Photo taken from The Learning Basket


It’s that time of the year again.  No, I’m not talking about Christmas (but yes, it is September already!).   I’m talking about the upcoming Homeschool Conference here in the Philippines this coming October 17 at SMX-SM Aura, the biggest one so far.   This year’s conference theme, Ready for the World, takes on a personal meaning now that our eldest daughter had graduated from high school after 8 years of being homeschooled.  Now on a gap year, Arielle is not slacking to take things slow and easy but is actually a lot busier preparing herself even more for college.  This is really IT for us!  Mike and I will soon release Arielle to the real world and that would mean, sending her off to a foreign place with God’s leading, SCAD-Hong Kong, to take up Animation and pursue her dream of becoming an animator someday.  Kayla, our second daughter at 9th Grade, on the other hand, has decided to take her golf seriously and is already preparing herself for scholarship opportunities in college.

Recently, I’ve had a number of friends coming up to me and asking me about homeschooling. I’ve met up with a few to share them my story and answer their questions the best way I could.  I’ve also been receiving private messages from friends I haven’t heard from in a long time telling me how inspired they are with my posts and our homeschooling lifestyle.  Now this conference is a great chance for those who want to know more about homeschooling and for those who are already doing it to learn more about this viable, do-able (It really is!) option on educating their children, to be inspired by well-respected international and local speakers, and to be encouraged by and meet fellow homeschooling parents, old and new.

Brought to us by HAPI (Homeschool Association of the Philippine Islands)Manila Workshops and The Learning Basket, this year’s Homeschool Conference will have the following as keynote speakers from the U.S.:

As for local speakers: 

  • Tina Rodriguez of Truly Rich Mom will talk about Homeschooling 101;
  • Ched Azardon, Associate Professor at UP Diliman College of Education and homeschool mom, on Getting Homeschoolers Ready for the World Through Independent Homeschooling;
  • Chinkee Tan, host of Chink Positive, best-selling author, finance literacy educator and motivational speaker, homeschool dad of three children on Stretching Your P100 (How to Homeschool Thriftily but Effectively);
  • Edric Mendoza, host of ANC’s On The Money, homeschool dad of five kids on Parenting Basics: Getting Your Children to Listen and Learn.

The whole day event (8 am to 5 pm) will not only have these inspiring and eye-opening talks by the speakers but will also have an expo or an exhibit of various learning providers, educational tools, toys, books, and other materials for homeschooling families, those considering to homeschool or are hands-on and intentional in their parenting (Wow! This made me go back to my very first blog post and be reminded why we chose to homeschool!) .

  • An All-Access Pass, meaning a ticket to be able to go in and out of the 3 venues for the talks AND expo included is priced at P1,000 per person for the early bird (until October 4).  By October 5 onwards, the regular rate will be P1,200 per person.   Group rates (minimum of 5 persons) are also available at P1,000 per person.  Click here to register.
  • The expo will be open to the public for a minimal fee of P50 per person.
  • Children who will be coming along with their parent(s) can join fun craft workshops for a fee of P500.  For more info on this, check out the post on Beyond The Silver and The Gold by Michelle Padrelanan.


We’ve taken the big leap of faith to homeschool our two girls 9 years ago backed up only by my own research and readings.  I felt scared and alone.  Now that homeschooling has spread to more people and homes in the Philippines and there are support groups and organizations who come up with homeschool conferences such as this, the journey is less daunting.  If you feel that you are being called to homeschool, would like to try it out, or would definitely want to stay on, then come and join the 2015 Philippine Homeschool Conference: Ready for the World to be educated, encouraged, and empowered!

Homeschooling is NOT PROTECTING our children from the world but PREPARING them so they can and will be READY for the WORLD!  Because when you homeschool, you AND your children are almost always already learning in the REAL WORLD 🙂





I last shared with you the meeting we had with SCAD HK’s assistant director of admission, Danny Li. Going to that meeting totally unprepared and with a blank slate, Mike, Arielle, and I, however, went home with a list of things we need to do from that day until he comes back by end-November. Everything suddenly became clear and gave us directions.  The meeting turned out to be a college counseling session which I personally am really, really grateful for and appreciative of because if you were to ask me how we plan to do Arielle’s portfolio, essay, and resume, my ideas would fall short of what would be considered as an excellent portfolio worthy of scholarship.

