We’ve done it again. After the first month of our schoolyear, I’ve changed our schedule! Okay, not actually change, but more of, we’re doing an alternative schedule as a fall-back for those days we don’t want to feel hurried and rushed.  (And it’s usually me who’s first to ask for a time-out!)

In the earlier schedule I made, we have more subjects in a day, just how it is in traditional school.  I initially thought that with it, we would be able to really do more and at a pace that’s normal.  After one month, I realized that this kind of schedule made me feel like a ping pong ball being tossed back and forth!  I was having one-on-one sessions with Kayla and Arielle, too close to one another, leaving me brain-drained and with not much time to check their work, give them the corrections and coaching they needed, and do other things (like blogging;  I think I was starting to have what they call the “writer’s block” and was having difficulty coming up with my usual  weekly post!).  So, our fall-back sked (which was what the girls actually preferred doing last year) is LESS SUBJECTS but SPENDING LONGER TIME ON EACH.  The girls are more focused on a subject and since they work independently most of the time, I also get to have more time to do other things for myself and for the house.  It’s working, so far, for all of us (and that includes ME!) 

Our Alternative Homeschool Schedule

Our Alternative Homeschool Schedule

I’m not scrapping the first schedule I made because I also think that having a clockwork type of schedule could be a good training for the more serious and challenging college life.   Time management in order to put some system in place is definitely one life skill our girls should be able to learn, prioritize, and value. 

The beauty of homeschooling.  Schedules made flexible and tailored to one’s needs and preference. We really don’t have to subject ourselves to the kind of stress and catching up everyone does in the traditional school, do we? 


 

Business Math

When Arielle was in 1st year high school, her elective was Business Math.  I couldn’t find a good book for her, I ended up buying local textbook. Not just one but two because there just wasn’t one book that taught the subject in such a way that would keep our interests high.  I didn’t like them because they were very textbook-ish! After a short introduction of the topic, a brief explanation, numbered exercises immediately followed.  #1, #2, #3…  It felt like a math drill and it really looked so BORING!  (If I were in a class with these books and a teacher with a monotonous voice, I’d be asleep!)  So, Mike and I ended up just looking at the table of contents of the books and choosing topics which we felt were basic enough for her to understand what the math in business is all about.  Teaching and learning it didn’t feel “complete”.

Now, it’s Kayla’s turn to do Business Math (she’s on 7th Grade, under K-12) and I didn’t want to use our textbooks again!  This time, I searched online hoping I’d find something free.  Well, I didn’t but I found one which caught my eye.  It was categorized as a Grade 3-6 material though. Nevertheless, I downloaded a free sample, read more about it, and said to myself , “Yup, this would work for Kayla! I can just discuss additional topics and skills she needed to learn for her  level as a 7th grader”.    It’s Simply Charlotte Mason’s Your Business Math series.  It comes with a Teacher Book, too, which helps me guide Kayla as she goes through each topic, each task, as if we’re really running a business.

Business Math Sports Store Teacher Book

To begin with, just giving Kayla the options of what kind of store she would like to own and operate already excited her.   Choices were a book store, a pet store, and a sport store.  She chose a sport store since she’s now into golf with her Papa.  I get to also choose whether to get a printed book or an e-book (pdf).   I got the pdf format for convenience and as soon as I printed it out, I simply punched holes and filed them in a folder.  

Here are the tasks she has learned so far:

  • Creating a name and logo
Kayla's pen and paper version; She also made a digital one

Kayla’s pen and paper version;
She also made a digital one.

 

  • Ordering and recording start-up inventory

Business Math Inventory Tracker

 

  • Calculating selling prices (with 100% and 150% mark-ups)

Business Math MarkUp

I reminded Kayla to align her numbers properly.

I reminded Kayla to properly align her numbers.

 

  • Making price tags

Business Math Price Tags

  • Entering transactions in a ledger

Business Math Ledger

  • Filling orders

Business Math Inventory Tracker

  • Calculating sales tax

Business Math SalesTax

  • Adjusting inventory amounts

Business Math Inventory Tracker

  • Calculating or recording additional in-store sales or AISS

Business Math Ledger

  • Paying bills / Writing cheques
Business Math Cheque Writing

Here, I also explained what a “cross cheque” means.

