N is for Nose

When we had N for our letter of the week, my little trooper was sick. But that didn’t prevent him from being active! He didn’t want to just lie down and rest so we still went on with his activities to keep him preoccupied. πŸ™‚ He had to nebulize multiple times a day. To cheer him up, I told him that N is for Nebulize! Haha! That made him giggle. πŸ™‚ Here’s how our week went:

Books and the Bible

Mr. Nosey and Mr. Noisy are just some of the Mr. Men books that Timmy loves. πŸ™‚ The Nemo book is actually his introduction to the character. We haven’t watched the movie Finding Nemo yet. He still can’t stay put for 1.5 hours. He would rather play, read, or do something else than watch an entire movie. Maybe when he’s older. πŸ™‚ The Nemo book, by the way, is part of the Fish in a Box set that contains books about Dory, Finn, and Gill.

The Napping House is one of our favorites. We make different snoring sounds which makes this book really fun to read! Noah and the Ark is a rhyming reading level book. Timmy has two versions ofΒ The Nose Book. One is the board book and the other one is part of his collection of Bright and Early Beginner Books About Me. Timmy enjoys reading Ay Naku! all the time mainly because of its colorful illustrations. πŸ™‚

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For our Bible character, we learned about Nehemiah and how God granted him favor in everything he did. We also watched a couple of videos about him. πŸ™‚ Nehemiah’s story encouraged me to always commit to the Lord everything I do. Sometimes I get so preoccupied with my to-do things for the day that I tend to forget to ask help from God. It’s amazing how being a homeschool mom has taught me a lot of things! πŸ™‚

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God’s Story: Nehemiah from Crossroads Kids’ Club on Vimeo.

Primary Year C Quarter 4 Episode 8: “Nehemiahβ€”God’s Builder” from Sabbath School on Vimeo.

Writing

For writing, Timmy placed Numbers on the N template. He really liked this activity because he loves numbers and stickers! It also kept him busy a little bit longer than usual. πŸ™‚

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Here you will see my little boy nebulizing. He still wanted to practice writing N so I gave him his big flashcards. Doing activities while nebulizing distracts him from the discomfort of the mask. It eventually became a good idea for him to do something during his sessions. πŸ™‚

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We also did his favorite reading-writing activity. I’m so glad that this exercise hasn’t lost its novelty yet! πŸ™‚ He checked his own work and wrote “very good.” Haha!

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Art

I asked Timmy to draw different Noses. πŸ™‚ He was more creative and free flowing when we just did it using pencil and plain bond paper. When I gave him faces with googly eyes and red mouth he became more careful in drawing! πŸ™‚ I think he got conscious because the people looked better. Haha!

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Math

We continued with our skip counting and here he was doing it by 5’s. He didn’t complain doing this exercise because he always looks forward to our skip counting practices. I think my son is slowly becoming an expert in multi-tasking like nebulizing while doing some math drills. πŸ™‚

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We did a counting exercise using Nuts. Timmy always ended up eating the nuts after he counted them. πŸ™‚ I helped him eat, too! Haha! πŸ™‚ What a very distracting activity! Heehee! πŸ™‚

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N is for Notes so we did another counting activity that week and used his colorful pegs. He clipped the clothespins to the correct number of notes. πŸ™‚

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It was a tough week for us because our little boy was sick but we praise and thank God that he got better eventually and he never lost his energy. πŸ™‚ During times like these, I’m so grateful that we’re homeschooling. I don’t need to worry about absences and make-up exams. We can rest for as long as we want. And if my son is in the mood to learn despite being sick, I can indulge him and try to make learning fun and comfortable for him. πŸ™‚ Watch for our C week on my next blog! Ciao! πŸ™‚

5 Things We Love About Kidzania Manila

I’ve been waiting for Kidzania Manila since last year. So when a special preview was offered to our Facebook community group Homeschoolers of the Philippines I was beyond ecstatic! Before I go on, I want to say thank you to our ever faithful and hardworking founder Donna Pangilinan-Simpao of Homescool.ph. She has been a huge inspiration to all of us. She was on top of things, coordinating this preview with Mr. Rudy Villar, Ministry of Tourism of Kidzania Manila. πŸ™‚ It was also a great way for our community to celebrate our 4,000+ members! πŸ™‚

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Just got his first Kidzos! πŸ™‚

A lot of homeschoolers have already shared their Kidzania Manila experience from tips to FAQs and you will find these links helpful as you plan your visit. So instead of doing a thorough review about it, I’ve decided to share with you 5 things we love about this awesome city!

