Homeschooling Program is designed to provide an alternative delivery system of honing the critical years of every child, who for some reason or for other circumstances cannot avail of the formal instruction in a traditional school. Every individual is unique. Thus, Homeschooling addresses students’ individual differences. It recognizes various learning styles and special needs. The Education Department, as the government’s lead agency in charge of basic education, acknowledges these realities. A way to articulate and concretize its recognition of the realities is the legalization and implementation of Homeschooling, aside from the traditional schooling program.
Homeschooling is the umbrella term for the alternative practice of formally educating children and youth at home. It is alternative because of two prevalent conditions: the whole process of education in homeschooling does not happen solely within the confines of the school physical plant and this practice is designed for individuals who for some reason or for other circumstances cannot avail of the prescribed instruction in a traditional school. It is formal because it is a part of the Philippine formal educational system. As part of the country’s educational system, it adheres to the DepEd-prescribed Enhanced Basic Education Curriculum or the K to 12 Philippine Basic Education Curriculum and the minimum learning competencies to be targeted in every lesson should at least conform with the Philippine Elementary Learning Competencies (PELC) and the Philippine Secondary School Learning Competencies (PSSLC). The program strictly observes this written curriculum framework so that the learner can flexibly move with a lesser effort from the school-based setting to a home-based setting or vice-versa, in acquiring government-recognized education.
This approach principally acknowledges the inherent ideal qualities of the home and uses this to optimum advantage so that it can be the venue for most of the educative process. It is an approach where the parents assume primary responsibility in supervising the education of their children. This practice is an open, individualized, self-paced, and flexible delivery system where learners are enabled through adaptable arrangements to progress at their own pace. Learning opportunities and movements within the curriculum are individualized and correspond to the learner’s needs, interests, and abilities.
By convention, there are two ways by which homeschooling is being practiced: there is the home education program and there is also the home study program. In-home education, the parent is the primary facilitator of the whole educative process and the family’s home is its primary venue. This is a recognition of some parents’ assumption that they have the greatest concern, love, and dedication for their children and therefore can easily detect their needs, promote their interests, and have sufficient time to develop their fullest potential. This home education program is the response to some parents’ claim for a direct hand in raising, rearing, caring for, and training, or in short, “educating” their children especially in their formative years. With the one-on-one-teacher-student ratio, the educative process can be accomplished with greater ease (Incl. No.1 DECS Memo No.216 S. 1997).
In-home study, the legitimate school teacher is primary facilitator of the whole educative process be it inside the campus of the school or in the comfort of the child’s home. The school teacher is the facilitator in planning the learning process and whenever the learner gets into the classroom. Once the student is at home, any of the parents present there takes over in facilitating teaching-learning transactions or acts as an overseer of the independent learner’s execution of tasks provided by the school. This practice directly involves the parent in the delivery of instruction and assessment of learning, although the support of a professional teacher employed in a legitimate school may assist or aid in the process, depending on the alternative delivery modality reckoned with and applied. All in all, the parent still observes the instructional plan of the school and seeks the guidance of the school teacher. The school teacher, being the subject matter and instructional expert, works with the parents in the child’s development and diagnoses problem areas, suggests alternative plans of action, provides resource materials and gives encouragement as needed.
The alternative delivery modalities (ADM) that homeschooling may adopt include any or a combination of the DepEd existing programs and practices and other innovative and dynamic educational practices. Among these practices are the use of modules, self-instructional materials (SIM), and learning activity packages (LAPs). Examples of programs are Alternative Learning System (ALS), Enhanced Instructional Management by Parents, Community, and Teachers (e-IMPACT), Modified In-School Off-School Approach (MISOSA), Drop-Out Reduction Program (DORP), Open High School Program (OHSP), Effective Alternative Secondary Education (EASE), Internet-based Distance Education Program (iDEP), eSkwela of the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) and the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), computer-assisted instruction (CAI), e-modules, e-learning, blended learning, and other home study or home education programs.
Through the ideal execution of this program, learners in homeschooling, like those in the school set-up, also acquire the competencies for life-long learning, and the knowledge and skills to develop their full potential to become self-propelling, fulfilled, and productive members of society.