On October 22, we’ll be seeing the biggest number of homeschooling parents and experts gathered for the Philippine Homeschool Conference 2016: From Roots to Wings! I’m so ecstatic my heart is doing cartwheels while typing this! Haha! 🙂 There are more than 12,000 homeschoolers in the Philippines according to the Homeschool Association of the Philippine Islands (HAPI). We may still be far from the 1.7 million homeschoolers in the U.S. but this movement is growing faster than it has ever been in our country.
Although my husband (a former teacher) and I attended regular schools, it was a no-brainer for us to choose homeschooling for many reasons. I have friends who have been homeschooled and I knew them since I was a kid. They are actually some of the most well-behaved, sociable, and successful people I know. 🙂 As I grew older, the number of homeschoolers I knew increased and now I have reached that season of life when I’m actually living it!
But there’s still soooo much to learn which is why we’re thrilled to attend again this year. I’ve blogged about our experience from last year’s conference and shared some of its highlights. If it’s your first time to attend then you might want to check it out so that you’ll know what to expect. 🙂 In the meantime, let me share with you 10 things we look forward to in this conference!
1. Learning from homeschool experts
All the keynote speakers are homeschooling parents themselves! We have homeschool pioneers namely international speaker Andrew Pudewa, who homeschooled all his seven children, and TMA homeschool pillar Deonna Tan-Chi, who homeschooled her five children. Our other experts are currently treading this journey with us. Speaker and entrepreneur Bo Sanchez is homeschooling his two sons while author and blogger Joy Tan-Chi Mendoza of Teach with Joy followed the footsteps of her mom and is currently homeschooling her five children.
We are currently on our first official homeschool year with a provider (Kinder 2) and I sometimes feel overwhelmed. Homeschooling one child can be challenging; how much more if you have five or seven kids! I’m sure that any word of advice or encouragement from them will be a big boost for us. 🙂
2. Meeting fellow homeschoolers!
Last year, I met some homeschooling moms who were part of the Homeschoolers of the Philippines (HOP) and Homeschooling the Early Years Philippines (HEY) group. 🙂 It was just so nice to see them face to face and interact with them! I attended the press launch of this year’s conference and I was able to meet in person Mars of Montessori on Mars and Jana of School in a Backpack. 🙂 Had a quick catch up fellow HEY/HOP admins and members Mariel of The Learning Basket, Tina of Truly Rich and Blessed, and Donna of Homescool. I was just there for an hour but boy was my homeschool love tank replenished! 🙂
3. The keynote on “Motivation: The Art and Science of Helping Children Learn Well”
This will be from 10:30 am to 11:15 am at Function Halls 1 and 2. The speaker is Andrew Pudewa, director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing. He travels around the world conducting seminars and workshops on teaching, writing, thinking, spelling, and music. He is a graduate of the Talent Education Institute in Japan and holds a Certificate of Child Brain Development from the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As I mentioned earlier, Andrew homeschooled all his seven kids! 🙂
Keynote description: Children like to do what they can do, they want to do what they think they can do, and they hate to do what they think they cannot do. If you want excited and enthusiastic children who learn well, you must understand these key laws of motivation and focus on the essential element of relevancy. If it matters, children will learn it, and if it doesn’t, they won’t. This session will enlighten you with specific ways to find and create relevancy for children to help them more easily learn and retain the skills and information you are teaching.
