Choosing to Homeschool our Children in the Philippines

Choosing to Homeschool our Children in the Philippines

Choosing to Homeschool our Children in the Philippines

Anybody can homeschool their child or children.
Here are the things that we did.
Would love to hear from you, too.
Do leave a message at the comment section.

homeschooling in the Philippines

Dindin does her Math PACE.

As parents, we decide for many things for our young kids. That is part of parenting. And part of it is choosing the “right” school for our child. In our case, we have wanted to homeschool our child while since I was pregnant with our eldest. So everything we did for and with our eldest, we had homeschooling at the back of our minds. Things just kind of fell into place years later and when we decided to homeschool our child, it was kind of easy making the shift. We are already on our third year and our daughter has just finished the first quarter of Level 3, so this post is rather more than two years delayed and I have already entertained countless of inquiries about homeschooling.

Choosing to Homeschool Our Child

The decision to homeschool didn’t happen over night. It was years of thinking and consideration as well as studying (especially on the part of my husband, as he is the one who is into research) and a lot of prayers. All the more that we read about homeschooling, all the more that we were drawn to apply it on our child.

My husband and I were products of homes who value education and although he finished from a private school and I from a public school, it cannot be denied that our parents put high value in providing quality education to their children. Our parents have provided us with homes conducive for learning and have given us competitive advantage to excel in school. And I think it is safe to say that my husband and I have performed very well in school.

homeschooling in the Philippines

Though I am the supervisor, my husband takes an active role in homeschooling our children. He spends time with them and does many activities with them. He is also the one reading to them at night.

However, there are things that we did not like about traditional school. While we both aced the system, we just think that there are students who would rather excel outside school because of their competencies and personalities. In short, we feel that regular school is not for everybody

By the way, our daughter Dindin did go to regular school. We loved Bright Kids Preschool Bacolod and our daughter also loved her time there, primarily because they have a progressive curriculum. And since preschool kids have more time outdoors than poring over schoolwork, my daughter learned a lot. She also learned writing here. Our daughter went to Kinder at 4 years old with a very good reading ability but she was not very good at writing, primarily because she lacked practice. We got her a writing tutor for two weeks before Kinder school started just so she could cope with the copying from the board because that is already required for Kinder students. And it worked. At first she was kind of slow and got tired easily, but with the patience of the teachers and constant practice, she was able to cope. Now, she is making her own fonts. So you see, we did try traditional school and if we found a school that applied such training from Bright Kids Preschool for elementary kids, we might have sent our daughter to that school.

I am a work at home mom with a pretty unpredictable schedule. So I am not like most homeschooling moms who can give their all, preparing curriculum, crafts, and special projects for their child. I have a very supportive husband who is very much into this as I am, but he is also working. But we are still able to pull off homeschooling and give a non-traditional as well as traditional lessons to our child.

homeschooling in the Phlippines

We are not afraid to get our hands dirty. We sometimes spend time in the garden and I let the kids handle soil. Here we are preparing their fairy dish gardens.

The “Socialization” Part

The biggest concern of everyone about homeschooling our child is socialization. They assume that because we are homeschooling, we are depriving our daughter with much needed human interaction.

The most common concerns are:
(1) Lack of interaction with other kids so they might grow up without a childhood.
(2) The kid might be too sheltered and not exposed to facing adversary, so they won’t be able to learn ways to cope.
(3) Not being able to have a wide network of friends.

What people fail to see is that we are homeschooling, not sending our kids to the convent. Because we do this, we have more time to take them out and expose them to people from all walks of life. They come with us to blogging events, parties for adults and young children, play dates, and visits to their grandparents. They go on field trips, excursions, the museums, and we try to have an annual family trip, too. They also regularly attend Kids Church (Sunday School).

As much as we can, we attend all the children’s parties that we are invited to. During dinners with friends, we try to bring things that will entertain them and get them seated throughout the evening (though the little one is much more challenging) without having to resort to the use of gadgets like phones or tablets. Yes, tablets would be the last recourse to get them to behave and more often than not, we don’t even have to use them. They learn to converse with adults and act with decorum in public places. If they see kids in other tables, they make friends and chat with them. When you meet my kids, you can say that they are very well-adjusted.

“They learn to converse with adults and act with decorum in public places.”

