Over the years, homeschooling has been gaining popularity, yet it’s still not a concept many parents understand. That’s why today, we’re putting the spotlight on Donna Pangilinan-Simpao, a mom of four children who are all homeschooled. So how was that for her, you might wonder? Was it worth it? Are the benefits really that huge? Read on to know and learn from her experience!
Though she went to a traditional school growing up, Donna wanted to try homeschooling her kids so she could spend more time with them during their formative stages. Several women around her–her closest sister, a few close friends, and the pastor’s wife–did it ahead, and they encouraged her to try it too! She was able to see the difference in how their kids responded to homeschooling and decided to give it a go.
Donna is a licensed medical doctor who opted to forego further medical training to focus on raising and homeschooling her children. Being hands-on, it opened new doors for her to understand what it truly meant to be there during the formative years. As she experienced homeschooling daily, she knew that she was exactly where she needed to be, and that gave her unexplainable peace.
After finishing 6th grade, all of Donna’s children transitioned to a regular school. Vince, the eldest, is now in second-year college in Ateneo de Manila, taking up BS Psychology. Marco, who is about to graduate high school, wants to study Education. Raya, her only daughter, is a sporty artist (she plays tennis and paints!). She’s currently in level 10. And Gino, the youngest, is in level 8. All of her children have excelled in academics, won various school awards, and are all active in different sports programs/teams and extracurricular activities.
Homeschooling also strengthened the relationship between the siblings. It has created an unbreakable bond that extends to their cousins as well. They also had a homeschooling support group called the “Tuesday Gang”, a group of seven moms with their children that met regularly during their homeschooling years. The children also joined sports clinics and tournaments as a way of meeting more friends.
Of course, there are other expenses that are related to homeschooling. Having four kids, she needed to set up a designated area or a classroom at home. You see, having proper study furniture helps in learning, too! Proper technology and a library of good books are also essential.
When Donna speaks about finances and homeschooling, she encourages families to set a homeschooling budget which includes a set fee for the main teacher. By doing this, the homeschool teacher will have the budget to reward herself the same way a traditional school teacher would.
Though there are savings in terms of tuition, the family should be ready to absorb the costs of having the kids home all day. The kids don’t have baon but they are eating at home. They may not have fees for a school bus or travel but they have increased energy consumption such as the use of air-conditioning and lights. She shares, “If I were to base on the tuition fee of a traditional school, we really got to save a lot! We also were able to set aside more budget for travel, enrichment classes, and quality materials!”