Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Homeschooling Affirmation from a Stranger, Bo Sanchez and ;)

Whether you're a seasoned homeschooler, a homeschool parent wannabe or a homeschooling newbie like me, I'm sure there will come a time when you will need some homeschooling encouragement. :) Well, let me share how I've been affirmed lately about our decision to keep homeschooling (or rather, God's decision to put homeschooling "in our faces"! LOL!)

1. Affirmation from a Stranger

Last Sunday, the kids, their Papa and I were browsing through a tiangge (OK, what's the English term for this?! LOL!) stall after hearing Mass. One of the ladies there, an elderly woman whom I shall refer to as Curious Lola from now on, overheard Tim talking to me.

Curious Lola (to Tim): Where do you go to school?

Tim (speaking softly): Homeschool. (I then prod him to speak a little louder.)

Me: Where daw? (Loosely translated: She said, "Where?")

Tim (raises his voice, almost shouting in a cheeky manner): Homeschool! 

Me (thinking, "Uh-oh! She might think we have socialization issues!"): Don't shout, Tim.

Curious Lola: Wow! Homeschool! (Turns to me)

Curious Lola: How do you do that?

Me: (I start explaining).

Curious Lola: That's wonderful, etc. etc. 

Well, we actually had a fairly lengthy conversation about homeschooling and one or two other topics (which even included her telling me that two kids was just right and it would be better for us to stop at that. Umm... feeling close much?! LOL!). Hubby even thought that the lady was someone I knew personally, since we talked for so long!

Overall though, I came away encouraged by our conversation. I also felt humbled and honored again that God used little ol' me to share about how awesome (and challenging!) homeschooling can be. Yey! Thank You, Lord!

2. Affirmation from Bo Sanchez

At our recent family outing with the rest of my co-employees, I had the great privilege of talking to Bo and Marowe Sanchez about homeschooling! (Yes, the Bo Sanchez, people! The one who founded Catholic Filipino Academy (CFA) and a whole bunch of other ministries and organizations, and is my "idol-in-a-non-idolatrous-way" when it comes to writing! He's actually one of our company's "big bosses" and, of course, its founder, too!)

So this is how our dialogue went (as far as I recall, haha!):

Bo (making conversation because I stepped into his path {promise, I didn't do it in person! LOL!}): So how are you doing? You're doing good?

Me (rejoicing that my plan to start a conversation with Bo by stepping into his path worked): Great!

Bo: That's good. 

Me: Can I just say that your talk at the Homeschool Conference was so inspiring? A lot of the parents there were really in tears!

Bo: Really? Praise God! (or something to that effect)

*On a separate occasion, right after we had taken a group photo (see below, in case you think I'm making things up, LOL!)
I just got this from one of my officemates. See the lady squatting, with two kids? That's me with Rysse (white hat) and Tim (blue hat). Bo is the one in stripes, with his hands on the little boy (their youngest, Francis) and beside him (wearing black) is Marowe. Hubby is the one to the extreme left, in blue. Hehe!

Bo (referring to our kids): So, are you going to homeschool them?

Me: Well actually, we already are. But we're not enrolled under CFA yet. It's kind of challenging with my work so we're independent for now. We're using CHC, along with other things to supplement it.

Bo: Oh, that's great! That's what we started with. 

Marowe: OK lang yun. Bata pa naman sila eh. (That's OK. The kids are still young, anyway). 

Bo: Yeah, just enjoy it. Make the most of these years! (or something to that effect)

Me: Yes, I know. Thanks!

(I then prompt the kids to say "Thank you" again to their "Tito" Bo. (feeling close, haha! "Tito" is Filipino for "Uncle." They do and we all go home happy.)

Thank You, Lord, for that affirmation! :)

3. Affirmation from

In my post about the 4th Philippine Homeschool Conference, I said I'd share my own thoughts on the conference. Yikes! It's been over a month since the event and I still  haven't done so! (Sorry!) I was reminded to do so when I read this article about it on though, which also affirmed me about our journey in homeschooling:
Home Schooling Produces Achievers 

Of course, aside from these, I've also been getting affirmation from my fellow homeschool parents in our Catholic homeschool support group, ROCKERs and homeschool sites, like this post on homeschool preschool from Simple Homeschool. :) I feel less pressured to do and inspired to just be with my kids. (Special mention here: Mariel of The Learning Basket, thanks for your encouragement!)

By sharing these moments of affirmation with you, I hope to encourage you, too, dear parent reading this! :) Or, if you have words of affirmation you'd like to share with me (and others), please feel free to leave a comment. 