 

  • Calculating profit or loss

Business Math Profit or Loss

 

With these, she was able to review her addition, subtraction, multiplication, percentages, decimals, writing numbers in words.  Plus, she was doing critical thinking as she tried to apply what she knows about products related to golf and a sports shop in general, doing a cause-effect analysis as she “imagines or pretends” to have ordered and sold some items, making decisions as to what would be the best step to do, and coming up with her own business name and logo!  It even has cards called Additional In-Store Sales and Chance Cards, like a board game, with scenarios that would affect the business.

Business Math AISS Cards

Business Math Chance Cards

The “business” is year-round, set up monthly from January to December, and beginning the business year in January.  It’s up to us how fast or relaxed we would want to do it.  I, of course, chose the more relaxed pace.  Schedules are suggested in the Teacher’s Book to help us plan a timetable that would work best for us.

So, what’s her next assignment?  I mean, her next “business task” to do?  It would be advertising! She will create an advertisement or design a sale brochure.  We need sales and be on business, right?  Time to get really creative!  This is going to be a challenge for Kayla 🙂

To summarize, the tasks that Kayla will be doing each month that will give her a feel of how it is to operate a business are:

  • Fill orders and calculate invoices
  • Adjust inventory amounts
  • Add Additional In-Store Sales amounts
  • Make adjustments based on Chance card
  • Write cheques for monthly bills
  • Total and pay sales tax collected
  • Calculate advertising return on investment
  • Order inventory to replace supplies
  • Enter transactions in master ledger
  • Calculate monthly profit or loss

 

Plus, there are practice sheets on decimals (adding, subtracting, multiplying), changing percentages to decimals, calculating percentage increases, calculating sales tax, rounding numbers, writing cheques, and writing cash amounts. 

So far, so good!  This material presents the concepts in a:

  • holistic manner (I’m pretty satisfied with the way it is able to present the BIGGER picture of running a business.)
  • fun and yet realistic-enough approach (although not in Philippine setting)
  • language that a 12-year old (and a 43-year old mom!) could understand and follow

We’re still on our first business month and everything’s been pretty comprehensible.  I know that it can get a little tricky as the business moves from one month to the next (I’m thinking forward here about the ending balance of the previous month being carried over as the beginning balance of the next).  I hope we won’t get lost and confused in recording entries and using the ledger.  

I’m glad I came across this material to make learning AND teaching Business Math easy and fun! I see it also as an opportunity for us to closely observe the real world of business around us in terms of operations, branding, visual merchanding, pricing, competition, customer service, etc., and have a discussion on those.  That’s REAL LEARNING!

 

 


Berry Banana Blast Smoothie

So my last post was green.  A green smoothie, that is.  It may not have sounded too appealing and inviting to some of you YET and so, I’m sharing a HAPPIER PINK-colored smoothie recipe this time.  No leaves or vegetables in it, promise!   Again, I tweaked the recipe, adding more of this or using a close substitute, and really just estimating the measurements of the fruits to the original recipe, to suit my taste.

Here it goes…

BERRY BANANA BLAST SMOOTHIE

Yogurt, Apple Juice, Bananas, Mixed Berries, Strawberries

Yogurt, Apple Juice, Bananas,
Mixed Berries, Strawberries

  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt (I usually use Fage’s Greek yogurt or Nestle’s creamy yogurt but decided to try natural yogurt, Bulla brand, this time)
  • 3/4 cup apple juice (I used Tropicana brand, from the grocery;  I would have opted for the freshly juiced one if I had more time to actually juice some apples.  As usual, Mondays are  rush days!)
  • 1 banana (I like putting 2 bananas every time in my smoothie 🙂 )
  • 3/4 cup frozen blueberries (Since I didn’t have blueberries but had leftover mixed berries, then that’s what I used)
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen strawberries

 

Just dump in everything!

