SURPRISE! Welcome to my new home…my new blog home!¬†ūüôā

For those of you who’ve been hanging around with me in the world of blogging, Facebook, Twitter…reading, liking, and commenting on my posts, I’ve kept my blog in the other “blog village” for a little over 2 years. ¬†It was sometime October last year when I started thinking of taking this journaling of mine a bit “more seriously”. ¬†What I meant by “more seriously” is writing more often, sharing more interesting topics to give you a better glimpse of the kind of homeschooling lifestyle our family has, engage my followers and readers more, and hopefully, just do more with the options available in this new platform. ¬†Well, after a few months of consulting friends who know the blogosphere better and being inspired and encouraged by them, you are now in my new blog home! ¬† It did take a while to give this space a new look and feel, but I’m glad that the “moving in” phase is over. ¬†

Thank you, Dainty Mom, for spending a couple of hours with me at Starbucks and CBTL. ¬†That really helped me set aside my usual thoughts and 101 everyday duties and put focus on the purpose and message of my blog. ¬†Thank you, TheHappy Wahm¬†/ TheHappy Wahm in Facebook¬†(who happens to be a fellow homeschooling mom and a WAHM!), for sharing with me one Sunday afternoon how WordPress looks like from the back door! ¬†It felt like being in a Spanish foreign language tutorial, with some things a bit incomprehensible, but I really do appreciate the time you spared for me…on a Sunday! ¬†And most importantly, for helping me get the domain name I wanted and for hosting me! Thank you sooo much to TheHappy Wahm’s partner,¬†The Techie Mom / ¬†The Techie Mom in Facebook¬†(another homeschooling WAHM!),¬†for patiently answering all my questions, ¬†doing the best you can to grant my “blog wishlist”, and finally putting all the pieces together to give my blog a total makeover! ¬†(Chatting with you felt more like talking with someone who speaks Greek or Latin. Hahaha!) ¬†A final “Thank you ‚̧” to Arielle, our eldest teen, for designing my “header” image and logo. Without your artsy contribution, this would just be white space all over. ¬†It’s like having a white wall with no roof, no house number, no street name! ¬†Thanks for helping out your not-so-techy Mama and for finding a way to add my request (or was it more of pressure?) to your already filled up schedule! (Don’t worry, your hard work will be credited to your 4th quarter TLE.)

So, feel free to look around and stay a while longer in my new home. ¬†Leave a comment or go back to a post or posts that you remember liking before. ¬†Or perhaps read some that you’ve missed in the past. ¬†You can now hit the “Like” button and even share it! ¬†I do hope that next time you visit, we will get to connect more. ¬† Again, WELCOME! ūüôā

 

 


 

IMG_3538


Between Arielle and Kayla, Arielle is the one naturally into visual arts. ¬†She never lets a day pass without drawing, making a quick sketch, or learning a new technique using her tablet and Photoshop. ¬†Never. ¬†Kayla? ¬†She’d rather be outside playing with our dogs or trying a new recipe in the kitchen or doing something else.

I’ve been telling Kayla that even though she’s not as passionately interested as her Ate (meaning, “big sister” in Filipino) in drawing, whether traditionally or digitally, it would be also be good for her to learn the skill and the basics. ¬†Most especially now that everything’s practically done with and on the computer, learning how to use a tablet and Photoshop would definitely be a plus. ¬†Kayla didn’t really take my advice seriously and I have a confession. ¬†It was a frustration on my part. ¬†Me wanting her to learn how to edit photos. ¬†Me wanting her to learn a marketable skill. ¬†Me wanting her to learn something I feel is useful and important. ¬†(Maybe it’s also because I myself do not know how to use Photoshop and have been wanting to learn how! Well, that’s one of my goals for this year.)

I let it pass and am happy that at least, she’s now trying to learn how to write more creatively through her blog and add photos to her posts. ¬†Until one time, last January 8 to be exact, I came home from Manila and was totally surprised with what Kayla did during the day when I was away. ¬†I expected her to be doing Science as what she had told me before I left the house. ¬†To my sweet surprise, she not only did her Science but also showed me three blogs she had written, two of which had photos done and/or edited with the use of techy tools. ¬†One was with a drawing she made using her Ate’s old tablet and another blog with two photos she edited using Ps. They were simple edits (Nothing super dramatic, ok?) but when I saw what she did, I felt she was off to a good start. ¬†Totally unexpected!