Thank you and God bless you and your family! ;)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Happy to be with HAPI! :)

Just a quick post to let you all know that as of last Tuesday, June 19, I am now officially part of the HAPI {Homeschool Association of the Philippine Islands} Core! Praise GOD! :) I attended my first meeting on Tuesday and am SOOO excited! :) (And humbled and scared silly at the same time!)
Log on to or find us on Facebook.
There are lots of new, happy things brewing over at HAPI! I'm not at liberty to tell y'all the details YET, but please do include us in your prayers in the meantime. Especially little ol' me — that I will ALWAYS be true FIRST to God's call to be the best wife and homeschool mom that I can be, by His grace! :) Lord, may Your will be done! To You be all the glory, now and forever! :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Author and illustrator in the making? ;) Only God knows!

Tim had some workbook time last night, or, what he calls "homework." I was at the office the whole day Thursday and Friday, so I thought we'd get in some writing and reading practice before bedtime. We decided to use the Summer Skills Daily Activity Workbook for Grade 1 that we got (for P99!) at National Bookstore last Independence Day.
Do you see little Therese's foot?! Haha!
Yes, I know summer is officially over for us here in the Philippines, but the workbook is really nice! :) Tim enjoyed choosing which pages he wanted to do and I was amazed that his handwriting has improved greatly (by my standards anyway, LOL!) EVEN IF WE HARDLY DID ANY WRITING PRACTICE THESE PAST FEW MONTHS! :) God, You're amazing!

One of the pages required Tim to draw something and he ended up being SO EXCITED that he asked for a separate piece of paper so he could draw some more.
Tim usually doesn't like drawing or coloring, so I let him go crazy drawing up his own characters and making up his own story — even if it was a little bit too "violent" for my taste! You know, fighting and zombies and monsters and whatnot! :P
He got SOOO excited that he even asked for my help to make a book. I tried to recall fellow homeschool mom Mariel's tips for encouraging story-writing among young children as we went along.
I had Tim write the page numbers for our book. :)
This is what our book cover looks like:
The Adventures of Timothy and Friends
Written and Illustrated by Tim and Tina Rodriguez
Can you tell which words Tim wrote and which ones I did? LOL! :) I helped draw the picture but asked Tim to do the details. :) So what do you guys think?

P.S. I am overjoyed that Tim has started enjoying writing and thinking up his own stories and characters. He's been doing this from time to time with his toys and this isn't the first time he's made up his own stories BUT it is the first time we've actually tried putting them in "book" form! :) Perhaps we have an author / illustrator in the making? Only God knows His plans for our kids, and whatever they are, they're certainly the BEST! :D + AMDG +

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Teacher Mama Jen on Using Five In A Row (FIAR) — With a Free Printable! :)

We've recently started using Five In A Row (FIAR) in our homeschool, mostly due to the influence of fellow ROCKERs mom Mariel. I LOVE using it, especially since it doesn't take much preparation time (perfect for a "lazy" homeschool mom like me, LOL!). :)

I actually read about FIAR on other homeschool moms' blogs, one of the more memorable ones was Forever, For Always, No Matter What. The mom behind it, Jen, left a comment on my other blog last year, when I posted about adoption.
Image from Jen's FB page
I was SUPER inspired by Jen and her family and their adoption story! :) So much that I even asked Jen to write a guest post for me on Truly Rich Mom (check it out here!). I also got more inspired to try out FIAR. :)

Anyway, Jen recently wrote a great post about using FIAR and even shared a free printable planning page over at :) I highly recommend it to everyone out there, especially those who are looking for curriculum or just an excuse to buy superb-quality books for your kids! :) Click here to read her post. :) Have fun! :D

P.S. For Philippine-based readers who wish to try FIAR, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you check out Mariel's blog and FB page. :)

If you're anything like me, you will find yourself falling in love with children's books (all over again for me!) and wanting to collect the very best titles for your children! :) Hehehe! :) Oh, and in case you want to see The Learning Basket ladies in person and hoard view their books, they'll be at the Medela House this Saturday for the ROCKERs June meet-up! :) Come join us, if you like! :) Just make sure you register online first here or leave a post on my Facebook page! :) Hope to see you!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Encouraging a Love for the Philippines :) Happy Independence Day!

We celebrate the 114th Philippine Independence Day today. :) Here are some ideas on how you can do so in your own home (not necessarily homeschool!), taken from fellow Filipino homeschool moms:

Philippine Independence Day for Preschoolers from The Learning Basket
Love of Country Posts One and Two from The Mommy Journey
Six Things You Can Do With Your Kids On Independence Day from Mommy Bares All

We've been reading the books listed below prior to today and I hope to FINALLY get a copy of The Chair King so we can do the unit study from The Learning Basket (as described in the link above). (Hubby and I checked out five bookstores between us and still couldn't get a copy!)