1. Kidzania is where learning through play is experienced on a grand scale.

I’m an advocate of learning through play. My son is 4 years old and he loves learning new things especially when presented in the concept of play. πŸ™‚ We love to play-pretend at home so you can just imagine how awesome it was for him to take on different roles with matching uniforms! Your child can be an actor, gardener, judge, innovator, doctor, and more! They can even study first to get a degree so they can earn more Kidzos (the Kidzania currency). πŸ™‚ We didn’t try that, though, because we thought it was more for big kids. Besides, we’re already studying at home and we wouldn’t want to study outside! Haha! πŸ™‚ I made a slideshow of the sights and spots at Kidzania to give you a glimpse of what to expect. πŸ™‚

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With our homeschool co-op. πŸ™‚ The rest of the moms in our group got in early! πŸ™‚

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Timmy and Daddy. πŸ™‚

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Timmy and Mommy. πŸ™‚

It wasn’t easy at first because Timmy had a minor meltdown when we entered the city. There was an ongoing make-believe fire and the kiddie firemen were on their way with the fire truck and fire alarm blaring. In short, it was way too noisy and it scared our little man. He really wanted to go home! New place + just arrived + no nap + overwhelming noise = perfect meltdown formula. Yikes!

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Job 1: Construction Worker (still feeling his way through) πŸ™‚

Good thing we were able to take him somewhere far from where the fire was. We found a construction site where he had his first “job” but it was more of play for him because he just needed to calm his nerves down. He wasn’t too keen on listening because he only wanted to play with the bricks. He didn’t even wear his uniform. The staff were so patient and nice to just let him be! That good and relaxing experience gave him the confidence to take on more jobs! To give you an idea on how confident he got, he took on 8 jobs in the 5 hours that we were there! πŸ™‚

2. The staff of Kidzania treat your kids like professionals.

They were called Mister or Miss by the staff. Although I think it would be better if the kids had name tags because sometimes they don’t know if they were the Mister or Miss the staff was calling. The kiddie interns were given instructions on what they ought to do. πŸ™‚ Timmy’s second job was an innovator. He loves to write and doodle so when he saw that there were lots of colorful pens at the Creative Hub, he jumped right into it! He even made a product presentation! Too cute! πŸ™‚

Job 2: Innovator :)

Job 2: Innovator πŸ™‚

Job 3: Drummer

Job 3: Drummer

3. Kidzania allows children to experience responsibility and independence.

With so many options for them, kids are given opportunities to choose the activity they want to participate in. They get paid for the job they do. Parents are not allowed inside the establishment during activities so your child is on his own. πŸ™‚ We first went with what we knew Timmy really wanted like construction, innovation (write and doodle), and music (as a drummer). He really wanted to drive a car but he couldn’t until he got his license. He took a job as a gasoline boy first and then took his driving lessons. Unfortunately, he didn’t pass. Our 4-year-old enjoyed bumping posts and cars more than abiding in traffic rules. I actually saw him do that during his exam. Haha! πŸ™‚

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Job 4: Gasoline crew

Driving lessons. :)

Driving lessons. πŸ™‚

For his succeeding jobs we just went around showing him establishments and asking him if he wanted to try it. We skipped what he didn’t like and also the ones with long lines. He wanted to be a fireman but every time we checked it out the line was too long. To maximize our stay we would let him take on another job while waiting. The fire station is definitely the first establishment we’ll check out when we come back. πŸ™‚ Oh and by the way, Timmy eventually got desensitized with the fire drill noise.

Our busy little guy also tried making some of his favorite treats like ice cream and chicken nuggets! πŸ™‚ For activities like these you pay Kidzos because you get the actual product at the end.

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Job 5: Ice cream maker

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Job 6: Food tech (creating chicken nuggets)

Trying a mouthful of his own creation! Haha! :)

Trying a mouthful of his own creation! Haha! πŸ™‚

4. The variety of establishments and professions cater to different ages.

Kidzania is for ages 4 to 14 and they can choose the establishment that is appropriate for their age. For young kids, there are many options like gardening, delivery, hotel, salon, and more! The bigger kids can be cable operators and show off their wall climbing skills. πŸ™‚ There are also free play areas for kids ages 3 and below so if your little ones get tired of roaming around, they can stay there and relax. There’s also a parent recharging station and a breastfeeding station for moms. πŸ™‚

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Job 7: Arborist. πŸ™‚

Timmy wanted to ride the tour bus so we did! We also needed a breather that time. πŸ™‚ It was actually tiring for parents with young kids because you have to wait 20-30 minutes for the activity to get done. You’ll be standing up most of the time so wear comfy shoes! Big kids can roam around on their own and parents can just wait at the restaurants or resting areas. Hopefully they’ll add slim benches near each station. Heehee! πŸ™‚

Tired but happy parents. :)

Tired but happy parents. πŸ™‚

Energy level is going down now for this little boy. :)

The cutie who wanted to ride the tour bus. πŸ™‚

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Job 8: Delivery man. πŸ™‚ Look! He’s receiving his salary! πŸ™‚ Last job for the day!

