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Hacking Homeschool

The homeschooling movement has been in the Philippines has gained a lot of traction in the past decade, and especially last year with schools closed and lockdowns in place.

The most common method of homeschooling is the structured method ( also called traditional homeschooling). This is literally just bringing school to home. You enroll with an accredited provider who sends over materials and the child either studies on their own or the parents become the teachers. One parent I know even bought many materials from the school system he was using and now has a mini-school at a corner in his house.

This is not a method that I recommend.

It doesn’t matter who the provider is, or how good the material/curriculum is. The fact that you are following a curriculum sends a message to the child that someone else dictates what they ought to be studying or learning.

The other method of homeschooling is called independent or “indie.” Here, parents and kids can choose which materials they like, and can even do activities not normally in the scope of things one does for school, like go trekking, climbing trees, or playing computer games.

I am more for indie except if the parent dictates too much what the child ought to be learning. They may be mixing and matching stuff but if it’s according to the parent’s preference more than about the child’s, then that sends the same message to the child: that they are really not in control.

That is actually the key issue here for homeschooling parents to understand. You hold in your hands a very powerful opportunity to reclaim your child’s education from the outdated system that, like Frankenstein’s monster, we have been patching and reviving for decades, when it ought to have been buried and replaced with a better philosophy and paradigm.

I hope you do not waste that opportunity and simply think to bring school to your home. The problem is not with the material nor the method. The problem is with thinking that our kids need us to tell them what to study and learn.

Your kids are learning machines (as are we adults). People never stop learning. As I am typing this, I am learning. As I chat with my friends, I am learning. But the difference is that we adults have the capacity to choose while children in the school system merely follow whatever the curriculum dictates.

Why would we waste so much of our children’s time on that, now that we can actually give them the chance and space to explore what it is they really want?

This is how to hack homeschool. Give your kids time and space. If they want to “waste” time (and remember that wasting time is from your point of view), let them. This is their time to explore, make mistakes, to learn and to grow.

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