Homeschool seems to be a very good option for many, but how does a family make that important decision? 
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Why homeschooling during COVID-19 pandemic is a more realistic option
( - June 5, 2020 - 5:07pm

MANILA, Philippines — Due to the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, children have to stay at home and schools were closed as a measure to avoid infection.

Lessons have transitioned to online classes and meetings, while school work is sent to students using various applications and even social media, forcing students to adjust to this “new normal” of bringing school into their homes. 

But what is learning like when your teacher is on a screen? Or when you view a recording of the lesson? How can you ask your teacher questions as they arise in your mind? What if the homework given is unclear? What if the lesson being studied is unfamiliar? How do kids learn well without real interaction?

Parents are faced with a decision this year of whether or not to send their children back to school once it opens. The decision would be made easier if a vaccine for COVID-19 was already available, but scientists cannot be certain as to when that will be. Homeschool seems to be a very good option for many, but how does a family make that important decision? 

Homeschool is the mentoring of the child by parents who have decided to take full responsibility of their child’s education. As parents who love and nurture their own children, they have a choice as to how they want their children to be educated. The government recognizes this right in Article XIV, Section 1(2) of the 1987 Philippines Constitution. It states that the country will “establish and maintain a system of free public education in the elementary and high school levels. Without limiting the natural right of parents to rear their children…” 

Also, the Department of Education Order #21 (released in 2019) titled “Policy of the Guidelines of Basic Education” states in Annex 3 that homeschool is a part of their Flexible Learning Options under the ADM or Alternative Delivery Mode. This acknowledges that homeschool is a part of the educational framework of the Philippines.

Many parents may be daunted by this seemingly important responsibility of teaching their child. However, with the new normal, perhaps parents are discovering that homeschool may be the solution to avoid the virus and keep their families safe. 

Besides this safety concern, which is very valid, what else should parents consider? 

To homeschool, it is ideal that at least one parent can spend a minimum four hours of meaningful interaction with their child each day. The time you spend with them may be dependent on your work schedule, or if only one parent works, then the other parent can devote time to mentor their child. 

Another consideration is the goals you have for your child. Parents need to sit down and think about what they want their child to know, what they want their child to do, and what they want their child to become. Having clear goals will help parents choose the curriculum that will support the atmosphere of learning they wish to have in their family. 

And a third factor in making this decision is being intentional. As intentional parents, we make sure our actions nurture growth and not hinder it. As intentional parents, we are aware of the words we speak in our homes, words that encourage and uplift rather than discourage and shame. As intentional parents, your actions and decisions will matter greatly in the development of your child.

Homeschooling is about building relationships of love, trust and respect. Families become closer as they live and learn together each day. Children learn to relate to their siblings, recognize and respect the authority of their parents, and make mistakes in a loving environment where they can always try again. 

When parents educate their children, they want what is best for them. Parents seek to form their child in the values they hold, in the character that they wish to upbuild, and in the faith that their family is firmly grounded upon. A loving influence and a living example is the best teacher for children.

Homeschooling isn’t about bringing school lessons home. Rather, it is a way to nurture and educate children without anxiety or stress. Children learn and absorb everything they see, therefore, a loving environment at home is an important factor of homeschool. 

Parents are expected to guide their children in their wholistic development: mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. They can tailor-fit their child’s lessons according to their uniqueness rather than using a textbook that was written for a hundred students to memorize. Each child can learn at their own pace without the pressures of conforming to the norm in schools. 

Likewise, a gifted child may learn without being hampered by grades or tests and simply pursue learning for its own sake. Learning is not confined to books only, but to life experiences as well. When a parent gets sick, children learn to be helpful and be of service at home. When a new sibling is born, everyone is involved in the upbringing and care of the newest family member. When a crisis is faced, families are strengthened by one another and grow in resilience.

As American educator John Taylor Gatto said: “Whatever an education is, it should make you a unique individual, not a conformist; it should furnish you with an original spirit with which to tackle the big challenges; it should allow you to find values which will be your roadmap through life; it should make you spiritually rich, a person who loves whatever you are doing, wherever you are, whomever you are with; it should teach you what is important, how to live and how to die.”

What better place to be educated than at home? Homeschool is a gift. The presence of parents and the quality time they spend together with their children learning life lessons makes the difference. Nothing can replace a father or mother who seeks to understand, show that they care, and expresses love for their children each day. 

Experiencing aha-moments, being there when their children are hurt, answering their life questions, and being the main influence in their children’s lives is a privilege that parents already possess.

To learn more about homeschool, join the webinar “Beauty, Goodness, and Truth: A Human Education.” 

Steven Rummelsburg is the special guest speaker who will talk about Classical Education. Rosario Reilly, the founder of Aquinas Learning, will also speak about the classical homeschool curriculum.

To register, go to Email for more details. — Moira Bunyi

RELATED: 'Quaran-teaching': Team Kramer shares homeschooling tips, experience

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