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Homeschool of Asia Pacific Philippines Homeschooling

Archive for November, 2012

Why I Don’t Regret and Why I Am Very Happy Homeschooling

Below are my personal reasons why I continue homeschooling my children under IAAP.

1. My children have a healthy self-esteem. Compared to their counterparts in school I can say my children display a healthy self-confidence. They are not afraid to talk to kids younger, older or the same as their ages. They are not afraid to talk to adults as well. At ages 9,10 and 11 they confidently line and order their food from fastfood counters. Other kids their age will still rely on their parents. They confidently can spar with adults during their fencing trainings. They have a healthy EQ. Other kids in school their age have insecurities due to the bullyings of classmates and even teachers themselves. Other kids I know near their age have even slashed their wrists due to insecurities. To them that kind of violence is far from their mind.

2. My kids strongly bear our family values. My kids do not curse nor say bad words. They inevitably hear such bad words from other kids but they clearly know that they are bad and not according to our family manners. They know what is right and what is wrong. And I will continue homeschooling them until highschool so that by college the values are deeply instilled in them so they won’t be swayed easily by evil. I instill in them a personal relationship with God thru encouraging them to always pray, read the Bible and do acts of love.

3. We are able to make financial savings. Because of homeschooling I as a mom can manage our finances well. Not spending too much money on expensive schools, uniforms, projects, shoes, school bus and other unnecessary expenses not related to real learning. Instead I was able to invest in interactive online lessons, interactive gadgets like pc tablets and computers, musical instruments, sports like fencing lessons and equipment and family activities. I instill in them abundance/prosperity mentality and let them enjoy life and God’s blessings instead of training them to be stingy and being financially limited in life.

4. My kids enjoy the company of their grandparents. At first my parents were not in favor of homeschooling. But when they were able to be with their grandchildren always (even in school hours and school days) they began to see the benefits. They are able to spend more time with my kids. After studying my kids can visit their grandparents and spend leisure time (pasyal) and dinner with them. Sometimes my grandparents take them to field trips like going to Tagaytay, Pampanga, Bicol, Laguna and other interesting places. My parents are always happy when they get to spend time with my kids. If they have gone in school, those opportunities will not be possible. Those irreversible precious moments with their grandparents would not have happened.

There are many more reasons why I am happy homeschooling. But these are the main reasons for me.

Bev,homeschool mom of 4 kids since 2007









What My Children Taught Me

How Do I Homeschool High School?

Source: http://www.catholic-homeschooling-resources.com/homeschool-high-school.html

“Are you going to homeschool high school?” a well-meaning person asked me and my oldest daughter, who was at that time a mere 5 years old. My response was, “Well, I don’t know yet.” What I was really thinking was, “Can’t we just get through kindergarten????”

When the time did finally come to consider high school, the answer was a resounding “YES, we are going to homeschool high school!”

What an awesome time high school is. We are finally getting into some really cool topics and subjects and I would hate to miss out on them.

Do I know everything there is to know in order to teach high school subjects? Of course not. My children don’t expect me to know everything. Quite often I am learning right along side of them.

Don’t let your limitations stand in the way of home schooling your high schoolers. There are always other people out there who have the knowledge you need.

There is also peer pressure to consider at this age. I know it was tough when I was in high school. I have heard that it is fierce now.

Why, then, would I take my budding teenager who has never been in a classroom with 35 other students at one time before, and toss her into the middle of it now? The pressure put on teens now-a-days is unprecedented. Why not take these four years and provide them with even more formation and strengthen their resolve to know and defend their faith?

“But what about their social life?”, you might be thinking.

It is true, this is a very social time in a young person’s life. Use that natural social ability to get them involved in activities in your homeschool group (if you have one), in your church and in the community.

There are so many possibilities for social interaction, I think that you will find that too much socializing is more the problem than not enough.

“How do you deal with those really tough subjects?” might be your next question.

There are many possibilities. In our area, quite often there is a parent with a particular interest who volunteers to teach a group of high schoolers. In the past we have had parents teach:







We have been very blessed to have such a wide range of topics covered. Hopefully you can find others in your area who might be interested in doing the same.

Another option for those hard-to-teach subjects is the local community college. My daughter and two of her friends took speech through the community college and it was a fine experience. The book was awful, but we worked through it. The teacher loved having students in her class who were enthusiastic about learning and who took pride in giving well-prepared speeches.

