This is the second of the series of blog posts I am doing after the recently concluded Philippine Homeschool Conference 2016 “From Roots to Wings”. I was given the opportunity to share about our experiences and journey during our high school years but I felt that I missed out quite a lot during my assigned breakout session.  So, I decided to blog about it instead to make up for all that I failed (or was too nervous) to share.  If you missed my first post, click here.

Next in line is about TEACHING.

When our girls reached Grades 5 and 7, it was the time I noticed that they didn’t want me to be always watching what they were doing with their schoolwork.  They didn’t want me to be looking over their shoulders all the time like in the past years where I was seated beside or with them as they do their subjects. I took it as a signal to step back a bit. That’s how they also started to learn by themselves, BE INDEPENDENT, and learn about TIME MANAGEMENT. I stepped back a bit but I would still be in the background, checking how they were managing their time or simply asking them “What are you working on?” or “What subjects do you plan to do today?” or “What do plan to finish this week?”

It helped that we were able to use user- and student-friendly materials which taught them to learn by themselves. We used e-books which started to train them on working on their own laptops.  I remember doing A LOT OF RESEARCH for high school math books until I came across Teaching Textbooks online. I got attracted to it and we ended up using it from Grade 7 to 4th year high school Pre-calculus.  The set (workbook, answer key, CD) is pricey at USD185 but Arielle and Kayla managed to learn higher math on their own with it.  I only brought them to a math tutorial centre on certain occasions like when they needed a little help from another math teacher, when I felt they needed a change of learning environment or when I wanted another math teacher to test if they really understood their lessons.  Mike and I felt that if had chosen a cheaper math material and added a regular tutor service, it would come out even more costly than the cost of Teaching Textbooks.  Plus, the books were handed down from Arielle to Kayla which made  it really worth it! With Teaching Textbooks, I NEVER HAD TO TEACH MATH to them!

For Science, we used Apologia Science which to me, explains science topics really well and in an interesting and Christian view. I purchased our Apologia books from another homeschool site Rock Solid Inc. at cheaper prices.

For Filipino, I sought the help of The Learning Library. Because Arielle was suddenly moved up to 1st year high school, I wasn’t prepared to teach the Filipino classic literature Ibong Adarna. I had to seek help somewhere and it was from The Learning Library.  The girls had a very positive learning experience with them and fondly remembers their teachers and how they made learning Filipino FUN.

So, in high school, I changed my hat from a TEACHER to a COACH, just like what Bo Sanchez had shared in his presentation as a keynote speaker of the conference.  I was coaching them on INDEPENDENT LEARNING and TIME MANAGEMENT more than the academics. Besides, the lessons are more difficult to teach that I would have failed in my teaching job if I continued to teach them their lessons. The subjects where I continued to discuss with our girls are Character, Christian Living and our Catholic faith, World History (I couldn’t let go of Mystery of History; I wanted to continue reading the book and learn more what happened!.  Approach to Filipino was all basic.  To me, basic Filipino is learning how to converse, understand, and write in the language in such a way that they’re able to convey the message they want to convey. Nothing deep and too poetic for me in Filipino.

When they stepped into high school, it was also the time they attended more workshops and classes outside home, aside from their required MAPE (Music, Art, PE) subjects. I made it a conscious effort to be on the lookout for workshops and classes late in grade school in preparation for high school.  These are some of the workshops they (sometimes, WE, which means I joined them) joined:

  • Mindmapping with Ivy Marquez
  • Sewing by Anne del Rosario at Sew Easy for Kids (culminated by a fashion show where they modeled their own sewing creations)
  • Blogging by Arriane Serafico (who unfortunately is no longer based here in the Philippines)
  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens
  • Public Speaking and Presentation


A sample of our mindmapping

A sample of our mindmapping



We all learned how to sew! Kayla's summer culinary workshop!

We all learned how to sew!    Kayla’s summer culinary workshop!


