Tuesday, April 11, 2017

To Senior High school or not to Senior High school Part 3

What am I looking for in a Senior High School (SHS)?

With a bit of consideration on where we are and the landscape in which we are in now, this would be my dream SHS. Libre naman mangarap at pwede namang mangarap, so here it goes. If I were to send my second daughter to SHS I want the following:

1. A SHS with a 2 year program that my daughter wants with an outline of how they will be filling up their time including extra curricular or complementary courses. This will either be in Davao City or in a boarding school with in the country that fits our budget.
2. A SHS who have graduates who are leaders in their field and are eager to help out in the programs of the SHS where they came from. Since my daughter is only the second batch of SHS I obviously can’t find a school under the Department of Education that would have a grade 11 and 12 alumni or a track record that can say ___% of our graduates are still working in the track they chose.
3. International exchange activities. At least one foreign travel related to their track or extra curricular activities with in the two years of SHS.
4. Foreign Language Course. Since SHS is suppose to make Philippine education at par with the rest of the world then this should be available. My 2nd daughter took up German Classes here in Davao and took the A level test at the Goethe Institute last year. I do want her to pick up on this within the year.
5. A flexible PE Program that considers people with special needs like scoliosis. She has to keep going to therapy at least 2x a week.
6. I want her to be with people approximately her age whom she can laugh with and collaborate with, aka friends.

My daughters will be coming home for this week and we shall sit down and decide on this matter. I am still searching and my husband and I are talking about this a lot. Of my 6 desires for SHS, #1 and #6 weigh in the most and we can’t fore go of #5 for the sake of having the required papers to be able to go to university...

Friday, April 7, 2017

To Senior High school or not to Senior High school Part 2

If I am enrolling my daughter to SHS this this means we have about 10 weeks to go! Having just typed that I feel a quiver of panic! And having acknowledged my panic I am a bit calm now. Lets carry on…

When I was looking for a preschool for my eldest child I had a school visit and a teacher’s appointment way ahead of where I am now!!! How has it come to this? Here I am with a teenager who knows what she wants with an additional 2 years of high school where the government requires she choose a track. Knowing that I have the final say in this I have narrowed things down to two questions for me:

1. What is my heart telling me?
2. What do I want from a SHS?

Lets Start with the first question: What is in my heart telling me?

I love my daughter and I respect where she is now and I look forward to the possibilities that might come her way. On my death bed I hope with all my heart that she is well with her siblings and I can hold her hand and say I am happy I am your mother. Okay so I am crying now, I better go back to the topic at hand which is what to do for senior high school.

If she is going to do SHS I believe it is best if she stays with us or she stays in a boarding school. Why? Because right now she is living on her own and taking care of things like her grocery, meal choices and preparation, transportation etc. I would like these things to be out of the way if she were to do SHS which in my understanding will be a 7:30 am to 4pm kind of schedule plus the possibility of over time.

What about a foriegn home school provider? I have checked out this option too and this deserves a post of its own. First thing’s first, we have to make up our minds if she is going to SHS or if she will carry on the way way we are - independent homeschoolers aka OSY (Out of School Youth).

So, what exactly is she doing now?
 She is living her life like you and me. If I have to make a report card about how she is filling up her time it would look like this:

I.  Academics
Math (Geometry)
Literature/ History (her choice of reading materials)

II.  Extra Curricular Activities
P.E - Physical Therapy for her scoliosis at The Peak
Music: Violin Lessons in UP Extension Program
Orchestra - UP Diliman
Music Theory - UP Extension Program
Art - Painting
Watching shows with her older sister (theater, orcherstra, opera etc) that we don't have here in Davao

III.  And a bunch of life skills that living on your own compels you to acquire.

I am not sure where to put the PEPT (you can read more here). Should it be in Academics or Extra Curricular, same goes for Music Theory? Argh!! Where I put PEPT or Music Theory is so irrelevant! I obviously have a bigger fish to fry and I have to figure out where to prepare it and how and where to serve it.

