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Home schooled kid is off to NUS

DIFFERENT PATH: Jeremiah (seen here at age 14), was home schooled by his parents, a pastor and a housewife. FILE


    Sep 22, 2014

    Home schooled kid is off to NUS

    JEREMIAH Tan was home schooled, but still managed to secure a place at the National University of Singapore (NUS).

    However, it took the help of representatives from the home schooling system to help him snag a spot.

    The 17-year-old attained the advanced version of the International Certificate of Christian Education (ICCE), but both NUS and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) rejected his application initially.

    "The ICCE wrote letters to the schools' management and provided documentation for the work I had done, and I got accepted," Jeremiah said.

    He was offered a place at NTU but chose a place at NUS' Arts and Social Sciences faculty in the end.

    The alternative mode of education did not mean an easy time, he said.

    "My dad would draw up a timetable and we would each set our own goals, such as how many pages of the workbook we would complete that day."

    His parents - a pastor and a housewife - chose to home school their four children.

    Jeremiah has never attended mainstream schools; he was tutored by members of his church, who helped boost his proficiency in mathematics and science.

    Jeremiah, who dreams of furthering his studies overseas and becoming a teacher, is working as a supervisor at a private learning centre, which uses the same home school syllabus he used.

    He will enlist for national service later this year or early next year.

    Despite his success, he warned that home schooling is not a walk in the park.

    "Home schooling requires a measure of discipline and parents to implement structure," he said. "I have seen cases where it went wrong because the kids just did their own thing. It is not a decision parents should jump into easily. It requires effort and commitment."