What Do the Chinese think of Homeschooling?

Last month our family was asked to come to Nanjing University and to speak to an English class about our family, adoption,  and our choice to homeschool.   After a quick introduction we briefly told our story and then opened up the session to questions.  Most of the questions were exactly the same as the ones we hear in the U.S.  and at first they were a little critical.  By the end, the entire mood of the room changed and you’ll see by the papers that they turned in, we were able to change many minds!

I made the decision to post the papers before I had read them all, and honestly I’m a bit embarrassed.   Some of the praise is making me blush.  I hesitated to post some of them, but I wanted to present the full and honest representation of what they thought.  I did cut out some repetitive bullet point notes about how I homeschool, but there is enough information that you’ll learn that pretty quickly.  (There are a few bullet points that I left in strictly for comedic value!)

I’m beyond ecstatic that they see our family life to be happy because that is what we came to China hoping people would see.   I am also heart broken by some of the comments, especially those that touch on the abuse and cruelty that they have suffered in their own homes/schools.

I am hoping that these notes will be especially valuable and full of insite for the families who are homeschooling children adopted from China.

Original spelling and grammar have been printed here for authenticity.


That’s quiet different from what we do in China.  Students who want to be admitted to colleges should provide certifications to prove they have finished the basic learning in high schools.

Home-schooling has it’s own advantages.  School teacher usually has too many students to take care of, parents usually pay more attention to their children and so they can teach better.  And also the schedule is more flexible than at dull school class.

But it also has its shortcomings.  Home-school usually has little chance to let children open with other children.  And the lose a way to communicate or accompany with others.  They may appear not interacting well with others.


When it come to home schooling, it’s quiet rare in China.  In China, we almost go to normal school and study together, which means a teacher teach many students.  But homeschooing in quiet common in western countries.

Compared the two difference schooling form, I’d say that both of them have its own benefits.  But from homeschooling as Anne’s family do, the teacher teach children how to learn.  Give them skills to study is better than teach textbooks fo them.  Also the teaching and learning meterials on the Internet are great and useful resources.


This is a big family with 6 children, two older children, one studying Chinese, three adopted.  Eric and Anne are parents, teachers, guides and also friends.  Not as serious as in China, they share a relaxed atmosphere.  Eric and his daughter all study Chinese in NJU, which make them become classmates.

As Anne told us, they choose homeschool to train their own value system to their child.  And many other parents believe that they can do a better job.  Parents give children much more attention and focus on ones child while teachers are much more students in school.

From homeschooling, Bella learns how to teach herself and focus on what she likes.  And Chloe can do her preferences – writing.  Homeschooling can find one’s special gift and make one’s character shine! But school always train some guys who can do same thing.

More, homeschooling takes parents time and energy which is a hard work.  Anne is the teacher and Eric is the president.  Eric make the money to support and Anne spends it.  (Anne here; ROFLOL!)


This is a big family, the family members are nice and humorous, they like to try new things and make new friends.  It is an enjoyment to talk to him.

In China home schooling is not even possible.  The education in China has its own system, if a child doesn’t go to public school, he can’t be accepted by a university.  Actually in my view, homeschooling is necessary for some kids especially who are very fond of playing outside, school teaching is not appropriate for them.  Every paper has two sides, we need to pay attention to the kids ability to communicate with others.


They have six children, three of their own and the others adopted in China.  It’s a big family and a happy one, too.  Father takes the responsibility to support the family financially and mother takes care of everyone carefully.  It’s nice to see that each of them loves others from their words and behavior and they’re considerate enough to provide the little girls with both English and Chinese cultural atmosphere.

As for homeschoolings, I’m quite impressed by Eric and Anne family.  Although it may be just a glimpse of homeschooling adopted by thousands of family, I feel it an effective and happy way to provide kids with good education.  Instead of doing exercises in the classroom over and over again, they have much more freedom to learn what they want and go to museums or exhibition for a better understanding of anything.  What is the most important is that they’re trained more to study by themselves and form a good learning habit more quickly, which is what many Chinese students are not as good.  With a 1.3 billion population, it is hard to teach each kid according to his or her characteristic and the pressure of attending a good university worse the situation.

There’re homeschooing in China too, but only a few families have enough time and money for teaching their kids at home.  However, there’s still something that we can learn from homeschooling.  Schools may encourage parents to join in the education as much as possible and help parents to find some ways to provide kids with some proper parts of homeschooling and thus make the education more individualized and effective!



My Reflection About Home Schooling:

Either sending children to school or teaching children at home are way’s to educate the children.  Schools are set up because the teachers there know how to teach better than average people.  Obviously, certain people can teach their children better at home.  But I think home schooling really set a high standard for the parents.