Specialized Training for Homeschooled Children

One of the things that I like about homeschooling is the very short class session. If my daughter finishes her goals for the day, she is free to play and do whatever she wants (though we limit the watching of TV and the use of gadgets). Also we have more time to spend in special training that enhance her natural abilities. For example, she is musically inclined so she takes voice lessons (from Coach John Raymond Castiller of Voice Chords, B.S. Aquino Drive). She likes dancing, too, so she goes to a ballet school (in Bacolod, she goes to the Garcia-Sanchez School of Dance, 17th-Lacson Street). From time to time, she has painting sessions, too, under Ms. Joan Honoridez (Joan of Art). Now, she is learning to play golf at the Negros Occ. Golf and Country Club. All of these constitute her Music, Arts, and PE aspects. Yes, we pay for them but at least she gets to choose the courses that she is more interested in and she gets specialized training. We cannot do all of these if she is in regular school because of budget as well as time constraints because after school, there are still home works and projects to be done.

Moreover, when you are in regular school, you get a more general approach to MAPEH. So even if you are not good in that subject matter, you are obliged to finish it because that is required and you have to pay for it. If you want more specialized training, you have to pay for them and do them after school.

homeschooling in the Philippines

Last summer, our daughter started learning to play golf. She joined the summer program and liked it. She was bugging us since she was 4 about golf but we thought that she was not yet ready. Now, she is liking it and we hope to be able to continue with it. Golf, along with ballet, constitutes her Physical Education.

Anybody Can Homeschool

What I like about homeschooling is that, anybody can do it. Yeah, I stay at home, but I also work. And my schedule is pretty demanding, as I also work until the wee hours. And I am not the most patient either, which is the reason why we had a writing tutor for our daughter because I don’t have the patience to teach writing. But homeschooling can still work. And I have heard that there are even working parents who do it. You can also do it even if you have a less than desirable area, or if you cannot really delegate a particular room in your house as your child’s work station. Maybe one of the reasons why it took me too long to write this is because I feel like our set up is less than desirable. I mean, my daughter has classes in her bedroom but sometimes it can be a mess, too. Nevertheless, she still gets to study. I also feel that I am not the “perfect” or the “most inspiring” homeschooling mom. But eventually, I thought, despite my shortcomings, I still have something to share, hence this post.

homeschooling in the Philippines

Sometimes, we also doubt ourselves, if we are doing the right thing, if we are doing enough. But if you get answers like these from you child, you are encouraged.

homeschooling in the Philippines

Our homeschooling setup is not perfect. Look at the room, it is a mess sometimes. So don’t feel so bad about the set up. Things like these happen.

Handling Negative Opinion

While many families in the Metro capital have chosen to homeschool their children because of my urgent reasons like traffic, bullying, and high costs of regular school, it is not a very popular choice for a smaller city like Bacolod. Of course, we encountered a lot of opposition and discouragement from different people who have varying degrees of relationships with us. So with different people, we deal with them differently. Most of the time, the questioning is directed at me. There are people who are genuinely concerned and those who deserve my explanation so I take the time to explain our choice as well as answer their concerns. But there are those who I know are already closed-minded in their opinion so sometimes, I would just smile and nod at their points. I just make it a point not to alienate them while making my point because we also know these people and we circulate in very small circles. After all, this is the “society” that my children will grow up in also, so we do not want to be losing friends just for the sake of homeschooling. This is our choice and we are the ones paying for their education anyway.

homeschooling in the Philippines

One of our goals as a homeschooling family is to travel with our kids and see the world. For us, the world is their classroom. So as much as we can afford it, we take annual trips to chosen destinations in the country. We don’t just go to malls to shop. We intentionally go to a place where their interests are ignited. They especially like science museums, like the Exploreum at the MOA.

homeschooling in the Philippines

This year, we started Dindin on a travel journal where she records her activities and most memorable experiences. She loved the Ark Avilon Zoo and its resident orangutan named Venus.

I think I should mention that the negative opinion was before we started formal homeschooling and during the early months. Now, when people meet our daughters, people are usually impressed first and would then ask where they are schooled. When I would tell them they are homeschooled, they are all the  more impressed and would ask how homeschooling works.

It would also be nice to have a support group, which we didn’t have when we started. Just recently, I wanted our daughter to be able to celebrate the special events in school and thought of Nutrition Month first. While preparing, I thought of inviting some homeschooling families that we know to join us in the activity that I wanted Dindin to experience. We connected through a Facebook group that I started and there are only about 10 members there, some are interested to homeschool while others are already starting the shift. So we already had our first outing as a group and we are hoping that we can grow this group so that we can help each other as well as encourage one another in our homeschooling journey.

homeschooling in the Philippines

I have started a Facebook group for Bacolod homeschoolers and this is our first activity together–celebrating Nutrition Day together at the Welcome Home Garden and Cafe for a field trip.

homeschooling in the Philippines

We are not all fun and play. We try to incorporate social consciousness to our kids, letting them know that the world does not revolve around them. Supporting SM Bears of Joy is one of the ways that we expose them. We bought bears and we also had the privilege of joining the activity at the Kalipay Foundation where our kids got to meet the kids under the foundation’s care.

homeschooling in the Philippines

Dindin also donated her Christmas painting to the Negrense Volunteers for Change. The foundation used it as one of the designs for Christmas cards and her work raised P100,000 for the foundation’s work. That is being socially relevant.