These are her blog posts:

Sandman, The Guardian of Dreams (She used a tablet and Photoshop for her drawing)

My Little Bit Of Heaven (She Photoshopp-ed the first and last pics)

Missing The Beach (She did not use the tablet nor Ps here, but a blog she wrote, nonetheless; brief and so personal)

I praised Kayla for what she did and she herself told me that she’s now enjoying photography, art, and Photoshop. I did sense from her pride, the desire and enthusiasm to learn more. Now that’s another BIG PLUS! ¬†Arielle also made me proud of her for (finally) teaching Kayla what she knows about Photoshop (I’ve been bugging her about it, actually).

Kayla was not the only one who learned here.  I myself was taught and reminded:

1.  about her personal learning style,

2.  to give her her own space and time to learn things,

3. ¬†that learning and positive results naturally happen when she’s not pressured or forced to.

This may seem such an ordinary occurrence, but I believe there are valuable lessons here we must remember when teaching our children. ¬†Don’t you agree?¬†

 


 

I am writing for¬†The Learning Basket‘s series on the “heart of homeschooling”¬†for this month of February. ¬†What an appropriate theme for the month and I am thankful for the opportunity given to me to look deeper into my own heart ‚̧.¬†

Photo Source: http://www.beyondbooksandwalls.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Two_left_hands_forming_a_heart_shape.jpg

I think I’ve written about the reasons why we’ve chosen to homeschool too many times. Maybe, it’s my way of being in constant pursuit for a better way to raise up, parent, and educate our children. ¬†Of coping up with the challenges of this unheard of lifestyle. ¬†Of convincing myself time and again that we did make the right decision. ¬†Whether those reasons are personal ones, or some articles I agree with or that have inspired me, you may read some of them (or all!)¬†here:

But what really is¬†the HEART of our homeschooling? ¬†Is it really all about academics and education? ¬†Despite it going against the norm and surprising us with difficulties we aren’t prepared for, why are we still doing it?

Click here for the rest of my blog post.

 


 

Photo Source: http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-family-mealtime-cartoon-image13098768

 

One benefit of homeschooling that I’m really thankful for is the TIME we spend together as a family. Ever since we homeschooled, I have described ourselves as a four-pack family. Where one goes, everybody goes. Recently, this has changed a bit, now that our girls are a teen and a tween. Arielle and Kayla have their own meet-ups or dates with their friends, classes or other activities where they no longer need Mike’s or my presence. ¬†They just need a driver (Just kiddin’!)¬†

Meal times haven’t changed though. ¬†Meal time is the time when we’re still all together. Table for 4, please.¬† The usual line I say before entering a restaurant. ¬†Then, we sit down, go through the menu, place our orders, and wait. ¬†I however noticed, maybe in the past 6 months or so, that while waiting for our orders AND even while eating (Gasp!), ¬†no one’s talking; ¬†heads are bowed down with hands glued to mobile phones or iTouches (I must confess, I was also guilty of this). ¬† Everyone’s just Q-U-I-E-T.¬†¬†This persisted until¬†it came to point I would say out loud, “HELLOOOO?” ¬†Then, everybody would look up all at the same time and put down their gadgets. ¬†Sigh! ¬†The parenting stage of having teens, I said to myself. ¬†But I looked around at the other tables and see the same scenario. ¬†Add a toddler or a 7-year old with an iPad or another tablet.

This bugged me for some time, seeing it so common these days.  And seeing it happen to MY family!  Something has to be done about it!

I then happen to come across a post in Facebook about an iPhone contract. ¬†It was a contract made by a mom for her 13-year old son on his new iPhone. ¬†I personally think it was carefully thought of, written with TLC (tender loving care), and not merely to impose rules on the teen’s use of his new iPhone. ¬† As a matter of fact, I think the positive approach of the mom in laying down the contract was a brilliant idea and one to emulate. ¬†If that got you curious about the rules and regulations that came with the gift, you may read each one of them¬†here.¬† Needless to say, I shared that post to my family to remind them about the responsible use of their mobile phones, iPhone or what-have-you, and their other gadgets (iTouch, laptop, iPad). ¬†It got me thinking. ¬†These tech tools should come with etiquette rules in the box!

Now, back to the dining table.  How to stop the use of gadgets during OUR meal times.  How do I make everyone set aside their phones/iTouch/iPad and be tech-free for about an hour?

All our mobile phones, iTouch, mobile wi-fi’s

 

Aha! Here was my answer!

