Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Friday, September 13, 2013

Early encouragement to self

We're nearing the end of our 2nd week.  I find myself asking if we're doing ok.  M2 definitely doesn't want any homeschooling at this point, which to him means answering preK workbooks (hey, the ones I bought were labelled for 3 years old).  But he makes sure he's there whenever I start reading a story.  M1 tries to avoid studying but can be coaxed into finishing tasks.

I do have a lesson plan/ schedule which I follow.  But what I have failed to do was set goals for our homeschool, not a generic goal, but OUR family's goals for this year.  From an article, it tells me that I have to focus on 4 aspects,

  1. intellectual
  2. physical
  3. spiritual
  4. social
Intellectually, that he will be able to read simple sentences by the end of Kindergarten, do simple addition and subtraction, and learn to write letters.  It's broad, but to be specific, I'll rely & try to stick with the lesson plans, and I'm giving ourselves 2 years for that level.  Habits: diligence, perseverance  

Physically, that he can learn to dress/undress himself with ease, good hygiene (washing of hands), for him to be able to brush his teeth on his own.  To eat on his own even when dining out. To eat & sleep on time

Spiritually, to start to appreciate the Mass in a simple way.  To learn to pray reverently.  Memorize basic prayers.  Be able to do choose what to do based on what he knows is right or wrong, even when I'm not around.  To be patient, self-controlled, kind, honest, obedient, and forgiving.

Socially, to be well-mannered, to learn to always use polite words.  To be attentive, and diligent.  To be able to answer the phone politely, to learn to greet other people.  To learn how to behave when at a friend's house.

* * *

When academics can be a pressure (when homeschool=RRR), a reminder to self (from Simply Charlotte Mason),
  1. Focus on the foundations:  habits, outside play, read-alouds, Bible
  2. Enrichment & beauty:  arts, music, crafts, poetry
  3. Reading, writing, math:  may be added as informal activities.  

Friday, September 6, 2013

Taekwondo, etc.

We will not be having swimming lessons for their PE class.  The instructor told us that both the boys have learned whatever they can learn at their age.  We'll just arrange for a session with her every other month for the maintenance of their skills.  She encouraged us to go swimming regularly (on week-ends) so the boys will not forget.

Swimming has been replaced by Taekwondo which happens every Tues, Thurs, and Sat morning & afternoon, an hour per session.  Mommy & Poppa have also joined them, so this is our version of family fitness program.  (Today was our 2nd time).  But Taekwondo is more than just for physical fitness, and self-defense, it's also for developing character, especially discipline, respect, courage, and perseverance, among others.

* * *

Focus on virtues:  Attentiveness.
M1 get's easily distracted when he's not that keen about what I'm making him do, like going over his workbooks.  And so from today until the end of the month probably, our character training will be on attentiveness.  

* * *

Lesson learned on parenting.  Never let the children feel judged.  They'll be more open if they don't feel that they're being judged, or scrutinized.  As M1 and I were on his math practice, he was having a little confusion with the numerals 6, 8, and 9.  I asked him if he was wasn't sure about identifying one of them.  I sensed his hesitancy to tell me honestly, but when I gave him tips on how to remember, he realized that I only wanted to help.  And when I asked him if he's having the same challenge with the next numeral, he readily said 'yes', knowing that we'll be figuring out how he can remember.

Anyway, how we did it, we used rhyming words, and objects that can represent the numbers.  For 6, we played with the rhyming words six - yoyo tricks, as the yoyo can also look like number six.  For 8, "Eight! I see gate" with fingers forming binoculars which we then rotate vertically.  And, for 9, "nine, the lolipop is mine".  M1 is word smart, and visual, which probably explains why he appreciates the rhyming words coupled with our objects
* * *

I was flattered this morning with M2's comment.  He was showing me a sticker of that yellow mini car from Disney's Cars when I wrongly named the car (instead of Luigi, I was calling it Guido).  He was giggling at my mistake, and so I also laughed at my mistake.  Then he said, "ang cute mo Mommy" (Mommy, you're cute) with a really sweet smile.  That sure warmed my heart.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Accreditation issue

One of the most common concerns when it comes to homeschooling is accreditation.  When it comes to Philippine setting, this Nanay has good advice.  Reposting.

Monday, September 2, 2013

First day of school

I remember myself as a student every first day of school.  I would wake up in the morning for the first few days with butterflies in my stomach.  The duration lessened as I went into college.  But I was always anxious.  Today is my eldest's first day, but he didn't have to go through the same anxiety I had.  For him, it's just another day at home with loved ones.  It was me, who had a little anxiety last night.  Of course, I was wishing it would be the perfect 1st homeschool day.   So I limited ourselves to just letter practice, counting with Math U See, music, and story time.  But we did take the whole morning because it wasn't as different from his usual day either in the sense that I had to ask him several times to finish the task.  But as I was doing so, I would repeatedly tell myself that it's really about training him for things such as obedience, diligence, and attentiveness.

And so it went okay.  We're a little off with the schedule, but basically, we stuck with the lesson plan.  I just have to remind myself everyday, otherwise put up a DIY poster, about building, and not breaking my child, and to have the attitude that would encourage him to develop a love of learning, and not a homeschool burn out, and of course, to prioritize on lessons that will make him become a better human, and not a walking encyclopedia.

Keep it gentle & loving.  Here's to a smooth sailing... cheers!