Raising children has never been an easy job. In fact, it can get expensive. Would you leave what you have behind to raise 6 children on a 6-month road trip?
Raising children has never been an easy job. In fact, it can get expensive. While Singaporean parents are busy arranging jam-packed schedules for their children’s tuitions and enrichment programs so they can get into the best schools, the Ong couple, Dan and Sue did the opposite by homeschooling their 6 children, aged between 3 to 16.
In 2015, they decided to bring their children on a 6-month road trip in the States. A Facebook page was created to share their moments and connect with people around them which turned into an inspiration for many parents on homeschooling in Singapore. It all started with the little childhood dream that Sue had on visiting the U.S and finally deciding to live the dream when Dan quitted his job as a teacher.
For 6 months, the 9-seater pop-up camper has been their home, and the family drove through 43 states. They camped under the romantic moonlit skies of Utah, on a hillside camp in Yellowstone where Elk stomped through left footsteps in San Francisco and more adventures that they have regularly updated on their Facebook page. Throughout these six months, their children took back lots of valuable life lessons, experiences and memories with them.
“Money lost can be earned back while time lost will never return again. The time with their children was limited, and they valued the moments being with them in their growing years as something money would never be able to replace” – Sue Ong.
The flexibility of homeschooling allows the Ong Family to go on this long road trip that most families would not but more importantly, it gave the children freedom and space to fully explore areas that they are interested in.
With the opportunity to be out of the rigid school system, the children’s talents were appreciated instead of having to focus on the standardised test to get straight A’s. The 6 children have the time and opportunities to be creative and hands-on with different areas such as origami folding or even cooking a delicious meal of roast chicken and potatoes.
This parenting style and homeschooling concept have allowed them to discover that their eldest son, Asher has a talent in photography and visual design – which is not an examinable subject. In fact, they have released a book with the photographs Asher has taken throughout the trip.
For those who are interested in homeschooling, the Ong’s will be holding a talk on 18 February at 2.30 pm on Scotts Square Singapore to share how homeschooling has shaped the children to be independent learners. If you are planning a road trip or simply need a little inspiring push, drop them a message on their Facebook page – don’t worry, they’re very friendly!