Heart and Mind of a Homeschooling Mom: Lynden Tablante

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The last mom to be featured on our series Heart and Mind of a Homeschooling Mom is someone I’ve met personally when I was just beginning my homeschooling journey, Ms. Lynden Tablante.

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Hi Lynden! Thank you for agreeing to be featured on my blog. Please share something about yourself for our readers. 

I am a home schooler mom, home keeper, mission partner and helpmeet to my husband Dennis who is an engineer by education, an academician/school administrator (Malayan Colleges Laguna) by profession, and a Sunday School Teacher/Home Cell leader /church deacon by vocation.  Prior to homeschooling,   l used  to hold a managerial position in the Treasury and Investments Department  of a local universal bank.  We are blessed with three kids – Paolo Miguel (13 years old), Aliya Magaret (10 years old) and Sean Andrew (6 years old).  We started homeschooling in June 2009  and we are well on our 5th  year now.

Why did you choose to homeschool  your children?

In a planning seminar I attended during my working years in a bank, we were asked by the facilitator to complete the sentence “I want to be the best ________”.  I remember jotting down the word “mother” in the blank, passionately so, as I was pregnant with my first baby then.   Surprisingly, all working moms in the group gave the same answer!  It was the facilitator’s comments afterwards that struck me and stayed with me through the years. He said, “If you want to be the best mother, then you ought to be in your homes!”  I did not yield immediately to God’s prodding then.  I waited for the string of promotions to come – and so they did, one after another.  Lulled by the allurement of financial stability and empowerment,  it took me more years before I realized I already had  three kids growing and spending more time without me ( and vice versa).  In my personal quiet time, God’s words in Matthew 8:13  “Go back home” were as darts piercing my heart and soul.   The still, small voice reverberated more loudly and clearly as days went by.  Hence, my decision to resign from work and be a fulltime mom after 17 years in the corporate world.

But ,why homeschool?  That was another feat to battle with. My initial idea was simply to resign from work, manage the household, set up a small business, and let my two older children  continue their studies in a Christian school.  When my husband broached the idea of homeschooling, I was not very enthusiastic about it.  After months of praying, researching, attending seminars and conferences, and digging into God’s Word – I was more and more convinced that the homeschooling path, albeit less trodden and unconventional, is what God wants my family to take.  We took His commandment in Deuteronomy 6:4-9 as our mandate, not an option.  It requires that parentsteach their children to apply all of the Lord’s commandments in every circumstance of life.  Clearly, this is what homeschooling is all about! I cannot just relegate this God-ordained responsibility to anyone or to any institution, no matter how well-meaning they can be.  After all, it will be us, parents, who will be held answerable to God for who raised our children, and how they were raised.

What are you using with your children?

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)

“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”— Deuteronomy 6:5-7 (ESV)

“Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life.” – Charlotte Mason

  • “Education is an atmosphere” doesn’t mean that we should create an artificial environment for children, but that we use the opportunities in the environment he already lives in to educate him. Children learn from real things in the real world.
  • “Education is a discipline” means that we train a child to have good habits and self-control.
  • “Education is a life” means that education should apply to body, soul and spirit. The mind needs ideas of all kinds, so the child’s curriculum should be varied and generous with many subjects included.

The principles stated above are the guiding principles my husband  and I follow in teaching and training our kids.  As God’s stewards, we agreed to seek His will so we can raise them up in the admonition of God’s Word especially in this time and age that even the approach in education has become so utilitarian.

With the earnest desire to educate our kids at home, we use the following programs and curricula which we know would prepare them in acquiring virtue and would prepare them for life ahead:

Sing, Spell, Read and Write Phonics Program

Sing, Spell, Read & Write uses phonics songs, interactive charts, and games to teach the alphabetic principle, phonemic awareness, sound/letter correspondence, short vowel sounds, and blending – in a fun and meaningful way. By the end of Kindergarten students will be reading fully-decodable story books with single-, short- vowel words.

…Using this program, my son learned to read and write with comprehension at age 4.

