PPBC #2: I’m Taking My Kid to the Best School

Three years ago, I was one of the moms who got everything planned. I had this toddler school that caught my fancy, well, because the name was catchy and the facade spelled fun. I was willing to spend more than what I can actually afford just to take her to the “best” schools in the area. All these changed when I came across an article of Bo Sanchez that tackles the 10 core principles of homeschooling and how you can send your kid to “the best school in the world,” your own home. Everything he said and wrote about just made perfect sense. I shared the article with hubby and he was very much open to the idea.

Right now, Zoe is 3 years old. While other kids her age are going to toddler school or preschool, I’m still comfortable with having Zoe learn what she wants to learn at her own pace. By now she knows her colors, shapes, and a few of the letters of the alphabet. She can also write her name (ZOE) by herself. She loves engaging in a conversation and her vocabulary is getting wider by the minute. She insists on pouring her own milk to the glass and on taking a bath by herself (although I insist on helping her on this). She also knows how to use the computer mouse when she goes to her favorite learning website, Starfall. She doesn’t have to compete with anyone for my attention. When she gets bored doing one thing, she can do something else. Everything is flexible and, better yet, everything is free. What more, I get to bond with my child as she’s learning. She learns from me, and I learn from her. I discover what she likes, how she likes things, and that, no matter how I insist on the right hand, she will always prefer her left.

Even if we haven’t actually enrolled Zoe to a homeschooling program, I’ve already received “violent” reactions from those around me who mean well. Their main concern is that Zoe might be missing out on something, and “how will she learn to socialize”? I have a vague memory of my preschool years, I could not even remember learning from nursery, but there are clear scenes that I still remember very well. At nursery there was this dollhouse where we all played during breaktime. There was this one kid, who, out of nowhere, slapped me on the face. I was shocked that I didn’t even get to slap her back. I couldn’t remember if I got hurt by the slap but I did remember that I spent the rest of the day at the back, clutching my schoolbag, waiting for the class to end. When I was in Grade 1, studying in one of the finer schools where you expect everyone to be, well, more well-mannered, a boy stuck gum on my hair. I was so scared I though I needed to go bald. Thank goodness for gasoline! My point on this? My daughter does not have to be exposed to a whole bunch of kids—some good, some bullies, some in-betweens—to learn how to socialize. If this is the socializing she will get, then I’ll pass. For now, it’s enough that she knows her manners, can say “please” and “thank you”, and talks to us and our little circle politely. She may be on the shy side for now, but heck, I’ve been a shy girl all my life and I grew up okay, more than okay if I may say.

Of course, Zoe is just a toddler and I am not rushing things for her. For preschool, I will be bringing her to the best school in the world, our own home, the very same place where she learned to crawl, walk, and talk. When she is ready, she can, if she wants to, go to the big schools. Before that day comes, I’m letting her enjoy life, explore every nook and crannies of her little universe, and immerse herself in the unlimited knowledge she can get from the world.

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May 24, 2008. Tags: , , , . Blogroll, General, Mommyhood.

18 Comments

  1. Sally replied:

    Very well said, Tricia!

  2. Sally replied:

    and btw, where’s PPBC#1? πŸ™‚

  3. maver replied:

    Bravo, Tricia! πŸ™‚ I wish I had the same willpower and patience, and most especially, time, as you. We’re sending Nino to school this year, after years of delaying it. Even if I’m a non-believer of pre-school (since I never went to one), I hope we made the right decision.

    Good luck!

  4. delish replied:

    when i was in prep… a kid pushed me so hard that my whole face was scarred and swelling for days πŸ™‚

    the thing is… even kids who study in regular schools are homeschooled by their parents or tutors… and even kids who are homeschooled go on field trips and join clubs… i’ve decided to homeschool my child when I got pregnant… i still don’t know if homeschooling will be the best set-up for us, but when better to try it than in the beginner years? πŸ™‚

    good luck to your family πŸ™‚ I have three more years to prepare for it… you have around a year na lang hehe πŸ™‚

  5. k.g. replied:

    I admire you for your courage to try this. I remember when Abel and I were talking about this before and trying to discuss what it would be like to try this for our respective children. Bo does make some solid claims. And the reason people are skeptical about this is that homeschooling is not a traditional education system. Imagine the uproar from traditional parents.

