The decision to home-school our kids was not an easy one to make. It took months of research and debates between the hubby and me before we arrived at an agreement.
Cue in the auditions for The Sound of Music in Manila. Both my kids auditioned for the parts of Louisa and Kurt. It came as an answer to my prayers because even though the hubby is the more supportive one when it comes to musical auditions and workshops, he was hesitant to have the kids home-schooled.
Being the recluse that I am, I preferred to just sit by the sidelines when these auditions took place.
Anyway, while waiting for the kids during these times, I was able to speak with one of the mothers there. Thank God she approached me because pretty soon, she was talking about how they, too, are always on the lookout for auditions. I became curious about how her kid was able to balance her school work with these musical activities.
Homeschooling, she said...
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Her child is home-schooled and so they can afford to go anywhere. What even excited me more was the idea that her kid has more time to pursue other activities such as sports and vocal lessons.
When I finally had a serious talk about this with The Mister and even presented the different homeschools that are now all over the country, he finally agreed but, of course, we had to consider the tuition, book fees, and miscellaneous expenses.
At first glance, it would be easy to say that homeschools are even pricier than your regular private school. But when you actually sit down and do the computations, you would soon realize that you could even save some money.
Here's how -
The private school in which Miguel Lucas was previously enrolled at, has a minimal tuition of 22,000 pesos annually. This is just the tuition so the books, notebooks, uniforms, and miscellaneous fees were still not included. Our son's school's tuition is minimal, believe me, we checked. There are more schools that have a much higher tuition than this.
So, I researched the different Philippine home schools. While there are a lot, each school offers a different curriculum. You can either have the U.S. curriculum or follow the DepEd (Department of Education) K-12 curriculum.
literally scoured the Internet for the educational institution that had DepEd accreditation, offered quality education, but at the same time, one that's affordable for our family.
We finally decided to enroll them in The Learning Place (TLP). This school is located inside the U.P. Los Baños campus grounds. They have the accreditation that we needed plus their curriculum follows the K-12 system. In addition to these, their teachings are also Bible-centered so in Pinoy slang, may I say, swak na swak (fits perfectly).
Let's use Miguel Lucas as an example again. Here's the computation of his TLP schooling -
15,000 pesos family registration fee (every homeschool I've researched has this fee to enroll the family in the program; the fee covers all children enrolled and it's a one-time entrance fee of sorts).
Almost 39,000 pesos (tuition for the whole school year)
About 14,000 pesos (books)
Miscellaneous fees totaling 4,800 pesos
That's a total of 72,800 pesos for this year and let's not complicate our brains yet about our other kid's fees. Next year, though, this is going to be a tad more affordable because the 15K will no longer be there so that is a yearly cost of 57,800 pesos only.
Anyway, as compared to his past schooling, here are the computations -
22,000 pesos (tuition)
Around 8,000 pesos (books)
1,000 pesos (uniform)
500+ pesos (notebooks)
Miscellaneous expenses (which I can no longer remember, I'll have to check our filed receipts). I also have not factored in the expenses for the bags, shoes, socks, notebooks, and other school supplies.
Let's just say that we spent 5,000 pesos for these.
The sub-total for these is 36,500 pesos (exclusive of the miscellaneous fees which I can't remember at the moment).
Now my son has a daily baon of 120 pesos. This is, again, just the minimum baon for kids his age. I have heard of others having more daily baon than this. Multiply this by five days and you arrive at 600 pesos per week. Multiply it again by four weeks and you get 2,400 pesos monthly.
2,400 pesos x 10 school months = 24,000
36,500 pesos plus 24,000 pesos = 60,500 pesos
Yup, homeschooling is a tad cheaper than sending kids to private schools. It is definitely not for everyone, though. As a parent-teacher, you have to allocate more time to teach your kids and balance this with your work and family time. There are moments worthy of hair-pulling but, it's all worth it.
I am now my kids' Language, Math, Art, and Science teacher. Their Dad takes on History (which I detest, haha) and Bible.
We always consider the perks that come with homeschooling when stress attempts to get the better of us. First, the kids don't have to brave rainy and overly sunny seasons just to go to school. They can eat hot, fresh meals for lunch cooked by moi. Also, they now have more time for arts and their piano lessons. A kind-hearted friend lovingly teaches them every Tuesday.
I'm also about to begin my daughter's guitar lessons. I will be teaching her the basics (I know most of the chords, I can also strum, and play a few songs) and then we'll see what we'll both learn from there.
Another benefit of having them homeschooled is that we can also take a vacation anywhere and they can take their lessons there. It's amazing how we spend more bonding time now and how hands-on we are as parent-teachers.
Plus, the world is their school. We can go on educational trips and have these credited to their units. We can even explore classic books, movies, and find a plethora of information on the Internet. Right now, the book report for my daughter is Dr. Jose Rizal's Noli Me Tangere while my little boy's is, Ang Ibong Adarna (Korrido ng Pinagdaanang Buhay ng Tatlong Prinsipeng Magkakapatid na Anak ng Haring Fernando at ng Reyna Valeriana sa Kahariang Berbanya).
Lastly, it's also a blessing that I can put my U.P. education course to good use. Surely, there are no accidents.
E.S. Villamor has made a career in writing for a decade now. Her online business - GIML (Gabriela Isabel & Miguel Lucas) Publishing started in 2014. She advocated for women's rights and was once enamored with imparting financial literacy through training and blogs but she is now focused on propagating all things Filipino. This site is also being groomed as a rich homeschooling resource.