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.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Nervous System

I am happy to share that my nervous system plan which I mentioned here is a success. I am going to interrupt my narrative with questions that I anticipated while writing this post, because I feel so giddy at the moment and the questions are coming up. I brought up the topic of the nervous system along with 2 books for with my 13 year old 3rd daughter and my 8 year old son.

We sprawled ourselves on the floor to learn about the nervous system after lunch, around 2:30 on Wednesday. Within 10 minutes, we were on "daldalan" (talkative, see Tagalog dictionary) mode.
Question 1: There is daldalan during academic lessons? 
Yes, I know it was bawal (forbidden) in the school I attended. I recall the heart palpitations and teary eyes and rage I experienced when I first saw my name on the blackboard under the heading most talkative. But I grew up and gained perspective, forgave everyone including myself, so that's behind me now. Yes, there is interruption and daldalan as we learn about the nervous system. We pause and segue a bit for connections, comments, suggestions and reactions. Example:
When I read this, “The midbrain and the hindbrain are considered the primitive brain because all organisms have them- or atlas the ones with a brain- from worm..." my 3rd daughter said, “Ew I don't like to think of a worm's brain” and my son said,  "Worms think..." And this prompted questions like Do worms think? What would they think about? Is the brain just for thinking? Etc. etc.

Sometimes I am the one needing the pause to make an exciting connection, examlple: When we were going through the parts of the brain and I read about the cerebellum and cerebrum scenes from the movie and the cartoon series Xmen flashed by with Professor X going to and being inside cerebro. I think that thought should be shared! Cerebro Cerebellum Cerebrum, cool right?

Question 2: If there are interruptions, am I not concerned that my children won't develop good listening skills? 
For me, the best guarantee that my 8 year old is listening is when he is excitedly participating. I used to be a bit more formal and asked my older kids to raise their hand or let me finish the sentence before asking but I now know and accept that at age 8, the joy of saying, " Hey I know that," is so genuine and urgent that my older children probably did not here the last few words of the sentence I was reading while signalling me that they have something to say. It does not mean that I never ask this two younger ones to raise their hand and let me finish the sentence. From time to time the need does arise but I no longer see interruptions as unnecessary or a sign of some future tragedy.

Question 3: So whats going to happen to my children when they go school and join the real world? 
They are in the real world. They are not in school and both are not likely going to go to school soon. They are at home with me, their mother and my son who at the moment is, Mr Aha I know That, is not going to be 8 forever. He is going to be 9 soon. There is time to improve. 

Going back to our afternoon, by 3:00 pm we have identified and coloured all the parts of the brain and we were moving on to the spinal cord and the peripheral nervous system. My son lost interest somewhere between the brain stem and the spinal cord so he was not mentally with us by the time we were reading up on reflex. He was still in the room but he was playing with his lego.

Question 4: Am I not worried/ annoyed that he is missing out on the topic/ subject?
Yup he is missing out! And I suppose he is saturated already. I am sure we will have another opportunity to tackle this and I would rather give my full attention to my third daughter who is interested. What a waste of momentum if I have to stop and reel in my son who has moved on to another activity on his own. I am highlighting what he has done like; coloring parts of the brain and connecting new information with what he knows rather than fret on the fact that he is missing on the  rest of the nervous system topic I prepared for. 

Question 5: Don't I feel bad that I prepared and he is not interested?
As Budhist monks can just throw away their sand art so I too can let go of my nervous system preparation. He participated long enough to give me a chance to work with my 3rd daughter better. 

I was able to demonstrate to my third daughter how one avoids and reacts to pain and how one's anticipation of pain can magnify pain itself. I got to show her how she can work with her breathing to cope with pain: sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system etc. I am very pleased with this.

Finally, time is up bu 4:00 and my third daughter requested for a quiz and time to read the book by herself when she comes home for swimming so she can have another quiz the next day!

Question 6: Did I give a quiz to my son too? Wouldn't a quiz be a perfect opportunity to show him what happens if he does not listen to the lesson?
Heck no! He is 8 and can hardly read on his own why would I give him a quiz? What's to gain? There is more to loose if I give him a quiz, like my hair that I might start pulling out while waiting for him to finish the quiz that I created (waste of my time) and he does not care about (waste of his time). 