Look into your local college and see what they offer. Many times they are more than willing to let high schoolers into their classes. As a bonus, you earn high school and college credit for the same class.

Depending on your situation, there is also the possibility that your high schooler can take a class or two through the local high school. You would need to decide if this is something you are willing to do and then contact the local principal to find out how they feel about it.

My daughter took drivers ed through the local high school over the summer and was joined by three other homeschoolers. Again, it was a fine experience, and in this case, a much cheaper alternative to a private driving school!

Finally, I thought it would be best to let you hear from some high school students and graduates themselves. What a better way to get a feel about how to homeschool high school than to hear about it from the student’s point of view.

There are so many ways to homeschool high school that I hope you take the opportunity to read through each of the testimonials. I tried to find students with a variety of backgrounds to show you the many varied faces of the homeschool high school.

Vicki is a Junior in High School who lives in Michigan.

Laura is a graduate who lives in Illinois

Sarah is an Illinois high school graduate

Homeschooling Multiple Children

Source: http://www.homeschoolshare.com/blog/2011/12/homeschooling-multiple-children/

“How do I homeschool multiple children and still get done by a reasonable time?”

Ha! If you don’t know my family yet let me just explain that I am about to have my 7th baby and my oldest is only 10 years old. I’ve got tons of experience with this one and have several keys I want to share. Please be aware that you don’t have to use every key, but each one can help. Also remember that what works right now may need tweaked later, while what doesn’t work right now may be perfect for later!

Key 1: Combine Combine Combine

No matter the age range you’re facing there are subjects that can be done with the whole family together with creativity. Our family learns history together by reading living books. Older children are welcome to listen in or even be the one reading aloud to the younger children. Anyone 3rd grade and under can narrate to me, draw a picture, or make a notebook page about the day’s reading. Older children discuss their book with me or write about it.

In practice this could look as follows for a family learning about the Middle Ages beginning with the Vikings, Huns, and Goths (all alive and pillaging in the same general time period):

Family Read Aloud:Famous Men of the Middle Ages – short biographies of characters such as Theodoric the Ostrogoth, Rollo the Viking, and Atilla the Hun, read 1 per day.
Under 3rd Read Aloud:Leif the Lucky – story of Viking Leif Ericsson, divide into short sections to read over a week or more.
4th-6th Independent Read:The Vikings – A more detailed story of Leif Ericsson, read 1 chapter per week, or 1 per day as fits your child.
7th-9th Independent Read:The White Stag – Story of Atilla the Hun from a Hun point of view.
10th-12th Independent Read: The Lantern Bearers – Battles in Britain while Huns and Goths are attacking Roman territories in Europe.

Art, music, and science can be combined similarly. Everyone is learning about the same masterpiece or topic at their level. Younger children may only learn basics about an artist, for example, then be turned loose with pastels to reproduce the art, while older children can learn more about the artist, materials, and techniques used before attempting to use them personally.

You may also be able to combine a few children close in age for some subjects. At my house right now I do phonics, writing, spelling, and math with two children simultaneously who are pretty much at the same level. They were born 13 months apart, while each one has strengths and weaknesses, they combine well in these areas.

Key 2: Rotate Mom Around the Table

Most days you’ll find all 6 of my children ages 12 mos –10 years doing ‘table time’ together. They are given independent work that needs mom’s occasional help and I walk around the table as needed. The littlest ones are seat-belted in booster seats playing. An example from a recent morning:

The 5th grader, who had a lesson on finding the area of a triangle earlier in the week, is doing a practice page on the topic. I occasionally answer her questions or remind her to get back to work.
The Kindergartener and 1st grader, who had a lesson on adding doubles previously, do a page practicing that and the last several skills. I help read word problems and answer questions using the manipulative blocks as needed.
The Preschooler (age 4) plays with math manipulatives. This particular day it was magnetic pattern blocks. He built the pictures from pattern cards – he didn’t need me except for praise when he finished each picture.
The next Preschooler (age 2yrs 8mos) also plays with pattern blocks matching shapes and colors. I ask him to “find all the yellow hexagons” or “put all the green triangles in a pile” when he needs some direction.
The baby, just turned 12 months old, spends math time with a large wooden puzzle. He chews on pieces, puts them in and out of a bowl I set beside him, and ultimately tosses them to the floor. My role? Smile, talk to him, and clap occasionally.

