Homeschooling: Answers to common questions people ask about homeschooling

I’ve recently published the last installment for my blog series on Educating for life home school conference 2014 held last September 6. In it, I’ve mentioned common questions posed to us home schooling families.

I promised in that blog that I will give my answers to the questions, so here goes:
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Can you home school legally?

Yes, despite some misconception on what home schooling is, and the confusion between home schooling and home studying, home schooling is definitely legal in the Philippines.

There are many DepEd-accredited home school providing institutions that you can register your child with, or you can have your child take the PepTest at the DepEd center every year.

Are they socialised?

There is a huge difference between socialisation and being sociable.

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There’s definitely no problem with socialisation, most home schoolers are extremely confident and comfortable conversing with anyone of any status, age or nationality – provided they’re using the same language, ofcourse. Sometimes, not even. You’ll be surprised at their confidence to communicate outside words!

Whether or not they are sociable is a personality trait.

For example, my 9-year old takes after his dad who likes being surrounded with people so he’s popular, but my 5-year old is the moody type – he takes after me.  He enjoys friends and parties, but there are times when he just wants to play with his blocks by himself.

Do you give them tests?

If you’re referring to paperwork, yes, we let them answer practice exercises or write essays and all that, but we don’t roast them with those.

I do a lot of discussions with my children to check on how much they understood after they’ve read a book or watched a movie. Processing with our children is a huge part of home schooling, there are many ways to do that like doing arts, crafts or as simple as making a short video using the cellphone camera.

We try to lay off unnecessary tediousness when it comes to our kids’ education. The goal is to make learning fun, relaxed and enjoyable.

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What about P.E.?

We run as a family, and we’re hoping to join our very first Fun Run this November, that’s already P.E.

Our eldest attends a dance class with other home schoolers as they prepare for a production they’re staging on March, and we signed him up for soccer at the Philippine Army headquarters, where young soccer players like him are coached by soldiers who are not on duty.

YOU ARE SO STRANGE!

We can’t all the be same, if we are, the world will be boring.

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How long will you home school?

For as long as it works for our children and our family. Most home schooling families take it a year at a time, then re-assess before the next school year.

Some families home school for as long as 20 years – and all the way till College. Others home school their children only during their foundation years.

Look at what they’re missing!

They’re not missing any more than they would’ve missed if they have gone to a regular school.

In fact, we are able to provide them with more opportunities to explore, discover, and see new things, given our circumstances.

We can pack our suitcases and take our children anywhere with us at any time. We can home school anywhere, the world is our classroom.

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Why do you do this?

There are many possible answers for this – we want to give our children the best education possible, because we want to prepare them for their future, because we want to set their foundation, blah blah blah — but the bottom line is that our family is called to do this. There’s no better way to say it.

They’ll miss the prom!!!

First of all, please be informed that many home schoolers have been invited to proms by their friends more than once. And I’ve heard of many co-ops that have been organising fun formal dinner events for home schoolers.

But what is it exactly that they’re missing when they don’t go to a regular prom?  The truth is that the prom hype is mostly just something we got from the books we read or from the movies that we watched. In my honest opinion, a prom is something our kids can live without.

There are many local high schools that have already taken out prom from their events and none of their students died.

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What about graduation?

If it’s just marching, they can always march with the rest of the regular students attending their home school provider’s regular school. Or they can march with other home schoolers.

But graduation is more than just marching, what it actually means is that your child is ready to be launched, to be on his own and ready to make a go at life independent from you. With that, most home schoolers have no problems.

Many former home schoolers are now leaders and achievers in their own fields of work.

I could never do that!

It’s not a walk in the park, that’s for sure, but if you feel that you’re called to home school your child, trust me, you can do it, too!

Can they go to college?

If you mean whether they can keep up with other students in college, yes.

Many home schoolers who entered universities have been granted scholarships and are on top of their class. They are confident, impressive and can express themselves well, verbally and in writing.

Most home schoolers have a whole gamut of skills- computer programming, languages, advertising, marketing, entrepreneurship and many other things they have had the time to train for and apply in practical situations.

But what’s more important is that, most home schoolers have deeply ingrained values. They can handle responsibilities on-the-job, keep in excellent character, lead with confidence and represent with integrity.
418763_4129304604619_302548520_nI hope my answers to these questions can help you decide if home schooling is what  you want for your family.  Don’t hesitate to shoot me some questions if you have any, but be nice, okay? 😉

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43 Comments

  1. Hey, Mommy May! Are your kids enrolled in a homeschooling program? I wonder what your thoughts are on unschooling/independent homeschooling. I am hoping to tread that path in the future but, of course, not having the legal papers, which I’m sure will be needed, might pose a big problem.

    1. Hi Pam!
      Unschooling and Independent home schooling are two different things. Unschooling, in a nutshell, is letting the child take the lead in his/her education – there’s no structure ,no syllabus being followed – only the interest of the child.

