Our New Bookshelf

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We love reading as a family and as individuals. We started reading together when my kids were still small and thankfully, now that they are both older, they both  still love reading. I truly believe that reading together is a key in establishing this good habit.

But as with all readers, books are everywhere in the house! This is the pile of books in the kids’ room. They have so many books that the books don’t fit on their old bookshelf anymore! This was beginning to be a problem and I noticed that they don’t return the books after reading. So we were prompted to ask a carpenter to make a bookshelf for their rooom.

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This is the customized bookshelf  that was made. It looked better than we expected. I asked my son to classify the books and arrange them alphabetically. It was indeed a good exercise! My children now keeps their books every time they finish reading and they know exactly where to put it!

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Supercharged Science Review

Science is one of my children’s favorite subject but doing the experiments is something I don’t naturally like. So when I was given the opportunity to review the Supercharged Science by the SchoolhouseReview Crew, I was hopeful that this would help me and my kids appreciate Science more. We were given 6 months online access to the e-Science Learning Program.

Supercharged eScience Review
Supercharged Science is an online homeschool science curriculum developed for grades K-12.You can use this alongside any other Science curriculum or use this e-Science Learning Program entirely on its own.

To access the product, you just need a browser and a stable internet connection. Once subscribed, you will use your username and password to access a complete science curriculum. The program consists of 20 topics,  which include science subject matters like  mechanics, motion, matter, energy, sound, astrophysics, chemistry, light, electricity, magnetism, life science, biology and earth science. You can choose to navigate through the different subject matters by topic or by grade levels. The grade level lessons are then arranged by topic. There are over 900 experiments, science activities and projects in the entire curriculum. There are videos, data lab sheets, exercises and reading materials for every lesson. Every lesson has a hands on-experiment which makes the scientific concept become real for the student and they get to watch the  actual experiment on the video first so they know how it works. The materials needed for the experiments are common household items so no need to spend extra to make the activities.

 

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This homeschool curriculum is created and taught by Aurora Lipper. She has a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering used to be a teacher and she also worked for NASA but has now dedicated her life to inspiring kids and educators to love science through Supercharged Science.

Supercharged eScience Review
The price of the K-12 Level Plan is $57 per month, while the K-8 Level plan is $37 per month.

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We started by watching the Getting Started video to get a feel how we should use the curriculum. We learned that we needed to pick up a science area we wanted to start with and  so we choose to work on Unit 1 about mechanics. The very first lesson was about force. My daughter, aged 10, and and my son, aged 7, went ahead and  watched the first video. They also read the text materials and started to look for activities which are doable and didn’t need a lot of materials.

The first activity they chose to do was the flying paper clip. They gathered all the materials necessary for the experiment like the magnet, paper clip, string and tape. They followed the instructions carefully and was able to do the experiment on their own!

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The kids were interested to learn more and wanted to do more experiments but we opted to do just one experiment per day. We used the program 3x a week, so that means 3 projects a week!

The next activity we did was the building bridges. The abosultely enjoyed this experiment! They used paper, blocks, clay to build bridges and see which bridge wil last. They learned which structures are best and will not easily topple down.

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One night, when the full moon was out, we decided to work on Phases of the Moon. They understood very clearly from that experiment just how the sun’s rays reached our world and specifically which area it reached!

 

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One of their most favorite experiment was Go! Go! Go! It was a lesson about kinetic energy and potential energy. We used toy cars, measuring stick and a board book.

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We also studied about velocity. We worked on the Look Out Below! experiment. The kids had to gather a few objects and predict which items would fall the fastest. So they had a timer and measured how fast each object fell to ground. Their predictions were not 100% correct. They learned that the heavier objects fell feaster than the lighter ones.

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They also wanted to learn about the neat trick from the experiment TaaDaaaa!!! So they tried it and was able to successfully perform this trick!

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We used this product as a supplement to our science subject. The kids loved it because it was very practical and made Science become alive! Gone were the days when they just read about a science theory. They loved the hands-on experiment that came with each lesson. I also liked it because the entire program required little intervention from me, since the kids just had to watch and answer the questions and do the experiment. The instructions and the video were very kid-friendly. I also liked the fact that I can jump from one topic to the other. It didn’t require me to do all the experiments under each lesson. As long as the kids read and did a few of the experiments, we moved on to the next. If we wanted to do more, then we can easily choose the experiments available.

