My last post was all about the reactions we’ve gotten (and continue to get) when people find out that our girls are homeschooled.  Now, it’s all too funny to look back at the years and to try and remember all the different remarks since we’ve chosen this road less traveled.

One reaction which I forgot to include was (HOW COULD I HAVE FORGOTTEN THIS 3-LETTER WORD???)… 

Photo Source: http://www.needyhelper.com/the-five-whys/

Photo Source: http://www.needyhelper.com/the-five-whys/

WHY ARE YOU HOMESCHOOLING YOUR GIRLS?  I’ve written similar posts in the past and as I was writing this, I came to a stop and realize that my answer may not have come out as clear as I had intended it to be.  I may have given an answer that’s general, safe, or maybe, even too idealistic and out-of-this world to some.  So, let’s take it to the top!  Here is my simple, straight-to-the-point, and MORE PRACTICAL answer (I feel like a Miss Universe contestant here 😀):

We chose to homeschool our girls because it is a BETTER option for us.  I do not say it’s BETTER, period.  Or THE BEST, period.  There are still (a few or some) traditional schools out there, locally and abroad, doing a great job (and the right way) of teaching and educating the children.  I say it’s BETTER FOR US.  Given the values we believe in, the parenting styles and vision Mike and I share, the kind of lifestyle we have, prefer, and can comfortably afford with God’s blessings and provision, homeschooling is our choice. It is A PERSONAL CHOICE.

Now, if you still don’t totally understand why we’re doing this, here a number of my past posts (a few of which are reposted articles that I agree with) to answer that big WHY question:

1.  What? You’re Homeschooling? Why?!! 

2.  Why Homeschool in High School

3.  Why Homeschool Teens

4.  Can’t Decide Whether to Homeschool or Not?

5.  14 Reasons Why We’re Still Homeschooling

6.  Looking Into Our Hearts

How do you answer the question “Why are you homeschooling?”  What do you say?  Do you have “script” or ready spiel :-)?  It makes me wonder what kind of words or type of answers are well or respectfully accepted by others.


Reactions to Our Homeschooling

Photo Source: http://www.picturesdepot.com/
wallpapers/28804/3d+smiley.html

We were having a casual conversation one weekend when Arielle brought up the topic of how her friends react and give comments when they find out that she’s being homeschooled and is STILL being homeschooled.  I thought it would be an interesting and funny post to write about! 😀 The varied, expected, and unexpected reactions to our homeschooling! 

During the span of 6 years that we’ve homeschooled (Yes,we’re on our 7th!) we’ve gotten all sorts of reactions about our decision and here are the different and most common ones I have received.  I opted to write them down in Filipino (with English translations) as they come across with more impact and they do sound funnier!

1.  Ha??? (Huh???)

2.  Ahhh! (Total silence after the “Ahhh!”)

3.  Ahhh! Home study (Oh!  Home study)

3.  Sa bahay lang sila?  (They just stay at home?)

4.  Sino mga kaibigan nila?  (Who are their friends?)

5.  Sino nagtuturo?  May pumupuntang teacher sa bahay ninyo?  (Who teaches?  A teacher comes over your house to teach?)

6.  Teacher ka? (Are you a teacher?)  

7.  Ang tyaga mo! (You are so patient!)

8.  Pang-mayaman talaga yan, noh? Kasi pang one-income family (It’s for the rich because a family can/must live on a single or one-income.)

 

And these are the comments Arielle usually gets (which just makes her shake her head in exasperation):

1.  So you wake up any time you want?

2.  You get to go out with your friends anytime?

3.  Who teaches you?

4.  Your mom’s a teacher?

5.  You get to go on vacation whenever you want?

6.  Are you going to be homeschooled till college?

 

At first, it undeniably was always an uncomfortable moment to be in when others find out that our kids are learning “at home”; that their school is “at home.”  In my mind, I tell myself “Don’t start asking questions about the kids.  Please don’t start asking where they go to school!”.   But after a while, I’ve gained confidence about it.  I’ve learned how to answer the questions thrown at me as if they’re simply asking “What’s your name?”  I guess once you’ve made up your mind to really take charge of your child’s education, learning, training, and total development (physical, spiritual, social, emotional, intellectual), then you’re ready to take the flak and all sorts of reactions, especially negative ones, from people around you, go boldly with your decision and not be affected by what others say.

What comments, questions, and reactions have you gotten about your decision to homeschool?   I would love to know! 😀

 

 


Now that it’s back to school season again for us and the rest of the traditional schools here, it made me ask myself:  Which do I prefer, homeschooling for 10-11 months of the year or being on 2-month summer break?  School or summer?  

I, of course, LOOOVE taking a break and hitting the beach or travelling to some new place, during the months of March, April or May (or anytime of the year, for that matter!).  By this time of the year, I am already feeling the need to drop all our books.  Get away.  Have fun.  Simply breathe. But this past summer has been unusually tiring for me.  Even if we were able to spend a good 4 days at a beach resort in Palawan, I was immediately back to house chores after that.  I had to do a major summer cleaning.  The girls went for the first time, on a marine and wildlife camp in Bacolod (a province in the next major island), which also turned out to be a semi-vacation, semi-chaperoning for me and Mike.   I spent extra hours planning and preparing for this schoolyear.  I had to figure out (well, just like every year in the previous years) what kind of routine and schedules we would follow, moreso now that our girls are in high school.  And I also had to take my sister to different places while she’s in town for a few weeks.   

