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Homeschool FAQs

What is homeschooling?

Homeschooling allows parents to take responsibility for their child’s education. The home is the primary learning environment and parents teach their child through one-on-one instruction.

Who homeschools their children?

All kinds of families homeschool, from all walks of life! One common thing about homeschooling parents is that they are committed to give their children the best education and they have carefully considered the benefits of home education.

What are the benefits of homeschooling?

For many homeschoolers, one of the greatest benefits is passing on their faith and values to their children. It maximizes parental influence and lengthens that window of opportunity.

Homeschool also allows a lot of flexibility in terms of method of instruction, the learning environment, materials used, and pace of instruction. These advantages allow children to receive a more superior education that is tailor-made to their needs, learning style, personality and interests.

Another important benefit is that homeschooled children are socially well-adjusted. Because they spend a lot of time with their parents, they develop self-confidence and are able to interact comfortably with adults and make friends easily.

What are the disadvantages of homeschooling?

Time and energy are main costs of homeschooling because at least one parent has to dedicate sufficient time to teach their child or children. The family may also lose additional income for the household because one parent has to stay home most of the time. Yet many families find ways to start a home-based business to augment their income, or they simply adjust their lifestyle to prioritize homeschooling. For such families, dedicating the time and energy to raise their children and being hands-on with their education is a greater priority.

What about socialization?

This is by far the most frequently-asked question of homeschooling. No homeschooler is an island. Homeschoolers are involved in a lot of activities in and out of the home. They have many opportunities to interact with and develop friendships with other children. More importantly, they have healthy social development as they learn to relate positively to their parents and siblings first and then with others. They also tend to be more confident and less susceptible to peer pressure because they have healthy relationships at home and share the same values as their parents.

Is homeschooling in the Philippines legal? Will my child need DepEd accreditation if I homeschool him or her?

Homeschooling is legal in the Philippines. The Philippines Constitution, Article XIV, Section 1(2) states that the country will “Establish and maintain a system of free public education in the elementary and high school levels. Without limiting the natural right of parents to rear their children…” Under the last phrase, “Without limiting the natural right of parents to rear their children,” religious groups, mission boards, and families can branch off from public education to create their own private education. But, the Constitution also provides under Section 4 (1) that “the State recognizes the complementary roles of public and private institutions in the education system and shall exercise reasonable supervision and regulation of all education institutions.”

Therefore, the Department of Education (DepEd) Memo no. 216 s. 1997 entitled “Home Education Program” states that if a homeschooled student wants to transfer into a conventional school, he or she must first be accredited by the DepEd. This is the reason why TMA Homeschool provides records and transcripts to its students, in compliance with DepEd accreditation requirements. It enables children to have a smooth transition into the conventional school system when their parents choose to do so.

Is homeschooling more expensive than conventional schools?

Homeschooling helps families save a lot of money, but it is not necessarily a cheaper education. Although families avoid high tuition fees, school uniforms, transportation, daily allowance, and other miscellaneous expenses related to conventional schools, homeschooling costs can also add up.  Costs for homeschool programs and curriculum, as well as field trips, out of town excursions and extracurricular classes will vary per family. However, the great thing about homeschooling is that parents can determine what they want to spend on based on their child’s needs and what they deem as important to their homeschooling experience.

How do I know if I am qualified to teach my child?      

The DepEd requires that all homeschooling parents are college graduates. However, the greater concern is not so much the educational attainment of a parent but his or her willingness to commit to homeschooling. Most parents who homeschool do not have teaching degrees and yet they successfully and effectively teach their own children.

Can I work and homeschool at the same time?

An ideal scenario would be that a father is providing financially and a mother is at home to teach her child or children. Single parent homes pose a greater challenge but it is still possible to homeschool. If a parent can set aside two to three hours of quality time daily, this is a sufficient amount of time to homeschool. Older children who have been trained to self-study will also make it more plausible for a parent to work and homeschool at the same time.

