Sunday, July 25, 2021

Thrive at Home: Homeschooling and Intentional Parenting Summit

The first time I attended a Homeschool Conference was in 2014. I was so thankful for it. I never regretted attending it. Since then, I have tried my best to go to each summit or conference about homeschooling, whether online (US) or in-person (Manila). Meeting like-minded people and gaining wisdom from seasoned homeschoolers encourage me to go on and thrive in homeschooling my daughter. 

Today, despite the pandemic, another homeschool summit is going to be held. It'll be from July 30 to August 1. Though I have been homeschooling for nine years now, I still feel the need to be equipped and encouraged; that is why I can't wait for this online summit.

Educating for Life Organizes Online Summit to Help Families with Homeschooling and Distance Learning
A 3-day online summit happening on July 30-August 1 is set to equip families who face another school year of home-based learning. The summit is organized by a local group of homeschooling moms who have been supporting families since 2013 through their empowering events.
MANILA, Philippines — July 8, 2021 Educating for Life (EFL), the organizer of national homeschool conferences in the Philippines since 2014, and the creator of the Philippine Homeschool Convention and Connect Homeschooling and Intentional Parenting Summit (CHIPS), is proud to present CHIPS 2021: Thrive at Home or simply #CHIPSThriveAtHome.

Happening online via the Accelevents platform, the Summit will take place on July 30-August 1, but participants will be able to access the event anytime and learn from all the Summit talks even after the event dates, up to August 31, 2021.

#CHIPSThriveAtHome is similar to EFL’s CHIPS event last year, which was their big-scale online event created in response to the needs of families who suddenly had to face a year of strictly home-based learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Driven by this same objective to help families, #CHIPSThriveatHome will feature bite-sized learning sessions for families who are already homeschooling, exploring or preparing for homeschooling, or struggling with the challenges of their kids learning at home via distance learning. 

With talks focused on the sub-themes Thrive In Your Mind, Thrive in Learning, and Thrive in Family Relationships, EFL hopes to equip families with strategies for joyful homeschooling and distance learning. Through the specific parenting and family life topics of #CHIPSThriveAtHome, EFL hopes that more families will be able to cope—and even thrive—despite the pandemic.

The Summit’s line-up of speakers consists of both international and local speakers who will leave the participants inspired, encouraged, empowered, and equipped to start or continue their respective home-based learning journeys more than ever before. This applies to both homeschooling and distance learning families.

Below are just some of the 30+ #CHIPSThriveAtHome topics: 
  • “Well-Being Matters: Supporting Parents'-Kids'-Teens' Mental Health” by Dr. Michele Alignay
  • “Lead Your Family to Thrive: The Importance of a Father’s Presence” by Bo Sanchez
  • “Mother Culture: How to Thrive When You’re With Your Kids 24/7” by Gina Guerrero-Roldan
  • “How to Thrive as a Solo Parent During Challenging Times” by Professor Nina Era
  • “How Homeschooling Helps Our Family’s Relationships to Thrive” by Julius and Tintin Babao
  • “How to Help Your Kids Thrive in Distance Learning” by Dr. Queena Lee-Chua
  • “Survive and Thrive: Stories of Homeschooling COVID-19 Survivors” by Joe and Rica Bonifacio
  • “How to Keep Your Family Safe Online” by Kenneth Lingan
  • “What We Learned After a Year of Distance Learning” - A Panel Discussion by Ina Arabia-Garcia, Jing jing de Guzman, Michelle Aventajado, and Pehpot Pineda
  • “The Most Important Person in Your Homeschool is You” by Julie Bogart
There will also be sessions for kids and teens. All the #CHIPSThriveAtHome topics and speakers can be seen here.


Besides learning from all the talks, #CHIPSThriveAtHome participants will also be able to visit the virtual expo within the Summit event platform. The expo will feature products and services that will help support families in their respective home-based learning journeys. Business owners and entrepreneurs that may be interested in joining the expo may sign up here or contact Michelle Padrelanan via

#CHIPSThriveAtHome is open to everyone who wishes to learn strategies for joyful homeschooling and distance learning. This includes parents, students (kids and teens), educators, and other people who see the importance of thriving in your mind, thriving in learning, and thriving in family relationships.


Registration is currently ongoing at 
The fees are below:
Early Bird Family Learning Fee: P1500
Deadline of payment to avail the early bird rate is 11.59pm July 23, 2021
Regular Family Learning Fee: P2000
Effective July 24, 2021


Of course, #CHIPSThriveAtHome would not be possible without the support of our sponsors and partners (as of July 21, 2021);
Platinum Sponsors: 
Peniel Integrated Christian Academy of Rizal
Cross Home-School Academy
Guidepost Montessori

Gold Sponsor:
Thames International 

Silver Sponsors: 
HomeLife Academy
Skill Skout

Sunday, January 19, 2020

The Kikki K Planner and Why I Love It

I am a paper-lover person, ever since the world began! I love everything paper - planners, journals, stationery, stickers, name it! And that's why I'm always on the lookout for cute and inspiring "papers", even now that I am a mom. Because, why not? Right?

