Jude Agbayani, a dentist and businesswoman, and her husband Wilfred place great importance on their children’s character development. This is the main reason why they decided to homeschool their eldest child Jacob when he was six years old. “I was also encouraged by other homeschooling moms whom I met in a Bible study group,” Jude shares.
This is the Agbayanis’ second year with Peniel Christian Academy; they were initially with TMA. “We decided to give Peniel a try primarily because I thought I had already gotten so used to our homeschool system that I didn’t see the need for a consultant anymore,” Jude shares. “We also had budget issues.”
Learning and everyday life Like Maddie, Jude is often challenged by multi-level homeschooling, since her son, Jacob, and daughter, Jianne, are in Grades 6 and 2 respectively. “Following schedules is also impossible to follow most of the time,” she quips. “Hey, life happens!”
Despite this, Jude says she feels “triumphant” when she hears her children talk about lessons they learned in previous years or months, because it means they “still have that recall of the subject matter.”
She also feels happy when the kids apply their academics to everyday life. “This, to me, best determines if they really did learn something from me,” Jude explains.
It’s also a plus when their older child can take over teaching his younger sister while she’s busy or out of the house, and he’s able to report to her what they have accomplished during the day.
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Enjoying homeschooling In the Agbayani home, school usually starts between 8 and 9 a.m. Jude starts with her daughter, who is an early riser. “We do about 3 to 4 subjects daily and I make sure both kids have English and Math Mondays to Thursdays,” she shares.
Jude tries to finish all her second grader’s subjects before lunch so she has time to prepare lunch. Meanwhile, her sixth grader starts schoolwork later in the morning and ends at around 2 p.m.
“The younger child takes 30 minutes per subject depending on the activity, while the older one takes 40 minutes to an hour, especially in Math, because I give him more drills to practice,” she expounds.
“My kids enjoy homeschooling. In fact, I’m contemplating on moving the older one to a conventional high school next year but he does not like the idea,” Jude shares. “We are still praying about this so-called shift because it's going to be a dramatic change for him and for me, too.”
Homeschooling isn’t for everyone Jude says she would definitely recommend homeschooling to others but believes “it's not for everybody.”
“Homeschooling is not just academics, or making sure the kids learn the skills they need in life,” she explains. “In our family, homeschooling has evolved as we integrate everything we do in life in school.”
Jude adds that, for her, “homeschooling is also parenting” because “they always go together.”
“ If a parent’s motivation to homeschool is just to save money and not really to ‘disciple’ or ‘mentor’ their kids, then homeschooling may not work for their families,” she ends.
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Tomorrow: The Belen family shares their homeschooling story