School Life

A child educated only at school is an uneducated child.

George Santayana

Education in Singapore is exemplary by world standards whether attending a local MOE school or the myriad international schools that dot the island.    Here is a short video that shares a little about Singapore’s educational philosophy and results:

Our children are attending Stamford American International School.  They began classes two weeks ago and are enrolled in the International Baccalaureate Diploma program.  The curriculum aims to produce students who exhibit problem-solving, global citizenship, creativity, and excellence in practical application.  We appreciate the philosophy of the curriculum, but we’ll talk more about that another time.

The first weeks of school proved challenging for us.  The shift in educational philosophy from homeschooling and Texas public schools means we have to adjust expectations, schedules, homework styles and basically everything else.  On top of that, our beloved rapscallions are enduring total lifestyle reformation.  Here is a sample schedule for their days:

5:30 a.m.      Rise and dimly glow (shining is too much at that hour)

6:30 a.m.      Leave for the MRT to catch cross-country practice

7:00 a.m.      Run with cross-country team

8:00 a.m.      Shower and dash to class

8:30 a.m.      Advisory class begins

8:45-3:30      Go through two blocks of classes, lunch, two breaks and dismiss.

3:30-4:15    Attend cross-curricular activities (part of the curriculum here)

4:15-5:15    2nd cross-curricular class

5:30            Catch the MRT home

Not every day has a CCA, so there are earlier afternoons in the week, but it is a long day.

More than a Classroom

In October, the school offers a week of field studies for secondary students.  Michael and Ariana will visit Malaysia.  There they will enjoy eco-adventure team building activities, work at a local school, and do hands-on learning in the community.  Jonathan will be going to Cambodia.  His studies will include many of the same items but at a more challenging level with greater independence.  Chris and I anticipate some amazing stories and experiences!  Look for them here shortly!

The cross-curricular activities also provide learning through sport, interests, academic support, service and social involvement.  The students are allowed to choose their classes within a framework and are then assigned by availability.  Jonathan, Michael and Ariana anxiously await the announcement later today about their classes!

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Adjusting

Our family thrums with a new rhythm that occasionally skips a beat.   School means busyness and fatigue, but we already see greater leadership, responsibility and motivation in the kids as they rise to the new expectations on them.  Likewise, Chris and I are growing in managing their schedules and supporting the kids’ endeavors.

As time passes, I can offer a better review of their schooling.  For now, we just appreciate the wonderful opportunities before us.  If you have any questions about education in Singapore or our family’s experience, drop us a line!

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