Mommy Talks – Michelle Padrelanan

Mommy Talks

Mommy Talks is featuring different homeschooling parents. Our guest for today is one of the first homeschooling moms I have ever contacted when I was still researching and thinking about homeschooling my daughter 2 years ago.  I am thrilled that she agreed to be featured over my blog today! Without further ado, let me introduce our guest for today, Ms. Michelle Padrelanan.


I am 39 years old, married for 17 years, with 4 children and another one on the way. I’m a WAHM – I blog, write articles for pay, and I review homeschool products, books and family-friendly movies on DVD. My husband, Dale, works in one of the major hotels in the country  and is very much devoted to us. Our eldest is Bethany, she is turning 17 this year. She loves to play the guitar, read, and is a very helpful Ate to all her siblings. Our second, Naomi, 13, is the actress of the family. She loves to sing, does funny character imitations, and is her Ate’s assistant in caring for their younger siblings. Gabby is our 3rd daughter. She is 7 years old and is already a very young fashionista who takes after her Ate Naomi. She loves to sing and dance as well. Our current youngest and only boy is Joshua. He is turning 5 years very soon! At a young age, he is very personable and a very active boy. I say he is the current youngest and only boy, because I am due to give birth to our 5th child, another baby boy, this June. All of us are looking forward to this precious addition to our family.




Our homeschooling journey began when I was about to enroll Bethany in Grade 1 in 2002. I sent her to school when she was 5 years old where she finished two years of schooling. When she was still in school, she would go to class for three hours everyday and come home with assignments. I noticed that when I did not tutor her at home, she will not pass her tests in school. I was still working then and there was a period of time when I was unable to teach her at home. This resulted in a poor report card grade for her. Her teacher spoke to me and basically blamed me for her poor grade. Well, this got me thinking. I thought to myself, “I’m paying the school to teach my child, but she will not learn anything if I don’t tutor her at home. What am I paying them for? I’d better just teach her myself. I know I’d do a better job at it.” At that time, she also had a teacher with poor English diction from whom she has learned words like “i-snake” and “i-school”. I mean, that teacher is a dear, but I really just cannot accept that my daughter was already speaking like her. When I corrected her, she said that’s how their teacher taught them. Even before she graduated, with honors, from that school, I began taking action.
I had already heard of homeschooling from other Christian families and started making inquiries. The first homeschool primer I attended was the one that Marlyn del Rosario and other moms like Irma Chua, Angeli Panganiban and Dodette Manguerra hosted. I was so inspired hearing them talk about their homeschool! They spoke of kids loving the Lord will all their heart, the children’s freedom to learn what they wanted to learn at their own pace, the daily freedom from commuting to and from the school, the freedom from bullies and peer pressure. Looking at those families that day, I knew that’s what I wanted. 
Our family’s journey to homeschooling began. I describe it as a journey because it really is. Homeschooling is a major part of our life. When we describe our family, we always say we are homeschoolers. It has not been easy. I wear many, many hats – wife, mother, household manager, homeschool teacher, daughter, sister, friend. The homeschooling lifestyle is very different. It’s not like I can set aside all the other things in our lives so that I can blissfully homeschool them. I always have to choose what I will have to do first. If any of us are sick, we stop for a few days and concentrate on getting better. If I have to help my husband with our business, I have to leave assignments for my children to accomplish on their own. We don’t always get things done. In fact, my children are a little bit late academically. But we have continued on with this lifestyle because of its many benefits. 
The benefits are being free to teach our children about God and His love for them; a very close family bond; and well-adjusted and obedient children. Though academics are important and we expect them to excel, we place a higher value on character development and attitudes. After all, what good are good grades in school, if they don’t know how to manage their lives well in the future?




Have I ever thought of stopping? All the time! It’s really the easiest thing to do – to hand over the reins of  their education to a school. It will mean a lot of freedom for me. But when I think of how far we’ve come, how much we enjoy being together, how blessed I am to see them learning, how blessed I am that my children are obedient to us – I forget all the hardships.  




A few major things:
1. Be one with your spouse in your desire to homeschool. It’s hard to make a go of it if your spouse is not supportive. The tendency is that the non-supportive spouse will listen to every opinion there is about homeschooling and will try to discourage you from doing it.
2. Get to know your children better. Reach their hearts first and you will not have a problem teaching them. With hearts already open to you, the teaching comes very easy.
3. Get God into the loop. It’s easy to begin homeschooling. What’s difficult is to sustain it. If the only reason you homeschool is to maybe avoid the high tuition fees, then this is not enough to see you through. Like many of us, we homeschool because we believe that it is our God-given duty to do so. We do it because we know there is a higher standard of parenting and that the God of the Bible is holding us up to. I gather my strength from the Lord. Without Him, I really won’t be able to do it at all.

Michelle has already given birth to their baby boy last April 22, 2012. Her son is premature at only 30 weeks gestation. As of this time, he is already three weeks in the NICU and is recovering well. All is well, by the grace of our loving God! You can follow Michelle at her blog Beyond the Silver and the Gold. Know more about a Filipino family’s homeschool journey.