Surprised overseas trip to visit my homeschoolers

Photo Credit: Pexels

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.

It was me who cried again when I was about to leave for Kuwait. Ugggghhhh. It’s me who’s not prepared for this separation anxiety thingy. I made a blog post before about how to deal with separation anxiety with your homeschoolers.

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. 

Mrs Deese
Teacher QueenBee @ Lifestyle Freedom Academy

Wait! My child turned 8 and she celebrated her birthday without me by her side!

Photo credit: Pexels

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.

Till next time!

 

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?

 

How to deal with separation anxiety when you’re a homeschooler

BACK TO BLOGOSPHERE

Hello homeschooling moms/dads and tots! Back to blogging here. It’s been awhile. My mind was put on hold and so were my fingers because we went on a mini-vacay. This time, there’s a huge difference. We left our homeschooling kids under the care of my parents, my girls’ grandparents. How I’m missing them much! The house is so empty. It’s so quiet. No little hands are messing up the house except that of my husband’s and mine! Ugggh. I’m missing them so badly that there’s a huge hole in my heart.

It’s Feb 11 already, almost 1.5months have passed. Time’s passing by so quickly I could hardly catch up. I have so much time in my hands right now because my kids are not with me for a couple of months. But it seems that the more time I have, the more that I could not get my tempo yet. Most probably because I couldn’t believe it yet that I’m having this grand time of my life. No. I’m currently undergoing a separation anxiety moment from my girls. For a couple of days, I was crying. My kids were not crying. They were having some homesick moments but they knew just how to deal with it by putting their clenched fists on their chests while saying ‘COURAGE’. Oftentimes, I find myself doing that.

My kids are so resilient. I realized that this week. My youngest would often say, “I wanna touch you or feel you, Mom” and those words would often pierce me. But she wouldn’t cry. There was a time that she was feeling so sad because she missed me so much but when I was able to talk to her, she didn’t cry or show any sign that would make me disoriented from feeling guilty of leaving them for a couple of months. I remember when I was their age and until even when I’m already grown up, I would often cry when there were attacks of homesickness. I realized that being with my kids 24×7 for 5&7 years and counting, respectively, have made a huge difference in the lives of my kids. I knew in life that there will be bouts of physical separation between and among us. Today’s separation period from them is helping us both in dealing with all the times that we will be separated physically and especially when it’s time for them to go solo.

Regarding my daughters’ homeschool program while on vacay, we hired two teachers who will be supervising them. We tried to enroll them in a physical school back home but we realized that they were no fit for my daughters’ needs. We’re currently awaiting for my daughters’ new homeschool program. We’re done with our first school because it was so tedious and rigid that we all ended up exhausted, burnt out, and not able to enjoy life while learning thereby losing the essence of the flexibility that homeschooling brings. After so much consideration and sleepless nights, I finally found the one that will suit us fine. I hope.

Enough of intro. That was a longish post already. What brought my fingers here was to blog about dealing with separation anxiety when you’re a homeschooler. As I told you earlier, it’s my first time to be away from my kids and that’s killing me softly. Oh don’t get me wrong. My kids are in the safest hands, love and care of my parents. They’re the best when it comes to child care and pampering! My youngest daughter would often ask her grandpa to buy her toys though! Hahaha. It’s just that, you know, it’s more difficult for a homeschooling parent to be away from their kids than how their kids would feel. Learn from my experience on how to deal with separation anxiety when you’re a homeschooling parent.

SEPARATION ANXIETY

In this post, I’ll be talking about parental separation anxiety and separation anxiety in children.

Wikipedia defines separation anxiety as a disorder wherein an individual experiences excessive anxiety  regarding separation from home or from people to whom the individual has a strong emotional attachment. While this is common for young kids, parents do experience separation anxiety.

Here’s how I am trying to deal with the separation anxiety thingy between me as a mother and my kids:

