Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Academic Plan

I seem to come up with 'academic plans' on a quarterly basis. But its most pronounce at this time of year. Old habits don't completely die: end of summer = start of school year.

I do like this planning thing and it gives me a chance to reflect on where we are and what can be done.  My children are classified by the Department of Education as out of school youths. The label seems fair, although they are being taught at home in an unhurried manner, they are still, not in school. When I say unhurried I simply mean no threats or coercion nor grades or tests! My child may not get what's in front of her/ him now but it doesn't mean:
a. my child will never get it
b. my child should cry be rude or be upset
c. I will get mad and/or disappointed and/ or angry.

I will get upset and/or disappointed and/or angry if you give me bad attitude while working on a difficult task. We will/ shall get back to the matter at hand some other time and/ or make it apply to real life so it will make sense to my child.

We do not have a school year. Still, we do plan the year,  project the expenses and we do the actual work. We did not really take a summer break. We just carried on with what we started in January or where we sort of ended from last year.
I do set up an adjustable and realistic time frame! I like doing academics in the morning and leave the afternoons free for my kids. This way I have time for my other work. Or some days we do errands in the morning and check out stuff then rest and read in the afternoons.

So far here's what my children are working on:

Nh, 4 years old
Mostly walks around the house, eats, plays with cat and/ or the dog. But he does have exclusive reading time just before he naps in the afternoon, around 1:30. He picks a book and I read it to him in my room where is dark and cold, away from the sisters.

L, 8 years old

Writing- she wants to learn cursive now. These books are hand me down from the 2 older sisters. And we do writing about 15 minutes a day. I sit with her and watch her do about 2 to 3 pages. I tend to correct on the spot. I think this is effective, but then we also tend to talk in between working a lot.

Very unstructured! If she likes to write colors or lets say, animal then so be it. My logic is that, maybe that's what matters to her now. So if she is interested in the subject and she wants to write then she will most likely get the strokes faster.

Catechism- hand me down from the 2 older sisters too. As joins us sometimes.
Science- L is doing this with As. So far we have done 2 experiments since we started 3 weeks ago.

As, 12 years old
Catechism and Science are with L. Although As is done with her First Communion, I think its just nice to review.We do science once or twice a week only.

English- Vocabulary Workshop Level A by Jerome Shostak. This text/ workbook was highly recommended by A. We got this from Kolbe Academy 2 years ago.
So far As seems to like it too.

A, 14 years old
Math- Goal is to finish this by 2nd week August and move on to Geometry
Literature- Shakespeare until August. Thanks to Fully Booked in Abreeza they have this super friendly Shakespeare Series and A enjoys them a lot!

What I want to add and are discussing with my husband are the following:
Sequential Spelling for L
Language Arts and Grammar  for As level D, E or F will probably work and for A level G. I can't decide if I should wait until August or get this now?
Buy Chemistry for A by September. This prompted my husband to ask, "You believe in creation theory?" The answer is No! I do not believe in creation theory. The reason I am opting for this is because the home school provider have an all in science set! Others don't. Besides, as Aristotle said, "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." We are still thinking about this and A has her reservations. My problem with getting just a chemistry book with instructions is how I will source the chemicals/ materials needed.

What about extra curricular activities? Starting with my eldest:
A will carry on with her ballet, is now thinking of singing and the piano. I am making her choose which one matters more to her.
As, we are both struggling to figure out the Schroth Exercises. She will do ballet to help with her hip turn out and be with other children with in her age group. Carry on with her violin lessons and maybe badminton on Saturdays.
L, I shall look for a badminton group for her. Saturday afternoons will be good so she can be with other children her age and maybe Nh can join her?

Also A should be able to play soccer with Nh and As should be able to teach A piano... Hmmm I will go talk to them about this...
Finally, I am thinking of enrolling A and As in a Animation Course every Friday with other homeschoolers? I still have to check this out and the ALS too. This is what we are up too and the the plan so far...

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Baby Wearing Meet Up Today

Oh what a blessed, happy, busy, empowering morning it turned out to be. As I said the coming Mommy Meet Up is a bit different today! We had a total of 42 people, not counting the babies!!!

