Monday, February 23, 2015

I Want to Become a Genius


It's been almost two weeks since my son came up to me and said, "Mommy I want to become a genius, can you help me?"
Whoa! If that is not the sweetest and cutest I don't know what is!!! What a revelation! 
Now where did this come from? For our movie night two Fridays ago, we watched The Theory of Everything, here's the trailer.

Of course, as much as I want to say YES to him, I have to be honest. So I told him the truth that I do not know the road to genius-ness, but what I am sure of is that all genius men and women contributed to the advancement of humanity and that they can all read and write and do math; I can help him with that.
 
It's been  more than a week now and so far he is working with his math workbook (which I said is genius requirement #1) right after breakfast and labeling the house (this is for reading, genius requirement #2) and lastly writing/penmanship (genius requirement #3, so that others may be able to read his work in the future). 

Oh can you feel my thrill? I have Hollywood to thank for my 6 year old's drive! So, whatever you are up to this week my dear reader, may you stride through your task inspired and with some stroke of genius. Happy Monday!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Considering Homeschooling?



I received a question from a parent who I think is considering homeschooling. 

His question: Is homeschooling for everybody?
My answer: No.  Homeschooling is not for everybody just as school isn't for everybody.

One size does not fit all. There many types of  families with different leaning styles, troubles, strengths and so on. Also there is no such thing as 100% guaranteed.

Homeschooling works for our family. I am able to apply myself and get to know my children individually. I think the biggest plus of having my children at home is the time we have to share ourselves to each other. We have a lot of unhurried time and our activities revolve around our family: birthdays, anniversaries, doctor and dental check ups, grocery trips etc.

If you are thinking of homeschooling ask why. Parents have complained about school, but I don’t think schools are evil places. I don't agree that schools produce "factory learners". I can see how that can be the case but as I said there is no 100% guarantee regardless of situation.  As a homeschooling mom, I know that my children are missing out on school activities and learning that schooling children experience. I also know that my children are gaining experiences that schooling children are missing out on simply because they are in school. I know that learning happens whether a child is in school or out of school albeit at different environments, energy, pace, expectation and so on. So, if you are considering homeschooling probe some more. Don't just settle and say homeschooling will be better than school. Ask yourself how will this be the case?

Before you look into curricula and/or homeschool providers, ask "Why am I/are we doing this?"
Before you think of accreditation, ask "Why are you bothering to take your child/ children out of school? What’s to gain?" 
Do you feel like its your mission to educate your child? Why?
What do you envision? It all goes back to why-- your intention.
Then you can start thinking about how you will do it. Only then comes the choice of materials and activities.

Homeschooling needs parental time, energy, creativity and most of all intention. I am not saying its difficult. On the contrary, homeschooling my children is liberating and easy. But it does require to apply myself, just as it requires my children to apply themselves not just in their interest and academic pursuits but in family life too-- specially for younger kids. Yes homeschooling can mean no tuition fee and savings for the family, but there are also seasons when a splurge on materials and activities is required and needed. So set an intention as a parent and take it from there. 


Silently wipe off  the dust that might have settled on top of your heart. Ask yourself even if or most specially because you do not have an articulate answer yet.  And  as things start to shine through, you'll find your intention: the spark that will spell your mission and vision not just as an educator but as a parent. 

Sharing with you this poster for this Saturday's talk/ get together. My eldest daughter is invited to share her experience. If you are considering homeschooling, do register and see you there.



Monday, January 26, 2015

Its an Advertisement! Not an Anti-Mommy War Campaign!

A formula milk advertisement that masquerades as a sort of public awareness campaign was shared on my wall in Facebook, you can watch it here. The advertisement showed the truth that when we get wrapped up in arguing for our choices, we lose sight of what truly matters and so we risk losing what we value most in the end. Here is a very valuable message in an advertisement. And because it is an advertisement, it seeks to increase product awareness which should result in increased sales- this is the problem! If formula milk sales increase wouldn't breastfeeding rates decrease?
Hopefully, this advertisement won't make it to our TV screens here in The Philippines thanks to the Milk Code. Unfortunately, it is making its rounds online! You can read about the International Code for Marketing Breastmilk Substitutes here and also here. You can also watch the full video of "A Formula for Disaster":



My problems with the advertisement are:
1. The term "Mommy War" - what nonsense! I say, leave no space in your day for idle playground talk. In my experience I have learned a lot and improved as person from being with other mothers as oppose to wanting to pull their hair out because of choices they made in birth, feeding practices and so on. Let's not be NASTY!
2. War does not happen over night, it is fueled and fanned. It also takes good people with good intentions who buy into or ride with an idea that seems to be for the greater good. For wars to happen, institutions need to take part and so on. I am going to stop here. I am quite sure you get the picture that war takes much more than opinion and petty playground friction.
3. The benefits of breastfeeding a child is not a belief. The benefits of breastfeeding are backed by scientific evidence (check it out here), (here are the risks of not breastfeeding).
4. Lastly, lets not get confused. This is a formula advertisement not an awareness campaign on the virtues of tolerance or forgiveness. It undermines breastfeeding. Again, if formula sales increase will breastfeeding increase or decrease?

