November has really whizzed by, since we spent the first part of it in Taiwan. We had a rough patch nursing the kids through coughs and colds, and also had our home visit, which is part of the application process for exemption from compulsory education. That visit, and the earlier bit of having to fill up forms and plan out Junior J's syllabus for homeschool, was really a good way of forcing me to sit down and sort through our plans for the next few years ahead. I was struck by the sheer amount that we needed to cover in the span of six years of Primary education. I admit, I started getting a little jittery about how we are going to cover it all, especially since 2016 is going to be a year of changes since baby #4 would be arriving in early February!
However, thinking through all his curricula and trying to do some planning did get me quite excited too. Thus far, we've not been too structured with their learning, but I've been seeing the rewards of the flexibility of homeschool. Junior J does tend to move at a slower pace in general, so homeschool lets him have the breathing room to go at a pace comfortable to him. We've been using living books, such as those by Holling C. Holling, and we've learnt so much just by reading and discussing one section of a book each day.
The home visit turned out to be a lovely chat with the MOE officer, who helped to clarify various points about homeschooling. We're now waiting for approval from MOE, meanwhile, it does feel a little strange to be amidst all the mummies who are preparing their children for Primary 1, and not being able to join in their excitement about the usual things like buying uniforms, orientations and the like.
Meanwhile, I'm entering December with the strong need to declutter and simplify for the year ahead. (Anyone wants to join me?) Perhaps it's the nesting instinct kicking in, but I really do hope to start the year with a more organized home. With all that in mind, I think this Christmas would be a much quieter one for us. Let's see what December brings!