Homeschooling is in our families’ DNA, it seems. Since we were homeschooled by our parents in the 1990s, my brothers and I were used to being the “oddballs.” Here we were, not in physical school, doing things like ministry work after studies, serving the urban poor for “social studies”, reaching out to students through concerts and retreats as part of “religion credit”, while our counterparts were having a normal school life. Admittedly, it was hard on some of us (by us, I mean our fellow homeschoolers in the church), because we didn’t really understand the purpose of our unconventional education. I guess our parents went with what they felt would prepare us well for the future.
While our homeschooling days were fraught with several questions (by us, the kids), some misjudgment by our parents (as they would later admit), and a lot of trial and error, we ended up “normal.” My brothers went on to put up their own companies, in the areas of digital marketing (HoneyComb Communities & HoneyComb Arts) and speciality coffee (El Union). You all know my story, of course: I skipped college, started working as a homeschool programs manager for Living Saints Tutorial & Homeschool Support; managed a freelance writing business on the side; got into blogging and created a job I love through the blogging industry. And I am a huge proponent of unconventional learning.
Looking back to my youth, I remember how angry I would get thinking that I’d missed out on things like my senior prom or some trad school ritual my peers had all gone through. But now I see the wisdom of my particular path of homeschooling (actually, unschooling, because I also went against the “schooling at home” model of the homeschool system we were using at the time). I’ve gone through some of the harshest experiences as a young adult, a new wife and a neophyte mom. And you know what? I have my homeschool years to thank for giving me the gumption to barrel through these challenges head on.
As a parent now, I see what my parents were doing those years I was homeschooled: They were allowing me to plant my roots deep, so that I could be prepared for whatever the future had for me. Now really, my parents had no clue this is what they were doing. (Because I asked them, haha!) In fact, they will probably say we were homeschooling because everyone who was anyone in our church was homeschooling. (Which, let’s admit, can be true sometimes.) But, even if that was the reason, I being me will always see the nugget of gold in all this.
I mean, how many of us can admit we really always know what we’re doing as homeschoolers, right?
Even if my parents didn’t realize it or make an intentional plan to “root” us to our personal beliefs… well, that’s what happened. In their case as Catholics, they entrusted us and their parenting to God, who filled in for the lack wherever there was lack. And I think we turned out strong!
My brothers and I did at some point feel like our homeschool path was to our detriment, because we were “odd” compared to the rest of the world. But it turns out, we were being prepared for the world as it is now. I am so glad that today, we don’t care about conventions and traditional schooling. Or maybe “not care” is harsh: We are OK being different. It’s made us able to stand my the convictions we have now as individuals. We are not perfect, but I can tell you confidently that we are open-minded and adapt to any situation. No work? We’ll make something out of the situation. Really.
And that’s what being firmly rooted is about. Preparing our kids to soar, for life.
Now, we were pretty much alone in the 1990s while we were homeschoolers, so we had little to no “oddballs” to relate with and go to for support. The great thing about he 21st century is that homeschooling is now widely recognized and supported, even here in the Philippines.
This October 22, the Homeschool Association of the Philippine Islands, or HAPI for short, together with Educating For Life, is once again mounting the annual Philippine Homeschool Conference, an annual gathering packed with information and inspiration for people who want to learn more about homeschooling, are just getting started, or need “tools” to improve their homeschooling experience.
The Philippine Homeschool Conference (PHC) has become the annual “must-attend event” of homeschoolers in the Philippines. Parents who have attended previous conferences will agree that it is something worth going to. This year, HAPI, in cooperation with Philam Life, is setting up the PHC to be even bigger and better than before. Set to take place from 7 a.m. (start of registration) to 6 p.m. on October 22, 2016 at the SMX Convention Center, SMX Aura Premier in Taguig City, the PHC 2016 bears the theme “From Roots to Wings: Homeschooling through the Stages”
Bearing the theme in mind, the PHC 2016’s line-up of speakers includes international and local speakers who are passionate homeschooling advocates, and are also experienced homeschoolers.
The PHC 2016 Expo is also sure to delight any homeschooler with its offerings of products and services that can help them provide their kids with a rich learning experience. Keynote speakers include Deonna Tan-Chi, Joy Tan-Chi Mendoza, U.S.-based speaker Andrew Pudewa, on “Motivation: The Art and Science of Helping Children Learn Well,” Bo Sanchez on “Wings to Soar: Leaving a Legacy for Our Children” who, aside from being one of my favorite leaders, is an unschooler.
The deadline for online registration payments for the PHC 2016 is October 15, 2016 after which the registration fee on the day will be P1,200 per head. To register and/or learn more about the PHC 2016 registration process, participants may log on to www.educatingforlife.co for complete details. Follow the Homeschool Association of the Philippine Islands on Facebook, or look for the hashtags #PHC2016 and/or #fromrootstowingsphc
For more details of the PHC 2016 registration process, program, speakers’ profiles, and other details, please visit the PHC 2016 event organizer’s website www.educatingforlife.co
ABOUT THE PHC 2016 ORGANIZERS
The Homeschool Association of the Philippine Islands (HAPI), is a non-stock, non-profit organisation that aims to equip homeschooling groups and organisations in growing the national homeschooling movement. HAPI has partnered with Educating For Life (EFL) to mount the Philippine Homeschool Conference 2016. EFL was founded by homeschooling parents to support families who have courageously decided to take the path less taken in educating their children.