The COVID-19 pandemic has seriously affected global public health with countries following World Health Organization (WHO) advice on observing physical distancing rules to prevent virus transmission.
Many businesses, schools and educational institutions remain closed while travel and social gatherings are heavily restricted.
The new normal includes working from home, online discussions and meetings.
This has raised concerns from parents on their children’s interrupted formal education. Parents are now looking for effective ways to keep their children educated during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).
Last April 30, Frannie Daez, author of the home management manual “KIT: Keep It Together Before Chaos Strikes!” attended an online meeting with parents and members of media. She discussed the basics of homeschooling.
As a wife and mother, Daez started her homeschooling journey 17 years ago with seven out of her eight kids. She successfully homeschooled five of her children, with two still being homeschooled.
Daez explained that homeschooling is educating a student outside the private or public school system where the primary educator is the parent.
“There has been a lot of interesting homeschooling because of what’s happening right now. Millions of children cannot go to school, cannot go into their classrooms because of the pandemic. So what’s happening now is the school gives a workload that they have to finish at home or they have online classes. But that is not homeschooling,” Daez clarified.
“Yes, they learn at home but it is not the parent who is the primary educator of the student. The difference lies in that. As a homeschooling parent, we have control of what the children learn, of what we want to teach, of when the due dates are, what grades we give them. That is the difference when we homeschool, it’s really the parent who controls,” she added.
Many people are currently interested with homeschooling due to the pandemic. Daez has spoken to a lot of people and gave reasons why they chose to homeschool or were thinking about homeschooling even before the Covid-19 outbreak.
These include dissatisfaction with the present school system or the school where their children are enrolled; sickness in the family; financial reasons; sports or artistic gifts and interests; religious reasons; learning differences; bullying or negative experiences; health and protection; as well as belief that parents can give a richer learning experience to the child.
Daez said parents should research first before they decide to homeschool their children, anticipate their questions, formulate a homeschool philosophy, write down goals, discuss it with spouse, get support and pray.
“It is really a calling and a commitment. For me, I couldn’t have done it on my own. There are some other power that has been helping me through. I cannot also undervalue creating the philosophy because this is going to be your compass. There will be times where you’re going to want to give up but if your philosophy is clear to you, your purpose for doing this will really hold you through,” Daez said.
“It’s really flexible, it really has to depend on your lifestyle and of what you want out to do. Keep our ears and eyes open to what our children need at the moment,” she added.
Daez also noted that doing homeschool doesn’t mean that parents cannot ask for professional help. There are curriculum providers for parents who will guide step by step on how to do it and sometimes, they hire tutors for certain subjects that they cannot teach.
“Children can also go to football clubs where they have coaches or gymnastics lessons where they have teachers. Just because you’re into homeschool doesn’t mean that it is only the parent that educates the student. But, the primary educator, the one who is in control — who grades the teachers, who interviews them, or writes down what the learning outcome should be — is the parent,” she explained.