Adarna books:
- Si Segunda, Noong Panahon Ng Mga Espanyol (Text both in Filipino and English)
Talks a bit about how Segunda's life was during the time of the Spanish
- Si Pitong, Noong Panahon Ng Mga Hapon (Text both in Filipino and English)
Talks a bit about Pitong's life during the time of the Japanese
- Si Jhun-Jhun, Noong Bago Ideklara Ang Batas Militar (Text both in Filipino and English)
Talks a bit about Jhun-Jhun's life before Martial Law was declared in the Philippines
- Dalawang Bayani ng Bansa (Text in Filipino only)
Talks about the lives of Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio and how they intersected at some points

Chikiting books: (published by LG&M Corporation)
- Rizaldy (Text both in Filipino and English)
Sorry about the incomplete image! This talks about living up to one's name, in Rizaldy's case,  following the example of his namesake, Rizal. :)

Golden Salakot Stories: (published by LG&M Corporation)
- Uldok the War Hero (Text in English only)
Uldok is a dog that save his Filipino owners from the Japanese.

I got all these books from National Bookstore. We've enjoyed reading them, though Tim insists I read the texts in English only and not in Filipino! (I had to translate the Dalawang Bayani ng Bansa text in my mind while I was reading it to him — quite a task for the Filipino-challenged me! That's what I get for not growing up in the Philippines and not having a formal education in Filipino! Haha!)

Anyway, I plan to read these again and again sporadically this week and next to try to emphasize the importance of learning about our country's history and cherishing our independence and our culture.

Admittedly, I had a hard time with Dalawang Bayani ng Bansa, as there was a part that mentioned how the Spanish priests at the time were not doing good things (when Rizal wrote Noli Me  Tangere). Once I had read that part out loud, Tim had this shocked look on his face: "What? How can the priests be bad?!" OOPS, Mama!

I explained as best I could that that was a loooong time ago and changed the subject. Hmmm.... Need to be more careful for now, since Tim's still in preschool and may not be able to understand that there really is evil in the hearts of all men (and women and children!) and we need to battle it every day with God's grace and mercy! :)

So anyway, yes, it's time to celebrate Independence Day now! :) Have a good one, y'all and remember to thank the LORD for our freedom every day! :)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Welcome back to school, Kingdom-Seekers! :) {Our "curriculum" for SY 2012-2013}

We started having a regular homeschool routine again last Monday, June 4. Yes, folks, it's back to school time here at the Kingdom-seekers Academy! :)

Actually, ever since God "overturned" our initial decision to enroll Tim in a non-traditional progressive preschool and literally put His call for us to continue homeschooling "in our face," I have been thinking and praying about what curriculum to use and whether we should go with a DepEd-accredited homeschool provider.

Well, we've decided to continue being independent for this year and after a super-loooooong "break" from our previous homeschool routine (which I pathetically tried to document on a daily basis here, haha!), we're finally at it again! :)
Though we've been "off" the "schooling" part of homeschooling since December (gasp!), when I decided to just focus on reading lots of good books about Advent and Christmas, I don't think learning has stopped for the kids, as I'd like to believe we try to be as vigilant and aware as possible about making everyday experiences learning experiences for the children. :) (OK, so maybe I am being a bit defensive here, haha!)
Our Advent/Christmas books
In fact, I was affirmed recently that the kids, particularly Tim, are learning well — even without much input from me and their Papa. When we had Tim assessed at different progressive preschools in March during our long discernment period, all of the teachers who assessed him said that his skills are just right for his age, and one teacher even said that he has above average IQ and comprehension skills! :) Praise the LORD! :)

ROCKERs is meeting up again! :) Hurray! :D (Care to join us?!)

Our Catholic homeschool support group, ROCKERs, is FINALLY meeting up again this June! :) Our last meet-up was in February, I think, though we've all been keeping in touch regularly on Facebook.
Tim and Lia (the daughter of Maricel of Medela Moms)
helping in the February ROCKERs meet-up preparations. :)
A few of us also met up at the recent Philippine Homeschool Conference (which I STILL have not written about, waahhh!). We had an awesome time talking about our kids, our homeschool styles, book-hoarding and so many other things! :)

The June activity will be led by Mariel of The Learning Basket, who will also be leading the group in some fun Kindermusik activities! :) We also plan to have a special story-time session focusing on dads, since we're celebrating Father's Day on June 17.

If you're interested in joining us, do let us know! Just fill up the form found here. Hope to see you all there! :)

P.S. Shop @ The Learning Basket will be there, too! Yipeee! Good news for book-hoarders lovers like me! :)

Teachermama Tina writes about

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