So the next day after the meeting, Arielle and I immediately brainstormed and planned out for this portfolio-making.  I told her that we can’t afford to waste time because we have about 2 months to put together a good an excellent portfolio.

Scared, overwhelmed, not confident on this whole thing, I prayed and then slowly started to map out a strategy for this task.  With post-its, markers, pens, highlighters on hand, I guided Arielle through the planning process, listing down all the details I could think of at this stage of the process and setting target deadlines.  We cannot afford anymore not to have deadlines!

The scholarship application requires these:

(1) Personal artworks/creations

(2) Essay

(3) Resume

(4) Interview

Arielle has to do all these in order to apply for and be granted a scholarship.


This is how we plan to prepare for Arielle’s portfolio. It’s our action plan we have for now on how to actually start it and move to its execution afterwards.

The action plan is basically all about RESEARCH, KNOWING ONESELF, and EXPRESSING UNIQUELY ONE’S IDEAS and CREATIVITY.  This whole process is going to require a lot of thinking and it will teach the LIFE SKILL on PROJECT MANAGEMENT which will be a training ground for research, presentation, interview, and writing skills!


Arielle needs to research about SCAD: its history, mission and vision, values, campuses (maybe even down to the address and historical location in HK!), the directors, courses being offered, companies they tie up with, what makes SCAD different from other art schools, and other SCAD facts.  We gave ourselves a September 2 deadline just so we know what we need to accomplish first on our list.

Research on these two important skills:  presentation skills and interview skills.  When Arielle did a mock presentation and interview, one of the things he pointed out was the lack of eye contact.  Yes, Danny Li immediately pointed that out!  So, we need to learn how to do a powerful and effective presentation.  We need to learn how to capture the audience, close a presentation, and everything in between!  And watching TED-x videos is an assignment!

On interview skills, we need to read up on the do’s and don’t’s just like what we need to know on how to make an effective presentation.  DEADLINE:  September 3-4.

Research! Research! Research!


Next, Arielle needs to research on essay-writing, specifically for the purpose of college scholarship application with these prompts in mind:

  • What are your dreams and goals?
  • Why do you want to go to SCAD?
  • How will SCAD be able to help you achieve those dreams and goals?
  • Why should SCAD accept and grant you a scholarship?


Making her resume will basically be a review of everything she did throughout her homeschooling years:  her achievements, her projects, workshops she attended, volunteer work, internships,  etc.


Lastly, she also needs to do some research on how to design or make her own business card.  Yes, Danny pointed out that when you meet people, handing out your business card to them is the proper way to do it!  DEADLINE:  WILL BE DETERMINED as soon as her laptop has been serviced because she can’t toy around with ideas without the programs in her laptop.


Get to know yourself!



On the actual portfolio-making side, I thought having a SKILLS INVENTORY would be a great idea!  I told Arielle to list down everything that she can do and from there, we hope to be able to generate ideas on how to execute her portfolio.

I really like this portion because it will give Arielle a chance to really do an introspection, get to know herself, her strengths, strengths that she is confident with, and even those that she is not so confident with.


With a skills inventory, we hope to then be able to really showcase her CREATIVITY and a PORTFOLIO that will be DIFFERENT and REMEMBERED by her target audience.  DEADLINE:  October 31, 2015.  That would give us time to polish and fine-tune everything until her November 28 presentation.

Know your strengths and think out-of-the-box!


So many things to do in so little time, don’t you think?  This is the hurdle we are challenged to overcome as of the moment.  This is what I feel as another ultimate test of our homeschooling journey after high school graduation.

Let me end by saying this again:  Homeschooling Arielle is not over yet for me, apparently.


Yesterday, Mike, Arielle, and I met up with Danny Li, SCAD Hong Kong’s assistant director of admission, at a hotel coffee shop.  He emailed me last week to say that he will be going to Cebu and will be in Manila as well.  So I took the opportunity to ask him if we could meet up just to review Arielle’s application status.  I particularly requested that we review other requirements we need to submit for her application and scholarship, and a timetable or target dates for all these.

