3 Things I Liked About the Philippine Homeschool Conference 2017

The Philippine Homeschool Conference 2017: Homeschool to the Future happened Oct 7  at Treston International College in Taguig. This is not my first time attending the Philippine Homeschool Conference but it is my first time in this venue.

Before going to the venue, I have downloaded the official PHC 2017 app to guide me with the schedules through out the day!



I have been attending homeschool conferences and this year, I would like to share with you 3 things I really liked about this year’s Philippine Homeschool Conference.

  1. Booths

When I arrived around 845am, there was quite a line at the registration area. I wandered around the Expo area and saw so many booths. I think that the booths this year was a great improvement from the past conferences since major publishing houses were there and there was a wide range of homeschool materials and different services for homeschoolers offered.

 

2. Speakers

The speakers this year was Senator Francis Pangilinan, Mr. Efren Penaflorida Jr. and Ms. Melissa Reinhart. Each one shared his experience and inspired the attendees to homeschool their families.

My favorite would be Mr. Efren Penaflorida Jr. Though his talk was not about homeschooling directly, he was very inspirational. His story showed that we can make a difference in our society if we believe we can and if we do our share. It doesn’t matter if we can only touch one life – because one life can make all the difference.


Ms. Melissa Reinhart shared her personal journey and her homeschooling story. For a homeschool mom like me, it is very encouraging to know that her children grew up pursuing their passions and having a very close knit family.

3. Breakout Sessions

I attended the breakout session :  No Fear! Homeschooling through High School of Racquel Guevara and Mariz Dearos. It was more of a Q & A Session and parents were able to ask questions about how to prepare for high school homeschooling and how to deal with the K12 changes in high school.

It was a very enlightening session. There were practical advises given and it was encouraging to know that we are not the only homeschoolers thinking of homeschooling all the way to Grade 12.

I also attended the breakout session: Technology in Your Homeschool by Donna Simpao. I was not able to capture any photos since my phone ran out of battery.


Donna gave how technology is different for us parents and for the students. She also shared practical tips on using technology in our homeschool.

At the end of the day, it was a reminder that learning comes in different shapes and sizes. We should strive for authentic learning experiences and lean towards developing the 21st century skills in our children.

Another day well spent for a homeschool mom like me!

Philippine Homeschool Conference 2017

For the past years, I have been attending the annual Philippine Homeschool  Conference. It has constantly been a source of inspiration and encouragement for me to go on this less traveled journey of homeschooling. As we have been homeschooling for  the past 7 years now, there are still days that I get frustrated and unsure if what we are doing is enough for my children. Homeschooling conferences always give me that “extra push” I need. The different speakers give me more creative ideas which we implement at home. The products at the Expo always provide good resources which are helpful in making learning at home more fun!

This year’s conference is entitled Homeschool to the Future: Educating for the World of Tomorrow and it is happening on October 7 at Treston International College at BGC in Taguig.

Homeschoolers must learn that education for the future should go beyond mere memory work and these skills are important to succeed : critical thinking skills, creativity, collaboration and problem solving skills.  The conference aims to encourage and equip homeschooling families in their journey through practical breakout sessions, the expo filled with educational materials, and by providing a venue where homeschoolers can meet and gather as a community.

Keynote speakers include:
Sen. Kiko Pangilinan speaking on Back to Basics Parenting in the Technological Age
Efren Penaflorida speaking on Unconventional Education: Empowering the Youth for the Future
Marissa Leinart speaking on The Best Option for Education in the 21st Century: Homeschooling Know Your Kids. Discover Their Passion. Learning Happens

Each attendee can choose 2 Breakout Sessions. Here are the sessions you will choose from:
Session: We Want to Homeschool! Now What?
Session: Homeschool for Free
Session: The Juggling Act: Home Management for Teacher Moms
Session: What I Learned in My Rookie Year of Homeschooling
Session: The Working Homeschool Mom
Session: 7 Tips for Teaching Multiple Age Students Without Losing Your Mind
Session: Narration 101
Session: Carving Out Me-Time for Busy Homeschool Moms
Session: No Fear! Homeschooling Through High School
Session: Technology in Your Homeschool
Session: Raising Financially Literate Kids
Session: That Thing Called “Gap Year”
Session: The Treston Way: Excellent and Ethical Education in a Caring Community

The Early Bird Rate of P800 per person is until Sept 30 only! Hurry! Register now by clicking on this Philippine Homeschool Conference registration link.