I have discussed the home schooling with my friends and asked wether they’re willing to teach their children at home in persons if conditions allow them to.  Some say yes and of course some say no.  It’s not the ability to learn which is the main reason some then to choose home school, however.  They think kids can develop the ability to learn everywhere.  It’s the thins children are taught and the atmosphere of pursue higher score that makes them unwilling to send kids to school.  In China, we all have to take ideological classes, which seems to service the government.  (I’m wondering wether American schools have similar classes?)  Beside, children in school are told to fight for higher schools from very young.  They don’t think it does any good to children to pursue high marks.

Those who insist on sending children to school think it’s a life-time’s treasure to study together with classmates.  In school, kids can find the ones with similar hobby and can share feelings.  Also, it can suit kids better to work and live in groups.  As far as I’m concerned, I think it’s better for kids to meet with different people, both classmate and teachers.  Differen people have different value.  It’s really important to recieve ideas from different people.


Home schooling is popular in the USA.  Int his way, children can also be successful.  They can learn something that can’t be learned from public school. They can get more knowledge at a early age.  In this way, parent play a more important role in children’s life.  But in China, almost all children get education from school, so we can try to develop home schooling.

reflection on me:  Home schooling is a good approach to learn knowledge.  Children have more freedom with they get home schooling.  They can arrange their time more efficiently.  Children can form a good character and they will be ahead of others at the same age.  As a whole, home schooling is a good way to be educated.  But I’m studying in school, so I should try my best and learn something about self study.  Only in the way can I learn more from outside of the classroom.



Home schooling seems impossible in Chinese families, for parents don’t have much time to teach their child because they have to work to earn the whole family’s lives.  Another reason is because the companies in China pay more attention to the employee’s diplomas than to their competence.  So children in China have to go to school fro diplomas.  But in my opinion, home schooling can enhance children’s ability better.  School teachers just cram the students with countless information, but when we learn by ourselves, we can get the knowledge now only the information.


Our world is a world of diversity.  So is education.  Different people have different value systems so it is hard to say which kind of education is better than another.  I think one thing is clear that good education must respect every children’s gift.  Maybe home schooling is more flexible than school schooling.  So it can meet every children’s need and respect their gift.


It seems that the Eric and Anna family is a family full of love, though it is big one with two parents and six kids.  Personally, love is the most important factor in family!

What surprised me a lot is Bella’s spoken Chinese.  She can even speak much better than half of the Chinese people, which shows great power of home schooling and self teaching.

Learning how to learn means have a key to the other knowledge, which worths a lot.

What’s more, the Isom’s do not only get taught at home but in the zoo, museum and even every where and any time, which makes a fantastic atmosphere for their students.


(two paragraphs about “Pay It Forward”)

… Whats more, by getting in touch with the Isom’s, I was totally shocked by what they had done.  It is so unbelieveable to have home schooling.  Luckily, Eric and Anna have chosen the right way to teach so that it works well.


Home schooling is very interesting to me but I sledom see this kind of education in China.


It is essential to learn ho to learn and know one’s own pace.  Home schooling is perfect for finding one schedule that suits individual best.  Just like the Isom’s family, the two teenage girls have their own hobbies and subjects that they good at.  Each of them are doing different things that they are individually interested in.  Home schooling provides chance for them to get rid of locked planning at school and to dig in, learn more about what they are willing to explore deeper.  I see a big, harmoney family.  Parents spend more time and progress with their children together.  Unlike the most family relationships in China, I believe with the concept of home schooling, parents may have the chance to make friends with their children.

However, I still have some questions and concerns.

First of all, Anne mentioned that she did not like the values in school so she started homeschooing.  However, she also mentioned that she will sending her children to university.  I’m wondering how she believe her children can deal with the values in univesity.

Secondly, I am wondering whether homeschooling suits girls more than bosy.  Boys may need more time with their same age friends.

P.S.  I am really interested in Anne’s self learning strategy.  Hope I can have her contact no.


I have learned that this family really a big one and some children are biological., while others are adopted from  China.  Although they from different culture, they’re still getting along really well and living together happily.

In fact, I knew the home schooling in America many years ago but I didn’t have much knowledge about that and I was wondering how children can be taught at home.

After Anne’s introduction I have learned about 1.6 million students acccept home schooling in America for many reason like value system difference from the school.  Parents need to learn how to teach their children with great effort and children can learn as good a children who study school.   They are not only taught what to learn by also taught how to learn.  As a result, the can learn knowledge by their own way and have a better understanding.  They’re hard-working and they really love learning and desiring knowledge which motivate them to explore more in their interested area.