And press the button!

It just takes 40 seconds!

It just takes 40 seconds!

 

Simply add all the ingredients as listed above and give them a good whirl for 40 seconds!  DONE! As quick as that! 

 

Pink smoothies for me and my girls :-) Excuse the not-so-good lighting here

Pink smoothies for me and my girls 🙂
Excuse the not-so-good lighting here

Mine was gone in 5 minutes!

Mine was gone in 5 minutes!

 

Have you tried making smoothies at home?  Care to share some of your recipes with me? Help me grow with your recipes! 🙂

OneWord2013_Grow

 

 


Creamy Green Smoothie

Creamy Green Smoothie

 

When Arielle was asked by Kayla’s guitar teacher what benefits they enjoy as homeschoolers, her immediate response was “We are well-fed!”,  with a BIG SMILE on her face.  Well, its true!  Since they’re at home most of the time, they end up eating more servings of nutritious food and learn to make better food choices, even when we’re out.   Though they can’t TOTALLY do away with the bad carbs and the sugary foods YET, at least, they get to EAT MORE of the good stuff and are learning how to eat less of the junk and processed foods.   They eat more vegetables and fruits, and get to eat home-cooked (As the only child left staying with my parents, I see it as a blessing! We get to share helpers in the house!) and not just microwave-heated or fastfood meals.  A good habit Arielle and Kayla have now is they drink apple carrot juice every night and a glass of smoothie during the day.  One of the smoothie recipes I always serve them is this one I call “Creamy Green Smoothie”.  I tweaked the recipe from my Blendtec recipe book and am happy with my version 🙂  I love it and the girls love to drink it while they’re studying.  Arielle’s mug was gone about 5 seconds after I put everything down on the table for a quick “photo shoot”! She sneaked up on me, grabbed her mug, and brought it with her to her study table 🙂  

My ingredients are:

  • 1 cup cold almond milk (original recipe is also 1 cup)
  • 1 bag of spinach (original recipe calls for 2 cups of spinach though; I blanch the leaves for 2-3 minutes ONLY and reserve about 3/4 to a cup of its green liquid extract from the blanching, and add that green liquid too to the rest of the ingredients;  Note that after blanching, my 1 bag of spinach is reduced to only about 1 cup)
  • 2 pieces of bananas, chopped into chunks or sliced (original recipe = 1 banana)
  • 1 ripe mango, diced (original recipe calls for 1 1/14 cups frozen peaches)

Green smoothie

I put everything (in the above order) in my blender and after 40 seconds, we all have our serving of Creamy Green Smoothie!

If you haven’t tried drinking or making a green smoothie, then try this one.  It doesn’t taste “yucky” at all because the creaminess of the almond milk and the sweetness of the bananas and mangoes mask the taste and the green-ness of the spinach.  Yup, it’s green and it’s yummy! :

Making smoothies is definitely a growth area for me!

OneWord2013_Grow


 

Kamakailan lamang, mayroong nag-post sa isang grupo ko sa Facebook, nagtatanong kung dapat ba niyang ituro ang Filipino sa kanyang mga maliliit pang anak.  Sa palagay ko, mas tinutukoy niya ang salita o lengwaheng Filipino kaysa sa asignatura (subject).  Ang daming sumagot at nagbigay ng kanilang sariling palagay!   Ang haba tuloy ng usapan 🙂  E, ano naman ang sinagot ko?  Ang sabi ko…oo, ituturo ko pa rin at itinuturo ko na ang Filipino PERO ang gusto ko lang mangyari ay matuto sina Kayla at Arielle na:

  1.  makapagsalita sa sariling wika (to speak)
  2.  makapagsulat din naman (to write)
  3.  makipag-ugnayan sa ibang tao (to relate, converse, communicate)
  4.  at makaintindi ng Filipino (para hindi naman sila maloloko o magmukhang dayuhan; to understand)

 

Sinabi ko rin ang katotohanan na ang dami kong nilalaktwan ng mga leksyon sa libro kasi di na talaga pratikal paggugulan pa ng oras.  Itinuturo ko lamang ang mga bahagi ng pananalita (parts of speech) o balarila (grammar) na karaniwang ginagamit araw-araw.  Di ko na inaambisyon na sila ay maging makata.  Mas gugustuhin ko pa na maging komportable sila sa wikang Filipino at marunong silang magbigay-halaga at respeto sa kanilang sariling wika.  

