Classical Education Homeschool

A Day in the Life: Employing the Liberal Arts Tradition in a Filipino Home

If you want to learn about the image in this entry, you can find out about the My Daily Homeschool Routine in my Instagram post over here. You may also comment below if you have any questions or if you wish to know more about how we “schedule” things.


It is quite difficult to pin down what the exact practices are or the materials being used in a homeschooling family who tries to follow the classical tradition. It is my understanding that classical education offers neither prepared materials nor shelves that you can otherwise see in Montessori homes. It does not even give categories such as “living books” provided by Charlotte Mason homeschoolers. The classical tradition spans over centuries, and those who have joined in “The Great Conversation” have applied (or misapplied) it in many different ways, depending on the time and place. But it all seems to boil down to one or two things: wisdom and virtue. That is what the ancients have pined for, and classical educators who seek to retrieve and renew this movement have continually aimed at.

For some reason, I’ve never given a satisfactory answer in any of my interviews as to how we really do it in our little Chinese-Filipino home. To be honest, I am hesitant to record or list down an exact A Day in the Life account because each homeschooling day is different. Parents of young children know this all too well. However, I will try my best to present the principles that surround our practices. I wish to provide a few guidelines that would aid each family as they seek to “contextualize” these matters in their own homes.

The Little Years

My children are both in the Pre-K and First Grade level as of this writing. You may think that classical education during the early years look like a lot of memory work. It’s the grammar years, dubbed by some. Some classical education companies would surely like you to think that. However, this is not the case in our home. We employ memory work. However, it is not the be-all and end-all of our days.

As I have previously mentioned, the classical tradition does not revolve around subjects, but ways or modes to think, learn, live and love. The seven liberal arts are intellectual skills or ways that teach us how to be human, a being created in God’s image with the capacity to reason and who is inclined to worship.

Priority and Paideia

Classical education is paideia or enculturation, that is the transfer of culture from one generation to another. With this in mind, I’ve arranged our days to conform into a structure that seeks to apply this thought and life environment. One of the ways to do that is to prioritize the 5Rs, which is my version of the classical 3Rs (reading, writing and arithmetic) of education while incorporating rhythm (gymnastic and musical education) and religion (paideia and pietas).

  • Reading
  • wRiting
  • aRithmetic
  • Rhythm
  • Religion

You can read more about the reasoning behind The 5Rs of Early Classical Christian Education over here.

Employing the Liberal Arts Within a Subjects-Based Curriculum

The rest of the day seeks to fulfill requirements in order to follow the Department of Education Philippines (DepEd) policies since we are officially enrolled. We work within the Philippine educational system, but we have an altogether different mindset and ways for each “subject” in the curriculum. Some of the books and materials we use may be similar to some other curricula. But the telos or end-goal is of utmost importance here, that is to instill the love of wisdom and virtue in the heart of the student.

How does Classical Education look like in a DepEd curriculum?

  • English (Literature): Immersing in the great books that have shaped great men and women in the Western civilization, always in search of truth, goodness and beauty.
  • English (Grammar and Poetic Knowledge): Cultivating the memory by feeding our souls and moving our affections by imitating beautiful songs and poetry through meaningful memory work and copy work.
  • Mother Tongue: Learning Latin (and Greek, D.v.) in order to cultivate virtue and exercise discipline in the spirit of ad fontes, later serving the purpose of reading the writings of the classical world in its original text.
  • Math: Seeking objective truth and natural order in numbers by learning and solving equations.
  • Araling Panlipunan (History): Reading through historical biographies and accounts by learning from sordid errors and moral failures, while elevating truth and goodness where it is found.
  • MAPEH (Music & Art): Appreciating great artifacts and imitating beautiful music and art, while connecting them to ultimate Goodness and Beauty.
  • MAPEH (PE): Training, shaping, and disciplining our bodies by incorporating gymnastic movement through exercises and sports.
  • Science: Integrating science and faith by exploring nature and discovering truth, at the same time seeking to apply the latest discoveries to health and technology when and where possible.
  • Filipino: Being at home in the Filipino language and culture so as to inculcate the love and respect of country and countrymen.
  • Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao (Values Education): Embracing the culture of the catholic church by retrieving the rich tradition of the church’s creeds, confessions and catechisms which provide a faithful summary of the teachings of the Word of God.

There are some of the ways we try to apply the liberal arts tradition in our Filipino home. And the way these elements are applied could look differently from day to day. However, the sample schedule or check list that provides us with a good routine is shown at the top of this page, if it helps.

Last updated on 5 November 2020


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