Grammar

1. Oxford University Press – Oxford Practice Grammar – I like this site because you can take a grammar test to see what grammar you need to work on. It helps when you start teaching grammar to your kids so you don’t pass on bad habits 😉

http://www.oup.com/elt/global/products/practicegrammar/

2. Grammar Blast – This is a fun site for the kids to practice their grammar and it is arranged by levels so it is specific to the skills your child needs.

http://www.eduplace.com/kids/hme/k_5/quizzes/

Board Games That Teach

San Juan Board Game

When my brother visited from the U.S. this past Christmas, he brought us a bunch of board games which we learned how to play with my siblings and their spouses. A couple of years back he also introduced us to two games called Catan and Dominion. But recently, he picked up a few other games that gave us hours of bonding time — namely Puerto Rico, San Juan, and 7 Wonders.

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Take It Outdoors!

Edan draws a cityscape

Elijah finishes his imaginary city

Titus is one cool dude in the city

I brought the kids outdoors for some Charlotte Mason-style homeschooling. The boys copied the buildings they saw. We hunted for taproot and fibrous root systems. I read a couple of stories to them and discussed science.  Elijah drew a diagram of a branch and labeled parts like terminal bud, terminal bud scar, and some other words I actually can’t remember. In between, the three of them threw a miniature football around to expend their energy. Of course we had snacks, too!

Edan's finished work

Don’t confine your idea of homeschooling to a “classroom” set-up. There are so many ways to make learning fun for your kids. You can take learning outdoors and you will find that you enjoy it as a teacher, too! There is something about being outdoors with all the open space that makes you come alive!

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Prepare Your Child for Life Success

Life success is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love others as yourself.  It is a life defined by peace, faith, true joy, and legacy – making a difference in this world for Jesus Christ.

Parenting success is doing everything we can to prepare our children for life success.

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Baking and Learning

The kids get ready to bake chocolate chip cookies

Baking cookies is a fun way to teach several important skills which I have listed here:

  • Character – Everyone wants to have a role so they learn how to cooperate, be patient, and take turns (social development). They also learn how to be careful (don’t touch the hot tray or oven), put things back, and clean up.
  • Fine motor – They learn how to scoop and pour.
  • Gross motor – My sons get their arms worked out when they mix the dough. I don’t use the mixer for Chocolate Chip Cookies (but it does taste better when you mix everything with a mixer)

Elijah measuring out the floor. It's okay to make a mess!

  • Math – Measuring using a cup or spoons (fractions). They also learn estimation because we don’t put in all the sugar or salt that the recipe calls for. You can also ask questions like, how many cookies do you think we will be able to make with this dough?
  • Language – We communicate, dialogue together and they need to listen to instructions. For my eldest, Elijah, he can read the instructions himself.
  • Science – Although we didn’t cover this the last time we baked, there is something to be learned about chemistry and how matter changes from solid to liquid to solid.
  • Home Economics – They are learning how to use and handle tools in the kitchen.

Edan mixes the eggs

And of course, the best part is there is a reward for all that work and effort – yummy dough (but don’t eat too much because of the raw eggs) and yummy cookies! I don’t have a picture to show because we ate them all!

Correct Attitude Issues Immediately!

My kids go through their seasons of attitude problems.

As parents, Edric and I have always felt that it was necessary to address any wrong attitude right away. My own parents were strict with me when it came to moodiness, temper, and bad attitude. They would always tell my siblings and I that we need to be controlled by the Holy Spirit and that wrong attitudes were selfish. They also trained us to remember the golden rule for relationships. The Bible says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

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Simple Traditions, Simply Wonderful

Tonight we went walking again together as a family. There aren’t any “parks” nearby, but we have found an open field which the boys enjoy. It’s about a ten minute walk from our condo.  We went there this evening and let Elijah, Edan, and Titus run around and chase each other. Tiana was fast asleep so she stayed behind. The boys had Edric throw them up into the air and they used him as their punching bag. They loved it. I just watched. These are the simple joys of my life — seeing my kids play with their dad and taking in their laughter and big smiles.

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Are Workbooks Okay?

There are lots of workbooks out there for young children. Before buying a workbook, here are the pros and cons you should consider:

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Flashlights and bugs

Who would have thought that going for a walk at night with flashlights could turn out to be a Science adventure?! We gave each of the boys flashlights tonight and asked them to hunt for bugs in a field that was near our house. I wasn’t sure they would actually find anything but they started yelling out things like, “I found a cricket!” “I found a ladybug!” All they were doing was shining their flashlights on the grass so Edric and I weren’t really sure if they had actually found anything. But when we peered over their shoulders, it was true! By the end of the night, we also ended up seeing a grasshopper, leaf jumpers, a moth, several butterflies (sleeping), ants, a cockroach, and a frog. It was a little far out when Edan said he found a baby rabbit in the dirt. That one was definitely not true. Elijah was thrilled when he found burs because we had read about them in his Botany book.

The wonderful thing is they were more than ready for bed by the time we had walked home and their emotional tanks were full.  Evenings like this are a good reminder that we can find simple ways to spend time together without needing any media…just a couple of batteries, flashlights, and time.

Stay Fit, Mommy!

Are there days when you just feel lethargic, unmotivated and lazy? Well, today is one of those days. I read my Bible but nearly fell asleep towards the end of the chapter. It was a great chapter, too! I’m so glad it is Elijah and Edan’s day with Edric. They will have their Taekwondo class and Edric will teach them at work.

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HAPI for Homeschooling

The Homeschool Association of the Philippine Islands or HAPI was launched last October 2011 during the 3rd Philippine Homeschool Conference. We had the HAPI leadership team over for a planning lunch last December 2010. HAPI is going to be a catalyst for the homeschooling movement in the Philippines. Go HAPI!