Read Out Loud Challenge 2017 National Book Store

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Some of our books in our mini-library in Kuwait…More books in our room haha. We sold our bookshelves when we transferred to this new residence; hence, the books were on the floor for easy access. The floor is empty anyway so the books made the house homier (yay! books make a home) than if there are no books on sight. Yes, we couldn’t live without books. So costly to buy though online when you’re in Kuwait. 

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.

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Photo credit: Kerygma Books

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.

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Photo Credit: Kerygma Books

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? 

Every family has a unique homeschooling story…

This is a snippet of our family’s homeschooling journey.

Hello homeschooling moms/dads and tots!

Howdy! It’s been a longish while since I last wrote here. Almost a month! The past month was so stressful. I kept on thinking about my parents back home. My kids’ nanny left them without giving any reason at all. She must be looking for a greener pasture out there. As you can see, I know how stressful life can be when there’s no household help at all. My parents, especially my mom, must be very exhausted at the end of the day. I left my kids back home for almost four months (you may read my blogpost here about it) because I was thinking I found them a good nanny to look after them (of course under the loving care of my parents). Who would ever thought that just after a month, the nanny would feign not feeling well then that would be the end of her service! If it was money that was her issue, she could have been honest with me. I didn’t give her a very low salary. What I gave her was more than the existing household helper salary in the country. I just hope and pray that my parents will be able to look for a replacement nanny ASAP.

Another thing which made me so anxious over the past month was that I waited for the new lesson plans to arrive. They arrived after 3 weeks. As soon as they arrived via Aramex, I browsed through the lesson plans and voila, I found the materials so impressive! My two girls will be learning Latin for this school year and also Philosophy! We’ll be doing classical education this school year. Here’s wishing we started with this curriculum way back when we started FORMAL homeschooling in 2014. We started informal homeschooling in 2009. [Yes. There’s no need to rush in enrolling kids in formal/accredited/unaccredited homeschool curriculum.] We could have prevented that massive burn out which we experienced for almost two years because of the previous curriculum which we had. Whew.

Truly, there’s no one formula in homeschooling that will fit a homeschooling family. As you go along with homeschooling, you will discover the curriculum that will fit your family. It will depend on your budget, on the learning style of your kids, on what you want to accomplish, and what your vision is for your children. Looking back, my homeschooling journey was a roller coaster for me. But I learned a great deal in this journey. My kids developed self-reliance as they learned more on how to make themselves busy. They learned a great deal via the things that they needed to learn because we were almost doing unstructured homeschooling for the past two years! Were you able to read about the benefits of doing a structured homeschooling than an unstructured one? If not, you may read the post  about structured homeschooling here.  For this school year, we’ll be doing more of structured learning. I am thankful for our new homeschool curriculum.

I don’t normally give a boxed curriculum for my kids. I always include other things that my children should learn. A few hours back, my 1st born said she and her baby sister wanted to learn Chinese. I have yet to include Chinese language in the schedule of my girls. They will also enroll in a ballet class starting April until May.

Looking back, whenever I think about the journey of my kids from birth to present (my kids are 5 and 7 & counting, respectively), I am well certain that I made the right choice in giving them HOME EDUCATION. The journey is far from perfect yet it’s the best thing that has ever happened to them. They know a lot of things that I didn’t know when I was their age, and yes, even until now. They do a lot of things which I didn’t do when I was young. They say a lot of things that are alien to me, in other words. Haha. I often say on a regular basis that I LEARN MORE FROM MY KIDS than they learn from me. Oh, of course, I don’t want to discount my contribution to why they are the way they are because I know in my heart that I PROVIDED THEM THE RIGHT ENVIRONMENT. All along, I was/am/have always been there for them. If you have been following my blog, I decided to quit the corporate world even before I gave birth to my 1st born. Not that I don’t have a career right now. My career even blossomed when I decided to become a work-from-home mom. It wasn’t that easy to embark on this journey. But it’s all worth it, despite the ups and downs. I know better now, thank God.

YES, EVERY FAMILY HAS ITS UNIQUE HOMESCHOOLING STORY. Whatever stage you are in right now in your homeschooling journey, whatever pains which you had in the past about choosing your curriculum, about how burnt out you and your homeschooled kids, about how difficult it is to homeschool during the formative years and primary years, hold on, momma, you’re STILL on the right track no matter how you feel, at times, that your kids might be behind. No, there’s no such thing as being behind in homeschooling. Your kids DO LEARN even when they don’t do anything that is spectacular in your eyes. They learn every single thing about anything whether you are aware of it or not. They learn from what they feel, see, and hear around them. Learning doesn’t just mean getting the lessons from their academics. Oftentimes, it’s when they have been provided the right environment and treatment that will encourage them to learn for more, on their own. It’s what learning is all about. It’s not spoon feeding. It’s not by the book. It’s beyond that. It’s how they have been able to think critically and do things spontaneously and on their own that will shape their homeschooling journey.

How about you? What’s your family’s homeschooling story?

 

Learning away from home

Today, we had the chance to go out and learn away from home. We went to the seaside, explored the scenery, watched people who were fishing, and got mesmerized by the vastness of the ocean and the beauty of nature. It was an amazing opportunity for my homeschooled kids to learn away from home…

The good thing with homeschooling is that learning can be done/achieved everywhere. Learning isn’t just confined in the comfort of our home.