      Independent home schooling, on the other hand, is educating the child at home without enrolling in a local home school provider.

      We were with Peniel Christian Academy for a few years, and I recommend them because they’re open-curriculum, allowing families to choose the materials they want to use for their children; however, we have decided to take a leap to Independent home schooling this year because of certain character issues we need to focus on as a family.

      Unschooling, as a method, has practices helpful to us as we educate our children, but we don’t fall under that category. We still follow a structure and do our best to cover all areas that need to be covered — English and comprehension, Math, Science, Music, Civics, and Physical Education.

      Joy Tan-chi of TMA puts it best in the first HAPI homeschool conference, that the bible says it is our mandate as parents to train our children in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6). We need to point our children to the right direction, even in terms of their education and while they are young and absorbent of training, discipline and correction.

      The number of independent home schoolers here in the Philippines are growing; definitely, it’s the road more difficult to traverse. I will not recommend it for everyone as it’s not for the faint of heart and you could end up with a lot of work to do to be able to transition.

      Why don’t you join Rockers Philippines on Facebook? It’s a community of Independent homeschoolers. There are more families there who have been doing independent home schooling for a longer time, they may be able to provide you with more answers. 🙂

    1. Home schooling is really more focused on character building – to imbibe in our kids the values that we live by, to be their main influence in their foundational years. One of the goals, of course, is independent learning on top of nurturing the love for it.

      One of the perks of home schooling is that there are no home work to worry about because you’ve already covered it during your home school hours. There are more opportunities to teach according to the child’s pace and interest, and it eliminates the pressure to him to keep up with others. His focus is on his own development. It makes the process more natural and relaxed and fun for the child. When they’re having fun, when they’re relaxed, when the experience is great, the tendency is to welcome more of it.

      Tutoring, on the other hand, is more like adding extra hours after school to review the lessons.

      Whether or not we do it on purpose, we home school our children. When we deliberately teach them, correct them, discipline them, discuss with them, and more so, how they see us live our lives – that’s home schooling. If we choose not to spend time with them, discipline them, listen to them — that’s still home schooling, just not with the same results.

    1. Oh yes! But our children will be independently doing it by then, It’s actually termed “Distance Studying” by some universities that offer it, others call it “Open University.” Many home schoolers finish high school earlier, so they opt to take courses early.

      Local Universities that offer it include UP Diliman, PUP, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Benguet State University, Pangasinan State University. There’s CAP, too.

      Or you can sign up for online courses. 🙂

      A friend of mine who chose to do distance learning for his college level is now one of the top directors at Century Properties. Mica Tan, one of the 20 something successful entrepreneurs featured by ABS CBN news, unschooled herself whilst running her own business.

  2. Love this! I especially love your answer sa question about being weird. Not being weird would be sad no! I actually found myself taking about homeschooling with my non-mommy friends, and we haven’t even started yet. I’m excited!

  3. I hope to have the guts to try homeschooling to my kids, but really, I have no idea where to start and if the grandparents will be okay with this. hmm… by the way, how do you manage to blog and homeschool your kids and be a great mom at the same time? 😀

  4. My officemate before had his kids home schooled and I was like, wow, how do you do it?! I had so many questions and they’re all answered here. Yey! The grandparents however, would surely frown upon homeschooling. I like the idea that homeschooling is like a progressive school though, minus the hefty tuition fee. hehe

  5. Homeschooling is indeed becoming popular nowadays, even in Philippines. Such a tough job for home-schooling parents. I salute you for a job very well done. One of the posts that give us some thoughts of considering it. Ang tanong, kaya kaya namin?

  6. thanks for the info, May. i’m considering homeschooling for my son when he starts school but so far i don’t have that much idea yet.. this is a big help 🙂

  7. Its also my dream to homeschool my son but since he is the only child and spoiled by his grandpa my mom told me he needs a socialization and I cannot afford to do a home school since I am a working mom. Maybe in the future if I become a WAHM I can do home school

  8. Great read. Most of my questions are definitely answered. And I just believe in to each his own. If it works for you then that’s fine right? Sana I could do it also.

  9. Hi! I’m Jeyn and we’re considering homeschooling our daughter. But we hear a lot of cons from friends and family and we are somewhat discouraged. Thanks for this post. This gives me encouragement. By the way, what’s the recommended age to start homescholing formally (that is, if we choose Peniel Christian Academy)? Thank you and the Lord bless you.

    1. Hi Mary Jane! Awww…it can really get discouraging at times, but don’t worry, the number of homeschooling families have grown exponentially and thank God for Facebook, we have found really strong support groups. 🙂 You will be fine.

      Kinder-age is the age required by DepEd to enroll your child for homeschool. 🙂

  10. Hi..im new here.im planning to homeschool my 3 kids next schoolyear.grade 11,grade 10, and 6. Im getting all the help.i need from which school and most affordable.my eldest has pcos..it is stress-related health issue..but some homeschool providers dont offer senior high..can u pls help me here..my email is [email protected]

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