Meet Randy Urgino and wife Marsha who have been homeschooling 2 kids for 13 years

by Mark Angelo Ching
Jul 25, 2021
Randy Urgino and wife Marsha have been homeschooling their sons Joaquin (2nd from R) and Miguel for 13 years. Joaquin is about to study college in the U.S.
PHOTO/S: Randy Urgino on Facebook

Mahigit isang taon nang walang face-to-face classes sa Pilipinas dahil sa pandemya.

Ang new normal sa ngayon ay online classes, na para sa ilang magulang ng mga batang estudyante ay mas mabusisi at mas ubos oras dahil kailangang tutukan ang online hours at output ng anak.

But this is not the case for Randy Urgino dahil 13 years nang homeschooled ang dalawa nitong anak na sina Joaquin at Miguel.

Si Joaquin, o Wax, ay 17 years old pa lamang at nasa high school. Si Miguel, o Migs, naman ay 21 na at nakakuha ng scholarship sa dream university niya sa U.S.

Excited na si Randy at ang kanyang asawang si Marsha sa pagpasok ni Miguel sa college. Ang university na napili nila ay ang John Paul the Great Catholic University sa Escondido, California, at ang magiging course niya ay animation.

Para makapaghanda ay nag-set up ang mag-asawa ng isang online store sa credoMerch.com as a fund-raising effort for their son’s tuition.

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Susi sa tagumpay ng kanyang anak ang homeschooling. Ngunit hindi ito naging madali.

WHO WILL TEACH WHICH SUBJECT?

Sa panayam ni Randy sa PEP.ph via email, ikinuwento niya na may mga sinakripisyo siya para rito.

“My wife had to put her career on hold and commit full-time to homeschooling the boys,” saad ni Randy.

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Meron din itong adjustment period.

Kailangang malaman agad kung ano ang bagay na teaching method. Dapat na obserbahan ang attitude ng anak sa napiling teaching method at baguhin ito kung may mali.

Kuwento ni Randy, “For example, direct teaching was creating a lot of friction between my wife and my son. We found that having him do online lessons that we could afford was better, because he would spontaneously talk to us about them and then we could discuss them with him more naturally.”

Kailangan ding maglaan ng mas maraming oras para sa mga anak na nagho-homeschool.

“Making yourself available to each child is crucial,” sabi ni Randy. “We use whatever tools are affordable and available.”

Gumagamit sila ng mga messaging app tulad ng Discord at teleconferencing app tulad ng Zoom para makipag-communicate sa mga anak.

Dagdag pa niya, “Our younger son finds that he gets less distracted from his lessons when he knows we’re "around" to keep him accountable. So we use video conferencing on a daily basis, even if we’re all in the same house.”

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Para maging efficient, hinati nilang mag-aswa ang mga subject. Ito ay depende sa kanilang kaalaman o kahinaan. Sino ang magtuturo ng Math o Science subjects? Ng history?

May mga subject na madaling italaga, batay na rin sa kakayahan ng magulang.

Halimbawa, mas may interes si Randy sa sports kaya’t siya ang nagtuturo nito sa mga bata.

Mas madali rin daw maintindihan ng mga bata kapag siya ang nagtuturo ng Math.

Si Randy ay nagtapos sa isang tech college, at nagtrabaho sa sales and marketing sa loob ng isang dekada.

Nagtrabaho rin siya sa business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, at naging HR practitioner simula 2007.

Si Marsha naman, mas magaling na magturo ng panitikan.

Gayunpaman, feeling nilang mag-asawa ay para silang nag-aaral ulit. Kailangan nila itong gawin para siguradng tama ang kanilang itinuturo.

Kailangan din nilang maghanap ng mga malikhaing paraan ng pagtuturo.

Halimbawa na lamang noong nagkaroon sila ng isang baking activity para magturo ng fractions. Tinulungan sila ng isang family friend na chef.

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Mas madali raw natutunan ng mga anak nila ang lesson dahil itinuro ito sa praktikal na paraan.

WHAT TO PREPARE BEFORE HOMESCHOOLING YOUR KIDS

Paano nga ba magsimula sa homeschooling? Una, dapat committed ang parehong magulang.

Marami ka bang time?

Kailangan kasing paglaanan ito ng oras dahil maituturing itong full-time job. Para ka ring nag-aral ulit and at the same time ay nagtuturo rin.

Besides, nakasalalay rito ang hinaharap ng iyong anak.

Sabi ni Randy sa PEP.ph, “Even if you have a parent who is doing most of the homeschooling, the parents need to approach this as a partnership, because homeschooling is just extended parenting.

