Homeschooling in the Philippines? A Guide for Parents

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Hey there! Did you know that homeschooling is becoming more popular in the Philippines? The number of homeschooled students has more than doubled from 1999 to 2016, with some studies showing that as many as 3 million children are currently being homeschooled. If you’re a proponent of homeschooling, this is truly an exciting time!

Homeschooling is a viable option many parents have considered during this pandemic. In fact, never than during this pandemic has homeschooling presented itself as a strong contender. With an online learning environment and with parents’ increased role in distance learning, it gave parents a glimpse of what it means to homeschool. The Department of Education (DepEd) has strengthened its Homeschooling Program as an Alternative Delivery Mode (ADM) through the issuance of DepEd Order No. 001, series of 2022. With online learning environments and parents taking a more active role in distance learning, homeschooling has really come into the spotlight.

If you are considering homeschooling your child, it’s helpful to understand exactly what homeschooling is, what our local DEPED requires, and how it will impact your child. The word “homeschool” can mean different things to different people. It can refer to anyone who instructs others at home through formal lessons or unstructured learning activities. But even those definitions have variations within them. To complicate matters further, there are different types of homeschoolers that all have their own unique reasons for doing so.

What Is Homeschooling?

Let’s talk a bit about what homeschooling means. It’s a practice where parents educate their children at home instead of sending them to traditional public schools. It’s like having a school at home, but you have the freedom to design a customized education plan tailored to your child’s unique needs. Cool, right?

The term “homeschooling” was coined in the 1970s in response to growing concerns about the quality of education in public schools. There is not one set curriculum for homeschooling. Every family is responsible for designing a customized education plan for their child that meets their specific needs.

Why Homeschool?

There are many reasons why parents choose to homeschool their children, including religious reasons, dissatisfaction with the local school system, parenting styles, or economic reasons. Other parents may have religious beliefs that make them uncomfortable sending their child to a secular school. Some parents choose to homeschool because they want to be able to decide how their child spends their day. Other parents might simply prefer the flexibility that comes with not having strict work hours. In my case, my child has a special condition which is not suitable for regular school.

Types of Homeschools

There are also many types of homeschooling. This can make it difficult to understand whether or not homeschooling is the right choice for you and your family. But generally, here are two general types of homeschooling: structured and unstructured. In structured homeschooling, you use a curriculum or lesson plans to guide the learning process. In unstructured homeschooling, you set the pace and let your child decide what to study and when.

How does homeschooling work in the Philippines?

When I started homeschooling, I went through an Indie route -also called as Independent Homeschooling by some. This means, I just followed the general education structure (I got the DEPED Curriculum outline at the Deped Learning Portal). As someone who did that I now realize that it is so hard to do Homeschooling on your own. Since I was working, I opted to register with a Deped Accredited School.

A public school or a private school with a homeschool permit may offer this option. These services are either associated with a DepEd-accredited school or coordinated with the DepEd Schools Division. The duties of the school are: Designating a parent or guardian as a learning facilitator; registering learners through the Learning Information System; ensuring registration through the Learning Information System. 

How to Start Homeschooling

So, if you’re eager to start homeschooling, remember there’s no set age or grade level to begin. It’s totally up to you and your child’s readiness to learn. You can even decide to homeschool for a year or two or make it a long-term educational journey. There are no strict rules or timelines!  Some parents choose to homeschool their toddlers, while others wait until their child is in high school. The decision is completely up to you. As long as your child is capable of learning the material you’ve chosen to teach them, you can start homeschooling at any time.

If you’ve decided to homeschool your child, there are a few things to keep in mind as you begin structuring your child’s education. The first step to starting your homeschool is choosing the best placement for your child. In traditional schools,, this means choosing what grade your child should be in. This varies depending on your child’s age and interests. Once you’ve decided on the right placement, you’ll need to decide how you will deliver your child’s education. You can use a pre-packaged curriculum, create your own curriculum, or a combination of both.

What Should You Consider Before Homeschooling?

Of course, homeschooling isn’t for everyone. It requires dedication and effort from both parents and children. There are some situations where you should not homeschool your child.

If you lack the time, patience, or teaching skills required, you might want to reconsider or find a  solution for this. Homeschooling requires a significant time commitment from the parent who is acting as the teacher. The parent must have the patience to explain concepts multiple times, the ability to adapt lessons to different learning styles, and the knowledge of the subject matter being taught. If you are unsure of your abilities in these areas, and is intent on Homeschooling, you may consult your partner and family if they are willing to help you with this journey. 

You may also reconsider if your child has special needs that require support beyond what you can provide. Some children have learning disabilities, behavioral issues, or medical needs that are best managed with the resources available in a special school. These special schools typically have special programs, therapists, and trained specialists to support these children. Parents acting alone may struggle to provide the same level of help. However, in my case, this is the very reason why I chose homeschooling because the cost is not ideal for the family budget.

Another this I had to learn the hard way when I was starting on my own is consistency. If the parents lack consistency or follow-through. Homeschooling depends on the parents’ ability to set routines, establish structures, and enforce rules and expectations consistently. Some parents struggle with providing this stable environment, which can make homeschooling less effective.

As I said, homeschooling is not for everyone. It requires a lot of work and commitment from both the parent and child. This may not be a good fit for every family, especially if either parent or child struggles with commitment.

However, if you’re able to commit to this style of education and make the most of the opportunities it affords, you can create a personalized, engaging, and truly unique learning experience for your child. It can be very satisfying to see your child grow with the many homeschooling benefits,  If you’re up for the challenge and ready to create a unique learning experience, homeschooling might be the perfect fit for your family!

How to Ensure Your Child’s Success in Homeschooling

To ensure your child’s success, it’s essential to identify their strengths and weaknesses to tailor their education accordingly. This will help you decide which subjects you should focus on as a parent. It will also help you decide how to tailor your child’s education.

 Next, you need to find a suitable place to teach your child. This can be your home, a library, or any other comfortable, quiet place where you can give your child the attention they deserve.

Finally, you need to stay motivated. I can never stress this enough. It can be easy to get lost in the busyness of life and let your child’s education fall by the wayside. Staying motivated will help you keep your child’s education on track.

Remember, homeschooling can be an incredible adventure, but it’s essential to consider your child’s needs and abilities before diving in. If it feels like the right path for your family, you can create an engaging and personalized learning experience that your child will cherish forever!

If you want to learn more about homeschooling or other educational topics, feel free to explore my other articles! Happy homeschooling, everyone!

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