Homeschool Year End

Yesterday, I decided to buy groceries today because my daughters’ cereals are about to be finished. I usually buy our foods every week. I wanted to finish early and so I went there before the store opened. The store is like 5 mins drive from our house (without traffic). My kids, since they are the ones left at home are very responsible on eating their breakfast by their own. My style of parenting is more of giving them responsibilities and teaching them to be independent.

Another task that I was not able to do yesterday is to fold the washed clothes. I wash our clothes once a week reason why I have loads to fold. My washing machine’s capacity is 14 kilos and I wanted to save electricity.

These are the amount of clothes I fold every week. Haha..

I am enjoying this task because I can watch a lot of tutorials and vlogs on youtube. My kids would not disturb me because they know that I am busy.

My children help me to put these clothes on their respective cabinets.

My children’s school has ended today. That was one heck of a ride.. Haha.. There a lot of learnings, roller coaster ride experiences this school year. My first time to homeschool was a success. I am still planning to continue next year.

So, I was also busy with the grades of my eldest daughter. I needed to submit the portfolio this week. A lot of scanning and checking of works were done today. This is something that I enjoyed a lot, it is very fulfilling.

Before I shifted my daughter from traditional school to homeschool, I did a lot of research. I was already doing the research when I was still in Singapore. I never thought that I will actually experience this.. It never crossed my mind that I will quit my job, then do homeschooling to my kids.

My eldest is enrolled to an international school who also offer homeschooling. The shifting was not hard. It was surprising how much we saved in terms of the tuition and miscellaneous fees.

The school gave us the curriculum (portfolio and year plans). As a facilitator, I was the one who planned the schedule and the pace of my daughter’s lessons, provided that it will cover the year plan. At first it was hard because at the beginning of the school year, I was also busy with the construction of our house. But on term 3, I was able to manage the time already.

Time management is the key for homeschooling. I usually do the lesson plan for the week on weekends. I teach my daughter in the afternoon because I need to teach my youngest first in the morning.

The term examinations for the core subjects (Mathematics, Science and English) are given by the school. The pointers are based on the year plan that was given on the beginning of the school year. That is why I needed to focus on these subjects for my daughter to have good results in her term exam. Thankfully, she was able to cope and I can feel that she learned a lot this school year.

I never regret choosing homeschooling. This is the best choice in this time of pandemic. I know that my daughter is really learning and it is by her own pace.

However, since after a year, she will be in secondary. My husband and I agreed for her to be in a traditional school if everything goes back to normal. There she could enjoy the company of other girls. We like her to know how to mingle with other people and to adapt on the classroom type school.

Home made Barbie House

There was an announcement by our Governor yesterday that all classes and government offices are suspended because of the typhoon. It hit the Philippines yesterday, it hit mostly the southern part and thankfully our province was not affected.

So I was planning three tasks today, firstly is to finish the “barbie house” that I started yesterday, secondly is to clean the house thoroughly (vacuum and mop) and thirdly, to fold all the clothes that I washed… Sounds easy breezy huh..

I started working at 9 in the morning.. haha.. just like in the office. My kids woke up a little early reason why I started late with my tasks. By the way the tasks do not include the usual things that I do at home like cooking, washing the dishes, bathing my youngest, etc…

I mentioned yesterday that I saw the old cartons that I kept in our storage area yesterday, since my daughter kept on asking us for a barbie house.. I thought of just making one using the cartons. I looked at the price of the barbie house online, and it costs 5000 pesos (more than $100). I know my daughter will just outgrow her interest on this.. Even if it will eat most of my time and I don’t know if it will work, I still did it.

The kitchen is what I finished yesterday.

This morning I made the living room in the ground floor first. The materials that I used here are the old construction papers, cartons of my youngest daughter’s milk, glue, paint..

I really did not use the ruler though.
Here is what it turned out..

While I was doing this, my daughter was painting the cartons, and so I used her paintings as the decorations on the walls of the living room and the bedroom.