This is a real life saver for me. I no longer  have to think of experiments to make Science come alive. It is just what I hoped for! To top it all, I also enjoyed learning Science concepts with the kids!

If you want to see if this online homeschool program suits your family, you can try this full access to the  e- Sceince program for just $1!

For more information about Supercharged Science, follow them at their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/superchargedsci or Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aurora_lipper or YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/auroram42.

 

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Heart and Mind of a Homeschooling Mom – Donna Donor

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Our featured mom for this week is Ms. Donna Donor. I met Donna through Manila Workshops and was excited to learn that she homeschools her only son. Let’s learn from Donna today!

Hi Donna! Can you share some information about yourself for our readers?

I am Donna and a teacher by profession, been teaching English as a Second Language to foreigners for the past 8 years. Been working from home for almost 7 years now. Currently, an Events Director at Manila Workshops.

I only have one son, he is 7 years old. I started homeschooling when he is 3.11 years old, did it independently for two years until I decided to enrol him at School of Tomorrow in 2012. This is now our third year with them.

Why did you choose to homeschool your child?

The reason for homeschooling is at first, a joke. I got the idea from my ex-husband.  He mentioned homeschooling during our normal conversations because “mag-aartista si Kib”.  Then it dawned to me, “Oo nga noh?! Showbiz kids have no normal study hours.”  So I find this reason “cute”.

When I’m already saying my intentions of homeschooling to my mom, I made it into a joke.  I said, “Magiging bayani si Kib, si Jose Rizal homeschooled yun, gusto ko magkaron sya ng monumento gaya ke Jose Rizal.” Sounds funny, isn’t it?!

I also thought ” If I can teach other kids, why can’t I teach my own son, right?!”  It’ll also be a pride on my part if my son learned the basics from me (ehem, ehem).  It’ll also build a stronger mother-child relationship as well.  I also worry about the school environment, the bullying by other kids and adults in school. I’m also lazy going out of the house, if I enrol my son in a regular school, I need to bring him to school everyday. I don’t want to entrust my son to a school service.

 I need a flexible schedule since I ran errands for my parents and having a fixed schedule to and from school will make things difficult for me especially in budgeting time.

Family situation is also a reason why I chose homeschooling.  I am separated from my husband and having an incomplete family may be a source of insecurity of my son especially when the topic in school is about family.

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Are you currently enrolled in an accredited home education provider? Which one?

My son is currently enrolled at School of Tomorrow using ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) curriculum.

Is it difficult to homeschool a solo child? 

It is as challenging as homeschooling multiple kids…really need to be strict in terms of finishing tasks because he has a tendency to play in-between and jump from one lesson to another..

How long do you plan to homeschool your child?

As to how long, that I cannot answer at the moment. I will leave the decision to my son if he is already ready to study in a regular school or not. But if I were to decide, should he be enrolled in a regular school, I want him to enrol in a Science school so that he will just be focused on studying, but then again, it depends on how his future on modelling will be.

Can you share any tips on homeschooling?

Lessons learned: my bonding with my son is I can say, the best! We are always together, we learn together. The money that I saved from sending him to a regular school was used as our travel fund. I make sure that annually, my son gets to see different places around the Philippines; hopefully, I could have enough budget to spend for an international trip. I believe trips are also good learning experiences for the kids as they can really see the beauty of God’s creation with their own eyes, not just on pictures and TV.

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Homeschooling has lots of challenges too. I told my son that he must finish his schoolwork before sunset, but whenever he doesn’t finish on time, I don’t let him sleep until he does, even if it takes until 1am. I don’t want him to be a slacker so I really let him finish his tasks within the day. If he doesn’t finish his work on specified time, some of his privileges are removed (no gadgets, no TV). The parent has to be really tough on this aspect so that homeschooling will be effective.

Thanks so much Donna! 

Read more from Donna from her blog http://homeschoolerkib.blogspot.com/. If you have any questions for Donna, please leave a comment and we will try our best to respond.

To read the rest of this series, check Heart and Mind of a Homeschooling Mom.

