Homeschool Help: Narration, Copywork and Dictation

Like me, you’ve probably heard about the positive impact of routine copywork, dictation and narration in helping our kids become better writers, spellers and observers. We’ve personally done these activities a bit when a friend allowed us to use their copy of Writing of Ease 1 and Writing with Ease 2 a couple of years back, then when we tried Sonlight Language Arts too.s We also do narration for our History and Science lessons. I noticed that both my children enjoyed these activities and it was in fact some of the more memorable lessons that they did together.

This coming school year, I want us to be more intentional in following through with copywork, dictation and narration. I have been doing quite a bit of research since our summer break and have read a number of books and resources. If you are also wondering how to be more successful with your copywork, dictation and narration, check the following links as they may be of help to you:

Copywork, Dictation, Narration & Observation : A Beginner’s Guide – informational blog post by Brandy Ferrell

Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know about Copywork and Dictation – instructional video by Julie Bogart of The Bravewriter

Our “Writing” Journey : Narration, Copywork and Dictation by Winnie Lopez

Why Do Copywork and Dictation by Jessie Wise


What Makes A Great Education?

About a month ago, I was able to join Sonlight’s Conversations. It was my first time to join a web event so I was pretty excited! I listened using my computer and join the discussion through Sonlight’s Facebook page. The topic was “What Makes A Great Education” and the panel of guests were Cathy Duff, a well known curriculum specialist, Sarita Holzmann, Sonlight President and Laura Lee Ellis from Sonlight Media who was homeschooled herself.

It was quite interesting to note that most of the questions that people mentioned were the same things that I had in mind. Like, what is my greatest fear when my homeschooling journey comes to an end, how to choose the best curriculum for my kids amidst their different learning styles and the question of the day, what makes a great education.

It is always inspiring and encouraging to listen to others who have gone before me on this road of homeschooling and here are my most important take-home insights:

Raise people who love to learn and to read. Read together as a family, read independently and read again. Remember also to have fun together!

Shape their worldview. As a Christian family, what I believe and why I believe should be passed on to my children in words and in deeds. Model a life worth lived.  Ask the right questions in life like who am I and why am I here.

-Work on their character. Teach the children to work hard and be humble. They need to handle some responsibilities. As a parent, I also need to sow encouragement in them.


At the end of the day, it won’t be the grades, curriculum or exams that will define my kids and our homeschooling journey. With a healthy fear of the Lord guiding them, it would help them make wise choices as they face life and that is what will truly matter.

Homeschool Help: 5 Books for Homeschooling Moms

If you are interested to homeschool your child or are already homeschooling, chances are, you are looking for resources about homeschooling. As a homeschooling mom of 2 children for the past 6 years, I have been reading a number of good books which have helped me in our homeschooling journey. Let me share with you those that have been truly helpful to me and has somewhat influenced the way we homeschool in our family.

So You’re Thinking About Homeschooling by Lisa Whelchel. A friend lent this book to me when she found out that I was interested in homeschooling 6 years ago. This book shared how 15 different families made homeschooling work.  This book gave me an idea how homeschooling actually happens in the family and showed me that homeschooling can work regardless of family lifestyle.


The Three R’s Series by Ruth Beechick. This is for those with younger children, toddler age to grade 2. Ms. Beechick  stressed that home teachers should focus early-on the three Rs which include Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic.

Educating the Wholehearted Child by Clay Clarkson with Sally Clarkson.  Sally Clarkson encourages parents to adopt the whole hearted learning model. As written and explained in the book, “The whole hearted learning model is a discipleship-based, home-centered, whole-book approach to Christian home education that integrates real books, real life, and real relationships in a life-giving expression of God’s biblical design for the family.”

Educating the WholeHearted Child

The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer. I read this book when we started homeschooling but I was overwhelmed by the classical method  during that time. After 5 years of homeschooling, I read this book again and this time, I now understand why my daughter had a hard time with Math and I actually want to try a more classical approach in our homeschool. Ms. Bauer is able to explain the classical approach very clearly and orderly through this book.

The Well Trained Mind

Simply Homeschool : Having Less Clutter and More Joy in Your Homeschool by Karen DeBeus. Sometimes as moms, we tend to build clutter around the house. Ms. De Beus helps us get rid off clutters that hover around us and bring the joy back to our homeschooling. I loved how this book helped me refocus and redefine our homeschool journey.

Simply Homeschool

I have kept the last 3 books in my list as my personal copies since I re-read them especially during breaks so that I can be re-energized, refocused and be ready for the new school year.


Homeschool Help: Guide to Good Literature and Literature Based Curriculum

I have been quite vocal how our family loves reading. We believe that reading together has made our lives richer and deeper. We share common experiences, stories and learnings through the different literature we’ve read over the years. But how does one find good literature to read together?

Thankfully, there are many literature based curriculum and resource books that a homeschooling family can use. Even if you don’t homeschool, you can also use the book lists to shop for good books for your family.

Here are some books you can use as a reference to begin a lifestyle of reading good literature:

Honey for A Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt – A guide book discussing how to use books to help children grow. It also provides a list of best books on the market and classics that you would want your children to read.


Read for the Heart by Sarah Clarkson. Sarah helps you choose the best literature for your family.  The extensive list includes timeless classics to modern favorites, from picture books to adventure novels to read-aloud favorites.




Here are some literature based curriculum :

Sonlight. Read more about Sonlight at It is a literature-based Christian homeschool curriculum program which provides complete curriculum packages for K-12. It is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary.

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Five in a Row.  Read more about Five in a Row at Five in a Row has 3 main levels Before Five in a Row for ages 2-4, Five in a Row for ages 5-8 and Beyond Five in a Row for ages 8-12. It offers a selection of great books, including picture books and you’d be reading one book for 5 days in a row. Through that particular book, you can do several activities with your little ones using the Teacher’s Manual.