Arielle and Kayla also joined a Hybrid Homeschool class with other homeschoolers,  once a week for one schoolyear. It was by Ivy Marquez and they had subjects which focused more on LIFE SKILLS such as Culinary and Food Science, Etiquette, Entrepreneurship.

As you can see, the workshops and classes they joined were very INTENTIONAL and really geared towards learning SKILLS, SKILLS, SKILLS, particularly LIFE and WORK SKILLS. I was already thinking forward.

With The Master’s Academy, we were required to present a portfolio at the end of every quarter to showcase what they had learned and accomplished in each subject during the quarter.  We used to live in Batangas and what I used to do was compile all their work or output in a binder, bring them to their academic consultant in TMA in Manila for her to review, then set another appointment with her for the scheduled portfolio review.  Can you imagine the travel and time factor involved? So I decided to go electronic or digital.  From hard copies in thick, heavy binders, we switched to Google Docs which allowed them to work on shared portfolio outputs but separately on their laptops.  It was like working in an office on your own workstation and contributing work as a team.  With Google Docs, I would just email our academic consultant the link of their Google Docs portfolio and schedule a trip to Manila for their portfolio review. What a convenience and time-saver!

After Google Docs, I thought doing their portfolio via blogs would even be a BETTER idea! It would teach them creative writing, which was a priority area for me, since I knew that writing essays would be one of the college application requirements.  Aside from learning how to write, blogging would also allow them to integrate  photography, graphic design. Arielle managed to learn the codes on how to design or tweak the theme of her own blogsite. Take a peek at Arielle’s homeschool blog called The Homeschooled Mermaid and Kayla’s KaylaNeverKeila.

Laslty, what made high school learning also fun was WE ALL LEARNED TOGETHER. We learned how to mindmap together.  Arielle and I joined a blogging workshop together.  We three learned how to sew together. There were also other arts and crafts workshops we all joined like stamp-carving, silk screen printing, calligraphy, brush lettering watercolor painting.  So, I was learning new things and skills with them. WE ARE ALL LEARNERS and they were opportunities to show them that I AM A LIFELONG LEARNER myself. LEARNING WITH THEM was one way that we all connected and I STAY TUNED with them.

One last sharing on TEACHING.  In a recent Catholic homeschoolers gathering I attended with Mike, this question was asked: Where or how do you delineate your role as a parent and as a homeschool teacher? Where do you draw the line?  A very good question, don’t you think?  The speaker gave an answer without having to think long (not even 2 seconds!).  And I agree with what she said which was to let the academics suffer but not your relationship with your child.  NEVER.

With that I end my sharing on TEACHING in the high school years.  I really hope that with the first blog post and this second one, I was able to give tips to keep in mind and resources to bookmark.

My next blog post will be on EXPERIENCING.  What EXPERIENCES should I let our teenagers have during high school?  Enjoy my first two posts while you take your semestral or holiday break as I try to do the same.


It’s March and we are again on h-o-m-e-s-t-r-e-t-c-h!  Arielle just finished yesterday her last post for her homeschool blog portfolio (You should have heard the BIG SIGH of RELIEF and JOY she gave out yesterday!) and Kayla is on her last 3 subjects!  These girls CAN’T WAIT to finish their academic requirements and take a break momentarily from studying.  I say ‘momentarily’ because during summer, they continue doing Math and Science.

You might think that I am also about to be on vacation.  NOT. AT. ALL.  Kayla is pursuing golf again and I have to fully support her this time and plan her homeschooling, keeping in mind the number of hours she has to give to training and tournaments.  As I’ve shared in my last posts, Arielle will be graduating from high school this April 2015 but will not immediately go to college this July or August.  2015 will be her gap year and it will be in 2016 when she plans to start college, with Animation as her dead set course in mind.  So these days, I am both thinking of an ending and a beginning of journeys.  The ending of another schoolyear (That would make us officially homeschooling for 8 years…and going on our 9th next year!) and the beginning of Arielle’s gap year.

