Life in the Time of COVID-19, Part 4: Thinking of Homeschooling
It’s past mid-June. So that’s about three months of quarantine, am I right?
Hubby and I are still working from home, the kids probably bored out of their wits. And because it’s already June, that means it’s supposed to be school time for the kids.
Their school announced that they will be doing online and blended classes for this school year. Bummer, though, is that they’re not reducing the tuition fee (because they’re expanding the school; construction commenced once Rizal Province’s quarantine was lifted). Plus, as I’ve learned from my co-parent, even some of the teachers were quite unsure on how to proceed with things since they’ve been a traditional school from the get-go.
So what hubby and I did was to explore other options, particularly homeschooling. I’ve heard of homeschooling before but I didn’t really think much of it because 1) hubby and I had work so we had to send the kids to a regular school, and 2) I’ve been exposed to the traditional way of learning all my life.
But things are different now, and because the kids’ safety is our priority, we looked into homeschooling as their method of learning for this year. Full online learning could have been an option if we had stable internet connection right now.
Which reminds me, I have to contact SKYCable again…
Anyhoo, so before we went deep-diving into homeschooling, I researched on what it is and how it’s done. It’s great to find a lot of resources especially online. I stumbled upon a particularly helpful blog on homeschooling and read through its posts. There are some points there that struck me, like what’s our goal, what’s our why for homeschooling. To be honest, the big WHY was because of the pandemic. Our goal is to keep them safe despite what’s happening right now. On hindsight, I felt that my goal is protecting them not only from the virus but also from bullying (which, I must admit, Eldest has experienced in her school). If going homeschool was to make them safe and feel safe, then I think the goal has been achieved.
Another “why” to homeschool is that Eldest is going Grade 6 this year. Hubby and I felt that she shouldn’t have a gap year. Plus we know she’d feel bad if she was left out because she stopped a year in school. We didn’t want her to feel that way.
We’ll be homeschooling Bunso as well because we know she’d be jealous of her sister, LOL!
Now, we understand that this will be a challenge since hubby and I are both working from home. If things normalize (when that will be, I don’t know), we might have to go to work physically. That’s the tricky part, our times are divided into work and homeschooling. And that’s why, even if we haven’t enrolled with a homeschool provider, we’re doing a dry run or simulation, just to get a feel of things.
While decluttering, I found some learning materials that were given to Eldest by my parents, siblings, and relatives. These proved to be helpful, since the old materials can be used by Bunso, too. I cleared the table and made it their desk where they can do activities.
Just realized, also the tricky part is the space. Since we’re temporarily staying in a small condo unit, we’d have to make do with the space that we have. We’ll just have to make it comfortable and conducive for learning.
Anyway, the weekend before we started, I told the kids what we were going to do and what homeschool is. I explained that while we haven’t really enrolled them in a school/provider, we’d have to practice just to set a routine for everyone to follow and get used to. Well, they seemed pretty hyped up about it. That’s a good sign, I think.
Dry run, day one came. Kids woke up early, even asked if they were to wear their uniforms (maybe I should have made them wear it? LOL!). We started off with a flag ceremony, upon their dad’s instruction (and we’re to do it every day). The neighbors would probably raise eyebrows, but what the heck, right?
We covered AP (flag ceremony and Panatang Makabayan — which I had to memorize as well because I know the old one), Math, and Writing on the first day, plus some life hacks like cooking rice for lunch and setting the table for meals. The following days, we included Science (water cycle, since it rained, and solar and lunar eclipses at the request of Eldest), Reading (thank you, Dr. Seuss), and more Math (since Eldest liked doing drills).
Okay, so I must admit that we really didn’t have a solid lesson plan going into the simulation. Plus, in Eldest’s words, they get “dismissed early because mommy and daddy have to work.”
First week of dry run down, we discovered some hits-and-misses along the way. This was an idea I had and proceeded with on the fly, so yeah, we would be needing lesson plans if we want the kids to still be fully engaged for next week. What’s sure is that we’re going to have a flag ceremony every study day. The lessons, well, we’d have to go through them. And our work schedules should also be adjusted so we can have time for the kids.
On my end, during this week, I also learned that homeschooling is a commitment. Hubby and I, as the adults, have to be an example to our kids, too. If we get frustrated or bored along the way, the young ones may feel the same way.
Waaaah, I need guidance, really.
And that’s why we’re getting a homeschool provider. I can’t go indie yet, I must admit.
Hubby and I have been looking into and inquired at some. I also attended an orientation with one already. So far, I’ve gotten details for at least three homeschool providers (also made sure that they were DepEd-accredited or compliant) who have recommended curricula for the school year. We’re leaning to one, in fact, since I’ve read some positive reviews about them, plus they’re more affordable that the kids’ current school. That’s a big plus, considering our budget’s pretty tight right now.
Some co-parents are considering enrolling their kids in public schools. Can’t blame them — Pasig City’s done a great deal to ensure public schools are equipped for online and modular modalities. And that’s why Vico Sotto’s the mayor to beat, hehe!
We may be enrolling them this week or early next week, since we’re all prepping for Eldest’s birthday this weekend. I believe enrollment’s until August, many schools have adjusted to accommodate those who are transitioning and also because they’re following the DepEd calendar. Come to think of it, most of the requirements are already on hand, just a matter of scanning.
Wew, this will be a tough one. But you know what, there’s no way else to deal with this than just go through with it. With prayers and a bit of luck.
Good luck to us, parents!