Homeschooling 101: Is It For You?
In the older days, homeschooling sounded like a punishment—both for parent and child. It wasn’t a popular option. Its unorthodox nature felt like a taboo topic, eliciting judgmental looks and raised eyebrows from a few. But now, minds are more open to the concept of things that are non-traditional—in fashion, in relationships, in family setups, and now, in education.
Today, there are so many options available to parents, and more options mean there’s more to consider before deciding on something that’ll affect your kids long into the future. But that also means you have the luxury to choose something that’s tailor fit for your family and we all know everything fits better when it’s bespoke.
Joy Mendoza with her mom, Deonna Tan-Chi
If you’re on the fence about homeschooling vs. conventional schooling, here are some insights from homeschooling super mom and author, Joy Mendoza, that might be helpful.
Time spent with your kids.
With the traffic, kids are sent off so early and when they come home they’re exhausted, and then they still do homework, they go to bed, then the cycle repeats itself. Some of them even have tutors right? So I think the amount of quality time that parents have with their kids is severely minimized.
Prolonged and enriched childhood.
You still want your children to have a childhood. Where they’re outdoors, they get to explore, and they have a lot of time for that. And that doesn’t happen when their schedule is like that in a conventional school.
Passing on values is easier.
If you as a parent want to pass on your values and your culture, it’s very difficult when you have to compete with different cultures, different philosophies in a school, because of peers or maybe even the school itself. And because your kids are subjected to that on a daily basis, like let’s say your kids come home and all of a sudden they know all these bad words and in your home you wouldn’t teach them that, but because they’re exposed to it constantly, it’s very hard now to detox them from that and then now to try to pass on your own culture, the character that you want them to learn and even your belief system.
Academically, the attention is personalized.
Let’s say your child is lagging behind a certain subject area or another subject is easy for them, in a school setting you have to go at the pace of the average, and usually the teachers need to cater to the ones in the middle. So what happens is that you just have to cope with whatever the lesson plan is, and the methodology, and the pace of learning, when you can go faster, you can research more on a topic you’re interested in, or you have something that you particularly want to hone and develop.
What happens is that as they’re studying a certain topic, sometimes they’ll be like ‘oh I wanna know more about that’.
Lessons go beyond books.
You want them to learn real life skills, how to really survive in the world out there, so naturally you inject these things into your conversations as you’re with them or as you go about life because they’re with you so often.
Homeschooling in the digital age is better.
For homeschooling parents, there are so many resources available to you. You don’t have to feel like you have to be an expert in every subject, because that’s one of the intimidating things. So if you’re not good in some subjects you can direct your kids to courses or websites that have specialists for that.
Round the clock teaching.
Joy (right) with husband, Edric Mendoza
They see everything about your life. Your flaws and such. So what happens now is you’re always thinking how can you pass on the values, the character traits that you want them to learn if you’re not modeling them yourself. Whether that’s in the area of discipline, or whether if it’s with your temper, patience.
Technology can be addicting
Although it makes things easier, there’s a dark side to technology which you still need to protect your kids against—even online educational games or apps can get addicting and so since you are very intentional about how your kids learn and what they’re learning, parents can just step in and say ‘today, you have this much time on your device’, and because they’re not exposed to peers who have cellphones at an early age and are on their gadgets more often it’s easier for you to set those parameters.
Socialization can also be a challenge.
You need to be more creative and help setup play groups for your kids, find out who’s homeschooling in your area, or who are the cousins they can hang out with on a regular basis. It doesn’t have to be kids of the same age, but other children you can learn to connect with, get along with, and flex with.
Photo by Anna Samoylova from Unsplash
It’s our job as parents to find many experiences for them where they can also socialize with other children and get them involved in group learning activities. So with Homeschool Global they create learn groups. In these groups parents team teach, they allow children to collaborate with each other, do projects together so they learn some of those skills also.
One of the important aspects to consider when it comes to education is also the cost. Is homeschooling the cheaper option?
I can definitely say you can’t compete with the facilities that are offered in a school. When you’re paying for tuition, you’re paying for the school pool, gymnasium, the library, the field, all those things that come with it.
But now you can decide for yourself, ‘what do I really want to spend on that’s specific to the needs of my child?’ because instead of paying a tuition for all the features which your children might not necessarily use but are there because they’re part of the school facility, now you get to decide ‘how about for social studies we go on a trip to learn about this topic in the Philippines so that it’s more experiential’. In that case you would actually have to spend on it. So I would say tuition on tuition, yeah homeschooling is cheaper, but it gives you the flexibility now to decide what are the things you want to spend on.
It’s a misnomer that homeschooling is a cheap option because it can get expensive if you’re factoring in the trips, or say a golf program for your child.
Is homeschooling a sign of better parenting?
I don’t want parents to feel pressured to homeschool because they think that is a sign of good parenting, if you sacrifice when you homeschool. I never tell parents that. I tell them it comes from a personal conviction. You have to ask yourself first what are your parenting goals, how do I imagine my child 10-15 20 years from now, and what would be the best way to get my child to that point—is it the conventionally schooled way or homeschooled way.
Edric and Joy Mendoza for Homeschool Global
When you are a parent, you are a teacher. From the very beginning you’re teaching your child how to walk, how to potty, and you know, life skills. So you’re just now extending that into the academics. There’s already that natural trust between a child and the parent as you start to parent them.
When you’re homeschooling, you think of learning as a fluid thing. It’s a way of life. Learning is a lifestyle. And you learn to love it because you realize you can learn about the things that you want to. Yes, there are some things you need to be disciplined about and you have to force yourself to learn, but for the most part they get to really explore what they’re personally interested in, and to enjoy the process of discovering these things.
It’s really all about learning better.
To learn more about homeschooling, you can visit http://www.homeschoolglobal.com/