Last Saturday, I attended a seminar on homeschooling. It was perfect because my real estate brokerage classes were cancelled that day and, even though it was alumni homecoming in UP, I didn’t plan on attending it. Long story. Anyway, let’s talk about the seminar.

I actually got invited to it Friday afternoon, short notice, but since I’m really into homeschooling, I immediately said yes and was determined to work around my schedule. Fortunately, my mom didn’t have an appointment for Saturday afternoon so I was able to leave Yuri with them.

Unsolicited OOTD:
Topshop white shirt, Bershka turquoise shorts, Gibi sandals, and kimono blazer from eBay (I think this begins my love affair with kimono blazers)

The seminar, by the way, was organized by the Lighthouse Homeschool Network. Upon arriving, I was surprised to see a full room. I know homeschooling was popular in Manila and other places (like the US), but not in big city-small town Davao. That was surprising but pleasantly surprising.

Another pleasant surprise was the fact that kids – kids – ran the program. The emcees and the speakers were all homeschooled kids. I was impressed! One of the kids was even named Yuri; I wasn’t able to take a picture of him, though! The homeschooling parents only stepped in to answer the questions during the open forum.

To be honest, I think I already know a lot about homeschooling since I have read about it and studied it sooner last year. Of course, being with actual homeschooling moms taught me more things. Here are the things I learned from the seminar:

1. A homeschooling kid can finish high school in one year.

At least that’s the case of Amber Hao, one of our “child” speakers. She finished the entire thing in just one year through homeschooling and ALS (Alternative Learning System) and is now getting into Ateneo de Manila.

Really cool (and I actually felt a little sorry for my sister who has to endure not only 4 years of high school but also 2 years of middle school).

2. Most universities in the country accept fully homeschooled students. Except UP.

Some of our speakers talked about getting into college, and I guess Ateneo de Manila is a popular choice among them. With that said, La Salle and other top universities seem to also accept homeschoolers with no problem.

In the case of UP, though, they accept homeschoolers but they need to have spent at least 2 years of high school in a regular school.

3. It is not hard for a homeschooling child to transition into a regular school.

That’s what the kids said! They didn’t have problems fitting into a new environment and found it easy to make friends.

4. Although most of them probably wouldn’t want to until they get into college.

That’s what they said, too. Haha!

5. Despite its popularity in Manila and in the US, the homeschooling moms in this local network don’t really do homeschool preschool.

I asked a question about homeschooling preschoolers, and I was met with bemused looks. I think the ladies in the network agreed upon not doing it. And I think they misinterpreted my asking for being worried about Yuri’s capabilities – which is not true – but I appreciated the new perspective. In honesty, I got relieved when I learned they didn’t have to do formal, scheduled homeschooling and just let children play until they are 5 or 6 years old!

(I’m glad Job didn’t tell me I told you so when I said this to him.)

You see, I was obsessed with finding the right curriculum for Yuri until this year, when I started letting him watch YouTube (mom police, go away). While he liked books, I can’t deny the fact that he’s learning a lot from these videos. I figured he could be both a visual and auditory learner, so, duh, a curriculum in print may not work for him. Buti nalang I didn’t insist on buying one; it might have been a waste of money.

Hindi kasi ako auditory learner; I do badly with just listening to lectures and even videos, and I really need to read a transcript and the like. Because mom is a visual learner, I think I am also a visual teacher. So, I still keep buying a lot of books, both story books and workbooks, for us to have fun reading and answering.

The bottom line is that I think I will neither buy a set curriculum for Yuri nor enroll him in an actual preschool (which should not be an option for us given its expensiveness!). What we’ll do is, maybe, frequent National Bookstore and Book Sale (we’ve had several trips; click on this link to see some of our finds) and even include video stores from now on!