Situations vary from one family to another. However, the most successful homeschooling families have at least one parent (ideally the mom), teaching in a full-time capacity, without the burden of other obligations. Life is about choices and parents have to carefully weigh what sacrifices are important and necessary in order to homeschool effectively.

Can I homeschool even if I am overseas?

Yes. TMA Homeschool has Academic Consultants who can help overseas families. Families communicate (for consultation on academic matters, and counseling) mostly through email and skype. In fact, TMA Homeschool highly encourages OFW families to homeschool so that family members do not have to be physically apart.

How do I choose the curriculum, books and materials appropriate for my child?

At TMA, children entering Grade 1+ take a diagnostic test to determine strengths and weaknesses. After an assessment is made by the Academic Consultant, an appropriate curriculum is recommended for the year. Parents use these recommendations when buying their child’s materials or they present their own options for review and approval. Pre-school students are also assessed (without a Diagnostic Test) by an Academic Consultant to help parents choose the right materials.

How do I know if my child is learning and is at par with other children at the same grade level?

Children in Grades 1+ are tested annually through a standardized achievement test which gives parents a benchmark for how they are fairing compared to their school-going counterparts. At the same time, the test works very well as a diagnostic tool for their child’s next level. The achievement test shows proficiency levels in language arts, science, math and social studies. Children also have regular portfolio reviews with their Academic Consultants for progress monitoring.

How do I teach my children subjects that I am not strong at?

One of the most powerful learning experiences for a child is to have a parent learning together with him/her. Parents do not have to be the expert in every area but parents can learn with their child, or enlist the help of co-op members who can team-teach with them. They may also ask their Academic Consultants for advice and helpful ideas to better teach a subject or lesson.

What if my child is resistant to my instruction and struggles with obedience?

TMA Homeschool emphasizes a character-first approach to homeschooling. When parents prioritize the instruction of their child’s heart and character, children become teachable and positively responsive to their parents. Of course, biblical parenting is an important aspect of this dynamic between parent-teacher and child, which is why one of the first trainings parents will receive is on parenting.

Does enrollment follow the conventional school calendar?

Enrollment for families living within Metro Manila is every March, June, September, and November. For families living outside Metro Manila and the Philippines, enrollment is year-round.

How early can I start homeschooling?

The earliest age for starting preschool is 3.5 years old. For grade 1, a child needs to be at least 6 years old.

What levels are offered?

TMA Homeschool has Nursery, Kindergarten, and Preparatory for Pre-school, then Grade 1 through Grade 12 for Elementary and Highschool. DepEd requires records for Preparatory through High School only.

Is it difficult for homeschool students to enter local colleges?

In the Philippines, universities and colleges require applicants to come from accredited high schools and hold an official transcript. The benefit of homeschooling with  TMA is that students get the accreditation records they need. Students who present their TMA records when they apply for colleges are readily accepted as long as they pass the entrance exams.

What is the enrollment procedure for TMA Homeschool?

The 1st step is to attend the Homeschool INTRO. It’s an orientation about homeschooling and TMA Homeschool. It is a prerequisite for enrollment. (Homeschool orientation fee per family is P500.00). While parents are attending the orientation, Diagnostic Testing can be scheduled for incoming Elementary and High School Students. (Diagnostic fee per child is P1,000.00).

How much should I expect to spend if I homeschool with TMA?

Homeschool Orientation:

P500.00 per family (inclusive of certificate and materials)

Diagnostic Testing:

P1,000 per child/grade school+

Tuition:

P30,000 per family + P5,000 for each additional child (Ex. a family with 2 children will pay P35,000)

End-year Standardized Achievement Test:

P1,000 per child/grade school+

Curriculum/Materials:*

P2,000 to P10,000 per child/preschool levels

P10,000 to 30,000 per child/grade school levels

P15,000 to 30,000 per child/high school levels

*This cost is non-standard because it varies per child and family. A parent can choose what materials to use and some materials can be used for more than one child (ex. character, world history and science).

 


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