by Seneca Moraleda-Puguan
Did you notice that the honeybee has a basket on her leg where she puts the pollen?
Did you know that there are different kinds of wasps named after what the type of house they build? There’s a mud wasp, a paper wasp and a digger wasp.
Oh, what fun to learn so many things simply by reading books to my children. I get to enjoy this privilege because of the gift of homeschooling.
My 6-year-old Callie just entered first grade and my 3-year-old Yohan is in preschool.
Our days are filled with dancing, singing, book reading, painting and drawing, story time, nature walks and so much more.
We have art classes, piano lessons and ballet dancing. We memorize Bible verses and poems and sing worship songs. We listen to Bach and Mozart, appreciate Monet and Van Gogh. We learn about World History and Philippine Literature, Math and Nature Science by reading living books that don’t just inform but inspire.
And in between all these, they have a lot of rest and playtime. We also get to travel to places anytime we want. We go to museums and parks. We hike on mountains and swim on the beach without having to excuse them from class.
And we get to teach them life skills by involving them in household chores- setting up the table, cleaning their rooms, folding their clothes and vacuuming the floor.
This is the joy of homeschooling. Not only do I get to teach them, I get to learn with them.
We get to enjoy things together. I get to witness their progress and their milestones. We have the freedom and flexibility to create our curriculum according to their interests, talents, and strengths. My husband and I get to instill in them the values and principles that we hold on to, especially our faith.
I grew up going to a public school. I thought that all children went to or had to go to a school to learn. It definitely has its benefits.
It has given me access to highly trained professionals and exposed me to different kinds of people which taught me teamwork, cooperation and other social skills.
But it also has its cons.
Instead of having the freedom to explore my own interests, I was forced to study at the same pace as my classmates. Not to mention the stress of doing assignments at home after a long day of studying in school.
Nevertheless, I am grateful for the education I received growing up. I had so much fun, I forged deep friendships and I learned a lot from my teachers.
Because of the pandemic, my husband and I became aware of homeschooling which we didn’t know has existed for a very long time. And living in South Korea where the cost of education is high especially for foreigners, we really had no other choice but to educate our children at home.
Bullying among students, posing higher risks to children from foreign and multicultural families, further pushed our inclination to homeschool over bringing them to a traditional school.
But choosing homeschooling was not an easy decision. I had a lot of questions and doubts.
Will I be able to teach my children well? What will they learn from me? Will my children be at par with or even better than their counterparts who have been traditionally schooled? Will they have confidence when they are exposed to the real world?
Thankfully, these questions are being answered by being a part of a community of homeschooling moms and children. I realized that I may be alone learning with my kids at home, I am not alone in this journey.
My husband, though working fulltime, gives me full support. In his free time, he reads them books, he plays with them, shares with them what he does at work and supplements whatever lessons we have learned for the day in a fun way.
I also surrounded myself with moms and dads who are homeschooling their children, always ready to encourage, answer questions, give suggestions to become better homeschooling parents. And God’s grace, wisdom and strength are sufficient for each day. Indeed, I am not alone.
Homeschooling takes a massive commitment on my part as a parent. Juggling it with household chores and managing our home can be very taxing, but the joys and benefits of teaching and learning with my children far outweigh the challenges.
Our motivation to homeschool may be because of finances or the fear of our children being bullied, but doing it for the second year now, I must say it is the best option for our family.
We will still choose to homeschool our children even if we have enough finances to bring them to a traditional school. Our children are growing incredibly fast.
Homeschooling gives us the opportunity to make the most of our time with them and mold them into becoming the man and woman God has called them to be.
At the end of the day, as parents, we are merely stewards of our children. They belong to their Heavenly Father who has great plans and purpose for their lives. Homeschooling takes a lot of work, but its rewards are worth it!
by Seneca Moraleda-Puguan