  1. Cry your heart out days or weeks prior to leaving your kids temporarily. I did that. My husband didn’t. So he cried out loud yesterday while we were eating out. He didn’t have a cleansing of his emotions while we were still in the province with our kids. Though crying out loud prior to leaving doesn’t guarantee that you will be homesick-free from them anymore as days go by, at least, you won’t be crying out loud when homesickness attacks. It might just probably some shedding of a tear or two whenever you miss your kids. Yes, it’s natural. Release it when you have to.
  2. Create a schedule that will make you busy. Being a mother, a full-time one, it’s not unusual that we will feel that pang in our heart whenever we remember our kids while being away from them. We will remember them in almost every detail in our house, starting from their clothes, their books, their artworks, their favorite songs, their favorite TV shows and the places you went to with them. To combat excessive homesickness and separation anxiety from our kids, create a schedule that will make you ultra busy.
  3. Learn a skill or two. What is it that you have long been wanting to do but you haven’t yet because of lack of time? Now is the perfect time to do that. Remember that you have a time for yourself, too. Don’t lose yourself while taking care of your kids and husband. Oftentimes, mothers are so tired of being tired that we don’t have the time to look after ourselves. When we have this rare opportunity of being away from our kids temporarily, make yourself a priority. Your future self will thank you. When it’s time for our grown up kids to finally leave away from our nest, we’ll be able to make use of the skills we learned.
  4. Realize that separation anxiety is normal. Prepare your kids in handling their emotions first. This is both normal for kids and parents. Go with the flow. Don’t resist the feeling. Learn how to handle it well by first dealing with your kids’ separation anxiety. Prepare them while they’re still young. In our case, our kids have handled the separation thingy more professionally than us, their parents. This astounded us both! I mentioned earlier that this is our first time to be separated from them and yes, we’re continents apart! You’d realize how it was difficult for us parents than our kids to be away from one another. Here’s what I did to prepare them. While homeschooling them (that meant being with them 24×7 for 5&7years and counting already), I make it a point to leave them once a week. I need to do that to find balance in my life as a mom and person. It’s important that there’s a distinction between personhood and motherhood. Know more about that at The New Rich Mom. I have prepared a special gesture that will help my kids remember my love and warmth when they’re away from me and until they fly solo. COURAGE. That’s a powerful word that has created an impact in them. I told them to touch their heart(s) with clenched fist(s) as they say, COURAGE! When we were about to leave the province, my mother told me that there’s a reversal in emotions already. It’s my 1st born who was asking if I cried. There was even a time when she said she’d not go with me to the airport even though she’d wanted to because I would cry. In the end of course, I asked my kids to go with us to the airport. Yeah, I cried really hard there at the airport and even at the airplane. When they were about to go home that time and during that day, my mom told me that my first born was teary eyed as she put her clenched fist on her chest/heart. Fast forward to several days, they don’t miss us that much. UPDATE as of 4:23PM today, Feb 11. I was calling my two girls to say goodnight (9:23PM back home), my youngest daughter said that she doesn’t miss us yet! Hahaha. Sweet Lord. See what I mean? When you develop your kids’ resilience, the more that it will benefit you as a parent. You will learn to be more resilient than you are, too. My 1st born told me that she misses me. We have this virtual hug that we give to each other when we do video calling. We also have virtual kisses.
  5. Spend more time at the church to nourish your soul. Prior to going home for our vacation, we joined a community at the church. So regularly, we meet for praise and worship. Yesterday, though, I cried because we sang the song that my kids usually sing. :d It’s a normal process, don’t worry. Through time, you will also be as resilient as your kids are.
  6. Watch or listen to inspirational videos/audios. From 1st day onwards, I have indulged luxuriously in watching or listening to videos/audios that are helpful in diverting my thoughts away from my kids. Not only that, I learn a lot from watching or listening to the videos/audios.
  7. Set aside a time to talk to your kids virtually. Yes, invest in a good Internet connection and smartphone. Download apps that will help you connect to your kids. Set a particular time wherein both of you and your kids are free to talk. Make sure you call them regularly so they will be able to remember you and you will see how they’re doing. You can still parent virtually even when your oceans and continents apart.
  8. Rest your mind if you have, too. When your homesickness and separation anxiety is wearing you down, rest your mind. Remember that everything is for the common good. My husband and I are quite relieved and we’re having some couple and individual moments. We have to shine and relearn how to take care of ourselves once again. We’re like sponge these days. We’re trying to do more while we have this separation moment temporarily from our kids. We know that our kids are in good hands with their grandpa and grandma. They’re doing good. We regularly call them. We make them feel that no distance can separate us. Our kids are enjoying their vacation. Our parents are feeling, for the first time, how to be grandparents for real to our kids. Our kids are enjoying their lessons with their teachers. Our kids will be more because of this separation exercise that we have.

Concluding Words

How are you dealing with separation anxiety? How are your kids dealing with separation anxiety? We are all undergoing a lot of emotions here when we are having separation anxiety. Someone said that EMOTION is energy in motion. It’s important to understand the emotions that we are going through when we are physically separated from our family members. Go through the emotion, the process, and then divert your energy in things and activities that will help you go through the feelings of sadness, loneliness, anxiety, discomfort, feeling guilty and more during this separation phase. Always try to look at the positive side in everything.

Happy virtually mothering or parenting during this separation moment with your kids! 

COURAGE!

 

Homeschool Schedule Free Maker

Hello homeschooling mommas out there!

Are you following a strict schedule?

While we do have a schedule, oftentimes, my kids don’t follow them. Maybe because I don’t put the schedules on the wall; only a piece of paper which they can check (but it’s not working that much). This time, I’ll be printing a per week schedule that they need to follow so they will be reminded every now and then.

I know that my kids do need a clear-cut schedule to follow so they will be more responsible for their homeschool and life schedule. They’ve already improved a lot, as in a lot, in terms of how they manage their time. Did I mention to you that they’re the ones who prepare themselves for our homeschool session? Yes, they take a bath by themselves (oh yeah, they often play!); they dress by themselves (they wear their homeschool uniform); they setup their study area for the day.

(I am contemplating though of transferring their study area again. Alektini’s room is so dark. I need to buy a lamp for her. I am thinking of using the dining table as their study area but I need to buy a new cabinet for their books and school supplies which I’ll put in the living room. Here’s wishing I didn’t sell one of my cabinets before. I could have just brought it along with us when we transferred. But hey, it’s fine. I also didn’t know how that cabinet would fit the new place as it’s already fully furnished. I just knew lately the need for one bookshelf for my kids’ school supplies and books.)

The schedule maker at Free Class Schedule Maker has helped me a lot in making a schedule for my kids! I tried it and it really looked so nice with all the different colors and organized labels. Courses can be added and edited. Schedule can be saved, exported, imported.

I can’t put the whole image here so I’m just posting a snippet of the schedule. (I made a different schedule; final schedule which I’m going to print and post in our wall).

screen-shot-2016-11-26-at-9-21-30-pm

Try it and organize your homeschool/life schedule!

 

🐝 Mrs Deese
– busy homeschooling bee from Lifestyle Freedom Academy

 

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...