Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Why are we homeschooling?

Homeschooling, presently, has gained quite a solid base following after many years of being frowned upon and misconstrued as a sort of deficient learning method. We clearly remember before how well-meaning friends and family members around us either giving us their blank stare of disbelief or an upfront unsolicited advice to bring our son to a traditional school whenever we told them that he is being home-schooled. 

Looking back, our home-school journey started with painful a family tragedy. Back in 2008, while we were living overseas, we lost our 22 month-old daughter. We were devastated. But with God’s healing and loving support of people around us, we slowly picked-up our broken hearts and discerned how to move forward with our eldest son Zek who was barely 4 years old at that time. Wanting to spend more time with him, intent in sharing our own and shared family values and for lack of any Catholic educational institution in our host country, we searched for options, found a few choices and ultimately decided to home-school our son.
We him enrolled into one of the pioneer-provider of home schooling in the Philippines, the Catholic Filipino Academy (www.catholicfilipinoacademy.com) from Pre-school up until Grade 6.

We had a great time learning lessons together, making it fun and creative. Despite living in a foreign land, Zek learned a lot about our Filipino culture specially our religious belief while taking advantage in learning other things around him. We use lots of Legos, game boards and materials that can be interactive to help us to have more fun in learning. Admittedly, making every lesson interesting to Zek was really a great challenge for us every time. He’s unending questions wore off our energy and our patience so we needed a lot of time out just to gain back our strength to finish our daily tasks. Praying together everyday is what makes us at peace together and helped us persevere.

Zek is more of a visual learner with an entertainment type of personality. We needed to prepare a lot of drawings, posters or visual aids for each topic and we did a lot of art works together that all our walls around the house are filled with hanging papers. We looked for his activities related to his lessons for the mastery of his skills. We visited museums, watched theater plays and frequented theme parks. We also enrolled him to a music class for he loves to sing. We also encouraged him to write about every event that he attended to or any outdoor activities he did into his blog site from www.zeksantos.ph to www.readyzekaim.blogspot.com for this is one of our way to keep track of his amazing journey in learning besides making his portfolio with his progress reports to be submitted quarterly.

After more than 7 years of homeschooling, we still ask the same question to ourselves every now and then especially during tough times teaching our eldest son. For now, he has started his Grade 7 in a traditional school because we feel he needed to learn and experience a real-world educational environment and to learn to deal with different kinds of people and situations too. We also decided to build our own house away from the city to improve our lingering health concerns like endless asthma attacks, sinusitis, rhinitis and the host of other pollution-related allergies.

Now that our youngest son Aim has turned 5 years old and is a preschooler, we are leaning towards independent home-schooling based on his learning pattern and do his lessons according to his interest. Aim is showing skills as an auditory learner with organizer type of personality and he loves to read books. With God’s guidance, we will hopefully journey with him as well throughout his young learning life.

We are always thankful and grateful to God for all the amazing years of home schooling journey of our family.  After all, enjoying while working together with our kids is always a mutually learning experience we look forward to.

May God bless us all.

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