Last August, my little family and I were given the opportunity to stay in Australia for 3 months. It's not my first time to be there so I know pretty much what delightful things to expect there. One of those is the Kikki K shop. I love everything they sell in Kikki K. It's a stationery shop which showcases cute stuff with Swedish design. While there, I was really hoping to get to join another workshop by Kikki K, because the first time I was there, I got to attend one of their inspiring and motivating workshops. Then, I found out that they were going to hold a Planner Workshop! What an answered prayer! However, that workshop was moved to February 2020. I won't be able to attend that because we came back to the Philippines in November. But the nice thing was, I was able to buy a personal planner! Yay!

Kikki K Personal Planner Woodland
Kikki K Personal Planner Woodland
What are the features of this lovely planner?

1. This personal planner features hand-drawn illustrations, rose-gold metal binders, and sweet quotes. It includes a pen loop, 2-card pockets, 1 open pocket, and two notepads (one larger lined notepad at the back and smaller lined notepad at the front).

2. The planner page includes 120 gsm paper, 7 blank divider tabs, 2 sticker sheets, monthly planner sheets, non-dated weekly pages, to-do planner pages, and 3 sections of lined pages.

3. The outer is made from soft touch non-leather and has rose gold hardware with two-snap closure. 

Now, why do I love this planner?

1. It's quite obvious, isn't it? It's super cute! It's not because I'm a mom, I am no longer entitled to get or receive something cute and fun, right? As a mom, I do a lot of stuff at home and even outside the house. More often than not, busyness takes a toll on me. Seeing and using cute items is one of my stress relievers. Who is with me? ;) You know that feeling when you see and touch something that you really like and love? Yeah, that's how I feel too!

2. It's functional. Just like any other planners, it is useful. Everything that it features can be used and not just for decorative and aesthetic purposes. For me, the spaces dedicated for monthly and weekly schedule is just right. I don't really need big ones. The to-do list page has also a space for "top priorities" and "water intake" habit. There are unlabeled sticker tabs that could be used for whatever label one likes. There are sticker tabs for home, birthdays, school, habits, shopping, journaling, planning, etc. Plus point: the paper. I love writing on the paper because the pen easily glides across the page. It's really smooth and not flimsy.

3. It's inspirational. You read the quotes and you'll be inspired to smile and "love the little things." Sometimes, we moms, could be so caught up with life that we forget to stop and appreciate the small things. As you look at the dividers, you'll be motivated to decorate and personalize your planner; release your creativity and make it your "own". Also, the lined pages encourages you to write down your thoughts, ideas, and even quotes you've read from a book. I know because I just did that!

I know there are so many planners available in the market right now. I would love to recommend Kikki K planner if you think this will suit your lifestyle as a mom. For me, it does. However, what really matters is to choose something that is functional and that you really, really like. Please feel free to share in the comment box below what planner you're using and why do you like it.

Blessings and joy!

Note: Description of features adapted from

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Game Plans for Success: Turn Your Dreams to Reality

Colin Powell said, "A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work." Tough but true. Dreams should be pursued to make it happen. But how? By coming up with a plan!

After 3 successful runs, here it is again! Game Plan for Success: Turn Your Dreams to Reality Batch 4: Aspiring Entrepreneurs Edition 

On this fourth run, the focus is on all aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start their own business. Expect wonderful ideas, great "aha" moments, and practical answers to your questions as you participate in this inspiring and fun event!

The workshop will consist of two parts.

How do people ever crush their goals one after the other? What is the secret to achieving all that we aspire for? What sets apart successful people to the ones that are mediocre? 

These and many more are what we will answer in our interactive and sought-after goal setting workshop. 

We will talk about a very simple 3 step process that will help you get to your goals faster and more efficiently. 

In this second part of the workshop, we will breeze thru the step by step process on how you can successfully launch your business. 

If you have been wanting to start a business but never had the COURAGE to take your first step, this workshop is for you. 

Below are testimonies of some of the women who have been helped and enlightened by this workshop.

This awesome event will be held on April 13, 2019 from 12:30 noon to 5pm, at the GREATWORK BUSINESS CAMPUS 3rd Floor, Main Building, Ben-Lor IT Center, 1184 Quezon Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City.

And because we really want you to be a part of this event, we are giving you a Php 300 discount! Yay! Just click on this link to register and type blogger_pinionsandplumageoflove in the Remarks section.