After Anne’s introduction to home schooling, I think maybe the education I have received has some problems.  From young to now, I have been instructed to do this and that by teachers and seldom THINK about what I love and what I’m good at. Unfortunately, Its too late for me to switch my major and maybe what really counts for me now is to cultivate my interest in my jajor and learn to like what I’m learning.  (Anne here:  this made me sad. )


This family is different from our traditional family.  Anne adopted three Chinese orphans.  Anee is so kind, hardworking and shining.  I really appreciate that the children can have this family and enjoy their lives.  Besides, I’m happy to know their progress in learning.  From this family I see unselfish love and love can solve all kinds of problems.  In addition, it gives me a brand-new concept of “Family.”

Home schooling is a new thing for me.  It is a good way to give children better education.  At school, many students share limited resources.  Thus teacher can’t meet everyone’s needs.  Besides, in China most teachers just give the students information instead of the real knowlege and the way for learning.  On the other hand, home schooling is more efficient.  Parents know their child better and can choose the best way for them to learn.

But I don’t think it is useful at this period of time in China especially in rural areas.  Without the support from government, parents need to have a job, then they don’t have time and energy to do this.  Besides, many parents don’t have the ability to teach their children.

I believe it is a time thing with rapid development of China, it can be acceptable way to school.


1.  Adopt a method of mutual respect. 2.  Family harmoney is very important. 3.  Go out for travelling together and have fun together.

They tap their kids’ infinite potentialities for the achievement.  They give their kinds more free time to do what they love.  They also teach kids the knowledge of different kinds of fields.  In China, they also learn Chinese culture together and adapt to the customs of China.  They teach their kids to read first, and then to write.  What’s more, they use tongue twister to help the kids to remember new words.  (Anne here:  what?  LOL!)


Parents and children are the equal members in a family.  Each member in a family gives love to others and receive other’s care and help.  The family life is simple and happy.

Home schooling is another way for children to get education.  Unlike formal education at school, home schooling is more convenient, different and flexible.  Parents or the home tutors can choose the special material or textbook for children to learn.  Besides, at home, children can have more opportunities to communicate with their parents to make a better relationship with them.  Children can also arrange their time and do as they like.


Anna teaches her daughters almost all the subjects they are obligated to learn, such as Math, Science, English and History.  If Anna isn’t good at something, she will invite a mentor in specialized area to teach them.  They may have face-to-face teaching or contact with each other via e-mails.  The eldest daughter studies viola from a mentor and her second eldest daughter likes wide reading.  Anna got social degree so that she can be a teacher.   The most important thing she told her daughters as well as her students is how to teach yourself rather than some specific materials.  Home schooling gives the children free time to do what they really like to do and home schooling often do better than regular school teaching.  Home schooling doesn’t mean that students just study at home.  They often go on a picnic and hold parties.  They have various means of teaching and study doesn’t only occur at home, they can learn knowledge from everywhere.  Homeschooling can also offer opportunities for their children to know more friends.  Home schooling is an efficient way to empower youth!

My Reflections and Feelings:

Actually, it’s the first time I hear the words “home schooling!”  Obviously, there are many advantages about home schooling.  Children may have relatively flexible time to study so that they can arrange more time to do something that they really like to do.  Besides, it saves children’s time during the transportation between home and school.  Of course, children can have more time to be with their parents and enjoy family happiness.

“Every coin has two sides.”  I think it’s a challenge for the parents.  They have to learn knowledge about children’ education and know well about the subjects their children obligated to learn,, such as math, science, and History.  It’s still a burden for the parents to buy equipments for their teaching.  So, they pay the taxes for other children’ education but not their own.  (Anne here: excellent point!)

For me, I think home schooling is a very efficient way to children’s education.  Parents can take care of their children better and , it’s time that children with home schooling often do better than those with regular schooling teaching.


Some couples prefer educating their children at home rather than at school.  They may choose the subject and hobbies to learn and children have more time that is flexible, so that they can develop their interests.  They may have a new way of teaching and the children have more individual spirits.  Children who are home educated may have the ability to learn by themselves better.

Lu Lucy

Family does not necessarily mean people who have blood relationships.  Anne adopted three Chinese kids who have become members of their family.  It is love not blood relationships that bond a family together.


I have to say that the interview with Eric and Anne family is very impressive.  Home schooling is rare in China and most of us believe sending kids to school is the best way of educating.  But after the interview, I strongly believe that home schooling may be a better way of education in some aspects.  Firstly, home schooling teaches kids in accordance with their aptitude, which is hard for classes in normal schools as there are many students in one class but there are only one teacher.

