An old hand at homeschooling

Expat partner Natalie Turley moved to Singapore in early 2020, where she has continued to homeschool two of her daughters as she already had been doing in the US for many years.

Keeping it in the family

“The education of our kids is a priority for us and we believe homeschooling is the best way for them to learn. We were excited when Dallas was offered a job here in Singapore as homeschooling is permitted here, as it is across the United States,” says Natalie, who is a trained Physician Assistant and has three daughters: Adelaide (2), Talie (“nearly 7”) and Claire (9). “We started with Claire, when she was six, and when Talie turned four, she joined in.”

The Great Outdoors

“There will always be challenges when it comes to educating children. I have my moments! But, by the end of each week, I am always happy that I’m the one who’s there to see the light bulb go on as they figure things out for themselves,” says Natalie, who is quick to stress that ‘homeschooling’ doesn’t  mean they’re indoors all day long. “We take regular field trips, for example, we’ll go to the library, a museum, a park, or the zoo. We also normally meet fellow homeschoolers through co-ops and meet-up groups for an ‘Adventure Friday’.”

A learning opportunity

However, with social distancing measures currently still in place in Singapore [April 2020], Natalie’s kids have, like everyone else’s, been adjusting to being at home a lot more. “This is new for us, too. We used the opportunity to learn all about viruses. We made masks and read up on pandemics,” says Natalie, who adds that Claire and Talie have made fast friends with lots of American kids who live in the same neighbourhood and attend a nearby International School.

Empower the kids

For parents now helping their kids with classwork at home, Natalie suggests not forcing anything. “A famous homeschool coach named Julie Bogart recommends asking your kids each morning: ‘What are you willing to do today?’  Kids will usually be surprised when they can choose their own activities! When they’re done, they will typically continue doing other assignments but if they don’t want to, remember they may be testing you. Go ahead and give them a break,” says Natalie. “If some assignments slip through the cracks, it will be fine and they won’t fall behind. Remember children learn in waves and the tide may be out right now.”

Photo: Claire and Talie busy in an art lesson at home

This article was originally published for the thousands of expat partners that Global Connection supports around the globe. It is reproduced here in its original form.

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