I had a lot of pauses because I need to bath my daughter, then cook lunch and wash dishes. My daughter kept on asking me for the toilet. So I also made the toilet..

Though I feel I can do better, my daughter’s eyes are full of joy when she saw it. She was so happy seeing me doing this for her. Something that I might not see if we will just buy the barbie house. She kept on saying thank you and I love you to me when I told her that she could play with it already.

I rested a while, then proceed with my next task, and that is to clean the whole house. I usually clean the house thoroughly every other 3 days. I need to vacuum the house and mop it because of our cats. I think merely sweeping will not help eliminate the furs. It always takes me 2 to 3 hours to clean the entire house. My husband said, I should not be that meticulous on cleaning but I don’t see the point on cleaning if it would not be that really really clean. I will share with you in another post on what I am really doing why it takes me hours to clean the house.

Tasks 3 (folding the clothes) was skipped as I need to have some time also with my kids. I finished with all the things that I was doing at 9 in the evening. We usually cuddle at night and talk to my husband over the phone. My youngest daughter was so excited to tell my husband about the barbie house. My eldest daughter finished her computer lessons today, she usually help me babysit my youngest when I am busy with my tasks at home. In between the 3 days of not vacuuming, my eldest daughter is the one who clean the house.

It’s good to have some unusual tasks at home. It somehow widen our imaginations and explore our creativity.

Chill Rainy Wednesday

The sky was gloomy when I woke up this morning. I tried to sleep again but I remembered that I need to fix the clothes line that I bought few months ago online. It was very cheap and so it was easily broken. I needed to fix it because of the clothes that I washed yesterday, it should be hanged in our laundry area instead in the open area.

It took me sometime to do that, I was so pissed.. Haha.. Lesson learnt of not buying super cheap products online. I do my laundry every week and so imagine the number of clothes that I need to hang.

Anyways, I am so happy still because of the rain. My plants must be rejoicing because of the unlimited water pouring on them.. Haha. Rainy days just started. If my kids have school, it will be suspended for sure. I suppose there is a typhoon coming.

It’s good also that I was able to trim the grass few days ago. At least our garden wouldn’t look like a jungle after the rainy days.

3 month old grass.. before trimming
After I trimmed it.. I am not sure if there is any difference. Haha. I also took the unwanted stray plants.

This lunch, I prepared fish for my daughters. It is called Sisig Salmon. I usually cook fishes for my daughters, I just wanted to try a new recipe instead of just frying. I grilled the salmon that I marinated with salt and pepper. Shredded it. Sauteed a lot of onions, put few garlic, add seasonings, then done.. I put some onion leaves (fresh from our garden) to garnish. Quite simple but my kids loved it.

Photo not mine. But it should be like this.. I just did not put chili as my kids don’t like spicy foods.

When I fixed the laundry area, I saw the old cartons that I kept. I was thinking of making boxes as organizers of our documents. Instead I thought of making a barbie house. My youngest daughter was asking us if she could have a barbie house. I checked it online and saw that it is not cheap and she will just outgrow it, for sure.

I started to do the barbie house.. I have some plans in my head. I thought it would be easy and fast.. haha. I did not know that it will entail a lot of time.

The kitchen

I just finished the kitchen.. Haha. Don’t judge it. I also made table for two.. I was not able to take a photo it. I am planning to share with you the finish product in my next blog.

When my daughter saw it, she is so happy and thrilled. She wanted to play with it already. Simple things really make kids happy. Especially if they see that you really work for it.

So this is what I will finish tomorrow morning. I wanted to finish this barbie house project because I need to do the grades of my eldest daughter in her homeschool.

See you on my next blog.

Choosing Happiness

“Nobody can make you happy until you’re happy with yourself first…”

Oftentimes, we are succumbed by the notion of pleasing people. The expectations of people liking us is so high, that if that is not met, it really hurts when you fall.

Since, I was considering myself new here in the Philippines (though I grew up here), I was so excited to include myself again to my relatives and friends. I did the usual things that I was doing in Singapore, threw parties, organized get-togethers. I felt that I was accepted and welcomed again. It made me happy.

