Homeschooling

I Survived Our First Week of Homeschooling

Whew! I didn’t know homeschooling would be so hard! Boy am I glad that today is Saturday, and no school! To understand why I feel this way, below are the highlights of our first week of homeschooling:

Monday:
Since our homeschool provider has not emailed my kids’ sylabus yet, and I was already excited to get the feel of being their teacher mom, I decided to start my lessons already. What I did was use my kids’ previous reference books to assess how much learnings they have retained in Science (for my eldest), Math, Filipino, and English, four of the major subjects that I was ready to teach this week. It wasn’t easy without the syllabus but basically what I did was ask Ian to write his full name properly, read his phonics book loud, and get him to identify letters. I made Nereus read about Factors, different types of sentence, and different parts of the body and their functions. We continued doing this until Tuesday.

Tuesday:
I discovered my eldest son’s first learning gaps – Division and Multiplication. I found out about it while doing his review on Factors. I noticed that he was having a hard time dividing numbers. So using his old Math book, we reviewed these two sections and made him answer a few problem sets. We also did board works. Ian was practicing addition, phonics, and practice writing his full name in the meantime. We started at 7 AM, had short 10-mins break in between subjects, had a 30-minute lunch break and needless to say was exhausted by 2 PM. Take note, that like a typical mom, I was also prepping food for breakfast and lunch during those short breaks! Talk about multi-tasking, pro level.

I had a scheduled business meeting at 2:30 PM with my Salo app development team so I asked my kids to hit the pool and play. This was how we busted the first common homeschooling myth that kids will have a problem with socialization. I’d say, no problem at all. My kids met a few of our neighbors at our condo’s swimming pool. Then we had burgers for “merienda” to reward them for a job well done.

I had a business meeting at 2:30 so I asked my kids to hit the pool for their socialization and PE.

Ian loved the noodle he borrowed from one of the kids.
This is my eldest along with his friends.

Ian doing addition.


“If there is one thing I am super proud of about my kids, it’s how easily they can be instructed. No persuasion needed, they are naturally obedient most times.”

Wednesday:

Every June 12th of the year, our country celebrates “Araw ng Kalayan” or Independence Day. Although we are homeschooling, I chose to celebrate today by taking an adventure with my babies – food adventure that is!

(Also, because I expected today’s traffic to be light. I was right!)


We went to Manila Food and Beverage Expo at the World Trade Center to expose my kids to anything related to food such as cuisines, street foods, kitchen equipment, and local delicacies from different regions of the Philippines. We also bought and sampled some of the kiosks’ food and drink offers. I didn’t post the picture of our loot here but I stayed longer in the regional section to buy our local food offers because I want my kids to become familiar with out local food such as moron, binagol, roasted peanuts, smoked fish, tuna products, and hopia. We also had siomai, baked macaroni, Wagyu cubes, and lemonade for lunch.

At the MAFBEX entrance.
He liked this banana seat and had asked me to take this photo.
Hot pot by Wei Wei
My eldest son trying the hot pot’s balls. Yum!
My goofy youngest having his photo taken along with Master Siomai’s mascot.
My goofy son screaming for hopia and where best to get them from? Eng Bee Tin!
His face says it all. Excited to take the MRT train! Lucikly, it wasn’t crowded and for people who took the ride between 5 to 8 PM, it was free.

Thursday

I asked my eldest to write story bullets about his experience at MAFBEX on our computer. I asked him to choose three photos out of the many we’ve taken using my mobile phone at the MAFBEX event; write 3 sentences below each using different types of sentence: SIMPLE, INTERROGATIVE, DECLARATIVE, COMPOUND, and EXCLAMATORY; and to ensure that each sentence is connected to the picture chosen. I printed his story bullets and asked him to paste his work on his notebook as part of his portfolio.

Exploring Google Earth to see countries around Asia and to find Philippines and its major islands. We have a paper map of the country but realized that we don’t have ones for Asia and the world. So for now, Google Earth is friend.

Good news!
We already got the syllabus from our homeschool provider and thankfully, it also included Youtube links for kids to watch to supplement their learning. We visited one for math which taught about whole numbers from 1-100.

Ian watching about numbers on Youtube which took about 5 minutes. Do you see our stack of food and helmets under the table? That’s part of our emergency stash in case an earthquake strikes. I’ll be talking about his more in one of my future posts.
I had to go to the bank at 9 AM for some personal errand. Since I have no yaya, I tag my kids along on my errands. It’s not cheap to bring them along, they usually get hungry a lot! Haha! We had a recess, after my business with the bank, at a nearby Family Mart to get some cookies and to practice how to buy goods at a store. I also asked my eldest to compute the total amount of our purchase and the change we expect with our 200 pesos. In homeschooling, I find that a normal daily routine can be a teachable moment for the kids. No dull moment, really.

Friday

I printed out worksheets on multiplication and division to bridge the gap we discovered this week. After teaching him some math tricks I did when I was a kid, he blurted out:

“Mom, you have a brain like Einstein’s!”

(Oh kid, if you only knew how I struggled with my Math 50 series in college!)

Ian asked me to allow him to read one of our Geology-related books, “Extreme Earth”. Finding the book was a story in itself. We were going through books at the recently concluded Big Bad Wolf book sale in Manila when Ian saw it. He quickly grabbed it, opened a few pages, smiled and put it in the basket. I browsed through it and was impressed that he would pick it up. Maybe we have a budding Geologist in the family? The book has become one of my kids’ favorite books although the contents are way too advanced for Ian’s age. The pictures fascinate him though and I’ve watched him read some of the words with struggle. When he encounters a difficult word, he would ask me what it means and I would do my best to explain in layman. After reading about volcanic eruption today, I asked him to paint his impression. This is him doing as instructed. Love you, kid!

CONCLUSION:

On our first week, we tried to do a combination of traditional and analytical way of teaching. My eldest son studied at a traditional school since kinder so my game plan was to still use traditional way of learning mostly but at the same time, teach him to be analytical through story telling and discussions. My youngest came from a semi-progressive kinder school, so I expect that there won’t be too much adjustment. My goal for him is to discover his learning style and work from there.

For now, I must say that though I enjoyed teaching my kids, I wasn’t trained formally to be an educator, thus, I find it to be so hard and time-consuming. At the moment, I feel that I am not yet as organized as a formal teacher would be. I have yet to work on my lesson plans, programs, and schedule. This week we are still in our “discovery phase” – discovering my kids’ gaps through review of previous lessons; the amount of work needed to get organized with my lesson plans; and how to multi-task properly now that I’m not just their mom, I’m their educators as well.

Having said those, I still believe that I made the right choice about deciding to homeschool my children.

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