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Homeschooling Parenting

Why We Decided to Homeschool This Year (Grade 3)

Why We Decided to Homeschool This Year (Grade 3)

We have been homeschooling for almost a month now!

It does not even feel like a month. Sure, homeschooling has its challenges, but for the most part, Yuri and I have been enjoying it, looking forward to our class every morning.

The last time I homeschooled Yuri was when he was in preschool pa so I am definitely no expert when it comes to homeschooling. Also, preschool homeschool for us was more like un-schooling. We did not enroll him to a regular preschool. Instead, I taught him whenever I can (I still had a full-time job back then) and supplemented with sessions at Eye Level. But despite the lack of routine, Yuri did learn a lot during that year, thank God.

Yuri’s compost in a jar

This time, because Yuri is already in Grade 3, he needs to have a consistent routine. He is also very used to traditional schooling as he has been going to a traditional school since he was in Senior Kinder. He has no problems with school whatsoever and, in fact, is blessed to be the Top 1 student of his grade level (thank you, Lord!). He also gets along with everyone and has a lot of friends both in school and at home. So why did we decide to homeschool?

Job and I talked about it and both of us agreed that the best option for us right now is homeschooling. Obviously, it has a lot to do with the fact that we are in a pandemic right now, and with distance learning options available, children are very likely to spend this school year safe at home. Yuri’s old school, for instance, offers three options: online schooling, printed modules, and a mix of both.

But while I support these options, I thought, if Yuri is going to stay home anyway, I could just teach him myself. Knowing Yuri, he will not stay still in front of a computer screen for a long period of time (unless it’s a game or a show he likes). He has a short attention span and easily gets distracted. I was not looking forward to using thick modules either.

Leaning odd and even numbers using our four-in-a-row game

With homeschooling, though, I can give Yuri face-to-face lessons and because he is my only student, the lessons can be tailored to fit his interests. Plus, our schedule will be much more flexible, which would be handy just in case we ever have the chance to go on a vacation, God-willing.

Also, homeschooling, for us, provides the perfect opportunity to lead Yuri closer to God, which I think is true with a lot of other homeschoolers worldwide. Yuri loves our Bible lessons, and we are able to incorporate what we learned from the Bible to our daily life. Oh, we have made household chores part of our “non-graded curriculum,” too, which made Yuri a lot more responsible!

When it comes to practicality, homeschooling, when you are enrolled in a provider, is not free. I think it is also worth saying that if we decided to keep Yuri in his old school, his tuition fee would have been free since he was the Top 1. However, weighing all miscellaneous expenses, we were still able to save money by homeschooling.

Yuri’s tuition fee, if we kept him in his old school, would have been free, but not the other fees. We enrolled in Chosen Homeschool, and all we need to pay for the entire year is P15,000. We also did not need to spend on a new laptop or a new computer set dedicated for daily online classes. You see, I have a couple of freelance jobs so we wouldn’t be able to share one laptop between us. But with homeschooling, my own laptop is enough for 2 weekly online sessions (1 hour each) with Chosen Homeschool. For discussions, we watch a few videos here and there, but that’s it. There’s no need to get Yuri his own laptop or desktop computer.

We often use textbooks and worksheets

Of course, I did spend a little bit of money to convert our old home office into our homeschool classroom (future post), but let’s charge it to miscellaneous fees 😀 Also, the home office was due for a redesign anyway!

And these are the reasons why we decided to homeschool this year. What mode of learning did you choose this year?

Homeschooling Lifestyle Parenting School

On the Fence About Homeschooling

I missed the local homeschooling conference in Davao City last weekend.

I had really planned to go, but during the last few months, we’ve been on the fence about homeschooling. I can talk about the benefits of homeschooling and how homeschooling has helped Yuri grow for hours — and really, I still believe them to be true — but the other side of the truth is that we don’t think it’s going to work for us next year.

Despite the schedule that I had established in the beginning of this school year, we haven’t been able to follow it. Because of my busy schedule, juggling work, real estate events, blogging, family, household chores, and my personal life, homeschooling just slid down the list of my priorities.

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Hear me out. I’m a full-time working single mum whose partner lives and works over 5,000 miles across the globe. I don’t have household help. Everyday I do not only take care of Yuri; I also assist the rest of the family, especially my dad who undergoes dialysis twice a week. I planned to homeschool after work, but most of the time, the only thing I want to do after I’m done with work is to rest.

I don’t think I can do it next year. Continue Reading

Homeschooling Preschool School

Our Homeschool Preschool Routine – A Day in the Life

Homeschool Preschool Routine

I’m very new to homeschooling.

Prior to this year, we’ve never done formal homeschooling. But now that he’s 4, we decided to formalise it (on a certain level) by following a regular homeschool routine and teaching specific subjects and lessons. (Note: We’re homeschooling independently.)

