posted by Jennie on Nov 18

Being a home educator for more than five years does not make me an expert. I just have to get that one out before I blabber along – a disclaimer of sorts. The real gung-hos are those who still keep at it to the third or fourth child. The Duggar Family is definitely on top of my list, on that note.

If there is anything I should tell you about homeschooling, it is this – IT IS NOT FOR EVERYONE. This, I keep reminding my Christian Homeschooler readers. Hence, this post is an attempt to help parents who are considering homeschooling, which has become a very viable education alternative these days. Here are a few basics that helped us in our family’s homeschooling journey.

1. The very first thing to consider in homeschooling is your child’s personality. If your child has socialization issues to begin with, homeschooling should not be an option. And even if my son has a very outgoing personality, I still make sure that it is nurtured through his other supplementary classes like Karate and Sunday School.

2. The home educator’s availability. This, more often than not, pertains to one of the child’s parents. I have encountered a couple of grandmothers who do the homeschooling in the parent’s behalf. This is something that your family has to carefully plan out. As much as we would love to be creative and flexible as we home-school, a child has to have some sort of routine to look forward to. Personally, homeschooling works for us because I work from home.

3. Scout for the best homeschooling curriculum that will cater to your child’s needs. Ideally, a year before you start homeschooling. The more homeschooling curricula you are exposed to, the more options you have. If there is a particular program you think you can use, you have to make sure you not half hearted about it. Otherwise, you might find your uncertainty to be a stumper to creating a healthy learning environment for you and your child.

4. Provide your child his own “school office.” Ideally, this is a nook in your house where there is minimal distraction. Believe me when I say that I can never imagine we will be able to come up with this corner in our humble 48sqm. abode. As the old adage says, “If there’s a will, there’s a way.” Being able to define where he works during homeschool is critical to his mindset about the “home school” setup. Read the rest of this entry »

posted by Jennie on Nov 18

When I saw the book “Killing Lions” from the collection of Thomas Nelson books available for review, I knew it had to be my next book. I have read John Eldredge from the time I took the Partners in Ministry course in ISOT-Asia (now IGSL-Asia). One of his books was a reading requirement from Jeff’s class there that he shared with me and found myself enjoying the read. First it was “Wild at Heart,” then “Journey of Desire.” The most recent book I read was “Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul,” a gem of a book John co-authored with his wife, Staci. Oh I cannot even begin to tell you the blessing it was to my heart. It further affirmed everything I have been learning through the Living Waters programs the husband and I have been attending for over a year now.

Aside from having John Eldredge in my favorite authors list and the awesome book he co-wrote with his wife, Staci, being one of my favorite books of all time, I have a very strong feeling he is also going to nail it with a book he co-authors with his son, Sam, “Killing Lions.” Those aren’t the only reasons why I chose this. My husband and I have already done “the talk” with our son (yes, the ‘birds and the bees’ one), which we thought wasn’t going to happen a few more years down the road. Since I am at no liberty to disclose the surrounding circumstances that brought about “the talk,” I am going to stop here. That said, we thoroughly thank the Lord for the grace He poured out even as He provided the wisdom, the words and the ready hearts during “the talk” and a few more installments towards “the talk” that were necessary to affirm and make sure the little guy was getting it. Before I get ahead of myself yet again, here’s the book description of “Killing the Lions.”

Book Description

The Challenge Before You Is a Bold One: To Accept the Wild, Daring Adventure of Becoming a Man

We want to be self-sufficient. Find our own direction as we pursue our dreams. Know it all and never ask for help. Isn’t this how most guys approach manhood? On our own, pretending we are doing better than we really are? But sooner or later the thrill of independence gets lost in the fog of isolation.

It’s time to take the pressure off. We were never meant to figure life out on our own.

This book was born out of a series of weekly phone calls between Sam Eldredge, a young writer in his twenties, and his dad, best-selling author John Eldredge. Join the conversation as a father and son talk about pursuing beauty, dealing with money, getting married, chasing dreams, knowing something real with God, and how to find a life you can call your own.

Killing Lions is more than fatherly advice. It is an invitation into a journey: either to be the son who receives fathering or the father who learns what must be spoken. Most important, these conversations speak to a searching generation: “You are not alone. Its not all up to you. You are going to find your way.”

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posted by Jeff on Nov 17

It was one afternoon at a drugstore, we were paying for the items we bought when my son noticed some colorfully packaged condoms on the counter. He said, “Mama, what’s that? Can we buy one, Mama? Just one? Please?” The sales attendants were smiling, trying to hold their laughter. My wife, sensing that our son was not ready to seriously talk about the topic and that the situation being awkward, calmly answered, “It’s not for kids, son.” Thankfully, our then four-year-old understood that they were not for him and did not bother to ask again. There were a few “why’s and why not’s” along the way but my wife was able to successfully divert his attention elsewhere.

