Online August-September 2020

Abot Tala Self-Directed Learning Center will run the 2nd block of its online program for teens ages 12-18 from August 17-October 9, 2020.


This program is ideal for teens who are looking for a community that encourages Interest-Led Learning. We welcome teen homeschoolers, unschoolers, and those who are taking a gap year, especially during this global pandemic.


We’ve set up a virtual Abot Tala teen center on Slack. Think of it as a teen hub where teens get to hang out to chat, share music, art, book, and video finds, and more through the different non-class channels where they can talk to the teens and mentors in our community.

On Slack, they’ll have the channels (think of it as rooms) of their different classes and they’ll have access to it anytime throughout the program. When it’s time for their class, their mentor will post the link to their Zoom meeting within their class channel and from there, they’ll have an hour-long session.


For over a year now, here’s what we’ve been doing: A few weeks into the current block we ask our community of teens what they want to learn and what classes they want to have for the next block. Once we’ve compiled their wishlist, we roll out a voting form where they get to choose only the classes that interest them. This allows us to see our community’s common interests. Based on the classes and topics that have the highest number of votes, we look for mentors who are either industry practitioners or are passionate about the topic and would like to invest in our teens’ lives through non-traditional teaching ways.


Here are the top 25 classes plus a few extra activities our teens suggested and voted for.

For more information about each class, scroll down.


What the fee includes: Access to all classes that are available on the day(s) they’ve signed up for including our Community Huddle every Monday at 9am and our Game Show Hour every Thursday from 3-4pm. Teens also have access to different teen-led clubs.

Those who sign-up for full-time membership (4 days, 3 days, and 2 days a week) are matched with a mentor whom they have one-on-one advisory sessions once a week. During these sessions, they get to talk about how their classes and activities are going, what keeps them busy, what projects they’re working on, whatever direction they wish to take, and more. Fulltime members may also join the live online classes of our partner Liberated Learners centers across the USA.

Meanwhile, for those who’d like to join us but would only want to choose per class basis, the fee is 3,200 per class (eight sessions). They will only have access to the channel/room of the class they signed up for.


  1. If you have any questions or clarifications about the program, you may email us at or call/text 09152864494.
  2. Once you’re ready to sign-up, click here and fill up our sign-up form.
  3. Expect an email to confirm your registration and to schedule a family meeting.
  4. Family Meeting
  5. An invitation to our Slack workspace will be sent to your teen so they can start to get to know the community through the non-class channels.
  6. Expect your invoice and our bank details via email.
  7. Once payment has been made (via online transfer or Paypal), please email us a copy of your proof payment.
  8. After we’ve received a copy of your proof of payment, we will add your teen to his/her class channels on Slack.



Community Huddle
The only hour in the week where all of our teens are in one place! During huddles we have activities, both mentor and teen-led, to help us get to know each other better. We also get to talk about community updates, as well as questions and issues they may have about the program. This is also when we consult the teens about certain decisions we make for the community. The Community Huddle is open to all members of Abot Tala, even if they didn’t sign up to attend on Mondays.

Math Gym B (Arithmetic, Pre-Algebra) with Ericho Fuentes
This math class covers pre-algebra topics such as integers, fractions, percentages, and basic geometry. The objective of this course is to equip the learners with basic, practical mathematics knowledge that will prepare them for real-life applications and higher mathematics. This course will use study materials from Khan Academy to address the varied learning paces and levels of the members of the class.

Script Analysis with Joyce Buen
This class teaches proper analysis and preparation for working with dramatic text. Together, we’ll be discovering more as we read scripts and explore the possibilities of their stagings through a technique called Backwards and Forwards. This technique will improve your theatre experience as a performer, director, as part of a production team, or even as an audience!

Graphic Design with Chep Melchor
Students of this class will be taught the fundamentals in the following facets of graphic design: Colour Theory, Typography, Design layout, and Photo Effect Utilization. The model of graphic design that will be used is Canva ( Canva is a free-to-use tool on the web that will allow the students to immerse themselves in their own creative minds.

Superhero Physics with Ericho Fuentes
Elementary physics usually discusses the concepts of velocity, acceleration, force, energy etc. using cars, balls, and running people. In Superhero Physics, we will discuss the same concepts in the context of superheroes and other fictional characters (i.e., How much acceleration does Ironman gets from his thrusters? How much potential energy can Black Panther’s suit absorb? How can Goku’s cloud travel from Tokyo to Quezon City?

Politics & Governance with Dustin Ancheta
Learn about the different types of Political Philosophy, their history, function, etc.


Basic Filipino Sign Language with Pauline & Cristina Guanzon
Learn the basics of FSL. If you’ve never taken a sign language class, this is a good starting point. FSL is English-based (not Tagalog), and is largely based on ASL just with some localization to Filipino culture.

Advanced Filipino Sign Language with Pauline & Cristina Guanzon
If you’ve learned the basics of FSL, this class will help you level up how you communicate in Sign.

Imagination’s Edge with Owie dela Cruz
Resolve funny and serious scenarios – what would you do if there was a zombie apocalypse? What would you do if your house was flooded or burned down? This or that? What would you do if….?
(This class alternates weekly with Question of the Day)

Question of the Day with Owie dela Cruz
Every other week teens join the class with a question in mind and hopefully they’ll leave the session with answers. It’s a never-ending journey to learn something new every day.

