Titus instantly became my son’s friend when we just moved to Davao in 1995. Actually, their family had been one of our family’s closest friends since. We were sponsors in Titus and Xyza’s wedding and it has been a joy to see them handle parenthood so artfully. The pandemic has forced many parents to become teachers of their children, but Titus & Xyza Dalisay’s decision to homeschool years before actually prepared them to be ahead.
The question we asked was “What is the best school for my child?” Our decision to homeschool our daughters now was so far from our original plans. What we aspired to was to work hard so we can afford to enroll them in a good school, hoping that the school would teach our children well. Earlier in our marriage, however, we were blessed to meet homeschooling families and were inspired to hear wonderful testimonies of their journeys. The desire to homeschool then was born.
Our choice to homeschool is anchored on our core belief that God has a plan for our children and that, as parents, we are the ones who will help them know God and have an intimate relationship with Him. Their relationship with God will enable them to know His will for their lives. This belief led us to identify our main reason for homeschooling. “Our Why” is found in Deuteronomy 6:5-7: “You shall love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul, and all your strength. And must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.” We realized that we are the main educators of our children and that learning can happen at any given time of the day. Homeschooling is challenging. That is why, it is important to have the right reasons that will get us through tough and rough situations.
Another reason for homeschooling was because we want to leave a godly legacy to our kids. We believe that we are married for a mission and a primary part of that mission is to raise our kids to love God with all their heart, soul and might. We cannot delegate our responsibility to the school, the church, or to society to do our job and expect our children to grow up with the kind of values and convictions we want them to imbibe. So we took the courage to take responsibility for their education. We believe that homeschooling is the best way to carry out God’s will for us and our children.
When we started homeschooling, our home became an even bigger part of our lives. Home is often where we are. It is our safe refuge, our school, our playground. But we also realized that the world is our classroom! We learn even while riding in the car, going to the mall, and especially when traveling to different places and countries. The common factor of all these settings is that we are together as a family.
This leads to another factor in our decision, time. We want to spend as much time with our daughters as possible. We want to know our children better and experience life together by doing and learning things together. We believe that the most important gifts we can give our children are the gifts of time, attention and availability. This is our opportunity to influence them and we cannot influence them if we cannot capture their hearts. And we cannot capture their hearts if we don’t spend time with them.
We realize that we, the parents, are the ones who are homeschooled first. We learn valuable lessons as parent-teachers before we could impart them to our children. We learn to prioritize the right things. We have that sincere intention of character building but we must model it to them first. The ultimate goal is not how well we have taught Science and Math, but how we have helped them become better persons as they learn academic lessons. At the end of the day, it is choosing to be a better person for your children that would reflect God and his faithfulness because education is not just knowing but about becoming. It is about teaching as you live and learning as you go in every aspect of your life. Since we know our children best and love them more than any other, we see this as our God-given responsibility, calling and privilege that we are educating them. Homeschooling is no easy feat, but we know God equips us to accomplish His purpose for our lives.