Kayla’s interest is in culinary.  As of the now, she says she wants to be a chef someday. One Sunday, I told the girls it was going to be a baking day.  Being the kinesthetic learner, Kayla was the more excited one.  She pulled out a boxed cake mix from the shelf (We usually bake from scratch) and the rest of the ingredients and tools we would be needing.  Well, she ended up doing everything by herself from measuring the ingredients, mixing them, cleaning up (This is still a work-in-progress), lining the cupcake pans, and pouring the batter into each hole in the pan.  She also did the frosting all by herself: measuring, mixing, and preparing the piping bag and decorating tip, and decorating the cupcakes.  The only thing that she can’t do yet is turn on our gas-fired oven, put the pans in and pull them out when the cake or cupcakes is done.  That’s still my role.

I congratulated her for doing a better job this time and really showing that she can bake by herself with less supervision.

On another occasion, she again baked cupcakes but from scratch.  She chose the recipe from her own recipe book and came up with her own combination of a chocolate kind of cupcake and frosting which she hasn’t tried doing before.  And VOILA!  This is her cupcake creation!  I was kinda uncertain at first as to how her cupcakes would taste like because it didn’t make use of butter, which I think is THE  ingredient that always makes cakes, cupcakes or cookies flavorful.  But when Arielle and I tried what she made (actually, not tried but ate! I avoid white sugar and bad carbs these days but I just couldn’t resist!), we were really surprised to taste a VERY YUMMY FROSTED CUPCAKE! I’m not kiddin’! It was the frosting that did the magic! JUST PERFECT for the chocolate cupcake!  We gave Kayla a two thumbs up!

Kayla’s tweaked and simplified version of S’mores cupcake


She decorated her cupcakes with mini marshmallows


She did a photo shoot of her creation.


Kayla’s BEST cupcake recipe so far! YUM! YUM!


There are a number of other skills and lessons learned from simple baking.  These are:

  1. Reading recipes
  2. Following instructions or procedures
  3. Math concepts:  measurements, fractions
  4. Hygiene, cleanliness
  5. Safety
  6. Chemistry (although we didn’t dig deeper into this last Sunday)
  7. Workflow efficiency
  8. Home economics: food handling and storage
  9. Creativity
  10. Sharing with others 🙂 – A remark we would always hear from Kayla is that she’ll bake cookies or pack food items and give them to the poor or those in the streets.  That’s her.  That’s her heart ❤.
  11. Entrepreneural spirit – She’s been wanting to make this a full-blown business but I just haven’t found the extra time to do it with her.  We’ve however touched on the topics of product development, packaging, purchasing, suppliers, costing and pricing, marketing, etc. and still continue to discuss the processes involved to set up and operate one.

Baking. Another life skill to teach our girls. What else?  Cooking. Knife skills. Basic hygiene in the kitchen. Food preparation. Marketing. Budgeting. A lot more! (No wonder the kitchen is usually the place where homeschooling families gather ’round!)  This is another way we make LEARNING REAL and BETTER for our girls.

Have you baked with your kids lately? It’s fun (and yummy, too!)

Last January 3, Mike accompanied Arielle and Kayla to the bank.  It’s been a tradition for us to deposit the cash money that they received as Christmas gifts every start of the new year.  This teaches the girls the process of making deposits, makes them familiar with the bank atmosphere, transactions, forms used, procedures, etc.  This time, Mike made Arielle and Kayla do the deposit themselves which was via a computer screen first then, the teller. (They said they were no more deposit slips to be used.)  Arielle also deposited a cheque to Mike’s account.

The next day, January 4, Mike and I had to go to Manila first thing in the morning.  Mike asked Arielle to deposit a cheque to his bank account in another bank.  Kayla went with her.  Arielle was able to do the transaction without adult supervision.  The teller praised her for being able to know what to do and how to do it (She was told that she just missed writing down the branch of the bank. It looks like this bank had a different procedure, this time, with the use of deposit slips).  

