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Homeschooling: Handling Negative Opinion the Positive Way

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We were among the first families in Bacolod who have been very vocal about homeschooling our children. Since this is a novel concept in our city, not too many people were happy about our decision. Handling negative opinion positively had been a part of our lifestyle.

Note: Co-authored with our ballet dad, Papa Dennis Lo of www.marriagemarkers.com.

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Homeschooling enables us to travel while most students are in school. The kids are pictured here frolicking at Boracay Newcoast.

Rise of Homeschooling

Many families in Manila have chosen to homeschool their children because of many urgent reasons. These include the worsening traffic situation, security, bullying, and high costs of a regular school. But homeschooling is still not a very popular choice for a smaller city like Bacolod.

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Our kids with fellow homeschoolmates Akee (in gold) and Meg (seated, left). Taken during Akee’s 7th Birthday.

Naturally, we encountered a lot of opposition and discouragement from different people. They have varying degrees of relationships to us, but somehow they feel the need to put in their two-cents’ worth. There was one good-natured lady who asked where we will send Shawna to school. Before I could answer, she politely said, “Anywhere but never homeschool.”

And that’s okay — we are a society, after all. They are just concerned. What will become of our daughters if we take the non-conformist’s path.

Handling Negative Opinion Positively

With different people, we deal with them differently. Most of the time, the questioning is directed at me about homeschooling in Bacolod. So I have sort of a “canned response” already.

Parents nowadays mostly have the mindset that education should be fully entrusted to the school. And the school system has also evolved to cater to such mindset.

There are schools that may be intentional in working hand in hand with the parents. But there is also a need to draw a clear line about the responsibilities of the parents and the school.

One particular concern is the lack in processing regarding what the kids learn in school. If only parents know how to relate or connect all the knowledge to life situations, we can be able to better harness the kids’ potentials.

Common Homeschooling Concerns

Here are some homeschooling concerns that were brought up to us.

  • Lack of socialization – Will discuss this in another post. Most of the time, parents prefer that their kids interact with their age group. In a nutshell, our homeschooled kids are exposed not just to kids their age. They learn social skills from grown ups, who are better models in such aspect than peers.
  • Handling life problems – Parents have more opportunities to intentionally teach their kids about different approaches to life.
  • Building defenses against bullies – We don’t have to expose our children to bullies to teach them to fight back. We can prepare them minus the traumatic experiences. Most of all, we teach them about love, kindness, and forgiveness. These are stronger weapons against bullies.
  • Not having best friends to grow up with – I didn’t either. But I got to build quality friendships in life and they are not from school.
  • DepEd accreditation – This depends on your homeschooling provider. SOT has procedures for this. If you want to go independent, you can visit the local DepEd office for more information on P.E.P.T. Assessment.
  • Extracurricular activities – Together with our kids, we choose the activities that they like.
  • Parents can’t teach – Parents are the best teachers about life. Accessing knowledge has become very easy due to leaps and bounds in information technology. This has even made homeschooling a better alternative for acquiring knowledge. But researching in the internet is still best with parental guidance. This is especially true when parents don’t know how to use apps and software to censor questionable content.
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Shawna, Shane, and their BFF Jam during the Santacruzan theme fashion show at Ayala Malls Capitol Central. The three of them joined a summer modeling workshop for kids.

Handling Genuine Concern

There are people who are genuinely concerned why we are homeschooling in Bacolod. Life family, for instance, and we need their support. Meanwhile, there are those who are just obviously hecklers and I would know them.

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Taking vacations and playing together even during weekdays.

The first group deserve my explanation so I take the time to discuss our choice as well as to address their concerns. I do so politely because there is no need to be defensive about it. Eventually, I know that they will see the advantages and benefits of homeschooling.

Establish Your Family Goals

One tip that I can share with you about handling negative opinion is to set your family goals. Once you know why you are homeschooling, then it’s easier for you to defend your choice.

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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.

Handling Hecklers

However, there’s another group of people. There are those who I know are already closed-minded in their opinion about homeschooling. I am well aware that no matter how you explain things to them, they will find fault in your choice. With this group, I would just smile and nod at the points they are raising. No need to argue. It will just spoil your mood and use up your energy.

If ever, I just make it a point not to alienate them while getting my ideas across. We know these people personally and we circulate in very small circles.

No Point Losing Friends

At the back of my mind, this is the “society” that my children will grow up in. Additionally, we do not want to be losing friends just for the sake of homeschooling in Bacolod. This is our choice and we are the ones paying for their education anyway.

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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.

But people will have their opinion anyway, whatever our choices may be. So we have accepted the fact that there’s a need for propriety. Handling negative opinion the positive way always has its rewards, whether about homeschooling or life.

Change of Perspective

I think there’s a need for me to mention that the negative opinion was when before we started formal homeschooling. This continued well during the early months.

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Having breakfast in the garden of the Delfin Ledesma ancestral home, a Silay AirBNB.

But now, when people meet our daughters for the first time, they are usually impressed first. Then they would ask where they are schooled. When I tell them that our kids are homeschooled, they are all the  more impressed and would ask questions. That’s my cue to introduce how homeschooling works.

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The kids love swimming. And we try to go to a pool as much as we can.

And the naysayers before? Well, I guess they realized they were wrong. Or they realized that they can’t do anything to change our decision and have given up. Whatever the reason, we’re fine.

Going Strong

It’s now our sixth year of homeschooling and we love it.

After her Kinder at Bright Kids Preschool, Shane will now be joining her Achi. She’s going to be in Level 1. Both of them are under School of Tomorrow.

I am writing this for new homeschooling families who might be discouraged. Handling negative opinion is part of life. Let’s just do our best to deal with it positively.

homeschooling in Bacolod - handling negative opinion about homeschooling - Bacolod mommy blogger - homeschooling tips- homeschooling in the Philippines - Filipino homeschoolers - family travel
Negative opinion about homeschooling should be handled in a positive way.

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1 thought on “Homeschooling: Handling Negative Opinion the Positive Way

  1. Homeschooling was one of the topics I was seriously interested in when I was thinking about my thesis back in 2012. But I didn’t know of anyone here doing it. It was gaining traction in the US then but i had to chuck that idea for lack of respondents here 🙁 I’m glad it’s now flourishing here in Bacolod. 🙂

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