Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bo Sanchez's Catholic Filipino Academy

Photo from

2 weeks ago, I was able to attend the Parents' Orientation of the Catholic Filipino Academy (CFA). Hubby had an ocular inspection to go to for an event, so he couldn't make it. Despite that, it was a doubly blessed day because I got to hitch a ride and exchange homeschooling stories with Teacher Mommy Blessie and her hubby Neil, and also meet other Catholics who had homeschooled, are still homeschooling and are thinking of homeschooling their kids. It was nice to be at the Lighthouse Building, where all the ministries of Bo Sanchez are housed. It sort of felt like being "home" in a way - most of those present were so accommodating and nice.

Here's a brief summary of how things went:

For starters, Ms. Rita Yokingco, Vice-Directress of CFA, talked about the background, whys, hows and benefits of homeschooling in the first session called "Homeschooling Discovery Time." Although hubby and I had already bought the DVD copy of the Parents' Orientation last year, it was nice to hear everything in person. Ms. Rita shared about her own homeschooling experiences, as she homeschooled her own kids for 9 years. Her eldest, who just finished college, is now working together with her at CFA. Cool huh?

Next, one of the moms on the CFA team, Rissa Espinosa, shared about their homeschooling life. I really liked the fact that she and hubby Rene were equal partners in homeschooling their kids - he taught their son, and she taught their daughter. Kind of like the times of our ancestors right? The men would teach the boys to hunt, the women would teach their daughters to gather food, cook, sew, etc.

The last part of the Orientation had Teacher Dad Rene Espinosa talk about "What Is CFA?" He basically described how homeschooling under CFA would be like - the grading system, number of hours to put in a day (usually 3 hours), days per week for homeschooling (Mondays to Thursdays, according to him), etc. He also said that all parents who choose to homeschool with CFA will have parent-coaches assigned to them. I liked this concept a lot, since I personally feel that I (and hubby) would need LOTS of coaching! (Mostly because I am very unorganized! LOL!)

After the Orientation proper, there was a Question and Answer segment. Out of the Q & A, I was able to glean the following cons of homeschooling with CFA:

1. CFA has no activities yet for older children who will be transferring from regular school to homeschool. Some parents were concerned about this, as their kids would miss their school friends. However, Ms. Rita said that they would seriously consider putting up activities for such kids (usually from the higher grades).

2. CFA is affiliated with Power Kids Academy which is based in Bulacan. For parents who have kids who are athletes or competitors of different activities (like dancing, singing, art, etc) representing the National Capital Region (NCR), switching to CFA may be a difficult choice. In such cases, parents who are still convicted to homeschool their kids may want to consider other homeschooling institutions such as The Linden Tree Institute, which implements the homeschool curriculum of Kolbe Academy, a Catholic school based in Napa, California. Others may also want to try The Master's Academy (TMA), but this is under CCF (Christ's Commission Fellowship), a non-Catholic Christian Church.

For me, the PROS of homeschooling with CFA, based on the Orientation as a whole, are as follows:

1. CFA already has a manual of sorts for parents who will be homeschooling their kids, complete with lesson plans and suggested activities. Sort of like a homeschooling for dummies handbook. (Which is very beneficial to a disorganized mom like me!)

2. As previously mentioned, CFA has parent-coaches. I like the thought of having someone to "mentor" and guide us, and pray for us, during our homeschooling days.

3. CFA focuses on three important aspects: learning, work and service. I LOVE THIS PART! I truly believe that success is not only defined by high grades - these won't get you into heaven!

4. CFA's staff and parents were very supportive and encouraging, especially when I brought up my concern about homeschooling on a single income (a mission worker's one at that!) in the future. "I'd like to believe that God will make a way for you" said Rene. Ate Rita said this (and I almost cried!) "God will bless your conviction and decision. It will not be easy, but He will provide." Aaaww... *sniffs*

5. CFA has weekly activities where the kids can gather and meet their "classmates"/"schoolmates." Also, they have special sessions on the Sacraments, and gatherings like "UN Day" and Christmas parties.

