As a homeschooling expert, perhaps you can tell me how do homeschooled kids survive in Singapore - educationally and later in their lives when they go out into the workforce. Employers are also kiasu - I'm sure they want to look at school records, right? ~Sharie's comment/ question
Thank you for the question, dear Sharie. I believe I'd be addressing concerns of others who are reading this so your question is much valued! I'm certainly no expert but here is my personal answer, and thank you for being my audience. :O) Other homeschooling parents may have a different answer.
May I begin by talking about the broader picture of this duty of preparing our children for life, not just getting employment...
Perhaps you can think of this time that the kids are with us as Basic Military Training. BMT where they have to pick up all the skills and knowledge to become good soldiers. And perhaps you may think of life beyond the teen years as the real battle or war that they have been training for.
As the BMT instructor, what you teach your soldiers is crucial as to how your soldiers will fare, or survive in the war. If they don't know who to use their rifle, cook and prepare food for themselves in the jungle, more importantly, they don't have the heart and mental fitness to take the difficulties, danger, hardship and horrors of war, they won't survive long on the battle field. It's all in the training.
I hear that our commandos have to go through the toughest training and go through exercises in the scenario where they are captured and tortured by the enemy. It's so they know how to survive and to steel themselves against that event, is it not?
So as a parent who's is taking over the bringing up of the WHOLE child (not just their academic education), we have to see the end goal (what kind of adults you want your children to grow up to be)and work prayerfully towards it daily. That's what I do daily, with God's daily guidance. I cannot do this in my own strength and wisdom! I shall surely fail if I do.
What is my end goal for my children? That they will be saved and grow up to be men and women after God's own heart. That's my first and most important goal. That in itself will encompass what kind of vocation they will choose, who they will marry, what they activities they will engage in in with their time and energy.. it's about giving their whole life to God's jurisdiction as prescribed in His Word.
What I'm working towards to achieve these goals is a heart that is submitted to obeying God. And that entails submitting our willful character (anger, impatience, jealousy, envy, covetousness etc.) over to God to change (to joy, peace, patience, contentment etc..). This pretty much sums up my daily struggles with willful character. Not theirs alone. Mine as well! BUT that's what Christian parenting is about. By God's grace and with much prayer, preparing the heart of the child to a point where the Holy Spirit can do a work in his heart.
Why do we emphasize so much importance on Character Building? Because that is the foundation of the house. I read on other Singaporean educator's blogs about how to infuse "moral ed" or should it be taught as a subject. NO! Character is the first, only then can come real learning and education.
A toddler/ child who is not disciplined to sit down will not be able to learn anything in a classroom. A child who doesn't have patience will find it hard to learn to read and write. A child who is always easily provoked or lazy or lacks initiative will find it hard to fit into a group for project work. Is this not all about character?
I will always remember what my sociology in education tutor taught us. Regretfully, I've forgotten this interesting Indian man's name. He said we don't get kicked out of school for failing academically. We get kicked out of school for fighting with school mates, destroying the tables, smoking in the toilet, cursing at teachers.. etc. The so-called "moral" reasons. (It's funny how we remember all the irrelevant stuff and forget all the relevant matter...)
And likewise, when we read in the news of those high profile scandals like highly qualified doctors or lawyers who abscond or commit sex crimes: it boils down to the strength of character, not his qualifications, that keep him in his position.
Proverbs 22:1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.
And so, back to dear Sharie's question. The certificates and plus plus plus activities are not the most important thing. I believe, those are not hard to attain if you've been very conscientious about it and commit the time and effort and funds to doing it. Opportunities for courses of every shade and colour ABOUND in Singapore. Not to worry. :O)
The thing that is more important and harder to attain is a worker who has good character, one who is honest, upright, has integrity, hardworking, humble, friendly, has initiative, etc. This, above all the certificates, will ensure that our children will not only remain employable but excel in where they are called to.
I'm not sure if that has answered your question but I hope that it gives some fodder for thought.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.