How wonderful it all turned out to be! 
So what happens in a Baby Wearing Meet Up?

 We started with a short talk on why its a good idea and then safety then we sampled the different carriers- MUST TRY!!! The different carriers all have their ups and downs.

 A number of moms already own carriers that were given to them, they bought online and even abroad, but were too scared or simply couldn't figure out how to use it!

I wish I could post all the pictures here! I am so glad for that Jenny, Jen and Jonie came over! 
The 3 Js are a blessing to everyone in The POD this morning!

We had our picture taking at the end of each group. Here's our first group. We started around 9:25 and ended a little over the time we set.

And our 2nd group started at 11:05 and like thie first group we were a little over our time!

We ended both groups with a group picture! I hope we can do this again by August (I am seriously dreaming when I say this!). Most delighted with all the mommies and babies who came to The POD this morning. Hurray for baby wearing!!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

I had a Good Plan for This Morning

Heck I even wrote down my plan for the morning and prayed for myself, for my children and yes for my plan!!!

After 15 minutes of Schroth Exercise with my 2nd girl AS, I sat down with my 3rd girl L around 9:00 to do her math (usual start and part of my plan).  My second daughter, AS went on the side to do her own Math Work (still part of the plan).

My eldest does her work independently and I rarely have to check up on her. Although I was seated with L, my mind wondered off to my little boy, NH. Who must have been in the room playing at this point. For sometime now I have been wondering if I ought to do something more to entice NH to hold a pencil and do some writing or drawing while sitting down. I tried but with no success and I don't want to push the issue since he is so young after all. I just can't help comparing him to the older children (all girls) who all seem to be ready to sit down and write.

After L finished the first page of her Math, NH came up to us saying he wants to do math too, but I have nothing to offer him. Obviously, this was not part of my plan! I told him to get a paper and pencil upstairs which he did. But I had no idea what we should do! In his short absence I decided we should just to science experiment since last week I did try to do some counting with him but he left me at the start of it!!! Science experiment was not at all part of my plan but NH was beginning to distract everybody! And Science was the only subject I can think of where all 3 of them can be actively together!

While AS and L were finishing their Math work I told NH to prepare for the experiment which he gladly did. This made the 2 older ones giggle but we had a dedicated little worker who got everything ready just in time (as soon as L finished and AS was half way thru Math work).

 I told him to look for stuff that he thinks will float and stuff that he thinks will sink! This is the second time I am using this science activity. The first time was about 6 years ago on our first year of homeschooling.- A was 8, AS 5 and L was 2 year old that time.

According to NH

Big sisters join in the experimenting. This is a rewind for As and L who both did this with older sister A 6 years ago.

This is the result of the experiment.

The experimenting made AS and L talk about icebergs as our real aloud now is "Star In the Storm" and Titanic. I also took the opportunity to bring up water displacement (I think As will be needing this in her math soon!)
Boat + Iceberg= Titanic came into the conversation too.
He picked up a chalk by himself and drew!!!

After the experiments NH started playing with the stuff he brought down while As and L wanted to do more science work and so they did! I sat down with them mostly to help AS.

 I told NH to throw the water in the grass and clean up. I had to make sure that none of the counting cubes were left in the pail!
 I planned for this morning and was prepared for a good and well spent morning. Instead, we all had a great morning!!! Instead of my plan happening (which did not), my prayers were answered! I did not even realize I was getting/ having all of what I brought up in prayer until it was all over!!!

How things unfolded was better than my plan! Now we even have an upcoming experiment. AS asked: What will melt first, salt water or fresh water?  I shall share the results soon...

Friday, May 18, 2012

First Ever Baby Wearing Event

There are 3 reasons why the coming Meet Up on May 26 Saturday is different from the usual meet ups that we have in The POD.

#1. There will be 2 time slots, 9 to 10:30 am and 10:30 to 12 noon. I am expecting 30 moms to drop by and join the first ever baby wearing meet up! Some moms will be bringing their babies and some daddies will also be present. This is triple the number of moms/ babies/ dads that we usually have. To make sure we all fit in, I decided to divide the group.

#2. There will also be a talk- "Baby Wearing 101" by baby wearing enthusiasts, Jenny of Chronicles of a Nursing Mom along with Jen of Next9 and Jonie of Mamaway.

