Why We Decided to Homeschool our Son for Preschool



My husband and I are planning to homeschool Jarvis for preschool. So on August 18, 2018, I took a day off from my regular job (being a mom) and attended an event for those who want to start preschool homeschool. The event was held at The Parenting Emporium.  It was entitled,  Starting Your Preschool Homeschool by the Learning Basket Shop. I must say it was a very productive couple of hours for me because I learned a lot. I attended the seminar to find out how homeschooling is being done in the Philippines and if it is really what we want for our son.  So far, it answered so many of our questions that helped us to finalize our decision.  

So yes, we will homeschool Jarvis for preschool.  My husband and I agreed that going to school at age 3 or younger is still too young. We don't want to subject him early to traditional teaching wherein he will be expected to perform tasks even though he's not ready for them yet or they are not his interests.  We want him to love learning and studying and not force it on him. We want him to enjoy his childhood as much as possible.  We want to make sure he'll have the best childhood that we can provide him.

know that people have different perspectives when it comes to homeschooling.  Some may think that it is going to sabotage his socialization skills. Many believe that the child will miss out so much if he did not experience the thrill of the first day of school which I totally understand because I was one of them before, so as my husband until we discover another option that appeal to us best.  I always share what I learn to my husband so we can learn together and be on the same page.  

As a child, I remember I was also so thrilled to go to school for the first time but after a few weeks,  my excitement died down and I just want to stay home and play.  So that's not a monumental experience on our book.  Jarvis will have his first day of school thrill when he is ready! For now, we only plan to homeschool him for preschool. We want to test the water first then we'll see if we can extend it to grade school. We will also listen to Jarvis, if he expresses a desire to go to school then we will happily oblige.

I am actually excited to start homeschooling him but I am also nervous at the same time. There are so many questions in my head.  So many doubts.  Is this really something that I can do considering I have a temper? Because with homeschooling, patience is very important. Will I be good enough for him?  Will he listen to me?  Will he learn from me?  I know it's going to be tough but my desire to preserve Jarvis' innocence and his enjoyment of his childhood help motivate me.  I hope all the preparations I'm doing now to be a "prepared adult" will help us both next year when we officially start homeschooling.  Please pray for us. 




Meanwhile,  I want to share with you some important information I picked up from the seminar. 

  I found out that the government in the Philippines requires children to go to school at age 5 (kindergarten). I was led to believe or should I say "we"- that it is imperative to send our children to school at age three.  Well,  we don't have to if we don't want to! Therefore, it is okay to teach our children at home from age 3 to 5 if that's what you prefer.  It's all about your preference as a parent, so don't be pressured if you think your child is not ready yet.  Also,  you can homeschool your child even after preschool if that's what you really want. 

  As for the curriculum, the speaker advised that if you think you need it then go for it or look for a curriculum that you are comfortable with.  However, it is not necessary. Moreover,  researching would be very helpful.  As for us, we are leaning towards incorporating Montessori method on our approach, more on following the child's lead and not rushing him on anything because I believe that children have different timetables. Also, I believe that being first doesn't mean the best.  

  If you are planning to homeschool multiple children it is important to note that what works with one child doesn't mean will work with the others.  Refrain from comparing and just accept their uniqueness and individuality.  This also means that I should avoid comparing my child to other children.  It should be okay if he cannot do or doesn't want to do certain tasks other children at his age can and want to do!  I should really follow my own child.  

  There are three kinds of people who will question your decision to homeschool:

First are the people who truly care and love you and your child/children.  They are questioning your decision because they are concerned about your child and they also want what's best for him.  Most likely they just don't understand or maybe they are not familiar with homeschooling. So be patient with them and help them I understand

Another kind of people who might question your decision to homeschool is those who secretly want to homeschool themselves but afraid to do it because they are not confident with their knowledge.  So educate them as well or share your learnings with them.  

And finally, those people who just want to annoy you or don't believe in your capabilities. Just ignore them, move on and prove them wrong! 

I must say I love this part of my discovery, as I know I will encounter these three kinds of people on our journey to homeschooling.  At least now,  I know how to handle them and not think that everyone who questions us has bad intentions.  

  Our speaker from the seminar is homeschooling her 3 children and she says that socialization was never been an issue.  I want to discuss this here because this seems to be the main concern of many people when they found out we want to homeschool our son. 

Here's the thing, being with family members,  playing with cousins,  siblings,  kid neighbors, talking to other people inside/outside home are all forms of socialization.  If you want, you can also enroll your child in certain classes, like for example art class,  music class,  sports,  etc.  Classes that you know your child will enjoy. You can pick a class with children the same age as your child for additional knowledge and socialization exposure. 