I am going to make another nervous system quiz by request for Monday and because my 3rd daughter requested it, then it is not a waste of time but a challenge to partake in. I want to push things further by having a return demo of the breathing technique we did. She was not so into it last time, but I am and maybe my son will join in again...

 The human body topic/ unit study is in high gear now and by next week we should be able to move on to the skeletal system and maybe visit the bone museum or we can learn about the circulatory system and get a blood test done. I will ask them if they know their blood type.

Have a happy weekend!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Wrapping up Grade 10

What does that mean, wrapping up grade 10? That's what we call our decision to send our second daughter to Manila. She isn't exactly doing grade 10 and she is not senior high school coz she isn't even grade 10 yet based on the PEPT she took a few years ago she is grade 3. She is doing high school academic work and pursuing what sparks her. Because this whole Senior High school thing is new, we felt its best to give her the option to go to Senior High school if she wants too and we decided after doing the math and pros and cons list, this is the way to go for the following reasons:

Here in Davao it is given twice a year; June and November. Last year the November 2016 schedule was postponed and as of last week there was no schedule yet as to when it will be given here in Davao, but in Pasig you can walk-in and get a schedule. We don't expect our second daughter to pass this test in one sitting so it would be too expensive and unnecessarily time consuming if she stayed here and we have to fly to Manila for the PEPT which requires the following:
1. Go to Pasig, submit requirements, get a schedule - can be a week to 3 weeks away.
2. Go back to Pasig on the scheduled PEPT to take the test, and
3. Go back to Pasig to get results and repeat step 1 to 3 until she gets to Grade 10.

The first time she took the PEPT we skipped step 1 as the schedule was arranged for us. But this time we are doing it ourselves.

II. Violin Class, Orchestra and Music Theory
Her violin teacher told us last year that she is moving back to Manila and recommended another teacher in Manila too. And my second daughter learned that UP College of music has an Extension Program she can join. She also hopped to be able to join an orchestra.

III. Memories with the sister and other activities not available in Davao.
This move has got to be the ultimate bahay-bahayan! Sisters living together for a year! They have to run their little place, do their own cooking and grocery, coordinate and manage their time and watch shows together- something they like that we don't have much of in Davao. 

I have moments of restlessness and fear, like last week, she rode the jeep alone for the first time, you can read it here. She has never taken the jeep all by herself here in Davao. My 3rd daughter who rode the jeep when she went to Laguna for PhilSwim Short Course Swim Series 2016 had a lot say. I miss my two daughters. The house is different without the two of them. The sound of my second daughter practicing used to fill the house. I came home from the grocery with my son last Monday and the house was quiet. I used to hear her violin from the gate.

When I am worried and I miss my girls, I go back to the reasons why they are away. I call them and thank the heavens for FaceTime but there is nothing like a hug and a face to face chat. The hope is that they will blossom, in ways that we can not see how if they stayed with us. It is this hope that I hold on to when I long for them and my heart aches and my tears well up.

Have a hopeful week ahead...

Friday, February 3, 2017

How has interest-led learning shape the path of your children when choosing what college degree to pursue?

Part 5 of 5 Questions received after the Philippine Homeschool Conference 2016.

Out of out 4 children, its only our eldest who is in university. Yes she chose a course she was interested in. My eldest enrolled in ALS because she liked the idea that she might be able to go to university when I told her that I would like it if she had that option. And we talked about why its a good idea and possible courses. She did not decide on what course to take over night or on the eve of enrolment which is what happened to me when I enrolled for college 22 years ago.

When she got her high school diploma after passing the ALS, my husband asked her, "What is it that she really wants to do? As she is only passing through this life once. - This is so my husband, very open ended. While I asked her, "What do you want to do for college?" - implied that she is going to college. From here we worked out what is available and possible.

My second daughter is in Manila now wrapping up her grade 10 (more of this in another post). Her being in grade 10 is an estimate based on her age now. Mainly she is in Manila because her main interest is there and to take the PEPT. I don't know yet how we will do Senior High school and college is about 2 years away for her. So lets leave it at this for now.

May you have an interesting weekend... 
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