When in Manila, going to school is not only the option for education.
To further its campaign on homeschooling and responsible parenting, the Homeschooling Association of the Philippine Islands (HAPI) launched its second annual national conference today, bannering the theme “Laying a strong foundation” to underscore the importance of homeschooling as a trans-formative force in nation-building.
The Homeschooling Association of the Philippine Islands (HAPI) is an organization composed of the homeschooling families, the students, and the home education resource providers working with the Department of Education (DepEd) to change the current mindset about homeschooling, and to promote it as a premiere education option. According to HAPI Chairman Edric Mendoza, the homeschooling movement has been gaining ground in the last three to four years, and the current number of students who have availed of homeschooling education has gone up to approximately 5,000. This figure does not include independent homeschooling families who are not connected with resource providers but may seek DepEd validation through testing.
Present during the event was Department of Education (DepEd) undersecretary Tonesito Umali who highlighted the importance of developing a framework to institutionalize the homeschooling system in the country. He said that homeschooling should be strengthened in light of the perennial problems that confront us today.
In addition, keynote speaker Bo Sanchez, an esteemed inspirational talk resource person and the author of several scholarly works.Mr. Sanchez expounds on the significance of choosing to home school if parents are truly committed to laying a strong foundation for their children’s education. Mr. Sanchez’ whose passion for homeschooling has moved him to establish an academy for parents who desire to teach their children at home, and who does homeschooling for his two sons, said that home school is one of the best environments where the relationship between the parents and the children can flourish, because of the time spent together and the teaching process that allows not only guidance of the children but also growth for the parents as teachers as well.
In her speech, Mrs. Debra Bell, a recognized homeschooling advocate from the US and best-selling author of award-winning books such as Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling, Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Teens, and the Ultimate Planners for Moms, Teens and Students explained how effective homeschooling should be done. A former high school and college teacher, Mrs. Bell has passionately devoted her time to homeschooling her four children who have all successfully finished college and are now rearing their own families. Currently taking her Ph. D. in Educational Psychology, Mrs. Bell sought to provide scientific and academic reasons for why homeschooling is ideal. She said that homeschooling allows the child to study and learn at his own pace and according to his developmental abilities. Homeschooling allows the recognition of each child’s uniqueness and individuality and so, it allows the facility of learning. Homeschooling provides a relaxed and nurturing environment that may be more attuned to the personality of the student and which allows parents to tailor-fit their teaching as according to the needs and wants of the individual learner. In addition, homeschooling allows children to be free from the pressures of labeling, categorization, and competition that conventional schooling inadvertently espouses. The family is made the focal point of the child’s education and socialization, and therefore, parents become the main influencers in their children’s life. As such, children are raised to embody the values cherished by their families.
HAPI advocates home schooling because it recognizes both its educational as well as its social values. Aside from providing a better environment for each child’s learning, home schooling also helps in the cultivation of the family, the basic unity of society. Chairman Mendoza said that they wish to change the system one family at a time, staring with their own. To grow the movement, they’re planning to organize more national and regional conferences because they believe that the primary goal is to aid and build positive awareness first. This is important because currently, most families are either not aware that the system exists, or have misconceptions about the system. Second, it aims to be in partnership in DepEd in creating a framework so conventional schools can embrace homeschooling. This will hopefully result in better reception and protect the parents’ liberty to homeschool. Lastly, it also plans to help homeschooling organizations in their pocket programs, so each may be able to help more families.
Mendoza said that when families are transformed and strengthened, then the overall community is also positively impacted. Because homeschooling has the ability to transform and strengthen families, they recognize its ability to transform entire communities, and its potential in changing the nation. They are advocating not only an efficient way to teach children but also an innovative way to strengthen the family and the nation.
They say school is the second home. But why do we even have to leave home in the first place? These advocates believe that when done within the confines of the home, schooling can be more HAPI in the Philipines; When in Manila
HAPI: Who says one has to go to school to be educated?