As children finish their math I begin rotating through with the next activity for them, be it phonics practice, reading, writing assignments, etc. I try to alternate something active with something sitting, so it may be practicing spelling words while hopping across the room toward me with each correctly spelled word, or writing their words on the dry erase board instead of sitting at the table. Little ones are given a new activity at the table or on the floor as needed.
Key 3: Stagger new lessons in a subject.

This idea has become really helpful to me this year. I do not teach each child’s new math lesson on the same day. If Monday finds my 5th grader ready to learn new concepts then the other ages are practicing independently or taking the test. The next day the 5th grader is practicing her new concept, the K and 1st are learning a new concept with mom, and so on.

New spelling/phonics lessons are staggered as well, with the K and 1st grader’s new lesson on the day they did not have a new math lesson, while the 5th grader’s new spelling lesson will be on the day after her new math lesson. Writing is the same – if we are about to embark on a new writing unit it is done on separate days from the other grades new writing unit.

You do have to be comfortable in your skin with this approach. There is not a neat and tidy “start the chapter on Monday and take the test on Friday” routine. I resisted it for a long time but dived in full force this year. I have goals we’re heading toward and we’ll get there at our own pace.
Key 4: Train for independence.

With my oldest daughter I literally sat beside her for every subject while holding a baby or toddler. I micromanaged and she let me. Then I realized that if I were to work one on one for 2-3 hours per day with each of my children I would be doing school from breakfast to bedtime. It wasn’t practical. That is when I started looking for the ways I could encourage my children to work independently on some of their schoolwork.

As I described above with table time, each child has work they can do with minimal help from me. In the beginning we used workboxes, which we’ve done in a variety of forms from boxes to hanging files in a crate. This was a wonderful way to train my children to ‘do the next thing’ and ‘work without mom’. I placed a book to read in one folder with a note telling them what pages to read. Another folder might have a math practice page, then the third would be a reminder to practice piano, and so on.

I’ve found some children naturally want to work on their own, while others won’t lift a pencil unless you’re right next to them. Training these children to work independently is done in small steps. Sit together and go over instructions, help them get started, and then go do something for a few minutes in another room. Tell them you’ll be back in just a minute. Switching loads of laundry or sweeping the kitchen kept me close enough they could see me, but I wasn’t right there beside them. Once they’re used to that extend your time away by tackling two chores before returning to check on their progress.

Some children are easily distracted. For those darlings try unusual solutions:

A desk in a quiet space – we have one by the bathroom.
A clipboard so the child can go work on the floor in the hall where there are no toys or siblings to distract them.
Headphones with music on low to tune out distractions – make sure it’s instrumental so they don’t get distracted by words to a song.
Sometimes even a checklist helps keep them on task.

Key 5: Don’t Teach Everything Every Day

Did you know there is no law saying you must teach history or science or art every day, or even every week? You are the one in charge. Choose a schedule that works for your family. At my house we have core subjects that need done daily. These are the priority and take up 1-2 hours of the morning between all my children. Our core subjects currently are:

Religion– Reading scriptures, discussing the gospel, singing hymns, and memorizing scriptures. This is done as a group and takes about 20 minutes.
Math – This basic needs regular practice to master it, so it’s a core for us. We work as a group around the table with mom rotating between ages. It usually takes 20-40 minutes (40 on a day when someone is getting a new lesson).
Reading/Phonics– It needs daily practice but does not take a long time each day. 5-10 minutes with each child who is learning to read. We may practice a new concept as a group, like how to read words with a silent e, then I sit with each beginning reader for 5 minutes. They read to me and we work on anything they stumble over. Older children spend this time reading to themselves.
Writing – This basic is also a daily thing. Young children do copywork pages with a single letter to copy, then progress to copying a word, phrase, or sentence. Copywork takes 1-5 minutes at the table. Then we begin actual composition lessons, which take between 5 and 25 minutes for each age group. I have two groups at this stage currently, the rest are only doing copywork.

We can knock our core subjects out between 8:00am-10:00am easily every day. That leaves us two more hours to tackle everything else and we’re done by lunch every day.

In that 2 hour block before lunch we typically choose to do either history OR science as a family, plus one other non-core subject. We may do 2 days of science and 3 of history each week, but there are other possibilities. Want to know some others we’ve done?

One week focused on history, then one focused on science.
One month focused on history, then one on science.
One semester focused on history, then one on science.

