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Homeschooling

What are your questions about homeschooling?

It has been almost two years since I have posted this blog, Breaking the Silence: Stop the Stigma in Homeschooling with the primary goal of letting the public be aware of homeschooling, and with the hope of having it accepted as a valid and viable option of educating children.

I have always been vocal and candid that our homeschooling journey is not an easy one due to the constant questioning, judgments, criticisms from other people (From random people to relatives). I want to share with you an example of tirades that we get (this one was online and from a complete stranger).

Disclaimer: Names and pictures of commenters were purposely concealed.

Here, highlighted in yellow were my answers. As much as I can, I try to respond with grace, patience and understanding. But I have also learned along the way, that not everyone will be as receptive and open to concepts that differ from what they have been accustomed.

Who would have known that in 2 years, homeschooling will be considered to be a part of the ‘new normal’? I have been receiving questions regarding homeschooling in the past month as parents are seriously contemplating homeschooling their kids for this school year due to COVID 19. And I encourage you to send me a message, if you have particular concerns and questions. Hopefully, I will be able to address them in my upcoming blogs where I will share more information about the basics of homeschooling.

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Homeschooling Sofie Sunday

Sofie Sunday ~ Books are better than Television.

Hello, everyone! Just recently, in one of my homeschool books, I was asked to write a persuasive summary on why books are better than television. Once I finished writing and after my mom checked it, she put a note saying that I could post my summary on this blog! I thought that would be a great idea, so I decided to do it! Here is my persuasive summary on ‘Why Books are better than Television’.

 

Why Books are Better than Television

Persuasive Entry by Sofie Chang

 

People have advanced in technology since then — several types of phones are being made, VR (Virtual Reality) makes it possible to be inside a 3-D game, and scientists are even creating a special type of pill that can be swallowed to open emails! Many people can be seen tapping and texting on phones, playing video games, and watching TV. Others, however, prefer reading, making crafts, and more other things that usually don’t involve screen staring. I think that everyone, including children and adults, should try to lessen the time of staring at those little screens and read more books. I think that books are much better than television, but a little TV is okay. Opening up a book can bring you to a world of possibilities.

 A book can inform you, make you smile, solve a mystery, and more. As you quietly read a little story, your brain imagines the story. What is the setting? What will happen? Who are they? While the gears in your brain go, you imagine the whole thing.

However, on the other hand, TV can inform, entertain, and tell stories like a book would, only that the screen moves as you watch. As you can see, both books and TV are good.

 But unfortunately, the TV has its drawbacks. Too much TV is bad for your eyes, you won’t get much exercise, and you can become lazy. Books, however, let you imagine the story, let you pause when you need to stop, the list goes on.  Famous people like J.K Rowling (author of Harry Potter), Barack Obama (44th president of the US), and Bill Gates (founder of Microsoft) and many more successful people are known for being voracious readers, which could be how it lead to their fame. Nevertheless, books can make one brighter, cleverer, and successful!

I believe, want, and know that everyone can pick up a good book and be sent to that world of possibilities. If everyone, tall and short, young and old, small and big, keep reading books, then our future may be brighter, better, and greater, all because of people who have read!

 

And that is my persuasive summary, ‘Why Books are better than Television’!

Thank you for reading my post! Don’t forget to share and keep reading our blog. Have a happy Sunday, everyone!

 

 

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Homeschooling Ramblings and Musings

National Book Store Pioneer Warehouse Sale 2019

Just want to make a quick recap of my NBS warehouse (VIP Preview) sale experience yesterday in Pioneer, Mandaluyong while my thoughts are still fresh in my mommy brain (and while as I’m typing I can feel backache, lols!). Forgive me, my achy feet and back! I know we’ve just spent the previous day in Kidzania standing and walking for like the entire day.

The preview sale was meant for Laking National Cardholders. You need to bring it for entry, one card is valid only for 1 person. That’s why my Dear Daughter Sofie Sunday was not able to come with me.

I was after the supplies for our Homeschool and Home Office, not really books. I was able to snatch some books though while I was already in line for the cashier, books that people removed from their baskets/did not purchase.

In queue again after falling in line outside the building.

As soon as I entered the shopping area, there were no more carts/baskets. And the aisles were really crowded, it’s like moving through Divisoria/Baclaran when it’s jam-packed with people. I was impressed by the porter/bagger (Hi, Kuya Marvin!  I thought he was just ‘paasa’ LOL!) whom I asked where I can get at least a basket. He said he will just be the one to get/find one for me because they were all in use. So after 20 minutes of gliding through people, there he was with a trolley cart (Really A for Effort for trying to find me)! He also assisted me going outside/and while waiting for Grab.