Photo Source: https://www.facebook.com/georgehtakei

I immediately implemented the new house rule, be it at home, restaurant or cafe, and our girls took it as a challenge. ¬†More of a game, actually! ¬†Did it work? ¬†You bet! ¬†Arielle and Kayla are afraid to break the rule that they are now very conscious of what to do with and where to put their gadgets when we’re about to eat. ¬† We modified the rule by not stacking our phones + gadgets face down at the table, but by keeping them away in our bags or on another table, until we have left the restaurant or have finished our meals at home. ¬†We, however, all agreed to exempt my husband from this rule, but ONLY when we’re out of the house, because we understand he has important business calls to take.

Problem solved and I’m one happy mother! Call me old-fashioned but I’d like to keep the tradition of keeping meal times sacred. ¬†For me, MEAL TIME is TALK TIME. ¬†It’s a time to CONNECT. ¬†To CONVERSE. ¬†To COMMUNICATE. ¬†To SHARE. ¬†To UNDERSTAND where one is at a particular point in his/her life. ¬†To LISTEN. ¬†To be INTERESTED in one another. ¬†To simply RELAX. ¬†To feel AT HOME. ¬†To feel SAFE.

No matter how tech-driven everyone’s lives are today and in a hurried pace, slowing down and having shared meals with our families must be made a priority, especially when our children are in their adolescent stages. This is the crucial time when they need someone to BE there with them in the many changes and uncertainties that they are going through. ¬†Someone to simply ACCEPT them for who they are and give them the ENCOURAGEMENT and AFFIRMATION they so need.

I’m glad that this new house rule was welcomed by everyone with no resistance ūüôā ¬†It definitely is helping us strengthen our family relationships, making us GROW, and is a step closer to achieving our personal¬†goals for this year! ¬†Breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner times are noisier but I’m not complaining.

THE FAMILY THAT EATS TOGETHER, STAYS TOGETHER.

Every 15th of the month, Melanie of OnlyABreath.com is having a Link-up Party to encourage us to keep going with our one-word for the 2013. A great way to keep us motivated and help us in keeping our one-word alive throughout the entire year!


We’re starting to wrap up another schoolyear and I thought I’d write about AND remind myself why we’re still doing this. Homeschooling Arielle and Kayla.

We’ve been homeschooling for six years and as our daughters grow up and older, their needs, objectives, and purposes also change. Here’s a collection (14 in all!), which I personally love (after all, it’s February ‚̧), of my past blogs on the different and changing reasons why we choose to continue to homeschool our girls. Why we continue to believe in homeschooling as a non-traditional approach and a better choice for our children’s education and development. I hope these will serve as inspiration and encouragement, or just plain awareness and knowledge, to those who are curious about homeschooling; or to those who would like to know why more and more are choosing this option, this lifestyle for their kids and family.

  1. ¬†What? You’re Homeschooling? Why?!!¬†
  2. 20 Great Reasons to Homeschool
  3. Homeschooling Works!
  4. Life Skills
  5. Are We Preparing Our Child for the Job Market?
  6. Why Homeschool in High School
  7. Why Homeschool Teens
  8. Eight Common Myths About Homeschooling In High School
  9. Five Years of Homeschooling…So What?
  10. Can’t Decide Whether to Homeschool or Not?
  11. What I Ultimately Want Our Kids To Learn (Part 1)
  12. What I Ultimately Want Our Kids to Learn (Part 2)
  13. Philippine Homeschool Conference 2012
  14. Ten Skills for the Future Workforce

 

 


Naisip ko lang. ¬†Wala pa atang akong nakikita o nababasang blog¬†na nasa salitang Filipino o Tagalog. ¬†Nag-search ako…”blogpost+Filipino+Tagalog”. ¬†Eto ang isa sa mga¬†lumabas.

Gawin ko rin kaya?  Eh, kung yung mga anak ko nga pinapapagawa kong proyekto sa kanila ang magsulat sa Filipino, eh di dapat ako rin.  Binalikan ko rin ang mga goals o nais namin gawin para sa taong 2013 at napansin ko na gusto naming maging mas makabayan at maging mas maka-Pilipino sa taong ito.

Sabi ko, masimulan nga.  Hindi ko pipiliting magsulat na lahat ng mga salitang gagamitin ko ay Filipino.  Magta-Taglish din ako.  Ayokong maging makata. Hindi ko rin naman kaya yon.  Simple lang.  Gusto ko din lang makapagsulat sa sariling wika kahit paminsan-minsan.

Sana magawa ko at sana magustuhan ninyo at may mapulot din kayo sa mga susunod kong ilalathala (¬†publish ūüôā ).