Homeschooling with The Learning Place International: Are we doing it again?

by - 4:05 AM


As some of you may know, we started formal homeschooling this school year with The Learning Place International in Los Banos, Laguna.

Time flew by so quickly, even with the pandemic still looming.

If it's not too much to say, learning-wise, I think we adjusted well enough. There are days that I'm also busy with work, so schedules keep changing, but we're doing it and we're getting things done. I think the most important part is that the learning is there.

We are done with our 4th quarter lessons and just waiting on our last Mastery Evaluation Test. Hopefully, by  end of March (because we were June 2020 enrollees), we're also done with our extra-curriculars.

Wow! Kinder 2 just went by like that!

Will we do it again?

Absolutely. Straight to the point.

These days, a lot of our friends and family have been asking us how we came to a decision and chose TLP, and I always giddily discuss why.

In my earlier blog about why we chose to homeschool with TLP, my top reasons were because 1) there's covid, 2) TLP uses LifePacs, which are these really colorful modules, so that's zero screen time, and 3) they were the easiest to talk to, not to mention the most prompt to reply.

Has anything changed?

Of course!

Now, I'm setting aside the pandemic because I'm very much considering continuing to homeschool once all these is over. I even have time to kid that I'm open to relearning Trigonometry again. I have ample time to do so before he reaches high school. 😅

So why?

  1. I've said this time and time again throughout the entire school year. Homeschooling fits our lifestyle. I work a graveyard shift and I'm the main teacher. My husband is on mid-shift and he teaches a subject or two whenever he can. We're both working from home, at the moment. My husband's however is a temporary setup. So the ability to dictate when our classes start instead of having to comply to an online class' schedule really works for us. 

    Work from home mom/teacher for my little one


  2. We use Alpha Omega Publication's (AOP) LIFEPAC. This is still a driving factor for me. The LIFEPAC is a Christian homeschool curriculum based on the principle of mastery. It's made up of modules, worksheets and teacher's guides. Aside from being pretty easy to follow, I appreciate how it's portable. We go on trips from time to time, just the the three of us (note: safety protocols are observed). We can be sitting by the lakeside and answering Maths or making crafts in some garden. There's no need to rely on electricity or the Internet or gadgets. We can just put the books in our bag and go. 


    This was taken in an off-the-grid island where electricity only ran for 6 hours and had very weak network signal. How convenient it was to have LIFEPACs!


  3. TLP organizes online gatherings for their homeschoolers! They do this even pre-pandemic and how I wish we have access to those, but we're very thrilled to be part of such a dynamic homeschooling family. We have themed devotions where we all meet as one and then break into groups according to year level, so we're able to meet "classmates". They sing and dance. They have story-telling and Q&As. Recently, they even made a call for a "Got Talent" program. I was so surprised that Popy volunteered to be a part of it.

    Popy's really good with building blocks and cars. So he combined both: created a car out of Legos and showcased his car brand recognition skills. He even got an award for it!

    Here's his Homeschoolers' Got Talent video


    He had been very active in these online gatherings, singing and dancing along and even reciting. If there are words for it, I'd say he's very much "encouraged and engaged" to join in the activities.


  4. Let's talk about keeping the child engaged. Because we use modules, we very much have the freedom to teach what works. We can get as creative as we want while following Popy's interests, and it's great because interest-led learning means we get to keep him focused.

    We had a lot of learning opportunities using blocks, popsicle sticks and diecast cars. Physical activities were made into games. Science, Mathematics and Arts allowed us to create Botly (see picture).

    I mentioned that we don't keep a schedule. Sometimes, we take a break from classes, and people wonder how we still finish on time.

    What we do is, we  incorporate activities that tap on those strengths, so it's enjoyable for him. We can skip days, but on those days that we are learning and enjoying, we are able to do extra lessons without feeling that it's too much work for all of us.

    Homeschooling allows us to learn in more ways than one.

    How to build a tent

    Cooking


    Gardening

  5. They allow quarterly or annual portfolio submission. I went for the latter. While we truly love homeschooling, we're also very busy people. My husband and I handle multiple clients plus our small social enterprise and the farm. I'd be honest and say that a quarterly portfolio is still challenging for us, so thank goodness for the annual submission!

  6. The Homeschool Admin is still the easiest to talk to. When SY 2020-2021 was about to start, we were still in the early months of the pandemic. It was ECQ, even. I inquired with several providers and TLP was one of the two who were prompt in responding. As a first time homeschooler, this was the biggest factor that led to our decision to enroll. For us, seeing how they were accessible despite the influx of inquiries showed how prepared they were and we wanted that.

    Almost towards the end of SY 2020-2021 and we have never for a moment felt that we were ignored. I recently had a chat with Ms. Myrine, TLP's Homeschool Coordinator. I was curious how many students they have in the Homeschool Program (they also have the regular school) because they still give timely responses. I found out that they between 1300-1500 homeschooling students, all of which are being handled by the main school and 24 affiliate homeschool support centers nationwide.

    They still answer every single one of our emails and page messages even when we know that they're probably catering to full capacity of parents, guardians and students. Scheduling the quarterly Mastery Evaluation Test is a breeze, and even moreso when they tried to put in some automations. If a schedule I requested is not possible, they email me immediately.

Which comes right down to, do we recommend the The Learning Place International?

Of course! A track record of 2 decades of homeschooling plus an attentive and supportive admin and community, I speak from personal experience when I say "you'll be in good hands".

2nd Homeschool Devotions
UN 2020: 2020 and Beyond – Shaping our Future Together :)
Popy dressed as an Omani.


TLP has a physical school in Los Banos. So I was also curious how the set up for them is. I thought when we were having the online gatherings, they were there too. Apparently, they have their own separate thing going on. Unlike us, homeschoolers, the regular school students have online classes and they also have their own online programs. This is just to say that all are carefully planned, organized and handled. No mix ups. No having to wait for a long time.

Our next step...

Syempre pang tuition uli!

Kidding aside, I pray we can do better as homeschooling parents this coming school year. Homeschooling is not easy, but it is worth it, and while I think that way, a word of caution though: It is not for everyone.

Homeschooling is requires a certain level of devotion and a lot of patience. It's not only about you who is the teacher and the child. It's about the whole family. It's instilling values that you practice. Although it does not require so much time from the child as he/she would in a regular school, it will require time from you. It is "time" that sometimes, we as parents do not have much luxury of, so jumping on to homeschooling would need some careful reflection.

But if you are able to discern that this is what you truly want, and it fits your family's life, and your child thrives in it, IT IS BEAUTIFUL.

My husband and I are working parents.  It was not a perfect year for us, but it was a school year full of learning and discoveries. During the start of the school year I was very much worried that I might not be an effective teacher, but here we are. Popy can already compute and read well. We tried to take advantage of the things he loved while teaching him and we were able to take him places as we learned altogether. It was trial and error, and while the goal was for Popy to learn, as a parent teacher, we have found pride in finding out that we were capable of being our son's teachers.

Cheers to the school year that is about to end for us and for the coming one!

_______________________________

Another school year is coming up! If you're looking for a DepEd-accredited Homeschool Provider, check out TLP Los Banos or get in touch with them through their Facebook Page.




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