 

This is how it looked like inside (around almost 5pm).

Seriously, my first 10 minutes in there I was thinking of going back home because of the crowd and the line. But then I reminded myself, it already cost me time, energy, sleep and money to travel from Las Pinas to Mandaluyong.

Mandaluyong is somehow nearer (from our place) than Cubao or Quezon City where they had sales in the past. Though I wanted to try ordering online, there were negative feedback on their online store (most are out of stock/or out of their N number of orders only few were delivered).

Random Ramblings:

  • I arrived at 10:35 am. And boy, there was a long line outside the building! They were letting people in per batches because the warehouse was really full of people.
  • I was in line for about 30 minutes outside the building plus around 5 minutes inside , then about 3 hours for cashier. Even their one and only food and beverage stand had a long line. At some point, a staff separated the line just for those who will buy water. TIP: If you have companions, maybe they can buy outside the building so it’s way faster (Or better yet you can just bring your own. I’m not really sure though how strict they were with bringing food like in BBW).
  • I had an unplanned fasting (Geez! Still lucky I was able to buy bottled water while I was in line for cashier)! TIP: Be nice to those in front and behind you in your queue. You can take turns in looking after your loot while one of you can grab something to munch/drink.
  • Saw Rica Peralejo and her sister Paula (Rica is a homeschool mom too!).
  • I did not feel it was a Preview/VIP/first dibs Sale. It was like open to public already. See, what others did was buy their Laking National Card in the NBS Branch Store which is in the same building.
  • Bring wipes (you’ll get your hands dirty!*wink*).
  • Many were looking for the book, Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes by Edith Hamilton including the lad (whom I had a quick chit chat), who was in line with me outside the building. I don’t know if he was able to find one because based on the comments in NBS FB page, even those who were inside by 10am were not able to get hold of it. Allegedly, they say the employees reserved it beforehand. If it’s true then that is sad, NBS should have a separate sale for their staffs (DISCLAIMER: I’M NEITHER CONFIRMING NOR DENYING THIS.).

 

Communicating with my kids via Viber, asking them if they want these. Note this was after I fell in line for payment. You see, you will still be able to browse while in the snake-like line.

 

And this was the line inside for the cashier.

 

AND FINALLY MY NBS HAUL!!!

Really love these craft/puzzle kits! Super sulit!

 

Okay, so I was able to maneuver my trolley and grab some books for me and the kiddos. Hahaha!

 

 

Tell Me Series

Lucky to snatch these, a lady removed it from their basket while we were in line for cashier.

 

Pens and Trays

 

Sofie Sunday and dinoShawn opened these when I got home last night.

Overall, I was glad I went to the warehouse sale though I find it disorganized and I can say the shopping experience was not that convenient compared to BBW (Oh, I know I still owe you the part 2 of our BBW Year 2 experience). I was able to score office/school supplies as low as P6 which normally will cost me P50 for their regular price. The highest item I paid for was the Build a Village woodcraft kit for P310 only (Price Tag was P1550).

#NBSWarehouseSale

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Homeschooling Sofie Sunday

Sofie Sunday ~ Adarna House Book Haul!

Hi, everyone! Today is another Sofie Sunday post. This time, it is about our new books freshly bought from Adarna House. Get ready to read!

We got them at World Trade Center, same time when we bought our new Big Bad Wolf books (if you haven’t read our amazing and wonderful experience at BBW, you may read it here!). Our new fresh-smelling Filipino books are nice! Homeschoolers studying Filipino language will want them. There are many vivid and colorful pictures with words of moral lessons. We got storybooks of Filipino legends and modern tales. Others are about History (about Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio, plus one about Jesus Christ). See for yourself:

Many wonderful books. Keep on reading!

The tales in each and every Adarna book always have something to tell. The pictures are detailed and beautiful, and each paragraph are overflowing with information and story. These books are great addition to our Homeschool library.

So there you have it! The Adarna book haul and my thoughts. Thanks for reading! Have a happy Sunday!

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Homeschooling Sofie Sunday

Sofie Sunday: Big Bad Wolf ~ The World’s Biggest Book Sale (Part 1)!

Warning: This post contains a MASSIVE collection of books.

 

And you’re here again, Big Bad Wolf! Big Bad Wolf is the world’s biggest book sale, coming here in Manila (its second time!), with 2 million (yup, 2 MILLION, no kidding!) new books! BBW is bringing best sellers, classics, and more. So for today’s post, I’m going to tell you all about my family’s book shopping—along with some tips, thoughts, and pictures! Book lovers, get ready for this massive book segment!

