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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Laid Back Learning: Enjoying Science Videos

Last week, I am happy to have spent 2 afternoons being with my 2 children on our sofa. I got my hair combed and styled by my daughter while sitting down with my son. A day later, I got to braid my daughter's hair while watching another science video. Just the 3 of us in our quiet house. Well, my 15 year old was upstairs doing her math. She was not interested in the video.
Then after watching we had snacks and then head off to my daughter's swimming practice. It is this kind of energy, companionship and family life that I was after when we decided not to send the children to school. 
If I told my son and daughter that we will have a test after the video and they can not do this or that if they don't get a good score, then I think we would have all missed out on the chance to just be. I think giving a test so I could grade them would be threatening, counter productive and limiting. Instead of absorbing what matters to them and/ or what they are interested in, they might start watching the video in the light of what they think will come out on the test. 

Here are the videos we watched. Hope you enjoy them as much as we did.
Tomorrow afternoon, Thursday, I a planning to watch a science video again with my kiddos. If I let my son choose he will want dinosaur stuff which will not suit the girls. So I am choosing. Here are my picks:
I am not recommending these videos as I haven't seen both, but I am hoping to watch one of them with my 3 children. I am looking forward to tomorrow.

Thanks for dropping by my blog and hope you are having a wonderful Wednesday. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Independent Homeschooling and Swimming

I talked my third daughter and my son into swimming class in the hope that my son's asthma attacks will lessen. After 30 sessions my son had enough of it and had no asthma attacks yet, while my 3rd daughter has become so into it.

She showed me this tear jerking video, here. If you clicked on the link and watched the video you can wipe your tears now. My dear girl has joined her first competition last July and is now looking forward to her second competition at the end of the month. I am excited for her because I can see how much she puts into swimming.

I did a little research about the Palarong Pambansa because my girl wanted to join the qualifying round a week or so ago. I found out that as an independent homeschooler my daughter can not join the Palarong Pambansa. Why? Because: " 1. The Palarong Pambansa Program is an annual multi-level national scholastic athletic competition conducted by the Department of Education and participated in by the elementary and secondary pupils / students both from public and private schools." You can read more about that here.

Being an independent homeschooler, my children are OSY [Out of School Youth]. I explained this to my daughter. Her quick fix reaction was that she ought to go to school. I pointed out that sometimes her teammates miss swimming because they have school activities/ exams, while in her case, her activities can adjust to her swimming schedule. I told her that we can't be included in activities all the time. The fact is, as she grows older she will have to refuse activities she wants to join for a number of reasons and because she has to prioritise. Good thing is that she can join the Batang Pinoy.

I told her, that by all accounts she is lucky to be 11 years old now at this time and place. The Palarong Pambansa started in  1948 (source: here ), while I could not find the year when Batang Pinoy started. Anyway, had she been 11 years old where we are in 1938, she would not have the opportunity for Palarong Pambansa and most likely, Batang Pinoy would not be in place. We talked a bit about how it would have been like where we are and what other obstacles would be there for someone like her, a young girl who likes swimming in 1938.

For now, she better be thankful and make the most of being an OSY swimmer. Hope you have a good week ahead dear reader and you may you get to do the most where you are this week.

Monday, October 5, 2015

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

We only have so much hours in a day! Maybe our lack of structure in our homeschooling will be a liability, so far I don't think it is. One thing I am sure of, my children will have something to say about this later on. For now, there is so much to do and there are so many enriching ways to spend one's time other than reviewing for a standardised test for the sake of having a letter or numerical grade or grade level.
Here's my 15 year old and my 11 year old right after breakfast. Painting because they want. There was no conversation or lecture about art appreciation just available art materials and time on their hands.

In our home, they can decide on how they want to spend the time they have. We have routines, rituals and expectations and this fill out most of  my children’s time until they start having ideas of their own. Because we are loosely structured no two days are alike. By deciding how they spend and allocate their time, I think they begin to put value on what is important to learn and how important it is to them. 
Here is my little boy humming while drawing as I blog away. 
When my children pick up "work" and stay with it I do not disturb them! I don't see the value in imposing a math time for somebody who has already decided to practice soccer or is browsing a book. 

It is also important that there are clear expectations. For example we expect the children do Math, but I do not grade them for this. I ask them where they are and they are free to ask me when they do not understand something. So unless they see the need for standardised test I think it will be a waste of our time to prepare for one because there is only so little time in a day. 

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