We attended a homeschooling seminar here in Cagayan de Oro sometime last November 2018 before Tuz turned 3. It was the very first time we attended such an event as we have begun thinking about homeschooling Tuz instead of enrolling him in a traditional school.
I remember way back in 2013, when I was traveling here in Cagayan de Oro with my then “bessy” (Mahal), and we were watching this celebrity show on TV. It was showing Brooke Burk, building her new house at that time, including an area in their basement where she could homeschool her kids. That was the first time the thought of having a kid quickly crossed my mind and I thought “If I am going to have a kid in another life, maybe I will homeschool him/her.” I guess the thought of being with one’s child was just so attractive to me because I grew up with my mom working all the time and other caregivers were left to take care of me. I would have loved it if my mom was there for me 24/7. I don’t blame her though. She had to work because my dad was jobless and was the one left at home to take care of our needs.
Anyway, going back to that CDO Homeschooling event we attended, we learned that there are 3 general styles of homeschooling:
- Homeschooling with a Provider
- Independent Homeschooling
- Free Homeschooling
HOMESCHOOLING WITH A PROVIDER
Homeschooling with a provider means you can get your curriculum from a provider that is accredited by the Department of Education. There are several to choose from. Those who were represented during the seminar were:
- Proverbsville Mainstream
- Bright Light Learning Academy
- Proverbsville Special Needs
- Charlotte Mason Method
- School of Tomorrow
- Homeschool Global
Tuition fees vary. You can choose one depending on your budget. But compared to enrolling your kid in a traditional private school, the fees here are definitely a bit lesser, especially considering that you don’t have to pay for gas or your commute or other miscellaneous things like every day “baon” (pocket money/packed lunch/allowance).
There is also a specific timeline that your kids are encouraged to follow but for the most part, from what I understand, these providers can be lenient as well, especially if the kid needs more time to learn certain lessons before moving on to the next. There is a grace period given to them should they need more time to finish their lessons. At least, there’s no heavy pressure for the child to learn things immediately. After all, each child’s intelligence, passions, and capabilities are different and it’s good to let them shine in their own time, at least, up to a certain extent.
We would still have to do further research on each of these providers so we can gauge which one could be best for Tuz and for our lifestyle.
For parents who don’t want to get any DepEd accredited homeschool providers for their child but maybe they want to get a foreign provider, or maybe not get any provider at all, they can opt to do independent homeschooling. What you do is you follow any curriculum you want as your guide. There are tons online. Or you can choose to follow the interest of your child and make your own curriculum from there.
Basically, you as a parent, set their own schedules including keeping track of your child’s grades and levels, making sure that you set aside time for your child’s PEPT (The Philippine Educational Placement Test) so that your child’s academic skills and knowledge are validated and accredited. You may also consider Alternative Learning System or ALS; take care of the Philippine Validating Test or PVT which you will need should your child choose to attend a traditional school in the future. The parents really do take charge when it comes to independent homeschooling! Just thinking about it makes me feel both exhilarated and tired at the same time! Lol!
I want real freedom when it comes to homeschooling Tuz but because I have so many other responsibilities outside of motherhood, I’m not sure if I can handle this kind of homeschooling. There’s also a possibility that you may spend more than what you’ll spend in a regular traditional school because you might end up taking so many extra-curricular activities! Anyway, I think parents who do this are real-life superheroes!
From what I understand during the seminar, the speaker who talked about this reiterated that they don’t spend much on homeschooling their kids that it’s practically free. It’s somehow similar to independent homeschooling and I’m still quite confused about the two but, free homeschooling talks about real freedom in teaching your own kids. You tailor-make your own curriculum from so many free homeschooling resources online. You don’t worry about those accreditations and test validities. Freedom schooling through and through!
Mahal and I still have a year to decide. Tuz will be 4 this November so it’s okay for him to just keep playing and do whatever he wants. He’s a bright young boy and he has already taught us so many things and loves to share things he already knows which we didn’t even teach him like several words we don’t normally use, terms and phrases, connections of things, his analyses on certain situations, etc.
Before he turns five, we want to be able to decide what route to take in terms of his education. It’s good that there are homeschooling support groups parents can join to help them understand better and support them in their journey like the CDO Homeschoolers Support Group here. So until then, we’ll keep on studying our options.
By the way, below is a Facebook post I did last week and I want to share it here:
I’ve been reading and researching about homeschooling since after midnight. And the question “How do homeschooled kids socialize with others?” keep popping up. Even without reading the answers of parents who homeschool their kids, I think I have some idea because I see it everyday in Tuz.
Tuz, for the most part, is basically with me and Dada Jae Haerys all the time. We’re introverted people so we sort of expect Tuz to be introverted too. But that does not seem to be the case. When we travel or eat out, Tuz is the first one to greet other kids his age or even older.
Tuz: “Hi friends! I’m Tuz! … Mommy look, I have new friends!”
When we’re at a playground, Tuz is the first to approach another kid and tell him or her “Be careful! You might hurt yourself!”
The other day, when a plumber visited our place, upon opening the door, he immediately said “Welcome! Hi!”
He is not shy at all when he is not forced in a social situation, and for that we are so glad. We actually just let him be most of the time. He plays what he wants to play. He manages his own time and we are just here for him, being led by him, supporting him all the way. Because of the love, attention and support he constantly receives from us, he is growing more confident and independent each day.
Now, the thought of homeschooling him independently is becoming more and more enticing every passing day. We think it’s the best learning lifestyle for Tuz (to not be constrained in a formal school environment and be forced to compete with other kids and memorize things he is not passionate about), to follow his interests and passions (which are very diverse at this point — what he likes most are toy buildings, cars, helicopters, planes, story books, identification books, chess board, drawing board, watercolor, crayons, drawing, and guitar). He also does not have a regular eating time. He drinks milk every chance he gets and eats solid food only when he wants to. He likes to travel and visit places like us. But he’s okay to stay home as well and just do his stuff.
We want learning to be fun for him and not make it a chore. But I must admit that it’s still quite scary to go this route having been brought up in Catholic, exclusive schools all my life. If we pursue this, it will definitely be going out of our comfort zone. But at the end of the day, we will do what’s best for Tuz, our family, and our lifestyle.
May God bless and guide us! 🙏🙏🙏