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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Standardised Test As The Need Arise (Part 1 of 2)

My husband and I decided to keep the children away from standardised test until:
1. They want it.
2. The need arise.

Our 2 older children now age 18 and 15 both wanted to do something that required some form of test or a paper to show they are in a certain grade level etc. Both were more than willing to sit down and study for it because they need it.

I want to keep our homeschooling relaxed and interest driven. We each set our own goals and have no use for grades. We only have grades in school, not in life. I don't think there is a need to quiz a young person and gauge how much facts he or she can recall. I think its threatening and if I would have to do this again and again or year after year, then it seems careless and disrespectful. Children need experiences and memories.

Our experiences are the well spring of inspiration.  I have seen how simple experiences can make my children want to level up. Here is my little boy determined to write his name and birthday perfectly the day after visiting the bank and opening his own account. He said, next time he signs "important papers," he wants to get it right and it "should be perfect" because they are "so serious." Beside him is his older sister doing Math.
 After breakfast scene. This looks like detention punishment from some 80's movie. But no one told him to do that.

I did not have to teach him or drill him for better hand writing. He saw the need for it! Some experiences create waves while others I suppose are forgotten or hopefully will be remembered later as the need arise. 
It did not seem wise to take this two with me to the COMELEC office when I had my biometrics, but I felt that it would be a perfect opportunity for them to see how and where stuff like this happen. Based on my limited experience, this is actually the perfect age to take them around, 11 and 7. Too young to refuse when I make it sound potentially exciting and they really have not much to do if they don't come with me. We talked about why I had to do this and I told them there will be a lot of people. We also got to talk about the elections. The only highlight of this trip is that I am amazed at how fast it turned out to be. And my son's head got hit by the door as we were going out so he had a Harry Potter scratch for a few days. Other than that we have not talked about this again.

There is so much to do at home and so many errands where I can take the children with me rather than prepare them for a test. This brings me to my next reason why we not subjecting our children to standardised test unless they want it: time.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Woolly Rhino

My son had been announcing that he wants to sculpt something and have been asking me to buy him clay while we were in Manila. I kept explaining that the polymer clay I have is not the kind of clay that he needs. I explained this to my husband too, but they joined forces and bought the first grey coloured clay they saw. 

Last Sunday they spent 2 hours forming the woolly Rhino they saw on YouTube, here. If you are wondering if there is such a thing as a woolly rhino, then check this out. I told them them that I think they can’t bake the clay based on the way they were shaping it. But, its like I wasn’t even in the room. Blocked out by the woolly rhino, obviously! They didn't even call me when they baked the woolly rhino. The oven is my appliance, I get called whenever they have to use it! But not this afternoon!

And then, just as darkness fell to declare the night, I saw my dear son coming up to me in a gait and with the silent tears that only the defeated and the disappointed can articulate. He said, “Its a failure!” 
How I wish I was able to get a photo of their work before they popped it into the toaster oven. That’s why they didn't call me! They both thought that if bread can get toasted in the toaster, then for sure, clay will do just fine.  Voila! Meet Woolly Rhino #1. You can still tell where the legs and horn once were, right?
By dinner time father and son were planning a 2nd woolly rhino. We found self drying clay in Morning Light Art Shop and Gallery, just like what the guy in the video used. 
Father and son started slaving away for the extinct woolly rhino. And 2 hours later,
Here is the Woolly Rhino #2. My little boy declared with much joy. " It will dry after 10 plus 2 days. Then we will paint it." 

I will upload the finish project in 2 weeks. Have an energised and inspired Wednesday.


Update, 12 October 2015.  Photo of Wolly Rhino #3. He is with my father in law now. My little boy wrapped it up as a birthday present for his Lolo. My little boy made it all by himself.



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