I wasn’t able to prepare for this meeting even if it was scheduled in advance.  It was a long weekend and even if our meeting fell on a holiday, our weekend turned out to be a very busy one.  I didn’t have the time to write down or at least think of questions to ask!  But the meeting went really well and was very productive and encouraging.

I set up this meeting and wasn’t even sure how Danny looked like.  We met another Danny when we went to SCAD HK last March and I wasn’t sure if he was the same Danny we were going to meet.  Apparently, it was a different Danny.  And this was the Danny I’ve been emailing all my questions to regarding Arielle’s application.  I’ve sent him a lot of emails to the point that he thought I was the one, in their records,  applying for SCAD and Arielle is another applicant. He nonetheless assured me that it was not at all an inconvenience on his part and that he is even happy to always receive emails from me, the supportive mother.

When Danny finally gave me a call to say that he was already at the hotel lobby, we shook hands and proceeded to the coffee shop.  Mike and Arielle were seated there and we all finally met him.  The minute he sat down, he handed us (well, me) his business card and the meeting just flowed smoothly.  We covered everything we needed to know at this stage of Arielle’s application.  Here’s what we talked about in our almost-two-hours meeting:

  • He first talked about SCAD as an art school, giving a brief background and quick facts.
  • He, of course, stressed on what makes SCAD one to the top art school choices of students.
  • We reviewed each item in the basic application requirements to check if Arielle already completed and submitted (ALL DONE!).
  • With all basic requirements in place, we both quickly confirmed Arielle’s acceptance to SCAD, as the applicant and as the school representative.
  • He gave us SCAD’s new manual and other paraphernalia to read and keep.
  • He thoroughly reviewed with us the next set of requirements, which is for the scholarship application.     Scholarships are in two categories:  Academic and Achievement.  This was the heart of our meeting that day, and this was what made me truly appreciate the assistance and service that we’ve been receiving from SCAD from Day 1.
  • He gave us pointers after pointers, tips and tips, which helped us get into the mindset of preparing a portfolio, essay, and resume, for the scholarship application.  He cited examples and scenarios, giving us descriptions as clear as possible, on what would make Arielle bag that scholarship.
  • And…here’s my favorite! He gave Arielle a mock interview and portfolio presentation with him, Mike, and me as part of the panel.  This was impromptu, unplanned!  Had Arielle known, then she could have brought the different artworks that she had diligently worked on recently and not just her sketchpad with a cover made from a cereal box and pages almost falling off!
  • We all gave a critique on Arielle’s presentation and Danny’s objective feedback was objective, I believe, motivated and encouraged Arielle even more instead of making her feel embarrassed or negative about what she just did!
  • He showed us new video clips which was sent to him the night before, making us the first ones to see them!
  • I can’t stress enough the key words that kept on surfacing whenever Danny explained what SCAD is looking for in a student and in a portfolio:

CREATIVITY…CONFIDENCE…SOCIABLE…pertaining to the student’s character




pertaining to the portfolio, essay, and resume

  • We pinned down target dates (per my request) in order for us to have a clear timetable on the other half of requirements (scholarship!) we need to work on.  That would be November 28, 2015 for Arielle’s presentation of her 1st draft of portfolio, essay, and resume for Danny Li to review.  He said he would like to go through it first with Arielle before she finally submits them to her admission advisor.  ISN’T THAT JUST GREAT?!!  I haven’t heard of universities giving tips to their applicants and coaching to this extent!   Next would be March 2016 for her final portfolio presentation and interview to the SCAD “judges”.   I thought we would need to fly to Hong Kong for this final stage but we were all happy to learn that this will take place here in Manila and SCAD representatives will be flying back for this special event.  Right after that, we find out if she gets a scholarship or not.
  • It was also reassuring to hear that Danny, being a representative of SCAD, shares the same mindset and principles as we do when it comes to college education, learning, and what it takes to succeed. I take that as a good sign that all roads lead to SCAD and that SCAD will give Arielle great opportunities to grow even more.


Our meeting ended on a positive note.  That I can really say.  I now have a bigger challenge and task to do and that is, to guide and help Arielle come up with a really good portfolio, essay, and resume!  The clock is ticking and I pray to God that He will continue to guide, help, bless us with the time, ideas, and resources to be able to pass this ultimate homeschooling test.  Homeschooling Arielle is not yet over for me, apparently.