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Homeschooling your child during COVID-19

Many parents have thought about homeschooling their children during COVID-19 in-order to keep them safe from the virus.


Homeschooling may be a good choice for many, the quality of the homeschooling is more dependent on the quality of the parent teaching rather than the homeschool provider. Parents who decide to homeschool their child should make a decision to educate their child for at least 2 to 3 hours a day.


There are not many students who can be given a set of modules and have the perseverance to complete through their own self-initiative. The pre-frontal cortex which inhibits impulsive behaviour such as gaming and also makes decisions such as time management is fully formed into the late teenage years and early adulthood.
Parents should not expect that their children will be able to be self-reliant learners at young ages below 15 years old, simply because their brains aren’t finished forming.

Homeschooling will have excellent academic outcomes, given the dedicated support of a parent who can commit to regular schedules, and is willing to undergo 2-3 months of training on how to be an effective teacher at-home.
Parents who are hesitant to make those commitments should also consider Virtual Online Schooling where instruction is done by teachers online, and they are still part of a school. Schools with multiple students have the important benefit of a social setting, whether offline or online which motivates students to complete their work. Having peers and classmates also studying is an extremely important environmental factor in ensuring academic success.


Our brain has mirror neurons, these neurons tend to copy behavior we see and notice around us. Nature has evolved these neurons, because it was important to work together to ensure the survival of species. Students will often mirror their peers in studying in larger social settings, which they may not do if they are isolated and studying at home alone.


When the pandemic is over, most parents should strongly consider sending their children back to a physical school. Based on research done in Colorado (USA) on the effectiveness of different modes such as Online, Blended, and Face-to-Face; the face-to-face school setup still has the highest rate of graduation at 90%+, while online has the lowest at 50%. So for most students, the face-to-face setup will still most likely produce the best academic outcomes.

April 7, 2020 / 1 Comment / by / in ,
LRN Numbers in the Philippines – What are they? How do I get one?

LRN stands for a Learner Reference Number and it uniquely identifies a student as part of the Department of Education (DepEd) system.

Parents with children going to Kindergarden should ensure that their school issues a Learning Reference Number.  Only schools which are accredited by DepEd will be able to issue and apply for a unique LRN number for a child.

The reason it is so important to get an LRN number is that for some students who entered Kindergarden in a non-accredited DepEd preschool, they may not be allowed to enter Grade 1 and will have to either (1) Repeat Kindergarden in a DepEd accredited preschool or (2) take the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) which is only offered a few times a year.

The LRN should be automatically issued by schools who are DepEd accredited and parents should be able to ask their school principal or registrar for the unique LRN number that will identify their student in the Philippine educational system until they graduate in Senior High School. Even later into adult life, this number will be used to verify credentials such as high school records.

It is the school’s responsibility to be registered in the Learning Information System (LIS) based on DepEd order 22, Series of 2012 (https://www.deped.gov.ph/2012/03/20/do-22-s-2012-adoption-of-the-unique-learner-reference-number). The school will be responsible for applying for the LRN of a student, and also ensuring that their current students know their LRN.

Parents should be wary of choosing only DepEd accredited schools, the most recent article on unaccredited or “Colorum” schools in 2011 showed that around 25% of private schools do not have DepEd accreditation – (https://opinion.inquirer.net/94921/photos-show-accredited-schools-not-honestly-vetted-by-deped). In the case that parents enroll their child in an unaccredited school, they face the risk of not be allowed by official school organizations to enroll and their previous academic records may not be credited.

If your child attended a non-accredited school, they may first have to take the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) by registering in the nearest DepEd office. You may find the contact information at https://deped.gov.ph. The registration is typically done from July to August, however alternative dates may be offered. Once your child has passed the PEPT, you can enroll in an accredited DepEd school who can then register your child for the Learner Reference Number (LRN).

By simply knowing your child’s learner reference number (LRN), you will be able to have peace of mind knowing all their academic achievements will be properly and duly accredited by the Department of Education.

February 12, 2020 / by / in
Senior High School Strands (Academic, TVL, Sports, Arts and Design) – which one is right for you?

When choosing a Senior High School, you will have to decide on two things namely a (1) Track and (2) Strand.  Don’t worry though! This guide will make it very easy for you to decide.

There are four Senior High school tracks namely:

  1. Academic
  2. Technical-Vocational-Livelihood
  3. Sports
  4. Arts and Design

Each track will have different strands; we will be going through the details of each track and strand in this guide.

Track 1: Academic

This track will most likely appeal to those who are interested into pursuing a college education and obtaining their Bachelors degree. Students do not have to worry about choosing specific strands, as currently there is no college that places requirements on a specific Academic strand for a particular college course.

Strands:

  • General Academic (GA)
  • Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMMS)
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
  • Accountancy, Business and Management (ABM)

Track 2: Technical-Vocational-Livelihood

This track was prepared for those who immediately plan to enter the workforce after graduating college. In many provinces, there is great demand for those who are knowledgeable in Agriculture. In other provinces, there may be several PEZA Industrial parks which offer manufacturing jobs available to Senior High school students.

Strands:

  • Agri-Fishery Arts
  • Home Economics
  • Industrial Arts
  • Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

Track 3: Sports

This track equips students with sports-related, fitness and health knowledge. This track was designed for students who would like to pursue their goals in the athletic and fitness industries.

Track 4: Arts and Design

This track provides students opportunities to express themselves in the performing arts and design fields. This track may appeal to students who would like to pursue their more creative activities.

Senior high school students should not worry about choosing a particular track, as most colleges do not take into account the track you have chosen when you apply for college.

How do you choose a track? Honestly, I believe in setting goals towards the end-in-mind. If your goal is to become a famous scientist, then the academic strand is right for you. If you want to be a ballet performer, then choose the Arts and Design track.

While many people believe in “following your passion”, be wary that passions and priorities do change over time. It is best summarized in this Forbes.com article which references a Stanford research paper. It may make students happy to perform interpretative dance, but if that career choice does not turn into a consistent job, it may make you feel bad in your 30’s when more “sensible” choices are moving forward with their lives with settling down with houses and families.

Ultimately, we only get one life and it is our goal to make the most of it and enjoy it to the best we can.

July 6, 2019 / 1 Comment / by / in ,