Our plan for her gap year really is to better prepare her for college, most especially that she only has a total of 10 years of basic education and the course that she intends to pursue is best learned abroad, where competition  is tougher and requirements more stringent.   I’ve mindmapped plans on what she should do during her gap year, which include and would focus on:

  1. College Entrance Exam Reviews
  2. Internships
  3. Joining Workshops on Animation
  4. Learning Life Skills
  5. Preparing Curriculum Vitae
  6. Building up and Organizing Portfolio (traditional and digital illustrations)


As of now, everything is roughly scheduled since no definite dates have been announced as to when the different college entrance exams will be.  She already took review classes last summer and so, she will just take a refresher course closer to the date of the entrance exams.  While waiting for the confirmed dates and deadlines,  these are what we have done so far:

  1. Arielle’s art blog has already been migrated from Blogger to WordPress where she will showcase her best art works.  It is a revamp of her blog and she will, according to her, start everything anew.
  2. We have researched on and identified her target schools.  I have been checking on their websites for announcements and taking note of their admission requirements.  I make sure that I do this often so as not to miss any pertinent information on the requirements and to be able to block off important dates pertaining to deadlines.
  3. She also has her apprenticeship and internship goals, since these are also a part of her senior year high school requirement (more of apprenticeship actually).  The latest news is that she got accepted as an illustrator for Young Star, a weekly section that comes out every Friday on the major daily Philippine Star (Our big THANKS to Martine de Luna of for letting us know about this opportunity and most especially, for believing in Arielle!  Arielle was Martine’s apprentice during her 3rd quarter and did a couple of projects for her). Read more about it here.  The announcement was just made last Friday and Arielle was just ecstatic when she found out she made it!  She actually wasn’t too keen on going to the interview, but both Mike and I prodded her to try it out because we think that it will be a good experience for her.  Besides, she will not lose anything if she tries out.  I personally think that if she makes it, it will really look good on her CV!


Photo taken from Philippine Star


You see, the gap journey has just begun and so does Kayla’s more intentional learning.  There is so much to do and yet, it feels fulfilling to do what we feel is right and personal to our girls’ development and future.



Did you keep a diary when you were young?  I remember mine was thick and had a small padlock with it (Can’t remember if it was Sanrio, hmmm.  Ooops! There goes my age :D).  How about doodling?  Did you doodle when you were in class?  I wasn’t much of doodler when I was in school because I always thought that doodling meant not paying attention to the teacher and the lecture (I was a “very good” student back then, if you’re going to ask.  Ehem. The leader, the responsible one, the honor student). Doodling simply means you’re bored or daydreaming.  That gives you a high chance of getting caught and being given that “Stop what you’re doing and listen to me” look by your teacher.  (Uh-oh, you’re in BIG trouble!)

When I was a kid, I loved art!  I loved to draw, color, and paint!  I always got a high grade in my Art subjects.  I took Chinese painting lessons (when I was in Grade 7, I think) which gave me fond memories.  I still kept my paintings and Chinese ink block and stone!

From my childhood and teen years, my life transitioned to adulthood, corporate life, marriage, parenting, and now, homeschooling.  My love and inclination to art had to take a back seat.  I did dabble here and there but to continue doing art as part of my daily life was one of the first activities to be scratched off my list. Bringing the girls to school, preparing baon (school snacks), picking them up, and making reviewers occupied most of my time when they were still in traditional school. The most I did when I became a mother was scrapbook our girls’ growing up photos and our travel memoirs.

Lately, I’ve been getting these feelings again of wanting to do something with my hands.  I feel I need to make something.  The urge to create something.  I was into baking as a home business many years ago and these days, I only do it occasionally to give in to Kayla’s request for cupcakes, crinkles or Arielle’s chocolate chip cookies.   I don’t crochet or knit.  I only get pretty serious with photography when I’m on vacation.  Last year, I learned how to make rubber stamps and that’s still in my Projects-To-Do list.  I have to carve time for that (Carve.  Literally, carve out those rubber blocks and erasers…and figuratively).