"You are equipping your kids to thrive in life, and that takes more than just academic learning.

"Just as Mom and Dad have different but complementary roles that are vital in parenting, the same is true in homeschooling.”

Ano ang dapat gawin para hindi boring ang lessons?

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May tip si Randy: Alamin ang interes ng mga anak.

Aniya, "My youngest is into Minecraft [game on placing blocks]. I actually started playing Minecraft with him, so that I understand the game. I understand some of the jargons that they use.

"Playing billiards also is a relaxing way to be able to talk about geometry, talk about angles. I think it’s a good thing to also inject some sports into that. I think it’s very effective. As we moved forward, we discovered that we should not be limited to academics."

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Siguraduhin ring hindi maaapektuhan ng homeschool ang social skills ng iyong mga anak. Kailangan ding may oras ang mga anak na makihalubilo sa mga kaibigan para hindi siya mahuli rito.

Kung nahihirapan, maaaring kumonsulta sa mga pamilyang nagho-homeschooling rin.

“Homeschooling is often misunderstood, even and maybe even especially by family and friends. That can make you feel lonely and isolated, especially at the start, which is why it is always a good idea to reach out and look for other homeschooling families who can be your ‘comrades in arms.’

"Our homeschooling friends, as well as the larger homeschooling community, have been a great source of support, encouragement, and inspiration.”

WHAT ARE THEIR HOMESCHOOLING TOOLS AND AIDS?

Nararapat na malaman rin ng mga magulang na interesado sa homeschooling na may dalawang options para rito.

Una ay ang homeschooling with a homeschool provider, kung saan ie-enroll mo pa rin ang anak sa isang homeschooling service na accredited ng Department of Education (DepEd). Ilan sa mga halimbawa nito ay ang Homeschool Global, Homeschool Pilipinas, at Child’s Home Educational Center.

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Mayroon rin silang mga ipapadalang materyal at curriculum na susundin kaya madali na ang pagtuturo.

Kaya lamang, ang tuition sa mga ito ay nagkakahalaga ng mula sa 15,000 pesos hanggang 50,000 pesos.

Ang isa pang uri ay ang Independent Homeschooling na ginagawa nina Randy. Kailangang ding paghandaan ang gastos dito. Oo, maaring gumamit ng mga libreng materyal, ngunit mas mainam na maghanda.

“Yes, homeschooling can be free or low cost. We were able to run it with free resources from 2012 to 2017. However, if you want to tailorfit your classes to the skill set and career path your teen is keen to take, you need to be willing to invest in it,” saad niya.

Libu-libo ang ginagastos nina Randy taun-taon.

“In our case, the regular resources we use total PHP 3,000/month (~36K++ per annum) for both Migs & Wax, give or take (we also mentioned this in the previous article about us), and yearly tuition can range between PHP10k-PHP15k. This does not include extracurricular & specialized courses that could range from PHP6k to PHP30k per year.”

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Ito ang ilan sa mga resources na ginagamit ng pamilya Urgino:

  • Homeschool Connections, na ayon kay Urgino, ay may "Catholic orientation," at mainam na ""resources for math, composition, history, literature, and theology." Ang non-refundable registration fee ay USD50.
  • The Great Courses ay para sa mga "college-level subjects" for "music, filmmaking, and other arts-related subjects." May annual fee rito na USD150.
  • Compass Classroom ay may lessons on "grammar, economics, biology, history, and visual Latin." Para magkaroon ng access sa 22 courses, may monthly fee na USD29.
  • School Yourself ay may "interactive Math lessons from Harvard instructors."

Maaari ring gumamit ng mga libreng materyal sa internet tulad ng Starfall, Front Learners, CK-12 Foundation, Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool, A2Z Homeschooling o kahit ang mga video sa YouTube.

Kailangan lang na maging organized at dedicated para masigurong natututo ang mga anak.

Kung magbabalik-eskuwela na kasi sila o mag-e-enroll sa college, kelangan nilang maipasa ang Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT), na merong "ten levels, corresponding to each level below senior high school."

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Mahabang journey ito kaya dapat ay mahaba pasensiya mo.

Hindi maiiwasang mawalan sila ng gana sa pag-aaral sa bahay, kaya’t dapat ay hindi ka madaling mainis at mabilis kang makaisip ng paraan para makuha ang atensiyon nila.

At dapat pareho kayo ng goal: Matuto.

After all, ang first teacher ng mga anak ay mga magulang.

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Randy Urgino and wife Marsha have been homeschooling their sons Joaquin (2nd from R) and Miguel for 13 years. Joaquin is about to study college in the U.S.
PHOTO/S: Randy Urgino on Facebook
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