So, are you ready to crush your goals and turn your dream into reality? Then, see you there! 

Friday, September 7, 2018

Learn with Joy: 5 Things I Have Learned from Homeschooling My Daughter

My daughter and I were on our bed. I was reading an article online while she was doing her own reading. Her chosen books were neatly scattered on the bed. I was quite feeling "unaccomplished" because I knew there were still a lot of things to be done and all we could do was just read. But as I looked at my love bug - how relax she was, and how much she was enjoying the quiet time we were having, I also thought about how surprised I am at how much I am learning as I teach her. 

I never knew how much the Lord would use this tiny person to teach me valuable lessons and profound truths. Sometimes, it's hard to believe that my daughter is being used as the Lord's instrument to train and mould me. What a humbling experience! 

So, what have I learned from homeschooling my daughter?

1. I am not perfect but God's grace is sufficient.
Flashback to my younger years, I had always been a perfectionist.  I would feel frustrated if there was an ink in the page, a crease in my ironed skirt, or a wrench thrown to my meticulously-planned schedule. Even my husband knows it!
  • I am not always able to finish what I have planned for the day for our homeschooling, and yes, it's okay. My daughter will tell me, as young as she is, "Mom, it's okay. We can always do it tomorrow. At least we had fun." And every time I hear those words coming from my favourite little human, I feel like I'm being nudged by the One who created her and me, "My grace is sufficient for you." (2 Corinthians 12:9)
  • I am not always the perfectly patient mom, and yes, it's okay. My daughter keeps quiet when my voice is already high-pitched. She's heard Proverbs 15:1: "A gentle answer turns away wrath." She's a doer of this verse. So after I mess up and say sorry to her, she's quick to say, "It's okay, Mom. I know you're just tired." Or sometimes, "You're just mad, you didn't mean it." Oh, I love this kid!

2. It's not about the expenses, it's about the experience.
As I have mentioned in my previous post, homeschooling is not cheap. Having said that, my husband and I use our discernment as to where to put our ample resources. We don't attend all the family workshops available in our area, spend every peso on learning materials, or travel anywhere just for the sake of it. But when we do, we make sure the experience we get is all worth it. We may splurge a little bit on travel or a learning resource when our exposure to it is worth every cent we spend.

3. I can't have it all but I can focus on growing what matters most. 
I wish I could say, "Yes, I have it all together." But that would be contrary to my first statement above. NO! I have my weaknesses and imperfections. I can't do everything. I can't do "all". It's during this time that I am reminded of "just do" what we value most. 

If I couldn't tick off what's planned for the day, I could at least read-aloud to my daughter, and she's the happiest! We snuggle close, we spend time together - and that's what matters most!

4. It's true that "Comparison is the thief of joy." 
Never compare your one year of homeschooling with the 10 year-experience of other homeschooling families. I know, I had been a victim of that. One day, I was reading a blog post of a homeschooling mom. She has an organised schedule, with a very tidy homeschool area in their house, and has a high number of followers. But she's been homeschooling for more than 10 years!

There are pinterest-worthy homeschooling photos and there are the real ones. I have learned that the pictures I see in Pinterest are for inspiration - that we could also do those picture-worthy activities if I would be persistent, determined, and have the ability to edit my photos.

5. The struggle is real, but so is God!
There is never a time that struggle isn't present, but so is our God who calls my family and me to homeschool. Whenever I feel like I want to give up, the Lord always brings me back to why we are doing what we are doing

I realise that nothing good comes out easily. There is always a process - and it maybe arduous and long. But the product will undoubtedly come out good, especially if it's entrusted to the loving and creative hands of our God.

We parents may be the one facilitating our children's education, but it's not just them who learn from us. If we are teachable enough, we can learn from them too.

How about you? What have you learned from homeschooling your kid/s? Please feel free to share. I would love to hear your thoughts. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Learn with Joy: What Homeschooling Is Not

I was pregnant with our daughter when my husband and I were already thinking what kind of education we would like to give our daughter - that was, what school to send her to. You see, as a licensed educator, I used to equate "quality education" with "costly/expensive schools". I believed, at that time, that the kind of school had always something to do with the quality of education a child would get. I would like my child to study in a school where she and her interests matter and she would be trained and prepared to face the world and "live life".

Then I heard about homeschool/homeschooling. The first time I heard about it, I was neither skeptical nor a believer. Out of curiosity, I asked this friend who mentioned it to me what homeschooling was. It was a new idea to us. I had never read about it nor heard other Filipino families doing it. But my curiosity got the best of me. I began to research about it. And like one who hasn't been fed for a long time, I devoured every information I got. Until one day, my husband and I prayed about it and then decided, that yes, we're going to homeschool our daughter.