See you there!

My Philippine Homeschool Conference 2016 Experience

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I was so happy that I made it to the Philippine Homeschool Conference 2016: From Roots to Wings last Saturday. I came from my son’s football tournament so I was late and didn’t get to hear the opening remarks by Sen. Kiko Pangilinan. I was glad that I was able to listen to his talk thru his FB page.

When I got to the SMX Convention Center at SM Aura, I was able to quickly register and catch the end of the session of Deonna Tan-Chi and Joy T. Mendoza. I noticed that the people who were assisting were all homeschooled high school students and they were cheerful, efficient and helpful.

I was particularly encouraged by the talk of Mr. Andrew Pudewa, founder of Institute for Excellence in Writing. He shared about how to motivate our children. It was a relevant topic for me as I have troubles with my younger child at times. My take home points were:
– Make the lesson more game oriented as children, particularly boys, like games.
– Don’t resort to enforced relevancy or make doing anything negatively centered.
– Children  love to do what they love to do and what they think they can do.
– Children will refuse to do what they think they can not do.
– If the student knows that I love them, that is the best motivator.
– As my children always tells me, smile more and say the positives.

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Please check this link from IEW for a more detailed version of this talk.

About the Break-out Sessions

The afternoon sessions were all break-out sessions dealing with different stages of a homeschool family. I choose to attend Ms. Racquel Guevarra’s talk on Homeschooling the High School Years.

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I learned that homeschooling the high school years is all about learning to balance. It is a season of letting go and yet being there to guide your children. I was encouraged by her sharing specifically about their family as a pack of 4. Wherever one goes, the others go as well.  I also was encouraged that even though their family was  not part of a regular co-op, their children are “socialized” as they made them aware of what’s happening around them and intentionally bringing them to activities that practice empathy towards others. I guess the reason for this is because it is quite similar to our family’s structure.

You may check Racquel’s blog at Beyond Books and Walls  to follow her family’s homeschool journey.

I also attended the break-out session from Andrew Pudewa. His talk was about The Four Language Arts, Listening Speaking, Reading and Writing. My take home points from this talk:

*Good readers don’t naturally become good writers. Good readers read fast. They don’t “hear” what they’re reading. They don’t necessarily build the language patterns that will enable good writing ability.”

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On listening:

  • Listening is an important skill.
  • This is #1 predictor of good writing skill.
  • Even if kids can already read on their own, it is advantageous to read aloud to them in huge quantity so they will hear words above their current level.
  • If you can’t read aloud to them, use audiobooks.

On Speaking:

  • Memorization and recitation build language patters.
  • Repetition connects brain cells.
  • Narration promotes fluency, attention to detail and is a precursor to composition.

On Reading:

  • Late reading is not a curse.
  • Continue to read aloud a lot.
  • Use audiobooks. (especially when stuck in traffic!)

On Writing:

  • Copywork is necessary to develop writing skills.

Please check this link from IEW for the PDF file related to this talk.

 

About the Expo

I was also able to look around the Expo area and was quite happy with what I saw.There were a lot of vendors who sold educational toys and books. There were homeschool providers too. There were schools who provided Senior High School programs and even colleges.

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I got really interested in some of the vendors like The Adventurous Mailbox and Jeepneed.com Maybe because I was so engrossed with their products, I forgot to take photos of their booths!

The Adventurous Mailbox is a mix of a world geography, culture and fun activities in one special package! Your child will receive a box with books on different countries and they get to join an online community where they can even learn more. The books are written generally for 5th graders. They have several packages that you can choose form and prices range from $24 to $99. Will definitely be checking it out as they have a 25% discount coupon until end of the month.

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Photo from www.adventurousmailbox.com 

We bought a pocket microscope from Jeepneed.com. Aside from the microscopes, they also have Lab-in-a-box science kit subscription. It is quite interesting as I always have problems doing Science experiments so this seems like a nice idea to be able to buy everything in a box and have my kids to the different experiments.

