Yep, you read it right. I made a surprised overseas trip last week to visit my homeschoolers in my parents’ house in one of the provinces of the Philippines. I traveled exactly 5,079mi to surprise my kids! Oh boy, they cried upon seeing me. Few days before my arrival, my mom’s friend told them that I’d be coming. I told them I’d be coming in June to fetch them so they believed me. Their dad told them I was at the grocery store when they called during the time I was in the plane.
My girls couldn’t just believe it that I was there in front of them, that they could hug me, that they could touch me. I was also in tears when they started crying. I could sense how they truly missed me! Ahh, if only I could stay with them for a longer time.
When I reached the Philippines, I was already deprived for 3 sleepless nights. During my whole stay in the Philippines, I could count the no. of hours that I slept – just freakin’ 20 hours only for 6 days! Luckily, God blessed my body and sanity despite my sleeplessness. Perhaps I suffered from insomnia or I wasn’t able to adjust my body clock back then. Speaking of body clock, my 5yo daughter was all in tears when she learned that I wasn’t sleeping well at night. She urged me to go back to Kuwait so I could sleep well, for she said, that I’d be able to adjust my body clock here! Hahaha. How I missed my little ones, my two girls…
I had the chance to bring my girls to their ballet school for 3 consecutive times. If you have been following my blog, my girls are homeschooled so after their playgroup when they were toddlers, the ballet school today is the closest thing wherein I was able to bring them to a physical school. Gasped! My girls were so responsible and are so responsible with how they manage their time and selves before going to the ballet school. Here’s my blogpost about enrolling my girls in a ballet school in our province while they’re on a short vacay. 4 months. Not quite short though.
Their ballet classes start at 9:30AM. They’re usually awake at 6:30 or 6:45AM. They bathe themselves. They eat their breakfast. They change into ballet uniforms. They want to go to school so early!
I am so impressed.
Not only with the way they handle themselves by being so responsible but also with the way they listen to their ballet teacher (yes, until now – their grandma accompanies them to the ballet school and wait for them to finish. Their grandpa brings them and fetches them.)
While I was in the province, I couldn’t help but be mesmerized at the way they’re showing their COURAGE.
They don’t bawl out when they miss us (unlike me when I was their age!). They just do their work, play, or do their thing.
When I reached Kuwait a few days back, I slept for the longest time possible; hence, this late blog post. My 5yo daughter’s right. Here in Kuwait, I could easily go back to adjusting my body clock. Haha. Yes, little girls know best.
Lately, I have learned to suppress my homesickness because my girls are VERY HAPPY in our province, under the care of my grandparents and sister. Just awhile ago, when I called them, I could hear their laughter with their grandpa and grandma. I’m beyond relieved. I know I shouldn’t worry about them. Was it yesterday when Mama told me that my girls don’t even feel sad or they don’t miss us at all? When their grandma was in Manila for 8 days, my girls esp. my 5yo daughter would call me for several times a day! That was prior to my surprised visit to them. They don’t remember calling me when their grandma’s with them in the house. Good thing, Mama’s next travel to Manila is by September.
Luckily, too, they got a new nanny so the pressure in my Mama’s shoulder has lessened to a great deal. Yay, Mama’s still so hands on with my girls and yes, she does some household chores still like cooking for my girls and for the whole household and washing the beddings and some clothes. But the thing is, somehow, my girls got a new nanny, a better one than the previous.
I temporarily stopped the academics tutorial of my girls starting this week until the last week of April. When they started last February, the teachers were so busy that the tutorial classes with my girls were irregular.
I can’t wait for June to start anew with my homeschooling session with my girls. I am still waiting for some books from their new academy.
This is just a quick update. I’ll be back soon.
How are you doing with your homeschooling journey? If you’re new to homeschooling or are planning to homeschool your kids, don’t hesitate to drop me a line at homeschoolingkuwait[at]gmail[dot]com.
Teacher QueenBee @ Lifestyle Freedom Academy
It’s been one of my wishes (and yes, my daughters’ dreams) to enroll in a ballet school. Although there are ballet classes here in Kuwait, for some reasons, we didn’t attempt to enroll them. I just dunno why. Perhaps, the distance?
Finally, my mom enrolled my girls today in a ballet summer class in our province, just a 5min drive away from our house! The girls are super excited.
In our province, tuition fee for ballet classes per child costs PhP3,000 plus registration fee of PhP500. Uniforms will be purchased at SM Megamall. Classes will be held 3x a week, Monday, Wednesday, Friday starting on April 3. This will be very tasking on the part of my homeschooled girls because they’ve been used to just staying at home. They also have classes at home with their teachers 5x a week. However, going out 3x a week would be a good exercise for them though not just physically, emotionally, but more so on being responsible in managing their time, and also an opportunity for them to bond with other kids and grownups.