Supporting, promoting and educating others about breastfeeding is a serious matter. We, parents have more compelling wars to fight in and bigger issues to fight for! There could be battle scars that still throb or wounds that need to heal. For some of us, there could be fires ablaze in a battle field that span the vast expanse of the mind reaching out to and for the heart.

Have a good day, my dear reader.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Months of the year = who's birthday?


Nh is learning about days and months as part of his math.
I found this printable blank calendar and here he is worrking his way through it:

I asked, "Why is it important to know the months of the year?"
Nh: "So you'll know who's birthday it is."

 Answers like this serve as a reminder of how important family life is. It is where we stem from.

How small my son's world is for now. How temporary, seemingly fleeting, this season of innocence is. He may not remember this day. I might not remember this day, but I hope that the tenderness and security of this season will resonate with him always.



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Making of The Bremen Town Mucisians Puppet Show

The noise! The mess too! And the joy of listening to these two! The seriousness of it all! L and Nh are coming up with a puppet show and their production is all over the floor. L read "The Bremen Town Musicians" to Nh and now they are busy working on this project: a puppet show adaptation!
Academics, particularly L's Science work, is taking a back seat for this most important project. L is not digging her science as much as I hoped for. I shall give it a rest for now. Maybe in a few weeks, or months, or next year, she'll like to do it. It's almost a week now since they started this. I am surprised that they came up with it and excited to watch the outcome. I overheard that some flying action scene will happen.
To show L and Nh how excited I am, I bought a bag of chips. L quickly pointed out that it should be opened after the show because Nh and her might not be able to have some if we (the audience) ate it while the show is going. What a simple bag of Doritos can do. The motivation it inspires. We really need a deadline for this project. I'll also be taking this opportunity to squeeze in our homeschooling by telling them to print tickets with the necessary details about their show. When all this is over, we can have our floor space back!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

1st Mommy Meet Up 2015

  So happy to catch up with all who came to the meet up yesterday. And biggest thanks to Party Depot for the juice that made our snack table look special. Grrrrr!!! I was not able to take a picture of it!!!

For a brief while I wished I had a baby again too. So I borrowed and carried a baby to wake myself up from my momentary yearning.

And thank you ladies for coloring my prints will hang them in The POD's little store in 2 weeks. Also, we got to talk about falling hair! Here's some assurance that we will not go bald ladies. I am looking forward to the February Meet Up.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Here We Are 2015!

Last year was such a fast forward year!!! A LOT happened! Work, family and everything else that I added on --as if I don't have enough on my hands. This blog took a back seat despite me having so much to write about!
Here we are 2015! We started the year with a lot of cheer and congratulations after I posted this photo in Instagram and Facebook.

What a reaction!!! Unforgettable! #ACET results #haohs
Thank you to all my friends for the "applause." Our family is rejoicing with all the cheers you have extended to us. For the last 2 years Amber took care of her academics all by herself. We gave her our support and we told her to have a backup plan, and go for what she wanted to do, made sure she was safe when she went about submitting this and that, here and there; also making sure that birth certificates and other ID stuff were ready for her and rhythms of our family life is not chaotic. But I was not part of her academic review.  
Our little family is super excited for her. This is, I guess, officially the end of homeschooling for her.
Gosh how time flies!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

What's that score again?

I got a text message the other night from a friend asking about the name of the score we talked about when we discussed about induction of labor a year or so ago...

She was referring to the Bishop's Score.
 
If you are considering having your labor induced, don't come into the experience with a mind set that it's just the same as if your body went into labor naturally.

The Bishop Score is something worth discussing with your doctor when considering an induction. You can also compute your Bishop Score here. It simply computes the readiness of your cervix (not your baby's readiness for life outside) and chances of the induction succeeding or not- in the event of which you will most likely have a cesarean. You might find the following helpful:

faQ from American Colege of Obstetrics and Gynecology 
Induction of Labor

Watch this video from Lamaze International "Let Labor Begin On It's Own"

Another interesting and alarming thing about induction of labor is the link being made between induction of labor and autism, you can read about it here- read the comments, consider it and this one too.

Dr Michel Odent who is all for natural labor and birth says: “Most women give birth now on a synthetic Oxytocin drip. It is the most common medical intervention in childbirth,” he explains. But with no long term studies on its side effects, he says: “We are playing with the Oxytocin systems of human beings without knowing what we are doing.” You can read more about this here.


I have 4 children. I have been through that waiting for labor to start phase. With every pregnancy, except for my first, I hoped I would give birth by 38 weeks instead of 40+ a few days! For me, it felt like:
Bring it on! I am so ready to stop being pregnant...
I want to meet this baby! 
The house is so ready for this baby! 
I want to try on all these new stuff I have accumulated for me and this little one. 
Its so hot! I am so fat no I am so BIG! 
I can't go anywhere! In reality I could go somewhere but then it's so tiring.  
I have nothing to wear that fits well! 
I really want to give birth and see this baby!!!

Even with my fourth baby, when I vowed I would enjoy every minute of where I was, I was certainly excited. I wanted to move forward. Let's be conservative about this. No body knows for sure how high the price is for rushing birth. I suggest to make this waiting phase part of your family's history, rather than a medical event.





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