“Really, you teach your child at home?” (Sometimes complete with disapproving look)
“Homeschool? What’s that?” (Occasionally raised eyebrows accompany the question)
“Umm...won’t he become anti-social?” (With a know-it-all flair)
“Bakit sa bahay lang siya magaaral? May problema ba siya?” (“Why is she going to learn at home? Is there a problem with her?”)
“Don’t you need an education degree to teach your kids?”
The above remarks are just a few of the usual reactions that most parents get when they tell someone that their child is being homeschooled. This is even more true in the Philippines, where homeschooling has become known as an acceptable form of education only in recent years.
This article hopes to share some facts and tips that will be of help to Filipino parents who may be considering homeschooling or are already homeschooling their children.
First things first: Is it legal?
Knowing one’s legal status as a homeschooling parent is one of the most important steps you will need to be a successful homeschooler, according to Vicki Brady, mother of 7 homeschooled children, and author of “The Basic Steps to Successful Homeschooling.”
Based on the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, a U.S.-based non-profit advocacy organization “established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms”, homeschooling is considered LEGAL in the Philippines.
As stated on their website, Article XIV, Section 1(2) under the Philippine Constitution, states that the country will “establish and maintain a system of free public education in the elementary and high school levels. Without limiting the natural right of parents to rear their children…”
Under the last phrase, it is stated that “Without limiting the natural right of parents to rear their children,” religious groups, mission boards, and families can branch off from public education to create their own private education.
Since homeschooling is considered legal in the Philippines, this gives parents who are considering alternative education options for their children more peace of mind. i.e. they won’t have to worry about being charged with “child negligence”, which sadly has happened to some homeschoolers in the United States, despite the fact that it is legally accepted in all fifty states.
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