Thursday, December 6, 2012

Montessori, Age 3-6

From Montessori Homeschooling:

AGE 3-6:
Q. Can I use Montessori ideas at home with my child? 
A. Yes, you can use Montessori principles of child development and education at home. Look at your home through your child's eyes. Children need a sense of belonging and of being needed. They get it by participating fully in the routines of everyday life. "Help me do it by myself" is the life theme of the preschooler. Can you find ways for your child to participate in meal preparation, cleaning, gardening, caring for clothes, shoes, and toys? Providing opportunities for independence is the surest way to build your child's self-esteem. In Montessori 3-6 classes around the world it is this practical life element that builds habits of thinking logically, making intelligent decisions, following complex steps of complex processes, care in actions, and so forth, that prepare for a life of independent thinking and responsible action, and care for self, others, and the world. It is often the major area of work in the whole first year of the child's experience in a Montessori class. The Montessori 3-6 environment is filled with cultural, artistic, scientific activities and materials and books.  There is no junk food, no television, no computer.  Books, toys, and other educational materials are carefully chosen and of the best quality. The child is never forced to attend a lesson or do a piece of work.  The teacher is trained to model kindness and consideration, to observe the child and follow her interests in suggesting work, to give careful, individual lessons,to keep exacting records of what the child is learning and where his interests are leading him, and to refrain from interrupting when the child is concentrating on an activity. Much of this can be created in the home.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Going Timberdoodle

I think I hit a jackpot, and this has got to be it.  Really!  Timberdoodle seems like a lot of fun.  There's a lot of Montessori, with Charlotte Mason, just the right mixture of eclectic.  It seemed a little pricey at first, but it's value for money!  I think with this new addition, I'll be coming up with just the right homeschooling stuff for my kids.

With a handful of materials already--I have BFIAR, CHC, Montessori at Home!, some influence of Charlotte Mason... I have to get serious with my planning and time management, or else it will turn out to be sour case of juggling act.  Add to it the fact that I haven't resigned from my job yet, and I'm also an entrepreneur on the side, also with some personal interests/ hobbies of my own!  I myself have to homeschool myself on how to homeschool, financial literacy-- investing on paper assets, real estate, gold & silver, culinary arts (still waiting for a chef friend).

So, seriously, Seriously, SERIOUSLY, I and M1 have to be serious on our homeschooling scheds after he turns 4 years old, PreK level.  And then by March, I and M2 have to be serious on our homeschooling scheds after he turns 3 y.o.!  All necessary materials in,  calendars planned and filled, and no more jumping curriculums!  I'll be in need of a very good planner.  Or perhaps printouts of all the planners from each source will do?

Got to go to work.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Montessori at Home!

Montessori at Home! does make homeschooling a breeze.  It's very easy to follow.  One can get started as soon as you get hold of the handbook.  A lot of the materials to get you started can really be found in the house.  And the kids, they love the activities.  I do not find very much resistance.  Both Marek and Markus enjoy the rice & water tubs... just a little too much.  My challenge lies in taking control.  Our homeschool is messier than the examples in the book.   They need to train some more on right-away obedience.  They do obey, but a lot of times, only when it's convenient to obey!  M2 has to work on self-control.  And M1 has to be a little less mischievous... which pushes my buttons sometimes.  Gentle disciplining sure can be challenging.  But over-all I'm less overwhelmed about our homeschooling.  Montessori at Home!  makes one step one day at a time easier.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Early Years Education Revamp

After A's hesitancy with Catholic Heritage Curricula's Numbers, and Letters Practice, which I'm afraid might lead to frustration, I have decided to let go with the 2 books for now.  Those will have to wait for next year-- hopefully the flow with the rest of CHC's core Kindergarten Curriculum will be smoother.  I'm sticking with Who Am I? for Religion.  The rest of the activities will be taken from ideas in Montessori at Home! (e-book sold at  Areas covered will include Practical Life, Sensorial Experiences, Art & Music, Mathematics, Reading & Writing, and Science.  We're also working on the "prepared environment" aspect of the approach.  (Finally, our books will now have their long-overdue shelves!  And, goodbye clutter!).  On Charlottte Mason approach, I'll be acquiring living books whenever I can, perhaps monthly-- speaking of which, I can't wait for "The Children's Book of Virtues" by William J. Bennett, plus 2 other books to land in the mail!  (See my Priority Living Books wishlist @  I'll also put much more focus (as previously planned) on character/ values/ virtues formation... hence, my recent purchase of We Choose Virtues' Homeschool Kit (it's a little pricey but I know reaping the rewards is priceless).

