Mom shares Reality on the PROs and CONs of Virtual Schooling

As an Overseas Filipinos worker (OFW) it has been a usual family set-up for the parents to stay abroad and send back their children back to the Philippines to study. I, myself, has been raised this way. Not that I’m against it, actually I’m very grateful for my hard working parents and the rest of our family for helping raise us the way we are.

Growing up though, I knew that I wanted to work abroad as well. When we started having our own family the reality of bringing them up the same way I and my sisters were isn’t the one I want. Luckily, pre-schooling here in Singapore is quite easy as there’s a lot of schools to choose from. As long as you’re able to get your child a Dependent Pass, the government don’t have much to say which school you send your child to.

Entering Primary 1 is a different story. I’ve mentioned in my other blog “Dilemma of Foreigner Parents” on how we’ve came up with the solution to our problem. This gave way for us to keep our children here in Singapore without compromising their studies nor our source of income (both important).

For us, it doesn’t matter much if our decisions abide by the norms of society. What’s important at the end of the day is what would work for our family.

When we stumbled with Southville International School and Colleges, one thing we noticed is it’s similarity with the International Schools here in Singapore such as having WASC accreditation, ISO accreditation, IBO authorised world school and have an international-based curriculum. Not to mention its one of the best International School in Manila, Philippines. It provides basic education that covers from Kinder to Year-12 is globally equipped excellent education by being. That alone is impressive already but as parents new to Virtual Schooling, were still skeptical and have lots of doubts.


School’s competency

Family goal



No Social skills

Physical activity is confined

Excessive Screen-time

We learned that the school has them having the VOLT (Virtual Online Learning Teaching) Program even before the Pandemic. We are all aware that everything and everyone suddenly needed to switch doing things online everything we used to do face-to-face. This also means a lot of changes and adaptation to the new normal is needed from each one. So this came as one of the PROs which is a big deal especially for our daughter who’s just 7 years old. We as parents wants her to at least feel normality especially in regards to her studies.

Having competent and reliable teachers is one thing but having ones who have the experience of doing virtual schooling gave us the peace of mind that our daughter is in good hands. Teaching face-to-face and keeping the students attention is hard already, what more when its done virtually. Kudos to all teachers!!!

As highlighted in my other blog, keeping our family intact here in Singapore without compromising our children’s education has been one of our goals. Finding a way to make this happen has truly become a blessing that we never expect would be possible. I guess, God truly have big plans better than we hope for. It’s wouldn’t be surprising this is a big part of our PROs.

Living in one of the most expensive country in the world like Singapore isn’t a joke. What more if you have 2 children who needs to go schooling already. Being a single income family, yep, I’m a SAHM (Stay-at-Home-Mom) made it more of a game changer for us as we really need to be mindful of our finances.

Finding a school that fits our budget (that’s a need so we really had a budget allocated for it) is not only included in our PROs list but also a need. It won’t be wise in the long run to choose to break a bank just so our children can have their schooling here with us.

Of course, with all the PROs comes with the CONs too.

One of our CONs that we’re most concerned about is our daughter’s interpersonal skills. We don’t only want her to learn about the facts in life (be bookish-wise) but also learn how to be sociable. Knowing how to deal with other people with respect and having friends is one important thing in life as well that we don’t want our daughter to miss.

This one has been quite tricky to resolve honestly as our initial plan to enrol her on some extracurricular activities didn’t push through due to the Pandemic. We didn’t want to risk going out that frequent just to go to classes.

Another CONs is being too confined at home and have not much physical activity. Travelling to/from school alone is like exercise already for the kids. With this removed from our daughter’s schedule, her physical activity pretty much turns out to none at the end of the day as going in and out of the room ain’t counted. We just settled to bringing her to the children’s park nearby our house to breath some fresh air and play with other kids as a solution for this. On rainy days, I have an exercise planned for her to keep her moving. Exercise is important no matter what age group you are in. It helps make your body more alive.

Perhaps, after the Pandemic, we can push through our initial plans of her doing some extracurricular activities where she gets to move around and make friends too.