And even though we are so new to this, I’ve already gotten several questions asking me how we do it. First of all, I try not to pressure myself and Yuri. If I’m feeling tired from work or household chores, I call it a day and we just play instead. If I sense that Yuri’s not in the mood for pencil work, I let him paint or draw or whatever he likes.

I don’t shy away from technology either. We use 2, no 3 free websites to supplement our lessons (I’ll write about them too for everyone who’s interested).

Now, here’s our specific routine from sun up to sun down: Continue Reading

Homeschooling Lifestyle Preschool Science Experiments

How to Make Oobleck: The Not Quite Liquid, Not Quite Solid Slime

On weekends, we do science experiments!

Ideally, we should be doing science experiments on Fridays since it was what I wrote in our original homeschool schedule. However, I kinda feel bad for letting Yuri do school work on a Friday especially when all the other kids in the village are already playing in the playground.

(Note: Our homeschool session begins at 4 pm after my work ends.)

So on Fridays, I just let Yuri play or, in the case of the past 2 weeks, let him come with his iya (lola) to the mall to do some grocery shopping. Then on weekends, when we have afternoons free, we spend some time doing simple science experiments AKA magic!

Our most recent experiment? The Oobleck! It’s a kind of slime (named after a Dr Seuss character) that is not quite liquid and not quite solid. It is liquid in its relaxed state but, when you apply pressure unto it, it turns solid. My junior high school sister had performed this experiment at school in the past and was really eager to recreate it at home with me and Yuri. Cool beans!

Ingredients:

  1. Water
  2. Corn Starch
  3. Container (we used a heart-shaped pan for the cuteness factor but you can use anything at all)
  4. Food Colouring (optional)

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Homeschooling Preschool School

The First Week of Homeschool Preschool

We survived our first week of homeschooling!

In fairness, I didn’t even feel it. Each day, after work, whenever I take out Yuri’s stuff to begin our “session,” he was always eager to trace his letters, practice his numbers, or his favourite, do some colouring.

Colouring is my secret weapon. If a session is met with resistance, I get him to start colouring a page. After that, he normally doesn’t mind doing more serious work. Then the hour (or hour and a half, depending on his mood) passes by without me noticing.

Here are some pictures from our first week of homeschool preschool:

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I know Yuri looks oh so serious in the pictures above, but he’s actually goofy and silly half of the time lol. I just wait for the serious moments before I capture a picture haha. Seriously though, I don’t want to be too strict on him. As much as possible, I don’t want him to view school work as a chore but as something he genuinely enjoys doing.

So whenever he draws way too long lines on purpose or insist on doing upper case letters first, I try my very best not to be frustrated (people close to me know how easily frustrated I am haha). I gently remind him that there is a proper way of doing things and, well, hope I make sense to a four year old.

Homeschool Preschool Routine

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Homeschooling Lifestyle Parenting

Homeschool Preschool Supplies!

Hi! It’s the third day of our homeschool preschool!

I mentioned in a previous post that I’m as woefully unprepared as I can be. I didn’t do prior research on homeschool preschool curricula (though I was obsessed about them 2 years ago, if that helps…) and didn’t bother preparing a dedicated homeschool area (the home office was a disaster area). Until yesterday, we were just using the kitchen and the living room and the kitchen, but I don’t think the boy even noticed. But I cleared up my half of the home office this afternoon so we’ll probably be able to use it from now on.

Good thing we have homeschool supplies. A lot of them.

Over the years, I’ve collected several workbooks and educational books aside from the classics and picture books. I had also received a couple of Buriboxes (planning to subscribe to more in the coming months), so we have collected art materials.

For those planning to homeschool their preschoolers too (it’s never too late to start homeschooling — that’s one beauty of it!), here’s a list of our homeschool preschool supplies.

Primary Supplies

Preschool Supplies

  1. Pencils
  2. Erasers
  3. Sharpener
  4. Pencil Box
  5. Crayons
  6. Scissors
  7. Glue

Writing/Reading

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Homeschooling Lifestyle Preschool

Homeschool Preschool, Here We Come!

I had meant to homeschool Yuri for the last, err, 2 years.

Sadly, it never became a top priority for me mainly because Yuri was still too little to pay attention to school “work.” In the past, homeschooling just meant reading books, learning new words, seeing new sights, travelling — basically trying to grasp every teachable moment.

All of a sudden, Yuri is 4 and I couldn’t anymore rely on just catching teachable moments as they go. We initially planned to enrol Yuri in a “real school” this year. However, because of reasons I detailed in this post last month, the real-preschool-plan was promptly scrapped. We were suddenly back to our original plan, which is to homeschool… and I am woefully unprepared.

Thanks a lot to regular enrichment classes from Eye Level (!), Yuri already has had a head start. Whew.

