Monday, July 27, 2009

Homeschooling in the Philippines

We have been a homeschooling family ever since Adriana started kindergarten. Over the last ten years, we have answered many questions about our school. But here in the mountains of northern Luzon, Philippines, Filipinos really do not understand that we school our girls at home. Homeschooling is not done. We have had our share of people try to persuade us to send our girls to one of the local schools. A few even seemed offended that we do not send them. It usually helps to explain that even when we lived in the United States, we homeschooled. We also tell them the school requirements in the States are a bit different, kindergarten to grade 8 then four years of high school compared to their kinder through grade 6 and four years of high school. Homeschooling has its challenges but we enjoy learning together and the flexibility of schedule allows us to minister as a family. Schooling in our home has varied throughout the years with the ages of the girls and the different curriculums we have used. Just as our girls have grown and changed so our homeschool seems to undergo some changes each year. So what does schooling mean for this year of Garden of Grace Girls Academy?...

This year, I began using AmblesideOnline as a framework. I am very thankful for all the resources available through this internet site. It has booklists to cover every subject for each grade up through high school, as well as schedules to implement which are very helpful. Because it utilizes many books available online, we did not have to purchase every book. This is especially appreciated when living far from the library resources and other sources of books we enjoy back home. But we have tweaked it a bit to fit our family's needs. First, I have chosen to have all of our girls study the same time period. We are studying history chronologically and this year we are covering the Early Church and the Middle Ages. I have taken AmblesideOnline's booklists and schedules for this time period and made some changes here and there. Here are more specifics on our school day:

Our day begins with Bible time. This term, Thomas, Adriana, Alexie and I are studying the book of John. In addition, Adriana is reading Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis and Alexie is reading More Than a Carpenter byJosh McDowell. Alayna and Annalise are studying different stories in the Gospels, following a list I got from Alayna also chose to read Amy Carmichael: Let the Little Children Come. I am reading And the Word Came With Power by Joanne Shetler to Annalise. This book tells about when she went to live with the Balangao people in the Philippines and translated the Word of God into the language of their hearts. We are now living a few hours from this village. (A great book to read to understand the culture here. We read it to Adriana when she was in second grade and to the other girls since then.) During breakfast, we discuss what we are learning.

Next up is Mathematics.
Once again, we are using Saxon. Adriana is studing Algebra 1, Alexie level 8/7, Alayna 6/5 and Annalise 2. I teach Annalise, while the other girls work independently.

Copywork and Dictation
Each day the girls carefully write out a passage in their very best handwriting. Some days it is Scripture, a verse of a hymn, a poem or quote from Shakespeare, or an excerpt from a book they are reading for literature, history, or geography. Once a week, the older three complete dictation. They study a selection from one of their books and then write the portion I read aloud.

As we are having water difficulties at the moment, I will post more on our school day another time. I want to have a shower and my window of opportunity is small. We currently do not have any running water so we must use the pump to get water from the tank in the courtyard. Sometimes the pump only works for a few minutes.



  1. I enjoyed this post and look forward to checking out those links.

    Thanks Lisa!
    Holly W.

  2. I didn't realize until I read your post that we have several things in common.

    It is nice to read your experience as a homeschooling family in the Philippines. We went through same curious inquiries when we were still living in Laguna. However, several families were also educating their children at home and we used to attend a big support group in Manila, so that helped.

    We lean towards CM-Classical Ed and Ambleside Online is very helpful to us too. We are also studying Mystery of History 2 which covers Early Church and the Middle Ages, too. If you are into notebooking, you might find the pages I made helpful. These are free at http://www.hslaunch.commypage/profile/585.

    Do you also homeschool through summer? I mean, June- August?

  3. Maria we are using Mystery of History 2. Thanks for letting me know about the notebook pages.

    We follow the Filipino school calendar but started a few weeks later than the local schools since we had family visiting in early June. We think the rainy season is a great time to enjoy reading and studying!