You can do the same thing with any subject. Who says you must do art, spelling, music, government, or health every day of the school year? Take control of your family’s learning. Perhaps you want to do art on Mondays in that 2 hour before lunch block with science. On Tuesdays you do music with history in the same block of time. Wednesdays may find you learning about health, or spending the whole 2 hours on science because you want to do some experiments. Maybe you choose to alternate months for art/artist study and music/composer study. Whatever you do make it work for you.

When you get children in the upper grades (8th and up) they will be spending more time on school independently. They read harder material, they write longer compositions, they may even be learning a language or doing a special study related to their interests. They do the morning work with the family, they work for part of the afternoon hours independently, and they are ready the next morning for some time with mom and the family again.

I plan to have ‘office hours’ for my older students like they would find with a college professor. During the afternoon hours when little ones are napping I’ll be available for one on one questions and time to work with them in their studies if they need me. However, at this stage they’ll need to be the ones to approach me.

Tristan blogs about her family’s adventures at Our Busy Homeschool.

How to Homeschool With Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers

Source: http://www.catholic-homeschooling-resources.com/how-to-homeschool.html

“Can you tell me how to homeschool with my intant/toddler/preschooler always wanting attention?” Haven’t you asked or been asked that question before? What a challenge the 1 day old – 5 year olds bring to the homeschool setting.

Hopefully this page will help you figure out how to homeschool with young children in the house.

Let’s start with the tiny babies; you know, the ones who cry as soon as you try to put them down to work with one of your other children. It is amazing how much you learn to do while holding or nursing a baby. I have held/nursed a baby and written spelling words on the board, graded papers, helped a child with an art project. You name it, if you have a tiny baby in your house, you will learn to do many things one-handed.

The key to a new baby is to learn to be flexible. Sure you would like to do math first thing, but if that is the baby’s fussy time, then math will have to wait. If your baby takes a nap, hurry up and get started doing those subjects that need concentration. During your baby’s awake time, read stories or do other less intense subjects.

Believe me, it is not unheard of for me to yell spelling words to my children over the crying of a baby. Sometimes you just have to scrap the lesson and try to get back to it later. Now, if you have a baby that likes to amuse herself or one who actually takes long naps, then you have it made! Take advantage of it!

If you have older children who have some free time, try letting them sit (or walk) with the baby while you work with one of the other children. Don’t worry, this phase only lasts a couple of months. Then, they learn to move……..

That’s right. Once those babies learn to move, watch out. Now you have to be in two places at once: with the student and chasing the baby! The toddler years are a great time to set up a play area near your school area. This way the toddler can entertain herself for short periods of time, while at the same time listening to all of the interesting things your other kids are learning. Once I had older kids and a toddler, I was amazed at how much that toddler was learning and remembering just by being in the same room while we did our lessons.

When it came time to actually teach that toddler something, I found it much easier to do because they had spent so much time observing everyone else.

Always try to keep your toddler part of the mix. If you need to spend some serious one-on-one time with another one of your students, see if an older sibling will take a turn with the toddler. You can set up 1/2 hour turns with the toddler and different siblings. This way it is fun for everyone. If that doesn’t work, hopefully your toddler takes a nap and you can hit it hard at that time.

Pretty soon you will find your toddler turning into a preschooler.

You will notice them carrying around books and saying they can read.

You will see them “writing” stories and adding numbers on paper

You might even catch them playing school!

This is a fun time for you and your child. Take advantage of their excitement about learning. Help them to write whatever they want written. Read lots of stories to them. Include them in household chores and meal preparation. You will be amazed at how they catch on to things and how capable they really are.

Don’t be tempted to send them to preschool so you have time to focus on the other children. They don’t need to go to a formal preschool. Just have them be a part of the family.

Let them sit in the room during lessons.

Ask them to help you during your school day.

Give them paper and pencil and encourage them to participate.

Go on field trips!

Let them help with the next baby that comes along.

The possibilities are endless. Just be patient. Pretty soon you will have to spend time in formal lessons with this child and you don’t want to do anything to squelch that enthusiasm.

In your quest on how to homeschool with your young ones, you’ll do fine if you remember these two very important rules:

#1: Don’t waste that nap time!

#2: Be Flexible!

So there you have it, some basic suggestions on how to homeschool with your infants, toddlers and preschoolers. It can be trying at times, that is for sure! Hang in there and enjoy the ride. They grow up all too soon!

As I come across fun things to do, or books that we have found enjoyable, I will be adding a separate page for each of the ages – infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Hopefully they will help you in your quest of how to homeschool with all of these different ages.