After-school frozen yoghurt pops! #wahmlife #homeschool #preschooler #toddlerlife

A photo posted by Marie Angeli Laxa (@maanlaxa) on

In all honesty, I still haven’t found the time to prepare a meticulous curriculum. It’s funny because when Yuri was 2 years old, I spent almost all of my free time researching on homeschool curricula that we could use. In my old laptop, I even had a spreadsheet comparing and contrasting the curricula. Yes I was very OA, yet we didn’t even get to homeschool haha!

(In my defence hehe, I attended a seminar on homeschooling and was told that it’s too early to formally homeschool 2 and 3 year olds.)

Now that it’s time for real homeschool, I’m caught unprepared! We haven’t begun yet even though it’s already the end of everyone else’s first week of school. Then again, two years ago, when I was very vigilant, I was a freelancer who had a yaya. Now I have a regular 8-5 job — and a real estate broker on weekends — who is yaya-less and helper-less. But I’m confident that we’ll soon get the hang of it — as soon as I am able to organise a proper schedule. I’m procrastinating, help!

Anyway, in contrast to two years ago, when I had a full list of homeschool supplies to buy and several printables to print, right now, all I have are Yuri’s unopened preschool workbooks which I have collected over time (I told you I was OA!). The great thing is that they’re really helpful.

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Homeschooling Parenting Personal

Adulting Tuesday!

Hey guys!

Yesterday I took a leave from work to do mummy duties AKA:

  1. Take Yuri to his pedia
  2. Take Yuri to our family dentist
  3. Take Yuri to Eye Level in Bajada, Davao for his diagnostic test
Selfie of an adult (Because a caption that reads "adult selfie" would mean another thing)

Selfie of an adult (Because a caption that reads “adult selfie” would mean another thing)

Well, we spent the entire morning downtown but only number 3 was a success (relatively). Here’s why.

I did not set appointments.

I have an A-type personality so I almost always never leave the house unless a sure appointment has been set. However, when I lost my phone a few months back, I also lost all of my contact numbers, which include my doctors’ contact numbers. The phone numbers I saw from the internet were also outdated. So we decided to wing it. Continue Reading

Blogger Perks Homeschooling Parenting

Unboxing the February Buribox

Buribox

What better way to spend the weekend than to read books and make crafts with your noisy toddler?

Thanks to Buribox by Adarna House, this is not just possible but easy. It’s amazingly easy because all you need to do is open a box and — voila! — everything you need is there.

We received our first Buribox last October thanks to Janice Lim of TheRollerCoasterRide.com. Then it was my turn to share the blessings with five other mums. Of course, I had mine, too — the February edition of the Buribox. Yay!

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This time, the Buribox’s theme is emotions and facial expressions and Yuri and I had a blast! Here are the contents before anything else:

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Blogger Perks Homeschooling Parenting

Unboxing the October BuriBox

October Buribox

Busy, busy, busy!

(Then again, I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t busy. I’m sure you can relate!)

Right now, after a full week of work, I’m squeezing in some real estate duties (I’m a licensed broker *hint hint*), blogging duties (obviously), and a bit of mothering. I’m sure that last bit made me look like the worst mum in the world. Truth is I’m relishing Yuri’s newfound independence. He’s still clingy — a lot clingier than other kids his age, seemingly — but most of the time, he does fine on his own.

One of my frustrations as a mum, though, is the lack of time (and budget) to look for stuff that will keep him entertained other than the tablet. When I was still freelancing, I had all the time in the world to shop for supplies, but now that I have a full-time job to attend to, time is a luxury I sometimes can’t afford.

So when I heard about BuriBox from Janice’s blog, I couldn’t be more excited. What put a damper on my spirits, though, is learning that they didn’t deliver outside Metro Manila. But that was before. Last month, Janice offered a promo wherein you can receive a BuriBox and just pay for the shipping fee. Of course I grabbed the opportunity!

We received the October BuriBox and here’s what’s inside: Continue Reading

Homeschooling Messy Weekends Real Estate Broker Diaries

Busy, Messy Weekend!

Lovely Monday everyone! How was your weekend?

Mine was uneventful but was filled with little bits of busy-bee-ness. It was overall a very fun and productive weekend and I was able to do a lot of things (except watch last Saturday’s Kalyeserye episode — I was able to catch a replay of it yesterday, though; kilig!) Here are the little pieces of fun and work from the weekend:

Site Visit

I work remotely for an Australian company on weekdays; I’m a real estate broker on weekends. This particular weekend, we had a couple of clients that we took on a site visit (aka tripping in local lingo). The projects we showed were located on the other side of the city so we had a pretty long trip.

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My buntot (tail) tagged along with us:

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Christmas Decorations

We (read: my mum and our helper) started putting up decorations last week. They then put up Christmas lights around the house last Friday night.

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On a side note, can you believe it’s almost Christmas again? Time flies so fast it’s almost scary! Ahh!

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