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”.

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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)

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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)

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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 www.educatingforlife.co

ABOUT THE PHC 2016 ORGANIZERS

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.

Math Fun With Affordable Math Manipulatives

How do we make Math fun in Camp Espino? We play!

Among the academic subjects we study here in Camp Espino, Math along with Araling Panlipunan is the most challenging one.  My two little ones’ love for Math is indirectly proportional to their love for Reading and Science.  This is why one of our major academic goals this year is for them to learn to appreciate and to love the beauty of numbers. 🙂

One way we’re doing this is by making them realize that Math is part of our everyday life.  At home, they measure ingredients when we bake or cook.  They learn the concept of division when they share toys or candies. When we go out to eat or to buy groceries and other stuff, I ask them to place their orders or to pay for their purchases. This makes Math “real” to them.

Another way we’re trying (trying is the operative word here!) to make learning Math more fun is by using manipulatives during our study time.

Our Math Manipulatives

Before we started homeschooling, I bought the Gigo Linking Base Ten set from Learning Plus.  It’s a great tool for helping kids learn place values and other basic Math skills.

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This has been very useful during the first part of our lessons this quarter but as we progressed, I realized we needed other manipulatives when dealing with bigger numbers.  Since, I can’t afford to shell out thousands more for a Place Value Discs set, I opted to improvise using poker chips and stickers!

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I bought a set of poker chips from NBS and wrote the values on them using permanent marker.  The chips set only had three colors I covered the others with pre-cut round stickers which is also available in bookstores.  This entire set just cost a little over a hundred pesos!  We’ve been using these chips for our lessons in addition and subtraction.  We’d most likely need to add another set of chips when we start studying multiplication.

For their Math bonds practice, I got some inspiration from the Fact Family Blast Off game. I printed templates on regular bond paper then inserted these into card cases.  Now we’ve got an easy wipe-erase activity board!

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Aside from these, we also use their Legos and other building blocks to study Math.  Since my son is highly kinesthetic, we incorporated some games into our learning.

Games Make Learning Fun!!!

For one of our games, I just wrote different activities to do on strips of cardboard.  The activities are a mix of lessons from different subjects including PE and Music.  We call this game “Ready, Get, Do!”

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Math – kids have to finish one Blast Off card, skip count, or do Math operations; PE – kids have to do a locomotor/non-locomotor activity; Music – kids have to name notes on the staff or play them on the keyboard; English – make a short poem about the word; Filipino – think of a rhyming word and make a two-line poem. 

When I attended Milona Barraca‘s workshop on How To Make Learning Math Fun At Home at the Learning Plus last June, I learned that even something as ordinary as playing cards can be used to make learning Math fun.  I taught the kids how to play “Go Fish! The Tens Edition” to help them master their 10-bonds.  🙂  They don’t even realize that they’re actually learning while playing!

(playing cards with kids)

Instead of making the usual pairs, the kids have to make pairs of tens. No one loses in this game!

Do the kids love Math already? I wish!!!!

Oh well, it may be far from being their favorite subject but at least they’re having fun learning it!

How about you? What Math manipulatives do you use at home? Would appreciate your sharing your ideas with me so we could try them out in Camp Espino. 🙂

Making the Most Out of Holiday Parties for Kids

Parties for children are often much different than they are for parents. Instead of just meandering and interacting with others while holding a drink, kids love to delve right in and play. So, why not make holiday parties something the little ones can get into? In the grand scheme of things, it really doesn’t take a lot to engage a child. For example, official cornhole boards may keep their attention for hours on end.

Fun and Games

Adding fun and games to any party makes it a memorable experience. When setting things up for the kids, simple games can turn into intriguing activities. As long as you can stay true to the holiday in question, games can be quite easy to organize. For instance, a bucket of pumpkin innards with a prize at the bottom could be a fun and disgusting game of “Hide and Seek” when a child’s eyes are blind folded. Obviously, this is one you’d want to reserve for Halloween.

The main thing to understand about children when it comes to games is that they are easy to please. As long as the game isn’t too difficult, a child could be enthralled for hours.

Arts and Crafts

A lot of parents host a party with arts and crafts the kids can do on their own. Most of the time, this can be done without spending a great deal of money. Perhaps your little guests could make their own snow-people with a bag of cotton balls and dollar-store stickers during the winter holidays. Maybe you could help the kids make animals out of pine cones you find in the yard during Thanksgiving.

Arts and crafts can be an excellent way to engage a child’s imagination while giving them a chance to build something on their own. As a result, these crafts often find themselves in keep-sake boxes of parents for decades on end.

Prizes and Rewards

Giving out prizes and rewards doesn’t have to be an expensive project. Remember, kids are easy to please. Most of them would be happy with little plastic trophies from the dollar store. At any rate, prizes and rewards can also be beneficial for the child’s social development. Winning something can inspire confidence within the little one, which can be a boost to self-esteem as well as social interaction. As simple as it may sound, something as small as a fifty-cent prize could be more impressionable than you might think.

The more engaging the party is for children, the more control you retain of the experience. Having a structured layout for activities will help reduce the chaos and mayhem that may ensue.

Image by Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhoto.net

Images by Stuart Miles from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Barbie I Can Be to Li’l Girls – #YouCanBeAnything You Want To Be!

Have you heard of the new Barbie body types?  It has been all over my FB newsfeed the past week. Mattel has released new Barbie dolls that are curvy, petite, and tall.  These new dolls also come in various ethnicity. Well, well, well…Barbie just keeps on evolving!

