Four Free, Kid-Friendly Attractions in New York City

A visit to the Big Apple is a great way to spend a family vacation. While the city may seem like it is more geared toward adults, there are tons of fun things that you can do with children as well. And though New York can be expensive, it certainly doesn’t have to be if you know where to go. If your next family vacation includes a stop in New York City, consider checking out these four kid-friendly attractions which are absolutely free.

New York Libraries

The New York library system is one of the best in the world and offers plenty of fun activities for youngsters. With great family programming and tons to explore, the children’s sections at many libraries in the city as worth the visit. Top branches include the Children’s Center at the main branch of the New York Public Library, the Children’s Library Discovery Center in Queens, and the Central Branch in Prospect Heights.

NEW YORK CITY, NY - DEC 30: New York Public Library and street on December 30, 2011 New York City. It is the 2nd largest public library in US and managed with both private and public financing.

Sing for Hope Pianos

If you happen to be in New York during June, you should definitely check out the Sing for Hope Pianos. These pop up pianos in New York serve as a form of interactive street art. Organized by the Sing for Hope charity, this annual project puts 50 handpainted pianos in the parks and public spaces of all five New York boroughs for public use. Painted by local artists, the pianos are there for anyone to enjoy. Whether you happen upon a delightful performance or have your children play a number, this is a great activity for the whole family.

Sing for Hope

New York Museums

It is no secret that New York is home to some of the world’s greatest museums. Luckily some of them are free and great for the family. The Children’s Museum of Manhattan features a number of interactive learning exhibits. You can visit for free on the first Friday of the month. The Museum of the Moving Image is also a great choice, which offers free admission on Friday afternoons. Here you can learn about all about the history of movies, television, and digital media.

New York City - January 31, 2016: American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan. The museum collections contain over 32 million specimens.

Staten Island Ferry

One of the hidden gems of New York is the Staten Island Ferry. This free ferry takes passengers back and forth between Manhattan and Staten Island all day, providing an outstanding and absolutely free view of the Statue of Liberty. Once there, you might enjoy exploring the area, including the Staten Island Zoo, which is free on Wednesdays afternoons.

NEW YORK - JULY 2: People taking the Staten Island Ferry on July 2, 2012 in New York. The S. I. Ferry has been a municipal service since 1905, and carries over 21 million passengers annually.

12 Days Til the Philippine Homeschool Conference

Only 12 days left ’til the Philippine Homeschool Conference 2016! Here are 12 things you can do before then:


If you still haven’t registered yet, don’t dilly-dally anymore.  You only have 5 more days to avail of the individual rate of P1,000 and the group rate of P4,500 for each group of 5.

PHC 2016 Registration

2. PAY

To ensure your slot, settle the fees and send the proof of payment.  You can deposit payment over the counter or conveniently pay online through fund transfer or through Paypal.



Registration starts at 7am.  Expo and some Kids’ Activities open at that time too.  The conference will last the whole day and is filled with so many activities.  Having a plan would help you maximize your time there. 🙂

2016 Homeschool Conference


  • The Ins and Outs of Homeschooling in the Philippines
    Edric Mendoza
  • Transitioning from Brick and Mortar to Homechooling
    Jenn Punzalan
  • Homeschooling the High School Years
    Racquel Guevara



  • Laying the Foundation in Preschool
    Milona Barraca
  • Paper and Pen: How “Low Tech” Reading and Writing Benefit Students* (schedule subject to change)
    Andrew Pudewa
  • Transitioning to College
    Ivy and Bernard Marquez


  • Starting Your Homeschool Journey
    Donna Simpao
  • The Hows of Interest-Led Homeschooling
    Alex Hao
  • Homeschooling the Special Needs Child
    Jen Bellosillo



There will be various activities for kids such as calligraphy, crocheting, art classes, and indoor sports in the Expo Hall.  Kids need to be accompanied by an adult so ask someone to tag along and stay with the kids. 🙂


2016 Kids’ Activities


Now is a great time to make a list of the things you’re looking for.  Prepare your budget so you can take advantage of the great discounts at the Expo.