5. There’s always something to look forward to on your next visit.

There are still so many jobs that Timmy didn’t get to try especially the ones with long lines like the fire station, airport, and hospital. I guess it would take 3 to 4 visits to actually cover everything and by then more establishments would’ve been open! Before we went home, Timmy spent his earnings at the Kidzania Department Store. πŸ™‚ You actually have the option to save but we wanted him to enjoy the fruits of his labor/playtime. πŸ™‚ I hope they’ll provide a store where kids can buy food or drinks with their Kidzos. As for the saving part, maybe we’ll consider depositing some of his money when we come back. πŸ™‚ By the way, parents are not allowed inside the department store, too. Timmy chose his reward and ended up spending his money on football erasers. πŸ™‚ Good choice, buddy!

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Football erasers for the hardworking little man! :)

Football erasers for the hardworking little man! πŸ™‚

Kidzania Manila is now open to the public! We encourage you to go and experience this fun educational theme park with your family! πŸ™‚ We’re pretty sure you’ll have a blast! Zank U, Kidzania! Z-U soon! πŸ™‚

We love Kidzania Manila! :)

We love Kidzania Manila! πŸ™‚

Zank U! Z-U!

Zank U! Z-U!

Letters of the Week: K and D Double Celebration

When I randomly picked our letters for June, I didn’t realize that K would fall on Independence Day week and D would fall on Father’s Day week! It was the first time that our featured letters had actual occasions to go along with it! πŸ™‚ I decided to make K is for Kalayaan (freedom) to celebrate Independence Day or Araw ng Kalayaan and D is for Daddy in celebration of Father’s Day! πŸ™‚ Here’s how our two busy weeks went:

K is for Kalayaan

Books and Bible Virtue

Our K books for the week included Mo Willems’ Knuffle Bunny (Caldecott Medal Winner) and Knuffle Bunny, Too. These hilarious books are so fun to read! πŸ™‚ The illustrations and reactions of the characters are priceless!Β Because A Little Bug Went Ka-choo! is an exaggerated tale of cause and effect. One ka-choo (i.e. sneeze) caused crazy chaos in a city. Too cute! πŸ™‚ Katy No-Pocket is a heartwarming tale of a kangaroo with no pocket and how she found a way to have one. πŸ™‚ Our storyboard for the week was about a kangaroo, too! Go to Sleep Kuting and Run Kuting Run (not in the picture, I forgot) are lovable stories about a very hyper kitten. Heehee! πŸ™‚

For our Bible virtue, we learned about Kindness and how we can be kind to each other. πŸ™‚ We also read different stories from the Bible where the characters showed kindness to each other such as the friendship of David and Jonathan. πŸ™‚

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We’re back to our complete-the-words activity for practicing letter K. Timmy loves this activity as you can see in his face.Β  πŸ™‚ After that, he designed his big K and small K templates using keys! Those are my scrapbook embellishments. Lately, I’ve been finding myself donating more and more to my little one’s arts and crafts. Haha! πŸ™‚ He also practiced tracing letter K. All 3 activities took us 15-20 minutes only! πŸ™‚

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Math

We did a counting exercise and I simply wrote K’s inside the box. My son used to be a careless counter but now he has improved a lot by counting slowly. πŸ™‚ He wants to get things done quickly all the time (I guess it’s typical for boys). To help him with that, we would practice counting random things or do simple exercises that would require him to be careful in counting especially for items that are more than five. πŸ™‚

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Arts and Crafts

In keeping with our Independence Day or Araw ng Kalayaan theme, we created the Philippine flag! We also read many Filipino books that week. πŸ™‚ The first Filipino bilingual book that Timmy had was Ang Mabait na Kalabaw or The Kind Carabao. It’s still one of his favorites. πŸ™‚

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For our next craft, we did some coin rubbing so that he would get more familiar with the heroes on our money and our currency. Timmy already knows the presidents and heroes on our bills but the coins were a bit tricky since it’s small. πŸ™‚ When I got him his play money, he got really curious and kept asking who the people on the bills were! A lot of my teaching moments are student-led so we jumped right into it! He memorized them because he wanted to. πŸ™‚ I’m still thinking of creative ways to tell their stories. πŸ™‚