Barbie evolves

A few years back, Barbie also released a new line of dolls to show that girls can be so much more than pretty little princesses.  All kids have very wild imaginations.  Many have very lofty dreams of becoming astronauts, superheroes, pilots, engineers, etc. However, for many girls, these dreams are dashed when they enter adulthood. Sadly, in our modern age, there are still those with stone-aged beliefs that some careers are not for women at all.

Well now, little girls have a new champion to inspire them to dream big and to believe that they can be anything they dream to be. ANYTHING!

Barbie you can dream it

The Barbie I Can Be dolls empowers children to discover and harness their limitless potentials.  I saw this video of little girls being given a chance to be what they want to be and it’s just too cute not to share. Watch this!

 

If You Can Dream It, You Can Be It

The Barbie I Can Be dolls encourage young girls to break free from conventional careers for women.  Of course, there’s nothing wrong with being a fashion designer, a tour guide, or a flight attendant.  I don’t even see anything wrong with little girls dreaming of becoming princesses or mermaids. But Barbie I Can Be helps them discover all their potentials and encourages them to be whatever they want to be – that includes having careers that used to be viewed as for men only.

With Barbie I Can Be dolls, little girls can be space explorers, pilots, secret agents, computer engineers, athletes, and so many others.  They do not have to conform to the typical careers for women and can be anything they absolutely want to be.

Barbie Careers

 

Jade Can Be a Dessert Chef

A couple of weeks ago, Richprime sent our little girl a wonderful surprise – a Barbie I Can Be Dessert Chef Playset!  My daughter isn’t too keen about dolls but this was an exception as she loves to bake too.  The first thing she said when she opened the brown bag was, “Ohhhh! How did they know I want to be a pastry chef?!”

What’s Inside?

The Barbie I Can Be Dessert Chef Playset comes with a Barbie doll with an apron and a chef’s hat, Blissa the cat with her own little chef’s hat, a stove top oven that “cooks” cake, baked and unbaked cakes, a cupcake that Barbie “bites” into, a fish cake for Blissa, a mixing bowl, a spatula, and a pink mitten.

Barbie playset

The oven tray flips when the door is closed.  Put the baked cake inside first and close the door. Open it again and place the pan with light brown “batter” inside. Close the door and …Voila! The perfectly “baked” cake is ready.

To make sure that her treats are delicious, Barbie takes a bite out of a cupcake.  Attach the cupcake Barbie’s hand, press the lever on her back and watch her take a bite of her delicious cuppycake. Of course, Blissa should also have a share of the treats with her very own fish cake.

My little Jade loves this playset because it allows her to pretend to be a chef.  She says it’s like magic and she wants to be a dessert chef too.

Barbie playset with friend

Jade Reviews I Can Be Dessert Chef

Want to know what else Jade has to say about her I Can Be A Dessert Chef Barbie?  Watch the video below. (forgive the very amateurish vid!!! I know grade schoolers who do better. tee-hee!)

I know our video’s so crude! That’s the fault of a non-techie mom who had just tried her hand at taking and editing videos on her smartphone. 😛 But, as Barbie says, we all can be anything we want to be so I believe that our next video will be so much better. 🙂

Well, back to Barbie I Can Be, unlike her other dolls, this one has not been stashed inside the toy cabinet.  She’s had it for a week already and still plays with it every day.  That’s already a record for her considering that her dolls usually go straight to the toy cabinet after just a day. 🙂

Now, she’s asking me to get her the I Can Be Professor and I Can Be Vet. Look’s like my daughter now has a liking for dolls. 😉

Barbie playset surprise

Barbie You Can Be Anything

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Barbie is exclusively distributed by Richprime Global Inc. Like Barbie Philippines on Facebook to get brand updates, promo, and schedules.

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Gelatin Art: Treats That Wiggle And Jiggle

When you’re looking for something to do with your children at home, you might be tempted to use construction paper, markers and other supplies to make crafts. You can also create gelatin art and other items using the colored powder. One of the things about using gelatin is that it often leaves a delightful smell if you use scented varieties, such as grape or strawberry. The gelatin that is used is the same that you would find in a store when you want to make Jello-O in a bowl or in molds.

Using colored gelatin and condensed milk, you can create cubes that look like broken glass. Make each color that you want to use, and cut the finished product into small pieces that are then added to the condensed milk. When the mixture has set up, you can create blocks that look like they have broken pieces of glass inside.

Another fun idea for children is to create a fish bowl. This is easy to do with blue gelatin and a few colored gummy fish. Make the blue Jell-O first, putting the liquid in a fish bowl before it sets. Add the fish before the mix has completely stiffened. Items that you can add on top are Nerds candies to look like rocks or gum drops to looks like decorations at the bottom of the bowl.

A parfait is an idea for a warm day. Layer various colors of gelatin with softened cream cheese for a beautiful and delicious treat. You can always pour the mixture into molds to create fun shapes. Jelly pops can be made by pouring layers of gelatin into a cup before placing them in the freezer. This helps to get the Jell-O hard so that it can be held by a stick.

There are a few crafts that you can make that aren’t edible. Draw a picture on a piece of sturdy paper. Instead of coloring with crayons or markers, use different colors of gelatin with a Q-Tip. When you are finished, the picture will have bright colors and the smell of the powders that you use.

Image from https://www.cakeconnection.com/gelatin-art/

Image from https://www.cakeconnection.com/gelatin-art/