One of my realizations as first time homeschooling parent teacher is that Filipino, sadly, is the hardest to teach despite it being our native tongue at home. Unlike most families I meet in our community, we talk in Filipino more than half the time, speaking in our second language, English, only when our lessons are written and discussed in that medium.
Studying Filipino using the books from our homeschool provider overwhelms my kids too. I realized that fairly recently after my eldest scored lowest in Filipino on his first quarterly exam. He simply does not retain the technical aspect of the language that much. On the day after his exam, I thought of ways to make Filipino a fun learning experience for my kids by listing the things they enjoy. The only thing I could think of was my kids’ love for stories. I also consulted mommies in our homeschooling community for suggestions and someone mentioned about Wikahon and gave me the link to Adarna’s website. Adarna defines Wikahon as:
“a collection of readings and exercises for leveled language teaching in Filipino. These readings and exercises are arranged according to level of difficulty based on results from FiTRI* and assessments by reading experts.”
* FiTRI (Filipino Text Readability Index)—the first system to measure readability of texts in Filipino developed by UP reading experts in partnership with Adarna
The curiosity got the better of me and since it was also highly recommended by fellow homeschoolers, my husband and I decided to buy a set for my sons. Thankfully, all the Wikahon sets are on sale now at 50% off until August 24! The universe, obviously, supports me on this! I got both the Wikahon-A, and also Wikahon-B in case my kids “burn” through the first set before the school year ends. They love reading that much! This post will be about the unboxing of Wikahon-A. I will unbox Wikahon-B once my kids, especially my eldest, are ready for it.
Since I am this excited to get my hands on Wikahon, I decided to brave the traffic to go to Adarna House this morning, the first day of sale. The shop is located at 109 Scout Fernandez corner Scout Torillo, Brgy. Sacred Heart, Quezon City.
The Wikahon sets are suitable for kids who can already read. Wikahon Pre-A are for kids who are just starting read or can already understand and converse in Filipino, and thus, is the easiest of all the sets. Wikahon-A is a bit harder than Pre-A but easier than Wikahon-B. Both Wikahon-A and Wikahon-B come in big and mini sizes. The big size box is designed for classroom as it contains 5 sets of story cards and 2 sets of answer keys; whereas, the mini size is designed for home use and contains just one set of story cards and answer keys. Because I’m using the set for our homeschooling, I got the mini version. Each Wikahon box contains the following (as copied from the website):
- A guide for teachers
An educator’s manual on WiKAHON usage, from student orientation up to evaluation
- 80 reading cards (5 copies each for the big box, 1 copy each for the mini)
Short fiction or non-fiction about culture, history, or science; each with corresponding exercises on vocabulary, comprehension, and creative connections
- 80 corresponding answer keys (2 copies each for the big box, 1 copy each for the mini)
Student references to be used when checking answers in the exercises
Below are the series of photos that will explain the contents of the Mini Wikahon-A:
As mentioned, the set comes with a teacher’s guide, Gabay Para sa Guro. It is important that the parent/teacher reads through this guide first in order to understand how Wikahon works. The studen/child needs to take an assessment test, which you will find inside the teacher’s guide, prior to using Wikahon. I made my kids take this assessment test to check at which category they should commence. My son, who is only six, naturally scored very low, so he needs to start at Gumamela category. My eldest aced the assessment test so he could already start at Rosal category. Do take note that the short (three 10-item test, total of 30 items) assessment test does not, in any way, reflect your child’s Filipino grade level. It is only used to match the category in Wikahon-A where your child is recommended to start from. For your reference, I’ve posted the score range and recommended category per range taken from the teacher’s guide:
We are excited to use the Mini Wikahon-A tomorrow. Our plan is to also keep buying books that are written and designed by our local authors and artists, primarily to enrich my kids’ Filipino vocabulary as well as support local book business like Adarna, Lampara, and Tahanan.
Love and light,
The Fabulous Scientist