Yes, summer can mean less structure, less boundaries, no set bedtimes and no alarm clocks (at least, for most of the days) and more opportunities to go to new places.  You have activities left and right only available for the kids, tweens, and teens during the summer which we try to take advantage of.  That means having to deal with a change of set-up, logistics, and dynamics within the family.  In our case, I notice that it resulted to being a bit more lax in discipline areas which I focus on during our homeschool months.  And that brought about a bit of tension (disappointment and frustration on my part) in the home and in our relationships. 

On the other hand, officially homeschooling for a schoolyear calls for a whole new set of routines and disciplines.  The areas which require focus and full attention are different.  There are more details and requirements to work on since we are learning multiple and different subject matters in our homeschool.   Days are much, much longer and can be more structured and rigid for us but at the same time, it can spell out a better or smoother flow of activities.  Hence, it is more predictable. 

So, which do I like better?  School or summer?  The flexibility of homeschooling for 10 months or taking a summer breather for 2 months?  Predictability or spontaniety?  Structure or anything goes?  

After giving it much thought, I have to say that I am really a left-brain kind of person to help me get things done.  I work best with schedules and lists (even when we plan for our vacations or trips).  I need organization and systems in place. BUT, BUT, BUT!!! I do have the right-brain side of me which I cannot and must not ignore and need to be taken care of.  I do need to feed my artsy self by doing something creative, working with my hands, or simply being in a more relaxed, more flexible, and leisure state.  

I guess what I have to keep in mind really is to learn how to put the different areas of my life in balance.  There is a time for everything as Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 says.  After all, that is the beauty and blessing of this lifestyle we’ve chosen.  Homeschooling.  We manage and are in control of our time and we are actually learning how to be good stewards of our time, resources, and even our physical bodies which enable us to work and have fun 🙂 Something to be really thankful for! 

 


 

Photo Source: http://www.thebettermom.com/2013/05/when-you-need-god-to-be-just-a-little-bit-closer-learning-to-pray-on-the-hours/

Photo Source: http://www.thebettermom.com/
2013/05/
when-you-need-god-to-be-just-a-little-bit-closer-
learning-to-pray-on-the-hours/

 

Okay, so I’ve been feeling frazzled lately and I’m not supposed to!  In my last post, I’ve shared that we’re supposed to start our schoolyear already but would have to delay it a bit due to family priorities.  We are on an extended summer vacation and that is supposed to give me more time, right?  More time to relax and take care of my health and well-being (I have hypothyroidism, by the way, and feeling tired most of the time is one of its symptoms)  To finally have some tv time for me (When I turn on the tv, I usually just watch the news and it is true that news can be depressing.  Not a good idea after all?).  To make and drink more fruit and green smoothies.  To exercise at 8:00 in the morning and not at 10 or 11:30ish when it’s too hot already (From the the time I wake up which is around 6/6:30 a.m., that’s how long it usually takes for me to finish my morning routine and finally do my exercise. At least 3.5 hours! I’m sorry but I’m just not the type who can wake up at 4:00 am everday).  To read my books (How’s 5 books to catch up with my reading?) and e-books (Oh, I have lots of them!).  To finally work on something from our collection of arts and crafts materials.  To pin more stuff in my Pinterest boards 🙂  No matter how I keep on telling myself “Slow down, Racquel, slow down. Take it easy.”, I still find myself rushing every morning, not able to wake up earlier than 6:00 or 6:30 a.m. (Sigh. I always feel I need to sleep some more), putting away books or slippers, turning off switches (even if I’ve reminded Mike, Arielle, and Kayla a hundred times!), sorting out this and that, stitching a hole on a bag, cleaning up, replying to a text message or emails that really need my immediate attention, moving “to and fro” as my old playmate would put it, etc., etc. (The etc’s can be endless!)   And we haven’t even started another homeschool schoolyear!  Hey, I’m supposed to be on summer vacation.  Am I feeling more relaxed?  Honestly? No!!!  Why do I feel as or even more exhausted when I know I shouldn’t be.

Well, what do you know!  I received this email from The Better Mom and it seems that the author of the post, Brooklyn McGlothlin, and I are in the same predicament.  We both want more time for ourselves, to rest, AND actually…what we really need is more “quiet time” with God.  

For those of you who may be struggling like me (We moms all have different kinds of “craziness” in our homes), then this wonderful advice by Brooklyn McGlothlin could be the answer.  Please read on

PRAYING ON THE HOURS. I think this is God’s loving way of reminding me to ALWAYS put Him FIRST before moving to and fro and multitasking as much as I can.  It’s His way of telling me that it is time exclusively spent with Him that will give me the grace and strength I need to be able to have the time that I’m asking for in the first place.  What do you think?

Matthew 6:30-34 —

If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers –

most of which are never even seen –

don’t you think He’ll attend to you,

take pride in you,

do His best for you?  

What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax,

to not be so preoocuppied with getting,

so you can respond to God’s giving.  

People who don’t know God and the way He works

fuss over these things,

but you know both God and how He works.  

Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions.  

Don’t worry about missing out.  

You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

Give your entire attention in what God is doing right now,

and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.  

God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.  

(taken from The Message, The Bible in Contemporary Language)