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I tried hard to make up with my absence before.. I thought of weekly get-togethers and chit chats. However, I was not expecting that my presence was creating a not so pleasant environment. It did not slip my mind that I was not really welcomed.

People are not the same, we have different views in life. We have different perspective on how we will live our lives. Even if we don’t boast about our achievements, some people see that as something “negative” on us.

And so I was disturbed on what I heard and my happiness was affected. I was thinking that maybe.. yeah, I am proud. But I did not do anything… I just want to be with them. It just happened that my husband and I worked so hard in Singapore so that our children will be comfortable. We never did that to boast, we did that for us to be comfortable. It was never an overnight success, we experienced using one pot for cooking rice and dishes. Our journey was tough..

For a while, I was disturbed, because I was confused. Then, I just accepted that people are different and this is me.. this is us… I chose to be happy.

Happiness is a choice! Yes it is.. It is a decision. It is not a feeling. Feelings change. I chose to love myself.. This is the reason why I am here in the Philippines because for the longest time, I chose others before myself. I always want more because of others.. But what I have now is enough.. I don’t want to stress myself anymore.

Now, I am appreciating people who accept me. My views, my thoughts, if people don’t like me, I am okay. I don’t need to please people. I don’t want to apologize for nothing.

Last April was my 42nd birthday, my husband post something sweet in facebook. There are some people who greeted me that I am not close with and there are some people who are very close to me that did not greet. Was it intentional? Maybe.. Why? I don’t know.. I told my husband about it, I was a little bothered, but he said, we are now at our 40s, these things do not matter anymore. Meaning, why would I choose to be affected?

I mean, I don’t even like beef. Since I was young, I hate beef. For others this is delicious, but for me it is really yucky. Same thing with people, some people would like you, some people will not. Life is like that and I accepted it.

These I would not realize if I am not here in the Philippines.. I thank God for the realization. God opened my eyes on the reality of life. I always see goodness on my every encounter.. I thought people are genuine.. God let me discovered it.

There are people who genuinely love me and I chose to be happy with them.. I chose to give back the love that they are giving me..

Patience is a virtue

” I will wait patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry” Psalm 40:1

It’s 11 in the evening now here in the Philippines, I need to patiently wait for my youngest to sleep so that I could share with you my thoughts and what my heart wants to say. I decided that for this week, I will be expressing my thoughts more about some of my experiences and my views about certain things.

Today, I would want to share about patience.. why does it matter to be patient?

Patience is a virtue

I heard this saying, “Patience is a virtue” when I was young but I don’t know what it means. I believe each one of us has this trait of being patient. We are created to be patient. However, due to some circumstances, when our patience are stretched or put to a test, we are losing it. It is in our being, but because some parents don’t have it, children tend to follow or think that being impatient most of the time is normal.

I was raised to be patient. Patient in waiting and thinking that we will never be stuck on a certain condition. Studying tested my patience, it was a good training for me. Little did I know, that I could use this training when I am old. I got lots of experiences when my patience was tested. I sometimes lose it, but for some reasons, I felt that God allowed it. We just need to start again and keep this virtue in our hearts.

Coping Anxiety

I believe that one of the reasons why a person is having anxieties is because of being impatient. Sometimes, we don’t know how to wait, we tend to focus on things that we cannot control. We cannot accept that it is uncontrollable.

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Anxiety occurs when we are overthinking of the future.. when we tend to focus on tomorrow. The tomorrow that we are not certain of. Instead of drowning on thinking about the future, we need to be patient and focus on the NOW.

Easy to say, right? Patience is of the essence. We will be there on that path. Be patient.

I remembered June of last year, it was so hard for me not seeing my husband for a long time. There was a time when I cannot even talk to him because I was always crying. It was very difficult. However, I needed to control my emotions because I wanted my kids to see hope in my eyes.. I wanted them to see that I have faith.. that this too shall pass.

From then on, I focus on the every day that God has been giving me. The blessings that we have, the good health, security, love, happiness and peace.

