Find Out How This Mom Raised Excellent Learners and Saved on Educational Cost

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!

Find Out How This Mom Raised Excellent Learners and Saved on Educational Cost

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.

It is a reality that a lot of time may be wasted by the sheer fact that many traditional schools have 1 teacher to 40-50 students setups. The tendency then is to focus on measurable goals and use academic tests as a basis for the quality of education. Mass education with high student to teacher ratio settings creates a lot of concerns regarding uniqueness, diversity, connection, relationship building, effective learning, and pacing.


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.

I had to commit to a daily thing. Homeschooling four children requires a whole lot of commitment, discipline, and patience. If you are set to do this, you need to embrace everything: the “learn as you go”, the “trial and error” way of doing things. There is the need to equip and educate oneself as a teacher, and the “good and bad days”— and the list goes on and is different for every family.


I think they loved the flexibility, the positive and creative environment for learning. Yes, the warm food and the no pressure of waking up early too. Children are naturally curious. I think I found a way to preserve and encourage that by being a curious parent myself and to find strategies to make learning fun and relevant.

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.

 We homeschooled for a total of 7 levels for children in a span of 17 years. That is a total of 28 annual tuition fees. If I were to use that of our ideal school, we got to save a whole lot! We were able to allot more budget for travel, art, sports classes, high quality material of curriculum books, and teacher’s allowane. Homeschooling costs may be different from family to family.

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!”

Donna has been in the homeschool community for 18 years, setting up and moderating the “Homeschoolers of Philippines” Facebook Group that has grown to 20,000+ members. She came to the realization that there was a need to begin creating local resources for homeschoolers.
Donna alongside Liana Lim-Cruz met week after week to create what is now called Kidstarter Curious Curriculum (KCC). With Liana’s master’s degree on Early Childhood Education from The Bank Street College of Education in New York and her 10 years worth of experience in leading progressive preschool Explorations in Mandaluyong Metro Manila, they created the first complete preschool guide that utilizes play and exploration for learning and present activities to introduce and celebrate the Filipino culture and language.

Purchase your own Kidstarter!

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