My next post will be my #2 question: What do I want from a SHS?

Monday, April 3, 2017

What to do for Senior High School?

This post is not going to be about me lamenting why and how come the Department of Education implemented Senior High School (SHS) the way it's being done now.

As a suggestion SHS sounds cool and something that I would like and go for. Why?
1. Because I see value in that additional 2 years. A bit more space to grow and mature.
2. Because I appreciate that it allows young people to declare that they want to pursue something specific. The fact is, we can’t do it all, so why drain time and energy away from what matters. It's but right that we go for what we are interested in, what we believe in, what we think makes the world a better place and put energy into it.

On my eldest daughter’s last year of homeschooling when friends ask if she is in college already I would happily answer that K12 was in effect in our homeschooling. I felt then, like we were slowly crossing a threshold. This time however with the implementation of K12, I feel that we are standing on a precipice.

My second daughter should be grade 11 this coming June or August (some schools start in June, others in August). She wants to pursue classical music for higher education. The way I understand it, when you say music as a subject, it branches out and have smaller branches too. Like science would have Biology that would have its sub-branches too. So in her case she has fallen in love with a sub-branch already and would like to learn more and hopefully grow a leaf in that side of the music tree.

So here I am researching and making some calls to schools that offer grade 11 and 12. So far I have inquired in 1 traditional school, a Waldorf school and have looked into 2 US homeschool providers.

After reading here and there I am now asking myself, what is my heart telling me and what am I looking for in a SHS? I stiffen at the rumour that you can’t be an independent homeschooler for SHS. I could not find a specific law that says this but if the university requires a SHS diploma from all its applicants then without one my child won’t be eligible to apply to a University here in the country.

We have been talking about this a lot. Three nights ago she said that we were simply going around in circles. And that’s true. For now, I think its good because going around in circles will force us to stop at one point and take a stand until the room stops spinning and we can take a sure step forward.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Field Trip to The Bone Museum

We went to D'Bone Museum last Monday and it was worth it! I am so happy I insisted on going as my 3rd daughter did not like the idea of visiting a place where there are bones which means dead animals and her utmost concern was the possibility of sea creatures. But I said it was the perfect way to wrap up our science lesson about the skeletal system. Our discussion on the matter lasted longer than the museum tour.
Here's Ms Reluctant and Nervous and Mr Eager Beaver!

In the first floor of the museum, there is a small gift shop where you pay for your entrance fee: P80.00 for adults and P70.00 for children comes with a tour guide. There is a work area that my son liked.
I wonder if they will have like a summer class for bone something for kids.

The third floor was a stressful place for Ms Reluctant and Nervous as she has an issue with sea creatures.
 But by the end of the tour she was released and being all reflective.
With our tour guide
We went back to the second floor and my daughter remembered the afternoon she went horse back riding with her sisters and the little brother in the Davao Horse Club, here.
Horse skeleton from the Davao Horse Club
I am so happy we have this museum in Davao! We shall visit this place again when we ever get to study/ talk about vertebrates or mammals. At the moment we are learning about the circulatory system. I suggested that we should get a blood test but both my kids said no!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Skeletal System

I can't believe my 3rd daughter does not want to go to the museum. She just wants a quiz and another quiz and said that we should proceed to the circulatory system. But I can not do that!!! We have a museum here in Davao! We have to support the museum is now part of my reasons to go.

She is worried it might be gross to go to the bone museum after I showed he a photo of the ore fish, here and the video here. The ore fish sightings and video has nothing to do with the skeletal system of the human body but the sea creatures are vertebrates like us and all this happen to be all over the news lately. Anyway, I insist that we go to the Bone Museum this afternoon to wrap up our skeletal system topic and I am super excited to go!