Secondly, home schooling inspires kids to learn instead of forcing them to learn.  As the old saying goes that “A mediocre teacher tells, a good teacher explains and a great teacher inspires!’, home schooling definitely provides great teachers.

However, the mother or the father, like Anne, have to devote more time and make more efforts than other parents do.


A good family requires that every member is clearly functional to suppor the whole group.  Also, every member should take his or her responsibility to help the family prosper.

For the interview of Eric and Ann Family.  I first got to know the “Home Schooling” in America in detail.  There are 1.6 million children receiving home schooling in America now.  It is a great difference in value system.  For example, teenagers in China almost choose to take the colledge Entrance Examination to be admitted by some university.  I think the same pattern of education ruined the imaginery and creativity of students more or less.  And home schooling will provide children more freedom and space to develop their own charactors.  So we should learn this methods of education for reference.


My Reflections:  Due to the ‘one family one child’ policy, ordinary Chinese family only has one child.  And we Chinese children don’t have much fun in family and always looking forward for brothers and sisters.

In addition, it is my first time to know home schooling throughly.  Compared with traditional education I accepted, home schooling has some obviously advantages but it was mistaken by some Chinese including me sometimes early.  Under home schooling, children can choose what they interested in, and have more time living a happy family time.

In my oppinion, although there are advantages, it is not realist for ordinary Chinese children to take home schooling.  It requires that there parents should know much about education and have flexible time, while it may be difficult for Chinese parents now.


Anne has six daughters (not) and three of them were adopted from China.  Her daughters are taught home by herself.  Her daughters have achieve something amazing.

According to Anne’s words, there are about 1.6 million families have home schooling in America.  There are mainly 3 reasons which may account for that.  First, children’s parents want to pass their personal value system to their children.  Second, parents believe that they can do a better job for their children that the public school teachers.  Final, some families can’t afford the school fees so that they choose home schooling.

After listening Anne’s daughters’ stories we can see that Anne really has done and good job.  Anne gives us a word that “if you have the power to do what you like, you will make it.”

My Reflection:

Today Miss Becky really sends us a surprising present that she invites a lovely family to our class.  I can’t hold my excitement, but I have to talk about the film we see first…

…It may be the first time that I talk with a foreign family face to face.  It feels really good.  They tell us about their home schooling, family life, family problems and happiness.  They do a good job and they deserve the good results.  To thank Miss Becky, thank Anne’s family, and send my best wishes to you.


Family can also be a place to fullfull its education function nowadays.  Family could provide free a flexible environment as well as emotional support like tolerance, encouragement and cooperation.  One family could have more than more adopted kids and the adoptd ones could get along quiet well with the original children.  Through adoption a wise family learn to grow up.

The first thing that flashed in my mind is “Jesus great! Everyday is holiday!” yet, not one second, my jealousy was drowned in the bitter memorie of most of my of holidays when I was locked at home with piles of books and homework and TV, while my  parents worked all day and fort me from any “dangerous things” including getting out.  School is my best season where people “hand to ” get away from parents’ supervision and get together to play.  (I’m a single child to my family.)

Later, after our interview for our special guest family I changed my mind. There is always at least one parent stay with the children to accompany and look after them.  They do lots of social learning too and quite a few are done in open air.  Home schooling children get together and hang on together as a sub-culture.  They have no less chances than us to meet new people, to get their social skills developped.  We might bear more “locked time” no matter in school or at home.  In this case, parent who choose home schooling is more responsible than some of the “lazy” parents who care about nothing else than money and exam grades.


This family choose to teach their children at home out of 3 reasons.  The fist is they can’t afford all the tuition fo their children.  (Anne here:  we told the group that we could not afford private school.)  They second is that the educational system has several points that conflict their value and expectation.  They’d rather set a new one for their children in case any further harm.  And the third reason is home schooling itself has got lots of irreplacable advantages.  For example, home schooling children are in a favorable position when they join the competition for entering college.  And the schedule could be more flexible so that the children could be free from the rigid classroom and go for whatever they truly love.  Besides, the ability to be self-motivate , self-discipline, and self-educate is rather better in a child’s developing process.  And home schooling breed these qualities more convenient and effectively.

Family originally should be participate in the whole process of children’s socialization and fullfill all of its functions in production, consumption, education.  The rise of public school in modern times has separated the educational function from family but now we delight at seeing the return of this old tradition.  Probably this return would ure ghet public schools to take a serious introspection and reform in case all the teachers lost their jobs.


A family can be connected without blood relationship.  Love is something more important.  Parents and children can be teachers and student as well as friends.

