If your child sits inside a classroom with 20 to 40 other children
every single day, do you think that one teacher can successfully meet
the individual learning needs of each student? How will he or she
compete for the teacher’s attention? How will the teacher impart
abstract ideas like wisdom and worth—concepts that cannot be taught in
an hour—when she rarely has the opportunity to spend ample time with
each of her pupils? These are just some of the challenges that homeschooling
parents and advocates present to our traditional education system.
Debra Bell, a recognized homeschooling advocate from the US and
best-selling author of award-winning books on homeschooling, was the
keynote speaker in this year’s Homeschooling Association of the
Philippine Islands (HAPI) Conference. Bell homeschooled her four
children, all of whom have now found success in their chosen careers and
are happily raising their own families. She believes that as children
grow, they become disengaged from learning. Homeschooling will help
instill in children a genuine love for learning. This is important
because, according to Bell, “You can’t teach anyone anything, you can
only motivate him to engage.”
Bo Sanchez, an
esteemed inspirational speaker, author of several books, and
homeschooling parent to two children, believes that homeschooling
blesses children with Worth, Wisdom and the Word of God. He says:
“Homeschooling is one of the best environments where relationship
between parents and children could flourish, because of the time that
they spend together.” When a parent spends time and effort on his or her
child every single day, it gives the child the message that he is
important. This knowledge, says Sanchez, has the power to change a
In the Philippines, around 5,000
students are currently being homeschooled. This figure does not include
independent homeschooling families. HAPI, an organization of
homeschooling families, students, and the home education
resource providers, work with the Department of Education to spread the
message that homeschooling is a premier education option. HAPI Chairman
Edric Mendoza says that the local homeschooling movement has been
gaining ground in the last three to four years.
Homeschoolers with their impressive musical rendition during the HAPI press conference at Expo Kid 2012. Photo courtesy of HAPI.
So why are more parents deciding to homeschool
their children? These are just some of the points highlighted during the HAPI Conference last May 19, 2012.
1. Homeschooling allows the parents to take back the primary
responsibility of teaching their children. They are empowered to
customize their approach, activities, and pace to meet the individual
needs of their children. By nature, parents have the intrinsic
motivation to provide the highest standard of education for their
2. Homeschooling provides a relaxed, nurturing environment that is more attuned to the personality of the student.
3. Parents are able to focus on their child’s unique gifts. They can
look for clues to their kids’ future calling and have strategic and
intentional purpose on what they (as individual students and as a
family) spend time on.
4. Homeschooling allows
children to be free from the pressures of labeling, categorization, and
competition that conventional schooling inadvertently espouses.
5. In homeschooling, the family is made the focal point of the child’s
education and socialization. Parents become the main influencers in
their children’s life. As such, children are raised to embody the values
cherished by their families.
kids are rarely exposed to peer pressure. Debra Bell’s children were
prepared to try new things that other children their age were not ready
for. They became more experimental and adventurous as far as learning
and education are concerned.
7. Homeschooling is
cheaper than the conventional school system. Independent homeschoolers
incur minimum expense, and those who decide to go with a home education
program provider may pay anywhere between P15,000 to P40,000 a year for
8. Homeschooled children are given
opportunities to socialize and interact with other children and families
through the support groups organized either by the parents themselves,
or through the home education program provider they are affiliated with.
Homeschooling allows the parents to take back the primary responsibility of teaching their children. Photo courtesy of HAPI.
What are the next steps?
Parents who would like to know more about homeschooling or those who
are considering this for their family need to go through this basic
2-step process, as suggested by HAPI’s Edric Mendoza:
: Get more information about homeschooling. There are numerous resources online, including HAPI’s website (www.hapihomeschooler.com
) and Debra Bell’s site (www.debrabell.com
Parents are likewise encouraged to talk to other parents who are doing
it, have done it, or to students themselves, people from HAPI and those
from the home education program providers, and other related
Step 2: After you have learned what you could on your own, decide on whether you want to:
a. Do it independently. You only need to go through DepEd’s one-time
validation exam before you can transition to any conventional school.
b. Do it through a traditional school’s homestudy program. You will
have to pay the school fees and abide by the school’s policies and rules
on homestudy. There may be periodic assessments, etc.
c. Or homeschool through an accredited home education program provider like Catholic Filipino Academy
and TMA Homeschool
. More information about these providers may be obtained from their specific websites.
No question about it, for homeschooling to work, there needs to be
total commitment on the part of parents and their children, too. If
there is devotion and commitment, the other hurdles could be overcome.
The challenges are many, but the rewards will be great. As Debra Bell
said, “Homeschooling is a blessing, not a burden.” –KG, GMA News