Reasons to Homeschool

When someone finds out we are homeschooling our kids, one of the most frequent questions I get is why did we choose to homeschool the kids? Here are our reasons:

- We believe that this is what God has called our family to do.
– Builds a strong sense of family and relationship between each other.
– We can emphasize the study of the Word of God and character building.
– We believe that individualized instruction is much better than institutionalized education.
– Our schedule is more flexible and we get to adjust with each other’s schedules. This gives enough opportunity for the kids to pursue and develop their God given talents.

Knowing why you are choosing to homeschool your kids would be the most important question that you must be able to answer before finally deciding to homeschool because when tough days come, and they sure will come, these reasons will help you through and bring you back towards the right path for your family.

Article Contributed by: Chris of http://www.mommyjourney.com

Original Article: http://www.mommyjourney.com/2012/04/reasons-to-homeschool.html

The Ironies of Learning

As we’ve homeschooled Arielle and Kayla these past 4 years, I’ve learned these and continue to remind myself that:

Less is more.

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It’s better to study in chunks rather than in big gulps.

It’s better to immerse in a topic rather than try to study all the chapters in the book from cover to cover. (I don’t think we’re even required to finish the entire book in all subjects every schoolyear! Do schools actually do that?)

Slow is fast.
The more you take time to teach a child how a thing works or about a topic in such a way that he/she would be able to grasp the idea and see the big picture of it, the faster it will find its way to his/her memory bank.

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Absent From Books But Still Learning

We didn’t feel like homeschooling today.  I felt we three girls needed a break from our daily routine and so we took a day off from our books and worksheets (except Arielle wanted to do a worksheet in Science).  We spent the day cooking and baking!  Kayla has been very interested in culinary lately perhaps because of the Culinary class in their Hybrid Homeschool Program and the new tv show Junior Master Chef. In fact, she now dreams to become a chef someday!
So what did Arielle, Kayla, and I cook and bake?  For lunch, we cooked beef salpicao and Kayla wanted to learn how to makemashed potatoes.  With instructions orally given to her by her Papa during breakfast, she was able to do the mashed potatoes on her own.  The beef we bought yesterday from the grocery didn’t turn out very tender but our helper said she can pressure cook it so we can still have it for dinner. Something quite didn’t turn out right with the Devil’s Food Cake but it can still be eaten and the decorating that I did with it was  appreciated!
Even if we did not stick our noses to our books or laptops, today was rich in hands-on learning!  What SKILLS exactly did the girls learn today?
1. How to pick out the ingredients we would need in the grocery (Kayla and I went on a quick trip to the grocery yesterday)
2.  To put away grocery items upon arriving home
3. To pay attention to another person when he is speaking  or giving instructions
4.  Knife skills:  slicing meat, vegetables, mincing garlic

Five Years of Homeschooling … So What?

For the record, we are currently finishing our 4th and last quarter of our schoolyear.  Our HOMESCHOOLING schoolyear (a deep breath here).  Yes, it’s “we”, “our” and not “our daughters” quarter and “their” schoolyear.

As I sit in front of the computer and stare at my screen, I ask myself “What really did we gain from this out-of-the-norm option we had taken five years ago?” (Now, for a sip of coffee … Did I hear somebody say “out-of-this-world” or was that “out-of-your-mind”?)  It definitely has not been smooth sailing all the way but despite the many bumps, potholes, pit stops, and roller coaster rides in this journey (journey: my personal metaphor of how homeschooling has been to us), I must humbly say that the cruisin’, smooth landings or touchdowns every end of a schoolyear accomplished is a constant and faithful reminder of God that He is in control of everything, even if there were a lot of moments when it felt turbulent and out of control.Just like when travelling to a place, especially for the first time, we have “pasalubongs” or souvenirs from our homeschooling journey which have accumulated these years  and which personally find most memorable and worth keeping.  I have a few which are my favorites:

1.  Learning takes place anytime, anywhere, everytime, everywhere.  It is not anymore limited within the four walls of the classroom, to what the teacher always says, when the bell rings, or when it’s time to take the quarterly exams.  Homeschooling has tore down those classroom walls and truly has made the world our classroom.  We learn hands-on, real-time, and sometimes, in the most unexpected and unconventional places, with ordinary, extraordinary but real people and scenarios.

Travel: One of the Best Teachers

A few weeks ago, my family and I had the chance to go on a short vacation to Singapore.

Flight from Manila took 3 hours and it was all our first time in this so-called “Little Red Dot”, also referred to as the “Lion City”.  It was a brief 5-day stay but each day had a full itinerary and at least one must-go-to destination.
Here’s how we planned out and maximized our stay in the city:

My So-Called Unconventional Homeschooled Life

MANILA, 2007 –  While most parents nowadays homeschool from babyhood and up, I was homeschooled starting at age 15. Quite late! My parents enrolled me with an American home school program when we came back to live in the Philippines back in 1994, after living abroad for 11 years. They soon decided to homeschool all of us (myself and my two brothers). I’d say my homeschooling experience was rather eclectic, though. We used a school-at-home approach for “traditional” subjects, but we gained a lot of real-life learning experiences through our involvements in youth ministry.

Having started homeschooling at a late age, the experience was, at first, a difficult concept for my relatives to understand. Of course, grandmother expected me to go to her alma mater, as all her other
daughters had done. I had to deal with the fact that I wasn’t like my other cousins who went to exclusive girls/boys’ schools like Ateneo, and the like.

But nevertheless, our family went on homeschooling. While homeschooling, I also did odd jobs, like copy edit and write for an inspirational magazine. I did illustrations for publications. I did several apprenticeships in the editorial field, even the music field, and I got heavily involved in youth ministry. When I finished my formal high school education, I eventually got a US high school diploma.
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