Funny thing is, there were some who were conversing with my girls in our dialect (translating them to English) with the intention of teaching them how to speak our dialect! Whoa. Hahaha. Ma told them that “the mommy didn’t want her girls to speak in dialect”. But why, they asked! Hehehe. Even the basic tagalog words, my daughters don’t know them. For example, ‘kumusta ka’ (how are you), my daughters don’t know that! LOLs.
Uh-oh. Don’t get me wrong. I love my Philippine heritage. I do speak in my native language at home with my husband even when our girls are around. It’s just that, when my kids were so young, they didn’t want to speak in Filipino! Masakit daw sa tenga! Hahaha. I haven’t forced my girls to learn any other language but now that they’re both proficient in English at a young age (the only language they know since birth), they want to study Chinese, Spanish, French – they said. Yes, I know that learning other languages will come in handy because they want to learn other languages. Should they want to learn Filipino and my dialect, they’ll be free to do so at the right time, their time. A few days ago, my 8yr old daughter surprised me when she said, “we’re able to understand some Filipino words when Mommy and Daddy talk. We just understand them even though we don’t know every word that they say.” See my point? They understand us even though they don’t know how to say the words in Filipino. That’s fine. I want them to speak and think in English.
Back to ballet classes…
When I was young, I didn’t have any interest in ballet dancing. I was just focused on my academics! Whoa. Here’s wishing I wasn’t like that – so involved in academics that I became a slave of schooling. Hahahaha. I felt like engaging in extracurricular activities would rob my time off from my academics. Haha. Urgggh. Good thing my daughters aren’t like that. They’re homeschooled. They’re so FREEEEEEEE!
At what age should kids start ballet classes?
There have been differing opinions as to the age that kids should start ballet dancing. Some parents would often rush their kids to do ballet at a very young age of 2. Personally, I felt that starting ballet classes at 8 is kinda late already for my 1st born (my 2nd daughter is over 5).
Research shows that 8 is just the right age to start formal ballet training. Before 8 years old, it’s just about “musicality and learning about body movement”. I read from DanceDepot that if you want your child to be a professional ballerina, enroll your child at 8 in ballet classes for proper techniques. Just the right age for my 1st born to learn about formal ballet dancing.
How about you? At what age did your kids start ballet dancing?
Ballet Classes in Kuwait
Are you looking for ballet classes in Kuwait?
The following are the lists of ballet programs in Kuwait.
Center of the Arts: Center of the Arts Web site: https://www.artkuwait.com.kw/
Phone: +965 222-82-130
Address: Block 1 , Plot 21, Al Usaimi Complex, 6th Street, Shuwaikh Industrial
British Academy of International Arts
Address: Villa 32, Street 1, Salwa, Block 1
One of the beauties of homeschooling is that READING is our well-loved subject and activity. Yes, we have more time to read not just the academics books of my kids but more so about life and the world out there! I always make it a point that my homeschooled girls are reading almost on a daily basis. Even though my kids are not with me right now (they’re in a vacation with their grandparents), I always remind them to read. You see, they’re still young so PLAY is what comes into their minds during vacation time. So happy that they still do read, but perhaps, not daily because they’re into playing at the park, pool, backyard, kite flying and more. Well, for as long as reading doesn’t take a backseat for a longish time, that’s fine with me. I knew that I already inculcated in them the love for reading. No wonder, even at a young age, my kids are thrilled with reading the Life’s Manual and other grown up books.
So lucky to have known about the Read Out Loud Challenge 2017 sponsored by the National Book Store. Though we’re not based in the Philippines, my family will be joining this challenge virtually. We love books. We love to learn each day about the world out there. If you’re in the Philippines, drop by at the National Book Store.
My mini-library at home shows a variety of books from finance to leadership, marketing, virtual careers, homeschooling, parenting, programming, novels, how tos, autobiographies and more children’s books for our girls. My husband and I share the same passion in reading and digital stuffs so expect that our home is adorned not with decors but with books.
During this 4-month separation period from our homeschooled kids, we (husband and I) are so busy nourishing our souls with praise and worship music and spiritual teachings. We’re also reading books about knowing Jesus more. You see, life is empty without God. Did you know that our two homeschooled girls know how to praise and worship at a young age?
If you’re in this journey of knowing God not just for you but for your whole family, you may hugely benefit from the Kerygma Books wherein I’m a Kerygma Ambassador. It’s the Season of Lent and Kerygma offers a 25% discount on its books. Reading out loud the books for soul will surely help you and your children develop an intimate encounter with the Lord.
Click on this link to buy the books at the Kerygma Shop. Enjoy 25% discount until April 20, 2017.
Are you reading out loud with your homeschooled kids? What books are you reading?
It’s been awhile since I last posted here. I was sober a few days back. It’s my daughter’s first time to celebrate her birthday without me by her side and we’re continents apart. If you are following my blog, you know that my two homeschooled daughters are in the province under the care of my parents.
If you’re an expat, and your family is back home, I know what you’re feeling. You’re not physically there when it comes to important occasions. And that’s kinda heartbreaking, isn’t it? I felt it just a few days back.