 School of Tomorrow ‘s Accelerated Christian Education (ACE)

For over 40 years, the A.C.E. program has been the trendsetter in Biblical educational reform. Its philosophy is built on basic principles of the Word of God. Students are taught to see life from God’s point of view, to take responsibility for their own learning, and to walk in Godly wisdom and character. Its learning principles are as follows:

  1. The students must be on a level of curriculum where he can perform.
  2. The student must set reasonable goals that can be achieved in a prescribed period of time.
  3. The student must be controlled and motivated.
  4. The student’s learning must be measurable.
  5. The student’s learning must be rewarded.

 Lving Heritage Academy, the homeschool arm of the Philippine Christian School of Tomorrow, Paranaque City

Accelerated Christian Education® has taken the conventionally styled textbook and divided it into bite-sized, achievable, worktexts called PACEs. Each PACE is similar to a unit in a textbook. Each level consists of 12 PACEs in each subject. PACEs integrate Godly character-building lessons into the academic content, and self-instructional activities are carefully designed to develop thinking skills and create mastery learning.  Since 1970, A.C.E. PACEs have proven to be effective tools for goal setting and for achieving academic excellence.

The Student Programs of Accelerated Christian Education® (A.C.E.) give students opportunities to build character and learn leadership skills outside the classroom.

Student Conventions challenge students ages 8 and older to develop their ministry skills by competing in more than 140 events in categories such as music, speech/drama, athletics, arts, and academics.

 

Suzuki Method

The Suzuki method, also known as the “mother-tongue approach,” is a method of teaching that stresses the importance of parental influence and involvement. Parents and teachers work together to achieve a common goal. Parents are expected to know each lesson and serve as nurturing teachers at home.

 As in most cases, speaking comes earlier than writing.  Children can be taught to play musical instruments earlier even before they read notes from music pieces.  Reading may be learned later.

 Aside from playing the piano, they play the violin too. We grab every opportunity for our kids to minister through their God-given talents

 

 Classical Christian Education

Following classical approach, it is important to consider the three important pathways:

  1. Grammar or language acquisition,
  2. Dialectic or critical thinking, and
  3. Rhetoric or written and oral composition.

 

This is called the “trivium.” The central point at which the three roads of the trivium intersect represents mastery of the skills (language, thought, and speech), and it is at this intersection that the apprentice has the necessary tools to move on to deeper study of knowledge within specific disciplines.

Love for reading is one characteristic of those trained the classical way…

Our kids are always excited to meet the authors of the books they read.

Reading aloud, as in any classical education, is a must.  We enjoy every read aloud sessions.

We see to it that learning is not just confined at home, we use the opportunities in the environment to educate them.

We ensure that they are provided the mentors for specialized trainings for arts and music.

 

How will their life matter? We teach from the Scripture that life is short and that they should use it to glorify God.  To stress the point, we find it fitting to bring them to the cemetery from time to time to show the brevity of life.

Our homeschool journey   allows us to have a disciplined mind to stay on track while honing and perfecting the talents God endowed each one—be it in arts music, sports, writing composition or what have they. 

 

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

We are enrolled in Philippine Christian School of Tomorrow’s  Home Education Program  (Living Heritage Academy) which uses the Accelerated Christian Education Program, a comprehensive Bible-based program that serves both the campus-based schools and the homeschools

Until when do you plan to homeschool your child?

From the beginning, we envisioned our children to be homeschooled until 12th grade.  Our 13-year old is currently working on Grade 11 PACES and by 2016; he will have finished his Senior High School.  However, we are yet to see the ramifications DepEd’s Proposed Senior High School curriculum will have on our existing curriculum.  For now, we are prayerfully keeping our options open

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

It is during this phase of my life where I saw the seriousness of modelling Christ to our children consistently – both in words and actions.  It is so easy to lecture, quote verses, and mimic nobility to our children ; but to exemplify these with authenticity in familiar surroundings, under ordinary circumstances, day in and day out  – require supernatural grace and power.  And, oh how many times I failed!  Yet, God is merciful, faithful and true to His promises.  There was never a day where I dared not seek God’s forgiveness for flaws committed, and not also experience the all-sufficient grace He has lovingly provided.  More than homeschooling my kids, I must humbly and honestly confess that this journey has been about me being “homeschooled” by God.  Looking back, I must say “I am what I am by the grace of God. He is changing me, my husband, and each of my three children – from glory to glory!”