My idea of homeschooling 6 years ago was a far cry from what it really is. I'm grateful that before we delved into the idea, I was able to do a little research (at that time), and continue to learn more about it these days. I believe that there are a lot of parents out there who are still vacillating between homeschooling and putting their kid/s in brick and mortar school. I just thought this post might give you an idea of what homeschooling really is.

1. Homeschooling is not just a trend. 

The first time I heard about homeschooling, it was not a trend. No one was talking about it, and to think I am an educator. It was not popular. It wasn't as common as send your schooler-kid-to-school-because-that-is-what-you-are-supposed-to-do kind of thing. No, it wasn't like that. Then I realised. Homeschooling is not just a trend that everyone should copy or follow. Homeschooling rather is a tough decision that you and your family make because you know the reason why. It is important that your family's goal and mission are clear to you. Because, to be honest, homeschooling is not easy. Yes, I will say it again. Homeschooling is not easy. But why do we still do it? Because our goal and mission is clear. We know why we are doing what we are doing. 

2. Homeschooling is not building a school in your house. 
If you imagined homeschool to be like "school or classroom inside the house", well, let me assure you, you're not alone! :) That was my idea before! Apparently, homeschooling is so much more than that or should I say totally different from that. You can homeschool without a blackboard and chalk, without a table and chair. Because homeschooling is not a building, rather, homeschooling is the atmosphere of learning that is created in a home and even outside. My daughter and I frequently use our bedroom/bed to do our activities. But learning doesn't stop there. We learn in the kitchen, laundry area, dining table, at the garden, even during our travel time. Homeschooling  is not confined within the four corners of a building.

3. Homeschooling is not just paper and pencil.
When my daughter and I were in Australia, my niece (older than my daughter) was in her summer break. She knew I'm homeschooling my daughter. One day, while she was holding her pencil and paper, she asked me, "Mommy Joy, can you please homeschool me too?" Gladly I said, "Sure!" And you know what she did? She sat in front of me with her pencil and paper. Then I told her this, "Kindly pick up the toys which you have played with a while ago. Please pick up the pieces of paper that are scattered on the floor too." Then she looked at me in disbelief and asked, "Mommy Joy, I asked you to homeschool me." So I told her the greatest surprise of her life (at least at that time), "Yes, I know. That is part of homeschooling, teaching you life skills." Homeschooling goes beyond the holding of paper and pencil. Homeschooling teaches a child one of the most important skills in life, that is, life skills! 

4. Homeschooling is not secluding your child from the world,
Rather it's showing the real world to the child. I can't think of another effective way of learning about life and the real world than to be exposed to the world. While others think (and often this is the primary concern of most parents) that socialisation is compromised, homeschooling in reality gives a child every opportunity to socialise and interact with people from all walks of life. I remember when we were in Australia, while we were in a playground, a mom talked to my daughter and praised her for being a nice older sister because she's taking care of her cousin. My daughter aptly said, "Thank you. But actually, she's not my sister, she's my cousin." When I approached my daughter, the mom happily told me about their conversation. Please know that we don't know this mom. We just met her at the playground. And this is not an isolated occasion. There were many other situations wherein my daughter had "socialised" well - with kids her age, older, younger and even adults. Homeschooling doesn't get socialisation out of your kid's life. On the contrary, it expands your child's world, thereby providing greater and wider opportunity for interaction with society. 

5. Homeschooling is not cheap.
My daughter was 4 years old when my well-meaning Dad asked me in what school I would like to send my daughter to. My family saw a potential in my daughter, and they're all saying she's smart and should be sent to school (By the way, we've been homeschooling her since she's a year old). When I told him and the rest of the family that my husband and I decided to homeschool her, they were all in shock! I'm not kidding! The reason: because they had not heard about homeschooling (so they thought I was radical, haha). My very supportive older sister even asked me that if money were not an issue, where would we send her niece to school. There were also those who thought that maybe because we're saving money or we couldn't afford to send her to a reputable school, we opted to homeschool. You know what though, homeschooling is not cheap! There may be free online resources, or free printable, but it doesn't mean that homeschooling is a giveaway. 

Looking for curriculum that best suits your family's values and lifestyle costs an enormous amount of time and effort. And don't get me started talking about preparing the lessons and activities. How about the materials needed to conduct some experiments, the books that need to be read? Or travelling to some places to create an experience? Folks, these are not cheap! :) Homeschooling may be perceived as "bargain" by many. Reality speaks though, it is not. Nevertheless, it is worth every ounce of sweat and every single penny you spend!

Homeschooling may not be popular now. But my family and I chose this path. We believe this is where we should be. This is where God wants us to be. 

How about you? Do you also homeschool? What other thoughts you may want to add? Or maybe you're someone who wishes to homeschool your kid/s but doesn't know how and where to start? I would like to hear from you.