Last month, the last Sunday of June to be exact, out of nowhere, I just pulled out my unlined notebook (which has been with me for quite some time but left neglected), colored markers, pens, watercolor pencils, paintbrush, the girls’ really old dot and roll-on markers, and pastels. I just knew that my artsy-self was calling me.  I started to play around with my watercolor pencils and pens.  I looked at one of my Pinterest boards to find an inspiration…that message or quote that I felt strongest that moment.   And my blank page was soon transformed to this!

Doodling and Journaling

Here, I used watercolor pencils and black marker.


As early as one week, I knew it was going to become a hobbyt (Get it?  hobby with a ‘t’) and a habit of some sort and I did a few more the days after. 

Doodling and Journaling

I kept an old set of Magic markers
we got from abroad and
I’m happy that I did! 🙂

Doodling and Journaling

Would you believe those dots are from
dot and roll-on markers for toddlers?

Bright colored pastels!

Bright colored pastels!

What we talked about over breakfast;  it was Mike's birthday.  Coffee stains c/o Pancake House's brewed coffee :)

What we talked about over breakfast;
it was Mike’s birthday.
Coffee stains c/o Pancake House’s brewed coffee 🙂


I was asking myself the difference between doodling and journaling, if there is any.  For me (and this is just me):  

  • DOODLING is more of scribbles with strokes and images that are more fun, while JOURNALING is writing down your thoughts and feelings that can have doodles but with more images, cut-outs, embellishments, or simply expressing them graphically with or without words.   It can have a more soulful look and feel than doodles.  
  • DOODLES are like vandalism or graffiti. JOURNALING is like keeping a diary.  
  • DOODLE ART has pens as its tools, and ink is usually of one color only (black, most of the time).  It is either all in black and white, or outlined in black and filled in with colors.   JOURNALING makes use of pens, paint, pastels, old magazine pages, scrap materials, plane or movie tickets, or what have you.  It is also like scrapbooking but you use a more compact-sized notebook that you can easily slip into your bag, ready to pulled out when the inspiration strikes, let’s say, at the park or at a doctor’s clinic waiting area.     

Doodling and journaling, I realize, don’t mean I’m bored or daydreaming.  On the contrary, after doing it a few times:

  • I feel more focused.  
  • I am more relaxed and I value the time I spend on a table or in a corner of a cafe.  
  • My mood is both reflective and attentive.  
  • I notice that I now tend to pay more attention to the patterns, details, and the world around me. 
  • It is a form of self-expression.  
  • I must say that it is a good way for me to decompress, take a break from our routines, making me energized and recharged to go back to what I have to do.

Studies have  been made on the benefits of doodling and journaling, and did you know that they are actually GOOD for you?  It is said that doodling improves memory and concentration, and journaling helps you clarify your thoughts and reduces stress!  Now, isn’t that just wonderful! When I think about it some more, mindmaps which are now used as an effective thinking and note-taking tool in businesses and schools, most probably took off from the art of doodling and journaling!  

Photo Source:

Photo Source:

Arielle's 2012 Goals Mindmap

Arielle’s 2012 Goals Mindmap

Kayla's 2012 Goals Mindmap

Kayla’s 2012 Goals Mindmap

Arielle and Kayla have already been doing these three (doodling, journaling, mindmapping) for some time. No wonder they go crazy over notebooks, blank-paged ones like Moleskine (too expensive for us at the moment, but very tempting).  Now, I understand why they keep on asking me to buy them notebooks and pens!  This has taught me that even if I’m their mom, my girls are my teachers, too!  A few important reminders:  Give them time to doodle and journal.  Encourage it! Respect their doodling and journaling time and space!