Mobile Minds Inc. has created a conference app for HAPI. Download the “Philippine Homeschool Conference 2016” app from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.  The app can help you navigate through the days’ program, talks, speakers, expo, and kids’ activities.

PHC2016 photo _20161007_073235.jpg


Follow the following social media accounts to get updates about the PHC 2016:


Who would want to keep this a secret, right?  Share away with your friends.  Invite them so they can know what homeschooling is all about.  Use the hashtags #PHC2016 and #fromrootstowingsphc on your social media posts.




Caring for Your Teeth When You Are in Your 30’s and Older

It is very likely that you have heard individuals say that youth is wasted on younger people. One of the reasons why people say that is because when a person is young, they usually have the best appearance. Their body is the most healthy it will ever be, they look their best, and they have nice teeth, nice skin, and gorgeous hair. However, most young individuals do not always appreciate the condition of their body. In fact, when an individual is young, this is the time when they are usually the most critical of their own appearance.

It’s interesting that many individuals who are in their 30’s and older would love to go back to the time when they were teenagers or in their 20’s. As they begin to develop all of the telltale signs of aging, they wish they could go back to the time when they had a much more attractive appearance. Time and the fact that most individuals who are young do not always take the best care of themselves means that a person in their 30’s and older usually has to take steps to not only care for their body, but to try to reverse some of the damage that was done when they were younger.

Many individuals in their 30’s and older wish they would have taken better care of their teeth when they were young. One of the things that they wish they would have done was avoid food and beverages that stain their teeth. Drinking too much coffee, black tea, red wine, and other dark beverages like this can turn a person’s teeth yellow or brown. Or an individual may have used their teeth as tools when they were younger to open packages and do other things when they really should have used scissors. Damage can also come to a person’s teeth when biting on pens and other items or when chewing on your nails. It is not until a person is older that they realize how bad all of these things were for their teeth.


As you get older, it is important for you to take care of your teeth. Regularly visit your dentist, stay up to date with the latest technology available, including reading an implant dentistry Journal, brush your teeth regularly, floss, and use a mouth guard if you have a problem with grinding your teeth.

*Images from by Stuart Miles and stockimages. 

See You at The Biggest Homeschool Conference in the Philippines!

When we started homeschooling last June, I thought it would be a breeze for me.  I have almost two decades of experience as an academic tutor(yes, I’m THAT old!) . I’ve taught multi-level students in all academic subjects.  My kids are still in grade school, so, how hard could that be, right?

Well, our first quarter was a humbling experience for me.  I think I learned more from it than my kids did.  I was too concerned about meeting the academic requirements that I tried to replicate traditional school in our homeschooling.  We followed the usual school schedule, I had written quizzes and long tests prepared, we read and answered textbooks and worksheets.

However, as I met other homeschooling parents both personally and online, I realized that homeschooling wasn’t about bringing “school” in our home.  It is about molding our children’s values and character. It is about helping our children discover their potentials. It is about equipping them to be productive members of society.

One thing I also realized is how important it is to have support from other homeschooling families.  Now, whenever I can, I attend workshops and seminars to further equip myself in my role as a teacher and a mother and to foster friendship with others who have chosen this same path.

Philippine Homeschool Conference 2016

This month, I will be joining other homeschooling families in the country’s biggest homeschool conference.  Whatever stage you are in homeschooling now or whether you’re still contemplating about homeschooling your children, you shouldn’t miss this year’s conference aptly themed “From Roots to Wings: Homeschooling through the Stages”.


Bearing the theme in mind, the PHC 2016’s line-up of speakers includes international and local speakers who are passionate homeschooling advocates, and are also experienced homeschoolers. They will inspire participants to provide their children with “roots,” build their foundation, and give them “wings” so they can soar to greater heights.