When we started doing this activity, I noticed that he wasn’t interested to know who the people on the coins were so I decided to scrap the learning part and just focused on the fun in coin rubbing. πŸ™‚ It was arts time anyway! When I teach him in the future, I’ll probably print out big pictures of the coins so that he’ll enjoy learning it as much as he enjoyed learning through his big play money bills. πŸ™‚

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D is for Daddy

I couldn’t concentrate with homeschool that week because I was busy planning my Father’s Day surprise for Omar. Thankfully, Timmy was extra cooperative that week! He didn’t even tell daddy that we were cookin’ up something for him! πŸ™‚ Great job, buddy!

Books and Bible Character

What better way to celebrate our D week than by reading Dr. Seuss! You can never go wrong reading him! The rhymes, tongue twisters, and colorful illustrations are so enticing! I can literally leave Timmy on his own and he would enjoy reading them! πŸ™‚ Our other D books included the huge Dinosaurs book, Down by the Cool of the Pool (we really love this and we even have a song for it!), The Duckling Gets a Cookie (yup, another Mo Willems), and Just Like Daddy (a tribute to Timmy’s super awesome dad!). πŸ™‚

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David was our Bible character of the week and we learned how God looks at our hearts more than our physical appearance. πŸ™‚ We also revisited the story of David and Goliath. This is one of Timmy’s favorite Bible stories and this music video by Go Fish is one of our staples. πŸ™‚ Go Fish, by the way, is a group of dads who make children’s praise music! πŸ™‚ They’re awesome!

Kindergarten Year B Quarter 2 Episode 1: “Just a Shepherd Boy?” from Sabbath School on Vimeo.

Writing

I gave Timmy a DIY letter template and asked him to decorate the big D and small d with diamonds! πŸ™‚ I cut out pieces of foam-shaped diamonds. πŸ™‚ He also traced/painted D using dots. He used white poster paint and Q tips for that activity. Since he enjoyed so much, I asked him to continue practice writing D using the Q tips! πŸ™‚

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Math

My little boy loves learning something new so that week I introduced him to skip counting by 10’s. πŸ™‚ He really had fun with it! πŸ™‚ Here’s the exercise I asked him to do. Yup, he wrote he “Very Good” for his job well done. πŸ™‚ He gets all giddy when he sees me drafting an exercise for him. Timmy already knows it when I borrow his clipboard and colored pens. He watches me do it and would sometimes write on the paper too early! Haha! I would ask him to wait so that he gets to practice restraint and self-control even in the little things. πŸ™‚

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Arts and Crafts

It’s all about DADDY! Timmy painted “DADDY I LOVE YOU” on bond paper. I asked him to write the letters ofΒ  “HAPPY FATHER’S DAY DADDY” on different sheets of colored paper then I placed them all on a maroon felt paper banner and mounted it on our bedroom wall! πŸ™‚ When Daddy Omar woke up he was surprised! We also gave him his gifts, too! πŸ™‚ That man right there is our SUPER HERO. πŸ™‚ We love you, Daddy O!

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Those two weeks were tiring but fun! πŸ™‚ Watch out for our C week in my next blog! Thanks for dropping by! πŸ™‚

L is for Leaf

For our “L” letter of the week, we really wanted to do some leaf picking in our neighborhood. I wanted Timmy to pick and choose all sizes of leaves. But there were days when it was scorching hot outside (this was late May and it still felt like the peak of Manila summer!). Leaf picking at night was not a good idea either because Timmy wouldn’t be able to appreciate the colors and shapes of the leaves. I’m not allowed to get exposed to the sun because of my Lupus so we had to find a compromise.

Thankfully, there were tiny plants sprouting in our garage! They may be small but a leaf is a leaf no matter how whiff! Yes, that’s my pathetic attempt to recreate Dr. Seuss’ “a person’s a person no matter how small.” Haha! Anyway, here’s how our week went. πŸ™‚

Books and the Bible

L is for Love so we read our love-related books such as Guess How Much I Love You, I Love You Forever (with matching singing), How Do I Love You, and I Love You Because You’re You. πŸ™‚ One of our favorite storybooks is The Lion Who Wanted to Love. It’s about Leo the Lion who instead of being wild and fierce prefers to make friends and help other animals. πŸ™‚ We also read a couple of Mo Willemsβ€”Leonardo the Terrible Monster (because he’s too cute to scare anyone) and Listen to my Trumpet. Llama Llama Red Pajama is another favorite! It teaches your little one not to be so clingy but in a sweet way. πŸ™‚ We’ve been reading this since he was two (he’s four now)! πŸ™‚

