6 Years of Homeschooling

In a few weeks, we will finally be finished with 6th grade and 3rd grade  with my daughter and my son respectively. I am overwhelmed with joy and appreciation as my daughter finishes her elementary grades. We’ve homeschooled since first grade and I’ve seen how she has blossomed and developed her skills and her character all these years. But more than that, I’ve also experienced the providence and the faithfulness of the Lord in our life.

When we started in 1st grade, my daughter was quite shy and doesn’t really enjoy the company of others aside from us. It was one of my concerns then that our decision to homeschool her might actually make her  anti-social but instead of being afraid of that, we prayed and took that step of faith as we began our journey of homeschooling.
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Living in the far South from Metro Manila, we couldn’t afford attending all the activities that TMA Homeschool provided but we diligently worked on the curriculum that we had. We prayed that we’d meet other homeschooling families in the area and the Lord did send a few. But those few families were all that we needed for support. We also prayed that we’d find a PE class that will suit my daughter’s interest and the Lord provided. She is now into her 6th year of ballet.

We also realized that she has a special talent in visual arts. She produces artworks that are beyond what I can do myself! She won a scholarship from Global Art Philippines when she was 8 years old. She gave her own art workshop to young children when she was 10 years old. We just gave her materials and the time to draw and develop her interest and we were really amazed at how she developed her skills.

As required by TMA Homeschool, she presents her portfolio every quarter. She started out shy and not really talkative but eventually, she now presents with confidence and speaks with details. Of course she still needs to improve further in this skill, but she has definitely outgrown her shyness.

She also has friends from church and from her ballet class. I see her engaging in conversations and extending herself to others. She also writes letters to her friend who has now moved to Canada.

When we talk, I try to ask her what she thinks about the realities of life and how God has been faithful all these years. I can also genuinely say that she enjoys the company of our family and dreams of doing her best for the Lord.

The tears that we both shed, the prayers that kept us sane, the perseverance that was developed in us and the hard work has all been worth it.

All these developments are far more than I’ve imagined when we started out 6 years ago. The Lord has graciously used homeschooling to change not only my daughter, but also me, through the years.

Let us continue and be faithful to what the Lord has called us to do. When you feel like giving up, or unsure if you’ve made the right decisions, cling to the Lord because He will see you through. He is doing His work in you and through you as you surrender your life to Him.

A Mother’s Reflection on Mother’s Day

Now that my kids are older, I don’t get the cute little cards that I used to get. The parenting dynamics have also changed since it’s not focused on diaper changes, play time or reading together anymore. There are days that I get a lot of questions like  why the world is the way it is, why everyone has to work hard and whats going to happen…

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My children indeed have grown. If you told me 10 years ago that time would pass by so fast, I wouldn’t have believed you because I was mostly physically tired during those early years of parenting. From not being able to sleep through the night to nurturing the family throughout the day, I was happy doing all of these for my family but I was also physically exhausted. Now that my children don’t need me as much physically as they can now do things on their own, I am no longer physically drained. But I learned that I need to continue to be intentional in spending time with them and building that relationship with the children. I need to be present with them. I need to be engaged with them.  As they enter their preteen years, I am learning that parenting has become more emotional, mental and spiritual.

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We need to have fun and relaxing times together as much as we need to go through hard work and stressful moments. There should be a balance between being strict and being fun. I also need to listen to the questions they ask and answer them truthfully and really listen to the questions that they are not asking as well. I must inspire them to be who God has called them to be and help them through their own insecurities as they slowly discover themselves.

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I used to think that parenting would be easier as they grew but I was naive to think that. Parenting is a relationship so it is dynamic and changes over time. Truly, God is changing me each day as I continue on with parenting.  I’m learning to discern what God wants me to focus on and what to let go and to trust in the work of the Lord in the lives of my family as well.

As I celebrate my 12th mother’s day tomorrow, I am grateful for the motherhood journey that the Lord has allowed me to take and I am thankful that as I continue on this path, the Lord is constantly maturing me to be the woman He wants me to be.

Homeschool Help: 5 Tools You Can Use to Teach Godly Virtues At Home

Teaching godly virtues at home is one of our goals in homeschooling. Though character is not something one can easily teach but awareness of these virtues is important so that our children will know these virtues.

Here are some tools you can use to teach these godly virtues.

Achieving True Success: How to Build Character as a Family. This is a book which can be used by the whole family. It is available from Amazon or Learning Plus bookstore in Pasig City.

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Focus on the Family’s Kids of Integrity A great website with free PDF files that focuses on each virtue.

Confession’s of a Homeschooler’s Bible Printables. There are several character studies which you can easily download and print for your child.

We Choose Virtues. There is a homeschool kit that includes parenting cards and downloadable PDF files. It is best fit for 4-8 years old.

The Book of Virtues from William J. Bennett. This is a book about different virtues and there is a FREE unit study on The Book of Virtues  from Shiver Academy.

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Fully Satisfied in Him

In our fast paced life and materialistic world, we are enticed to think that we need the latest gadgets to be able to live a more organized and connected life. We are enticed to think that we need to enroll our children at that program so they can become the best in what they do. We are enticed to think that we need to do more to become better people in our society.

But sadly, in our own pursuit of happiness, this is not what God intends for us. Yes, God wants us to be blessed, but not in the way we thought. We might not be aware of how God has been blessing us because we have been looking at life through the wrong lenses.

As we face our daily life, we make hundreds of choices. Each of those choices yield results and we make more choices out of those choices. It may seem endless and futile but God wants us to see beyond our daily toil. God blesses us with His presence amidst our daily choices. As we completely surrender our cares and our days to Him, He promises to be with us – always. Whatever happens to us, God is with us, thus we are blessed.

His presence brings peace, joy, goodness, love,  and hope in our lives. And that is the fullness that fills our lives. We become fully satisfied in Him and regardless of our life’s circumstances, we know and we can acknowledge that we are blessed.

Our pursuit in life takes a different direction as we realize, in the end, what truly matters is the state of our relationship to God. Because if our relationship with God is doing well then everything else falls in the proper places in our lives. We can be fully satisfied because God is with us.

 

Readers List for 9-12 Years Old

My 9 and 12 year olds love to read and sometimes, it can be quite a challenge to find good books for them to read through. I have been researching and have come up with this readers list for them. I’d like to share it with you and hope that it will help you too!

  • The Island of Dr. Libris by Chris Grabenstein
  • A Summer of Sundays by Lindsay Eland
  • Old Yeller by Fred Gipson
  • Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling
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  • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  • The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  • The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare
  • The Ides of April by Mary Ray
  • Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan
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  • The Year of Miss Agnes by Kirkpatrick Hill
  • Paperboy by Vince Vawter
  • A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park
  • Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray