Tradition placed the classroom at the center of a child’s learning environment.
But that era has long gone what with various platforms and venues for children to learn and grow their knowledge and skills beyond the typical classroom arrangement.
A growing trend in the Philippines is homeschooling where children need not be confined in the four walls of the classroom for them to learn.
The model turns the responsibility back to the parents, who would really put in the time to teach their children and become teachers themselves.
In the Philippines, Homeschool Global president Edric Mendoza puts the number of homeschoolers at 10,000–3,000 of which are independent homeschoolers (whose parents do their own research and teach their children) and around 7,000 are enrolled homeschoolers (which means that they are connected with a homeschool service provider who gives them modules to guide them in teaching their children).
“The stereotype in terms of homeschooling in the Philippines is that it’s only for children with special needs or those who are sick or… for artistas (celebrities). We’d like to change that. Homeschooling is not here to replace the current educational system. It presents an alternative for families to be better involved in their children’s learning,” said Mendoza, father of five homeschooled children.
Homeschool Global recently held a press conference to announce the opening of the Cebu Hub, a venue where parents can meet and share “notes” on their homeschooling journey.
The group is also holding a series of homeschooling conference to be kicked off in Cebu on Nov. 12.
Mendoza and Cebu-based parents shared five reasons why they chose to homeschool their children and why Filipino families should also consider this option:
When Steve Si decided to homeschool his daughters, Shaina (10) and Sheena (15) four years ago, he knew that the world will be their classroom. He saw his daughters grow to be independent learners and are well-adjusted to kids of all ages.
Sheena showed interest in fashion design so Steve enrolled her at the Fashion Institute of Design and Arts Cebu. “She excelled there. I can really see that she loves to learn,” said Steve.
Family lifestyle Entrepreneurs Jojo and Niña Tiongko find homeschooling as a way of teaching their children Nyito (7) and Manu (5) essential values in their personal and professional relationships.
The couple runs a bakery business and it is their exposure in the field that they can “spot opportunities for learning,” said Niña.
Since the children are homeschooled, Jojo said they can take the children in their travels where they learn better because of hands-on experience. “Homeschooling is very rich in real-life learning,” said Jojo.
No traffic congestion
Mendoza said avoiding traffic congestion in big and growing metropolitan cities is one of the practical reasons why they promote homeschooling. “Why don’t we use that time (we lose because of traffic congestion) to do productive activities with our children?” he said.
Dumanjug Mayor Gungun Gica and wife Shai decided to homeschool their seven-year-old son Hugo. “The decision was fueled by the fact that we would really want to spend more quality time with the children,” said Shai.
She said they also plan to homeschool their two younger children: Kaia (4) and Amia (1). Mendoza agrees noting that homeschooling will really require parents spending more time with their children as the parents serve as teachers.
Homeschooling looks at children’s interest and makes sure that children learn at their own pace with consideration on their learning behavior.
Mae Villarin said it is not difficult for -parents to become their children’s teachers because “education is just really about common sense”. “The purpose of education is to prepare children for life. With homeschooling, we’d like to see them pursue their passion and learn what they can do best at an early age,” she said.