Beautiful Feet. Read more about Beautiful Feet at Learn about history through literature for grades 1-12. The lessons begin in early American history timeline. a6dddb3e0c493a7bacf25ef079aaa6b2Image source:

Ambleside Online. Read more about Ambleside Online at This free curriculum guide uses the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling. It has lists for K-12.


My Father’s World
. Read more about My Father’s World at This is a complete unit based curriculum with daily lesson plans using the Charlotte Mason approach and classical education with a Biblical worldview. It offers Pre-K to High School.

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Living Books Curriculum. Read more about Living Books at Utilizing a Charlotte Mason approach to education, Living Books Curriculum incorporates classic literature into the traditional subjects such as history, language arts, and science. They have curriculum for K to 12.



Tapestry of Grace. Read more about Tapestry of Grace at  Tapestry of Grace utilizes classical education approach using a 4-year cycle of the history of the world. This is for K to 12 and every student will cycle throughout history 3x as they pass through grammar, logic and rhetoric stages.


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If you know of other literature based curriculum, please leave a comment and share it with us. Thanks!


Homeschool Help : Accredited Homeschool Providers

Note: This post is updated as of June 15, 2015. 

If you are considering homeschooling in the Philippines, you might be wondering about accreditation of your child’s homeschooling endeavor with the Department of Education. Well fear not, since there are a number of accredited homeschool providers in the country where you can enroll your child.

Angelicum College Home Study Program
(Year Round Enrollment)
Address: 112 M.J. Cuenco St. Sta. Mesa Heights Quezon City, Philippines
Contact Number: (2) 732 4243,

Blended Learning Center Manila
(Alternative Learning System,)
Address: #56 Lantana cor New York Sts. Cubao, QC
Contact Numbers:  (2) 410 3912, (0906) 295 2265,(0926)401 6141,(0917) 621 2167, (0998) 531 7949
Facebook: http://www.facebook/blendedlearningcentermanila

Bright Young Minds
(You can choose your own curriculum either DepEd accredited or U.S. curriculum)
Address: Unit 304, Venture bldg. Prime Cor. Market St. Madrigal Business Park, Alabang, Muntinlupa City
Contact Number: (2) 774 3747, (0920)417 3070, (0917)817 0321
Facebook: ttps://

Catholic Filipino Academy
(Catholic Homeschool using local textbooks, June to March calendar, Pre-school to High School)
Address:8th floor Obispado de Cubao, 41 Lantana Street, Cubao, Metro Manila, Quezon City, 1109
Contact Numbers: (2) 721 1088, (0915) 668 8577
Email: Preschool –, Elementary –, High School –

Harvest Christian School International
(US based program with year-round enrollment, DepEd accredited program with prescribed local books or Open Curriculum, Preschool to High School)
Address: 24-B Tres Borces Street, Mabolo, Cebu City, Philippines 6000 
Makati Virtual Office : Level 22, Tower One and Exchange Plaza, Ayala Triangle, Ayala Avenue Makati City
Contact Numbers: (32) 232 9608, (32) 231 0208, (32) 514 6063, (0943)270 5616, (0921)589 8232
Email :

Homeschool of Asia Pacific
(US based program with year-round enrollment or DepEd accredited program with prescribed local books June to March calendar, Pre-school to High School)
Address: Level 5 Richville Tower, Madrigal Business Park, Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa
Contact Numbers: (2) 809 4742 or (2) 809 5412 loc. 10, (917) 855 1316 (915)549 3883
Office Hours: Monday to Friday 9am-5pm


International British Academy
(Elementary students only)
Address: Gen. Aguinaldo Hi-way, Anabu ll-D, Imus, Cavite

Contact Number: (046) 471 5922

Kids World Integrated School, Inc.
(Under Alternative Learning System, Open Curriculum, Elementary level, Follows DepEd School Year)
Address: North Greenhills Association, Johnson Park, San Juan Metro Manila
Contact Number : (2)726-6563, (2)631-9842

Peniel Integrated Christian Academy of Rizal
(Open Curriculum, Preschool to High School, June to March school year )
Address: Phase I, 42 Burgos St. Vista Verde Executive Village, Cainta, Rizal, Philippines
Contact Numbers: (2) 682 7942, (0936) 182 1391

The Learning Place Homeschool
(Open curriculum, Preschool to High School, Year round enrollment)

Address: 10966 Kanluran Rd.Faculty Hills, UP Los Banos Laguna
Contact Number: (049) 5368316
Email :

The Master’s Academy (TMA) Home School Department
(Christian Homeschool, Open Curriculum, with US Accreditation, Pre-school to Highschool)
Address: 2F Fun Ranch, Frontera Verde, Ortigas Ave., Pasig City
Contact Numbers: (2) 234-0432, (2) 502-7027, (0917) 800-8257
Office Hours: Tuesday to Friday 9am-4pm

Philippine Christian School of Tomorrow – Home Education Program
(Christian Homeschool using PACES of School of Tomorrow, USA

Accepts Elementary to High School Enrollees, Enrollment is all-year round)
Address:SOT Blvd., (former MJS Ave.)
Levitown Executive Village, Brgy. Don Bosco, Parañaque City
Phone: (2) 822 9663

VCIS HomeStudy
(Christian Homeschool using BJU Press materials,  Elementary to High School)
Address: 3rd Floor Rodil Bldg. 326 Capt Javier Dr.  Oranbo Pasig City
Contact Number: (2) 775 5705, (2)584-6092, (0917) 813 2862 
Email address:




Note: For further information, please contact the schools directly.