Online January-March 2021

Abot Tala Self-Directed Learning Center welcomes the new year with the 4th block of its online program for teens ages 12-18 from January 18 to March 12, 2021.


January 11-15 will be our Teen-Led Intro Week. For classes that will be extended from block 3 (Oct-Dec), the teens will lead the review sessions to prepare everyone for their classes. Teens can also offer special classes that week or they can also start meeting with their clubs. New members of Abot Tala will also get to meet the four members of our mentoring staff during that week. This will also serve as our FREE TRIAL WEEK if your teen would like to see if Abot Tala is the community for them.

We’ll officially start all our classes (with mentors) on January 18. The block will culminate with a block presentation on March 13.


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 anytime they want to.

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 meet them on Zoom for an hour-long session each week.


Our teens get to choose and join the classes they’d like to be part of based on their interests and curiosity. They have the freedom to design their personal schedule around the classes they’ve chosen, so they’d also have time to collaborate with other teens and work on their passion projects and homeschool requirements (if they have a homeschool provider). When they join our classes they won’t be graded. The motivation to be part of a class is purely to learn and not to earn grades.


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. During our third block, we had them send in their class wishlists, we compiled them into a Google form so each teen could vote for the classes that interest them. Once we had the numbers, we called for a consultation session with our teens to find out which classes they’d like to extend and what new classes they’d want to have for our fourth block. Based on the classes and topics that they suggested, 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 classes the community asked for:


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 9 am and all of our activities/sessions during our daily Community Hour from 3-4 pm and all of our Friday sessions. 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. Full-time 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 for the whole block (8 sessions x PHP400 per session). They will only have access to the channel/room of the class they signed up for.

For those who would rather pay in terms, our regular rates will apply even if registration was made from December 15-January 8. Preferred due dates per payment within the block may be arranged according to the family’s request.


  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.
  4. Family Meeting (for new members only)
  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 & Brain Workout
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. This block we’re adding weekly brain workout sessions where we solve puzzles, codes, and more as a community. The 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 be administered asynchronously while utilizing online resources from Khan Academy and Tutorials in Taglish to address the varied learning paces and levels of the members of the class.

Pop Culture History with Joyce Buen
Time to close the generation gap! Learn more about the pop culture greats who walked so your favorite current artists can run! Every week, we’ll be discussing the decades of the 1900s-2000s in terms of popular music, movie, television, and more! Join us in a huge game of connect the dots while we see how current pop culture evolved from the past.

*Please note that Math Gym B and Pop Culture History are simultaneous classes. Teens will have to choose which class they’d like to attend.

Math Gym A (Algebra, Geometry, Pre-calculus) with Ericho Fuentes
This class covers algebra, geometry, and precalculus. This course will be administered asynchronously while utilizing online resources from Khan Academy and Tutorials in Taglish 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.

Learning Historians with Nat Sundiang
History isn’t just being aware of events from the past. Perhaps even more significant is how we choose to reflect upon past narratives. In this crash course, students will learn how to better interpret world history not only as a social science, but also as part of the humanities; as it can aid us to better make sense of the world, and in turn, our part in shaping it.

Learn History while having fun with our Learning Historians!


General Chemistry with Ericho Fuentes
This course covers the basic principles of chemistry such as the nature of atoms, chemical bonding, chemical reactions, and the kinetic-molecular theory. The classes will cover real-world applications and explanations of chemical phenomena. Beginner and advanced chemistry students are welcome in this class.

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.

Understanding Chess with Gavin Ong
Why is chess one of the oldest games known to mankind? Unlike any other game, chess is more than just moving pieces across an 8×8 board. Rather, chess encompasses many disciplines. In this class, we will unlock the secrets of the board— from understanding how the pieces coordinate and move to creating and executing beautiful combinations to stun your opponent. We will also be developing your decision-making and planning skills in order to make better choices in the game. The module will be broken down into theoretical lessons to game analysis, application, and a tournament for the last session. (Requirements: account, notebook, pen, chessboard (optional), and a committed, creative mind)

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly with Mich Alagao
Teens explore ideas from criminology, philosophy, and ethics and try to see how these ideas relate to our everyday lives. Critical thinking and reflection on complex issues will be encouraged. Class is recommended for older teens.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly alternates weekly with Intergalactic Empires and Steam Engines

Intergalactic Empires and Steam Engines: A Sci-Fi Subgenres Crash Course with Mich Alagao
An introduction to some popular science fiction subgenres in books, films, and games.


Home Eco(BRO)nomics with Joyce Buen
Bro, just imagine: 5-minute hacks, but not ridiculous! Be the smartest teen in your school (A.K.A. your home, for the next few months at least) by learning all about good, old home economics. Every other week, we’ll be tackling relevant areas of your home; from your room to your closet/laundry, your kitchen to your garden! Start 2021 with some new life skills! We love to see it!

Home Eco(BRO)nomics alternates weekly with Cook-Along!

