As a beneficiary of so many "grants" from my international clients through the Upwork platform, I feel like I have received benefits from the government and that I will be too abusive if I continue to allow my son to be in the public school system when we find it almost impossible to prepare ourselves before 6:00 in the morning and just add to the burden of public school teachers in my area who have to prepare so many lesson plans and ride out storms by facing an average of 60 pupils or students per section on top of having to budget for the transportation allowance and daily "baon" and putting up with the heavy traffic dramas that really grind to the bones.
So I thought of a not-so-novel concept that many parents in my area are beginning or have begun to digest in their daily spectrum of intellectual activities.
My web research led me to stumble on websites that do offer information on the kind of education that is accredited in the national setting but is practiced globally. To my surprise, I found out that homeschooling is one great alternative for freelance contractors like myself since we have an unpredictable income and we work on flexible hours plus all other factors I mentioned above.
My actual walk-in search led me to an international school which follows the K-12 curriculum and the American school calendar and that means school time begins in August and ends in May (for the regular classes) or a span of ten (10) months for homeschoolers.
The school does not categorize learners by age but according to their grade level or academic preparedness implying how much they respect the intellectual pace of each child. The learning period begins when the pupil or student is ready and that means paying a one-time deal of tuition and accreditation fees. Accreditation fees include payments for periodical tests.
Requirements for registration (apart from the monetary requirement) are the following:
a) 3 pcs. of 1 x 1 ID pictures
b) original and photocopy of birth and baptismal certificates
c) original and photocopy of Form 138 Report Card
d) Form 137 (must be sealed upon submitting)
e) Medical Report
f) Psychological/Developmental Assessment (if any)
g) Progress Report/Developmental Checklist (if any)
Those who will pay in dollars will have to expect a 5%-6% PayPal surcharge. For those who will deal with the national rate, post-dated checks are not honored and there is no such thing as "installment" or "study now, pay later".
The best perk I can imagine is that I can have a free set of books for my son if I get the "Early Bird" award since the school generously endows a suffcient 10% discount for a single enrollee without siblings.
The main highlight of the homeschooling curriculum, I suppose, is that there is a teacher-parent consultation twice a week and I do think that this is exciting since the school is open to having Skype or emailed or phone consultations. Only one hour per consultation is needed for this academic encounter and this happens every Tuesday and Thursday (unless they change the schedule).
Is there anyone else in this forum who shares these sentiments? Are there things that I need to consider before taking a plunge into this unfamiliar territory called "non-traditional classroom"? What are the dangers that go hand in hand with this option? Do you have other alternatives to homeschooling in mind?
I would love to solicit relevant information from the veteran moms and dads in this community.
Schedule of Tuition and Accreditation Fees for the Academic School Year 2018-2019 [Brochure]. (n.d.) Cubao, Quezon City: Blended Learning Center Manila.
I've just started on our homeschooling journey, and our provider is Homeschool Global. It's accredited by the local educational department, and we have the opportunity to get a U.S. transcript should I intend to send my son to an international school someday.
You may want to check that out.
The other day, I visited my son's former school and I felt ecstatic that the school's board (of directors) is open to the idea of extending their curricular offerings. For roughly Php 2,000 a month my son can continue to have the same brand of Montessori education. Moreover, if many freelance contractors will support the move to decongest public schools, alleviate heavy traffic problems (as we will go to school only for exams) and reduce "baon" costs, the school might approve this motion. The curriculum is in the process of getting approval but the school has already been in existence for more than 30 years and it is DepEd-accredited.
I had the chance to virtually meet the founder of another thriving home school community at the central part of Luzon. The most attractive pedagogical feature that the school has is its rich natural laboratory. Motor and social skills are developed via gatherings that focus on the concept of "play". The school's environment is perfect for field trips and for the record, it takes two days to reach their place because of the heavy traffic at the main roads in Metro Manila. The fee is relatively affordable. One whole year for Grade 2, for instance, costs Php 15,000 excluding books and payments allocated for school gatherings/events.
There is another Catholic home school community which highlights their expertise in preparing children for their First Holy Communion. None-home schoolers can join the group every November but parents have to make sure that their children attend all Saturday catechetical classes and participate in practices held inside the church premises. The First Holy Communion is held in one of the parishes at the Green Meadows (Quezon City) via the Ortigas route.
The common trend that I can deduce from home school practices is that at some point in the home schooler's life there will be a need to go back to "the mainstream life" and become a regular student just like everyone else. Gone were the days when only the actors/actresses or politicians get to be home schooled. Home schooling is quite preferable nowadays for the purpose of practicality as it reduces costs that can be allocated to much more pressing needs like food, clothing and shelter.
As for caveats, I think there will be many. Every method has its own advantages as well as disadvantages. It used to be the tag line of one of my professors in the past.