Wednesday, July 1, 2015

5 Field trips

It has been almost two weeks.  But these field trips are worth blogging.

During our two-weeks vacation with the grandparents, my dad, their grandpa took them to several field trips that I had to beg for at least a day of rest in between adventures. My dad turns out to be a great unschooler, specializing in field trips.

First off, we went to Tagaytay where they saw the volcano and the lake surrounding it. The "island within a lake within a volcano within a lake" was better appreciated with Google Earth.  The view was seen while in the vicinity of the mini zoo this back-to-back field trip. Although I'm not a big fan of zoos here in the Philippines, because of the animals' less than ideal condition (they belong in the wild), the kids would have a better appreciation of the wildlife they read in books.  They got to touch several of the animals, namely a tiger [cub], a python, an iguana, a cockatoo, an owl, and fed parakeets. M1 also rode a horse!

Second field trip was a visit to the National Arts Center. It's the big red-roofed structure one can see sitting on a slope of Mt. Makiling in Laguna.  There they saw a view of Laguna de Bay, the largest lake in the country, and a smaller lake, Alligator Lake.

On the third trip, M1 got to do some ice-skating at the Mall of Asia. We hired an instructor for 2 hours as the mother is not good with it either, aside from having a baby to take care of. M2 would rather not. Maybe next time, when we parents can skate along with them.

Fourth trip was their 2nd time to the Mind Museum.  Among the perks of being homeschoolers: us parents can honestly print out homeschool ID cards that say "TEACHER", present it at the ticket booth, and get the discounted rate for teachers-- which we did! The boys continued to be fascinated with the exhibits, especially that of the outer space. Since we arrived a little late in the afternoon already, we were left with only one show to watch.  While we waited for our ride home, they boys passed the time at its educational playground.

The 5th and last field trip was a boys day out (with Poppa & Lolo) at Anilao, Batangas, where they went snorkeling. Prior, the boys aren't confident with their snorkeling, but there and then, I supposed they were forced by the situation to learn, and so they were able to enjoy the underwater scenery of corals and colorful fishes.  And so they went home with animated stories to tell about the biggest fish they saw, a sea urchin, etc.  Unfortunately there was no octopus lingering around, which at the time was the animal they had their fascination on.

So, what happens after the trips?  How do we follow through?  Do we make book reports, etc.? Well, we're not really textbookishly nerdy, so, no, we don't give them assignments to summarize their learning experiences (only I blog about it).  We just let the experience enrich their lives.  A lot of the topics that can be discussed, we already have read about in the past, or have casually talked about (or will talk about).  But the experiences are already there in their memory banks, a resource we can readily tap on.

Friday, March 20, 2015

How we did the early years to Kinder



We finished Kindergarten level last January, and we’re now in the middle of vacation. We plan to start his 1st Grade on April. Here’s the long and short of our ‘Early Years’, and how we’ll do it all over again with the 2 younger siblings.

Charlotte Mason’s method was the closest fit for our family. I liked her concepts of the art of gentle learning, and how it seemed so natural-- developing good habits, getting acquainted with nature, exploring with the five senses, growing in their spiritual lives, and playing outdoors. (See SCM Preschool guide).  We patterned our curriculum after Mater Amabilis Preschool (MA).  Sometimes we used  a sprinkling of other methods and materials, as each method offered something appealing. During holidays, and on very laid-back days, we shifted to unschooling.

The early years are formative years. For us, this was about bonding with the kids, and starting them with the right habits, character and faith formation. We read classic read-alouds to them while they sat on our laps. Play (see more play & learn activities) was definitely encouraged. When it comes to toys, I preferred the classic wooden toys for them.  They explored outside. We listened to children & classical music CDs.  And we talked to them a lot. We had no television, and they were not allowed electronic gadgets.  A parent’s self-improvement was also critical at this stage for character formation because these things are caught and not taught. We also got to know their personalities, and learning style better.  For this stage, I would also highly recommend Before Five in a Row

For Kindergarten, we used Catholic Heritage Core Curriculum, a couple of its elective materials, and we continued to stay close to MA as much as possible, and also unschool, and continued the things we've been doing for preschool.


Resources:

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

PEPT FAQ

By Teacher Ched Arzadon

Philippine Education Placement Test (PEPT) is a paper and pencil test administered by DepEd's NETRC (National Educational Testing and Research Center) to  determine the grade or year level appropriate for the test taker. PEPT covers all grade/year level from  Grade 1 to Fourth Year high school so that takers can have a chance to move to the next grade or year level  or even complete basic education in just one examination.

1.  What is the purpose of the PEPT?
To validate and accredit knowledge and skills in academic areas for re-entry to school, for job promotion and the like.


2.  Who are qualified to take the test?
Filipino citizens who:
  • dropped out of school and failed to finish elementary or secondary education.
  • are enrolled in school but are overage for their grade/year level.
  • homeschoolers

3.  Is there an age limit to those who are applying for the test?
None


4.  What is the coverage of the test?
Elementary Level
Science
Mathematics
HeKaSi (Heograpiya, Kasaysayan at Sibika)
Filipino
English

Secondary Level

First Year – General Science
                    Elementary Algebra
                    Philippine History (Kasaysayan at Pamahalaan ng Pilipinas)
                    English I
                    Filipino I
          
Second Year – Biology
                         Intermediate Algebra
                         Asian History (Kasaysayan ng  mga Bansang Asyano)
                         English II
                         Filipino II

Third Year – Chemistry
                      Geometry
                      World History (Kasaysayan ng Daigdig)
                       English III
                       Filipino III

Fourth Year – Physics
                       Advance Algebra, Trigonometry, Statistics
                       Economics
                       English IV
                       Filipino IV
The PEPT can also be administered to individuals with visual impairment whether Braille or non-Braille readers.