Our Homeschooling Provider

We chose the School of Tomorrow primarily because of its Christian curriculum. They are also among the cheapest, which with our limited budget, is a very important consideration. We would like to be able to set aside some money for special training for our kids on areas that they excel in and not just spend on regular school. While we have heard reviews that the curriculum of SOT is not very good, it is also used in Bacolod Christian schools and by missionaries that we know so we felt that we are on the right track.

While we find that the lessons are pretty easy, it is just perfect for our purpose. Our daughter will not have to be burdened by difficult tasks and so much schoolwork that she would not have time to do other things. For more information about the School of Tomorrow, visit http://sotphil.net/.

homeschooling in the Philippines

One of the things that we like doing together is baking. We make simple things in the kitchen. It is a way to bond and also learn practical arts. We get to do this anytime we feel like eating something.

Homeschooling Costs

When we started three years ago, we bought a study table with chair as well as a whiteboard with stand. We also bought school supplies. Those are pretty much the initial investments. As for the school, School of Tomorrow charges a one-time family fee of P15,000 when you start in the program. You pay the same amount whether you have one child or 10 children (your children) under the program. Everyone takes the diagnostic test, which is worth P1,000 before the first-time enrollment. Registration fee per student is P3,000 per year plus the materials. You can choose the original colored prints or the local print, without color and on newsprint. We just use the local prints because it is about 50% cheaper than the original print and the lessons are the same. For our first year, we paid about P24,000 for Level 1. For Level 2, it was down to approximately P7,500 and now on the third year, we paid almost P11,000–still so much cheaper than sending our child to a private school. Plus, we don’t have expenses related to school, such as uniforms, shoes, bags, allowance, and peer pressure (which can be more expensive).

Other costs to consider for provincial students are shipping fees of the materials as well as the bank fees.

Note: The school fees need to be paid in full upon enrollment. Installment is not available. We pay via bank transfers.

homeschooling in the Phlippines

We have event-themed activities to cope with the times. Here, the kids are painting eggs for Easter. Yeah, getting them occupied is a year-long thing.

The Shift to Homeschooling

The first step we took when we decided to homeschool our daughter was to contact School of Tomorrow. We corresponded through emails and phone calls. Before enrollment, our daughter had to undergo their diagnostic test just to determine what she knows. It is not really to grade the child or to give credits, but just so the assessors would know if the child needs to cover more areas. In our case, our daughter was ready for Level 1 and was enrolled as such. However, she had a subject area where she had wrong answers, so a workbook was added to our materials. And that is fine because they can just easily complete the requirements and cope with the level. A personal appearance by the parents and the child is required at the School of Tomorrow office for orientation.

homeschooling in the Phlippines

Since Dindin is now in Grade 3, we get to do more science experiments. Here she is doing the “Air Has Weight” test.

When everything has been accomplished, the next step is enrollment. Since we live in the province, everything is done through long distance. We deposit our payments to the school’s Metrobank account. We then email a scanned copy of the deposit slip. Upon confirmation, we receive all the materials that we need for the entire school year.

After our daughter is done with her workbooks, which are called PACEs, we send back some of them for checking as well as a record of her exam results. I also request grades and assessments from her dance teacher and voice coach and I attach them to the final papers that we send to them. These are then assessed before you can enroll your child for the next level.

homeschooling in the Philippines

Reading plays a very important part in our homeschooling journey. We encourage an environment conducive for raising readers by having books all over the place that they can easily access and by limiting TV and gadget time. They have no choice really but either to read or play.

homeschooling in the Philippines

Our little one, who will soon be 3, has picked the homeschooling practice of her older sister. She says that this is also her PACE. We have a 15-minute session each day.