#3. There will be baby carriers for Sale!!! To date there are no baby carriers on our shelf, but on the 26th of May there will be baby carriers for sale.

I am looking forward to next Saturday! How I wish I could have attended something like this back in 1997! My dear husband and I wore our baby girl after receiving a baby carrier for her baptism.  I was so confident in myself for the simple reason that there was a picture of a mom and dad with a baby inside the carrier looking all happy! Plus, I saw a lot of Badjao do it! And their babies seem to be all right! Most of all they are able to move around! At one point after my second baby was born in 2000, I tried to talk to a Badjao in Uyanguren, to ask how she ties her sling. At that time my sling was the knapsack type with baby in front of me facing me, but we did not understand each other and the Badjao mom seemed busy so I walked away. I was planning to make my own sling and pattern it after hers, but it did not happen.

 Now, look what I found just now on my mobile phone! A picture of me and my boy back in 2010. This baby carrier from The Oak and Acorn, was given to me as a going away present by my friend Lyn. Oh I loved this!!! I remember this photo. It was taken by my 2nd daughter AS while my 3rd girl L was having her swimming lessons!!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Horseback Ridding

It was a pleasant and quiet afternoon!!! The Davao Horse Club has a better place now. And the fees are still the same.

We arrived around 4:30. This is what I love in Davao. I can say lets go to the beach and within an hour, even less, I can be in the beach. Same goes for this. A total of 20 minutes with traffic from my house to the new Davao Horse Club place.

First to go was big sister A...

 Followed by L, who was super excited...

 Next was As who was just as excited!!!

Then the dad of one of my friends come walking up to us. He was so sure of the horses which made my girls comfortable on the horse but made me nervous...

My dear little boy just stayed with me...

 He kept saying he wants to ride but when the horse for him was all saddle up he kept saying later. The horses did look intimidating... So I said to myself that there will be a next time for him.

 Then, he gets his horse and calls my dear son.My boy is usually shy and would normally refuse an offer such as this from a new person. But to my surprise...

  Here's my dear boy holding the reigns and all. At one point he was even waving at me...


 It's one of those afternoons that I wish I could stretch a little longer!!!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Fainting Dads????

This is yet to happen!!! Just to keep a record and in fairness to all the dads who attended Childbirth Preparation Class since 2004 to date, none have fainted during labor and birth!!!

I am not saying that all dads are comfortable with the idea of being in the labor and delivery room. Some would say they are nervous. Some are so ready to be there with mom. Some dads don't belong in the labor room, some labor/ births might have been more relaxed without dad. But a lot of the dads I talk to want to be there. From what I see in class most dads can decide on their own or with some prodding from mom, if they want to be in the labor room and/or be present during the birth (natural birth, epidural, c section).

Maybe a dad has fainted sometime in the past in some hospital or birth center, but it hasn't happened to any of the dads who attended Childbirth Preparation Class so far. I am giving credit to all the dads:
- for those who decided to be present during labor and birth,
-for those who felt they could not handle it and decided not to go with mom,
-for those who sort of wanted to be there but were told that the rules of the place won't allow them.

Why are dads not allowed in the labor room? Why should they be there too? Do you know a dad who fainted in the labor/ delivery room coz to date I do not know any...
Last night's hospital tour at Brokenshire Hospital

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Summer Reporting

We did our reporting last night!!!
When we do reporting, I let the girls choose a topic that they are currently interested in, they come up with their own questions and prepare the report themselves. I inject some of my own questions and we set a date for the reporting. I do not check the work in progress or have a dry run of the reports. It's all up to them!!!
I find this exciting, informative and heart warming.  For this reporting they were given 2 weeks to do the report.

Our first time reporter! She was so nervous "Ungulates in the Farm"

2nd reporter: "Ungulates" very impressive slides

3rd reporter "Muscles"

Dad listening!!! L now relax after her report

The reporting happened after dinner and lasted for about an hour including the time they needed for setting up the projector. We agreed that if the ungulates report turn out well we shall go horse back riding. Now the choices are: Marina Stables or Eden Nature Park! This could be a great way to close the summer...
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