5.  When and where is the PEPT administered?
  • The PEPT Regular  for those coming from the public school is held once a year, usually in June. The conduct of the test is held in respective testing centers of the division offices.
  • The NETRC also administers PEPT Walk-In for walk-in examinees the whole year round. Sometimes, they have to wait until there are 25 test takers to administer the test.
  • Special PEPT is also conducted upon request of concerned parties within the year. The venue and schedule of the test depend on the necessity of the said request.

6.  Where and when to register for the PEPT?
For the PEPT Regular, prospective examinees should register at the nearest DepEd Division Office from July to September.
See addresses here:
http://www.deped.gov.ph/contact/directory/division-offices

For the PEPT Walk-in, prospective test takers should register personally at the:

Test Administration Division
Rm 215, 2nd Floor, Mabini Bldg., DepED Complex (ULTRA), Meralco Avenue, Pasig City.
Contact Nos.: 631.2571 / 631.2591 / 631.6921

  • For the Special PEPT, interested parties should coordinate with the Office of the Director-NETRC, Rm 209, 2nd Floor of the same building
     Telefax: (02)6316921


7.  How much should an examinees pay for the test?

PEPT Regular - Php50.00
PEPT Walk-in - Php200.00
Special PEPT -  Php200.00
* No fee During Independence Day *


8.  What are the requirements to be presented during registration?
  • High School Level: Form 137 from school last attended (original and 1 photocopy)
    Elementary Level
    : Form 137 or 138 from school last attended (original and 1 photocopy)
  • Authenticated birth certificate from the National Statistics Office (original and 1 photocopy)
  • Two (2) pieces of recent and identical 1 x 1 colored pictures
  • Registration Fee
  • For first time takers coming from "private school or homeschooling provider" only, must show the school's permit to operate or government recognition (1 Original – just to show that you have original and 2 xerox copies).
  • For 2nd time takers of PEPT. No need for form 137 or form 138 and school permit. Just show your previous PEPT test results with 1 photocopy.
  • Child's appearance (For fill-up application form and interview)


9.   Does the NETRC-DepED provide a reviewer for the prospective PEPT takers/examinees?
No. Please refer to the subject area coverage of the test.

But you can check the DepEd resource center for reference. The DepEd EASE high school modules (298) can be helpful
 http://lrmds.deped.gov.ph/search?query=EASE&page=1   

ALS Modules (elem and hs) can also be another good source

 https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B_qlnahSfCToMzEyMjRiYjMtMzliMS00NDMwLTk3YTgtODA3NTE5YzBjNzk3&usp=sharing 


10.  What would the test results show?
Test takers would be given a certificate of rating attesting what grade/level they are qualified to enroll in. The certificate can also attest if they are qualified to go to high school or college depending on the score they obtain.
If you want to enter a particular grade/year level but your scores show that you did not meet the requirement for a particular subject, you will repeat the test only for that particular subject


11.  If an examinee lost his/her copy of the original PEPT Certificate, what should he do?
The examinee must file a request and avail a copy of the PEPT Certificate of Rating at the Verification Room (Rm 214) of the NETRC. A payment of Php50.00 will be charged for every copy of the test results.
When are test results released?
  • The results of the PEPT Regular are usually released after 3 to 4 months from the date of examination. 
  • The results of the PEPT Special/Walk-In are usually released after 2 to 3 weeks from the date of examination.

12.  How is the PEPT similar with or different from the Accreditation and Equivalency Test (A & E)?
  • The PEPT and A & E are both under the Accreditation and Equivalency Program.
  • The PEPT was designed based on the regular school curriculum while the A & E Test was based on the alternative and learning system curriculum. 
  • The PEPT results enable examinees to know their exact grade or year level placement (Grade I to Year IV) while the A & E Test results provide information on the level of educational qualifications they met, either elementary or secondary. 
  • The A & E Test is administered by the Bureau of Alternative and Learning System every October or December. The PEPT is conducted from January to June (Walk-In), every November, and upon special request.  
  • It is required to pay a test fee for the PEPT while it is not for the A & E Test.   
  • BALS provides modules and practice tests (both levels) for the prospective A & E test takers while NETRC gives pointers or subject areas covered in the test (both levels).


13.  I am enrolled in a school not accredited by DepEd, what test can i take?

Philippine Validation Tests are intended to validate learning acquired by those who enrolled in elementary/secondary schools without permit; those and those who studied in a non-graded school or distance education programs. The subject areas are English, Filipino, Science, Mathematics and Social Studies (HEKASI)/Araling Panlipunan). Applicants for the test should get an endorsement from the office of the Regional Director.
DepEd Regional offices - http://www.deped.gov.ph/contact/directory/regional-offices