BBW is open 24/7, and will be open until March 4, 2019. BBW is located at World Trade Center, Pasay City, Manila. Once you arrive, your bags will be checked by guards and dogs (for security purposes). World Trade Center is big! If you need to use the loo, don’t worry because there are several bathrooms inside and outside the BBW halls. Book Publishers like Adarna and Phoenix also have their own stalls (outside BBW) selling discounted books. This is a good opportunity for those who are homeschooling to buy their textbooks and storybooks!

 

The entrance of BBW can be easily seen as there are lots of banners and posters surrounding it. You can pose and take pictures there too!

  • Tip 1: Bring maletas (luggages) and eco bags—will be easier to carry your newly bought books this way.
  • Tip 2: Don’t bring water or food inside—okay, this is not exactly a tip, but more of a rule. You are not allowed to bring any liquids or food inside BBW. Period.
  • Tip 3: Be watchful of your belongings! You might lose them while you are busy book hunting.
  • Tip 4: Wear comfortable shoes and clothing.

 

Entering BBW is AMAZING. There are lots and lots of fresh smelling books everywhere, BBW banners above your head, red shopping carts (the handle has the words ‘Fill Your Need To Read’, very cool) here and there, and good music blasting through the speakers.  It’s like book heaven for book lovers!

 

There are many books of different genres—children’s, fiction, non-fiction, and more. The reference and work book sections are perfect for homeschoolers, BBW has a lot this year. Other genres are fashion, design, parenting, self-help, and more, there are just so many books!

 

There is also a special section that I really like, the craft and hobbies section. This section has lots of great books and kits! There are books on knitting, crochet, and sewing, which I’m sure yarn lovers will like, and origami, craft and card-making books! There’s also LOTS of coloring books.  Some of the coloring books are Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts themed. And this cute kitty one, awww!

 

 

I also got a sewing kit at the craft and hobbies section. It’s an owl stuffie you need to sew and make. It looks really cute! Will do a post on this in the future.

 

Also, if you get hungry, there are 24/7 food stalls just near the payment area. The food is local but good anyway. There are also tables where you can sit down and eat while relaxing your legs from walking.

So there you have it, my family’s experience at Big Bad Wolf! You must come back next year, BBW! Your books are amazing! Will make Part 2 soon, it will be our book haul. Have a happy Sunday, everyone!!!

 

Momsweettezil’s Postcript:

Watch out for the second part of our BBW Year 2 blog post! BBW Part 2 will contain my personal recount and review of our BBW experience. And of course, our ‘LOOT’!

For now, you still have ample time to head over World Trade Center! And hunt your own treasures!!

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Homeschooling Sofie Sunday

Sofie Sunday: A Happy Birthday to my Fellow Homeschooling Friend!

Good day, everyone! I know today is not Sunday, but I am posting to share my video greeting to my good friend, Iya.

The video below is me singing a happy birthday song (which I composed) for my fellow homeschooled and great friend (also my pen pal).

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Homeschooling

An Encouragement To Fellow Homeschooling Families

A recent conversation with my eldest child prompted me to have another post about Homeschooling. As I have said in my very first post about Homeschool awareness, Homeschooling is never for the faint-hearted people. One must be very strong to stand up for what they believe. One must learn to face critics and if needed, learn the art of ‘Deadma’ to Naysayers.

 

We need to be the bigger person.

We understand more than they do.

Empathize with them. Know and try to understand where they are coming from.

 

Like what I have said to my daughter, since I have noticed those who contradict us mostly come from the older generation, I explained to her that we just need to understand that their beliefs are mostly based from the norm or what they are used to. They seem to have this idealistic path one must go through.

 

Be born.

Graduate school.

Have a stable job.

Have a family.

 

You try to deviate from this path and you will be judged.

 

For most people, they believe that one’s success in life depend greatly in attending and graduating from school.  And while I’m not disagreeing with that, there are many factors and variables that contribute to one’s success.

(As I am writing this, I’m even telling myself why the heck am I defending this?  I’m not even arguing nor questioning the correlation of schooling and success in life).

In fact, that’s what the majority of homeschooling parents have realized. That there is more to learn beyond the brick and mortar schools have to offer.

Anyway, this post is meant for my fellow homeschoolers, and most especially to my daughter.

 

We will stay strong amidst people who continuously questions, discourages and criticizes our homeschooling decision.

We will keep the faith and we will not lose track of our homeschooling goals.

We know our ‘whys’ and we know deeply our own reasons and answers why we have decided to homeschool. Some may not understand and they don’t need to. We don’t have to keep on explaining to everyone.