Hmmm... what else?  Oh, I'm working on improving my bond with the kids-- trying to be better at being a real mom.  Let's face it, time around them doesn't always mean quality time with them.  (And time flies so fast!)  Always listen, pay attention, and play play play and participate in their play!  And read them stories.  I can feel how they adore it when I do all those stuff for them.  They cling to me like honeybees to honey!  I know when I'm slacking off... they're more attached to the baby sitter (who also was my mom's baby sitter since I was a toddler!--  She's has always been, and will be, family, but still...)

For inspiration, here's a post I recently stumbled upon: Homeschooling Makes Me a Better Parent.
And, finally, here's a reminder to self, and other homeschool moms-- if anyone might happen to drop by:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Stepping back

First week.
A's advanced preschool books involved a lot of writing and coloring practice. However, he is finding it difficult. Perhaps the fine motors involved are not ready yet. And I've been pushing him. So, now there's the struggle. Everyday he becomes reluctant to work on his lessons. There's the willingness to learn. But I realized that perhaps the activities involved are not yet for him. Now I'm changing approach. So this is what homeschooling is all about... to constantly remind oneself that the process should be child-centered, and not the other way around- the child adjusting to an institution/ system. I guess, the books... letter & number practice will have to take the backseat for now, while brain-boosting games/play should fill out his schedule. Highly considering Montessori.

New book buys:
Number & Logic Games for preschoolers by Jane Kemp & Clare Walters
Montessori at Home! by John Bowman (

Friday, August 31, 2012

Priority Status

"Because homeschooling by its very nature is a priority it should be given priority status in our lives. Because children are God's greatest trust to us and teaching them for all eternity is His highest calling, we have an obligation to ourselves to find ways to enhance our responsibility and create joy in the task."

--Catholic Heritage Curricula

Sunday, August 12, 2012

It's here!

Our materials from Catholic Heritage Curriculum has arrived! Needless to say, I am very excited! I can't say the same for my little boy, but I definitely have to infuse an ethusiasm for learning into his sytem. I'm giving myself a month to go through (and study) the materials. And we'll be officially starting on September.

Lifting my prayers to Mother Mary to guide me in my actuatations so I may raise my kids through good examples, gently, and lovingly.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Upon a Rock

The package is on the way. In about two months' time, I'll have to be really, really serious with homeschooling. I have to study, in a way much more than I did when I was in school (and we're just talking about Preschool), because this time, it isn't for me, it's for my boys. So how does a teacher prepare? We'll find out soon.

In the meantime, we've finally settled with our homeschool's name, from Matthew 7:24:

Every one therefore that heareth these my words, and doth them, shall be likened to a wise man that built his house upon a rock
And so, ours will be called Upon a Rock Homeschool.

Thank you, Lord!

A homeschool mom's sculpture

It became so clear to me what my goal is: to raise my children well, to the best of my ability. As I see a clearer picture of what I truly desire, I think I'm going to get better at "chipping away" distractions and obstacles that I may encounter along the way. Needless to say, I may have to let go of my career sooner than planned. And I am at home with the idea-- of homeschooling, and resigning when Marek steps into Kindergarten to best able to do so (which is a year from now, just four years into my profession as an anesthesiologist!). Like a clear day, I saw my vision much like the cartoon of a sculpture in the making that Jim Dornan painted in his book, Piano on the Beach. And the result is, the conviction in the direction I'm about to take. So help me, God.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Legacy 101

Two weeks ago, I attended a business & leadership seminar in Malaysia (yes, I should've written this sooner). And among the things that struck me most was a talk on personal development by one of the leaders who we look up to because it was so close to home.

