Sunday, January 28, 2018

Learn with Joy: Joy's Homeschool Day in the Life (with a 6-year old)

I have been meaning to write about this, I just don't know when to start and how. A lot of people who have heard about us homeschooling are curious to know how we do it and what usually transpires in a day. I believe today is the perfect time to share about it. :)

So, how does our homeschool day look like? My daughter firmly believes that everything we do inside our house is part of homeschooling (I am thankful for that). Whether we pray, eat, play, read, do the laundry, wash the dishes, clean the house (even the bathroom), or do lessons - all of these are part of our homeschool. So, let me just give you an idea of how our day looks like.

Morning, between 8am-9:30am
Around this time my lovebug wakes up. Sometimes, when we let her stay up late at night, she would wake up past 9am. I am a person who believes in the benefits of sleep. I don't force my daughter to wake up early in the morning. I let her sleep for as much as she wants. That is one of the things I like about homeschooling, I don't have to wake up my daughter just to make it to school on time. Also, I don't have to force myself to get up and prepare. ;)

I usually get up an hour or two ahead of my daughter. That's when I do my morning prayer, Bible reading, and checking my social media accounts. My lovebug wants us to eat breakfast and have our morning prayer together. That is why I have to wait for her.

As soon as she wakes up, she greets me, "Good morning, Mom! I love you!", says her morning prayer, uses the bathroom, folds her blanket (if she's using her own), changes her pajamas and folds them properly, then reminds me to "let's pray for the good morning." After the prayer, she gets a book/s and reads it/them. Most of the time, she brings it/them downstairs and read it/them while we are having breakfast.

Between 9:30am - 10:30am
We go downstairs and eat. We're blessed because we have my aunt who cooks for us. After eating breakfast and taking our vitamins, when my aunt is cooking and preparing the dish for lunch, my lovebug asks me to let her help and I let her. She either prepares the veggies or wraps the spring rolls. 

If I'm doing the laundry, she helps in sorting the clothes. Sometimes, because she insists, I let her do the first rinse of her clothes since they're small and she can easily wring them. If I'm washing the dishes, she soaps the small utensils and then rinses them.

If we're in my in-laws' house, we do our nature walk. I also let her stay with her grandmother so she can help her feed and bathe the dogs, or water the plants. Sometimes, she helps her grandma picks or harvests some vegetables from the garden.

10:30am - 12noon
This is the time when we usually do our "lessons". However, before we do it, sometimes she asks me to play with her dolls for 15 minutes (yes, she's specific with time). Afterwards, we review our Chinese and French by listening to the youtube lessons. We do actual conversation in Chinese. Then count 1 to 10 in French. Then I read the book for the week (I wrote here why I love FIAR). After reading, we do the lapbook and other activities tied up with it. If she is fast, she can finish the activity that is meant for two days in one sitting. When she's finished, she asks me if it's okay with me if she reads 2 or more books. Of course! ;)

Between 12noon - 1:00pm
We eat lunch together. Then I prepare for my online work while she continues to enjoy eating, haha! 

1:00pm - 6:00pm
This is my work time while it's her combined free time and learning time. I let her decide what she wants to do . There are times when she paints. Other times, she rides her scooter. It's also a time when she does her copywork when she's not able to do it in the morning. Most of the time, she's either playing or reading more books.

6:00pm - 8:00pm
We eat dinner together. After cleaning the table and washing the dishes, we go upstairs to take a shower/bath, brush teeth, and then prepare for bed. It sometimes takes two hours to do all of these, specially when my lovebug is feeling "I'm not yet sleepy, Mom!".

8:00pm - 9:00pm
Read more books, hahaha! This time I read to her. It's part of our routine. If my husband is around, he does the read aloud and give me some break, haha! Then she reads her Bible, while I read mine too. We do Bible journaling on our Bibles. She sees me doing it one night and she is hooked. Then I call her attention to clean up within 5 minutes. I turn off the main light and switch on the lampshade. My husband calls to lead the bedtime prayer. On weekends, when Daddy is with us, he also leads the prayer and naturally, he doesn't need to phone call anymore. ;)

9:00pm - 10:30pm
This is when I do the other work (or continuation of work), like checking my emails, social media accounts, and read a book or blog post. As I mentioned above, I put so much value on sleep, that's why I make sure that I also get a good amount of sleep. 

That's how pretty much our homeschool day looks like. Nothing extravagant, nothing unusual. It doesn't always look like this, though. There are times it changes, and as much as I would like to stick on a strict schedule I don't, because it stresses me out. Homeschooling has taught me to be more flexible and more patient, I have also learned to think and do out-of-the-box stuff. It has taught me a lot of things, to be honest. And I say, that's one of the blessings of homeschooling.