Strive:

a)      Not to impress, but to impact

b)      Not to be the center of attention, but to pay attention

c)       Not to be a supermom,  but a mom with a super-God

d)      Not to be presumptuous, but to be prayerful

 

Thank you Lynden for sharing your homeschooling journey with us! If you have any questions about homeschooling, please leave a comment and we will try our best to answer your inquiry. 

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

Heart and Mind of a Homeschooling Mom: Lea Jusi

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Our featured mom for the week is Ms. Lea Jusi. She has been homeschooling her kids for 7 years now.

Hi Lea! Can you share something about yourself for our readers?

I am a homeschooling parent and blogger. My daughter is 14 years old and my son is 9. I’ve been homeschooling for 7 years now, since 2007.

Why did you choose to homeschool your child?

I started homeschooling when my daughter went to Primary 1 in Singapore (we lived there 2005-2012). I had met a homeschooling family for the first time in Singapore in 2005, when we had just moved there. I became very good friends with the mom and my daughter became playmates with her youngest son. They were a Finnish family who had moved to Singapore from the US. This very kind lady was homeschooling her 4 kids, from high school to preschool level. They were very nice, smart and friendly people, and had no issues socializing at all. I had a very good impression of homeschoolers after meeting them.

Two years later, my daughter entered Primary 1 (grade 1) in a local school in Singapore. Suddenly, her play-filled world was turned topsy turby. No more time and energy to go to the playground every afternoon because she was too tired from school. When she got home from school in the early afternoon, she would take a nap, wake up to have a snack, do her homework, rest for a few minutes, have dinner, shower then go to bed. She slept early because she had to be up by 5:30AM to get ready for school the next day. There were days when she wouldn’t even see her dad, because my husband would get home later from work and by the time my daughter gets fetched by the school bus, my husband would still be asleep.


I found that the local school was too academically stressful for a 7 year old. During their 20-minute recess, they were “encouraged” to go to the library to play math games. Couldn’t they let the kids enjoy the 20-min break to play outside with their friends?

I started looking into homeschooling and was glad to find that there were homeschooling communities in Singapore, and also several homeschoolers and providers from the Philippines. I gave it a try and never looked back.

What method are you using with your child?

We are eclectic homeschoolers, picking and choosing what we believe works for us. And we are very open to change when we think things aren’t working out for us anymore. My daughter is now a blended learner, taking Math and English classes twice a week in Bright Young Minds Learning Center in Alabang. She learns Filipino, Geography and other lessons at home. She is also very much into football, taking lessons twice a week in Alabang Football School.

I homeschool my son full time. We use Brain Quest as our spine. He is also enrolled in Minecraft Homeschool, where he builds and plays online with other homeschoolers from around the world.

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

My kids are currently enrolled with Tennessee-based HomeLife Academy.

Until when do you plan to homeschool your child?

For now, I plan to keep my daughter as a blended learner, enrolled part time in Bright Young Minds, till she finishes high school/grade 12. I also plan to keep homeschooling my son until at least grade school or middle school, and till high school if he also prefers it.

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

Keep your focus on your relationships and your values. Don’t be slave to the busy work. Ultimately, your work is rewarded when you see your children grow up to be kind, well-mannered, joyful individuals.

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My son building a buzzer using littleBits circuits.

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We were watching a giant Pacific Octopus in Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Thank you Lea! It is inspiring to know that homeschooling until high school is doable! Please visit Lea’s blog at  http://learninghippiemom.com/. If you have any questions, please leave a comment and we will try our best to answer your inquiry. 

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

Heart and Mind of a Homeschooling Mom – Daisy Virtudazo

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Our featured mom for this week is Ms. Daisy Virtudazo. I met her online when she bought some of our used books last year.

