Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Challenges of Homeschooling In Our Homeland, the Philippines

It has been a week since we arrived in the Philippines. I haven't been able to blog much (or go online much for that matter) as we've been staying at my in-laws' place since we've arrived and have only been using Smart Bro prepaid for our internet connection. It is kind of slow (ironically, our broadband connection in Dili was much better!) and so I found it kind of a hassle to blog. Also, I don't know why but it seems that when we're at my in-laws' place, I tend to crash earlier (usually when we put the kids to sleep) and sleep on until morning. (Usually when I fall asleep earlier in the evening, I wake up in the wee small hours of the morning, and then do some work or blog or FB). Perhaps it's the adjustment to life in Manila. Ironically here we do a lot of commuting (we had not just one but TWO mission vehicles in Timor!) and maybe that's why I am more tired at the end of the day. Especially since we bring the two kiddies along with us most everywhere we go. Well, I hope my body adjusts soon.

Speaking of adjusting, sleep routines and commuting and lack of internet time aren't the only things our family and I have been adapting to. I have been very vocal about our desire to homeschool our children, particularly Tim, our eldest who is turning 4 in October. this is partly why this blog was born actually. However, after only one week in the Philippines, this desire, no, CONVICTION, has already met with a lot of questions and semi-negative comments from people (who probably mean well but may not be totally informed about what homeschooling entails and results in). These include members of our own families and community and friends who of course are mostly concerned with the children's socialization / forming friendships with other kids. Personally, I don't blame these people for being concerned, but do feel a bit put off when they insist that regular schooling is THE only way to go. I for one firmly believe that each family and each child is unique, and homeschooling may be the call for some families (like ours) and regular schooling for others.

One of the things that homeschooling detractors don't realize is that homeschooled kids have so many options and opportunites for socialization. Even here in the Philippines! One of the homeschooling mom's blogs I've read actually describe her kid's "after-school" activities with Kids Ahoy, which is something that hubby and I plan to explore with Tim, if God-willing, we can afford it! The good thing is, Tim is eligible for CFA's homeschooling program only when he turns 4 and a half, which leaves us about 10 months to prepare financially, emotionally, logistically, and of course, spiritually for homeschooling.

Since we are at present fulltime lay missionaries (or in our community's terms, fulltime pastoral workers or FTPWs) dependent on monthly missionary allowances (or salaries in other words), we are currently exploring alternative means of earning extra income to meet the needs of our growing family. Needless to say we believe that God will provide, and this He does every day without fail! Indeed we are truly rich and blessed! I know that God will also provide for Tim's and Rysse's education, in His own time and way. Blessed be His name!

I also know that there will be more challenges, questions, detractors, negative comments ahead of us as we continue to explore, discern, re-discern and decide on how far we will go on this homeschooling journey. But I am not discouraged. I WILL NOT BE. Because I know that God is with us. And I also know that negative comments, questions, doubts and challenges to homeschooling usually come about due to a lack of deeper knowledge, understanding and acceptance of homeschooling. And so today I say, bring it on! Whatever happens, God will lead us and empower us, in ALL aspects of our lives! Yehey! May God be praised!


Michelle said...

Hi Tina! I read your message to me on FB. Well, since you've been so inundated with so many negative messages about homeschooling, why not try visiting our homeschool support group? We meet every Saturdays 8-12nn at Greenhills Christian Fellowship. You can just come and participate with your kids for a trial class. At the same time, meet lots of homeschoolers. Most parents are there the whole time, so you'll come out of it very encouraged. PM me at FB if you're interested.

Teacher Mama Tina said...

Hi Michelle! My gosh I just read your comment! Hahaha. Talk about outdated! It's good to know that we're welcome to join you guys. We're planning a visit to the HS curriculum provider that we're considering, CFA, next week. We'll try to schedule a visit to your group din :) Thanks ha. Godbless always! By the way, please do follow me at my other blog ( too since I aim to combine my blogs into one na lang para hindi hassle magupdate. Hehehe. Inspired by you! Thanks! :)

Teacher Mama Tina said...

Ay sorry Michelle... new blog ko is pala :) Thanks! Godbless!

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