To be honest, socialization is the least of my worries. I have a big family and so as my husband.  Jarvis has so many boy cousins that he can play with and those boys are super nice kuyas that I really want Jarvis to be associated with. He also has girl cousins which he enjoys playing with. Actually one good thing about homeschooling (picked it up from @montessorrionmars) is that you can choose the kind of children you want your child to socialize with. 

I know that some people may not understand our choice and may even think we are ridiculous and that our child will miss out so much in the world.  Others may even think we just don't want to spend for school expenses or we are trying to protect him too much.  Well,  we are protecting him alright,  that's understandable we are parents.  As for not spending,  well, I am not sure about that,  we need learning materials,  books (for him and for me), pieces of furniture, a budget for field trips and other outdoor activities. So I am pretty sure we are still going to spend some money, it's just that we are free to decide where we want to spend more or less.  

As for missing out?  Well,  he will experience things a regular preschooler will never experience inside a classroom.  He is free to explore certain topics or activities as long as he wants until he exhausted it too much he's ready to move on to another.  He will be given enough time to learn certain topics that he might find challenging until he is confident enough to move on to the next. He can learn and play at the same time.  He doesn't have to wake up at a certain time if he doesn't want to. Bonus, he gets to be with me all the time. So no,  he will not miss out on anything,  in fact, he will gain more! 

At the end of the day, our goal is to make sure that Jarvis will grow with less issues about himself.  We want to build his confidence by not overpraising him,  instill the right values and faith, make sure he knows how hard work pays off not because he will get a high grade or a star ot a reward but because it is something that he can do to improve himself. For himself and not for anyone else. I don't want to raise a people pleaser.  I want him to be confident with his own skin,  with his own ideas and with his own identity. 

We are not going to shield him from the imperfections of the world. In fact, we will open his mind to what awaits him outside with proper guidance and explanation.

I am not saying that all these can't be learned in school. But we just know that we have a better chance of realizing our goal if we do the teaching ourselves especially in his formative years.

I know that we parents have different goals and beliefs on how we want to raise our children.  This is the path that we chose and we are comfortable with our decision.  

What are your thoughts about homeschooling? Feel free to share.  I won't judge . 😉


Our Baby Book Collection | Current Books in our Book Basket


Hi guys! Just pop in here today to share with you that I put up a new video on our YouTube Channel featuring Jarvis' baby books in his book basket. In the video, you will see me flipping the pages of the books so that you'll have an idea what are the usual contents I go for when I choose a book for my son. I also shared some tips on how to raise a reader! I hope you'll enjoy watching the video. 

Thank you very much for supporting my channel! If you are not subscribed yet, consider subscribing! I post a video every Friday. Thanks for being here



Father's Day Celebration + Dinner at Vikings | Vlog #002


We had a simple father's day celebration. We ate out with my side of the family at Vikings, The Block, SM North Edsa. It was also my father's birthday so we celebrated it there as well. It was a fun day with family. We all ate to our heart's content including Jarvis and he is a little picky. Well, actually, after last weekend, I noticed an increase in his appetite. I'm so happy about that!

For those who don't know, Vikings is an all you can eat buffet restaurant. The restaurant interior is grand and there is a wide selection of food. If you are curious I'll put the copy of their rates below from their website. Meanwhile, I vlogged that day and you can watch it on our second vlog on my YouTube Channel. I will also post the video here for your convenience (charot).  If you are not yet subscribed and you want family vlogs or just want a glimpse on how we parent our boy- toddler (23 months) please consider subscribing. We love to have you as part of our family. I hope you'll enjoy the video!





VIKINGS RATE:

ADULT RATE:
Adult Weekday Lunch: 738 (+5% service charge)
Adult Weekday Dinner: 938 (+5% service charge)
Adult Weekends/Holiday Lunch & Dinner: 938 (+5% service charge)
KIDS RATE:
Kids below 3 ft: FREE
Kids 3 ft - 4 ft Weekday Lunch: 208 (+5% service charge)
Kids 3 ft - 4 ft Weekday Dinner: 308 (+5% service charge)
Kids 3 ft - 4 ft Weekends/Holiday Lunch & Dinner: 308 (+5% service charge)
Kids 4 ft - 4 ft 6" Weekday Lunch: 418 (+5% service charge)
Kids 4 ft - 4 ft 6" Weekday Dinner: 618 (+5% service charge)
Kids 4 ft - 4 ft 6" Weekends/Holiday Lunch & Dinner: 618 (+5% service charge)

Thanks for being here!

A Day in the Life : Stay at Home Mom and Montessori Baby


I've been meaning to share a day in the life of myself and my son.  But it's really hard to capture everything in photos. So I figured it would be nice to just capture our day in videos and since I already have a YouTube channel I decided to upload it there.  

