Friday, June 26, 2020

Guest Blogger: Shine Uy on Home Schooling and Home Based Learning

The blog, School Librarian in Action, is happy to have Shine Uy as guest blogger. She writes about factors that made them decide to home school (HS) their children when campus closed at the last term in March. All throughout the summer, Shine made use of home based learning (HBL) strategies for them. Now that the opening of school is nearing, her children will learn at home and from home where she leads them to authentic learning experiences while adopting an online learning module where her children are enrolled in.

Months before my daughter to be born, I have already thought of a home set-up where she can play using "sensory materials" like wooden toys, blocks, balls, musical instruments, etc. And since then, I got more interested in homeschooling my kids. 

Being a teacher by profession, I always picture myself and interest myself in teaching my children. My interest in homeschooling paved the way to my style in parenting. 

Here are the factors that made me decide to HS/HBL my kids. 

1.) Personalized Learning. My kids have different interests and learning styles. One loves to learn about machines and robots and the other loves to read and do arts. One understands concepts easily while the other one needs more time to analyze. To homeschool them makes it easier for me to let them understand the concepts of what they should know and how to apply the concepts in our daily lives. Personalized learning means they don't need to compete with other children. Thus, it helps them feel confident. Since my kids learn together in one room, they develop cooperation among themselves. For example, in learning how to cook, which is part of their daily activities, the older sibling can guide/teach the younger ones. Cooperation naturally develops and is also a way of getting to know themselves as siblings, thus creating a bond. 

2.) Lots of Play. Their study time for academics only lasts for around an hour. So, playing or having games is the most significant way to instill knowledge in their young minds to keep their interests in things that they should know.

Transitioning to HBL is not that difficult for us because they already grew up in a home learning set-up. Going to school makes learning more enhanced. Social interaction develops naturally. 

This August, they will start the distance learning program option that their school has offered. With this, I need to add computers, cork boards, and some more art materials. Unlike before that, they both go to school and homeschool at the same time. I had some time to do house chores while they are away. Now, they need to be at home the whole day and I need to juggle HBL and house chores. Having a flexible schedule helps me prioritize the things needed to be done in the day. This way, I can minimize my stress.

Switching to HBL means lesser time interacting with other kids. I prepare some activities like cooking and assembling electric fans in order to build cooperation and good communication at home. Looking for certain books, like workbooks and other materials can also be challenging. Some of them are only available abroad. But thanks to family and friends, they help me purchase them.

When I asked my 8-year-old daughter what she liked about our HS/HBL, she said that our lessons are shorter and that she has more time for playing. Indeed, play is still one of the most important things in her life.

For parents who think it is impossible to homeschool their kids, given the technology that we have, the Internet is our best tool to search for lessons and activities, all you have to do is, choose the tools suitable to their learning styles. For the parents who are both working, you may start with creating a learning environment by putting shelves with books, musical instruments, art materials, sensory toys, tables, and chairs. Let the learning and curiosity unfold.

I am a wife, a mother, a breastfeeding advocate, a plant lover, a chef at home, a former school teacher, and now a homeschool Mom.

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