6. CFA has regular outreach activities too - this is the "service" part. Kids learn how to serve others, just as Jesus served His disciples. In this day and age of "Look out for yourself" and materialism and greed, kids need to know what is important and essential.

7. CFA is relatively cheaper than HAP (Homeschool of Asia Pacific). Although we are not choosing to homeschool for economical reasons, this is definitely a plus factor, especially for frugal moms like me!

8. And last but not the least on  my list of PROS, CFA was founded by Bo Sanchez, my personal "idol" when it comes to Catholic parenting and living in general. It's partly because of Bo's books and teachings that I have begun to pursue the dreams I have in my heart.

You may be wondering then: Will we be using CFA soon for homeschooling Tim and Rysse?

Well, to be honest, we are still discerning about that. We are looking into Catholic Heritage Curriculum too for now. Some families I've met online are using this and have nothing negative to say about it at all so far! We still need to see how we can work this out though since CHC is based in the US. If ever we do choose to go with CFA, we might just get their Special Reading Program first (for only P8,000!). We are of the belief that once a child knows how to read, all forms of literature can be their "teacher"! Books, magazines, newspapers, educational websites - everything can be a learning tool for the child who reads! (As of now, Tim can only read some three-letter words :-)

Anyway, please do pray for us as we continue to discern what's best for our kids. Thanks! Be blessed y'all!

P.S. If you want to read about real-life homeschoolers who are with CFA, here is a list of blogs that may be of use to you:

Homeschooling Kiddos -
Raising Filipino Boys -
Homeschooling in China -
Filipina At Home -
Teacher Tita (Aunt) Edel -

P.P.S. I would highly suggest to all parents who are considering homeschooling to attend the Parents' Orientation in person! CFA is conducting orientations on the following dates: March 3, 2011, March 18, 2011, April 7, 2011. at the 1st flr., Lighthouse Bldg, #60 Chicago St., Cubao, Q.C., from 9:00AM-12:00NN. For reservations, pls contact Rita Yokingco at 5336097.


Blessie Adlaon said...

"God will bless your conviction and decision. It will not be easy, but He will provide."

I was inspired by that part, too, Mommy Tina. It reminded me that, although our circumstances now are less than ideal for homeschooling, the God that planted such seeds in our hearts will also provide the soil and sun and rain to make it grow and bear good fruit.

Blessie Adlaon said...

PS: We are definitely enrolling Josh at CFA come June!

Bea has just suddenly learned to read last night (there is wisdom in the school of thought that says when they are ready, the learning will be easy), so I feel we don't need the reading program anymore. We'll just send her straight to Gr. 1 (at CFA) when she turns 6.5 years old :-)

Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag said...

Thanks for writing this Teacher Mama Tina. My husband and I will check our sched so we can also attend the orientation in person soon.

anonymous said...

Before anything else. Make sure that the "school" you are enrolling your child has DepEd recognition otherwise your sons/daughters school sacrifices and learning are wasted. There are only several school in Metro Manila which is recognized by DepEd. Some homeschool are not really homeschool they are under the table.

Katrina Alcantara said...

Hello mommy! :) I plan to enroll my daughter in CFA. Would you happen to know their rates? I tried emailing them a couple of days ago but haven't heard from them yet. Thanks so much!

TrulyRichMom/TeacherMamaTina said...

Hi Katrina! :) How old is your daughter? To which email address did you send your inquiry to? The CFA Team is probably very busy now with new and returning enrollees, so it may take a while for them to respond. I don't know their rates for the new school year, but I may be able to forward your email to my friends from CFA. Below is other contact info that you may find useful:

The CFA office is located at the 8th floor Obispado de Cubao, 41 Lantana Street, Cubao, Quezon City, tel. no.721-1088.

Inquiries may be addressed to:

Preschool -

Elementary -

High School -


God bless! :)

Katrina Alcantara said...

Thanks mommy Tina! :) I already received their response. I might get the nursery package worth 8k :) Thanks again! God bless you always.

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