Whether home schooling is good or not depends on different situation.  We see that Bella really received good education with the help of her parents.  But I think school also needed, especially when the child is young they need a lot of fundamental knowledge which can be taught efficaciously in school but parents may not be able to do this.


Reflections and Feelings:

Parents are the first teachers of children.  Family plays a vital role in kids’ eduction.

Violent parents who hurt children may let their kids shy and have difficulty in communicating with others because the fear of being hurt.

However, for those parents who can understand their children, know their hobbies and interests, have more chance to be a friens of their kids.  So they are able to communicate with their children, keep them away from troubles and danger.


It’s very glad to see them enjoying their life in China.  They live in a harmonios relationship with each other.  Anne said she does the education while his husband does to financing.  I can see this couple have respect and understanding each other.  They support each other and a base for happy life is built by all family members.

In my point of view home schooling is a bold decision with needs much time and enevery.  So, I admire Anne very much.  We I look back my 20-year-old life I really suffered a lot from the current education system in China.  One the one hand, it waste too much time repeating the knowldege.  On the other hand, a lot of important aspects lacks the emplasis in this system.  But, since I didn’t experience home schooling, I can’t say for sure that I will become a better person than what I am now.  But some dreams of mine may be fulfilled and I will live another totally different life.


I also think family is a place that we influence each other.  We learn from our parents how to cope with something we never met before and our parents also learn to take some repsonsibilites they don’t have when they don’t have a “family.’  It is amazing that we learn and grow together.

Home schooling plays a very important role in our life.

When we were kids, we almost learned everything from our parents.  We learned how our parents treat others and whether our parents eat vegetables, and so on.  Home schooling just influence our own values and priorities and help us grow up.  I’d like to share my own experience.  When I was a kid about 5 or 6 years old, I was taught to wash hands before meals, not to talk aloud in public and to be nice to everyone I meet and so on.  Home schooling to some extent is that our parents share his views on the thing we never meet before.  And futher home schooling is actually a part of culture.  By more of home schooling our own culture could be passes from our parents to us.


It’s amazing that they share both family ties and relations between teachers and students.  My parents are “too kind” to be my teachers.  My father spend 4 years to teach me swimming but failed.  Then my P.E. teacher kicked me to the pool and I managed in 2 weeks.

Parents play the most important roles in our education.  It doesn’t mean they impart knowledge to us, but we form our life and world view by imitating, albeit unconsciously the behaviors and altitudes of parents.  Even though most of us are not home schooling, we are deeply impressed by our family.  I think home schooling isn’t really suitable for us.  School provides us a good chance to make friends of different kinds with whom we can share new ideas and find new habits.  We learn how to communicate, cooperate and compete with each other, and realize the strength of the collective.  School and public education provide us resources and equipments which are hardly to afford by family.  What’s more, pressure and stress of competition forces us to manage more than we ourselves realize.


The style of home school is much freer and vivider when compared with the public school.  Children can choose the subject they like and concentrate on that.  What more, they can assign the rest of time to do things they’re interested in.

The principle of home school is to tell children how to learn, not just simply fill them the information.  By the way, in a Chinese school, when we begin to learn English, we also learn the phonetic symbol, if we really remember the pronouncation of words by remembering them by one, it’s amazing!  But we are actually don’t the the morphome.

The party in home school is very facinating.  The family who teach their children at home will have a party at intervals so they children will have more chance to make friends.


This world is full of choices.  In fact, we have many choices that aren’t found by you just like some ave an access to better education, some don’t.  But the latter can learn by themselves and reach the same goals.  For a moment I view the children on the stage with envy and think what if I have such parents?  Would I have enough space to develop my interests father than get used to the education system of China?  But there is no ifs.  And now I’m an adult.  I can decide my life (don’t I?)  I can realize my childhood dreams and be the person who I want to be.



I feel so glad to meet Eric and Anne family.  I had rarely met a home schooling family before and in my view, that education method is far from my life and seems weird.  During the interview, I was shocked, more than once when Anne talked about their lives and education stories.

Children study on their own and have developed interests and skills in study.  I don’t remember when I was in high school, the teachers pushed us very hard to finish endless papers and homework.

I was wondering home schooling could have negative impact on children’s social contact; bu annd took her tow little girls for example, saying that they are good at chatting with people and making new friends.  More flexable time enables children to learn what they like to get involved in the community easily.

the eleven-year-old young girl, who is reading Dickens, has started writing a book, which surprises me greatly.  I myself am also a novel lover and want to do some writing.

So after the interview I find home schooling can be terrific.

2 Responses

  1. Annette says:

    Wow! How great to hear what another culture thinks about something that totally encompasses my life! 🙂