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The Little Engine that Could is a classic that everyone must have in their shelves. We would chant, “I think, I can! I think, I can!” repeatedly with a chugga-chugga-choo-choo vibe to it. πŸ™‚ It’s a story about perseverance and believing that you can do things even if you think you’re “small.” πŸ™‚ Lenny’s Lost Spots is a cute one! It’s about a ladybug who lost his spots and found it again. The rhyming verses are fun to read, too! I mentioned before that we love Mr. and Mrs. Green books and the Lucky Days is another compilation of three awesome adventures of the crocodile couple. πŸ™‚

The Little House is another classic. It’s not as colorful as other storybooks so it always takes extra animation for me whenever we read it. πŸ™‚ It’s about a little house that has seen all sorts of changes in its environment. From being at the countryside to seeing fields turned into roads, buildings being constructed, and getting lost in the crowded city. It gets saved by the family who previously owns it. It’s a touching tale about modernization told from a little house’s point of view. πŸ™‚

 

Aside from watching the video, we learned about the different ways we can show our love for God and each other. πŸ™‚ We also discussed how great Jesus’ love is for us by giving His life to save us from our sins. My husband and I have been explaining to Timmy in the simplest terms the sacrifice that Jesus did. It’s heartwarming to hear your child say, “Jesus saved me because I can’t save myself. Jesus died for my sins!” πŸ™‚

Writing

L is a pretty easy letter to write so to make our writing and letter familiarization more exciting I asked him to stamp L on his big L and small l templates. πŸ™‚ He loves stamping, by the way, so it’s a win-win activity! πŸ™‚ He also wrote L words like love, lion, and Lot 5B, Blk 6 (the address of his grandma…HAHA!). Too cute! πŸ™‚ He patiently traced letter L on his colorful flash cards as well. Timmy wanted to show his bunny how to do it that’s why he’s there. πŸ™‚

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For math, we’ve done less-and-more activities before and I decided to do a review on it. πŸ™‚ It has been a few months since we did our last practice so I first did a visual exercise for him to be reminded of the concept then gave him another one which had numbers only. πŸ™‚ Whenever I teach this to him I interchange synonymous words like lesser/less than, fewer, and smaller so that he knows that they basically mean the same (i.e. in terms of numerical value). I do the same with more, greater, and bigger.

It’s L week so we practiced the “less than” concept. It wasn’t in the instructions but it was the word I was using to explain what he needed to do. πŸ™‚ Okay, let me just say that this technique works for us. If interchanging words confuses your child, don’t do it. πŸ™‚

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Arts and Crafts

We did our leaf art! πŸ™‚ One morning, we were on our way out when I saw small plants in our garage! Yay! I asked Timmy to pick some and place it inside the plastic I brought. He picked two big leaves and teeny tiny ones. πŸ™‚ The next day, I asked him to form an L using the leaves! We also did letter stamping ala Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. πŸ™‚ I drew a coconut tree and asked him to stamp the falling letters. So fun!

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That wraps up our L week! Hope you got some ideas you can do with your little one. πŸ™‚ Watch out for our D and K weeks in my next blog! Ciao!

P is for Playoffs

When we had “P” as our letter of the week, it was the beginning of the NBA Playoffs. πŸ™‚ Haha! My husband loves basketball and my son is crazy about it, too! He would rather watch the Top 10 Plays of the great NBA players than watch kiddie videos on YouTube. πŸ™‚ He knows all the NBA teams and even the jersey numbers of the players he likes! Later on you will see how that love for the game got mixed with our letter of the week! Here’s how we managed to pull off some activities despite being distracted with the Playoffs. πŸ™‚

Books and Bible Character

Our “P” book pile was pretty awesome. πŸ™‚ We’re Mo Willems fans and his Pigeon books series is one of our favorites so it’s laugh trip all over again! πŸ™‚ One of the best deals I found in a thrift bookstore is “Punctuation Celebration.” It’s a huge rhyming storybook that explains the uses of punctuation marks in a fun way! πŸ™‚ “Perky Little Penguins” is another favorite and Guy Parker-Rees is one of the illustrators we really love. Timmy liked my baby seal pup (one of the characters in the book) voice so much that he would make me do it the entire day. Haha! πŸ™‚

“Pirate Piggy Wiggy” is a gift from my friend the Hippomum and Timmy has a pig stuff toy that looks exactly like him! “Prayers for Boys” and “I can say a Prayer” are great books for teaching kids how to pray. “Pancakes for Breakfast” by Tomie dePaola is a cute and tiny storybook that has no words so it allows you to make up all sorts of storylines! One of the best sound books we bought is “Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?” The animal sounds are so real! “Curious George: Pat-A-Cake” has been with us for two years now and it never gets old. πŸ™‚ “Percy and Harold’s Big Race” is another fun book that teaches a lesson on humility. πŸ™‚ “Your Personal Penguin” is an adorable Sandra Boynton classic we love!