44 thoughts on “Choosing to Homeschool our Children in the Philippines

  1. Kez pedroza

    Mommy this article opened my eyes to homeschooling i had the same concerns with regards to interaction with other kids but then i realized they are exposed to being bullied at school. My daughter went to progressive school and when she entered grade school we have no choice but to go to st john hua ming which is a total shift from progressive to traditional. We are the kind of parents who value real experiences like travelling to our daughter which i believe can expose her to cultures and different expriences. We should have considered home schooling thank you moms for the info

    1. Loving Mama Post author

      That’s great. Yeah, just let me know if you need more information when you actually decide to homeschool your daughter. And perhaps you can join us, too. 😀

  2. Eden

    Congratulations!
    While reading I remember: but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.
    Hope Achie & Siobe will find their own genius.
    Hope to join the group soon ?

    1. Loving Mama Post author

      Do let me know when the time comes. 😀 Would be glad to network with you.

  3. Iris

    We’re rockin’ homeschooling too 😀 I’m glad that more and more people are considering homeschooling these days. Back in 2007 it was harder because there were fewer resources and same minded people to talk to. 🙂

    1. Loving Mama Post author

      True sis. Now on our third year, we are bonding with other parents who have shifted to homeschooling or are already planning to make the shift. Happiness! <3

  4. Teacher Momma

    Hello, Marz! I have finally made my decision to homeschool my two youngest children this year. Though we haven’t started our school year yet, I am excited to embark on this journey. Looking forward to sharing my experiences as well.

    By the way, you are one of those that inspired me to homeschool my children. Thank you for your life!

    1. Loving Mama Post author

      Awww that’s so awesome. I pray that you will be “enabled” to start very soon. 😀

  5. Maritel

    Very well written Sig! If I was younger and had more energy, definitely home schoolin or if I may call it UNschooling is a very tempting option for my preemie girl. Will share this with my friends.

  6. Meainbacolod

    This is informative. I have always wondered about homeschooling. It’s not very popular in our country yet, but I hope that parents can be more informed and, maybe, consider this option on education through your post..❤️?? I wondred about the “social” aspect of homeschooling but I found my answer na here 🙂

    1. Loving Mama Post author

      Awesome! And you’ve met my kids so if somebody asks, you can now say that homeschooling has worked for someone you know. 😀

  7. Glady

    If I’m a wahm, I would also choose homeschooling for Gabby. Dindin and Siobe are very well adjusted kids socially and quite gifted academically. There will be a lot of naysayers syempre because homeschooling is not that common. So far, I like Bright Kids for Gabby. She has improved a lot.

    1. Loving Mama Post author

      True Marz. Siobe will go to Bright Kids next year, too. 😀 I guess it all depends on how one approaches homeschooling.

  8. May C.

    It is always a common notion that kids who homeschool are anti-social, but Dindin and Siobe have proven this wrong. Such well adjusted children! Dindin and Siobe should be the poster kids for homeschooling in the country. Glad to see that this unconventional way of educating is finally getting the positive attention it deserves. Good job on being able to handle it!

    1. Papa

      Thank you! I am proud of our kids. And I am so glad our efforts paid off. It was intentional on our part to let them learn social skills at the same time intentionally look for opportunities for them to practice them.

  9. Claire Algarme

    Before I came home to Bacolod, I have heard a lot about homeschooling, especially from Bo Sanchez. Another friend, a fellow blogger and a native of Bacolod, also have her child into this method. Such method may not work for some while it may be beneficial to others. In Dindin’s case, I believe that homeschooling works better for her, especially with her progress when it comes to absorbing knowledge and new things. She’s ahead of other children her age and a normal school may hamper, instead of uplift her level of development. 🙂

  10. Sunshine Dacudao

    This blog has all the information we need to know about homeschooling. Others may still opt for traditional schooling but homeschooling doesn’t make the child learn any less. I have a good friend whose children are homeschooled and they like the flexibility in terms of time and schedule.

    1. Loving Mama Post author

      Ahhh yes the flexibility. And no one threatening to drop you if you have many absences. hehe

  11. Jojo Vito

    I guess you are successful in homeschooling your kids. It’s obvious that they’re both smart and you engaged them to events which will enhance their social skills 🙂

  12. Jireh

    If only I can, if only i can work from home with full benefits, i will definitely homeschool my little boy. Continue to inspire more parents.. write more about your homeschool experience 🙂

  13. Sammy

    This is a thorough post about homeschooling, with a lot of my questions about the whole process answered. Homeschooling is truly a very good option to consider for educating our kids in these times. I think there are a lot of benefits to doing this, such as being able to avoid bullying. I think it really boils down to our preferences. If only I had a ton of patience and time, this is really something I would consider! 🙂

  14. Gheurch tiolo

    Working from home and homeschooling are some of the most effective means to address traffic issues. If only our government paid more attention and support to these programs, parents won’t be so scared of trying something that’s outside of their comfort zones.