Being patient is seeing the positive side of things. That life moves forward. That’s the reason why we cannot stop the time. Instead of chasing it.. it should be enjoyed.

Fast forward today, I never thought that I could overcome the loneliness that I had last year. I chose not to be imprisoned of that loneliness. By the help of God, I was able to move forward and wait…

Sunday Rest day

“Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating that he had done” Genesis 2:3

I just watched an instagram video from Isabelle Daza, she is a Filipina movie actress, influencer, motivational speaker, model.. She was discussing about glamorization of being busy. She was mentioning on her video how she made herself so occupied that there is no room for any idle moment. She said that even when she was breastfeeding her son, she was still searching or doing something productive on her phone. She felt worthless when she is not doing anything.

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I can relate to her video.. It was just recently that I asked myself to stop.. not to pause.. but to stop. I was once a working mom and so I was never dependent financially to my husband. Plus, I was always occupied that time. The transition of staying at home and being dependent to my husband was difficult. I tried to help my husband by selling stuffs online, while doing loads of work at home and taking care of the kids. I needed to be productive because I don’t want to waste anything that my husband was giving me. I also felt that if I am not busy, I am lazy and worthless.

Until, I felt exhausted and stressed. Something that my husband does not want me to experience again. That is the main reason why we are here in the Philippines, for me to rest my mind, focus on our kids. That is the reason why, I decided to stop. I decided to accept that I am a mother, and my children need me now. I decided to accept that the amount of work at home is enough, that I am helping my husband enormously by being an effective homemaker. These I realized, when I rested.

Being idle and bored is something that we need to embrace. This is the time when God speaks to us and gives us wisdom on what we should do. This is the time, when happy thoughts come and great ideas transpire.

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Sunday Rest Day

So I decided… nope.. I followed what God taught us to do during Sundays, and that is to rest. I usually don’t cook or clean the house on Sundays. I just spend the day with my kids or family.

My children usually have Sunday Bible lessons, they make some activities. I nap a lot, watch movies, have long drives, do meditations… I do something different than what I do the whole week. It is so refreshing and my energy is just boosting. I don’t feel exhausted during the weekdays.

It is during Sundays that I listen to God of what He wants to tell me. It is when I realized a lot of things, things that I should be grateful for.

A lot of our Sunday routines or traditions have changed because of this pandemic. Reason why, we sometimes cannot differentiate the days already. Or we don’t even know that it is already Sunday.

Being a Christian, we still need to stick to what is in the Bible, and that is to rest and be holy. With that we can know the difference of Sunday to any other day of the week.

online school or homeschool for pre-school

How was your day? It’s a Saturday and today I scheduled few things to do at home. My kids would want to go to their grandma’s house to ride bicycle. I brought their bicycles there as we just moved in here in our new house, plus the road there is much bigger.

Yesterday was a busy day for me, first because of the major cleaning that I did in our house. As I have two cats, furs are everywhere and extensive vacuuming is a must. Second is because my mind is busy contemplating about my youngest daughter’s schooling. She is just 4 years old but here in the Philippines kids tend to start young in their studies. I was thinking if I will homeschool her or continue in online learning.

August last year, I was excited to teach my youngest about ABCs, counting, color recognitions, etc. However, as she is very comfortable with me, she was saying that she is always tired. She was not really into it because of boredom. And she could just tell me that she really didn’t like to study.

Photo by Keira Burton on Pexels.com

So, I ended up looking for a learning center online for kids of her age. It was good that I saw this online learning center and I got really excited about it. My daughter was so happy too knowing that she will in “school”. She was so thrilled to see fellow kids learning with her.

During one of her activities in school

It was a good start actually to her. However, as the lessons progress, she was not able to cope up with the pace. I am not sure what was the objective of the teacher, was it to finish the curriculum or for the children to learn truthfully. I mentioned truthfully because, there are a lot of instances when I coached my daughter during discussions. The teacher would not continue if my daughter will not answer.