A sample of page of Arielle's journal

A sample of page of Arielle’s journal

Kayla's doodle for her friend

Kayla’s doodle for her friend

Kayla's doodle

Kayla’s paisley-themed doodle

I’m happy to have gotten back to some form of artistic expression and to have rediscovered my artsy self and the kiddo in me 🙂  Spending time to doodle and journal is helping me grow MORE as a person as 2013 continues.  

Have you tried doodling or jounaling?  I’m excited to take a look inside your notebook 🙂



How was your Holidays?  As for me and my family, I can say that we were able to really keep it simpler this year.  Less stress, more down time 🙂 How about your 2012? How did it go?  To me, it just went by so fast!  Even if I did try to slow down a bit more, it still felt more like 240 days instead of 365.  (Well, you know what I mean).

Now that 2013 is about to give us that BANG! in a couple of hours, it’s that time of the year again for our family to set new goals.  



It was only last December 2011 when we started doing goal-setting and I think I’ll try to do this as a family activity every time a new year is about to begin. It’s not really making New Year’s resolutions but more of:

  • putting more focus on our energies and efforts, 
  • identifying priorities, and 
  • setting a clearer direction for the year. 

Last year, we did a mindmap on the different things we were thankful for the year 2011 and our goals for 2012. This was the simple visual guide I gave to each one in writing down their goals, which involved the Heart, Hands, Health, and Head.


Photo Source:

This is what each of us came up with last year:

He’s really not into colored pens when he does his mindmaps 🙂
Heart: Relating > Conflict Resolution / Caring > Nurture Relationships
Hands: Giving > Leadership / Working > Self-Motivation
Health: Being > Self-Discipline on Work, Exercise, Food Choices / Living > Healthy Lifestyle, Choices, Food
Head: Thinking > Learning to Learn / Managing > Wise Use of Resources, Projects
Others: Bike > Compete / Work > Create Biz, Look for Projects / Housing > Light Steel




It’s not clearly seen but her left bottom page says “I want to read more books, be more disciplined, responsible, make sure I return things where they belong, learn more recipes, be more obedient.


You can see here that Arielle really has a lot of ideas and wants to do all of them!
She has admitted that one of her fears is getting bored!

When I was thinking of how to go about our goal-setting for this coming 2013, I thought of only two things, (1) Character (2) Skills, and I identified these specific areas where to apply the two:

1.  Myself
2.  My Family
3.  My Faith/Church community
4.  My Country
5.  The World

Here now are our 2013 goals:





I like the way Kayla’s becoming more focused and specific.


Like last year, Arielle’s mindmap shows the many things she wants to do!

I’ve read that when you write down your goals, it has the greater chance or possibility of being achieved or becoming a reality.  Looking back at our 2012 goals, I think we achieved most of them.  If we may have missed some, we can always look back and decide whether we are ready to work on those again this year or some other time.  As for our 2013 goals, I offer and lift them all up to God.  I really pray that He blesses me and my family with wisdom, guidance, and the spirit to work on each one of them TO BETTER OURSELVES and BE THE CHANGE that our family, church community, country and the world so desperately need these days. 

Finally, my wish and prayer for all of us is that we may all LIVE OUT our UNIQUE PURPOSE and DESIGN in GOOD HEALTH and with COURAGE, FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE every single day of 2013.  Individual purposeful living and yet, one and together in achieving.    Cheers!!! 



Last Saturday, Arielle and I joined Blogworthy, a two-day blogging workshop, by Arriane Serafico, a.k.a. Wanderrgirl. Yes, Arielle and I were (and will still be) classmates. Talk about learning together as we homeschool!

Let me tell first the reasons why we joined.

I, the mom, joined because:

  • I felt I needed and wanted to keep up with the modern techy times and learn a whole lot more about blogging. My BIG question:  How do others do it so well and differently?
  • I also wanted to look into the possibility of using a blog for a homebased business or entrepreneural ideas in the future.

