Parenting and home schooling

Homeschooling while in lockdown

It’s been more than a year since the government has declared a lockdown in Manila. As the months dragged on, we found ourselves bringing everything home – from the kids’ trainings to our professional commitments. Early in the quarantine period, Jay and I decided to use a part of our supposed travel fund to invest in recording equipment instead because even he has to do his work at home.

We’ve been homeschooling and I’ve been working from home for years that you’d think we’d be used to this setup by now, but the truth is, this wasn’t our lifestyle at all. We didn’t stay home all the time. This was not how our homeschool was like and this isn’t how it’s supposed to be.

pandemic-homeschooling
Before the pandemic struck, we were always out because the kids had their ballet classes and theatre workshops, and they had their recording and a handful of other activities.

On other days, we would bring them to the park to play badminton or we would visit museums and try new places to eat. Often, we would be working on their academics at the al fresco coffee shop at Jay’s workplace while we wait for him to get off work so we could all walk home together. As for my work, it’s okay for me to be with them because I could take my laptop with me everywhere I go – and station myself wherever – to work while the kids are doing their thing.

Sometimes, we would even take the bus out of the city to see and experience new things. Our kids were meeting people, interacting with them, and living lives outside the four walls of our home and learning from it all.

Limited

Nowadays, we do everything in our 21 square meter-ed rented unit. We convert the main room into many different rooms to accommodate whatever the activity would be.

We’d turn it into a ballet studio when the kids have their ballet classes and convert it into a makeshift recording studio when the kids have to do their voice over recordings for their TVC and digital ad projects. On other days, we set up small tables for the kids to attend their online classes or for Jay to edit videos and all sorts of stuff. It’s crazy chaotic and while at times I find it amusing, other times we feel crammed and constricted.

Heat break

At the moment, the entire family has taken a break from the academics and are reassessing what works and what doesn’t in our current setup. Plus the heat is messing us up, so we just took pity on our kids and let them off their academic responsibilities to enjoy the remains of the summer. Next week is looking up because we’ll be taking a short trip to give the kids room to walk around, breathe in fresh air, swim and see nature. They haven’t gone out of this unit in months!

They boys are still on their 5B’s (Bed, Bible, Book, Breakfast, Brush teeth) before they can touch any of their gadgets and I can’t say we’re totally off the learning mode as the kids use their gadgets time to work on personal projects. Pablo’s been working tediously on his channel and creating new characters and music for his latest animation, Lukas has been writing his stories and Judah is learning his way around Scratch programming and has been working on his games. And of course, the two older boys are still training in dance and are currently rehearsing for their virtual showcase in July.

Pablo also expressed his interest in registering for a 2-day, international broadway dance training this month, so we’re checking it out for him.

Jay and I have been discussing about our homeschool journey. A lot has changed and will continue to change in the coming months and years. Even CHED (Commission on Higher Education) has embraced the “flexible learning system” as the new mode of education from hereon, encouraging educators to adapt to the times and leverage the investments made on technology. Perhaps there’s more to how Pablo perceives learning and envisions his future, so we’ll look into it and see what would best help our child reach his goals.

What’s next?

We’ve spoken to our two older kids and have asked them how they want to move forward with their learning. Lukas wants to continue with MyHill-ALS , while Pablo says he wants to work on other things and would like to go for a more radical route. He’s shown us a link to the animation course he’d like to register for and we’ve agreed to support him.

Judah only wants to attend Robotics class and read his books. He’s a wide-reader and he enjoys his ALS modules, so I think at this point, we’re doing fine with him. I just need to spend more time with him to learn Math and Filipino.


One of the things that saddens me about the lockdown was thinking of our kids’ missed opportunity on learning how to be more independent from us.

Prior to the pandemic, Pablo had already been going to his classes on his own, walked the streets on his own, hung out with his friends after workshops, and even hitched rides to parties on his own. Lukas was going to be next….but lockdown.

The good things….

If there’s anything, we acknowledge that there are still a lot to teach our kids in this situation. For instance, since everything has gone online, it’s a good time to teach them how to do transactions using online apps. There’re a lot of resources online that we can take advantage of. The kids can learn online marketing, take online courses and acquire new skills.

The kids also see a great deal of their dad at work nowadays. They know he’s working on animations, music and videos, and they even lend him a hand from time to time. They’ve sung, shot videos, and dubbed with him all year long and they enjoy it very much. I think that it’s a great learning experience for them to work with their dad and participate in the ministry at the same time.

They’ve also done chores, cooked and lately, we see them learning from each other, too. The boys are closer than ever. I think the lockdown just showed them that at the end of the day, they will always have each other.


We talk a lot and do a lot of things together as a family, which is a blessing. We may not be building too many memories outdoors, but we sure are making memories here at home.

Having said that, I think that the most important thing we are all learning now is to believe God for great things all over again. Obviously, we need more room to move around. We also need longer patience and stronger faith. We’re all experiencing the inconvenience of tiny living during a long pandemic season and we’ve been praying to God for provisions for a more spacious and comfortable house. It’s time.

Psalm 94:19 “When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.”