Literatus: Homeschooling embraces value, spiritual education

Zosimo T. Literatus

ON MARCH 4, the Philippines is celebrating its fourth National Homeschool Day. Its first celebration was on March 3, 2017.

Gratitude should be for the efforts of Sen. Francis Pangilinan in filing the Senate Resolution 308 in 2017, which established the National Homeschool Day. Those educated in the last century or two may assume that institutional education is the norm. However, if we look at history, home-based education had been the norm around the world. Think of the homeschooling education of Jesus under his mother the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph’s carpentry lessons.

Even in the United States, public education did not emerge until the 19th century. In the Philippines, institutional high school education came only with the Spaniards. Even then, primary education was given at home. Pepe learned his reading and writing under the tutelage of his mother Teodora at home.

The revival of home-based education, presently referred to as “homeschooling,” started somewhere in the late 20th century. Unfortunately, the Philippine educational system, which is caught in the norm of conventional education, came up short in preparing integrative programs for homeschoolers to obtain education at high school level. In fact, if we talk of traditional education, it does not refer really to regular education but to home-based education no matter how some academics argue.

One issue that proponents of regular education raise is child socialization. It was never an issue before the 19th century. Jose Rizal himself was a product of early home-based education. Moreover, as stated above, Jesus of Nazareth was, too. Further, homeschooling ensures effective family value enculturation of children at their young age before exposing them to potentially disruptive diverse values in institutional education. They learn to determine that which is right and wrong long before such values are muddled in our educational system.

Furthermore, children are also spared from the adverse outcomes of peer pressures prevalent in multicultural regular schools. That includes bullying and falling behind badly influential in-groups. Oftentimes, problems associated with peer pressures came from a child’s inadequately formed sensitivity in selecting good groups to join in. Well-formed homeschooled childred have a better capacity to make such choices when they are in senior high or in college.

In effect, homeschooled children are better formed spiritually, culturally and psychosocially. They also have clear understanding on the boundaries between right and wrong.