Hi Daisy! Please share more information about yourself for our readers.
I’m Daisy, a high school science teacher by profession. I started working from home in 2012 as an online ESL instructor and a Virtual Assistant for a Canadian company. I recently decided to just have one job to have more time for homeschooling.

I have 3 kids aged 6, 5 and 2. Our homeschooling journey is just a year old, we started last year for Kindergarten and Preschool when my son was 5 and daughter 4.

 

Our first year of homeschooling is more of after-schooling. My son was enrolled with an umbrella school in the US at the same time he was attending regular school.  I got scared and felt pressured that even though I had everything planned out, at the last minute, I ended up enrolling my son in a regular school.
I’ve learned my lesson, and this time around I’m more confident and will definitely homeschool 100%.

Why do you want to homeschool your children?

Being a former teacher myself, I know how children are taught in school and how they learn, and it’s not what I want for my children.The experience we had on our first year of homeschooling also made my conviction to homeschool stronger.

I want purposeful learning for my kids, and homeschooling gives them the freedom to pursue their interests and develop their talents.
 More importantly though, we just want our kids to be kids. I want them to enjoy their childhood as much as they can. No pressures, no deadlines.
What are method of homeschooling are you using with your children?

We are relaxed- eclectic homeschoolers. Our learning philosophy is a mixture of Charlotte Mason, literature-based, unit studies and interest -led philosophies of learning. We also use some textbooks and workbooks as guides, most of which I got second-hand or from Booksale and National Bookstore.

Since my kids are still young, I just focus on the three R’s and most of our time are spent on reading quality picture books which we also use to study about science, geography, social studies,etc. Special thanks to the folks at Learning basket for introducing me to Before Fivein a Row and Five in a Row.

I try as much as possible, to follow my children’s lead and not worry too much about what society dictates they should be learning.

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

No, we are independently homeschooling at the moment. We are enrolled with Homelife Academy in the US for grades and record keeping purposes.

Going the independent route is what works best for us, at least for now but we’re not closing our doors to the possibility of eventually enrolling with a local provider in the future.

Until when do you plan to homeschool your children?

I plan to homeschool them for their elementary years, but then it’s not set in stone. We might end up homeschooling until they reach high school or if the kids decide to try regular school, then we’ll give it a go. My husband and I evaluate and analyze our family’s current situation, and then we decide what would be best. Though we have long term goals, we’re still taking it a year at a time.

Can you share one lesson you’ve learned over the years about homeschooling?

We are a relatively new homeschooling family and we will definitely learn a lot more as we go along this journey.

In the year that we homeschooled, I (especially) learned to not go into this journey half-heartedly. Do not homeschool or do not STOP homeschooling out of FEAR.
If you decide to tread on this journey, you must be prepared 100% body,mind, and soul. This way the experience will be much enjoyable as you are focused on the goal.
We tend to worry about a lot of things. We doubt  if what we are doing is enough or too much. We tend to have a lot of “What If’s”.  While it is ok to plan and prepare, we should not let it consume us and suck the joy out of homeschooling.

Every homeschooling family is different. Never compare. Do what’s best for your family.

When it comes to curriculum materials, start with your child not the catalog. Take a moment to talk and listen to your child. You’ll soon learn what interests him, what sparks joy and inspiration. Be with your child and you’ll discover how he learns. Do this and you’ll be guided on what materials to use.

You do not need to explain your educational choice to everyone, because not everyone will understand. What’s important is to surround yourself with like-minded people who support and encourage you.
If something causes burn-out, tears or frustration save it for later, or stop using it. Remember the goal is to develop a love for learning, so if something is working against this goal, use something else.
Boredom kills creativity and inspiration in children so mix things up a bit with your lessons. Don’t the same thing every single day.
Breathe. Take breaks. And most importantly PRAY.
Thank you Daisy! Even though you only have homeschooled for a year, you have such great insights already! May God continue to bless your homeschooling journey! 
Read more from Daisy from her blog at http://www.thehomeschoolingwahm.wordpress.com. If you have any questions for Daisy, 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 – 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.