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

Ballet classes for my homeschooled girls

If your child still wants to be a professional ballerina at the age of 8, this is the time to start looking for ballet classes that will teach proper technique. – MichelleMurphy

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

Ballet Schedule:
balletschedule_centerofthearts

British Academy of International Arts
Address: Villa 32, Street 1, Salwa, Block 1
Telephone: +96525623604

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? 

When you’re called upon to homeshool, make it your covenant with God.

It’s 1 o’clock in the morning, just finished having my ME time. And that meant, working away from home at least once a week. I’m a work-from-home-mom. Sometimes, I’m wishing I’m working outside fulltime but hey I chose to homeschool my kids so I’m working most of the time at home.

If you have been following my blog, I confessed that I was an absentee homeschool teacher-mommy in 2015 because I was trying to work for the world, at the expense of my daughter’s education. But miraculously, my eldest daughter emerged victorious. She has become so responsible for what she has to learn. Until now, she’s like that – absorbing everything that interests her particularly Science stuffs and creative stuffs.

In 2016, I vowed to make the most of the lost times. However, we became nannyless so I was so busy juggling a lot of things that I could handle. I became so preoccupied with serving my family the best dishes that I could think of. Everything was cooked the gourmet way. I was thrilled of my baking skills. I involved my kids in the kitchen. We called it Life Skills Classes or Home Economics Classes just to pretend that they’re learning along the way. They did learn. they did enjoy. But I wasn’t happy anymore. There was little time left for me to really teach my kids. I was nudging them to study on their own. But they’re still too young to do that. So I became more sad each day until stress piled up on top of another.

Upon our return from our short vacay, there was a sudden change in our outlook in our life overseas. My husband has volunteered to do 70% of the work in the kitchen so that’s giving me ample time to be with my girls physically and mentally. My girls are truly enjoying lifestyle freedom now.

I VOWED TO MAKE IT MY COVENANT WITH THE LORD THAT I WILL HOMESCHOOL MY KIDS WITH ALL THAT I AM.

Yes, when you’re called upon to homeschool, make it your covenant with the Lord.

BENEFITS OF MAKING A COVENANT WITH THE LORD WHEN YOU’RE A HOMESCHOOLER:

  1. Making a covenant with the Lord has elevated my confidence level in homeschooling my kids. There is still the stress that arises from our day-to-day activities, but there’s a lot of improvement in the way my homeschooled kids are viewing their education. They have become more responsible. They have learned how to follow the schedule starting from getting sunshine, to working out in the gym (oh boy, they’re really into it and would keep on bugging me until we’re there in the gym!), to doing their yoga or meditation, to bathing themselves, to changing into their school uniforms, to studying, and more that they need to do.
  2. Making a covenant with the Lord has enabled me to take care of myself, too, as I take care of my kids, the household, the hubby, and all the roles and projects that I have. I now regularly go to the gym, too. Thanks to my kids, really. There’s one thing I still have to master though. My working time. I can’t just stop working when I start working on my laptop when everyone’s asleep already. Night time’s the best time that my adrenaline juice is pumping. This has to change so that I won’t be so sleepy in the morning. But well, maybe I could stay a little bit late when it’s Thursday night since Friday is a holiday for the whole family and there’s no study time for my girls during Friday and Saturday.
  3. Making a covenant has made me realized that my children’s outlook about the future is more important than any facts that they will learn from homeschooling. And this means, making the most of their day-to-day as more loving than dreading by being able to enjoy life as they go along with learning each day. The essence after all of learning is for our children to learn about managing life and relationships. Learning about facts can follow. When children learn how to manage their lives by becoming responsible with the way they do with time, with their day, with their schedule, with their expectations, with their relationships with the parents, with their siblings, with their family members, with their friends, with others, it’s easier for them to handle the intricacies of life. That’s why I taught them how to make their own schedule and try to stick to it. Schedules oftentimes are not perfect. They learned how to adjust. I taught them how to balance life, that life isn’t all about a jar full of chocolates and goodies. That oftentimes it’s also a jar of lemons and spices. I taught them that it’s OK to be bored because that would give them time to reflect and be more creative than stuck up with occupying their attention with the TV, iPad and YouTube, which was their “nanny” when I was busy in the kitchen before. For over 4 months now, they have succeeded in materializing our #NoIpadPolicy at home. This week, too, they haven’t even grabbed the remote control of the TV. When they are bored, they do stuffs with their hands or they talk a lot with each other or fight too. Haha. Kids!
  4. Making a covenant with the Lord as a homeschooling parent has allowed me to listen more than just talk. It enables me to know their deepest feelings and desires, what makes them tick, what they think of homeschooling, and what’s their current take on the issues that they are facing. It’s amazing to know from them that they’re loving school now and that they want to finish their current grade levels in order to go to to COLLEGE! And that’s according to my 5yo kindergartener. They would always compete on the grade level that they wanted to be accelerated with. My 5yo daughter even said this morning that she wanted to study from morning to night, and finish kindergarten for a day and so she could move on to another level.
  5. Making a covenant with God as a homeschooling parent has led me to become attuned with myself. I always ask this question if the way I am dealing with my kids will make me follow myself if I’m in their shoes as the student. Yes, if our roles have been reversed, would I follow myself? Then I start to calm down and be more forgiving in my attitude towards them. Becoming aware of my covenant, I learned to prioritize what’s really important at the core of my being as their primary teacher (with this role as homeschool teacher, as I have a lot of roles in life) — my KIDS, teaching them, and nurturing them as adults with potential virtues of being great on their own. How they are being treated at home will equip them in facing the world outside my knee as their first and primary teacher. While I cannot protect them from the bullies and chaos around the world, my love for them is enough guarantee to give them the courage that they need. Along with the proper virtues that I have inculcated in them and their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, I am pretty sure that they’ll be able to stand up for themselves. How many times did I witness as to how they gracefully succeeded in dealing with the naysayers and as to how they conducted themselves when outside of our premises. I am one proud momma.
  6. Making a covenant with God as a homeschooling parent has allowed me to be a better parent as a whole not just a better homeschool teacher. It makes me aware as to how many times did I say I love you to them or have I hugged them for the day or cuddled them or said my biggest WOW when they make cards for me. My girls are not great pretenders. They say what they mean. They mean what they say. They have valid reasons, too, once they open their mouths. It’s amazing how these kids here are paving our path to become better adults (my husband and me). Haha.
  7. Making a covenant with God as a homeschooling parent has made me realized and materialized a HappyHomeschool for my kids. My kids are happier now more than ever.

How are you doing with your homeschooled kids? DO you also have a covenant as a homeschooling parent?

I could talk more and more about the benefits of having a covenant with God as a homeschooling parent but time doesn’t allow me now as my eyelids are already drooping. Till the next blog post.

To cut everything short that I needed to say, I am learning about schooling, and schooling what I am learning each day as a homeschool teacher-mommy. No. Actually, my kids and I are doing LIFE SCHOOLING in this vast schoolroom called WORLD. Welcome to our world. Connect with us so we can connect more with everyone out there in this not so traveled path of HOME EDUCATION, or what I commonly call as LIFE EDUCATION.

Keep pushing upwards, homeschooling mommas out there!

🐝 Deese
– busy homeschooling bee from Lifestyle Freedom Academy

Save 50% on Magic School Bus Science Experiments

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Enjoy your exploration alongside Ms. Frizzle!

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