Celebrating the First National Homeschool Day in Davao City Philippines

It was pleasantly invigorating to meet up with fellow homeschooling parents. we had a total of 3 dads and 6 moms. I wish I prepared an activity for the children but they ended talking peacefully while we, the grownups had our own table.
 I instructed my children to wear any of the following colors: red, blue, yellow or white.

 Love this photo. 
I met Rhoda 2 years ago in this place. And I wish now that we took a photo or our children back then.
 We talked about why we are homeschooling, where we are now, what are the challenges we have or are anticipating and what we like about homeschooling. 
We were a mixed group. A total of 6 families and its such a joy for me to listen to those who are starting out. I am happy I got to talk to a mom who has a daughter who is entering Senior High school too.  I wonder what the theme will be for next year's Homeschooling Day 2018...

Thursday, March 2, 2017

On the eve of #hapiday2017

Photo: from HAPI Facebook Page

Tomorrow is the first ever homeschooling day in The Philippines with the theme, "Building Up The Philippines One Family at a Time." I am looking forward to meet the others who are coming over in the little gathering I organized. Its been 11 years since we took our eldest and second child out of school and did the whole thing ourselves. But we were not an island. The children joined various activities and were up and about that an older family member once commented that it was probably less hectic for me if I just send my kids to school. I don't agree with him though. 

When we started homeschooling I was happy and I felt safe to be below the radar and not bother with accreditation. My thinking was, if the whole Philippines were a family, then we are definitely very dysfunctional and extremely delayed in our actions. But in the tragedy that we are in, there springs hope and resilience and love that somehow balance things out. Since there are many people who can't go to school for various reasons, there must be a way for a person who does not have a formal education to get back or get into  the system. I figured, we (our family) would not bother the system, as in DeptEd, as we are only we are only one family and there are so many others out there who certainly need the resources and intervention of DeptEd. So, I am not going to be samok-samok.

Now there are so many families who are homeschooling and since communication is much faster now than ever, here I am on the eve of the first ever National Homeschool Day. On top of my head are the following thoughts:
1. I am happy we took this route. I am thankful that my daughters' teacher in Brainworks School who was supportive of our desire to try out homeschooling 11 years ago.
2. I appreciate and value the freedom that we have as independent homeschoolers. No curriculum provider meant spending money on classes/ activities that mattered when it mattered to my children.
3. What to do with senior highchool for my second child. Its its about 3 or 4 years away for my 3rd child so I am not yet thinking about Senior Highschool for her or for our youngest just yet. I trust that things would have sorted itself out by then.
4. I hope it does not rain tomorrow, so we will be comfortable in the venue.
5. I should wear any of the following colors: blue, red , yellow or white. Thanks to my fellow homeschooling mom Stifanny for letting me know about the outfit request in the HAPI Facebook page

5. I wonder if we will exceed 5 families tomorrow?

Good evening and tomorrow it's #hapiday2017...

Monday, February 20, 2017

First National Homeschooling Day of The Philippines

I got all excited for the first ever Homeschooling Day in the Philippines and you can learn more about HAPI here. I am delighted by the openness and that it's being organised in such a way that everybody can pitch in and do what little they can and it's does not have a groupie 'we know better' or 'its just us' vibe. 

I posted this in the Facebook group Davao Homeschool support group, then I posted it in the other homeschool groups I am in:

Would you guys like to participate? Here is what I have in mind:
Let's meet up and just say hi to each other.

Date: 3 March, Friday
Venue: Lasislawa Swimming Pool (just order your own food)
Time 3:30 to 5:30 pm 

If you are game just leave a comment with the following info:
                                   Your name:
                                   Children's name and ages:
                                   Homeschool Provider:
5 moms/ dads or both is good enough I think. But of course, the more the merrier You can bring your children. There is a playground or they can swim too if you like (Pool Fee: P100.00 per person) 

So far 8 people said they are interested. We have a theme, we have a hashtag, I can't wait for the meet up on March 3.
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