September to Remember: Ian’s Homeschooling Highlights for September 2021

Hello, my dear readerships. How are you doing? I can’t believe September is over! The month has been a busy one for me as not only am I homeschooling Ian, I have also started teaching Geology undergraduate students at my alma mater while juggling master’s degree in science as well as household chores and my small retail business. To top it all, we still have this pandemic to contend with. It’s kind of sad that some of the countries around the world are back to normal but here in Philippines, the fight against the virus is barely over with so many of our people still unvaccinated. I have even stopped watching the news for my mental health.

It’s our third year in homeschooling and just like before, I share my son’s highlights here as part of his portfolio. I also hope that by sharing what we do at home as homeschoolers, we give families, especially fellow homeschooling families, ideas for bonding and learning activities. I know you believe me when I say that homeschooling with kids not being allowed to socialize in this pandemic has been extra challenging. We have incorporated more play time and less academic activities because both my boys really miss their friends and the outdoors. So without further ado, here are some of Ian’s activities for the month of September.

The Highlights

Ian like all kids in the country are required to study English as it is considered our primary language next to Filipino. Like most kids also, he’s been watching videos on YouTube, on TV, as well as read books in the language hence, the subject is one of the easiest to learn for him. For this month, we focused on reviewing some of the lessons we’ve already taken the previous years using the book we got from his homeschool provider. Like the previous years, we have supplemented the book with online games, activities, and live worksheets (to lessen printing). For this month we focused on reviewing prepositions, sentence construction, synonyms, antonyms, as well as nouns in singular and plural forms.

Ian also finished reading three books which he read in relation to other lessons he has in other subjects. For instance, we recently got a book written by my former professor and fellow geologist in the university about climate change which is “I Am The Change in Climate Change”. The book has so many insights and activities designed to encourage kids to take action in preserving the environment and learn about climate change.

The other books he read include “Can We Drink the Ocean?” and “Island” – both are ocean theme because for this month, he also learned to paint ocean creatures. The book, Island, is about kids who were trapped in an abandoned island when their ship submerged. The book on the left was written by a local author about how we can convert saltwater into drinking water. I assigned him this book as part of his Science lesson on matter. I also asked him to sketch sea shells for art after reading the book.

As mentioned, most of Ian’s art activities focused on the theme, ocean. Here are his art works for this month that he learned to paint through his teachers as Watercolor Afficionados:

In case you’re wondering, I chose to enroll Ian to the same teachers that taught me watercolor basics because I expect to become too busy this year. I also wanted him to learn the art from other people who paint better than me. 😀

In Science, Ian did an experiment on determining the pH of various liquids at home using the same Litmus paper I use in hydroponics. Ian has always been fascinated by Science so it’s no surprise to see him enjoy the way the color of the paper strips changed when added to the liquids. He also made a collage of objects divided according to its state – liquid, gas, or solid.

Aside from matter, Ian also studied about the human ear. He learned some basic sign language when introducing self with me just in case someone who is deaf-mute. I tried uploading the video here of him doing so but the file size was too big.

For social studies, Ian has learned so much about National Capital Region, a region in the Philippine Islands where you find most of the cities in Luzon including Manila, Makati, and Quezon City. Lessons discussed were the population of cities in NCR; natural resources; landforms and water bodies; natural hazards; as well as ways to protect the water bodies and landforms from degradation. For the city population, Ian made a list of each city and its population in Excel and made a histogram – which also became part of his performance task for Computer. For natural hazards, we used PHIVOLCS’ HazardHunterPH app to locate all the potential areas for landslide, flood, fault movement within NCR. Ian also learned the various landforms and water bodies that can be observed within NCR and we used Google Earth and Google Map for this lesson. We then correlated these landforms and water bodies to the potential natural hazards we found on the Hazard Hunter PH app. To cap off the lesson, Ian made a PowerPoint presentation of how students can help lessen the trash in waterways within our city. He also sketched Pasig River using soft pastel on how it may have looked before cities developed around it. We based the painting from videos and photos we’ve seen about the river.

For Math, Ian reviewed his previous lesson on mental addition and subtraction as well as number patterns. We used his book and games from Turtle Diary. He also learned how to sort numbers using the population data of NCR cities through MS Excel.

For Computer lessons, he has been exploring our personal computer in terms of the parts of Windows and their functions. We did a lot of tinkering around our computer for him to get to know it. I’m not a power user of Windows myself but I learned alongside Ian. We extensively used Excel and PowerPoint for our lessons this month.

For Music, we learned to play more songs this month using our ukulele through our teacher Eric’s lessons. We got Ian a brand new ukulele as he has been borrowing mine whenever he feels like strumming. Some of the songs we learned to play include classics such as:

  • Somewhere Over the Rainbow
  • Jingle Bells
  • Can’t Help Falling In Love
  • Ang Huling El Bimbo (a personal favorite by local band, Eraserheads)
  • Memory (Ian’s current favorite from the musical, Cats)
  • Grow Old with You
Ian has been studying the notes of Memory from the musical, Cats. This is one of the songs I often sang to him when he was little.

Homeschooling will never be complete without Ian learning new life skills. For this month, Ian helped me cook ginatang “bilo-bilo”, a local delicacy made of ground sticky rice molded into balls cooked with coconut milk, sugar, sweet potato, banana, jackfruit, cassava, etc. He also learned how I make resin keychains and made quite a lot this month for a friend’s order. Ian helped me pack each keychain. I usually sell my craft at our Shopee store.

Finally, Ian learned how celebrates Christmas back in my day. I mentioned we used to go around our neighborhood to sing carols and that we would get money or food for our songs. I made a joke that for this year, his assignment is to sing Christmas carols virtually to all our relatives and have money sent to my Gcash. He seemed to like the idea!

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