    I personally wanted to try the program recommended by Bo but didn’t really have the courage to do so. But I have faith in the system. I know of a couple students who were homeschooled during their preschool years and turned out to be very smart and emotionally stable children.

    Of course, most of the success of this program relies on the parents….so I know Zoe is in good hands! Good luck to you…and tell me how it goes, lest I have the opportunity to apply it to Wendy (baka may chance pa)! πŸ™‚

  6. baduday replied:

    Hi Maver,

    Thanks, thanks! I need all the luck I can get. I know for a fact that homeschooling can be frustrating and hard. I’m sure Nino will do well and enjoy school. He looks like a very amiable kid : )

    Hi Delish,
    I will keep you posted on our homeschooling journey. Good luck to us on taking the road less travelled.

    Hi K.G.,
    Thanks! I know homeschooling isn’t quite yet accepted in our country but I do hope it will gain more recognition in the years to come. I will keep you posted. Medyo pahirapan rin to homeschool, considering Zoe’s innate stubborn nature, hehe : )

    Tricia

  7. joy replied:

    well said Tricia. I’ve been reading the articles you sent me too. But for now, I don’t think I can homeschool as I’m very busy and I’m not sure if I can be patient with her. Goodluck Tricia and keep on posting about homeschooling Zoe πŸ™‚ Lots of parents will benefit from this, I’m sure.

  8. pat replied:

    i’ll be eagerly waiting for posts on homeschooling zoe. i know i’ll surely pick up some insights.

  9. ka2x replied:

    when i was in kindergarten, i got a big “bukol” on my forehead while playing chinese garter πŸ™‚

    i like your insights about home schooling your kid. you somehow conveyed a firm conviction regarding it. i will definitely consider it for my Little Ben. it would just be a matter of convincing my partner. i hope you give us tips on how you convince swerte about it πŸ™‚
    good luck!

  10. baduday replied:

    Hi Joy & Pat,
    I promise to keep everyone posted on my “homeschooling challenge”. I need all the luck I can get…and patience, too, lots of it, as Zoe can be a very stubborn and temperamental girl, hehe.

    Hi Ka,
    I guess hubby didn’t need much convincing. I just let him read the article by Bo Sanchez and he was open to it. Luckily, he has always been open and supportive to my sometimes ‘radical’ ideas, especially when he sees that it’s for the best. Good luck, too. You still have a lot of (3-5) years to decide which educational path to take : )

    Tricia

  11. thea replied:

    wow you are really brave in doing this.
    good luck to your family. πŸ™‚

  12. purplegirl replied:

    I also considered homeschooling but decided against it because I couldn’t give the necessary commitment to make it successful. And while homeschooling has worked successfully with many, many families, it is not for every one. Here’s a compilation of what I’ve found as far as disadvantages are concerned:

    1. “Most home schooling parents are glad to get their children out of the not-so-positive social environment of age-segregated classrooms, but this means that they are now responsible for the social development of their children. Social skills are learned through everyday interactions, such as trips to the supermarket, libraries, malls, parks, church, field trips, and visiting with neighbors. These ways alone are not completely sufficient for teaching a child proper social skills. All children need to learn how to have relationships with their peers, and home schoolers are sometimes at a disadvantage in this area because they do not have as many opportunities for forming friendships. This is not necessarily a problem for most families, but it takes more effort for home schooling parents to be diligent in making sure their children have ample opportunities to be with other children. Most communities today offer home school support groups within driving distance for almost all home schoolers; these groups usually schedule times weekly or monthly to get together for “park days,” home school skate groups, and even gymnastics or swimming classes designed especially for home schoolers.”

    2. “The first obvious disadvantage is the amount of investment you have to make as a parent. Why? Homeschooling leaves the responsibility of educating your child completely on you. This means you’re going to have to research and collate a curriculum for your child, as well as determine on your own supplemental activities that will enhance this learning experience. Moreover, this means having to invest greater time in your child than a normal working parent would. Homeschooling may require either parent to stay home and be the teacher, or may put greater stress on parents who both work for a living.

