Despite the Public Storm Signal # 1 raised over the Metro yesterday due to Typhoon Koppu (local name Typhoon Lando), I was
able to attend the sessions I aimed for at the 2015 Philippine Homeschool Conference. Here are my take-aways from those
- A global update presented by Atty Mike Donnelly of the US HSLDA gave local homeschoolers the wider perspective of the
homeschooling movement in other parts of the world. This included challenges and successes families encountered. It was
both an encouragement to continue educating in this way, and a challenge to pray for the movement itself.
- Representatives from the Department of Education weighed in on the homeschool movement. They helped clear the air of
misconceptions about DepEd policies but also showed that there is still work to be done in terms of helping the government
understand that homeschooling can help solve some of the problems it has with education in the country. (Note: I was unable
to attend last year’s Conference but I believe there was a session then with government representatives.)
- Homeschoolers who have gone “indie” or chosen to educate their kids without enrolling through the government-accredited
home-education program providers or through the government’s alternative learning system, also weighed in on the movement
through Teacher “Ched” Arzadon of the College of Education – University of the Philippines. An independent homeschooling
mother herself, she taught her now grown kids during their elementary school years. She is one of the administrators of the
DIY Homeschooling and Unschooling Facebook group and presented the results of a survey she did in that group during her
talk. The session was encouraging and very informative.
Now, these topics have been part of past conferences and appeared to be geared towards those considering homeschooling or
are in the early years of homeschool so I didn’t attend the sessions covering them: how to homeschool, how to know if
homeschooling is for you, homeschooling on a budget, the importance of (and how to teach) worldviews, and basic parenting
skills to help teach kids.
Art workshops for children were offered concurrent to the talks. The Conference also included an expo of distributors and
retailers for curriculum, enrichment programs, financial management for education, supplemental teaching resources and
school supplies. At a price of PhP 1,200.00 (about US$ 27) for access to all the talks and the expo it was well worth it.
Even if it was just the expo you needed to see, at PhP 50.00 (about US$ 1) per ticket, it was still a good deal.
The venue itself is one I personally found appealing – the new Samsung Hall and SMX Convention rooms at the SM Aura Premier
in Taguig City. The reason I was happy about the venue is that my daughter takes ballet lessons at the Ballet Philippines
dance school there so it was a trip and family activity we were able to maximise cost-wise. As part of our duty to be
proper stewards of God’s resources, we approach activities like the Conference with much prayer and due diligence to ensure
maximum impact at least cost.
Overall, the Conference was a good one.
This post was an overview of the entire Conference. I will be weighing in with more detail on the points I picked up from
the different sessions in a separate post.