If you are a parent, there is one thing for sure you think about from the moment your precious one/s enter the world…how to educate them. This is certainly one of the thoughts that entered my mind and has taken, it seems, permanent residency there. It is just so important to me that my kids get the right schooling, the best schooling for them.
Now, before anyone jumps on me in anger, this is not a ‘Tiger Mom’ post. Far from it. I have neither the years of experience, the certainty, or the guts to let it all hang out there the way Amy Chua did. This is more a post looking at whether to homeschool my kids or not.
Why am I looking at Homeschooling in particular? Of all the approaches, why this? The answer is simple. I have very good friends who espouse Homeschooling and who swear that it is the best thing to hit education since the advent of the textbook. But what is homeschooling exactly? Let me go through a very simplified and brief approach to Homeschooling.
How to get started homeschooling
I am not sure how it is defined or the processes that go into it in other countries but here in Manila, in a nutshell, Homeschooling is the parent or guardian taking responsibility and control of educating their children at home instead of sending them to an institution like public or private school. Here, the parent or guardian signs up of joins an accredited Homeschooling group first. This group must have the proper licenses and must have a curriculum approved by the Department of Education. The parent or guardian must keep in touch with the head of this group and give updates and reports about the progress of their child. There are two main reasons for this; that the parent is able to go to an authority for help should this be needed; and there is some form of check and balance still existing to make sure that the parent or the guardian is keeping up with the level requirements. After this, the parent is left to look at the level curriculum and create their own school schedule for this kids. This should include the subjects and topics in detail, the way this will be taught, the reinforcement, the activities about the activities, the testing. Main testing will be done at accredited centers and exams to certify that the child has passed from one level to the next should be given by the Department of Education.
Here are some Pro’s and cons to Homeschooling:
- Children are taught according to their learning styles and interests.
- Parents have more control over how and what their children are taught.
- Children can progress slowly or quickly, according to their abilities.
- Schedules are based on what the parents thinks is an important distribution of activities.
- Flexible schedules allow time for breaks, field trips, vacations.
- The cost of homeschooling for a year is about 1/10 the cost of a year in private school.
- Parents can transmit their values to children and shelter them from negative influence.
- Parents must help children improve upon their weaknesses and not just cater to their strengths.
- Parents take on sole responsibility for their children’s education.
- Family crises, illness and lax supervision by parents can interfere with learning.
- Parents must purchase own materials and be in-charge of the teaching styles that will best help their children learn.
- Parents must search for activities such as sports and music that can be extra-curricular activities or supplements to learning.
- Parents must give children increasing independence and a chance to learn to stand for their values.
- Parents must be vigilant about ensuring their children still have socialization with their peers.
I have been thinking about this seriously and have had long talks with my friends about whether homeschooling is the way to go or not. I will post again about my progress on this topic.
What is homeschooling like where you live?