How about you? How does your homeschool day look like? Please feel free to share in the comment box. Thank you for visiting. Happy homeschooling! Blessings and joy to you! :)

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Believe: My "One Word" for 2018

On the last week of last month, an unexpected event happened. I got sick. Booh! And not just sick; I was hospitalised. Those days were the hardest for us, specially for my 6-year old daughter. For two nights, she slept with my aunt at home without daddy and mommy. It was heartbreaking for all of us. BUT God remained faithful (my one word for this year, 2017). In spite of my shortcomings, He was, is, and has always been faithful to me. I clung to His Word. He promised He will not leave me. And He didn't, not even for a moment.

Fast forward to today, I am very well, by God's grace, and once again, I am ready to share with you my "one word" for the coming 2018. :)

That time I was in the hospital, there was this word that kept tugging at my heart. Then a friend of mine sent me a get-well-soon-praying-for-you message together with this Bible verse: Mark 9:23. I knew I had memorized it before. But something told me that I had to open my Bible and look at it again. "Everything is possible for him who believes."

Source: YouVersion Bible App
Then the word hit me. "Believe". Isn't this what the Lord wants me to do? Cling on to His Word like my life depends on it (and it really does!); trust that He will do what He said He would, and keep the faith.

Believe in who Jesus is (Worth)
Before we could ever believe everything that a person says, we must first know who or what kind of person he is, right? Is he credible? Is he trustworthy? Does he have integrity? 

Well, the good news is, Jesus is who He says He is! Not only that! Old Testament prophets and New Testament apostles had said truthful things about Him. Even modern-day believers would also testify that Jesus is who He claims to be. So, what is the essence of believing in Jesus? The Bible says, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." (Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9). Believing in Jesus, the Incarnated Word, the One who is obeyed by the wind and waves, would mean salvation of our souls. The very reason why He came in the first place-why we have Christmas.

I believe in Jesus. He is my Lord and Savior. The wonderful thing though is, Jesus wants me to know Him more and believe in Him more. As He reveals Himself to me each and everyday, He wants me to believe His persona, His worth. 

Believe in His promises (Word)
There's a famous saying, "Promises are made to be broken." I'm sorry but I'm not one to believe that. Ever since I was a child. I knew in my heart that promises should be kept. It's one reason why my family says I'm like a child who always believes that whatever is promised to me, I hold on to it until I see that promise is fulfilled.

However, there are times when it comes to the Lord's promises, I am not child-like. Sometimes, it's easier said than done. But if there's one person who can keep his word, no matter what happens, it is the Lord. He never fails. He accomplishes what He says. He's a covenant-keeping God. He doesn't change. His Word is forever, eternal. 

When I was hospitalized, God made me realize how truthful and trustworthy His Word is. Everyday, He gave me His promise, "Do not be afraid." Whenever I looked at my situation at that time, my reality was totally different from my expectations. Yet, the Lord remained true and faithful to His Word. I just had to believe. It was like the Lord was telling me, "Are you ready to walk with me on the water?" And all He needed to hear from me was, "Yes, Lord. I am ready. I believe. I know we can do this." And we did! He never left me, not even for a single moment. All I needed to do was believe!

Believe in what He has done and can do (Work)
Jesus was born to die so that mankind would be born to live. That was what Jesus had done for humanity. He came to save us from sin and death. To believe this is to be entitled to eternal life. 

But Jesus didn't stop there. He keeps doing something in and through our lives, if we believe it. He is not yet finished. He who has begun a good work in us will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (see Philippians 1:6). Because we believe in Him, we can also do things through Him who gives us strength (see Philippians 4:13).

Jesus is still at work today. Through the Holy Spirit, those who believe in Him, are empowered to do great things for His glory. And then one day, everyone who believes in Him will receive the fulfilment of the greatest promise, that is, His second coming. He will take us to be with Him, forever.

I don't know what 2018 holds for me and my family. But I believe in Him who holds the future. When I was a kid, one of my favorite mottos to write in the slam book was: "To see is to believe." However, a greater truth I have known now that I'm older, spoken by the Greatest Man who had ever lived on earth: "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (John 20:29)

What's your "one word" for this coming year? May you all have a prosperous and victorious 2018! May your heart believe that Jesus will do it, just as He says He would! And remember, "Everything is possible for one who believes." (Mark 9:23).

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Learn with Joy: Why I Love Before/Five in A Row

Welcome back to our homeschool series. I know it's been a long while. I haven't written so much about our homeschooling journey for quite sometime. I have been meaning to share about it though, I just couldn't find the time to write. But I believe that is going to change now. 

I have always been asked about homeschooling my daughter. And honestly, that makes me so happy! I could go on and on sharing about what we do and how we do it. So, I guess, it's the perfect time to write about it, don't you think?

As I chronicle our homeschooling journey, my simple desire is to document our family's learning adventure and that somehow, when you read it, you would feel and realize you're not alone; that somewhere in the world, there's someone who gets what you're trying to say, who understands what you're feeling, and who believes that homeschooling may be daunting, but with God's grace and a support-community, it is doable. 

