Maddie Chua, a businesswoman, says she and her husband Mark decided to homeschool because they saw their children, Jaeden, 10, and Javi, 7, picking up “improper values and habits from their peers.” They were in Grade 2 and Prep, respectively, at the time.
"We actually attended an orientation at The Master’s Academy (TMA) Homeschool six years ago but I wasn't 100% into it then," shares Maddie. Now, they have been homeschooling their children for two years, with the help of TMA. “We felt they [TMA] had the experience and wisdom to guide first-time homeschoolers like us. Plus, the majority of our homeschooling friends are enrolled with them too.”
Embracing the challenges, counting the joys Although Maddie says she is daunted by the need to give challenging-enough material for her children while making learning fun and meaningful for them at the same time, she says she loves seeing her sons’ “eureka moments.”
“I want them to know why they are learning these things, rather than just spoon-feed everything to them,” she shares. “I learn so much from teaching them, actually.”
Homeschooling multiple-level children is also no easy task, because the kids need to learn the same concepts but on different learning levels and capabilities. Still, Maddie says the best “triumph” is knowing that she is giving her kids “the best environment for them to learn and grow at their own pace.”
The Chua kids are usually up by 8 a.m. and start studying after breakfast, around 8:30 to 9 a.m. They are done with the “formal” part of school by 11 a.m.
“We normally do three, maximum of four, subjects per day,” Maddie shares. “We have a sort of fixed routine and schedule, but it is flexible when I see a need to adjust."
She also adds that they usually take 20-30 minutes per subject. In the afternoon, the boys are free to do arts and crafts, or play outdoors.
“My sons are now in Grades 2 and 4. I know they are enjoying homeschooling because they told me so, and they are happier kids now compared to when they were in conventional school,” Maddie says.
Maddie encourages parents who are looking for other options aside from conventional school to explore homeschooling. “It’s an alternative approach if they want to be their kids' primary influence,” she explains.
On Monday: The Agbayani family on applying academics to everyday life