Last but not the least of our CONs is ScreenTime. This is one of the trickiest area especially in parenthood nowadays. Their love-hate relationship with gadgets can be impeccable. I say love-hate relationship because as a parent myself, I know how helpful these gadgets can be if I want to have my things done and how dangerous it can be too if my children gets used it.

Almost 12nn and haven’t cooked anything yet?? Grab those gadgets and give your kids some 30 mins screen time. Everyone gets happy! Mom gets to cook, kids quietly glued in the living room and a bit later hot meal for the family. Get me?!

That comes along with “hatred” too as we all know how dangerous these gadgets are to our children if used for too long. The tricky part though is that we ourselves seems addicted too to these gadgets. Do not believe me? Is your phone one of the first things you grab when you wake up? See what I mean.

If we ourselves are having a hard time controlling our usage of these gadgets, how do we expect to control our kids in using them? Moreover, our kids follow more what they see us do than what we tell them to do.

We for example have this “weekend phone day” which we started with the kids even before they can talk clearly. These days are starts from Friday night till Sunday noon where they can freely use their gadgets. Nowadays though, as they start to get older and learn to reason out more, some days they complain why I get to use my phone more frequently than them. You see?!

I hope you find this helpful if you’re planning to put your kids in Virtual Schooling too. Feel free to write in the comments below if you have any questions and I’ll try to answer them to the best of my knowledge and experience.



Dilemma of First time Primary 1 Parents

***Disclaimer: Long post ahead!

Schooling is something parents always have in the back of their minds from the time their child is born. Knowing that this is one of the most important responsibilities they need to get right for the future of their child.

That’s what both me and my hubby have in mind for seems to be the longest and shortest (all parents can relate on how time flies!) time when our eldest daughter turns 6 years old and would be attending Primary 1. It’s crunch time!!!


For those who don’t know, both me and my hubby are Filipinos which also means it won’t be shocking news if we decide to send our daughter to either of our parents for them to raise her while we stay abroad to work. This has been the most common scenario of OFW(Overseas Filipino Worker) families ever since I was born (i think?!). I myself grew up with this kind of setup with my hardworking parents and I can’t thank them enough for the good life they’ve given me.

Let’s just make it clear though that its not that the parents choose their careers over their kids. It’s more of choosing the source of income they know that can give a brighter future for their children over seeing them grow-up which is very heartbreaking on both parties. Deep inside, I know, that as much as they want to go back home, the income in the Philippines for the same type of work you’ll be doing abroad really isn’t sufficient enough to give your family the good life that one envisions.


We’ve been living in Singapore for almost a decade now, very much blessed and loved everything about living in this Little Red Dot. Both our daughters have been born and raised here and to tell you frankly, they’re more Singaporean than a Filipino if not for their blood. They’ll cheer for Singapore in any International competition we watch like a true Singaporean will do!

Despite all that, we can’t deny that we’re still foreigners and in cases like schooling, the rules of the government prevails. We’re in the bottom of the list and the chances of our daughters to be accepted in their local school is near to none. We were still quite optimistic though and still tried our luck last year in June when we submitted our Indication of Interest for our daughter through the MOE Website. There’s nothing wrong trying, right?

As the months passed by and October comes nearer, the more we became anxious. Lo and Behold, mid-October the email we never have wished to been received came. “….we are unable to offer your child a P1 place in our national schools.” Even if we somehow knew this could happen, it still made a mark on our hearts as parents especially when we told our daughter about the news. We don’t want her to get the impression that she wasn’t good enough that’s why she wasn’t accepted. =(


We knew that what we’re facing is like any other problem which has a solution. We just needed to find that solution…fast! My husband and I already made the decision even before my first daughter was born that we’ll do whatever we can for our daughter/s to be raised wherever we are based. We would always come as a pack no matter what. This is why the idea of sending our daughter back to the Philippines (like what most Filipinos do) for schooling is a NO-NO from the start.