    This also means doing away with the expertise of an accredited teacher. Trained teachers are equipped with the knowledge to teach a wide range of topics as well as strategies in order to stimulate greater learning and active participation. As a parent without this training, you may find it necessary to do much more research, especially as you determine what you want to teach your child.
    If your children need lots of social interaction, then the disadvantages of homeschool might outweigh its advantages.

    The classroom setting provides inherent benefits of socialization to your child. Homeschooling obviously takes away this opportunity for your child to interact with other children in the learning environment. Although your child may have siblings to interact with, this may translate to your child as not being exposed to a wider gamut of ideas and perspectives. A classroom with children from different backgrounds and personal beliefs provides your child with ideas that may stimulate his mind to think and criticize.”

    3.”Lack of Social Interaction: This is the number one concern with homeschooling. We live in a social world and social skills are hugely important in being able to successfully go through life. Children who are isolated all day long in their homes with little social interaction risk not learning how to deal with other people different than them or even have a simple conversation.

    Lack of Experiences: Although most of us wouldn’t got back to grade school if someone paid us, however, it these experiences out on the playground during recess, school dances, and even the canned food drive were integral parts of what shapes kids in their developmental years. Homeschooled children are deprived of these experiences and it can negatively impact their developmental years.

    Lack of Curriculum: Although there are very good homeschool materials, there’s no way a parent can create a full learning experience like a teacher can in a classroom with a vide variety of resources and their fingertips.

    Lack of Certified Teachers: Parents are great teachers of life, but are they qualified to educate children. Teachers in public schools have gone through extensive education before they are allowed to teach children. Are parent’s qualified to effectively educate their children even though they have not been state certified?

    Lack of Criticism: When taught at home, children receive plenty of personalized attention, curriculum that is taught at their learning level, and plenty of encouragement. One may think this is a fantastic environment to learn, however, what happens with the child leaves the nest? The real world will be a harsh reality when encouragement is not abundant, the pace of life does not configure to your needs, and your boss won’t have time to coddle you all day long. Are we really preparing our kids for life outside of the home?”

    These were the reasons why I did not choose to homeschool. I do have many friends who homeschool their kids and they have turned out to be the best well-behaved kids. Again, good luck!

  13. baduday replied:

    Hi purplegirl,

    Thanks for your insights. Like any other education system, be it traditional, progressive, eclectic, Steiner, homeschooling has its pros and cons. It totally boils down to your priorities as a parent and how you weigh AND balance these pros and cons to make it work for you. Because Zoe is still a toddler, I haven’t actually enrolled her formally to a homeschooling program. I know how frustrating and difficult it may be so we’ll be taking it one step at a time and see if homeschooling can, indeed, work for us : )

  14. Joey replied:

    PPBC2 Roundup is finally up! Here’s the link. So sorry for the delay.

  15. Dyes replied:

    hey tricia! thumbs up for you! i was also thinking of homeschooling my son, not so much because he would have full attention, but there are some kids out there who might not have the same attitude as Jadon’s (or what we want him to have). For example, we went to Church and he saw some other kids doing stunts. He imitated them and did that at home. He saw a kid slapping someone, he did the same to me. it’s really a hard world out there. so, kudos to you!

  16. Jo Ann replied:

    hi! i am jumping over from the pinoy parenting blog carnival. i am also into homeschooling and we are on our first year. i am going to homeschool two kids – my eldest is in grade 3 and my middle child is the reading program. we are also with Bo Sanchez’s CFA. baka nga nagkita pa tayo sa quick start and we might also bump into each other sa annointing day sa friday. i have also joined PBBC 1 but i missed PBBC 2. anyway, i would definitely be checking on your blog regularly as we journey to homeschooling. right on!

  17. Jo Ann replied:

    oh by the way, you can find me at http://www.joannrosary.com.

  18. Withering replied:

    Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation πŸ™‚ Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Withering!!

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