or not.

Not sure if blogspot sends you to my homeschooling blog, so here's the url if you want to see my perspective on unschooling.

Good luck!