Cook-Along with Joyce Buen
Cook-along as Joyce cooks in her own kitchen! Food is always great, but it also can always be better! Learn how to level-up basic meals with pro-tips and tricks, secrets, and techniques from Joyce! Improve your everyday dishes, impress your family, friends, or Instagram followers!

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.

Siklab: Hikayat sa Pagbasa ng Noli Me Tangere with Icia Encinas
Madalas iniisip ng mga tao na mahirap basahin ang nobelang Noli me Tangere dahil napakahaba nito. Ano nga ba ang kahalagahan ng pagbasa sa nobelang naisulat mahigit isang daang taon na ang nakaraan? Sa maikling kurso na ito sismulan ang pagsuri at pagbasa ng unang bahagi ng nobela. Sino si Crisostomo Ibarra? Bakit ganoon Ang ugali no Maria Clara? Ano Ang nagyari Kay Elias at Sisa? At bakit ba mahalagang balikan at suriin ang ganitong mga nobela? Kung gusto niyo masagot ang inyong mga katanungan, samahan ninyo ako at ating hihimayin at paguusapan ang nobelang umantig sa puso ng mga mamamayan. Alamin natin kung bakit hanggang ngayon napapanahon pa rin pagusapan Ang mga akda ni Dr. Jose Rizal. (Kailangan para sa klase na ito ang librong Noli Me Tangere na isinalin ni Virgilio S. Almario. Mabibili ito sa Adarna House gamit ang link na ito: Noli Me Tangere)

Wise Wallet with various speakers and mentors
We all deal with our finances differently. Everyone has a different relationship with money. Each week, teens will get to meet different speakers from different industries and backgrounds. They’ll get to see and learn how different each person budgets and deals with money matters. The goal is for each teen to decide which approach would work best for them. We also hope they can start putting whatever they learn into practice as early as now!

Hikayat na hikayat sila sa pagaaral ng Noli Me Tangere dahil napakasaya ng klase!


Creating Healthy Habits with Owie dela Cruz
It isn’t easy to create & maintain healthy habits. However, when you try to do it with a group that shares similar goals, then it could be slightly easier to be more consistent. Come join this class if you want to start the new year with healthier habits. Don’t worry, we’ll keep it real and we’ll take it easy. We’re all on this journey of being slightly better than we were yesterday!

Mobile Photography, Videography & Video Editing with Kaiser Valerio
Learn the basic principles of content creation using mobile phones and free software. After all, smartphones’ increasing power can be harnessed with the knowledge of basic settings and how to use them. Meanwhile, the video editing course will also focus on basic principles to familliarize the teens on how to use free and available resources online such as Blackmagics Davinci Resolve which is widely used in Hollywood. (Class requirements: A mobile phone with a working camera and this free editing software.)

Fiction Writing Techniques with Mich Alagao
Learn the basics of writing fiction through lessons (on plot, character, etc.) and exercises.

Philippine Mythology with Icia Encinas
Learn about Philippine culture through the lens of our history and rich mythology. This class will introduce and examine how Philippine mythology was first presented in its cultural context and how it is gaining more popularity through popular culture as well. This class will also include select readings and literary materials appropriate for discussing the rich cultural history of Philippine Mythology.

These are classes and sessions that are free of charge for any teen who is part of our current block. It’s our way of making sure that there’s one day a week that’s fully available to all of our members so we can build a stronger community of self-directed learners.

Magkwentuhan Tayo! with Owie dela Cruz
Isang oras ng kwentuhan tungkol sa kung ano man ang gustong pag-usapan ng mga kabataan sa klaseng ito. Layunin nitong masanay at maging komportable ang mga kabataan na makipagkwentuhan gamit ang Filipino at Taglish.
(It’s a full hour of conversation about whatever the teens want to talk about. The goal is to get the teens comfortable and confident in conversing in Filipino and Taglish)

Magkwentuhan Tayo alternates weekly with Free Flow Fridays

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.)

Ready, Set, Draw! with Diane Gabriel
One hour of just letting our creativity flow freely through sketching and drawing.

Safe and Sound Hour with 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

Daily Community Hour Sessions from 3-4 pm.
These sessions are available to all of our current members, no matter what day they’ve signed up for.

Option 18 (Mondays)
Option 18 = you have no idea what class or session you’re joining! Each class is a surprise! It’s like buying a toy without knowing what’s exactly inside, much like a toy blind bag teens used to buy when they were kids. All they know is it’s gonna be great!

Club/Org Hour (Mondays)
This is when teens can meet with clubs and organizations.

Relationships 101 with Owie dela Cruz (Tuesdays)
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.

Relationships 101 alternates weekly with Teen Life 101

Teen Life 101 facilitated by Owie dela Cruz (Tuesdays)
Teen life can be confusing…so let’s talk about it! How does one deal with pimples, teen hormones, the pressure of social media and peers, and a whole lot more? Let’s try to figure it out together!

Teen-led Classes (Wednesdays)
We love empowering our teens by encouraging them to teach classes about their different interests and passion. This is their hour. They’re in charge and we’re excited to see what they’ll come up with.

Game Show Hour with Ericho Fuentes (Thursdays)
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!

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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