Many parents like me probably have experienced similar situations where questions about sex and other related matters were asked and likewise felt a sense of awkwardness. The topic of sex normally produces this kind of reaction especially when kids’ curiosities are involved. So it would be wise to be prepared and have some guidelines ready when such circumstances arise.

In our family, my wife and I agreed to the following principles when teaching or introducing sex education:

1. Be sensitive about your child’s readiness. Only parents know how ready each of their children is when it comes to sex education. In that situation at the drugstore, we both knew that our son was not ready to understand about a condom and its use or purpose because we have not talked to him about sex at all. This is why calmly diverting the attention of our child without avoiding the topic was the wise thing to do at that time.

2. Take baby steps as you introduce the topic of sex. Since that situation, we have resolved to slowly educating our son about sex, its origin and purpose. We have started, even before that incident, introducing him about God. We have taught our son about God who created all things, including the first man and woman. God brought them together and introduced sex to the first ever marriage and to this world. Read the rest of this entry »

posted by Jennie on Nov 13

People rushing to the streets, drawn to the sound of a marching band, a typical scene during town fiestas. Everyone is smiling, eager to see the “star” of the celebration. But instead of showing the face of a movie celebrity, a beauty queen or a politician, the video reveals an unlikely, yet welcome sight—a new, clean toilet facility.

Aptly titled “Fiesta”, the Domex video, produced by Unilever Philippines, is available on Youtube and shows how underprivileged Filipinos welcome the “arrival” of clean toilet facilities in their communities. “The video aims to make people realize the value of a toilet which most of us, unfortunately, take for granted,” said Dennis Chua, Domex Brand Manager.

The “Fiesta” video contributes to the efforts of Domex’s One Million Clean Toilets Movement. Each unique view translates to a pledge for the advocacy campaign that collects pledges from households to conscientiously maintain their own hygienic bathrooms. For every pledge received, Domex will donate P5 to UNICEF’s sanitation program, towards improving access to basic sanitation in deprived areas around the world, including the Philippines.

“By watching the ‘Fiesta’ video and asking our friends to watch it, we are not only raising awareness for toilet appreciation and sanitation, more importantly, we are helping less privileged communities gain access to clean toilet facilities,” said Benjie Yap, Unilever Foods and Home Care Vice President. Read the rest of this entry »

posted by Jennie on Nov 7

A few weeks ago, the hubby chanced upon a blog post of a family who invested on solar panels and made use of Meralco’s renewable energy program called Net Metering. Truth be told, it is the one thing my we have been looking into the past few years. Given the resources, it will sure be something we really would consider. Unlike other countries, the price of electricity in our country is hiked up to unbelievable proportions. I’m not really sure if it has anything to do with corruption or just plain scarcity of power resource.

When we shopped for our lighting fixtures last year, towards the home stretch of our house expansion, we carefully considered the wattage and accumulated consumption they will bring. It wasn’t long after we decided to use LED bulbs on our lighting fixtures instead. It’s crazy that the default bulbs of the lighting fixture in our walk-in closet was 40-watt each. It practically feels like being roasted alive. The cooler light of LED was more than just savings to our pockets but actually made us feel more comfortable. From a total of 120-watts in our closet alone, down to 12-watts (3watts x 3 LED bulbs). Yes, I more than just make my own soap, laundry detergent, all around home cleaner, use laundry balls and every other choices towards frugal domesticity. And it all makes sense! Why spend more than we have to, right?

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posted by Jennie on Nov 4

The first time we used Teleserv was in 2010 when we had our Passports renewed. It was also our son’s first ever passport application in preparation for our Malaysian trip the same year. I loved the convenience of it all that I had to blog about it to let people know that passport application process need not be so tedious.

As Teleserv Citizen Services celebrates its 14th year, we were sent these tokens. Thank you! It was timely as it came with a voucher that I can use to avail of their service. We have misplaced our son’s NSO stamped Birth Certificate and I needed to request for one.

Just like Teleserv’s celebrated impeccable service, I received the document exactly 3 days since I requested for it online. We all know that there are not  a lot of reliable services in the third world. That’s just a fact. I love that Teleserv has been constant in this department. From my first time to try them out in 2010 until this day in 2014, we all know a lot can happen in 4 years, yet Citizen Services has remained true to its commitment.

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posted by Jennie on Nov 1

As a family that do not exactly follow the norm, we’re homeschooling and we also believe in progressive over traditional education, among other things.  Howard Gardner’s theory on Multiple Intelligence is something our family also believes in.

Is it enough that your kid is getting good grades in school to be considered intelligent?

Howard Gardner believed that it is more complex than that. The human person can be intelligent in many other ways, ways that are independent from each other and has each of their own strengths and constraints.

This is called Multiple Intelligence.

What is the real edge of Multiple Intelligence?

Multiple Intelligence is being intelligent/smart in more ways than one. Multiple intelligence exposes kids to new concepts and skills in multiple ways and allows them to demonstrate their understanding in multiple ways as well.

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