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Home Schooling or Private School

May 6, 2008
A colleague from China is leaving us to move to Cincinnati, Ohio.  The whole department had a farewell party for her.  Nobody likes dinner because the ethnicity in my department is so diverse, no one can agree to the food to select for dinner.  Any thing we choose at least half of them will not like it and will not attend.
So Joe and Michelle Previte suggested a dessert party.  Yes, only dessert will be served and it’s kind of like a potluck.  And if none of the tray on the table interest you, it’s just a dessert, it’s alright to come just for a cup of coffee or tea.
The Prevites suggested it.  The Prevites volunteer their house for this party.  You can see children absolutely loved dessert.  All except the daughter of the person we’re bidding farewell to.  Her daughter was sent to China to spend life with her granny between age of 8 months to about three years old.  That way the father (who was still a graduate student in Univ. of West Virgina) can concentrate on his PhD thesis and the mother can work without having to pay for the high price of daycare here.  For that reason, she’s still adjusting to the American culture even though she’s born an american.  Couldn’t speak much English , doesn’t know what dessert is.  Mother doesn’t know how to tranlate to Chinese.  Neither do I.
I did not bring my daughter with me because she was taking her nap when I left for the party.  When most of the party had (including the person we bid farewell to) left, I stayed over a little bit to hear another colleague play the piano.  Then the Previte continue conversation with me and the topic led to schooling.  The two Prevites both have PhDs and are teaching in the same Math department.  They commented on how much they distrust the public school and how expensive it is to send each child to the private school.  Private school now is about US$3,000 per student.  And from what I’ve seen amount my student in the first year level, the average student in a private school does not even learn as well as an average student in a Singapore JC.  But of course, almost everyone can make it to their senior high school but not everyone in Singapore can make to JC.
So one Previte was so excited about the lesson she has to teach in home-schooling, she brought out the teaching material.  It seems like most kids who are home-schooled (one example is Hillary Duff of Lizzie Mcquire) did much better then thsoe in traditional school.  "What about the standard exam they have to take, don’t they have to take that too?  Would they make it?"  This question was received a a laughter.  "Those standard exams are vrey easy, I remember as a kid when I have to take any of these standard exams, I don’t even have to study and I always get As."  So apparently, standard exams aren’t like GCE ‘O’ or ‘A’ level in Singapore.  In fact it’s almost like testing Primary four kids the Primary one material.  Or if you test our Singapore Secondary Four student with Junior high standard exam, it’s like testing them with our PSLE.  "AHMAD, SEC 4 STUDENT RIGHT?  CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT IS 15% OF TWO DOLLARS AND FORTY CENTS?"
It’s scary, in my mind, I always ask, what do American students learn in public school?  If they don’t learn and get pushed, their mine will be engage in all the mischief and naughtiness that are a natural part of growing up and adulescence. 
Looks like the choice for me is clear too.  Either we fork out $3,000 every year (and it could be more by the time my daughter grows up) or home school.
One Comment
  1. Vicky permalink

    What is a Previte?
    That\’s why American have no expectation of their kids and they are not stressed, yet most of them grow up more rounded than Singaporean kids. Ours is a system that is so scary if I knew beforehand, I would not have kids. All the mothers here are so stressed up with the system we cannot enjoy the kids and the kids cannot enjoy their childhood.

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