If you want to know how I try to Montessori at home and how Jarvis works on his materials in action?  Watch our first ever vlog.  I must admit though that it is not perfect.  I am still struggling to look at the camera all the time instead of my phone screen.  A lot of footages were also shaky #newbievlogger here and of course, I look pale and awkward most of the time but hey I have to start somewhere right?  And I guess,  all Youtubers will agree that their first few Youtube videos were awkward.  I have to go through that as well to learn. 






I hope despite the perfections, you'll enjoy the rawness of this video.  #reallife and if you want more don't forget to subscribe.  All you need is a Gmail account to subscribe!  I also have subscribe button on the upper part of my sidebar so just click it! Do it now or you'll be cursed for life! Just kidding but seriously subscribe!  Thanks for being here!



Montessori Inspired Play Area for 22 Months


The last time I shared the content of our Montessori inspired shelf, Jarvis was only 14 months then. After that, I never shared the content of our shelf again because there was nothing exciting about his 15 months onward shelf. During that time, he barely notices the content of his shelf except when he wants to remove them all so he can have a clear path for climbing and when that wasn't enough he will go around the house climbing chairs and tables. He would also drag whatever he can drag from one point to another. He was clearly in a sensitive period for movement then. 

However, when he turned 21 months I noticed that he became interested in working on certain materials again. After observing him, I decided to pay careful attention to what I put on his shelf based on his current interests and needs. After a month of observation and trial and error, I must say I finally hit the jackpot in terms of what materials should I put on his shelf.  

With that, I decided to share the content of his shelf now that he is 22 months. And since I already have a Youtube channel, I made a video about it so you can also see how he uses most of the materials on his shelf. So if you are interested to know what's in our 22 months Montessori inspired shelf watch this video! Then if you want more videos like this, don't forget to give it a thumbs up and subscribe to our YouTube channel.  




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Budget-Friendly Art Space for a Toddler



If you frequent this blog,  you probably know that we have a small terrace at home that we are using as an additional play area for Jarvis. We really want that to be an art space for him or an area where he can do messy activities such as transferring,  pouring and the like. 

Recently,  I gathered some materials and put together a legit art space for him.  It's not much.  I also didn't put a lot of art materials but I am planning to add little by little as we go along.  For now, I want him to maximize the use of available materials first.  I also want to model first how to properly use them and how to clean up after.  Actually,  at this point, he can now return the art materials in their proper places.  

This time, instead of showing you just photos,  I decided to put together video clips on how I set-up our budget-friendly art space for a toddler.  I hope you like this new format of sharing our ever-evolving space and our life as a family.  If you want more mommy and baby related videos like this please let me know.  It would really mean a lot to me if you also subscribe to our Youtube Channel. Hala shameless plug na to! 




Please be nice to me it's my first time and since it's hard to take videos using our gigantic DSLR and take care of a toddler at the same time,  I just used my phone to get the clips.  I even edited the video and did the voice-over using my phone. 

I am still torn whether I should speak English or Filipino or Taglish in my videos.  But in this video, I speak mostly English but I really want to try and speak mostly Filipino next time, after all my target audience are Filipino moms like me.  I just feel like I should speak English when  I am doing a voice-over versus when I am talking in front of the camera. But I am not English speaking talaga.  Haha.. And hey.... Will I ever get the courage to talk in front of the camera? We'll see! I may or may not have been practicing.  Haha... For now, enjoy the video and let me know what you think!

As always, thanks for being here!





Painting with a Toddler: Benefits and the Materials You Need




"It is important that we do not provide adult-made models,  coloring books or sheets or prepared "color-in" papers.  Never show a child how to draw and paint something- like a flower or a house;  the child will often simply repeat and repeat what you have shown. The best we can do for our children is prepare a beautiful environment, provide the best materials and get out of their way." - Susan Stephenson from the book The Joyful child. 

One of Jarvis' favorite activity nowadays, aside from jumping and dancing, is painting.  I've purchased a painting trial set for him but we did not use it right away because I am not ready to face the mess and he's still mouthing things at that time. Although, I tried to introduced it to him in the bathroom using a red paint.  We used the tiles as his canvas.  He did the stabbing motion of the brush, as a result, the red paint splattered all over the bathroom. 

So I decided maybe he isn't ready to paint on paper yet.   However,  recently,  I started introducing him to colors (red,  blue and yellow).  I also put up a work table where he can practice scribbling using crayons so I figured maybe it's time to re-introduce him to painting, only this time we are doing it outside the bathroom.  I want to expose him to colors some more. 

I thought it's going to be really messy that first time, that's why we started painting near our water source.  But after a couple of sessions, I realized that the paints we are using are very easy to clean.  Thus, I prepared a space in our home for his art related work. 

We are using tempera paints by the way. This type of paint is easy to clean and non-toxic too.  I use a wet cloth to clean up our mess.  It also helps that we are painting in a space in our house where it is actually okay to make a mess.  