  • “Building a Firm Foundation” by Deonna Tan-Chi and her daughter Joy Tan-Chi Mendoza
  • “Motivation: The Art and Science of Helping Children Learn Well” by U.S.-based speaker Andrew Pudewa
  • “Wings to Soar: Leaving a Legacy for Our Children” by Bo Sanchez

(Click here to know more about the keynote speakers)


The PHC 2016 also has an amazing line-up of BREAKOUT SESSIONS. New and experienced homeschoolers alike will definitely find something “fit” for their unique homeschooling situation in the practical breakout sessions lined up for the conference.  The sessions will cover topics like the ins and outs of homeschooling in the Philippines, laying the foundation in preschool, homeschooling the high school years, and transitioning to and from brick-and-mortar schools, among others.

(Click here to know more about the breakout sessions)

Aside from these, there are also Kids’ Activities, a great Expo, and lots of Raffle Prizes during the conference.  There are really so many awesome reasons why you should attend this conference!  Register early to avail of the regular rate of P1000, or the group rate of P4500 for 5. Walk-in or on the day payment will be P1200.  So, see you on the 22nd of October at the SMX Convention Center, SMX Aura Premier in Taguig City.  Registration starts at 7am.

(Click here to REGISTER to the PHC 2016)



Follow the following social media accounts to get updates and help spread the word about the PHC 2016:

Or look for the hashtags #PHC2016 and/or #fromrootstowingsphc

For more details of the PHC 2016 registration process, program, speakers’ profiles, and other details, please visit the PHC 2016 event organizer’s website


The Homeschool Association of the Philippine Islands (HAPI), is a non-stock, non-profit organisation that aims to equip homeschooling groups and organisations in growing the national homeschooling movement. HAPI has partnered with Educating For Life (EFL) to mount the Philippine Homeschool Conference 2016. EFL was founded by homeschooling parents to support families who have courageously decided to take the path less taken in educating their children.

A New Fitness Regimen We Should All Have

Sometimes, there are things we know we should do but put off again and again.  We always have excuses. We have more urgent things to do. There are more important things that require our attention. I am so guilty of this! (Although I really have my hands full right now! Promise!)

One thing that I have been putting off was starting my journey to financial freedom. Last June (my goodness! That was months ago!), I received a financial journal from Avida Land.  I did browse through it when I first got it but never took time to really delve into it. I realize now I should have made time for it sooner!

 photo PhotoGrid_1474510779937.jpg

The journal includes very specific actions we can take on our path to financial freedom.  It starts with a guide on how to determine whether you are financially fit.  Once you have figured out where you are financially, you are then guided on how to make your own roadmap.  It also lists several investment options and advice on how to choose which one is most suitable for you.  As you go through the journal, you are encouraged to make a commitment to achieve your long-term financial plans.

 photo PhotoGrid_1474510839787.jpg

Taking the First Step

As with everything we do in life, it all begins with the first step we take.  In this road, our first step is to determine where our finances lie by creating a Cash Flow Statement and a Statement of Assets and Liabilities. Sounds daunting, right?! Good thing the Avida financial journal has made this easy by providing step-by-step instructions on how to make them.  What wasn’t so easy was finding out that we’re not in such a good state.

Thus, I now feel compelled to start a new fitness regimen – a financial fitness regimen!


What I Should Do!

The same way we discipline ourselves in the way we eat or exercise, we must also learn how to discipline ourselves financially.  This is my focus now.  We really don’t spend much on unnecessary material things and don’t splurge on expensive branded clothes and accessories, but we do spend a lot on food and leisure activities. Before I move forward to finding investment options, we must make sure we have enough to invest in them.  So, this is my  mantra now:  SPEND LESS THAN WHAT YOU EARN

 photo PhotoGrid_1474510667316.jpg

By cutting down on some unnecessary expenses and going back to our habit of setting aside a portion of our income, I think we could get back on track soon.

My Fitness Regimen

So far, here’s what I’m committing to do:

  1. Allot a portion of our income to savings. Set them aside right away!
  2. Eat out less often.
  3. Make a budget and stick to it!
  4. Do a weekly review of expenses.
  5. Find other sources of income. (business ideas anyone?)

With my new financial fitness regimen, who knows, maybe we could have more than enough for that dream house we’ve been pining for.

 photo PhotoGrid_1474510717633.jpg