Don’t Be Afraid to Learn a Musical Instrument

Learning a musical instrument can seem like an incredibly daunting task. That’s especially true if you’re an adult who has never played before. After all, most of the people you know who play anything probably started when they were kids or teenagers.

Whether you’re in your mid-20s or your mid-60s though, you can learn to play any musical instrument you want. While it may require a lot of hard work on your part, learning to play music can be incredibly rewarding.

Keep reading to learn more about how you can overcome your fear of learning to play a musical instrument, as well as some tips on how you can get started. After all, once you get that instrument in your hands and a little practice under your belt, the fear of the unknown is likely to melt away quite quickly.

Buy a Quality Instrument

When young children are learning to play music for the first time, it might not make sense to invest in a decent instrument. However, since you’re an adult with your own income, making an investment in good quality musical equipment makes a lot more sense.

By purchasing something decent to play, you’ll be setting yourself up to learn the fundamentals on an instrument that allows for better performance. That can mean a lot, especially during the first frustrating phase where everything seems impossible.

Since you’ll only be starting on the learning phase, consider purchasing the instrument at a beginner level. Should you choose to play a string instrument like a violin, it’ll be best to use a beginner violin so you familiarize yourself with the instrument.

Purchasing a good quality instrument also means that it should have some resale value on the used market. If you buy a used instrument, you may even be able to sell it for the same amount you bought it for if you decide it isn’t for you. You could also opt to give your instrument a new look by customizing it using wraps and customizable skin from e-stores such as Rockskins ( and similar others!

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Don’t Ignore Music Books

Music books aren’t the only helpful resource for adults learning an instrument, but things like music workbooks can really go a long way for many people. When you’re first learning, basic chord books and scale books can also do a lot for your progress.

Find a local music shop and pick up beginner’s books that look appealing to you.

Beginner Music Workbook - Teachers' Edition The Help BookIntermediate Music Workbook


Consider Private Lessons

If you can afford it, private lessons will help you learn your instrument in a fast, efficient way. Even if you don’t take private lessons for months or years, getting a few when you first start can help you master the fundamentals, making learning the rest on your own considerably easier.

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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.

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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.




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.

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. 🙂

Camp Espino: Homeschool Rocks!

Welcome to Camp Espino – where Supersonic Kids learn!

We finally took the leap and decided to homeschool our children this school year.  Yes, we did get the typical violent reactions of “Why?!” “What about their socialization?” “What’s wrong with them?” “Whyyyyy?!” “Are you sure that’s the right thing to do?” etcetera etcetera.  However, I’m glad to say that those were very few.  Majority of those who know us  have congratulated us on starting this journey.  Many have already offered (and continually offer)  support. God bless their good hearts!

This new journey of ours is also the reason why this blog has been quiet the past couple of months.  The Tottering Mama had been quite busy preparing for her new role as Teacher Mama.  🙂 Hopefully, I can share those preparations with you soon.  For now, let me share with you how our homeschooling has been since we “officially” started class last June 13.

Take a peek at our first month as TMA homeschoolers…


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Week 1 was wonderful!!! Not perfect but really wonderful!

On our first day, we had our an orientation where the kids learned how we would go about our lessons (more about that in another blog post).  BUT before we started our study period, they got to ride their bikes outside first!

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Outdoor activities like these are what they like best in homeschooling. Riding a bike definitely trumps being stuck in traffic on the way to school!!!

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