    I also see the growth of homeschooling in the coming years as millennial kids tend to have shorter attention span – an issue that is not always acknowledged and addressed in traditional schools. The classrooms are very crowded and students’ special needs, strengths, and challenges are more often overlooked as the teachers follow a strict time -based curriculum. I honestly feel that homeschooled students have stronger orientation of their progress and have more applied practical knowledge than their classroomed counterparts.

    I’m definitely considering the switch with my 3rd child and your article is a big help in showcasing its benefits to the family and the society should they have any questions.

  15. Malou Legaspi

    Very informative. Now parents who are considering homeschooling for their children will have a guide and best information in making a choice. Thank you for sharing this Loving Mama with overflowing love for your children ♡♥♡

  16. Dreamerscape

    Homeschooling is very much misunderstood that people think it is about isolating the child from his or her peers. That is not the aim of homeschooling. It is to take away limits in learning…letting the child learn the things outside of the traditional classroom.

  17. BlogGirl

    I think homeschooling is a great idea for the kids nowadays. This is true, homeschooling has been misunderstood and not yet popular in our country. I’m glad that School of Tomorrow is offering these kind of services, plus it’s from a Christian community which is big plus because I want my future children to be more dedicated to God. With the guidance of the parents, I’m sure children will not just learn but also enjoy learning together with their families. Super like! 🙂

  18. Mommy Queenelizabeth

    Ive been reading a lot about homeschooling lately. What i didnt know was the fees.. I thought il be doing everything all by myself and i was worried bout the materials and lesson plans. This was an eye opener. My kids are into schooling and in 4th grade now. Currently this trend is not yet so popular here. I will definitely read more about homeschooling. Theres a lot that i need to know…

  19. Johna

    Wow! I know a few people actually that are thinking of homeschooling their kids. Great to know that there a lot of other moms doing this!!! ???

  20. theresa

    I recently gave birth to our son and I want to homeschool him but I do not know where to start. This somehow gave me information on how they do it.

  21. Abie

    I’ve been thinking of homeschooling my kids actually. Like you, I also work from home which is a bit demanding. You’re right that traditional scooling isn’t for everyone talaga plus walang stress sa umaga, less gastos. I think I need to do more research about this.

  22. Stargazer

    I love the idea of home schooling. I for one, wanted myself to stay home when I was a kid. Then I thought that socializing is lacking in the area, unless you have a lot of children in your place. lol

  23. Shai Habon

    Happy that a lot of people are now considering homeschooling. I believe it is more effective and cost efficient than the regular schools plus you get to bond more with your kids 🙂

  24. SASWATI BHOI

    Very informative post!! In my country, homeschooling is never an option! But, the insights you have provided here are quite thoughtful. Thank you for sharing.

  25. Lea

    My mentor’s daughter is also homeschooled, and I have been enlightened. Their daughter is given a chance to discover what she wants (she’s only around 8 or 9 years old I think) but whenever we talk to her, it’s amazing how she’s good at expressing and asking questions. Social interaction might be an issue, but an easy one to resolve. I must say, it is a bold move to do homeschooling. A bold move, because it requires a lot more than the conventional schooling, but brave nonetheless. Plus, the kids get to spend more time with family and gets more motivated because he/she’s around her support system. Great post!

    1. Loving Mama Post author

      No problem at all with socialization sis because it can be addressed. 😀 Great to know that you know somebody who is also a homeschooling family! 😀

  26. Riss

    Before I can’t see the positive sides of homeschooling but now, I love the idea of it. More bonding with your daughter and less stress for them.

  27. Chardy Baldyosa

    I’ve never seen homeschooling this way before. I guess there are really different ways to educate and to learn. We all have unique ways of learning and I agree that there are people who will learn more by homeschooling. This ks a great post for those who are still not knowledgeable about homeschooling.

  28. Mimi

    I know a lot of friends who are mom who have chosen to homeschool their kids. They’ve shared a lot about how other parents could be discriminating about homeschooling, but I think it’s challenging to the part of the parents and it’s great that they’re making an effort to develop their children’s minds at the comfort of their homes. 🙂 Good luck and kudos to you!

  29. Donna

    I am so blessed by this blog post, enlightened me in a whole different level as I am starting to learn everything about homeschool as we intend to embark on this whole new journey this year. Thanks for sharing all thoughtful information. I hope to connect with you soon.

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