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  • How to Homeschool Your Kids Without Losing Your Mind

    You, too, can survive the challenging but rewarding world of homeschooling.
    by Mariel Uyquiengco .
  • Book author Nove-Ann Tan has been a homeschooling mom for 10 years now.
    PHOTO BY Nove-Ann Tan
    Homeschooling is becoming more and more mainstream in the Philippines. When you say that you’re homeschooling these days, a spark of recognition or even exclamations of approval would often meet you.

    The local homeschooling community has grown so much since the first small group of families over 30 years ago. Unlike in years past, there are now so many resources, both locally and abroad, to help parents navigate this exciting educational lifestyle. In fact, the first book about homeschooling in the Philippines written by author Nove-Ann Tan has just been published this year.

    Aptly titled iHomeschool: How To Do It Without Losing Your Mind, the book is chockfull of information and practical advice. It can take an interested parent through the actual steps of starting to homeschool, and assure newbies to homeschool confidently (buy it here).

    Available for Php750, the book encourages readers to write on it and engage.
    PHOTO BY thelearningbasket.com

    As the wife of popular motivational speaker Chinkee Tan, Nove-Ann initially explored homeschooling because of her husband’s intense travel schedule. Instead of waiting for her husband to be home in between his 250+ speaking engagements a year, she yearned to spend more time as a family and join her husband in most of his travels.

    After homeschooling her three kids for more than 10 years, and after fielding numerous queries whenever she would share about their homeschooling journey, Nove-Ann decided to write a book that would answer the most frequently asked questions. It’s also her way of promoting this educational option that has changed her life.

    In this article, we interviewed Nove-Ann, also the author of Happy Wife, Happy Life for her top 10 tips on how to homeschool without losing your mind. Grab a cup of coffee and sit back!

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    1. Know your why

    No homeschooling mom would say that teaching your own kids day in and day out is easy. That is why Nove-Ann encourages parents to know why they want to homeschool. “You need a compelling reason that will protect you from quitting easily,” she says.

    A mission and a vision for your family and your kids are essential as you start (and go along) your homeschooling journey.

    2. Seek advice

    Taking on the task of educating our children takes a lot of humility. We need to admit that we don’t know everything and that we cannot do everything just by ourselves. Nove-Ann emphasizes the need to seek people who can advise, empower, and encourage you. We should also be willing and humble enough to accept corrections in our journey.

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    3. Involve your kids

    Since homeschooling is about our children, it is only right to involve them in decision-making. It is best to engage your kids, especially if they are already attending school and you want to homeschool them.

    Nove-Ann shares that she gets her kids’ feedback every year. Reflecting on what worked the previous year and how you will move forward together is a helpful practice.

    4. Be brave

    We have many roles in life, says Nove-Ann, and we need to be brave enough to know ourselves. Embracing who we will propel us into action as an individual, a mom, and a teacher.

    Confidence about who we are, what we want, and how we do things is key to homeschooling success. We will not easily be swayed or give up.

    5. Pray about it

    Being a woman of faith, Nove-Ann advises would-be homeschoolers to take time to pray and contemplate. “Homeschooling is a calling and a commitment,” she adds. 

    Indeed, the work of educating one’s children can be the work of a lifetime. Whatever your spiritual inclinations may be, it is always a good idea to not hurry in your decision process and treat it with utmost gravity.

    6. Never stop learning

    As “parent-teachers,” Nove-Ann believes that we should never stop learning. We should also seek out the company of like-minded individuals and attend workshops and conventions. 

    Incidentally, Nove-Ann will be speaking at the upcoming Philippine Homeschool Convention happening on September 22 at SMX Convention Center, SM Aura, Taguig City. 

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    7. Never, ever, compare

    Nove-Ann is emphatic about “never, ever comparing your self, life, and children with others.” We can be encouraged by others, but we don’t have to feel like we should do what others are doing. “Each family is unique,” she says, and we have to live the homeschooling lifestyle according to our own needs.

    Honestly, the fastest way to give up on homeschooling (or any other thing for that matter!) is to compare our life with others and feel disappointed when things don’t work out the way we think it should.

    8. Be with a team

    It’s a fact that we can accomplish so much more when we work with a team. “There’s power in teamwork,” says Nove-Ann, and she advises to work with your natural team — your husband, partner, or relatives who support you. A support-group composed of like-minded individuals will bolster your confidence and also make you feel less alone in this endeavor.

    9. Give yourself space

    We all know that moms need “me-time.” Homeschooling moms especially need a lot of it. “We need to rest our mind, heart, and spirit,” says Nove-Ann. Imagine parenting and teaching your kids every day; we can easily get burned out!

    Nove-Ann encourages moms not to feel guilty for taking much-needed personal time. “You have every right to take some time off,” she says. Indeed, Nove-Ann tries to have time for herself – her day off as she calls it – every week.

    10. Get to know your kids


    Children can teach us so much about life and education. We should observe and be willing to listen to them. We have to get to know our kids, Nove-Ann says so we can provide effective and individualized education for them.

    Catch Nove-Ann’s talk entitled “Homeschooling 101” at the On Fire! Philippine Homeschool Convention, a daylong convention happening on September 22 at SMX Convention Center, SM Aura, Taguig City. For details and registration, you may visit www.educatingforlife.co.

    PHOTO BY Philippine Homeschool Convention
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