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Location: Souq Sharq, Kuwait. Homeschooling in Kuwait: Learning about nature www.homeschoolinginkuwait.com
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Homeschooling in Kuwait: Learning away from home…

How kids learn: clue to the homeschool curriculum that we’re looking for

After a week of sleepless nights, I have somehow found the missing link in finding the best homeschool kindergarten curriculum.

No matter how I searched for reviews online, the answer to the nagging question: “what’s the best homeschool curriculum provider” is that there’s no such thing as best curriculum. Everything will depend on how your child’s learning system is, and how you as the primary teacher-mommy will be coping with teaching your primary student, your child.

Glad that I was able to talk with MsM who works at my kid’s playgroup. I told her that I’m homeschooling my child but I’m having difficulty in deciding about the KG curriculum. She handed me a catalog about the ZooPhonics KG kit. When we reached home, I still googled some reviews between Abeka and Calvert, between Calvert and Bridgeway, etc. Then after getting tired in reading the reviews from other homeschooling moms, I searched YouTube videos about ZooPhonics. My 4yo daughter heard the ZooPhonics song, and she ran from our room to where the laptop was. She told me, “That’s my first time again to hear that song! It’s from my school!” She listened to the ZooPhonics song for three more times, and she was utterly amazed.

That gave me a clue…What made it so amazing was when she told me,

“When I was a little girl, I heard that song. It’s my first time again to hear that.”

I was utterly amazed at how she’s able to connect that experience when she first attended the playgroup at over 2yo. She’s 4.5 now.

I think that we’ll buy the KG kit from ZooPhonics, and enroll her to an accredited KG US curriculum, though she’s a Filipino, the reason for this is that English is her mother tongue.

Looking at how my child is learning, it’s best to tailor-fit the type of curriculum that makes learning fun, enjoyable, relaxed, flexible for a young child. I think that she’ll thrive more in a curriculum that makes her move all the time as she’s bored with heavy coloring, and stories that are purely text-based (no images). She’s currently enrolled in the preKG curriculum of Calvert and although she’s enjoying the lessons there, sometimes, she gets bored with the activities. When she’s on her own in using Starfall.com, she’s not bored at all. She jumps from preschool to 1st grade lessons. Hence, her KG curriculum will be a mix-and-match of the best of everything that we’re going to come across.

In the coming weeks, I’m trimming down my options to:
1) Abeka
2) Homeschool of Asia Pacific – US curriculum.

3) Actually, I’m still confused. LOL.

Supplements:
1) ZooPhonics KG kit
2) time4learning
3) starfall.com
4) leapfrog
5) and more boooks…
6) baking time
7) playing time
8) values formation time

and most of all, my time to just be with my two kids throughout their growing up years.

View our homeschool room in Kuwait

I created a space for my homeschooled daughters. (The eldest is formally homeschooled, the youngest is informally homeschooled). My informally homeschooled daughter shares the space but most of the time, she squats on the carpeted floor and tinkers her mini-iPad.

HOMESCHOOL ROOM: ACADEMICS SPACE

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Homeschool Room: Academics Space

This is the heart of our homeschool room. We call this our Academics Space. This is where we formally discuss the homeschool curriculum. This is also where my formally homeschooled daughter and my informally homeschooled daughter tinker their respective MacBook pro laptops. They use their laptops when accessing Starfall.com and other online resources. We have here the Zoo phonics alphabet, the resources for her artwork, the blackboard on the right side, and her mini-library on the left side. Beside the mini-library (cabinet) is my children’s cabinet for some of their toys. On the upper cabinet is my 1st born’s piggy bank (which she started to fill up when she’s just 1.5yo).

Homeschool Room: Organize your homeschool materials! Sorry, my youngest daughter just removed the labels a few minutes ago.

Homeschool Room: Get organized (the labels were removed a few hours ago by my youngest daughter! hehe. I have to devise a more secured way of putting the labels.)

I realized that homeschooling can generate a lot of things even when you’re new to homeschooling (preKG, etc). It’s better to be organized so as not to mix up a lot of things or forget where the materials are when you needed them the most.

HOMESCHOOL ROOM: ART/CREATIVE SPACE

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Homeschool Room: ART/CREATIVE SPACE

This is where my daughter makes a mess during art/creative time.

Homeschool Room: The organizers for homeschool materials are readily accessible. I designed them that way so that we can easily locate the materials that we need when making artwork.

My homeschooled daughter loves to use this table especially when she paints. We also use this table when we need a bigger space for our homeschool materials.

HOMESCHOOL ROOM: MUSIC SPACE

HOMESCHOOL ROOM: Music Space

My two daughters are musically inclined, like their daddy. This is where they learn how to play the piano. Just today, my 4yr old daughter has her own composition – The flower with butterfly. Some of the lyrics aren’t clear though. I love the title of her own song!

HOMESCHOOL ROOM: MOVIEDUCATION SPACE AT HOME

Homeschool Room: Movieducation Space at Home

This is where my kids watch movies. They love to watch Dora the Explorer and other English movies for kids. They normally use this area when unwinding from academics. Sorry for the mess. We haven’t organized yet our new books from Amazon. (…not our kids’ books but hubby’s and mine)…Yeah, we’re all addicted to books. We eat books. =)

So far, this is our homeschool room. This works for us. Our kids’ playground is the park. We also use the cinema as an extension of our movieducation room/space.

How about your homeschool room? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

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