Homeschooling Everywhere

Kib started with ACE curriculum last March and we are 75% done with Level 1.  There is a possibility that we will start with Level 2 by August.  Kib is enjoying his lessons, even making Ace (main character in the comic strip on each PACE) his friend.  Kib was able to know more about God and he even shares to us what he had learned from his PACEs.

I don't worry about class suspensions due to typhoons since Kib is homeschooled.  Kib is never absent from his classes as class schedule is very flexible.  Kib can finish his lessons in two hours but may extend for five hours if Kib is tempted to play in-between lessons.  Kib can study anywhere inside the house.  He may answer lessons while lying on the floor, sitting on the staircase, on top of the bed, or even on his own study table.  Kib may choose whatever subjects he want to finish first without worrying about time limit per subject.  

I'm loving the portability of homeschooling.  While me and Kib were waiting for the boarding time at the airport for our short vacation last March 2012, I let Kib answer some of his PACEs there.  When we had to stay in Bataan for a couple of days because a relative passed away, I let Kib answer his PACEs at daytime when there were no visitors.

It may seem weird for some people, but for me I'm just making use of the time wisely ^_^

Homeschooling: A Family Bonding Activity

Homeschooling your child is not just an effort of the mother and child, or the father and the child.  Homeschooling is an effort given by the whole family, and it's a never-ending family bonding moment in your home.

In our case, my mother and my uncle are involved with my son's homeschooling.  Last year when I was working in a regular school, my mother served as a teacher to my son.  I just tell my mom what pages to answer and they answer it during the day and I just check them when I get home.  My uncle, he may not be hands-on in teaching my son but he is involved in encouraging him to finish his work.  Other relatives respect Kib's study time by not bothering him or tempting him to play or to go out.  

At first, my family was against homeschooling, but when they are seeing results from my hardwork, they eventually supported me and they also make themselves involved with my son's education.  

Homeschooling doesn't limit your ways on how to bond with your child.  In homeschooling, everything can be a learning opportunity and a moment for you to be close with your child/children.

Socialization? Why Bother?

This is one of the misunderstood aspects of human development, and a homeschooled child, as most people say, lacks this.  First, let me define what socialization is.

In sociology, socialization refers to the lifelong process of inheriting and disseminating normscustoms and ideologies, providing an individual with the skills and habits necessary for participating within his or her own society (  Socialization is the means by which human infants begin to acquire the skills necessary to perform as a functioning member of their society, and is the most influential learning process one can experience.  

Let me simplify this:  socialization is a never-ending way of learning and adjusting to the culture so that an individual may be an accepted member of the society.  With this meaning alone, socialization cannot just be learned and end in school.  Does that mean when we graduate from college we are fully "socialized" so to speak?    Margaret Zysk, a homeschooling parent from Idaho, whenever people will pose their concerns about her children's interaction with other kids, she will respond, "Go to your local public school, walk down the hallways and see what behaviors you would want your child to emulate."  I love her answer so much.

What most people know about socialization is just simply interacting with people of the same age group, which is a BIG, BIG misconception about socialization.  Socialization is more than interaction.  Socialization is about values formation, appreciation of one's culture, and citizenship.

I can say that even if Kib is homeschooled, I don't forget to teach him values and things that will make him a worthy Filipino citizen.  He may not be with kids of same age all the time, but he knows how to interact with people of different ages.    Kib may be a playful kid, but not a dangerous and hostile one.  Kib may be a alone most of the time, but he always give his smile to people.

Homeschooling Challenges

A lot of people acknowledge that homeschooling is no fun.  They can't imagine how a parent manages the home and schooling at the same time.  They can't also imagine how a parent was able to let their child get into school mode when they are playing.

Every night before going to sleep, I always ask Kib what is he going to do the following day and he will say, "School".  Next question that I will ask is when is he going to play.  Kib will say, "Finish school first and then play after."  I feel happy that he knows his responsibilities but sometimes Kib forgets.  In the morning, we are struggling with getting up from the bed.  When Kib is already on his study table, sometimes he will stare blankly on the wall and has be reminded to get back on track.  There may be times that he will be tempted to bring some of his toys to the table and play with them in-between his schoolwork.  There are times that there's drama. He doesn't want to study and cry over his PACEs.  As a result, our lessons last for four hours, but when he is in the mood, he can finish all of his work in two hours or less.

And yes, I will agree with those people who say that homeschooling is hard.  But for me, it can only be hard if you don't put your heart into it.