Growing up, I used to look forward to the announcement of suspension of classes when it rains. I was around 5-years old when I was sent to a regular school for kindergarten. Meanwhile, my well-meaning mom was never a fan of class suspensions, as that would only mean make-up classes! She thinks of them as a waste of time, effort and energy.
Why not? Well, it’s very usual that suspensions are made when students are already in school. Imagine those parents who get up so early in the wee hours of the day, just to cook breakfast, get their children to eat, prepare their lunchboxes, have them take a bath, dress up, bring them to school despite the heavy rain and flood.. Only to be told that classes are suspended for the day!
My goodness! I can even hear my mom sigh just thinking about these things she did. Plus, I have a younger sibling who was a toddler back then. Imagine what chaos it would be if you have more than 2 kids! If only she was aware of homeschooling that time, I bet I would have been homeschooled. It was definitely not a popular choice back then.
Fast forward to today, my choice to homeschool my daughter was actually driven by chance. I made a conscious choice before she hit school-age that I would homeschool her. But due to circumstances, we have resorted to just sending her to a regular school. And so I had to erase my vision to have her homeschooled. She was doing well. Her teachers find her a fast-learner and very good at coping. Then she was diagnosed with leukemia...
It shattered our world. It felt like my dreams were crushed. It felt like walking blindly not knowing what the future holds. But through this very instance, the hope in homeschooling her was restored. But which also brought me to ask myself.. Will it be worth it? Will she live? Will it not be a waste of time not knowing if she will even survive? Will we still be able to live a normal life while we are at it? How “normal” would it be?
The year 2020 has just started when news of a new outbreak called novel coronavirus, or nCoV, which was said to have started in Wuhan, China, has caused panic to people around the globe. Here in our country, stocks of N95, PM2.5, and surgical masks for adults and children alike are already running low! It will be no surprise if alcohol and other cleaning agents will run out of stocks soon too. People tend to hoard just to protect themselves, their little ones, and the rest of their families as much as they can.
Several numbers of Chinese schools in the country announced the suspension of classes recently, which was considered by their corresponding school administrations as a precautionary measure. While some parents perceive this as an insult or offense against them or their race, some parents think of the indefinite class suspension such a big loss on their part as paying investors as the school year is interrupted by this announcement.
While there will still be a need for a family member to go outside their homes, homeschooled children have lesser risk of exposure to the virus. Homeschooling parents can also closely monitor what information their children get as they are with them while the effects of the outbreak are going on. They have the upper hand in explaining these issues, both health and social while teaching academics and morals at the same time.
My now 6-year old daughter may be too young to understand what’s going on in the country and in the world. But we take every chance we get, every teachable moment we come across, to make her aware of things that matter most. Right now, precaution is very important as it is way better than cure. And given her medical condition, chemotherapy pulls her immune system down to rock bottom! We cannot risk having her exposed to anyone, nor anything, that will make her sick especially now that we are just around 8 months away to graduating from chemo. Can I get a hooray for that? Homeschooling her at this point is the very best, and maybe even the greatest decision we ever made. As part of our homeschool activity, we ended up making our own reusable mask!
A mommy friend who works in a BPO heads home in a rush hour as she needs to prepare her daughter for school one rainy morning. She was in the office still while keeping her hopes up for a class suspension announcement, only to have her hopes fail. She ended up bringing her daughter to school despite the heavy rain and elevating flood. School officers announced the class suspension too late. The suspension announcement for the next day’s class was relayed instead.
After the news of the bush fire in Australia that struck the world, the Taal volcano’s possible eruption affected lots of Filipino families in the South. Exceeds the 14-kilometer radius, yet even Metro Manila experienced the ashfall emitted by Taal. Classes were suspended in multiple cities and most parts of Batangas were evacuated. For students attending public and private schools, they are missing out so much each day since the suspension. They don’t even know when they will be able to go back to their homes and school, or if there is even a home and school they would go back to. The Taal volcanic activities seem to be very unpredictable, taking away the hopes of the affected families.
Meanwhile, instead of being miserable, homeschooling parents took it as a learning opportunity for their children. This became an interesting topic for both families within and outside the radius where it was already announced to be in a state of calamity. Aside from the scientific wisdom that children can get from this geological phenomenon, it was also an opportunity to teach the children. While their parents show compassion for those families affected, these evacuee families have shown adaptability and courage.
There are some homeschooling families who live in the Mindanao regions that were affected by the earthquakes last quarter of 2019. One family with three children managed to camp outside their house and use the days of chaos as their “camping trip”. They managed to push through with their lessons each day as usual as if it was an ordinary day, without fear, yet ready and alert if things go worse. Those days have surely been productive academically with perks of family bonding, and subconsciously teaching the kids with great values! I can sense faith, optimism, courage, adaptability, and a lot more! For sure these families have realized so much after surviving such catastrophe.
Do you know one of the greatest characteristics that we Filipinos have that I love the most? It is resilience. Topped with the art of integrating the moral lessons we learn from experience, be it bad or good, these two are the very important ingredients in making the perfect “recipe” of instilling values in our children. And homeschooling is perfect for academic learning as well as feeding them with this “recipe” of life.
Things happen. But then, life goes on. Why should we let circumstances prevent our children’s opportunity to learn? Teachers in regular schools may be able to teach the academic aspects of education. Fair enough, they are still able to teach them good moral values.
But it is the good moral values that we teach and practice inside of our home that resonate with our children the most. These will be the building blocks of a child’s character. As the old saying goes, teach what you preach. What a great way to teach both is no other way but to homeschool!