Two days prior to my daughter’s 8th birthday, I was already so sad. I wasn’t able to talk to her and her baby sister for over a day. That literally brought me to tears. The irony was, my two daughters were not even sad. Of course, I didn’t tell them that I was in tears. When I left the country last February, my daughters saw how sad I was.
My daughters miss me and their daddy but they would just utter that without tears. I am proud of how tough they have become. I know that when the time comes for them to go solo, they have already adjusted well because of this 4-month separation period that we have right now. It’s me though who’s having a hard time with this separation anxiety. Last month, I blogged about dealing with separation anxiety when you’re a homeschooler. Yes, I am getting along pretty well, so far. It’s just that homesickness enveloped me these past few days because as you can see, it’s my first time to be away from my kids. Since they’re homeschooled and they’re born here in this country, we’re practically together for 24/7 for the past 8 years and counting.
On my part, how did I prepare for my daughter’s 8th birthday even though we’re continents apart?
My daughter received gifts from us on her birthday last Monday but the gifts didn’t come all the way from this country. To save for shipping fee, I just asked my sister to purchase the gifts in Manila and send them locally via LBC. I asked my sister to write our names on the gift and I dictated the birthday greetings. With this, we were able to save a great deal on the shipping fee. The gift that my daughter was expecting was also available in Manila.
A day before my daughter’s 8th birthday, I already told my mom about the kind of party that I would want for my daughter. My daughter originally planned for a beach party but I wasn’t that comfortable with the thought that she’s celebrating it at the beach without us. I told my mom to have a pool party instead. So lucky to have a mom who’s so hands on. She bought beach ball and floaters for the girls. My girls were so happy even though they just swam for a few minutes as it was already cold. The pool there didn’t have any warm water unlike the pools here in Kuwait. Nevertheless though, the girls still enjoyed that day.
Thanks to my parents for making my daughter’s birthday a happy one. My daughter told me that she’s happy, indeed, even when I didn’t ask her about what she’s feeling that day. That somehow relieved my homesickness. All the while I was thinking that she’s kinda missing me on her birthday but it was just the other way around. I was just the only one missing her so badly. Thanks to my husband’s parents, too, for giving my daughter a pre-advanced birthday party with my daughter’s new friends.
How about you? Share tips on how you’re preparing for your kids’ birthdays when you’re not physically beside them?
Anyhow, I remember something I was asked a few days ago about the setup of education of my kids now that they’re in the province.
Still homeschoolers and will be homeschooling till K12
Some people asked me if my kids would be living in the Philippines and if ever they’d be enrolled in physical schools. We did try to enroll them in physical schools in the province but they’re not into it. My youngest daughter said she couldn’t learn when it’s noisy. So what we did was to hire two teachers who’d tutor our girls – at home. It’s working best for them. Occasionally, my girls play with the neighbors’ kids.
There are more things that I want my two daughters to learn and do in life now that my first born is 8 and my second born is almost 6. However, I can only provide the right environment for them and correct way of nudging them about the life out there. I cannot tell them what to do when they don’t see me doing it. My daughters’ mirror has always been me, their mom. In fact when they’re still here in this country a few months back, I was so thrilled when I witnessed them doing some online stuffs. I can’t wait to be with them again and learn together the intricacies and challenges of the real world. As you can see, we’re not only learning the academics but practically we’re into stuffs that are somehow beyond their age. We’re dealing here with real life, with stuffs that they should know in order to deal with the world outside the four walls of classroom. No, don’t get me wrong. I’m not against public or private traditional schooling. It’s just that homeschooling works best for us. I could enumerate more about why home education is working best for us but perhaps in a separate blog post. The thing is, my two girls are still homeschoolers and will be homeschooling them until K12.
My daughter is 8! Now, what?
I couldn’t believe it that I have already raised an 8-year old and over 5-year old two girls! 8 is almost a grownup, my daughter told me when she’s just 7. I asked her a few days back about what she’s feeling now that she’s 8. She didn’t answer it. Perhaps, there’s no big difference, anyway, on her part. One thing I noticed though was that she knew when to stop watching youtube while talking to me via Viber. She told her little sister to stop watching as they were talking to me. Good job, Ate. You know what/who to prioritize. Was it just a month ago when she cried heavily for she wasn’t able to talk to me online because she prioritized watching Youtube? She must have learned her lessons well back then.
My daughters are learning more about real life during this 4-month separation period. They have grown considerably especially my 8-year daughter. It was a good break for both of my girls.
My daughter is 8 now. I have yet to tailor-fit some of the things that I think she’d like to do. I have yet to draft the path that I think she’d be happy to walk on. As always, I have been the kind of mom who’s not so strict when it comes to pushing what I want for my girls. I try as much as possible to incorporate the things that interest them. From there, they learn about how to pursue the things that they should focus on. There’s more to kids’ lives than pushing them to do stuffs that will eventually bore them. That’s why I want them to enjoy lifestyle freedom at a young age. Of course, with lifestyle freedom comes hard work and perseverance. Wait for more blog posts about our journey in our homeschooling journey.