Math Gym A with Ericho Fuentes
This class covers algebra, geometry, and precalculus. This course will use study materials from Khan Academy to address the varied learning paces and levels of the members of the class. This course is recommended for teens who are considering a career in science, engineering, and finance.

Music Theory with Ericho Fuentes
This class is designed for informally trained, intermediate-level musicians who want to have a better
understanding of notes, scales, chords, and other musical concepts. The students will also be guided on how to use these theoretical concepts in their own playing.

Relationships 101 with Owie dela Cruz
Learn more about how to navigate through personal relationships. This class will talk about teens’ questions about relationships. We believe that it’s better to talk about it openly so that they can get the guidance they want and need. Throughout the class, they’ll also meet different guests who will share their stories and nuggets of wisdom about relationships.


Verified: Navigating a World of Misinformation with Tiago Arnaiz
This is an eight-week crash course on the tools and best practices employed by investigative journalists to find true and reliable information in a post-truth world. Every week, we’ll be learning new ways to verify the information we encounter online, as well as trying our hands at creating our own acts of journalism.

Basic Japanese with Jennifer Kim
This class is for beginners in the Japanese language. It is designed to equip students with basic proficiency in reading, speaking, listening, and writing Japanese. By the end of the course, students are able to recognize and write all the syllabic characters (Hiragana and Katakana) and some basic Kanji characters, read short words and phrases, speak simple sentences needed for daily conversation using the polite grammatical form, and appreciate Japanese culture.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly with Michellan Alagao
A study on crimes, ethics, and philosophy. The teens will be given scenarios and they will be encouraged to freely discuss their opinions, which will hopefully help them make well thought of decisions.

Production Management with Joyce Buen
Ever wondered how your favorite shows come to life? This class will give you a glimpse of what happens in the creation of a show by showing you all the different production departments behind it! Every week, we’ll have guest experts to share the different parts of theatre production from artistic planning, lights and sounds, costumes and makeup, and more! The teens will simulate show-building, by conceptualizing and planning their own show with each one focused on the department of their interest!

Interior Styling and Design with Camyl Besinga
The Interior Styling and Design Course is a short, seven-module course that will let you peek into the wonderful world of interior design and interior styling. You’ll discover the different elements and principles that make up a well-designed room. You’ll also learn how to plan your space by finding the right furniture arrangements that work with your room’s structure and your own lifestyle. We’ll delve into different decluttering and organizing methods as well as styling techniques and tricks that may help you fix up your own spaces in visually and spatially pleasing ways.


Home Hacks and How-To’s with Diane Gabriel
Life isn’t like a game with cheat codes and power-ups, but through games and live discussion this class will cover some basic life skills and talk about everything from household tips and kitchen tricks to work and productivity hacks and even some home emergency situations to help you feel just a little more prepared.

Magkwentuhan Tayo! with Owie dela Cruz
It’s a full hour of talking about all sorts of stuff in Filipino and Taglish. The goal is to get the teens comfortable in conversing in Filipino and Taglish.

Wika’t Kultura with Icia Encinas
An introduction to appreciating the Philippine language and culture for teens through Philippine literature. This class is for teens who want more exposure to the rich culture and language of the country. The course will introduce Philippine culture through poetry (tula) and short stories (maikling kuwento). The course also aims to encourage teens to read and express themselves creatively in the Filipino language. Sali na!

Phantasy Planet: A World-Building Class with Gabe Gabriel
Creating a world that can be lived through books and movies by using your imagination. This class is about building a functional society, and with your touch of fantasy, for your characters to reside in.

Introduction to Psychology with Nikole Delene Lim\
It is by understanding one’s behavior that we are able to open our minds. This class introduces key concepts of Psychology, different disciplines and types of Psychology, and a better understanding of your own self and the people around you.

Game Show Hour with Ericho Fuentes
History, Science, Art, Movies and anything under the sun, really. Lead your team to victory in the weekly Game Show Hour — our version of your typical Quiz Night!


These are classes and sessions that are free of charge for any teen who is part of our current block.

Game Development with Ramil Saavedra
Through this 8-week course, de-stress and let your imagination run wild as you learn how to design & make your own video games.

Silent Sessions with Owie dela Cruz
Relaxing sessions where you don’t have to talk, instead, the class will work on silent activities.
(This class alternates weekly with FreeFlowFridays)

Free Flow Fridays with Owie dela Cruz
Expect free-flowing, spontaneous discussions about anything under the sun. Through these sessions, teens get to practice the art of conversing within a group setting (similar to real-life scenarios we experience at parties and other social functions.)

Test Prep Study Group with Ericho Fuentes and Joyce Buen
This is our way of supporting and helping our teens who are independently homeschooling or unschooling prepare for whatever state-administered tests they need to take like the ALS A&E test or the PEPT. As they study as a group for a major test, they’re given a certain peace of mind that they’re doing what they can with friends to prepare for something big.

Portraits & Landscapes with Diane Gabriel
This class helps in improving student’s art skills, from sketching proper human anatomy of faces and body to creating vast sceneries of nature.

Safe and Sound Hour by Paul and Julie Rohrer
This is our mental health support group for teens. It’s a full hour dedicated to creating a safe and sound space by supporting each other. Our facilitators aim to give our teens hope and they help them make brave and healthy steps forward as they navigate through overwhelming situations. For more info please visit

To read about our mentors, click here.

For more photos of our past activities, visit our Instagram account here:

For more information or to set an appointment for an online family meeting with us, call or text 0915-2864494 . 

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