My kids have experienced being educated in both traditional schools and home school. As a hands-on educator to them, I felt the huge difference in the way they grew as learners. And homeschooling also taught me a lot in terms of being a teacher, parent, and being a fellow online learner.
Here are some reasons why...
1. My kids are classmates but they learn different lessons. What have you noticed with the schools whether in this country or abroad? Most of them are centered on academics. Students spend eight or more hours in school learning Math, English, Science, History, etc. The four walls of their classroom serve as the borders of their learning as the teachers and students rarely go out.
In Finland - and I will be talking a lot about this country on this particular post because they rank second only to South Korea on the World's Best Education Systems Ranking - all grade levels share the same classroom. Along the way, we learned to fuse their study time. For instance, while my Grade 9 kid is watching a video about the weathering of rocks, I am also teaching the other with his Grade 7 lesson in adding fractions.
As a teacher, I learned to prep the lessons in advance so that I can be a one-on-one educator to both my kids. Plus, here's my favorite part - we are not confined to the walls of our home when it comes to learning. We can visit museums, parks, galleries, and just about any place that is relevant to their lesson. Our Philippine History lessons are so rich because of our trips. We also visit beaches and we hike for their Science lessons.
2. Increased play/talent improvement time. Kids in Finland spend more time playing compared to children in the U.S. 'Know what they say, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Play allows creativity and develops their imagination. Their dexterity also improves while their cognitive and social skills are also enhanced.
3. Less school time. My kids only spend three hours each day to study their lessons. They can then spend the rest of the day to pursue what they love to do like write stories, draw, paint, and play the piano. Even a videoke session becomes a lesson!
4. Educator and learners have more leeway. While the topics are standardized because of the required K-12 Curriculum, the lessons become more comprehensive and relevant as the teacher presents the lesson in a way that the student would best understand. Our trips to the museums, for instance, are counted as my kids' Philippine History projects and when we watched the movie, Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral, it became their movie analysis for their Filipino subject.
5. Culture-infused lessons. We made the mistake before. In our wish to go to the U.S. and establish a life there, we ended up teaching our first kid with English. Her first language was not Filipino or any of the dialects that we know (Cebuano and Ilocano). She grew up struggling in school when she had to learn Filipino and when the teachers taught in Tagalog.
Now, as I look at the way we parent our kids, it seems that those who live in the city automatically teach English instead of Tagalog. We can hear parents talking to the small ones in English while grocery shopping or eating in a restaurant. To them, it doesn't matter that their English is carabao English and spoken, still, in Filipino accent.
We realized how we're technically erasing our identities as Filipinos the more that we spoke to our kids in English. Language is a form of cultural heritage and allowing it to slowly disappear in your family is just tragic.
We are now correcting our previous mistakes by teaching culture-infused lessons and celebrating the things that are Filipino. Pagmamano is being practiced in our home and our kids would always say po or opo when communicating with adults. We also tell them to speak in Filipino as much as they can, teach them to cook and appreciate Pinoy foods, and to be God-fearing citizens who respect others while not being doormats in the process.
All these efforts do not mean that we shun globalization, though. We welcome learnings from other cultures, we embrace technology, and we also celebrate diversity. In short, we are slowly becoming holistic human beings.
F. (2015, October 26). 8 Ways Finland Gives Its Children the Education System America Can Only Dream of. Retrieved October 25, 2018, from https://mic.com/articles/81889/8-ways-finland-gives-its-children-the-education-system-america-can-only-dream-of#.c41GeQxpX
Finland vs United States Education Stats Compared. (n.d.). Retrieved October 25, 2018, from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/compare/Finland/United-States/Education/table
Tung, S. (2012, January 20). How the Finnish school system outshines U.S. education. Retrieved October 25, 2018, from https://news.stanford.edu/news/2012/january/finnish-schools-reform-012012.html
World Best Education Systems. (n.d.). Retrieved October 25, 2018, from http://worldtop20.org/worldbesteducationsystem?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIn8yczqWh3gIVkh0rCh2OKwztEAAYASAAEgL_vPD_BwE
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