As an Overseas Filipinos worker (OFW) it has been a usual family set-up for the parents to stay abroad and send back their children back to the Philippines to study. I, myself, has been raised this way. Not that I’m against it, actually I’m very grateful for my hard working parents and the rest of our family for helping raise us the way we are.
Growing up though, I knew that I wanted to work abroad as well. When we started having our own family the reality of bringing them up the same way I and my sisters were isn’t the one I want. Luckily, pre-schooling here in Singapore is quite easy as there’s a lot of schools to choose from. As long as you’re able to get your child a Dependent Pass, the government don’t have much to say which school you send your child to.
Entering Primary 1 is a different story. I’ve mentioned in my other blog “Dilemma of Foreigner Parents” on how we’ve came up with the solution to our problem. This gave way for us to keep our children here in Singapore without compromising their studies nor our source of income (both important).
For us, it doesn’t matter much if our decisions abide by the norms of society. What’s important at the end of the day is what would work for our family.
When we stumbled with Southville International School and Colleges, one thing we noticed is it’s similarity with the International Schools here in Singapore such as having WASC accreditation, ISO accreditation, IBO authorised world school and have an international-based curriculum. Not to mention its one of the best International School in Manila, Philippines. It provides basic education that covers from Kinder to Year-12 is globally equipped excellent education by being. That alone is impressive already but as parents new to Virtual Schooling, were still skeptical and have lots of doubts.
No Social skills
Physical activity is confined
We learned that the school has them having the VOLT (Virtual Online Learning Teaching) Program even before the Pandemic. We are all aware that everything and everyone suddenly needed to switch doing things online everything we used to do face-to-face. This also means a lot of changes and adaptation to the new normal is needed from each one. So this came as one of the PROs which is a big deal especially for our daughter who’s just 7 years old. We as parents wants her to at least feel normality especially in regards to her studies.
Having competent and reliable teachers is one thing but having ones who have the experience of doing virtual schooling gave us the peace of mind that our daughter is in good hands. Teaching face-to-face and keeping the students attention is hard already, what more when its done virtually. Kudos to all teachers!!!
As highlighted in my other blog, keeping our family intact here in Singapore without compromising our children’s education has been one of our goals. Finding a way to make this happen has truly become a blessing that we never expect would be possible. I guess, God truly have big plans better than we hope for. It’s wouldn’t be surprising this is a big part of our PROs.
Living in one of the most expensive country in the world like Singapore isn’t a joke. What more if you have 2 children who needs to go schooling already. Being a single income family, yep, I’m a SAHM (Stay-at-Home-Mom) made it more of a game changer for us as we really need to be mindful of our finances.
Finding a school that fits our budget (that’s a need so we really had a budget allocated for it) is not only included in our PROs list but also a need. It won’t be wise in the long run to choose to break a bank just so our children can have their schooling here with us.
Of course, with all the PROs comes with the CONs too.
One of our CONs that we’re most concerned about is our daughter’s interpersonal skills. We don’t only want her to learn about the facts in life (be bookish-wise) but also learn how to be sociable. Knowing how to deal with other people with respect and having friends is one important thing in life as well that we don’t want our daughter to miss.
This one has been quite tricky to resolve honestly as our initial plan to enrol her on some extracurricular activities didn’t push through due to the Pandemic. We didn’t want to risk going out that frequent just to go to classes.
Another CONs is being too confined at home and have not much physical activity. Travelling to/from school alone is like exercise already for the kids. With this removed from our daughter’s schedule, her physical activity pretty much turns out to none at the end of the day as going in and out of the room ain’t counted. We just settled to bringing her to the children’s park nearby our house to breath some fresh air and play with other kids as a solution for this. On rainy days, I have an exercise planned for her to keep her moving. Exercise is important no matter what age group you are in. It helps make your body more alive.
Perhaps, after the Pandemic, we can push through our initial plans of her doing some extracurricular activities where she gets to move around and make friends too.
Last but not the least of our CONs is ScreenTime. This is one of the trickiest area especially in parenthood nowadays. Their love-hate relationship with gadgets can be impeccable. I say love-hate relationship because as a parent myself, I know how helpful these gadgets can be if I want to have my things done and how dangerous it can be too if my children gets used it.
Almost 12nn and haven’t cooked anything yet?? Grab those gadgets and give your kids some 30 mins screen time. Everyone gets happy! Mom gets to cook, kids quietly glued in the living room and a bit later hot meal for the family. Get me?!
That comes along with “hatred” too as we all know how dangerous these gadgets are to our children if used for too long. The tricky part though is that we ourselves seems addicted too to these gadgets. Do not believe me? Is your phone one of the first things you grab when you wake up? See what I mean.
If we ourselves are having a hard time controlling our usage of these gadgets, how do we expect to control our kids in using them? Moreover, our kids follow more what they see us do than what we tell them to do.
We for example have this “weekend phone day” which we started with the kids even before they can talk clearly. These days are starts from Friday night till Sunday noon where they can freely use their gadgets. Nowadays though, as they start to get older and learn to reason out more, some days they complain why I get to use my phone more frequently than them. You see?!
I hope you find this helpful if you’re planning to put your kids in Virtual Schooling too. Feel free to write in the comments below if you have any questions and I’ll try to answer them to the best of my knowledge and experience.