Homeschool 101: 10 Things you need to know before homeschooling your kids
Are you really ready to take on the role of mom AND teacher? Find out here.
Homeschooling is gaining ground here in the Philippines as a viable educational option, with more parents choosing to explore it and “take the plunge” into the “road less travelled,” as many people call the homeschooling path. Even celebrity parents like Hans and Marilen Montenegro, Chuckie and Yen Dreyfus, and Chinkee and Nove-ann Tan have discovered the joys of homeschooling, as they have chosen to be their children’s teachers.
For those who are trying it out though, homeschooling may seem daunting, even scary, at first. That’s why attending homeschooling seminars and conferences, and reading up about homeschooling can be a huge help to newbie or just-curious-about-homeschooling parents.
Here are 10 things that you need to know before you get started:
- Your “inner why” for homeschooling
If you’re thinking about homeschooling, one of the most important things that you need to know is this — if you don’t have your own set of reasons for taking on your child’s education, you need to think on it, stat!
Having your own “inner why’s” for homeschooling will help you stay focused if and when you decide to “take the plunge.” Your reasons for homeschooling will also help you stay strong amidst any negative statements and feedback that you might get from people who will question your decision.
- Your goals for your child’s education
Any parent — homeschooling or not — should have goals for their child’s education. Of course, having our own goals does not mean that we get to dictate what we want to our children, or pressure them too much to excel.
Think about the kind of education you want your child to have, and involve him in goal-setting, if you can.
- The local laws about homeschooling
In the Philippines, homeschooling is perfectly legal. You can read more about the legal status of homeschooling on the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) website.
- The benefits and potential disadvantages of homeschooling
Do your research on the different “good” and possible “bad” effects of homeschooling. The Internet is a good place to start, but it will also help to talk to parents who are already homeschooling their kids. The upcoming Philippine Homeschool Conference is a great venue to meet these parents. (See more details on the Conference at the end of this article.)
- That homeschooling is NOT “school at home.”
Many people think that homeschooling is simply bringing home the conventional school set-up that most of us have grown up with. This is not true at all, although some homeschooling parents may incorporate certain “school-ish” practices like having the kids wear uniforms, setting specific times for each subject, and so on, into their homeschooling routine.
The truth is, homeschooling gives families the freedom to learn anywhere and everywhere and at any time — so you certainly aren't just limited to doing schoolwork within the four walls of your home.
Click next for 5 more things you'll need to know and consider about homeschooling your child
- The terms: “homeschool methods,” “homeschool curricula” and “homeschool providers”
Don’t be daunted by these foreign-sounding words. Learn what they are (again, the Internet is a very useful resource), and ask experienced homeschoolers what these terms mean if you can.
- That it’s not an easy, widely accepted choice
Not everyone around you will be supportive of your decision to homeschool, if ever you do decide to do it. This is because homeschooling is still a fairly new educational option here in the Philippines, and many people have certain misconceptions about homeschooling.
The good news is, though, that when it comes to homeschooling, the most important people you should think about are your children. If you believe that it is the best option for them, what other people say won’t matter as much.
- There will be challenging, difficult days when you will want to give up — and that’s perfectly normal
Many, if not most, homeschooling parents will agree with this statement: Homeschooling is tough. It can bring out the worst (and the best!) in you as a person and as a parent. You will want to give up sometimes. You will want to call every day a “holiday” at times. Don't worry — it’s normal to go through such moments. Those are the times when you should go back to your “inner why’s” for homeschooling.
- You need to learn to let go of your preconceived notions, relax, and keep it real
Many parents who begin homeschooling have “ideals” and preconceived notions about what a “perfect” or “typical” homeschool set-up is like.
Let me warn you now — you need to let go of them. Instead, do your best to relax, and just do your best every day. Keep it real, and don’t get hung up on sticking to your original plans — there is plenty of room for flexibility, and time to catch up on your goals. What matters most is your relationship with your kids.
- Where to get support
As a homeschooler, you will need all the support you can get (see numbers 8 and 9 on this list again to know why that is so). Thankfully, there are many homeschooling support groups now here in the Philippines — all you need to do is to connect yourself to them.
If you’re considering homeschooling, or have already been homeschooling for a while, it would certainly be helpful to learn more about this unique educational path before you embark on it. At the upcoming “Ready For The World: Philippine Homeschool Conference 2015”, you’ll get to learn from both foreign and local speakers, who are homeschooling or have previously homeschooled their children, as well as mingle with like-minded parents. You can also find quality educational materials for your kids at the Conference expo, which will also be open to those who do not wish to attend the Conference talks.
Whether or not you choose to homeschool, it’s always good to expand your knowledge about different parenting options and methods. Because, after all, parenting is essentially the heart of homeschooling.
For more information about the “Ready For The World” Philippine Homeschool Conference, and to register for your slots, please visit ManilaWorkshops.com.
About the Author: Tina Santiago Rodriguez will be speaking at “Ready For The World” Philippine Homeschool Conference 2015. Read more of Mommy Tina's work on trulyrichmom.com
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