Adarna House’s History Books

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When I went to the Homeschool Conference a few weeks ago, I was glad to see there were many booths selling books. Adarna House was one of the publishers who graced that event. I immediately asked their friendly staff about books relating to Philippine history and was pleasantly surprised to find several picture books under this category.

Teaching Philippine history can be boring if we only use textbooks prescribed by our homeschool provider, so I was happy to see all these books which could make our Philippine history discussion livelier. Here are some of the books I found and bought:

Guardians of Tradition

What Kids Should Know About Andres and the Katipunan

Batang Historyador series 

I  hope to find more books about the Philippines in the Manila International Book Fair this week. Have you found any other interesting Philippine history books?

My Student Logbook PDF Version Review

A month ago, we were blessed to be given an opportunity to review a daily student planner from My Student Logbook. Being part of the international community, we received the PDF version of the dated book for use with one of my child. My Student Logbook is best for 2nd grade students and up. My Student Logbook Review

My Student Logbook is a simplified but effective student organizer.  This product was created by a multi-level homeschool mom, Corina Abbott. She has been tirelessly looking around for an organizational system which is easy enough to do in a busy household.  With her husband’s support, Corina was able to create a system that utilizes a fold-over checklist. It lines up with the boxes in the dated columns and the checklist can be re-used for the succeeding weeks. There is one column for each day of the week. Mom or student can write the tasks on the checklist and the student just needs to write a check mark below the date if he or she has completed the task written on the specified day.

My Student Logbook Review
Organizing and planning the day of my homeschooler is one of the most challenging aspects of homeschooling. I am not very good at advanced planning and most of the time, this weakness makes me doubt whether our goals for the day or the week were met. It also makes me second guess how our day could have gone better. I have not been able to use any other homeschool planner before since I don’t like to use another planner just for homeschool. So when I saw how easy to use My Student Logbook was, I was excited to share it with my 5th grade daughter.

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We opened the PDF file mailed to us using our pre-installed Adobe Reader. We viewed the attached set up instruction file and also viewed the video on how to set up the logbook from the setup guide as seen from the website. Then we printed the necessary pages and clipped it all together. We didn’t have cover choices.

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 As shown on the photo above, I asked my daughter to write in her daily chores and subjects. We also indicated how many minutes approximately it takes her to finish the task. Then she folded the check list and ensured that the check list is facing out on the week she will be starting to use the list. Then everyday, she just looks at the logbook and place a check on the task she is able to complete. It is a very straight forward, low maintenance daily planner that works for her!

There are several useful pages inserted along with the 6 pages of daily planner. There is an all about me page, prayers and goal page, Bible verses memorized page, book list page, field trips and activities page, test records page and favorite memories from the year page. We found the Bible verses memorized page and book list page very useful.

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My Student Logbooks come in 3 options:

– the Dated My Student Logbooks for August to July school year. This is the product we reviewed.  The physical product costs $15. The PDF file costs $10 for single use and $20 for family use.

– the Dated My Student Logbooks for the calendar year. The physical product costs $15. The PDF file costs $10 for single use and $20 for family use.

– the Undated My Student Logbooks. The physical product costs $15.

 

What I Think of the Product

My Student Logbook has helped me “see” what we have accomplished over the past few weeks. It allows me to visualize how we spent most of our days and what we need to improve upon. Moreso, for my daughter, it has allowed her to be more consistent in monitoring what she has been spending her time on most of the time and it has taught her to be more responsible on how she uses her time daily. This is a good discipline which she would need once she reaches higher grades.

With this planner, I can now easily delegate chores and don’t have to constantly remind them about it. It helps me develop independence in my children as well.

With its simplicity and straight forward approach, I think even my 2nd grade son, if given the opportunity, would be able to use this product too!

For more information about this product, check out My Student Logbook Facebook page and My Student Logbook You Tube channel.

To read more reviews on this product, check out other Schoolhouse Review Crew posts.

Click to read Crew Reviews
 

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Homeschool Fatigue

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If you have been homeschooling for a couple of years like me, chances are you have encountered homeschool fatigue already. A week ago, I attended the Homeschool Conference and Ms. Donna Pangilinan-Simpao discussed Conquering Homeschool Fatigue and it was something I really related to. Just like a doctor, she gave a diagnosis of homeschool fatigue or burn out.

She shared the possible signs and symptoms:

-Feeling overwhelmed

– Lack of patience

– Short temper

– Feelings of failure

– Lack of enthusiasm

– Physical or mental tiredness

– Disturbed sleep

– Wanting to hide or get away

Through out the past 4 years we’ve been homeschooling, I sometimes have experienced these symptoms, though not at the same time and it usually goes away after I get myself recharged through prayer and through counsel of other experienced homeschool moms.

Knowing what causes your fatigue is important so that you can find a solution to your problem. Here are some of the possible causes as shared by Ms. Donna.

– Not having a clear vision/mission/purpose for homeschooling

-Being self-reliant

– Lack of organization

– Too many activities

– Unrealistic expectations

– Lack of discipline

– Distractions

For me, there are days that my lack of organization and discipline can lead to days that I am unmotivated with our homeschooling. I am easily distracted too so I have to watch myself.

Ms. Donna shared are many solutions, but those which resonated with me are:

Seek first the Kingdom of God. Nothing beats spending time with God.

Organization. Fixing the workplace, shelves and the tables helps me think clearly each day.

Exercise. Walking around the neigborhood before our day starts relaxes my mind.

Continue to grow as a person. Invest in books, crafts and time away from homeschooling.

 

I pray that each day as we homeschool, I will not forget these lessons I learned so I can be who God wants me to be.

 

 

Things I Learned from Educating for Life, Homeschool Conference 2014

Last Saturday, I attended  Educating for Life, Homeschool Conference 2014 which was organized by Manila Workshops and The Learning Basket.

Here are 5 things I learned from the conference:

1. The conference was a great place to shop for your homeschooling needs. There were so many booths which included book publishers, mompreneurs, homeschool providers, insurance companies, museums, learning centers and  educational toys.

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2. There are many parents who are interested in homeschooling their children. Though homeschooling families in the Philippines is roughly just .01% right now, it is  encouraging to see so many parents who are considering to take the “road less traveled”.

3. I learned that to become a confident homeschool mom, I need to rely on God’s grace and not on my own abilities nor on my own plans.

4. Filipino Arts, Heritage and Culture can be taught in a fun and creative way! Songs, games and unit studies can be used to achieve this goal.

5. Conquering homeschool fatigue is important and doable.

I am thankful that the Lord allowed me to attend this conference. I was refreshed, rejuvenated and recharged to continue our homeschooling journey.

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Break Homeschool Monotomy!

As a homeschooling family, I know what it is like when the kids are tired and feel the monotony of what we are doing. Here are 5 ways we break up the monotomy and get over this season in our homeschool:

Take field trips. Musuems, musicals, shows and interesting places related to our homeschool topics are considered. We allot some time and budget for these activities to spark the interest of the children and it helps them see the practical aspect of what they are learning.

Do interviews.My child doesn’t  personally do the interviews but we let her attend dialogues or talks of people who exemplify what we believe in or reference persons on specific topics that we are studying.

Enjoy nature. We take a stroll to the park, bring paper and pecil and sketch what we see. I allow them to take photos of whatever interests them and we talk about the beauty of nature . We see God’s hand at work in everything around us and appreciate the blessings we can easily take for granted.

Experiment! With common household items, we do experiments and form conclusions. Love for learning is cultivated with these hands-on experiences.

Club days. These are days that we do special activities. The children can do a puppet show, read poetry, board games, special days like “Filipino Friday”, scrapbooking days.