Photo of microscope from jeepneed.com 

I sat down on the Philippine Homeschool Support FB Groups booth for 1-2pm. It had a very cozy sofa setup. I got to see Ms. Donna from Homeschoolers of the Philippines and met a few homeschool moms that I know. What was more fun was meeting moms who are still thinking of homeschooling and sharing the FB groups with them. I know what it feels like to start homeschooling without much support so it was nice to be able to let them know that they can find support through the different FB groups: Homeschoolers of the Philippines, HEY Philippines and Tweens and Teens FB group in particular. Some of the parents also asked if it is possible not be enrolled in a Homeschool Provider and I said yes, and shared with them the DIY Homeschool group.

About the Kids Activities 

The kids activities were a huge hit as well! The calligraphy classes were on-going. The SMILE Challenge Island activities were packed too.

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img_9405img_9404My daughter joined the crochet class from Crafted Crafts in the afternoon. She stayed there for 2 hours and a half until she was tired from doing the crochet project.
img_9406I really liked that the conference this year had activities lined up for the young ones too. Hopefully, in the coming years, there would be sessions for them as well.

The keynote speakers were very encouraging and so were the break-out session speakers. I liked how they were able to give very detailed talks this year and most of the sessions were on time.

After attending the annual homeschool conferences, I must say that each year, it keeps getting better. This year’s theme, From Roots to Wings, was really apt for every homeschool family. Hopefully, this will be the trend and I certainly do look forward to next conference! Thanks to HAPI and Educating for Life for a very successful event!

 

From Roots to Wings, Philippine Homeschool Conference 2016

I still remember the first Philippine Homeschool Conference that I attended 6 years ago, We had just started our homeschool journey then and attending the conference gave me the encouragement and the inspiration to continue homeschooling. I was also able to witness the launch of HAPI or Homeschool Association of the Philippine Islands.

Year after year, I looked forward to attending the homeschool conferences as it was really quite an encouragement to see many people homeschooling their children, just like us. I also get to hear speakers who have been homeschooling for many years and learn from their varied experiences.

This 2016, the Philippine Homeschool Conference From Roots to Wings tackles homeschooling through the stages. This will be on October 22, 9 am -6 pm Saturday at SMX Convention Center at SM Aura in Taguig City.

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As a homeschool parent, there is always something to learn. As your child grows, you homeschool differently too! The conference aims to help us parents to walk through the different stages of homeschooling.

The keynote speakers are Ms. Deonna Tan-Chi and Joy Tan-Chi Mendoza and they will be talking about “Building a Firm Foundation”. Andrew Pudewa is the director of the very well known Institute for Excellence in Writing and he will be sharing about Motivation: the Art and Science of Helping Students Learn Well. Bo Sanchez will talk about Wings to Soar: Leaving a Legacy for Our Children. phc-2016-program

If there is something that I am really excited about, it is the breakout sessions. There are so many good sessions to choose from and I don’t want to miss out on any of them! Unfortunately, I can get to choose one session for every 45-minute time slot.
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The breakout sessions would help us parents to be better equipped with the changes that we are facing in every stage of our homeschool journey.

This  conference is also the best time to meet with the different homeschool providers and inquire about their services! Homeschool Global, CFA, IBA, Kids World, Peniel and Gopala will be there. If you will be bringing your children, they can attend the activities lined up for them as well.

FEES

Children can choose their activities for a fee of P500 per activity. Parents can also choose to bundle the activities (except the toddler play area, which is P500 for the whole day) with the following rates:

Choice of 1 activity – P500

Choice of 2 activities – P900

Choice of 3 activities – P1200

Choice of 4 activities – P1550

The activities include Crochet Lessons. Watercolor and Brush calligraphy, Toddler play area by SMILE group, The Playground by SAFSOF AND TOPMnl, Challenge Island by SMILE group and Calligraphy classes.

The all access conference fee is P1000. If you are are registering as a group, there is a group rate of P4500 per group of 5 persons. If interested to visit the PHC 2016 Expo only, the fee is P50 per head.

The registration is on-going and will be until October 15, 2016 only. The registration fee on the day will be P1,200 per head. To register and/or learn more about the PHC 2016 registration process, participants may log on to www.educatingforlife.co for complete details.

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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!