My husband and I encouraged Arielle to join because:

  • we know that writing is an area of strength for her and that a blog is also where she can showcase her skills in photography and art, traditional and digital.  Plus, I’ve read somewhere that a blog is the new resume or portfolio.   We, her parents, just have to equip her for the future!  Now, don’t make me explain how our resumes were like during my time.
  • By joining, it would be an opportunity for her to develop this life and marketable skill.  This is an example of 21st century learning and this is how we homeschool. Real life. Intentional. Non-traditional.


I felt like I was in my 20’s again =)

Before the workshop even started, each one of us was already greeted by goodies from the time we registered to the moment we chose our seats.  Each had a tin pail (by Celebrations Party Central) with these as our loot:

The co.lab venue was not your usual dull-colored function or office room. The wide open space, with orange bursts of color, is equipped with office tools and audio-visual equipment, has a small pantry area, sofas, chairs and tables, and smaller rooms within, making it very conducive to work, collaboration, brainstorming and c-r-e-a-t-i-v-i-t-y!

This is just our lecture and presentation area, occupying about a fourth of the entire space.
See my VERY YOUNG classmates? 🙂

Day 1 was info-packed, I must say, with Arriane, first and foremost, sharing with us that my blog is not about me.  My blog is my message to the world which means I have to make a GOOD one.  She then moved on to the nitty gritty, giving my left-brain some serious stretching and warm-up! We worked on a few “Who am I?” kind of worksheets to be able to understand what it would take to come up with a good or better blog.  In between the brainy activities, we watched a scent-making demo by BC Fragrance, listened to the presentation, and a little while later, were treated with the yumminess of ice cream and sherbet sampling by Pinkerton Ice Cream.  That surely gave our thinking gears a boost! Everbody was happy! =)

Now, this is how I summed up what I learned in Day 1:


And I thought to blog is to simply write about something or anything.  Well, I thought wrong.  An interesting, persuasive, effective blog is actually a combination of all these “ingredients” before you can say that your blog is ready for the world:

                                  1. Psychology
                                  2. Marketing
                                  3. Art
                                  4. Communication
                                  5. Mathematics


Here’s why…

Psychology –  First, you have to do a lot of self-awareness exercises of knowing yourself, your personality, different roles in life, heroes and inspirations, passions and obsessions, etc.  Everything that makes you tick and makes you uniquely YOU. How’s that for a start?

Marketing – You have to show and celebrate your uniqueness.  Don’t copy other blogs or the styles of other bloggers.  Come up with your own concept.  Make it the best and give it a one-of-a-kind packaging and branding. I would say competition can be tough.

Art – A blog is very visual.  When readers go to your blogsite, the initial elements that would make them want to read your post would be the lay-out, color scheme, font, and other graphics.  Once you’ve got them hooked by those, there’s a big chance that they would stay a few more minutes on your site, read more or even follow you!

Here also comes the technical side of it.  As Arriane would say, working on the backend of your blog with the CSS or HTML codes plus webhosting and domains (which I do not understand at this point, but would definitely like to learn)  can make your blog stand out from the rest.

Communication – The heart of the blog! This is where your writing style and voice come in.  Is your style informative? funny or serious? casual? brief and direct?  What does your voice say about your personality?  How does one read “hear” your written words?  How do you connect with your readers? How do you bring your thoughts and ideas to life?    A great tip in writing that I learned is to use key words, categories or labels that are Google-able.

As an example, one writing exercise we had to do was to briefly write about scent samplers given out to us by BC Fragrance.  It was pretty challenging! How would you actually describe a scent in words that only your nose knows? Think about it.

Mathematics – Look at your statistics. Read and analyze those graphs. Use tools such as   Google AnalyticsBitly, and Link Within.  Know more about your readers and their demographics.  Where are they from?  What time do they go online?  What posts do your readers like the most? the least?  Shorten your links and link your post with other related stories.