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For our Bible Character for the week, we read about Paul’s (previously known as Saul) story. πŸ™‚ We learned how God uses different people (in this case, a certified Jesus-hater) to spread the Good News. We also looked at the story of Paul and Silas and how God used an earthquake to free them from prison but instead of escaping they stayed put. This led to the warden believing in Jesus Christ. πŸ™‚ These are the videos we watched to supplement our Bible story. πŸ™‚

God’s Story: Paul from Crossroads Kids’ Club on Vimeo.

God’s Story: Paul and Silas from Crossroads Kids’ Club on Vimeo.

Language/Writing

I’m a sticker-hoarder. πŸ™‚ I usually buy the cheap ones for random activities. The expensive ones, I keep for scrapbooking. Haha! Anyway, stickers come in very handy especially when you need something that will keep your little one busy. The peeling of those tiny stickers are great for fine motor skills, too! For this activity I asked Timmy to outline the big P and small p using Pink numbers! πŸ™‚

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P is for Playoffs! As I mentioned earlier, when we did this letter it was also the start of the NBA Playoffs. Timmy got so obsessed with writing the name of the Players, teams, and scores! Haha! As a mom, I couldn’t ask for more. Tallying scores lets him Practice his letter and number writing! So I was like, “Keep tallying, darling!” πŸ™‚ I indulged his make-believe matches and scores. πŸ™‚ You will see there that he used the short name of the teams the way it appeared during the game. He also wrote the teams’ full names from time to time. πŸ™‚ I think he misses the Miami-Indiana match up that’s why it’s still there. πŸ™‚

At some point, he was determined to spell Cavaliers player Matthew Dellavedova’s name correctly and we Practiced that for weeks. Haha! Too cute! πŸ™‚ He watches a lot of NBA highlights during his 1-hour gadget time, which explains why he knows retired player Allen Iverson. πŸ™‚ Although I think he just invented his jersey number below. πŸ™‚ He likes Michael Jordan, Dwyane Wade, Stephen Curry, Matthew Dellavedova, and of course LeBron James. πŸ™‚

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P is for Practice (special shoutout to Iverson–only NBA fanatics will get this)! There are days when he still finds tracing and writing within the lines boring so I just let him practice writing in boxes or just filling up the paper with the same letter. πŸ™‚ I didn’t put an incorrect mark on his imperfect P’s. Perfection isn’t our goal so I just showed him the adjustments he needed to make to make the P look better. πŸ™‚ The last thing I wanted was for him to get discouraged because his writing was far from what the ideal letters looked like. We celebrate his writing milestones and downplay his mistakes. πŸ™‚ I still correct it but my emphasis would be on working on his strokes rather than telling him that he did a letter wrongly. πŸ™‚

We also did another writing Practice game. I would ask him to stick some random letters on the paper and come up with words that begin with that letter! πŸ™‚ He really liked that activity. πŸ™‚ That “Katy” there is from his book “Katy No Pocket.” He was pretty much ambitious with J as he spelled “Jugling.” I told him I really appreciated his effort! πŸ™‚

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Math

We are into Patterns lately so I made a number pattern game for him. πŸ™‚ Just recently, we’ve been doing shape patterns since he’s able to draw squares and triangles now. Yay! Before, he only used to draw circles and it’s impossible to make a pattern game with just one shape. Haha! He learned to write numbers and letters first so that’s what we’ve been using for his pattern games. πŸ™‚

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I mentioned in my previous LOTW post that Timmy’s into odd and even numbers. πŸ™‚ To make it more exciting, I asked him to put stickers instead of writing them! πŸ™‚ Repetition reinforces learned concepts and that’s what we were doing here. πŸ™‚