4. The great finds at the Expo!
Oh, the wonderful world of SHOPPING. Woohoo! You know you’re with homeschoolers when you see giddy moms talking about curriculum. Haha! I really get a kick out of homeschoolers raving about the materials they’re using. It’s so inspiring to see other parents who are so passionate about their child’s education. The generosity to share knowledge, curriculum, and experiences is just heart warming. Last year, I got some great books, tempera paints, and more! I’m sure great finds await us at the expo, moms! 🙂
5. The keynote on “Building a Firm Foundation”
This is actually the first keynote in the program happening at 9:15-10:00 am at Function Halls 1 and 2. Mother-daughter tandem Deonna Tan-Chi and Joy Tan-Chi Mendoza are both homeschool ambassadors. Deonna was instrumental in the establishment of The Master’s Academy Homeschool, the first DepEd accredited home school program in the Philippines. She’s a graduate of the University of South Florida with a major in Psychology and Sociology. She is the wife of CCF Senior Pastor Peter Tan-Chi. 🙂
Joy is an awarded blogger for Teach with Joy, bestselling author for her book When a Good God Allows Rape, homeschooling mom of 5, and proud wife of HAPI President and ANC On the Money host Edric Mendoza. I love reading her blog because it’s as honest as it gets when it comes to marriage, motherhood, and homeschool life. Last year, Joy’s talk was one of the best in the conference because it had a lot of real life homeschool experiences in it. I was able to relate to her in so many ways and I’m pretty sure I’ll learn more from her this year! 🙂
The Tan-Chi siblings were the first homeschoolers I met. Joy’s younger sister, Candy was my Sunday School and Youth Camp batchmate (if there is such a thing 🙂 ) and now she’s a dentist! Her youngest sister Carolyn is now a doctor. Their achievements are just some of the many success stories of homeschoolers thriving in the real world. 🙂
Photo credit: Teach with Joy
Keynote description: One of the advantages of homeschooling is being able to impart the values that the family upholds. In this plenary session, veteran homeschooler Deonna Tan-Chi, together with her daughter, Joy, will share how their family built on this firm foundation several years ago, and how Joy is now reaping its benefits as she homeschools her own children.
6. Breakout sessions on transitioning to/from regular schools
One of the biggest questions homeschoolers face is how our kids will go to college or transition to regular school. While there are a lot of successful college admissions from the homeschooling community, it’s still something we need to prepare for. I’m thrilled that there will be two sessions tackling this!
Transitioning from Brick and Mortar School to Homeschooling by Jenn Punzalan (2:00-2:45pm; Function Hall 1)
Transitioning to College by Ivy and Bernard Marquez (3:00-3:45pm; Meeting Rooms 2 and 3)
7. The keynote on “Leaving a Legacy for Our Children”
More than anything, leaving a legacy for our children is something that all parents should aim for. There’s more to life than leaving a hefty bank account for our kids. Bestselling author, international speaker, and entrepreneur Bo Sanchez will delve into this topic. There is no better person to talk about legacy than him. He has founded many organizations such as Anawim, a special home for the abandoned elderly and the poorest of the poor. He is also the founder of homeschool provider Catholic Filipino Academy.
Keynote description: We build a strong foundation for our children and pray that as they grow older, they grow their own wings to make a difference in this world. In this keynote session, Bo Sanchez will inspire us with the legacies of family, faith, and love of learning that we impart to our children through our unique role as parent-teachers.
8. Breakout sessions on the basics of homeschooling for beginners
Perfect for first-time homeschoolers, these sessions will answer your basic questions on what homeschooling is, how it works, when to start, and more. There will be three sessions discussing these:
The Ins and Outs of Homeschooling in the Philippines by Edric Mendoza (2:00-2:45pm; Function Hall 2)
Laying the Foundation in Preschool by Milona Barraca (3:00-3:45pm; Function Hall 2)
Starting Your Homeschool Journey by Donna Simpao (4:00-4:45pm; Function Hall 2)
9. Raffle prizes!
Yay! Who doesn’t want freebies? 🙂 Attendees will get a chance to win scholarships from homeschool providers! Yes, homeschoolers have tuition fees, too! Not to mention the books, materials, and curricula we buy. So these prizes are definitely a big treat to homeschooling families! 🙂
10. Breakout sessions on homeschooling techniques
I love learning from those who have been there, done that. As parent-teachers we shouldn’t stop learning because we’re educating our own children. We need to be equipped so that they will get no less than the best from us. 🙂 There will be three sessions that will cover interesting homeschooling topics!
Paper and Pen: How “Low-Tech” Reading and Writing Benefit Students by Andrew Pudewa (3:00-3:45pm; Function Hall 1)
The Hows of Interest-Led Homeschooling by Alex Hao (4:00-4:45pm; Function Hall 1)
Homeschooling the Special Needs Child by Jen Bollosillo (4:00-4:45pm; Meeting rooms 2 and 3)
Aren’t you excited yet?! 🙂 You should be! It gives us the best of both worlds—training and support—for our homeschool journey. This conference is packed not only with head knowledge but also a lot of practical tips that we can apply. If you haven’t decided yet, check out the full program below and see if it doesn’t excite you. Spoiler alert: IT WILL! 🙂
Register now! 🙂 See you there!