Si Kayla ay kasalukuyang nasa ika-pitong baitang (7th Grade) at pinag-aaralan ang klasikong Ibong Adarna.  Si Arielle naman ay nasa ika-siyam na baitang (9th Grade) o ikatlong taon sa mataas na paaralan (3rd year high school).  Pinag-aaralan naman niya ang Noli Me Tangere.  Di ko na pahihirapan ang mga sarili namin.  Mas gusto kong pag-aralan nila nang mas maigi ang Math, Science, at English kaysa sa Filipino kasi ito ang mas praktikal at mas kailangan.  Eto ang mga librong ginagamit namin sa Adarna at Noli:

Ibong Adarna with English version

Ibong Adarna with English version

Pahina mula sa Ibong Adarna

Pahina mula sa Ibong Adarna

Noli Me Tangere with English version

Noli Me Tangere with English version

Pahina mula sa Noli Me Tangere

Pahina mula sa Noli Me Tangere

Para kay Kayla, pinapabasa ko muna sa kanya nang malakas ang salin (translation) sa Tagalog ng Ibong Adarna para masanay siyang magbasa sa Filipino sunod ang English translation. Pagkatapos nito, mas binibigyang-pansin at oras namin ang aralin gamit ang Manwal ng mga Guro kung saan may mga tanong at gabay sa pagtalakay.  Dito ko rin iniuugnay ang mga pangyayari at tauhan ng Ibong Adarna sa totoong buhay.

Manwal ng mga Guro ng Ibong Adarna

Manwal ng mga Guro ng Ibong Adarna

Pahina mula sa Manwal ng mga Guro

Pahina mula sa Manwal ng mga Guro

Dahil mas madaming pinag-aaralan at mas mahirap ang mga aralin ni Arielle ngayon, dumederecho na lang kami sa English translation ng Noli Me Tangere na pawang mas mabigat at mahaba kaysa sa Ibong Adarna.  Paminsan-minsan, pinapabasa ko rin sa kanya nang malakas ang Tagalog translation para naman masanay din magbasa ng mga salitang Tagalog.  At katulad ni Kayla, gamit ang Mga Tulong sa Pag-aaral sa Noli Me Tangere, dito ko kinukuha ang gabay sa pagdidiskusyon o pag-uusap namin tungkol sa nobela. 

Mga Tulong sa Pag-aaral sa Noli Me Tangere

Mga Tulong sa Pag-aaral sa
Noli Me Tangere

Pahina mula sa Mga Tulong sa Pag-aaral sa Noli Me Tangere

Pahina mula sa Mga Tulong sa Pag-aaral sa Noli Me Tangere

Pahina mula sa Mga Tulong sa Pag-aaral sa Noli Me Tangere

Pahina mula sa Mga Tulong sa Pag-aaral sa Noli Me Tangere

Pahina mula sa Mga Tulong sa Pag-aaral sa Noli Me Tangere

Pahina mula sa Mga Tulong sa Pag-aaral sa Noli Me Tangere

Kung meron ngang magandang kalidad na sine na pwedeng naming bilhin at panoorin sa bahay tungkol sa Florante at Laura, Ibong Adarna, Noli Me Tangere, at El Flibusterismo, ay mas pipiliin ko pang gamitin ang mga ito!  Sigurado akong mas maiintindihan naming lahat ang kwento, mas mapapahalagahan namin ang mga akdang Pilipino at mas masaya pa kaming lahat na nag-aaral ng Filipino 🙂  

Kayo?  Itinuturo niyo ba ang wikang Filipino sa inyong mga anak?  Madali ba para sa inyo?  Paano ninyo ito itinuturo?