Heart and Mind of a Homeschooling Mom : Thammie Sy

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Our featured mom for this week is Ms. Thammie Sy of thammiesy.com. I began reading her blog many years back because of her posts on faith and parenting. I soon learned that she is the wife of a pastor and that they are a homeschooling family as well. It was just fitting to invite her to share her personal journey in homeschooling her kids.

Hi Thammie! I am honored to feature you today. Can you share more about yourself  and how your homeschool journey started?

I am Thammie Sy, a stay-at-home wife of a minister and mom of three (aged 8, 6, and 1 y/o).
I consider homeschooling a lifestyle and a lifetime journey, so I would say that I have been homeschooling since I gave birth to my eldest daughter—about eight years. I formally enrolled my two girls when they reached five years old.

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Why did you choose to homeschool your children?

I always wanted to homeschool my children, even before I got married!

Character is paramount to our family, and we feel that homeschooling is one of the best ways we can influence our children and impart the things that are most important to us. My husband and I feel that we could best equip our children for a lifetime of true success through homeschooling—training them not just academically, but in all other essential areas of life as well.


I also really want to be able to enjoy my kids and spend as much time as I can with them while I still can. I know that in a few years, I would have to release them into the world. While they are under my care, I hope to be able to sharpen them and direct them where they should go, according to their bent.

What curriculum are you using with your child? 

I use different types of curricula for my children, according to what we find best fit their learning style and personality.

Honestly, most of the materials we’ve used over the years are a hodgepodge of those that were either borrowed, given to us, or those that I found on sale.

Initially, we weren’t sure of what would work for our children and we couldn’t afford to buy new materials just yet. As we go along, we discover more and more what each of our children prefer to use, and this helps us in deciding what curriculum to get the following school year.

Are you enrolled in a DepEd accredited homeschool provider or others? Which one?

We are currently enrolled with The Master’s Academy.


Until when do you plan to homeschool your children?

We take it one year at a time. If it were up to me, I would like to homeschool my children as long as I can.

Hopefully, they would want to continue being homeschooled, too! My eldest daughter just asked me yesterday if it was possible for me to homeschool her until college! A scary thought, but a good sign, I would say, that she is enjoying what we’re doing.

Deciding whether or not to continue with homeschooling our children would greatly be affected by whatever our goals are for that season.

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Share one lesson you’ve learned over the years about homeschooling.

More than teaching the head, homeschooling is shepherding the heart.

I cannot give what I do not have. Whether it is knowledge or character, I must first have it me, before I can pass it on to my children.


That is truly worth remembering. Any other tips for other homeschooling moms?

Always remember that each child is different. Remembering this takes deliberate effort!


Each family is different. Though it is always good to ask around and get tips from other homeschooling families, your family’s needs are unique. It is ultimately YOUR homeschooling journey as a family.


Have one vision as a family and run with it. Being united is important! Always make sure that communication lines are open, and that expectations between every member of the family are communicated and managed properly.


Set goals that are clear and realistic. These goals will keep you focused and keep you from getting overwhelmed.


Keep it simple.


Have fun.

Thank you so much Thammie! God bless you, your family and your ministry. 

Read more from Thammie by following her at her blog thammiesy.com or her facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ThammieSyOfficial . If you have any questions for Thammie, please leave a comment and we will try our best to respond.

To read the rest of this series, check Heart and Mind of a Homeschooling Mom.

Apologia Zoology 2

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We have just finished our Science lessons for this school year. We have studied about Zoology specifically about ocean creatures! We’ve used Apologia Young Explorer Series Zoology 2. It has been an exciting journey. I enjoyed it myself since I learned so much about sea creatures such as fish, dolphins, sharks, rays, shells, crabs, lobsters, shrimps, coral reef and so much more! We even learned about how pearls are formed! Just like those pearls from Reeds.com pearl neclaces.

One of the activities my children enjoyed the most about Zoology 2 is that they get to create an ocean box! Here is their work over the whole school year.

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We truly enjoyed Apologia Zoology 2 because it gives us a good perspective and in-depth lessons about the ocean creatures. We say that we love Apologia books because we really love reading together! The kids also learned to take down notes. If you asked me if I would recommend it, I would if your family likes to read together and have multi-level grade levels students.