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  • 'My Child Is Behind Academically' Here's A Homeschooler's Advice To Parents Who Worry

    Being concerned about your child's academic performance happens to kids in traditional schools, too.
    by May de Jesus-Palacpac .
'My Child Is Behind Academically' Here's A Homeschooler's Advice To Parents Who Worry
  • One of the most common posts that I come across in my homeschooling groups is a mom anxiously seeking wisdom and advice from other parents about their children whom they feel are lagging behind in academics.

    I'm not just talking about newbie homeschoolers; even families who have been homeschooling their children for many, many years voice their frustrations about their children falling behind in their studies from time to time.

    As online support groups, other parents are quick to flock to the comments section to assure the mom that there is no need to worry, gently throwing in homeschooling truths such as "there is no behind in homeschooling" or "homeschooling is meeting the child where they are," or that "the beauty of homeschooling is that the child can learn at their own pace" to comfort the panicked mother.

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    As a homeschooling mom of 15 years, I stand by all the principles that my fellow homeschooling parents raised. Needless to say, I have also been in that anxious mother's shoes many times in our journey. Having been raised in the traditional school environment, it is not easy to shake off the mindset that has long been ingrained in our systems.


    Comparison is the devil!

    The problem is that we tend to look at other children's progress, comparing them to those of our own child, instead of focusing on their own accomplishments.

    When you come to think of it, it is rather silly to expect children to learn the very same concepts all at the same time and to the same degree when they are all unique individuals with varied interests, capabilities, and talents. It is only fair to expect that some will be quicker than others in one subject or another. As a seasoned homeschooling friend of mine once described her son's academic performance, "quick in some, slow in some."

    'This also happens in traditional schools... Some will be quicker to learn the lesson, others might not be as fast.'

    This is not exclusive to homeschoolers! This also happens in traditional schools when a group of 10-40 students are taught the very same concept at the same time. Some will be quicker to learn the lesson, others might not be as fast. That's why we have students who are slower in math but do well in other subjects, and there are those who struggle in writing essays but can be relied on in group presentations.

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    Keeping up with disapproval

    The pressure to prove that we have chosen the right pathway to disapproving relatives and friends may also contribute to how we feel about our children's academic performance.

    More often than not, homeschooling families have to deal with concerned relatives questioning their decision to homeschool their child, causing parents to feel the need to show proof that they have done what is right by their child.

    'Recognize that the child is the most important person in this setup, and the opinions of people who understand little about homeschooling should not be the scale by which you measure your child's progress.'

    It is crucial for families who choose this pathway to recognize that the child is the most important person in this setup, and that the opinions of people who understand little about homeschooling should not be the scale by which you measure your child's progress, nor should it be the progress of other people's children.

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    To homeschool successfully, one must employ a totally different mindset than that of a traditional educator. Whether or not your child has gone through the same textbook as their traditionally schooled peers is not as important as whether your child is enjoying the learning process and is eager to find out more about the topic at hand. Lively discussions and real-life applications are encouraged over rote memorization and high test scores.

    In homeschooling, when a child is not doing well in a subject, they do not have to struggle because they have no one to keep up with, as kids do in traditional classes. Ideally, a homeschooled student is given more time to learn and understand the lesson at their own pace, and with the help and guidance of their "supervisor," they will eventually succeed at it and move forward.

    Finding the balance

    The question of whether a homeschooled child is on par with their traditionally schooled peers is usually linked to whether they will be able to enter universities or even Senior High School once they have reached the tail end of their homeschool journey.


    To be able to transition to a local school, they are expected to have taken the prerequisite subjects in order to avoid struggling in a traditional classroom.

    If your child needs to catch up on some of these prerequisites, there will always be ways to do so, considering the wealth of resources at your fingertips.

    There are hundreds of tutorials on YouTube alone, historical, travel, and biographical documentaries on streaming platforms, podcasts, and free online programs. Not to mention, homeschooling parents normally have access to homeschool communities where they can find people who can better teach their child subjects they are not confident to take on. There is always a parent who happens to be a mathematician or a former homeschooler who now runs a tutorial business. If all fails, you can always tap a tutorial center to help you.

    A friend of mine registered her children in a tutorial center in BGC to review for the PEPT (Philippine Educational Placement Test) so they can re-enroll in traditional schools.


    But generally speaking, transitioning to a regular school or moving up to college is not a problem among homeschoolers, especially, but not exclusively, those who are registered with a homeschool provider. In fact, records show that many homeschoolers fare extremely well in their classes once they have transitioned to a traditional school, many of whom earn scholarships, honors, and academic accolades when they graduate.

    RELATED: 12-Year-Old Na May 5 Degree Ang Pinakabatang Graduate Ng US College, Isinabay Sa Homeschooling

    When a parent decides to homeschool their child, they agree to take on full responsibility for their child's education and are expected to follow through on this commitment.

    In traditional school, the teacher and the textbooks are the primary resources for learning, but in homeschooling, the parent is a facilitator. A homeschooled child is usually taught to study independently and learn to do research on their own. The facilitator helps the learner find the tools they need to learn and understand concepts.


    They also find ways for the learner to apply these learnings in real-life scenarios. A homeschooler who has actively participated in community service by the time they're 15 or has tried their hand in sales as young as 10 years old is not uncommon.

    Perhaps this contributes to why most homeschoolers have a good experience when they enter college life. They have already been prepared way ahead to meet its challenges head-on.

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