There are several reasons I introduced painting to my son despite his age. He is 21 months now.  Actually,  some babies start earlier with edible paint (yogurt and food coloring) or paint in a ziplock bag if you don't want the mess. I wish we started on that though. You can always look up Pinterest for inspiration. 

Here are some of the reasons painting is a good activity for my/your toddler. 

 To introduce the child to the process of painting as early as possible. In the Montessori environment, the process of work is more important than the result. The effort the child put into a particular work is valued more than the end result. 

I broke the process down into seven steps. These are the steps that work for us. It might be different in every household or child.  

1. Make him wear an apron. As of now, we are using a jersey type of clothing as his apron because it's easy to clean.  I am still searching for a nice and affordable art apron for him. He doesn't like wearing bibs so I am not sure how he will respond to wearing an apron.  I hope he likes it. 

2. Prepare the paper.

3. Choose paint colors

4. Pour chosen paint on the palette

5. Paint 

6. Hang painting to dry

7. Clean up after.

 To promote concentration. Maria Montessori said,  “The first essential for the child's development is concentration. The child who concentrates is immensely happy.” We didn't start Montessori at home from birth and I feel like  I did a lot of things to sabotage my son's ability to concentrate. To rectify that, I am giving him a lot of opportunities to enhance his concentration by allowing him to do activities that I know he enjoys and for now one of them is painting.

✯ Painting is a great sensory play. So many parents tend to neglect the importance of sensorial activities for babies.  Did you know that there are children who go to an Occupational therapist because of Sensory Processing Disorders?

I have a friend who grew up with so many restrictions as a child that her senses did not develop as expected.  Now that she's an adult, she said that it takes a while for her to feel certain things. For example, when she accidentally holds a hot pot,  she didn't feel the burn right away thus she burnt quite worse than a person with developed senses.  I didn't know that can happen to a person until she told me about it and it blew my mind! Now I am more inspired to let Jarvis explore and use his senses whenever possible.

✯ Painting for a toddler is also a good additional fine motor work. It's a great way to exercise those fine muscles that can be beneficial for writing,  scissors work, and other practical life activities later on. 

My son is a mover, thus he's into honing his gross motor skills all the time!  It's very rare that he'll sit down and do fine motor work.  Therefore,  it's great that there's an activity that he enjoys which will help him improve his fine motor skills. 

 Painting is a great activity to explore with colors. Use them,  name them, mix them etc.  I bought other paint colors after a few painting sessions with my son. 

 Language opportunities. We are naming the colors and the materials during the process.  He can now recognize and say colors yellow and blue.  

 Honing the child's creativity. Although this may come in much later part of his painting experience.  For now, I love to see him enjoy doing it.  He even invented a dance step and chant whenever he paints.  You can watch that here. Combining fine and gross motor work is super okay with me! 😉


Now if you are sold on painting with a toddler you might want to know what are the things you need.  Here they are.


✯ Paints. You can use edible paint if your baby still on the mouthing stage. If your baby is no longer mouthing things, you can try the ones that we use,  tempera paint. Like I said, it is non-toxic and easy to clean. The online shop where I buy our supplies also offers finger paints. I know some parents who prefer finger paints as introductory paint for their babies. 

✯ Brush or sponges.  If you want to go to the traditional painting experience like we do, the trial set that I bought already have brushes and sponges. We use the brushes more often.

✯ Paper.  We are currently using watercolor paper but if you are going to do painting on a daily basis I think you can get away with the regular bond paper.  We will do that once we run out of watercolor paper. I also want to use Carolina and tape it on the wall to encourage painting in an upright position which is better for his posture .

Space where your toddler can paint.  It can be anywhere in the house that you think is easy to clean afterward.  Remember, your toddler is still learning the discipline of painting, it can get really messy. Like paint on your face, clothes or your furniture kind of messy. 

Table or Easle or a wall where you can put the paper for painting.

Apron. Or just use old clothes that you don't mind getting stained. I notice that the tempera paint may stain on certain clothing materials. 

Rug /washcloth for cleaning up after.  Use the opportunity to model how to clean up after painting.  Although,  it can be hard in some situations.  Like in our case, my toddler is always ready to move on and explore other areas of the house once he's done with painting. He rarely sees me clean up. Ah, #momlife.

✯ Paint Palette / No Spill Paint CupsFind out what will work best for you and your toddler.  In our case,  paint palette works best because sometimes he tries to drink the paint from the cups.  

Finally, just a few reminders to moms who want to do painting session with their toddler to just be prepared and stock up on a lot of patience.  It may be different for everyone.  Your child may work flawlessly the first time or create such a mess. Paints may end up everywhere.  If that happens, smile and gently show the child how to use it properly.  Allow the child to enjoy the experience and discoveries.

Thanks for being here!