My husband Gilbert and I are in awe of how close our four children have become. They can talk all night, share music, watch videos, do crazy stuff (that only they could understand) together, have inside jokes from shared experiences. The 3 boys play basketball with their Papa, and Raya plays tennis with me.
From eldest to youngest, here are their current ages: 18 y.o , 16 y,o, 14 y.o and 11 y.o (turning 12 soon). Yes, I finally had an “adult” this year, the kind of year they all turn “even” ! Yes, they once were like steps in stairs, marching according to height. Now, the 2nd has overtaken the first and the last is almost as tall as the 3rd. Haha, sounds like a mathematical equation ?
Truly, truly, one of the best benefits of Multilevel homeschooling is the solid foundation it sets for sibling closeness. I am actually smiling now as I write this. It is our prayer that this bond will be rock solid and will be an awesome ally for all their lives indeed.
As more children have been released to regular school, I find myself having more time available for a few other passions: running seminars for homeschooling/part time working, participating more actively in a non-government organization for the poor, and being active in HAPI (Homeschool Association of the Philippine Islands).
Recently, I began a Homeschooling Mentoring Seminar Series as a trial run for a smaller group of parents. Homeschool conferences are quite helpful in the bigger picture encouragement and pumping up but I do find the workshops with small number of participants with a lot of interaction and experiential activities, a bit more personal and heartwarming. I love connecting with others and hearing their homeschooling experiences. And yes, finally, I get to personally meet many of my online friends from the Homeschoolers of the Philippines FB page.
One of the topics, I love to share is How to Run a Multilevel Homeschooling Set up. Multilevel Homeschooling is basically having a “more than one child/ one student ” set up and so, you are faced with a myriad of differences in preferences, talents & abilities, educational milestones, personalities, demands, learning goals, etc and eventually, a whole set of varying outcomes! You face different characters and character concerns, varying learning styles, and yes, even growth and development.
Did I ever research on this as I taught all the kids in a span of 15 years? Believe it or not, I just began researching about it when I decided that it was time to pass on the best practices in Multilevel Teaching to other homeschooling parents. Haha, I guess, I wanted a more solid backing in terms of “educational philosophies, studies and techniques” than mere experience. However, much of what I had applied in teaching multiple kids could be drawn from general parenting books (of various topics like: discipline, creativity, teamwork, motivation, positive talk/speech, parenting during digital age, success, character formation) and my main manual in life, the Bible.
But then again, teaching is essentially parenting ! We learn parenting from many sources but I also realized that I had learned much from our four children (all made in God’s image, yes they are!!!!) and actually “raising them”.. with a whole lot of trial and error, laughter, tears and apologies,
So what did I actually find when I finally hit the books, searched online about Multilevel Teaching? I was floored…..and yes in awe, because many of the beliefs I had formed in what we were doing, many of the techniques I had applied from common sense and practicality, and even the rationale in many of the adjustments and “tweaking” we had done to “thrive, bloom and soar” in the chaos of homeschooling 4 children at the same time, are emerging as solid approaches in multilevel set up classroom ! These approaches are now being implemented by regular schools that believe in Multilevel teaching!
So, what are these principles? What are the approaches ? What are the best practices? Well, be empowered like these these amazing parents by joining our next run on 29th of July, Saturday form 900-12NN at the Unleash International, 31F Jollibee Plaza, F. Ortigas Ave, (former F. Ortigas Ave), Ortigas Center! Email firstname.lastname@example.org for inquiries and/or to book a slot!
It was really fun to “positively overwhelm” these committed parents in the photo above. And borrowing a pose from a bitmoji app I had made of myself;
My sister, Felichi Buizon, another homeschooler of almost 20 years, encouraged the group to pose as in my personal bitmoji ! See, how fun and game, this group was. We declared, Daddy Jomar Hilario as the parent with the winning pose!
So, are you feeling like “You can’t even!”? as you face the daunting task of homeschooling multiple children? Join us! Book now:)
Here are a few photos of our run last June at The Parenting Emporium :
Indeed, this last photo says it all. Multilevel Homeschooling is another example of ways in which Parenting is indeed shared. We hope to impart to more parents as we seek to make homeschooling more practical, more doable and sustainable and more fun for all!
Philippians 4:13 I can do ALL things through CHRIST who strengthens me.