Making bank deposits is important.  It is one of the many life skills we must teach our children, and I have more in my list that I want them to learn and need to teach to them! For those with younger kids, they may not be capable yet to make deposits or withdrawals from the bank, but you can already teach them about money and what the bank does by tagging them along the next time you yourself go to the bank.  Make it a mini field trip 🙂  Same with the grocery, bake shop, restaurant, hardware store, repair shop, etc.  

I like seeing and meeting kids who show independence and self-reliance at quite a young age, or at least, at their age level.  I’m not talking about “being advanced” here.  Just being developmentally age-appropriate, perhaps?  Essentially, this is also just one way that we make our LEARNING AND SOCIALIZATION REAL.

What life skills have you taught your children and how do you teach it to them?  



Thought I’d do a follow-up post on our beach clean-up activity and show the different kind of garbage items that we carelessly leave behind when we go to the beach (or anywhere, for that matter).  The list can go on 🙁

1.  Shoreline and Recreational Activities

2.  Ocean/Waterway Activities


3.  Smoking-Related Activities

4.  Dumping Activities


5.  Medical/Personal Hygiene


6.  Debris Items of Local Concern



Yesterday, we spent our day at Planet Dive in Anilao, Batangas.  My good friend, Alfie Santos, is a diver at the resort and we were texting each other right after our high school homecoming activities and parties had ended.  I so happened to ask him if they had activities lined up for our girls and family to join.  Well, there was a beach clean-up activity scheduled and I thought that would be a good idea to reinforce our lesson on Cooperation and Kayla’s topic on the natural resources of the Philippines!  So, we drove down to Planet Dive yesterday and spent our day learning and at the same time, relaxing!

We’re here!


My view from the deck ❤

A favorite place to be ❤
Arielle took this shot and Instagrammed it 🙂


Beautiful landscape…seascape


Arielle and Kayla snail-hunting 🙂
Or I think they found “sihi”.


It was a beautiful day although there was a very brief rain shower
during and after lunch.


Mike and Alfie chatting after lunch


View from the dining area. I was trying to also take a pic of the coconut tree,
which I believe, is a rich natural resource we have.


TonyBoy Ongsiako giving a briefing to the
Assumption College students on the beach
clean-up they were about to do.
They were broken into groups and given checklists;
Arielle and Kayla separately joined two of thier groups.


Arielle with her group; The beach looked pretty clean actually
sincethere was a clean-up already done the previous week.


Starting the beach clean-up. Good thing, we brought a sack!
These college girls were picking up and collecting trash one by one!


Kayla watching her groupmate pick up a trash found.


Arielle looking at the list as group leader ticks off trash items found


Some of the groups at the right side of the resort


Arielle’s group, back from their short clean-up of the shore


Weighing the garbage they collected


Over 8 kilos of trash in a matter of minutes!


Kayla also done with their group’s clean up


All sorts of trash tangled up


The trash items they collected


Wine/liquor bottle, banana peel, rambutan peel, straw, styro, plastic…


Ready to snorkel again 🙂


Arielle and Kayla with Tito Alfie Santos and Tony Boy Ongsiako,
before the two divers went down for a dive with their guests.


Mike watching the girls snorkel from a distance


And here I was, enjoying taking shots with my cameras 🙂


Thank you, Planet Dive, for a day well-spent!


Lessons learned from this activity:

1.  Cooperation is not place-, age-, gender-, nationality- specific.  We can all cooperate, anywhere

2.  Let us take care of all our natural resources.  They are gifts given to us by God.  We should therefore be His responsible stewards.

3.  If there would be another opportunity to do a beach clean-up again, remember to bring sacks to put all the garbage items found.  Sacks would be better than plastic trash bags 🙂

4.  According to Arielle, let’s do away with the cameras and videos first and get down to business!  How’s that for an observation of a high school homeschooler on college students? 🙂

5.  As explained by Alfie, the activity is really more on AWARENESS.   There’s still so much to do in and from that level.  Now, that’s another Cooperation project to do! To raise the awareness level of everyone to dispose our trash properly and responsibly, and to take care and preserve our environment and natural resources.  (How many more disasters and floods must we go through to learn this???)