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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

To Senior High school or not to Senior High school Part 3

What am I looking for in a Senior High School (SHS)?

With a bit of consideration on where we are and the landscape in which we are in now, this would be my dream SHS. Libre naman mangarap at pwede namang mangarap, so here it goes. If I were to send my second daughter to SHS I want the following:

1. A SHS with a 2 year program that my daughter wants with an outline of how they will be filling up their time including extra curricular or complementary courses. This will either be in Davao City or in a boarding school with in the country that fits our budget.
2. A SHS who have graduates who are leaders in their field and are eager to help out in the programs of the SHS where they came from. Since my daughter is only the second batch of SHS I obviously can’t find a school under the Department of Education that would have a grade 11 and 12 alumni or a track record that can say ___% of our graduates are still working in the track they chose.
3. International exchange activities. At least one foreign travel related to their track or extra curricular activities with in the two years of SHS.
4. Foreign Language Course. Since SHS is suppose to make Philippine education at par with the rest of the world then this should be available. My 2nd daughter took up German Classes here in Davao and took the A level test at the Goethe Institute last year. I do want her to pick up on this within the year.
5. A flexible PE Program that considers people with special needs like scoliosis. She has to keep going to therapy at least 2x a week.
6. I want her to be with people approximately her age whom she can laugh with and collaborate with, aka friends.

My daughters will be coming home for this week and we shall sit down and decide on this matter. I am still searching and my husband and I are talking about this a lot. Of my 6 desires for SHS, #1 and #6 weigh in the most and we can’t fore go of #5 for the sake of having the required papers to be able to go to university...

Friday, April 7, 2017

To Senior High school or not to Senior High school Part 2

If I am enrolling my daughter to SHS this this means we have about 10 weeks to go! Having just typed that I feel a quiver of panic! And having acknowledged my panic I am a bit calm now. Lets carry on…

When I was looking for a preschool for my eldest child I had a school visit and a teacher’s appointment way ahead of where I am now!!! How has it come to this? Here I am with a teenager who knows what she wants with an additional 2 years of high school where the government requires she choose a track. Knowing that I have the final say in this I have narrowed things down to two questions for me:

1. What is my heart telling me?
2. What do I want from a SHS?

Lets Start with the first question: What is in my heart telling me?

I love my daughter and I respect where she is now and I look forward to the possibilities that might come her way. On my death bed I hope with all my heart that she is well with her siblings and I can hold her hand and say I am happy I am your mother. Okay so I am crying now, I better go back to the topic at hand which is what to do for senior high school.

If she is going to do SHS I believe it is best if she stays with us or she stays in a boarding school. Why? Because right now she is living on her own and taking care of things like her grocery, meal choices and preparation, transportation etc. I would like these things to be out of the way if she were to do SHS which in my understanding will be a 7:30 am to 4pm kind of schedule plus the possibility of over time.

What about a foriegn home school provider? I have checked out this option too and this deserves a post of its own. First thing’s first, we have to make up our minds if she is going to SHS or if she will carry on the way way we are - independent homeschoolers aka OSY (Out of School Youth).

So, what exactly is she doing now?
 She is living her life like you and me. If I have to make a report card about how she is filling up her time it would look like this:

I.  Academics
Math (Geometry)
Literature/ History (her choice of reading materials)

II.  Extra Curricular Activities
P.E - Physical Therapy for her scoliosis at The Peak
Music: Violin Lessons in UP Extension Program
Orchestra - UP Diliman
Music Theory - UP Extension Program
Art - Painting
Watching shows with her older sister (theater, orcherstra, opera etc) that we don't have here in Davao

III.  And a bunch of life skills that living on your own compels you to acquire.

I am not sure where to put the PEPT (you can read more here). Should it be in Academics or Extra Curricular, same goes for Music Theory? Argh!! Where I put PEPT or Music Theory is so irrelevant! I obviously have a bigger fish to fry and I have to figure out where to prepare it and how and where to serve it.

My next post will be my #2 question: What do I want from a SHS?

Monday, April 3, 2017

What to do for Senior High School?

This post is not going to be about me lamenting why and how come the Department of Education implemented Senior High School (SHS) the way it's being done now.

As a suggestion SHS sounds cool and something that I would like and go for. Why?
1. Because I see value in that additional 2 years. A bit more space to grow and mature.
2. Because I appreciate that it allows young people to declare that they want to pursue something specific. The fact is, we can’t do it all, so why drain time and energy away from what matters. It's but right that we go for what we are interested in, what we believe in, what we think makes the world a better place and put energy into it.

On my eldest daughter’s last year of homeschooling when friends ask if she is in college already I would happily answer that K12 was in effect in our homeschooling. I felt then, like we were slowly crossing a threshold. This time however with the implementation of K12, I feel that we are standing on a precipice.

My second daughter should be grade 11 this coming June or August (some schools start in June, others in August). She wants to pursue classical music for higher education. The way I understand it, when you say music as a subject, it branches out and have smaller branches too. Like science would have Biology that would have its sub-branches too. So in her case she has fallen in love with a sub-branch already and would like to learn more and hopefully grow a leaf in that side of the music tree.

So here I am researching and making some calls to schools that offer grade 11 and 12. So far I have inquired in 1 traditional school, a Waldorf school and have looked into 2 US homeschool providers.

After reading here and there I am now asking myself, what is my heart telling me and what am I looking for in a SHS? I stiffen at the rumour that you can’t be an independent homeschooler for SHS. I could not find a specific law that says this but if the university requires a SHS diploma from all its applicants then without one my child won’t be eligible to apply to a University here in the country.

We have been talking about this a lot. Three nights ago she said that we were simply going around in circles. And that’s true. For now, I think its good because going around in circles will force us to stop at one point and take a stand until the room stops spinning and we can take a sure step forward.
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