So, at the end of the day, it turns out that blogging is actually a science. Hmmm…huh? It’s because for one to come up with and upkeep a blog, he or she needs to know the right mix of ingredients and formulas. Sounds easy, right?  But that’s not it.  I personally believe that it also takes time, effort, and I would say, passion, drive, and dedication to keep a blog.  Then and only then can one say that his or her blog is blogworthy!


I know Arielle is such a bookaholic and how much she loooves the feel and smell of books.  Last week, I jokingly told her after she bought another book with her savings at National Bookstore, “Don’t you ever get tired of books???”, hinting that she buys books too often even if she’s not yet done with the current book that she’s reading.   Well, she teased me with the same remark when I bought two books on entrepreneurship and business planning and excitedly told  her and Kayla that they should also read the books after I’ve read them.  I could only show her a half-smile and found myself pretty embarrassed to say anything 🙂

One of the skills that Mike and I would like Arielle and Kayla to learn as early as now is entrepreneural skills. Of course, we would like them to pursue their interests and support them in their discoveries and explorations, be it in arts, fashion, culinary, but our only constant reminder to them is to learn how to do the business side of their chosen fields.  They must learn how to market themselves, be self-reliant, and do business.

So these are the two books I couldn’t resist buying.  One is locally published, which I bought at National Bookstore-Megamall for P198.00 and the other is imported, bought at Fully Booked for quite a price of P898.00, but looks worth it.

I am currently reading Joey Concepcion’s NEGOSYO, 8 Simple Secrets to Raising Entrepreneurs, Teaching Kids about Money, Business and Life.  It is written by Mary Joy Canon-Abaquin of Multiple Intelligence School, and published by Vibal Publishing House, Inc.  It is the only local book I’ve found, so far, on entrepreneurship FOR KIDS, which I highly recommend.  Page layout is pleasing to the eyes.  Pages come in colors.  Fonts are fun (not textbook-type) and easy to read.    More importantly, it starts off with the different intelligences (linguistic, spatial, naturalist, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal) then moves on to how parents can encourage entrepreneurship to their kids given the kind of intelligence(s) that they have.  The book is also filled with tips, inspirational and motivational quotes, activities, real-life examples and lessons, and entrepreneur role models.  What makes it even more commendable is it discusses also the topic of good work ethics and challenges the parents to have a personal integrity check so they can be positive examples to their children!

As for the second book, it’s the Right-Brain Business Plan, A Creative, Visual Map for Success by Jennifer Lee.  I got this book with Arielle in mind, because she’s creative and a visual learner, and thought this might help her concretize her business ideas, without doing the conventional (boring!) business plan format.  (I could also benefit from this book, being a visual learner myself.)   I scanned the pages of the book and it’s like doing mindmapping and lapbooking together.  Even scrapbooking!  Definitely creative!  Definitely for the right-brain dominant!


I hope these two books would help you and your kids become, not only successful, but creative and innovative Pinoy entrepreneurs! May these empower us to use the money, intelligences, and resources God has given us wisely and prudently, and to teach us to not just go for profits when thinking of putting up a business, but to be socially responsible entrepreneurs who can make a difference in other people’s lives.

We are moving closer and closer to the “end” of our schoolyear and it gives me such a feeling of accomplishment!  “End” only refers to submission of portfolios and grades, but does not necessarily mean stopping to learn and sharpen  skills.  Summer activities are, as a matter of fact, already lined up (Rest and recreation, of course, not to be forgotten!).   So, to formally close our schoolyear 2010-2011, I thought it would be fitting to look back, recap, and evaluate how we fared this schoolyear.  It has been a pretty hectic, always on-the-go lifestyle (Whew!).

I came up with only 4 questions for Arielle and Kayla to answer:  

  1. What important skills did you learn?
  2. What method or strategy worked and didn’t work?  
  3. How are we going to improve or change the way we did our routine and homeschooling?
  4. What’s memorable about this schoolyear? (I almost forgot that learning is personal, and not just cerebral, as what I’ve written in a previous blog)

I think getting feedback from our kids is an important tool to measure each one’s performance as an individual and as a team (in this case, as a family).  