So the lessons was progressing but my daughter’s learning is stuck. On the latter part of the lessons, she was just enjoying the activities, singing, dancing, however when it comes to the lesson itself, she was not paying attention anymore. Plus, I just saw the lessons on next week, and it is really mind boggling and so unexplainable why it has to be taught to a 4-year-old. The lessons are addition and subtraction.

Seriously?

Good thing about this learning center, I could withdraw from it.. I had some white lies why, but I still told them that it was very difficult to be do online schooling for pre-schoolers. I did have some comments about the pace. I mean, I commend the teacher for being patient but it is really difficult.

And due to these predicaments, I am thinking of teaching again my youngest daughter. Now, I know the sequence of how she will be attentive. I will see to it that she will genuinely learn. I will be starting this on July. I will let my daughter enjoy her little vacation first.

I know I will be homeschooling two kids on the next school year. This is another challenge for me. I need to do a lot research how some mothers do it.

Music therapy

Loads of work, being exhausted, missing husband, homeschooling, and a lot more sometimes make me burnt out. I remembered before somebody asked me, how I was managing my kids, homeschooling, home making and online business. It was actually a tough question because I really cannot manage it.

I have plans today of buying groceries, however, I started to assemble the tables that we bought for our room. I assembled three tables. Aside from that, my youngest had online school, I cooked, washed the dishes, watered the plants, attended to my youngest’s needs and a lot more. All of these, I was doing with the music on, well except when my youngest was attending the online school.

I got fascinated with the the new song of BTS, a South Korean boy band that started last 2010. The new song is Butter and it is an upbeat song. Just like their song Dynamite, the choreography of Butter is really good, as in over the top. The song Butter, has a little taste of Bruno Mars and the beat somehow has a similarity to the song of Queen, (Another One Bites the Dust). It’s inspiring to hear and I forget my tiredness. I just keep on going.

If you want to hear and see the music video of Butter, you may want to check out this youtube video that I saw.

Butter Official Music Video

Currently has over 232 million views. Wow!!!

I just love to hear good music whenever I am working. Even, when I was working in the office, I usually have an earphone and listen to music. My mind and body function well whenever I got music as background.

I also love to hear Christian songs also as an inspiration. My husband avail the premium of spotify for us to enjoy the playlist without any ads.

How about you? What music are you listening lately?

stay at home mom self care

I was working full time until 2019 and my time with children was very limited. I have a full time nanny who took care of my children when I was at work. I used to check on my children through the CCTV camera and I saw the nanny was watching series from 1 to 5 in the afternoon. So I had this perception that staying at home with my children would be an easy breezy job.

Not until my husband and I decided for me to stop working and stay at home with my children here in the Philippines. It was so exciting at first, for the longest time I would be waking up in the morning without an alarm. However, it did not last long because my daughter needed to go to school. Then the reality just shocked me.

Being a person who needs output, I would always want to have something to accomplish in a day. I felt the need of always cleaning the house, cooking delicious meals, being hands on with my children, doing more and more stuffs at home… However, I did not know that there are still a lot of things to do.. That the whole day is not enough to accomplish all the things that I wanted to do. I felt exhausted.

I needed to pause and think of how to take care of myself mentally because stress is my ultimate enemy.

Let’s accept that the work at home is never ending. This goes to stay at home mom like me, who always think of finishing all the tasks at home.

Self-care is very important. We could not function well if we don’t feel good about ourselves. We would not be the caring mom that we wanted for our children, if we neglect taking care of ourselves.

Let me share with you the things that I do everyday to make me feel good about myself.