Our decision to homeschool is a radical and bold one. We’re not afraid to get out of our comfort zone. We are not afraid to deviate from the traditional route the old generation and the society in general got used to. We’re not afraid to be different. 

We are strong. You are strong my fellow homeschooling parents!

Let’s always go back to our own reasons and let us be reminded of our ‘whys’ and continue dauntlessly, with pride and confidence our great homeschooling journey.

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Homeschooling

Pen Pals: Homeschoolers Try Old School Communication

Gaga over Snail Mail (You: Huh, what era are we in again?). LOL.

Photo Disclaimer: Addresses are not shown for confidentiality.

In a world where almost everything is now instant, sending postal mails seems to be a very backward way of communicating with someone. (Well, yeah our patience had been tested; I kept on asking and wondering if the mail got lost already). I think it took around more or less 2 weeks in sending and another estimate of 2 weeks for receiving.

But there is something so intricate and personal in writing letters. I do remember having a collection of letters from classmates and friends, even from my relatives since I was in grade school all the way to college years. Now I kept letters from my grandmother, my Tita from US and my parents. There’s something so unique in personal handwritten letters compared to printed emails, since each of us has our own penmanship style. Though one can relay the same content and thoughts via email, the effort and personalization of the letter sender in each stroke of letters is how handwritten mail differs and more valuable. For me, that’s something I will always treasure and remember from each of my loved ones.

One homeschool parent from one of the FB Homeschool groups I joined had this fascinating idea to have a Pen Pal exchange amongst interested kids. I asked my daughter if she wants to join and she excitedly said yes.

How does it work? Those who wanted to join would just simply list down their age, gender and location. Some added more information such as their kid’s interests and likes. The parents will send direct or personal messages to the parents of the kids whom they like their children to exchange letters with.

What are the benefits of having a Pen Pal through snail mail? One, it is a great medium for my daughter to practice her handwriting and also to enhance her writing and reading skills. And of course, given that we are a minority, I believe it is a great way for my daughter to know more of other homeschooled kids and be connected with each other. As a parent, it also feels good to have a quick chitchat (over FB Messenger, haha I know, ironic huh!) with like-minded parents.

There’s also this certain joy of anticipation and excitement in receiving letters. When Sofie finally received her first mail, she was literally jumping and screaming.

It also teaches patience and delaying gratification. My daughter knows and has experienced sending text messages via her mobile phone and app messengers since she was 7 years old. When she was about 9 years old, I also allowed and taught her how to send email to our relatives. So you can imagine her frustration, when her first mail hasn’t reached the recipient even after a week that it was dropped in post office. She kept on asking me how long it will take to arrive. She kept on telling me that maybe it was lost, or her grandpa forgot to mail it or maybe her new Pen Pal ignored it (LOL, see even my patience was tested too in answering her questions :P). And when I told her that her Pen Pal already got her letter and replied, every time our dog barks she’ll run downstairs to check if it’s her mail.

Another benefit of having a Pen Pal is it helps develop social skills. You see in the world of homeschooling, the term socialization has become a buzzword because it is a common question and/or objection from people. “What about their socialization?” Oh well, I had been immune to such arguments that sometimes if the person I’m talking to is so stubborn and cannot even fathom what the true meaning of socialization is, I just let it pass, they are just not worth my time. But yes, “Socialization” is such a big word in homeschooling that it deserves its own blog post.

This Pen Pal exchange is one great way to encourage and promote good social skills for the kids as it teaches empathy. It provides them the experience of reading and understanding another kid’s thoughts and feelings. And to respond accordingly through written words to their Pen Pal’s thoughts and sentiments. It also gives them the opportunity to learn what a true “give and take” means. It also widens their perspective as they read each other stories, be it about homeschooling or kid stuff or life in general.

And the greatest thing about this Pen Pal exchange is the possibility of gaining new friends.

Categories
Homeschooling

Breaking the Silence: Stop the Stigma in Homeschooling

If you want to homeschool you must have a brave soul, because you are going against the norm. – Liz Chang

I have hesitated to publish this post that in truth, it had been sitting in my Drafts for more than two months. This post was actually meant to be published last March 3, in celebration of National Homeschooling Day in the Philippines, as a means to have a petition to stop the stigma that envelopes homeschooling.

It’s June, and it’s a fact that here in the Philippines aside from Wedding Bells and Rainy season, the opening of the new school year in traditional schools is very much expected. Yesterday I saw a post in one of the Homeschooling Groups in FB about the toughest question they have to deal with, which was “Saan mo inenroll ang anak mo? (Where did you enrol your child?)”

And I could totally relate with their answers.

