Home schooling is gaining its popularity here in the Philippines. Based on the opinions of home schooling parents in our country, there are a lot of factors that affect their choice to home school their child. First , it gives them a sense of security and control over their child’s environment. Second, affordability – although home schooling is not cheap here, the amount of money you pay to purchase the curriculum and materials still come out less expensive than sending their child to a regular, private local school . Third, smaller class size which translates to in depth learning. In the Philippines , the average class size in a public school is 50-60 where as in private schools , it is around 40.
This year , I met 2 very interesting kids who were previously home schooled for more than 4 years. What’s apparent is that there is a remarkable difference in their success rate . One child can adjust quickly and is very knowledgeable about his lessons in school , it almost feels as if he had studied a similar curriculum and had done parallel activities at home . He’s very sociable and had no trouble getting along with his peers. On the other hand , the other child is completely the opposite. He is struggling with all his subjects , his teachers tell me that he doesn’t respond to them, he’s socially awkward and just lacks study skills.
After having spoken with the kids’ parents , I found out that although both were home schooled , they had very different learning experiences in terms of the curriculum used, method& structure of teaching and social activities provided . For instance, on a unit on Music, Art and Nature appreciation, one child was presented various videos and internet links while the other child was enrolled at drama class once a week for the duration of the unit. Furthermore, while one child was provided with a structured environment that includes routines and transitions, the other child was given too much freedom .
With these in mind, I feel that teaching one’s kids at home, where one can control what he sees and hears, would have a positive role in forming a child’s identity. However, I feel that the success of home schooling is always relative to the manner of how a curriculum is implemented and how the environment is structured for the learner. I wonder if home school instructors should be required to show a portfolio of some sort to show what they have done with the children throughout the year .