Home SIX things parents should consider before shifting to homeschool

SIX things parents should consider before shifting to homeschool

As the world faces an unprecedented health crisis, homeschooling has become a growing community for parents who do not want to delay their children’s education and at the same time, put their health at risk. For parents who are considering to homeschool their children, here are six things you should know first about homeschooling:

1 | Difference between Home study and Homeschool

While both provide flexibility to students, these two alternative schools are different: A home study is basically home-based learning or virtual learning, which is in line with the DepEd’s remote learning strategy. Parents will still have to enroll their children in either public or private educational institutions and school teachers will facilitate learning remotely within a structured curriculum. Meanwhile, parents are the main educators in homeschooling. It is a worldwide progressive movement as more families now choose to homeschool their children for various reasons, including bullying, dissatisfaction with educational options, etc. and recently, health risks caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Homeschooling has been recognized by the national government under Article XIV, Section 2 of the 1987 Philippines Constitution, stating that “the state shall (2) establish and maintain a system of free public education in the elementary and high school levels. Without limiting the natural right of parents to their children…” and that “the state shall (4) encourage non-formal, informal, and indigenous learning systems, as well as self-learning, independent, and out-of-school study programs…” Likewise, DepEd has also acknowledged homeschool as part of the educational framework in the country under DepEd Order no 21, s.2019 titled “Policy Guidelines on the K to 12 Basic Education Program”. In Annex 3, Homeschool is recognized as part of the Flexible Learning Options under the Alternative Delivery Model, saying: “Authorized parents, guardians, or tutor take the place of the teachers as learning facilitators. While learners are expected to meet the learning standards of the K to 12 basic Education Curriculum, the learning facilitators are given flexibility in learning delivery, scheduling, assessment, and curation of learning resources,” it read.  

2 | Choose whether to enroll via a Homeschool provider or independent homeschooling

There are two ways of homeschooling in the Philippines that parents must decide upon boarding the homeschool journey. A Homeschool Provider is the one responsible for providing your child’s curriculum, including textbooks, teaching manuals, grading guidelines, lesson plans, quizzes, and worksheets, to name a few. They will also provide officially credited transcripts, in compliance with DepEd in case the parents decide to enroll their child back into the traditional school system or requirement for college.  
Here’s a list of DepEd Accredited Homeschool Providers in the Philippines
  Independent homeschooling, on the other hand, is the term used if parents are not connected to any DepEd accredited homeschool provider, but either enrolled in a foreign provider or not connected at all. The advantage here is that homeschoolers can freely choose their curriculum, as well as choose their preferred learning materials based on their child’s interest. Parents can also set their own schedule, not having to worry about deadline submissions. However, being independent would also mean that parents are responsible for monitoring and tracking their child’s grades/levels and in facilitating the necessary documents and exams (like the Philippine Validating Test) which they will need to ease back into traditional school or college. For validation and accreditation of the child’s knowledge and skills, they will have to schedule for The Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) or the Accreditation and Equivalency under the Alternative Learning System.  
SEE: Philippine Educational Placement Test Requirements 
  It is highly important to note that parents do not need to have an educational degree for them to teach. Parents can start homeschooling as soon as a child turns school-age of 4-5 years old.
Nevertheless, parents may also opt to ask for assistance or hire tutors for lessons they find difficult to teach. While most of the curriculum in independent homeschooling is based on the child’s interest, parents can also use the DepEd k-12 curriculum as their guide.

3 | For independent homeschooling, are parents up for the management?

For parents opting for independent homeschooling, they must assess themselves first on whether or not they have the capability, resourcefulness, and enough time to spend and commit to homeschooling their child. In an interview with CNN, Homeschool Global president Edric Mendoza said that homeschooling is a kind of learning wherein “parents drive the learning and education” of their children. He said that it is important for parents to know if they are capable enough to carry out and facilitate lessons. They have to build a sense of structure for their children, as well as choose the right material and pacing—where resourcefulness would come in. Mendoza also emphasized the question of parents having enough time to manage homeschool. According to him, each age group requires different types of attention. For preschoolers, he said that it is advisable to spend at least 20 to 30 minutes of teaching, with two to three subjects per day so that they will not get overwhelmed and for them to have more time to play. Parents can then gradually add more time as the child grows up, at the same time adjust the type of education they will have to teach. Mendoza added that kids who have been homeschooled for a while, especially those in high school, can be considered as “self-directed learners” as they require minimal supervision from their parents.  

4 | Determine your child’s learning style and the teaching methods to use

Everyone has a different learning style and determining your child’s style will help you create their teaching methods better. Here’s a quick review of the different types of learning styles: Visual learners – also known as partial learning style, focus on seeing and observing things, including pictures, diagrams, written directions, and more. Students under this learning style understand information better when lessons are presented visually. For parents who have visual learners, whiteboard/chalkboard/any visual aids are your best friend. Auditory learners – these learners process information better when lessons are accompanied by sounds. They would prefer to listen to lectures than reading written notes. To cater to this type of learner, parents must make sure to interact with them through questions and answer in between discussions, aid lessons with appropriate videos, as well as audiotapes or podcasts. Kinesthetic learners – also known as tactile learners, this type of learner absorbs information through experiencing or doing things. They tend to understand better if subject matters are explained with action, may it be through dancing or incorporating movement into lessons: pacing to help memorize, learning games with movement, or involving them through interaction. Reading/writing learners – these learners tend to learn better through written words. While it has certain similarities with visual learners, these learners are drawn more through expression by writing, reading articles on the internet, as well as writing in diaries, looking up words in the dictionary, or searching for interesting topics online.  

5 | Look for reliable & open resources

As mentioned, independent homeschoolers can check out DepEd’s K-12 curriculum for guidelines. But if parents are going to follow their child’s interest, there are tons of open resources available online, including print outs, exercise sheets, puzzle games, and more.  
You Might Also Want To Check Out: Self-paced Learning: 5 Educational Platforms to check out for self-studying
  Of course, you’ll be needing basic school supplies like notebooks, pens, pencils, and the like. Other materials parents might consider purchasing also include books, art materials, and a printer. Check out some of the free online homeschool resources below:  

6 | Get organized

Probably one of the crucial elements of homeschooling— Planning and plotting schedules will surely aid the parent on what subjects to teach for a particular period and what particular extracurricular activities they should include. Most homeschoolers organize their days according to whatever way it works best for them. Some begin their schooling early morning, following the traditional schedule. Others choose to follow their child’s enthusiasm. For example, if a kid tends to be more focused in the afternoon, then it would be best to start also in the afternoon. Reminder: Make sure to still have that boundary between home and school. Aside from reading comprehension, rhythmic, and improving writing skills, parents should also include teaching their children basic household chores, proper hygiene, and exploring their creativity through art and music, as well as gardening, cooking skills, and other life skills. “Kids have to enjoy their childhood,” Doug Kramer, a former PBA player, stressed. “You’re robbing them of childhood if they’re engaged in too much learning the whole day.” He is a father of three, and together with her wife Chesca, they have opted to homeschool their children.   — Based on the school calendar issued by the Department of Education for School year (SY) 2020-2021, the opening of classes for the basic education shall be on August 24, 2020, and will end on April 30, 2021. The opening of classes has been delayed due to the public health situation in the country caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. But for those parents who will allow their children to continue their education amid the pandemic, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said that DepEd will provide the appropriate framework, menu options, and other resources to support the student’s learning.  


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