You see, answering this simple question can lead to further questions that transform the homeschooling parents to defensive mode. I still remember in our early years of homeschooling, with all honesty, I despise that question. Because it’s so hard to explain to people what home education is. To those who were really naive and could not even comprehend the concept of homeschooling, sometimes I just explain that it’s just like their favorite actor/actress, some of them don’t go to regular school and homeschool instead. And well, it seems in that level of explanation they kind of understand.

But what doesn’t sit well with me is that there are some people (those who are very traditional and close minded) would look and talk to my eldest with pity as if her world has been shattered and that she won’t have any good future (In which by the way, they had a hard time expressing themselves to my then 6 year old child whose first language is English.).

One comment that I could never forget was in the last school where we retracted her enrolment, one of the ‘Admins’ said, “Paano na siya? (What will happen to her?)”, in a very degrading tone, you know like in the movies/drama, where a young girl gets impregnated. I confidently answered, “Mag-hohomeschool po kami, hindi naman po niya sinabing ayaw na niyang mag-aral. (We will homeschool, she did not say she doesn’t want to study anymore).”

And it doesn’t stop there. Months and years passed by, I/we would randomly bump into my daughter’s former preschool classmates. Then there goes the question, “Saan na sya nag-aaral ngayon? (Where does she study now?)” To be fair, there are modern moms (open minded ones) whom I could genuinely feel their sincerity when they say they admire our homeschooling decision. But there are also some rude ones, especially the ‘Lolas’, who would just say out loud, “Homeschool pa rin? (Still homeschooling?)” with that disapproving look and tone of voice.

But you know sometimes what hurts most is when negative comments come from people you care and love. Which sometimes when I’m not in a good mood and I will have tirades like that, it leads to a heated argument and I will just give names of people who went to traditional school and where they are now. Period.

So before I turn to a grouchy homeschooling mom, below is my supposed to be blog post for the National Homeschooling Day last March 3 (See how homeschooling is now being recognized!).

*******************************************************************************

[Let it be known that this is not an easy blog post for me and I have had hesitancy or had double thoughts if I should do this. But maybe through this way, I’ll be the voice of those who can’t speak up or just sulk in silence or anger whenever other people look down or question their decision to homeschool. I am breaking that silence.]

I know such stigma exists anywhere for Homeschoolers but I would like to address specifically such stigma here in the Philippines.

Patience. One should arm themselves with lots of patience should they decide to homeschool their kids. Patience not only for their kids but for the people who will question and give negative remarks or downright imply that what you are doing is wrong. Sometimes it is inevitable to always answer and act in defense whenever we are confronted as to why we are homeschooling our kids. Disapproval and criticism  may come from complete strangers, from acquaintances, and yes, from your well meaning relatives and family members.

Though people are more aware now about home education (Thanks to the Internet and Social Media), still many Filipinos do not seem to even grasp the concept of its possibility.

Nowadays, there is a vast of information and support groups that you can find online and offline.

Be informed that homeschooling is an alternative and a viable option. And yes, it is legal. You may refer to Home School Legal Defense Association Website.

So many things can be tackled about homeschooling. Its types and methods, whether as to which curriculum to use or to get a provider or be bold and go independent, Unschooling, it’s legalities. Oh my favorite,  ‘How about Socialization?’,  amongst others.

Just because we homeschool, doesn’t mean there is something wrong with our kids. It doesn’t mean we are limiting them and their capabilities. Truth to be told, it might be quite the opposite as it liberates them from the confines of the four-walled room.

I have nothing against parents and families who opted the traditional way for the education of their children. I respect their decision and so just the same, do respect homeschooling families like us who went the unconventional route. After all, I am sure we all love our kids and all of us, parents strive to raise and nurture our children the best possible way we all can.

Homeschooling is a radical move and out of the norm path. Sure there are pros and cons, just like traditional schooling. Parents homeschool their kids due to varying reasons.

But first things first, Awareness.

I want people to be aware that Homeschooling does exist and it is an option. A valid option for parents and students that should be respected and accepted.

 

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Homeschooling Sofie Sunday

Sofie Sunday Special Edition: 2018 Las Pinas Fiesta

Hi everyone! Yesterday, I went to Manuyo Uno for fiesta! I had a great time celebrating the feast of St. Joseph! Here are some pictures my mom took:

 

 

And me and my brother (#dinoShawn) got these adorable chicks! The yellow one with red on top is Emily (My chick!) and the orange one is Tretts (My brother’s chick!). Aren’t they sweet?

 

We ate some yummy food at my grandparents’ house. Yum! Thanks, Grandpa and Grandma! We also watched the colorful bands march around while munching on Mentos!

 

I am looking forward to go to the feast of St. Joseph next year. Are you?