  • Having a morning routine – I see to it that I wake up earlier than my kids. While they are sleeping, I do my morning routine.. Wash my face and brush teeth. Watering the plants (even talking to them). Drinking coffee while eating a delicious sandwich. Then read the Bible and saying a little prayer for the day. This starts my day right. My kids would see that my mornings are good, and so they will have a good morning too.
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  • Playing my favorite playlist in spotify – While cleaning the house, cooking meals or washing the dishes, I always listen to my favorite playlists in spotify. My kids even know the songs that I usually listen. This boosts my mood during the day.
  • Bathing well – I spend 15 minutes in the bathroom ensuring that I am bathing well using my favorite products.
  • Napping – My kids don’t like to nap. And so, when they knew that I will be napping, they will just get out of the room.. because they know that I will ask them to nap with me. Haha.. I usually have a power nap at 2 in the afternoon. After that, I can have some time with my kids already not being cranky. Haha.
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  • Blogging – I love writing and expressing myself and so I consider this as a self care. Being able to do what I love and sharing thoughts with people.
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

I thought I would not have time on taking care of myself but I think because we are our own boss at home, we could just have a time out once in a while. We need to discipline our kids also, telling them that we can get tired too. They could help us. They are willing.

By the way, this is my second of blogging and I reached 500 views today. I am so happy reaching out with others. I also got 14 followers as of the moment. Thank you for following. I hope I am entertaining you with my posts.

advantages of homeschooling this 2021

When we came back here in the Philippines on 2019, I was excited about the notion of my children going to school here in the Philippines. The experience of riding the school bus, having packed lunch and eating with their friends, group studying and a lot fun things to do with their friends. It was very exciting feeling.

However, reality bites, it was hard. During that time, I needed to wake up at 3:30 in the morning to prepare breakfast and pack lunch for my eldest daughter. My eldest needed to wake up at 4:30 in the morning because her school bus arrives at 5:30. It was that early because the traffic to her school is very heavy during rush hours. Imagine the adjustment.

My daughter was also shocked with the reality of having classmates that bullies one another. It was really different from what she experienced in Singapore. There was some moments when she was asking me if it is okay to move back to Singapore.

Year 2020, when we had the lockdown here in the Philippines, I saw the advantage of homeschooling. Though, that time, she was still in her regular class but done online. It was just like homeschool because I was the one who mostly discussed to her the lessons.

So this school year of 2020 to 2021, I took the chance of homeschooling my daughter. I got excited and so enthusiast to share my knowledge to my kid. It was adjustment too, but I would discuss this in my other blog.

Anyway, the school year is about to end and I am still planning for my daughter to still be in homeschool on the next school year.

Here are the advantages of homeschooling this year 2021.

  • Cheaper – The price difference from her regular school is 78% lower. We don’t have to pay for the school bus either (Well, it is pandemic, so school bus is really not an option.. haha)
  • Hands on Learning – As my daughter’s teacher, I somehow know my daughter and her capacity to learn. And so, I do the lesson plans strategically for her to learn it properly. If she will have questions, she could just ask me right away and we could discuss it.
  • Proper Monitoring – Relating to hands on learning, I can monitor my daughter’s progress properly. I know what subject she is excelling and what are her weaknesses. What are the subjects that we should focus more.
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  • Stronger relationship – I can feel that studying is a good bonding time with my daughters. However, I am still instilling that I am the teacher during that time and I am not going to tolerate laziness or tantrums while studying. During the lessons, I do give the wisdom that I learnt from studying and experiences in life. Why education is very important in their lives. It is fun to be mentoring your own child and seeing how she is living with what you taught.
  • Efficient Learning – As the lessons depend on the phasing of the student, sometimes, it becomes faster. I asked the homeschool coordinator why the lesson plans were a lot, but we finished it earlier. The coordinator said that the lesson plans are based on the regular school and sometimes, it is becoming slow because of the other students who needed to learn more about the subject. As it is only me and my daughter, we have ample time to discuss what are the lessons that she didn’t understand.
  • Child becomes more independent – The situation in the Philippines’ education is different now, especially for the ones who are in regular school (but online). As it is hard to cope with the phasing of the lessons, some students tend to be dependent on their parents or their other classmates. This is somehow the same during normal school.
  • Good mental health – As the children are learning based on their own phase, they are not pressured or stressed. They focus more on their interests and have a proper guidance to the subjects they are slightly interested. They could just rest and have a break when they don’t feel like studying on that time.

It is a little bit challenging for me, however, I would want to embrace the advantages and see if I could do this to my youngest or continue homeschooling my eldest until highschool.