Over the weekend, Homeschool Association of the Philippine Islands (HAPI), a non-stock, non-profit organization representing various homeschooling providers and independent homeschoolers and groups, had a press launch at Mommy Mundo’s Kids Expo at the Rockwell Tent. A number of media people came to ask questions about homeschooling in the Philippines. ABS-CBN, Yahoo! News, Philippine Daily Inquirer and several other press interviewed Edric which was great because he got to talk about how the homeschooling movement is growing in the Philippines. Performances by Catholic Filipino Academy’s Ensemble and TMA’s Home Grown Band delighted the audience. Invited guest speakers, Louise Mabulo (Top 5 Junior Master Chef Finalist) and Paul Tan-Chi (Former Ateneo UAAP men’s basketball team captain and now President of Axeia Land and Subdivision and Housing Developers Association) talked about their own positive homeschooling experiences.
Paul is my younger brother and I would like to share what he talked about. He said, “One very important thing that being homeschooled instilled in me is the desire to please God in everything that I do.” This desire motivated him to be a good basketball player, to do well academically, and to make wise choices. When he was on the basketball team and everyone was teasing him because he didn’t have a girlfriend, he didn’t cave in to the peer pressure. He didn’t date anyone because he was waiting for the “right one,” aka Jenny, whom he eventually married. (I love that lady! She has become a dear friend.) HAPI also featured Darryl Tan, a 10 year old with genius level IQ.
The press asked very insightful questions. Some had to do with socialization (of course); options for homeschoolers in terms of programs; whether it is possible for working parents to homeschool; what the disadvantages of homeschooling are; how do kids transition to the conventional schools; and until what age should parents homeschool their children.
I liked what Rita Yokingco of CFA said in response to the disadvantages of homeschooling. She humbly admitted that the problem with homeschooling is overcoming your own character weaknesses as a parent. A parent needs to practice Christ-centeredness and walk with God in order to successfully homeschool. I totally agree! I really believe that the biggest obstacle to homeschooling is ME! My selfishness, pride, insecurities, impatience, distractedness, lack of discipline…these are the obstacles! It is not my children’s capacity for learning. God reminded me that I need to “step up” my homeschooling game by aligning myself to Him and being filled with the Holy Spirit.
By the way, Rita taught her two sons who both got into science high schools. Their biggest adjustment was not the academics. She told the press that her sons were most shocked by the amount of negativity, swearing and cursing that marked their peers. Within a month’s time they learned to process how differently they were raised and accept that their peers were not brought up with the same values. But they didn’t have a hard time dealing with the school work.
What was most exciting about the HAPI press launch was hearing about the national conference this May 19, 2012. Laying A Strong Foundation This conference is for parents who want to know how to be better parents, for homeschoolers, and for those who are interested in homeschooling. Hope to see you there!