If it’s not a school, not a homeschool provider, not an after-school program, not a homeschool co-op, what is it then? What is Abot Tala?
It is like a school since it offers classes but unlike school, there are no grades, report cards, certificates. Unlike the typical gradeschool and highschool, you can choose the classes to attend based on your interest and curiosity. Unlike school, there is no curriculum except the one you make yourself together with your mentor.
At our physical center, Abot Tala operates during school hours from 9am to 3pm. Now that we’re online, we have daily interest-led classes every hour from 9am-4pm, so it’s definitely not for those looking for after-school activities.
It’s not a homeschool co-op since there is a permanent venue. It’s not a homeschool provider either, but we do have a homeschool support partner, Gopala Learning Haven.
If we have clarified what we’re not, what are we then? Three main things we offer:
- One-on-one mentorship
- Personalized learning through classes you choose
- Collaborative learning
Abot Tala is a community of learners who help each other move forward through their unique paths and journeys. We hope to connect young people to learning opportunities within and outside the center’s walls, through internships, workshops and by linking up with people who could be role models in the field they are interested in.
To see the schedule and class descriptions for our online program which runs from August 17 to October 8, 2020, click here.
Here’s what parents and teens have to say about their Abot Tala experience:
My 13-year-old son feels as if it’s a home away from home where he is free to be himself and learn the things he is curious about. – Jeannie, mom
I deal a lot with tech start-ups and I’m discovering the diplomas, the certificates are not that important. I’m learning that people who are agile, people who understand other people, people who have empathy, who are able to communicate, who are creative, people who think deeply, these are the guys who are getting ahead. I found that Abot Tala provides that environment for my son. – Diane, mom
My husband and I are so proud and happy how they’ve developed in the last 7 months. They nag us about getting to school early and ask if they can stay longer. They come home and regale us with stories about not just about their day but what they actually learned. They have made friends of different ages, and they love their mentors. – Camille, mom
I like it in Abot Tala because the teachers here are open to criticism, unlike in traditional school where the teachers are scary. Here, you’re free to talk to anyone. I feel more eager to learn. I want to be a mentor here in the future. Just being in the community is what hooks me in Abot Tala. The classes are good but it’s the community that binds it. — Kristo, 15 years old
You can grow more organically and you can try a lot to see if any of them is in your niche. It’s a good place to grow. I like that here. You can grow at your own pace. It’s okay to be behind; you’ll get there anyway. – Bia, 16 years old
The people in Abot Tala are more open-minded than most people. It’s great to grow with them because you can stretch the limits when it comes to the things you want to do and see how far you can go. – Pablo, 13 years old
Two of our former teen members worked on a documentary about Abot Tala and Self-Directed Learning.
Abot Tala was featured on Perfect Mornings with Cheryl Cosim
on RadyoSingko 92.5 and OnePh.