Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Homeschool Education Levels Well Above National Averages - U.s. - Catholic Online

Last week I was able to talk to a fellow missionary mom who said that her husband was not too keen on homeschooling because he wanted his son to learn leadership skills, and how would he do that if he didn't have any classmates to lead? I told her that maybe he (and she) could read up more on all the online resources that actually support the "cause" of homeschooling especially those that feature great people in history who were actually homeschooled, like those listed below:

Alexander Graham Bell
Thomas Edison
Cyrus McCormick
Orville Wright & Wilbur Wright
Claude Monet
Leonardo da Vinci
Jamie Wyeth
Andrew Wyeth
John Singleton Copley
George Washington
Thomas Jefferson
John Quincy Adams
James Madison
William Henry Harrison
John Tyler
Abraham Lincoln
Theordore Roosevelt
Woodrow Wilson
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Irving Berlin
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Anton Bruckner
Felix Mendelssohn
Francis Poulenc
George Washington Carver
Pierre Curie
Albert Einstein
Booker T. Washington
Blaise Pascal

I also found this inspiring article that further cements the case for homeschoolers and trying hard homeschoolers like our family. :)

Here's to homeschooling - the BEST education you can give your child! :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Month And A Half Or So In Review

I was inspired by Mommy Michelle to update this blog when she started doing her "A Week In Review" posts. I realized that it's been more than a month since we've arrived in the Philippines (my gosh!) and more than 2 weeks since my last post here (I've been regularly updating my Truly Rich Mom blog though. Check it out at :)

Anyway, a lot of things have happened to our missionary family in the past month and a half or so. One of the most significant things was Rysse's 1st birthday party which we celebrated with a Noah's Ark theme at a local swimming resort (small but NICE!). Remind me to post pics and tips on how to throw a Noah's Ark birthday party in a Philippine setting later on, ok?! The event turned out to be a reunion of sorts for extended family and close friends, a true celebration of God's faithfulness to Rysse and our family for the past year! :)
We have not been giving Tim any "lessons" as regularly as when we were in Timor Leste (which was usually at least once a day for about 30 minutes, three times a week). It's been a kind of "vacation" for him I guess. I didn't want to push anything on him considering he's already had a lot to adjust to (settling in, moving from my in-laws' place in Cubao to my parents' place in Cainta every other week, adjusting to not going with us all the time to the Home Office, etc etc). However, I'd like to think that Tim's homeschool preschool journey has been ongoing although not in the "subject matter" that most teachers think kids his age may need. By God's grace, Tim has "matured" and seems to have outgrown certain things that used to frustrate hubby and I:

1. He has learned to say "po", "please", "thank you", "sorry", and "excuse me" appropriately with less prompting from us.

2. He has gotten over his fear/aversion to:
 (a) having his hair cut - he went to the barber shop willingly with his Lolo Rading and Papa, and even volunteered to go first! (What a pity, Papa was unprepared and didn't bring a camera so we have no proof! Anyone willing to donate an I-phone our way?! hahahaha. Anyway, Tim shows off his new haircut in the pic below, taken at Rysse's birthday party :) And yes, that's me, trying to sing karaoke! hahaha)

(b) having his fingernails and toenails cut while awake - I used to cut his nails when he was asleep because he absolutely refused to have them cut! Now he is more than willing to do so! (Although most of the time, he wants his Papa to do it, not me! Which means "Hurray!" for me! hahaha)
(c) having his ears cleaned - The same situations as his nails. But last week his Tita Gela cleaned his ears and got out a huge bit of ear wax, which has probably been growing in size since Tim was born! hahahaha.

3. He is less of a picky eater now, and knows basic table manners (elbows off the table, say "excuse me" when you're going to leave the table). He eats most of his meals with other family members now too! (Before he would eat separately, we'd usually feed him earlier to save time!)

4. He is getting better at sharing, taking turns, waiting for his turn (although he still has his melt-downs, especially at the end of the day when he's tired from playing).

5. He has picked up a few more Filipino words. Perhaps watching TV with his lolo and lola isn't such a bad thing after all. He learned what pula and puti mean by watching Sa Pula, Sa Puti with his Lolo Rading, hahaha. (Although, we have been more vigilant lately about what he's been watching. And make sure to watch with him as much as possible, so we can explain things when he asks about them. And PUT OUR FOOT DOWN when the programs are not for him i.e. get him out of the room as much as possible or ask for the channel to be changed).

6. He has been praying spontaneously a bit more often now (his morning and evening prayers with us don't count here). Especially with the recent typhoons and rains lashing down upon the Metro. (He's scared of thunder so he always says "Mama, let's pray to God to stop the storm. And no flooding. No thunder. etc") Oh, and just this evening, when we were saying our night prayers, he said "I wish Jesus could come here at Lolo Rading's house, and his angels too.. *pauses for a while* Oh.. and God too!" HI-LA-RIOUS and oh so heartwarming! :) Moments like these just make me ever so grateful to be his Teacher Mama!

7. He has learned that the "office" for Papa and Mama is no longer just outside our bedroom, as it used to be in our mission house/office in Timor Leste, but is now somewhere else. Which means that most of the time, he has to be left behind when Papa and/or Mama go to work. In the beginning, he HATED this and would throw tantrums. BUT he has learned to ADJUST, and now only protests occasionally. Thank YOU Lord. (Although I'm hoping our working arrangement will change SOON. Please po Papa Jesus!)

Anyway, so far, these are the things I believe Tim has learned DESPITE our lack of "formal learning". I still believe that life lessons are some of the MOST important things for him right now anyway, so I won't be pressured by all the comments like "He's turning 4 na? Shouldn't he be in school?" etc etc. :) HOMESCHOOLING PRESCHOOL is STILL the WAY to GO for US. :)

For all those who have been following our homeschooling journey, and have been HUGE sources of support and prayers, THANK YOU SO MUCH. May GOD bless us all. :)

P.S. I almost forgot. Hehe. By God's grace, we have never missed out on READING ALOUD to the kids every day. During our bedtime ritual, we read at least three books to Tim with Rysse occasionally listening intently alongside him (other times, she plays with the books or practices turning the pages). In connection to this, I JUST LOVE BOOKSALE BOOKSTORE! Secondhand books are the way to go! :) Love it love it love it! :) We must have bought, I don't know, like 20 plus new "old" books so far, mostly from Booksale. Hahaha. Thank YOU Lord for providing all these blessings! We heart You! :)