It’s a good exercise to practice skills on listening, organizing thoughts, reviewing, teamwork, appreciating one’s efforts and accomplishments, learning from one’s mistakes or weaknesses to become a better person,  and pursuit of better ways of doing things.    I should actually remember to do this as a closure to every year of our homeschooling calendar, and as a guide to help me become a better parent and homeschool mom!

Here’s what Kayla had to say (I combined Kayla’s response from her mindmap and written notes):


1.  Important skills learned:

  • Do first things first.
  • Routine first
  • Learn and experiment doing things even if we’re not home, like in Manila
  • Be prepared to learn because learning is fun!
  • Skills introduced and learned in Hybrid program because I will need them in the future (culinary, entrepreneurship, speech, food science, Filipino, writing, digital arts, critical thinking and etiquette)

2.  Methods/Strategies that worked:

  • The different subjects helped me like doing my online daily devotional because I learned more about God and what we should do. 
  • Having a laptop/computer because I was able to research in different sites.  It is interactive because some sites have videos about my topics.  
  • E-books, colored books!
  • Hands-on activities
  • Some classes in Hybrid program

     Methods/Strategies that didn’t work:

  • Using just books (meaning printed on paper)
  • Books that are not colored
  • I didn’t/don’t like the  subject Mystery of History (MOH).
  • Some classes in Hybrid program

3.  Improvements or Changes to do:

  • Daily routine!  Ate Arielle and I usually argue who will go take a bath first.  (She suggests that parents should vote who should go first! Hmmm.)
  • Schedule; Long and tight schedules
  • Have more breaks
  • For MOH, learn about history of food then cook that specific dish or type of food 🙂


4.  Memorable experiences:

  • Favorite class in Hybrid program:  Culinary Arts
  • Cooking and baking
  • Release of baby sea turtles
  • Hands-on activities

For Arielle, she said:

1.  Important skills learned were:  

  • Time management 
  • Planning 
  • CLAYGO (Clean As You Go) 
  • Creativity 
  • Love for learning


2.  Methods/Strategies that worked:

  • Work on and finish majors first every quarter:  Math, Science, English, followed by the other subjects:  Filipino, Civics, MOH, Art
  • Concentrate on 1 subject per day (Instead of doing many subjects in a day, like we used to and how it was in her former school)
  • Listening to music while studying
  • Mindmapping
  • Some classes in their Hybrid Program


   Methods/Strategies that didn’t work:

  • Tight schedules!


3.  Improvements or Changes to do:

  • More hands-on activities
  • Allow music


4.  Memorable experiences:
  • Total Girl magazine photo shoots
  • Releasing of baby sea turtles (Wow!  I didn’t think that would make such a great impact!)
  • Extra classes
  • Her voice recital


Having read these, I now:

  • have reminders and guidelines (AGAIN!) of what will work and what will not.  
  • have to keep in mind the personalities and learning styles of Arielle and Kayla against my personality and old-fashioned, traditional-school teaching style.  
  • learned from my girls to go by the adage “Less is more”.  It’s not really all about breadth but more of depth in the topics or lessons.  (I should make this a priority!) 
  • have to put in more breathing space in our activities (This is going to be quite a challenge with the many subjects required from us plus adding other ’21st century skills’ we consider essential and would want them to learn.)
  • have to do more fun, hands-on activities and varied learning experiences!


In homeschooling, our kids learn skills they need in life and in the workplace.  They’re more open to learning new things!

Culinary skill: cooking pork torta Now, Kayla dreams of becoming a chef someday!


Making Hollandaise sauce for Eggs Benedict


Entrepreneurship: selling candies


Mindmapping: To take down notes and remember better; This is Arielle’s mindmap on ants.


Kayla’s mindmap of her lesson on God’s knowledge