Anyways, we as parents can’t just stop there. That day, I made an excel spreadsheet (yes! that’s what we always do with everything. Put in excel!haha) of all the International Schools here in Singapore. I know, in your mind, you’re saying, “You should have done that months before!”. We’re the optimistic ones, remember? So we kinda really hoped for the best and just waited for the result….our bad!haha

Upon seeing the school fees…waah!!! Thinking about it now while doing this blog still makes me a bit dizzy. As I go on and filter and the results, I was left with two great schools that we can afford our daughter to go but still left us with an even tighter budget to manage.


That’s when we tried to explore other options. Last year, 2020, has been a very unusual year for all of us. Changes are made in many things we’re used to doing most of our lives. Schooling is one of them wherein Virtual Schooling became the only option to go to so that children would still have that sense of normality and not to compromise their learning progress.

That’s when we found Southville International School and Colleges. Not only is it based in the Philippines, they also got a program called VOLT (Virtual Online Learning and Training Program) which is basically a virtual schooling. What’s more amazing with it is that the school started this program even before the Pandemic so they already figured out everything from the system and flow of lesson and how the teachers would teach. How cool!

Here in Asia, at least, homeschooling is still an unusual type of schooling for parents to choose for their children. As parents who both attend the traditional face-to-face schooling, to be honest, we never envision our daughter attend a virtual school or anything near to homeschooling for that matter.

For us, it felt like a given thing that they’ll be attending a normal school. It’s only normal for us to feel VERY uncertain and anxious putting our daughter in a school setup that we ourselves aren’t that familiar with. But as mentioned earlier, the world changed drastically and we needed to adapt.


As we learned more about VOLT and knew right then and on that it’s the solution we’ve been looking for. The kids would not only be able to stay with us here in Singapore but their studies wouldn’t be compromised either. It’s a win-win!!!

What’s great with this too is that the school fees fits just right with our budget. Still expensive but if you compare it to the International Schools here in Singapore, the fees are way much lower. Not bad since Southville International School and Colleges has almost the same accreditations like being an IB and WASC member. Let me just add that since most children nowadays do virtual schooling because of the Pandemic, our daughter never felt different after all.

There’s a lot of Pros and Cons with this decision before we went ahead with our decision to enrol her to Southville which I’ll be listing in another blog post.


You might be wondering why it took me a year before I post this blog. There’s two reasons actually.

First is, as a parent myself, I know that schooling is a big decision you need to do for your child’s future. I don’t want to recommend something to someone that I truly not believe in and which I myself isn’t satisfied with the result. I must say that, we’re very much satisfied with Southville.

The Teachers who my daughter and I can easily send a message with any question about her subjects have been very helpful throughout the school year. The Administrators too are so welcoming even if my daughter was a term late when she enrolled. We never had any issues scheduling her “Audit Tutorials” to make-up for all the lessons she missed and even with payment transactions which we only communicated through emails.

Second is of course how my daughter would be able to adjust to her new normal. Surprisingly, her transition from traditional schooling to virtual came so smoothly. I remember being the one who’s anxious and asking her almost everyday during her first few months how does she find her new school. Is she enjoying as much as she was in her former school even if she only gets to see her classmates in a screen? Does she feel too isolated since she seldom goes out of the house? Things like this that is beyond learning yet still an important skill growing up.

I’m proud to say that she accomplished her 1st Grade with flying honours. She gained some friends as well. Aside from that, seeing her become more independent doing things (doing homework on her own) and being responsible (like taking care of her laptop) and even teaching her younger sister about the topics she learned from school which makes us much more proud.

Now I’m sure that her lil sister is as excited as we are to follow her sister’s lead this coming August as she’ll be attending VOLT at Southville too!

I’m sure this set-up won’t be for everybody and most parents would still choose the traditional way of schooling. Like everything that you do that’s new, it’s not wrong to feel skeptical and have doubts about it. Nevertheless, I’m also pretty sure there are other families like ours who’s looking for solutions to keep their family intact without compromising the studies of their children.

Hope you find this helpful!

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