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Homeschooling - 在家自学者 [Copy link] 中文

Rank: 8Rank: 8

Post time 2006-1-13 14:02:01 |Display all floors
Because of my signature asking to talk to homeschoolers, many people have asked me what "homeschooling" means. I want to talk to anyone who homeschools in Beijing, so this post explains it. If you know anyone who homeschools in Beijing (foreigners or chinese people who speak english), show them this post or have them PM me! If they don't go on this site, I will give you my email address for them.

Homeschooling means you learn at home rather than going to school. There are many reasons to do this. Some reasons I've heard include:
- a child is disabled and cannot go to school
- a child has a learning problem (cannot keep up with other students)
- a child is far ahead of other students and school is not challenging enough
- the school teaches things that are against the family's morals or religion
- the child lives too far from a school or has to help work on the family's farm
- the school is too undisciplined or dangerous
I'm sure there are more reasons.

If all goes well I will be planning to move to Beijing this fall, to live & work, for about one year. My son is 15 and will come with me. I don't know what to do about school for him. International Schools are too expensive for me; I will be a teacher. My choices seem to be a chinese public high school or homeschooling. If there are other free or very cheap options I have not mentioned, please let me know!

A few people have been very encouraging about sending him to a chinese high school, and I will definitely consider it more now than I did before, so thank you if you are one of them. I would love to hear more about what a chinese high school in Beijing would be like, so please feel free to describe a typical high school day to me. If you have foreign children who went to chinese school, please share your experiences with me.

I am worried that he will be bored or frustrated because he doesn't know any chinese. He will not understand his classes or tests, and would probably fail all his classes (except english!)

But if I homeschool him and don't find other homeschoolers to make friends with, he will be bored doing his schoolwork alone while I work, and I might not be able to help him as much as he needs.

Maybe it's ok for him to get failing grades for a year as long as he is having a good experience. He can still read english books at home to keep learning. Would the high school kick him out for failing his classes?

What do you all think about these choices?

I want as much advice as possible!!

Thank you!  
I am not rich.  :L

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Post time 2006-1-13 16:08:22 |Display all floors

well done!

you are really kind to help others.
homeschooling means unschooling, that is 自主学习 or 在家自学.(a method of learning)
homeschooler is 在家自学者
means person, generally, it's similar as the English affix ER or OR
1. writing: 写作. to take down something on papers with a pen. or to input something on computer.
  writer: 作者. the person who wrtes.
2. visiting: 参观 the action of having a look or droping in...
  visitor:参观者 the person who visits or drops in...

[ Last edited by tempax at 2006-1-13 04:22 PM ]

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Post time 2006-1-13 16:24:42 |Display all floors

A combination?

The international schools are DEFINITELY a very expensive option...and one you've obviously ruled out already.

I am generally quite positive about homeschooling...but in this case, I'd worry that it will lead to TOO MUCH isolation for your son.  As a teacher, I doubt you'll be living in an area with many other foreign kids your son's age; and if he's not studying in a Chinese school, he'll end up being extremely isolated.

On the other hand, if you are staying in China for a relatively short time (one or two years), and your son will be returning to study in your home country later, Chinese high schools will not offer the same curriculum, and your son may end up lacking crucial knowledge or credits.

I'd suggest a combination.  I know several parents here who have been able to reach agreements with local high schools, whereby their child enrolls at the school, but the parents get some choice about which classes their child attends.  For example, classes that indoctrinate students in Comm-unist theory may be avoided.  As long as you are paying money to the school (and it doesn't have to be that much), they are generally willing to work with you.  Then you supplement your son's education with homeschooling in the subjects that are NOT being covered at the high school.

One warning -- as you said, obviously, all classes will be in Chinese language only (except for English classes, which for obvious reasons your son can skip).  This will be a serious impediment.

In the end, there probably is no "ideal" answer.  I'd say that a LOT of it depends on how long you'll be here.  If its only one year, then just homeschool.  There won't be enough time for your son to learn enough Chinese to make a Chinese highschool practical.  If you'll be here longer, you might want to do a combination of homeschooling and Chinese language lessons for your son in the first year, then look into having him join a Chinese highschool in the second year.

That's all I can offer for the time being...hope it helps.

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Post time 2006-1-15 16:49:34 |Display all floors


Hi, freakyqi,

I think Canadianguy's suggestion is the best choice----combination.

A kid of 15 years old will be isolated too much by homeschooling, which will influence his characters forming or addict too much on computer. A kid should have chance to be with his peers. All the Chinese students begin to learn English in junior school ( about 13 years old), some are even earlier. So there is no problem for your kid to communicate with the peers. This is also a good way for the children from different cultures to share something.  BUt maybe a bit difficult for him to understand the teachers ( except english teacher).  Here is a suggestion:  Talk to his class teacher about how he learns in the class.  I think the teacher can help form a learning group ( several students learn together, help with each other to understand the courses).  With the help of the peers, he can understand his teachers more easily, while his groupmates also learn English from him.  They will be very happy to be needed at the same time.

Kids are easity adaptable to the new environment.  Only in the beginning , he needs more help and concern.

One problem is that as Canadianguy said " your son will be returning to study in your home country later, Chinese high schools will not offer the same curriculum, and your son may end up lacking crucial knowledge or credits.". In this way, homeschooling is necessary.

And you can compare the curriculum of both Chinese and America to see which grade will be proper for your son.

Hope it helps .........

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Post time 2006-1-16 04:20:10 |Display all floors
I really like your idea of a "learning group". If the kids speak English, they can help him while practicing their English. Thank you, I never thought of that! Even if the teacher can't do it, maybe he can make some friends to do homework with, especially if they want help with English in return.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, I'm feeling better already!

Of course, I still would love to hear anymore comments or advice from anyone!
I am not rich.  :L

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Post time 2006-1-16 12:10:41 |Display all floors

more ideas........

ONe idea--

As for the credicts to meet the need of the high schools of America, why not try distantlearning for high school in the USA?

I am not sure if you have such kind of distant learning- courses for the kids of high school in America.  If there are, your son can learn at home with the help of internet and get direct instruction from the local high school while learning at the same time in Chinese Public school.


To set up a QQ Group ( a chating room ) or a BBS especailly for those who are studing in high school in China, both foreign and Chinese kids are welcome.   Set a fixed learning time ( one hour or so) to discuss the learning questions and problems. Since the face-to-face time is limited, it should be another way.

[ Last edited by hearthome at 2006-1-16 12:12 PM ]

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Post time 2006-1-16 12:31:05 |Display all floors

time table

Here is the time table of a junior school :

7:30--7:45  morning reading  ( reading aloud English or Chinese)
7:50--8:40   first period
8:50--9:30  second period

9:30--9:50   do morning exercise

9:50--10:30   third period
10:10-11:10  fourth period
11:20--12: 00 fifth period

Students are dismissed.  Noon break

14:35--15:15    sixth period
15:35--16:15    seventh period
16;20---17:00   eighth period.

Students are dismissed.

[ Last edited by hearthome at 2006-1-16 05:26 PM ]

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