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Art

P is for Paw Printing! At first, I told Timmy to dip his dinosaur’s feet on the Paint. My son loves dinos which is why we opted to use them instead of his other animals. However, their paws are oddly shaped and not everything gets painted. I asked him to just paint each foot before stamping them on the paper. πŸ™‚ It was soooo fun to do! πŸ™‚ He got so focused carefully painting those tiny dino feet to get their unique prints on paper! Good job, sweetheart! πŸ™‚

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The common theme for P would be P is for Pig but it was more important for us to go with Timmy’s interests like basketball, patterns, and dinos. πŸ™‚ He enjoyed this week a lot and so did I! πŸ™‚ What’s your child’s interest lately? Incorporate it with your LOTW activities! πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading! Till my next blog! πŸ™‚

Confessions of a Laid-Back Homeschooler

I’m a very laid-back homeschooler. I’m not even sure if that’s a good thing or not. Haha! But so far it’s been working really well for me and Timmy. πŸ™‚ It may look like that I have it together with all my posts about letter of the week (LOTW) activities but the truth is, most of them just happened on the fly! I just love documenting everything and putting them on collage because I plan to put them in a scrapbook. πŸ™‚ But it’s NO WAY an indication that we had a well-planned week. Seriously! And let me tell you a little secret, those activities only take a few minutes (15-30 minutes tops)! πŸ™‚

Sometimes I just stare at our pantry cabinet looking for something we can do a few minutes before Timmy wakes up. I know I’m cutting it close but some of my best ideas have come during buzzer beaters! πŸ™‚ I always have my colored pens and colored papers within reach for quick activities. I do a quick Google and Pinterest search. I plan in my head what we’ll do for the day and leave room for something random.

My organized hubby :)

My organized hubby πŸ™‚

The thing is I’m not much of a planner, really. And I’m also forgetful. That’s a pretty bad combination right there. Haha! That’s why I’m so grateful to be married to a man who likes to put everything in order. Omar keeps me organized. πŸ™‚ There were days when I forgot to calendar our activities and it has caused us a lot of stress (e.g. surprise commitments, unplanned meet-ups, etc.). Sorry, hon! Thankfully, he’s very forgiving, too. πŸ™‚

So how does a laid back, disorganized, forgetful mom homeschool?

I seek daily wisdom from the Best Teacher. Spending some time alone with God helps me relax and focus on what I need to do for the day. Apart from Him, I can’t do anything. Praying and reading His Word helps me start my day right. πŸ™‚ It’s my time to declutter my thoughts. Recognizing my daily need for His guidance and wisdom has helped me a lot regardless of how my day goes. I mentioned in one of my previous posts that a lot of my homeschool eureka moments have come during this time. πŸ™‚

My little teacher. :)

My little learner. πŸ™‚

I take my teaching cues from my son. When Timmy shows interest on somethingβ€”a book or topicβ€”I latch on it quickly and take advantage of it. Is there a language or math principle we can learn from it? I also test his capabilities every now and then. When he showed interest in counting beyond tens I casually asked him to go on counting up to hundreds last year (he was 3). He enthusiastically worked on it! When we bought a book about skip counting he got so into it that now we’re skip counting by 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s. Even and odd numbers are his new favorites. πŸ™‚ I go full blast when I see that he’s ready but I also retract quickly when he shows signs of difficulty and resistance.

This is especially true with writing. He’s not a big tracing fan so I kept all his tracing worksheets and focused on how he wants to writeβ€”which is by copying my strokes. πŸ™‚ I let him watch me write all the time. Those who have seen Timmy write were surprised at how legible, fast, and smooth he does it. I guess it comes from the fact that he watches an adult do it and when I do it I make it look easy, right? I also let him write in a fun way by using Q tips, colored pens, finger paints so that he will look forward to doing it over and over again!

Practicing letter D. :)

Practicing letter D. πŸ™‚

Writing with Q tips! :)

Writing with Q tips! πŸ™‚

Now I understand from a child’s standpoint how much of a chore tracing can be because you’re left to do it on your own following boring dotted lines. Whereas when you write using engaging materials, see an adult β€œdemo” it, and do it together often, your child will see how easy it is! Well, at least for my son. There are kids who thrive in tracing and if that’s your child just go with it! πŸ™‚

That’s exactly what I love about homeschooling. You’re not tied to a curriculum that forces your child to learn all subjects at once. You can focus on his strengths and interests then change your approach in areas where your child is struggling. You’re not limited to using one medium. You become more in tune with your child’s learning style and adapt to it accordingly. πŸ™‚

I follow a flexible schedule and flexible curriculum. I have an outline of some sort which serves as my guide for our routine during the day. We start our homeschooling around 9:00-9:30am (yup, we don’t struggle with waking up early). We finish at around 11:00am. It’s not all sit-down learning. Reading time (our favorite) is part of it, playing and lots of tickles in between (another favorite), arts and crafts (especially painting), and writing activities.

