Until a few days ago, I had no idea how homeschooling works. Does a parent just go buy books and teach their kids according to their own pace? How were the grades and levels determined? When it’s time to go to college, will their homeschooling status be a hindrance to their acceptance? How will this be recognized by the system and acknowledged by future companies when they are old enough to look for a job? What is the future for homeschoolers? Can they adapt and cope to a drastically new, stressful environment after?
These are thoughts that go through my mind as I consider the leap from conventional schooling to homeschooling for my kids. Initially I am considering a year of homeschooling just to see how this all works for all of us. But why am I considering this option at all?
Well for one, economics, It’s not easy for a single parent to raise huge sums for the tuition fees. Second, I am disappointed at how teachers nowadays could not reach out and communicate well with their students. I’m not sure if it is the lack of concern, laziness, or plainly lack of training. Whatever the reason is, the students are not learning as much as they should. The result is that they are lagging behind, losing interest, getting stressed, plus the additional expenses for tutors. The text books are so vague in instructions and some didn’t make sense, the students are at a loss as to how to answer unclear questions. Logical thinking development in the child is at risk.
The K to 12 isn’t a big help as well as this involved more expenses with the added levels. More stress for both students and parents. The text books required, as mentioned earlier, are confusing and didn’t encourage students to think , rather to guess. I strongly believe these gradeschool books should be reviewed further as it lacks logical thinking. The color-coded notebooks is another opportunity for schools to make more money out of the already heavily-burdened parents.
The K to 12 is a well-intended ideology but still an ideology that needs further review before put into practice. They should have considered first the capacity of the educators and the effectiveness of the textbooks. It seems that the textbook authors are the same teachers who can barely speak English well thus our difficulty in comprehending the directions. Educating students at the preschool and gradeschool stage is critical as this will be the foundations of their comprehension and communication skills and habits in the future. At this rate, our Filipino students will not be at par internationally as is the goal. They will end up frustrated because of the lack of clear directions and objectives.
These, ofcourse, are just my personal observations and experiences within my circumstances. Indeed, there are always pros and cons in both conventional and homeschooling. But presently I am inclined towards homeschooling for way too many reasons such as bad behavior and speech from peer influence, bullying, wrong beliefs from a teacher’s personal upbringing, school bus security and safety, school bus expenses, uniform expenses, unnecessary obligatory field trip expenses, humiliating and pressuring students when they opt not to go to these redundant field trips (more for the teachers benefit than the students), subtle student bribing . . . the list can go on and on. I repeat, that this is my personal take on the matter.
Presently, I am considering TMA Homeschool to continue the education of my kids after a short but promising orientation held last March 12. The speakers were excellent communicators as they discussed topics such as “How to do a Character-focused Education” and “How to Adjust Your Teaching Strategies for Effective Learning”. What appealed to me as well was how they integrated prayers and biblical references to their teachings. It just all made sense to me, as I have more control over what my kids are learning. I was told that in case it didn’t work for me, it wouldn’t be difficult to transition back to conventional schooling as they are recognized by DepEd and they provide the same calibre of testing materials as the major schools. I must admit that there will be a lot of learnings on my part as well with regards to patience and being consistent. My goal will be to keep education as interesting as possible so absorption of the lessons will be more lasting. As in past tutoring experience, I have to learn to not expect too much too soon.
If you want to learn more about TMA Homeschooling, visit http://www.tmahomeschool.org.