iHomeschool Book Review

I am delighted to finally read a book on homeschooling written for Filipino families! Ms Nove Tan of  I Homeschool has compiled all the questions one might have on homeschooling. The why, the what and the how are discussed in great detail.

Written in a personal tone from a mom’s heart to another, reading i Homeschool has brought me encouragement and allowed me to rethink our own homeschool journey for the past 9 years. We homeschooled because we wanted our children to have a biblical worldview as they grew up. Character building, becoming lifelong learners and loving Jesus are our primary goals. Reading this book has given me a chance to reflect if we have reached our goals so far and what we can do to adjust so that we can make the remaining years of our homeschooling enjoyable and productive.

As more and more families are now considering homeschooling, I am glad to see that there are more
local resources available. IHomeschool definitely is a must read not only for parents who want to homeschool their children, but want to become more intentional in their parenting. Because truly, homeschooling is NOT JUST ABOUT SCHOOL but IS A LIFESTYLE.

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7 Realities of Homeschooling

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We’ve been homeschooling for the past 6 years now and about to start our 7th year soon. It has been a hard but joyful journey. There has been days that I have felt like giving up but through the grace of the Lord, we’re still continuing our homeschool journey and about to embark on a new season soon. To mark the start of our 7th year in a few months, I’m sharing 7 lessons I’ve learned through the years…

Children are not wired the same way. They learn differently and have different personalities. As homeschool parents, we need to know each of our children and communicate with them and teach them via their learning styles. They also progress differently, some have a natural gift for the arts while others think more logically.

Learning takes place even outside a curriculum. We don’t need to be slaves to the curriculum we are using. We don’t need to do the lessons cover to cover – as homeschooling parent, we have the freedom to tweak our curriculum and make it work for our children. If not fit, then try something else. We need to become flexible.

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Learning is a lifestyle. Once you embark on the homeschooling journey, you will realize that homeschooling is actually a lifestyle. We become more intentional in everything we do. Learning to appreciate life and being grateful to God for all that He has done for us becomes more important that memorizing historical information.

As teacher-parents, we become students as well. We need to have a teachable heart and humble spirit because the Lord will definitely use our children to teach us about life and what truly matters.

Expect hard days. When you did you best and your child still can’t understand that math concept, when your patience is running out because of all the chores that needs to be finished while your kids don’t want to “do” school work and you have a deadline to beat, when you think your children will be better off if they are in school, when you feel inadequate and when no one wants to cooperate. These days will come and it is important to remember why you wanted to homeschool your children. Have a mission statement for your homeschooling or better yet, have a vision for your children.

There are different seasons in homeschooling. Because homeschooling is synonymous with life and our children grow, we need to embrace each season. Enjoy playing with them, laughing with them and reading with them. As they move to the next season, converse with them about life issues, know their interests and their hearts. As they pursue their dreams in life, support them and guide them.

Praying for our children and your homeschooling is an important part of preparation for homeschooling. When we realize that homeschooling can only be done through the grace of God, then can we actually become better parent-teachers. We are equipped by the Lord to handle our children and we grow as we serve and love our family.

My Day at the Philippine Homeschool Conference 2015

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I was at the Samsung Hall of SM Aura last October 17, 2015 to attend the Philippine Homeschool Conference 2015: Ready for the World event by Manila Workshops, HAPI and The Learning Basket. It was my first time in the venue and I was quite impressed. There were many people filling up the seats by 8:45AM. And soon, the conference started with Mr. Edric Mendoza, president of HAPI or Homeschoolers Association of the Philippine Islands welcomed everyone to the venue.

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The first keynote speaker is Mr. Michael Donnelly, Director for Global Outreach of HSLDA and GHEC 2016.  He shared how homeschooling in such a time as this is not only helping your own families but answering a call to be part of a homeschool movement globally. His message was encouraging as he reminded us that nothing is really neutral, either they are used for God’s purposes or against him. He also reminded the audience to defend their families and culture and not to lose the right to teach their own children, as some countries like Germany and Sweden have banned homeschooling already.
IMG_4979 IMG_4978He summarized what homeschooling means to parents. He said “Homeschooling is the most effective way for parents to fulfill the role of stewards of our children to help them understand who they are and to be able to serve God.”

Then I went to SMX Convention Center Rooms and attended the workshop “Getting Your Children Ready for the World Through Independent Homeschooling” by Ms. Ched Arzadon.  I arrived a bit late as I passed the exhibit hall to check out what items were being sold and had to look for the venue. It was a very informative talk. She gave a brief history of mass schooling, alternative to mainsteam schools and last half of her talk was all about independent homeschooling. She gave examples of varied approaches and even discussed how and where to get Dep Ed accreditation tests and exams. She mentioned the A&E Test, PVT and PEPT.

For someone who is interested to know more about independent homeschooling in the Philippines, it was a must-attend workshop! I am so glad that she gave out hand-outs to the participants, so I can go back to the details if needed.

I attended the 2nd workshop entitled “Give Me One Good Reason to Homeschool” by Mr. Davis Carman. He is the husband of Rachel Carman and is the proprietor of the Apologia Educational Ministries. IMG_4998

He shared a fun list of reasons you’d want to homeschool your children which includes never missing the bus, cooking can count as learning, reading the Bible and praying aloud is allowed, wearing pajamas all day, student can do school work with their pets close by, kids can play outside, Lego playing is counted as learning…. but then he also shared a more serious list of reasons why you’d want to homeschool your child.

It’s a walk of faith. Teaching from a Christian worldview. Kids can explore creation outdoors and it births a love of learning in the kids. The family can do a lot of reading together. Individualized instruction. Positive social context of family and academic excellence.

Though I have been homeschooling for the past 6 years now, I am thankful to have attended this workshop. It reminded me why we are doing what we are doing and that we should carry on until God leads us otherwise.

The last workshop I attended was a forum facilitated by Mr. Edric Mendoza and the guest panelists are from Dep Ed and the principal of The Master’s Academy. The guests from Dep Ed were undersecretary Umali and the NCR deputy. The topics discussed revolved on accreditation, requirements to be a homeschool parent and K-12 specifically Senior High School.  At the end of the discussion, Dep Ed said that they would like the homeschool providers to submit to them their plans for Senior HighSchool and see if it will match what Dep Ed wants. Because as of today, there are no accredited homeschool providers for Senior High School yet.

The last keynote speaker for the day is Ms. Rachel Carman. She is the author of best-selling books and is a sought after speaker across the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa. She talked about “Teaching Foundational Truth”.
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It was a super packed talk and I just had to capture it in photos to remember key points.

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She discussed what truth is and how the world has been changing its very definition.

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Truth can only be found in the Word of God and it gives us all the information and truth that we will ever need. She also shared some resources we can use to know more about the truth.

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The whole conference exceeded my expectations and I was certainly grateful that I was given the chance to attend. For someone who has been homeschooling for the past 6 years, this conference was a breath of fresh air. It was also equipping to know the global perspective of homeschooling and how to homeschool independently.

Even the exhibit was quite different from previous years and a lot bigger as well. I am also happy that there were workshops for children happening at the same time too. Hopefully, in the future conferences, there will be more curriculum vendors too!

It was a day off well spent! Homeschooling in the Philippines is getting bigger and I am grateful that God allowed us to be part of it!