In the afternoon, after his nap time we read again and we either do art or another homeschool activity after. Nothing is broken down into minutes like 10:00-10:30 is this subject, etc. Timmy knows his schedule (i.e. the outline of his day) and the predictability helps him cooperate and adjust. πŸ™‚ But no, he’s not confined to a rigid minute-to-minute period.

Timmy's schedule board. :)

Timmy’s schedule board. πŸ™‚

We do the LOTW activities for structure purposes. But I’m very flexible with it. There are days when the bulk of our activity happens in one day. Then the next two days we won’t do any LOTW stuff. We would do other learning through play activities instead. We would go back to it over the weekend or something. We’re also doing Before Five in a Row (BFIAR) on the side. Again, for structure purposes just so I have a guide. πŸ™‚

Here’s the thing, preschool homeschool should really be unstructured. The attention span of 3 to 4-year-olds is way too short for sit-down learning. Aside from our flexible schedule and curriculum, I also consult different reliable sites for developmental milestones and signs of delay and use it as guide for age-appropriate activities.

Sure my son knows a lot for his age and I could have well enrolled him in a homeschool provider for Kindergarten or even Grade 1. But he’s only 4 and won’t turn 5 till December. He will be 5 1/2 years old when he gets into Kinder next school year and we’re totally fine about it. Besides, he’s still within the age-5 bracket. πŸ™‚ By that time, he will be more cooperative and attentive.

635727663375033139 (2) The choice between enrolling him at 4 1/2 and 5 1/2 was crucial for me and my husband. Childhood is too fleeting to be hurried. Knowledge is one thing, maturity is another. We went for the latter because based on how we know our child we assessed that he will be more ready by then not based on head knowledge but based on everything else. Less frustrations for me, too! πŸ™‚

I make up for what we missed. I confess that we have gone through an entire week without any homeschool activity. There were days when our letter of the week became letter of the day, meaning we only had the chance to tackle the letter in one day. So what did I do? I made up for it the following week. It’s not like he stopped learning for one week. We still did the basicsβ€”play (yup, it’s a requirement), read, sing, and write/draw. We just didn’t covered a lot for a certain letter. πŸ™‚ Sometimes those breaks help, too. It gives Timmy more options to learn other things before he goes back to his routine.

Being a laid-back homeschooler doesn’t mean being irresponsible. It just means that you’re not too uptight with teaching your child like clockwork. It means that you allow for breathing room and reasonable breaks to change things up to encourage creativity and self-discovery in your child. πŸ™‚

Planting carrot seeds. :) There are carrot sprouts now! :)

Planting carrot seeds. πŸ™‚ There are carrot sprouts now! πŸ™‚

The fun part right now is that my son doesn’t have any concept of β€œcatching up on lessons” yet so he doesn’t feel any pressure. He just knows that we’re always learning something new. πŸ™‚ But in my head, β€œThis was supposed to be for last week, sweetheart.” Haha!

I know that as Timmy grows up and his lessons become more complicated I will need to step up my game, prepare my lessons way ahead of time, and be more organized. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be fun anymore. It could be that we will find new ways to be engaged in our subjects and find dynamic tools and resources to make learning consistently enjoyable for both of us! πŸ™‚

Will I outgrow being a laid-back homeschooler? Probably not. That’s who I am and so far it matches the spontaneity and flexibility that homeschooling provides for us. πŸ™‚ Imagine you can discuss history for an entire week and put math on hold because your child is so engrossed with your Vikings lesson! There are so many things you can do without being confined to a rigid schedule! Being laid back not only means being relaxed but also being willing to embrace unique, non-traditional learning opportunities along the way. πŸ™‚

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We’re a homeschooling family! πŸ™‚

What matters to us is that our son learns in a way that is most beneficial for him. There will be days when worksheets will take a back seat when we see the need to deal with character issues first. There will be weeks when we’ll struggle with certain concepts. But when your child knows that he can count on his mommy-teacher and daddy-teacher to find ways to help him through a steep learning curve, he’ll be more motivated to learn. πŸ™‚

So yes, I’m a laid-back homeschooler teaching my son under the constant guidance of my Heavenly Father and the full support of my husband. Although it’s far from ideal, it’s what works for us. After all, when you think of home shouldn’t it be welcoming and relaxing? I believe the same rules apply for homeschooling as well. πŸ™‚