January definitely was one for the books. The start of the year was scary for us simply because we came back to Manila from our Bicol trip while Omicron virus was wreaking havoc in Metro Manila. We wanted to stay in Bicol where there were no reported case of COVID but we had to come back to our jobs.
Homeschooling while in pandemic has its challenges but I won’t complain because we truly enjoyed our stay in the province. The two weeks that we stayed in Bicol more than made up for the months that we had to stay indoors in the city due to the pandemic. While in Bicol, Ian learned how to ride the bike all by himself. He was gritty about it too. He practiced everyday until he could pedal for a few meters already. Here’s a video of him learning how to ride the bike (mommy’s so proud):
Ian also learned so many things about farm life while in the province. For instance, her grandmother taught her how to feed chickens and pigs. His cousin and older brother went fish feeding with him in the fishponds near us. We also took our bath at a nearby spring, something that we look forward to whenever we’re in Bicol (no need to worry about water bill!). Here’s a video of him living a farm life, as we called it:
When we left Bicol, our family was lucky to be assigned seats on the left side of the plane where we had a fantastic view of Mount Mayon from the sky. It was surreal! The plane was flying over a sea of clouds and then Mayon volcano came into view! I had not expected it. The airport we landed on and flew from was pretty new so we didn’t know that the plane would be cruising around the volcano on our flight back to Manila. I initially thought the flight path would be different!
Here’s a video (below) of Mount Mayon as we left Bicol. Ian is so fascinated by the volcano when we saw videos of it erupting a few years ago. So imagine his face when he saw it from outside the window of the plane.
Leaving Bicol was kind of a bummer so we didn’t go right into homeschooling for a few days. We did take our ukulele and art lessons right away to ease the worries of being stuck at home because of Omicron. We learned how to play “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran; perfected “Moon River”, learned the island strum with the song “Stand By Me”, and learned how to play other songs such as “Someone Like You” and “A Thousand Years”.
Ian continued his subscription to art lessons by his teachers at Watercolor Afficionados and for January, has learned how to paint Safari animals. We then painted “puto cheese”, one of his favorite snacks, as part of his performance tasks in Social Studies where he learned about local food and traditions. Here are some of the artworks Ian did using watercolor:
In case you’re wondering, we did do academic stuff as we didn’t want to fall behind in his regular lessons (we follow a schedule). For instance, we studied photosynthesis in science. We looked at videos on how plants produce their food. Thankfully, we have a glass slide of starch, a byproduct of photosynthesis in plants; and a working toy microscope. Here are photos of Ian with his microscope and the photo of starch as viewed from his toy. Please excuse the grainy quality of picture, I only tried to capture it using my old phone.
In case you’re wondering, we bought this toy microscope through a friend in Abu Dhabi. However, this model is also available for purchase in Lazada and Shopee. We even got boxes of prepared slides via a Shopee store. Just make sure that you read the reviews before you buy.
As part of his art lesson in MAPEH and English, Ian learned about a Filipina artist, the late Pacita Abad, who painted Alkaff Bridge in Singapore. Ian read the story of her triumph over getting the permission of the government to paint the bridge and watched a documentary about it. We loved her! I promise Ian that when we visit Batanes again, we shall visit Pacita Abad’s house to see her art gallery.
Here’s the video link to a documentary about Pacita Abad’s Alkaff bridge:
We did other academic activities but I think the ones posted here are enough for this post. Thank you for reading and following our homeschooling journey!