What attitudes are we imparting to our children?  How do we see ourselves?  Do we have a healthy self-image?  Are we carrying baggages from our past?  How do we want our children to grow?  Are we persons of integrity?  Because our kids sense when we're being negative, when we have low self-esteem, when we're up one moment and down the next (when we're unstable), and they doubt our teachings about values and character when they see us doing the opposite.  It catches in on them!

The point is, we have to strive so hard at becoming the best examples.  Because their eyes are always on us.  That is why, while we are homeschooling them, and beyond, we should also continue educating ourselves on success, leadership, people skills, and the likes, and just keep working on personal improvement/ development.  We should surround ourselves with (positive) people, and books, even audio cds that teaches us principles and perspectives that will spell for us success in leadership, love, and life.  Because we are mostly influenced by books that we read, and people that we surround ourselves with, and cds/audios/seminars we listen to.  These things can be learned.  We have a choice-- let us not be pulled down by our past, and our circumstances.  According to Jim Dornan,
"A life rooted in clear values, purpose, and commitment is solid and steadfast.  It produces significance that embodies success in all dimensions of life:  spiritual life, relational and emotional life, and material and financial life."
And when we realize this, and apply the right principles, perspectives, and attitudes in our lives, we pass on to our children the right equipments they will be needing, (like good morals, integrity, a positive and winning attitude), that will subsequently spell success for them in all aspects of their lives.  Because they learn with what's "caught, not taught". 

So maybe this is probably something that we already know, but still, it is something that we parents need to be reminded of, its impact and importance, constantly.  And so, I feel very blessed to have our business system's personal training and development provider/partner, and our leaders in it, come into our lives, because it is more than just business, it's about knowing, and helping me work on myself, so that I can be a better person, a better wife, a better friend, a better citizen, and a better mother.  I'm far from being perfect, but I'll get there, if only for my family, my children.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A learning on patience. (Just for laughs)

My two boys were quarreling over a toy this morning.  Grabbing the opportunity to teach Markus to wait for his turn.  Our conversation turned like this:

Mommy:  Markus, wait for your turn.  Be patient.
Markus:  Ayaw ko ng patient. (I don't like to be patient)
Mommy:  Markus, be patient.  Wait for kuya to finish playing with the toy.
Markus:  Wag lang patient.  Ayaw ko ng patient.  (Don't tell me to be patient.  I don't want to be patient)
Mommy:  Be patient...
Markus:  Mommy, hindi ako patient, doctor ako!  (Mommy, I'm not a patient, I'm a doctor!)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Purple Submarine

Purple submarine
This wasn't Marek's first time he held a watercolor and a paintbrush, but it was his first non-abstract work (with a little help from mommy... yes, sheer talent runs in the blood).  The artwork was inspired by his little brother, Markus' singing of the Yellow Submarine (by the Beatles) chorus.  But he decided to make the underwater vessel purple since it was among his favorite colors, (next to yellow, and before brown).  After placing the finished product on the wall, he was staring at it for quite a while.  It was very nice to see him full of pride.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

For when the time I'll need a little help

By around July to September, I'll be starting M1 with 'formal' homeschooling. I know it's going to be an exciting journey. But I must admit to be, at the same time, a little anxious if Marek will actually sit down to listen and follow instructions. Or have things his way. Here's a relevant article I found thru another homeschooling mom.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


It has been a couple of months since my last post. That's because there's nothing very school-y happening about. I just let the kids play. I know they're learning while at it. You should hear Marek talk... all that logic! It's like talking to a much older kid. Them boys are also now conversing more with each other, not just parallel play. Markus is the more talkative one. Marek can pray and do the sign of the cross. I let him pray our bedtime prayers. He always start it with 'thank you God for giving us food'. Markus knows how to count to ten (although he often misses number 2), and Marek, to twenty. They still love being read to. Marek enjoys being quizzed. Marek has better control with the scissors, and the crayon. I'm excited for summer, as that means I will be starting Marek on Pre-school. I'll be buying Catholic Heritage Curricula Core materials (and yes, that's final).

Update (5/11/12):  Marek now starts his prayers with, watch over our lolos and lolas and titos and titas...  He also leads our Prayer Before Meal.
Bought Marek's modified core materials, got the advanced preschool reading and math for him.