Filipino Homeschoolers Are Making History (National Homeschool Day : March 3, 2017) #hapiday2017

Thursday, March 09, 2017 0 Comments A+ a-

We are making history! Sandali, baka masyadong mabigat ang statement na ito bilang gusto ko lang namang maging mas relaxed, flexible at mas enjoy ang unang mga taon ng pag-aaral ni Rio. But after almost four years of homeschooling and celebrating the country's first ever National Homeschool Day last March 3 with other homeschooling families in different parts of the Philippines, I have to admit, makasaysayan nga ang taong ito at mga paparating pang mga taon para sa homeschool community dito sa Pilipinas.

Thank you, The Filipino Homeschooler for the photo. :-) 

The Homeschoolers of Makati and other nearby cities (Pasay and Manila) marked the first National Homeschool Day (March 3) with a fun and informal gathering of newbies and experienced homeschoolers in Social House at Circuit Mall, Makati. It was an afternoon of sharing and just enjoying the company of people who share this journey.

Mga mare, hayaan ninyo akong balikan ang maikli pero napakasayang homeschool history ng aming pamilya.

Years 2014 and 2015

- I attended The Learning Basket's (TLB) Preschool Homeschool workshop. I consider this workshop and the inspiration I got from Mariel and Sanne of TLB as the key factors that encouraged our family to try homeschooling.   

- When Rio turned three in May 2014, we started our "formal" preschool homeschool.  We were not in a rush to teach him how to read. Instead, we introduced letters and phonics through fun art activities (painting, coloring, building with clay and blocks) , regular read-aloud sessions of English and Filipino storybooks and lots of free play at home and at the park. ( Read my first lesson as a mommy homeschooler here.

- We attended almost all the major homeschooling events during these years. These gatherings gave us a lot of inspirations from different homeschooling families. These events also gave us the opportunity to meet families who will become our homeschooling buddies and our companions in raising our little boy.

- These years were also about how to manage gadget time with our visual learner. We also started to encounter questions from friends and relatives about our decision to homeschool Rio. There were also times when we ask ourselves if what we know and share with our son are enough to satisfy his curious mind.

Year 2016

-  After two years of independent homeschooling we decided to enrol in a DepEd accredited homeschool provider for Rio’s kindergarten year. We enrolled in Peniel Integrated Christian Academy because we heard positive feedbacks from fellow homeschoolers about its open curriculum, approachable teachers who are also supportive to homeschooling families and affordable tuition rates.

Rio, after answering his first quarter exams last August 2016 in a donut shop! 

- Our homeschooling became more structured.  We followed our provider’s curriculum. We made sure that we finish the lessons in time for the quarterly exams.  The curriculum gave us a guide but we deliberately deviated from it when we felt that we needed some break from all the academics. For example, we read poems, made a lot of art works, studied a little geography and performed simple Science experiments. 

- Lola M was hospitalized for almost a month and we had to cope with this difficult situation. We had to “hospital-school” during less stressful days and when Lola was beginning to recover.  We appreciated the flexibility that homeschooling gave to our family when we needed it the most. We could not imagine how we could have survived the changes we had to do if we were enrolled in a traditional school. Ang dami na sigurong absent ng anak ko!

We are ready to make more memories in our homeschooling journey. We are happy to know that our community is growing and more organized. The small but warm online space of the Homeschoolers of the Philippines (HOP) Facebook group has now 7,000++ members. Homeschoolers are getting organized into area-wide groups across the country.  We can’t wait to contribute and take part in more homeschool conferences, events and activities this year.

This year, we also plan to take the independent path. Ibig sabihin, hindi muna kami mag-eenrol sa homeschool provider. Mixed feelings! We are both nervous and excited at the same time. We are excited to pool different resources and draft our own curriculum. I'm also excited to make lesson plans and explore ways on how to introduce academic and non-academic topics to my growing boy. We are challenged to create a program on how to instill social awareness and nationalism to our child in this stage of our homeschooling journey. 

We also want to show that homeschool is neither limiting our child in the four corners of our home nor locking him up in our protective arms. In our experience, homeschooling is allowing our son to freely explore the world and telling him that there are more to learn in this life than what we read in his textbooks.  We look forward to more exploring, reading, practicing and applying what we learned to create meaningful changes in our family, community and the world.

Happy homeschooling!