Now let me start by sharing what curriculum we are using for now. Currently, we are independent homeschoolers. And though there is a ton of great homeschool providers in the country, I believe that for now, this is where God is leading us, that is, to be independent. I'm simply following my daughter's lead, cues, and interests. I believe, we're doing more than okay, so that is why. ;)

The first time I've heard about Five in A Row (FIAR), I fell in love with it. I love story books. I love literature, so there's no question why I wouldn't love FIAR. But when I saw the manual and the books included in the list, I just couldn't resist it. So, we started using Before Five in A Row (BFIAR). BFIAR is a "prequel" (my own word) of FIAR. While FIAR is for kids from ages 4-8, BFIAR is for 2-4 year olds. It's an understatement to say that my daughter liked it. She was ecstatic every time we read a BFIAR book. She would always say, "Again, Mommy! Please read it again!" Together, we learned a lot from it and enjoyed every learning moment. So now that she's 6 years old, my husband and I decided to use FIAR as our  main curriculum for this year.

So, why do I love FIAR and BFIAR? Let me tell you the reasons. 

It focuses on developing positive attitude and character in the heart of a child.
I love to hear people say that my kid is smart and way beyond her years. But more than that, I prefer to hear them praise my daughter for being kind, friendly, and loving. And in our world today, one would think that it's really hard to raise such kind of kids. Good thing, there are helps available and I consider B/FIAR as one of them.

It cultivates love for reading and lets you rediscover the joy of learning.
"The more you read, the more things you know. The more you 
learn, the more places you'll go!" - Dr. Seuss.  We often hear this quote and we know it's true. As a child reads the classic stories of B/FIAR books, s/he hungers to read more and to know more. I have seen that in my daughter. She would always say, "More, Mommy, let's read more, please?" I don't even have to "teach" her. Because she's reading these books, she learns a lot on her own. She discovers what she needs to know and the joy it gives her is just priceless!

It presents simple lessons that are rich in results. 
It just amazes me how the simple lessons presented in this curriculum are expanding my and my daughter's learning horizon. Every time we finish reading a book, do some activities, I would often find myself with a smile on my face, excited with the relearning process and reintroduction to the subjects which I used to love but have already forgotten about because I'm now an adult. :)

It is so flexible you are given an option to do all or the activities that fit the needs of your learner.
Depending on your interests and time, you could choose an exercise or activity with your learner. Most of the time, I would let my daughter pick what she likes to do. The funny thing is, together, we would end up doing all the activities because she just loves doing them. From the suggested activities, ideas would pop up and then we would do them too! What I find interesting here is that, it's not just my daughter who is having fun. I also find myself glad and content that we are able to do and learn things together.

I simply love it. Period. Haha!
I simply love it! I'm a bookworm that's why I love the books that Five in A Row shares. I have never seen those books before when I was a kid. As I read each book with my daughter, I am like, "I wish I had read this when I was a kid." These books are classics and truly worth-reading and sharing. 

So, there you have it. If you are homeschooling and on the lookout for a curriculum for your little learner/s, give it a try. And I'm sure you will love it, as much as I do!

Note: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are personal and not in any way influenced by the author/s of Five in A Row.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Share the Love, Share the "Wealth": Mommy Bloggers' Nutri10Plus Syrup Vitamin Blog Campaign

I don't know how many times you have heard this: Health is wealth. I believe it is often said because it is true, right? As a wife and mom, I always make sure that I prioritise our health. That being said, I check the food that we eat and make certain that we are not couch potatoes at home, if you know what I mean. However, it's not everyday that you get to take all the nutrients that you need from the food that you eat. That is why supplements or vitamins are necessary to achieve optimal health.

In the effort to help our co-mommies and their children in the war-stricken village in Marawi, 100 mommy bloggers from Mommy Bloggers Philippines community had collaborated to bring boxes of Nutri10Plus Syrup, DayCee Vitamin C Syrup, and several toys, to a hundred kids in Marawi through SinagTala, a non-profit organization headed by Ms. Kaye Koo. Nutri10Plus Syrup is a multivitamins packed with Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF), Taurine, Lysine, Zinc, and Vitamins C, A, D3, B1, and more. 

SinagTala had been sending help to villages in Marawi since the war erupted and it had sheltered hundreds of children inside the Playroom which served as the mini-school and play area of the children.

Through the Nutri10Plus Syrup, DAYZINC vitamins, and toys, we wish to help uplift the children's spirits and restore their health as they start on picking up the pieces of their lives as families.

To learn more about the benefits of Nutri10Plus Syrup, please check through their Facebook page

We all thank WERT for this campaign, Kaye Koo of SinagTala, and all the staff who have helped in sending the vitamins to Marawi.

We are grateful to the mommy bloggers who participated in the campaign using their blogs to bring hundreds of pouches of Nutri10Plus Vitamins full of nutrition for the children in Marawi. Find out more about our lovely mommy bloggers and their experiences as they document their life journeys in their mommy blogs.