Most Filipino families are now staying at home due to Covid-19. Provinces and cities have declared their areas to be under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). Classes in traditional schools (from kinder to university) have been suspended. Many parents are already considering homeschooling their children. I think it is high time for me to write about the benefits of homeschooling based on our family’s experience.
What are the Benefits of Homeschooling for Our Family?
At present, we are now on our sixth year of homeschooling. Our eldest should actually be in 6th grade, but we took it slow on the 4th year. There were many factors that affected our family and we ended up not being able keep up with Shawna’s progress. It was also the same year that Shane went to kinder school, so it was pretty hard to manage everything.
- Related: Homeschooling is Best for Our Kids
And the beauty of homeschooling is, everything is still fine. Learning is based on the child’s pace as well as that of the parents’. Sometimes, we just cannot help what life throws our way. And our learning system has helped us cope with our family struggles. So here are the rest of the things that have made us love homeschooling more.
Flexibility in academics.
You can choose the curriculum you prefer and look for the provider you want. We chose School of Tomorrow Philippines, primarily because of its Christian curriculum. Additionally, it was the first provider that my husband and I have learned about when we were still dating. We knew about it from the missionaries we met.
Flexibility in extra-curricular activities.
SOT-Phil uses PACEs, which is actually an acronym for Packet of Accelerated Christian Education (PACE®). We find the lessons easy and if we just spend at least four hours of lessons in a day, we can still finish the entire school year in just a few months and still have time to join extra-curricular activities in the afternoon. The kids used to go to ballet class as well as attend voice lessons.
PACEs are used in many schools in Bacolod City and even all over the country. If a parent wants to transition to homeschooling, they send them to schools that use PACE.
It is like a bare minimum curriculum, yet still effective in training and equipping our kids for college. While the lesson itself seems less flexible, we intentionally provide other materials for them to learn from.
This keeps us from worrying whether our kids can proceed to college because the provider is DepEd accredited.
We then have the extra time to learn whatever they want. We either enroll them to classes for extra lessons or they can use their extra time to study on their own. We buy lots of books for them, of course.
Training for Self Study.
PACES also train the students to study by themselves. The lessons are designed for the kids to read on their own. They get to figure out the lessons on their own. With that, they get minimal supervision from us, the parents-supervisors.
We mostly GUIDE them only, instead of spoon-feeding the lessons to them.
WATCH: Shane’s Addition
Shane came up with a fun trick in order to help her solve her addition problems,
More efficient learning.
We think that the kids learn more efficiently because if there is something that they are having difficulty in, we can stay and dwell on that topic. There’s no pressure to quickly proceed to the next just because the rest of the class is already moving forward.
Learning in a family environment.
Since the parents are the supervisors, they are learning in a family set up. There are rules and routines to follow but if they breach something, there are consequences, but it doesn’t mean that they fail or get suspended from school.
Wider scope of learning.
The kids don’t just learn their lessons from textbooks or what the teacher tells them. We have set up our kids’ bedroom like an exciting activity center with lots of books and arts and crafts materials. They can read, paint, or make something during their spare time. We have actually raised bookworms who desire to learn.
Less health risk.
We feel sad that we are all facing the Covid-19 pandemic. This is a worldwide health crisis, and aside from businesses, it is the schools that are facing a big problem. Here in the Philippines, the Department of Education has suspended all classes as well as all kinds of events where students and teachers have to gather en masse. This is to prevent the spread of the dreaded Covid-19 virus especially among the younger members of our society.
Honestly, while we are also concerned, it is not as much because I am a work at home mom and the two kids are being homeschooled. So we do not really have a concern when the classes will resume and if it’s really safe after DepEd has declared that schools can already open.
In homeschooling, we can choose when to go out and with whom we can spend time with. While we hold group events, parents are usually very concerned when their child is sick – we do not attend so as not to infect other kids. In regular schools where students are vying for honors, sometimes parents send their children to school even if they are already under the weather. Unknowingly, the virus already spreads to other kids and an epidemic happens.
If you have homeschooling, you have extra time and even family budget to spend on specialized training. For middle class families like us, our family income is budgeted and a lot of it go to our children’s expenses. But we are able to give them specialized training as our budget allows.
Then there is also time. If the kids are in school, academics have so much demand physical and mental demand on the children that they could no longer handle other special trainings.
Time to spend on interests.
Aside from specialized trainings, kids can do more of their hobbies, like baking, sewing, painting, gardening, and other things. For our family, that also includes family travel, as we usually bring the kids when we are called for work somewhere elese.
Way Less Pressure.
In traditional schools, there is always the pressure to excel, perform, conform, and to complete so many tasks at a given period of time. This pressure translates to the whole family, like in completing requirements. We don’t have that in homeschooling. We focus on learning.
I believe that SOT-Phil has the lowest rates among all the providers. So we have more budget to play around for their interests, including buying costumes for pretend play.
More sleep for the kids and mom.
As much as we can, we try to keep a routine while classes are going on. So we try to wake up at 9am, have breakfast, take a bath, and then start with lessons at 10am or 10:15. We end around 12:30nn, have lunch, and resume in the afternoon.
We like this set up because all of us are not morning persons. We are alive and enthusiastic when the sun is down so we like doing stuff at night. Sleep usually comes around 11pm for the kids while I work until midnight or 1am. That is why homeschooling is beneficial for us—we can wake up late without getting reprimanded.
For now, these are things at the top of my head. I feel that the benefits of homeschooling far outweigh whatever disadvantages there are. Moreover, I think that I have already discussed how to handle negative opinion about homeschooling. And after people meet our kids, they all the more are interested how we do things at home.
Of course, every family is different. We have different personalities, dynamics, disciplines, set ups, budgets, even expectations. For us, we are happy with this setup, the kids are learning and healthy, and those are enough for us.
Homeschooling may not work for everybody, just as traditional school doesn’t really sit well with us. But if you are looking for options for your children, I am saying that homeschooling is out there.
Just leave me a comment below if you have other concerns or if you want to add to this list.
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