By Regina G. Posadas
On the fence about educating your child at home? What’s stopping you from pursuing this admirable but unconventional learning track? Are you worried that
A. You’re not good, patient, or capable enough to teach
B. Your child won’t have the socialization and peer interactions he needs
C. You won’t have the resources or materials to optimize learning, or
D. All of the above?
Knowing your goals is paramount here, said seasoned homeschooling couple Joy and Edric Mendoza, whose five children are all educated at home. If you are clear and specific on the kind of parent you want to be, the kind of education you want for your child, and what you want to achieve for your family, then the decision to homeschool will be simpler.
“If you know what the end goal is, then you can make a big sacrifice like quitting your job to teach your kids or going part time and still earning an income through home-based or online work. It is a total lifestyle decision and commitment because if you choose to homeschool, everything you do as a family, even what you do as a mom or a dad, will revolve around that decision to home-educate as that will now become your priority in the day to day,” Joy explained.
“What is the learning goal for my child?” is the most important question to ask in the learning sphere, said Edric, who is the president of Homeschool Global (HG), and who defines homeschooling as “parent-led home based instruction.” At the opening of HG’s The Learning Hub at Ayala Malls The 30th in Pasig City, he also reassured moms and dads who want to try homeschooling that they don’t have to know everything and to do all the teaching to succeed.
“Harvard professor Richard Elmore’s Instructional Core tells us that the interaction of three components teacher, student, and content helps provide instruction. Today, it’s no longer teacher, student, content; it’s facilitator, student, content, and the Instructional Core is now called the Learning Core. The job of the teacher is no longer to have all the information and to tell them. Instead, it’s to facilitate the learning.”
That’s what his wife did, Edric shared, to further their son’s higher learning in Math. “My son is quite advanced in Math, so she said ‘Honey, I can’t teach you Math. Go to Kahn Academy (educator and entrepreneur Sal Khan’s free online site that has thousands of helpful video lessons). So she just facilitates that learning instead of being the one to teach. For parents who teach today, the challenge is not as great because your job is not to tell your children everything because we don’t know everything. But Google does and you can get so much stuff online to facilitate learning.” Joy’s advice is to find courses, videos, or apps online that your children are interested in so that they will willingly listen, do an activity, and learn.
Choosing a good and tested home school service provider, according to the Mendozas, will appease most parents’ concerns, including those about socialization, having the required tools and materials, customizing education, and finding a support group.
HG, for instance, goes the extra mile to ensure that families who homeschool learn better. Through its core services Learn, Connect, Shine, Equip, and Learning Plus, all enrolled families get to pick how they want to learn (open curriculum, boxed curriculum, or design-your-own track), link up with other homeschooling families, take part in special milestones and meaningful events such as the Purity Ball, Graduation, and Family Fun Day, avail of training that enhances teaching skills, and conveniently access classes and purchase textbooks, toys, manipulatives, and other educational materials from a physical and online bookstore. To complement academics, there are music, visual arts, performing arts, and sports programs. HG has a team of advisers and a well-trained staff as well to answer all questions and assist in the learning journey, whether at home or at HG’s cozy, colorful, and multi-room mall hub.
If, after having all your questions answered and your worries addressed, and you’re still hesitant about homeschooling—perhaps because of conflicting beliefs among family members or maybe the influence and tug of the traditional are too forceful—Edric’s advice is to try it anyway.
“Give it a year and see how it works for you and your family.” Admittedly, Edric was not keen on homeschooling at first, having attended traditional schools all his life. But five thriving kids and several years later, he and Joy are still happily at it, and relishing the flexibility, distinctiveness, and transformative effect of the entire experience.
Visit Homeschool Global’s The Learning Hub at the second floor of Ayala Malls The 30th, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City or call (02)234-0432, (+63)917 800 8257.