As I mentioned in my previous post, an acquaintance of mine shared some information about apprenticeships, particularly in social care. I thought I’d share it with you here, in case some of you find it useful. Remember, there is more than one way to get work experience, and definitely countless of other ways to learn new things! :)

Apprenticeships in social care


As the cost of going to university spirals, many young people are choosing to take vocational routes when they leave school. Whether going straight into the workplace or taking additional courses in more hands-on subjects, it means young adults can go straight into skilled jobs, rather than getting into debt without the guarantee of a job at the end of it.

Apprenticeships in social care are a great option if social care is something you’re interested in; not only can you gain nationally recognised qualifications, but you can earn a living while you do so, giving you independence and freedom.

It’s not a career you can really get into without a passion for what you’re doing, so make sure before you start applying that social care is really the career for you. Chat with people already in the job and research exactly what the roles you are looking at entail — then work out what area of social work is for you. Are you interested in working with young people or older clients? Would you find working with people with disabilities rewarding?

To boost your chances of bagging a social work apprenticeship, why not try to get some work experience in a relevant field? Anything from working at your local care home to babysitting could be used to evidence your interest in the field. Try getting in touch with charities, which are often keen to get all the help they can.

Age concern runs a scheme befriending lonely older people, while volunteering at your local youth club, Brownie or Scouts pack could also set you in good stead.

Once you’ve got a job interview, you’re on the home stretch! Check out some social work job interview questions and answers online to get a feel for the sort of things you might be asked, then go through them with your parents or one of your friends.

If you’ve managed to get some volunteering experience, make sure to ask for a reference and get some tips from anyone you’ve worked with on how to shine in your interview.

The decision to go for an apprenticeship in social care is one you won’t regret — it’s one of the most challenging professions out there, but also one of the most rewarding — and you won’t have the burden of university debt hanging over your head!


*The “Apprenticeships in social care” portion of this post is brought to you by Catherine Lavinia.

*Image of Teenage Students with Backpacks by Ambro from

Posted by Tina@TrulyRichMom on July 27, 2015 · 0 comments · Advocacies, Sponsored Post

The other day, a friend and fellow homeschool mom shared this photo in our homeschool support group on Facebook, from the Humans of New York Facebook page:

Screen shot from Humans of New York on FB. Click here to view the actual post.

Screen shot from Humans of New York on FB. Click here to view the actual post.

Here’s what the caption says:

“I graduated college early because I was eager to get into the real world, but the job search is tougher than I imagined. I think people are afraid to hire me because I’m young. I’ve probably applied to over two hundred jobs. I’ve found that for every ten applications, I get one call back. And for every five call backs, I get one in-person interview. I’ve had seven of those so far.”
“Do you wish you hadn’t graduated early?”
“I try not to think about it. I could apply to ten more jobs in the time I spent thinking about that.”

That post got some of us in our group talking about how we need not rush our kids’ education (well, our kids in general!). It gave a lot of us food for thought, because admittedly, sometimes we focus on what “the world” thinks is “normal” and “expected” of our children, and not on the needs and capabilities of each unique child.

Here is a screen shot of my FAVORITE part of the “conversation” that took place in our group:

Screen shot 2015-07-26 at 7.45.40 AM

(Check out Racquel‘s blog and Abby‘s column for more wisdom and inspiration.)

Later on, Racquel posted a link to an interesting article titled “The end of college as we know it is coming,” which affirmed and encouraged me even further. The world is changing ever so quickly, and going to university or college may not be the “normal” or “conventional” route anymore when our kids are older.

So what are the alternatives to getting a college education then? There are LOTS, if we really think about it.

For starters, mentorship or mentoring programs — which my husband and I want our kids to be involved in when they’re high school age — are definitely worth exploring.

My example of this is Bene Sanchez, who is being mentored by his dad (among others) in different aspects — including writing, leading people, and even business and stocks investing. It may not be a formal mentoring program, but it is still beneficial to Bene, and I know he’s learning a lot! My husband and I are praying for the right mentors for our kids, too, when they’re of age, who will help guide them along their chosen career paths/vocations. (Of course, we also need to be good and godly mentors to them as well!)

Another thing young people can consider is apprenticeships, which is similar to mentoring programs. Here’s the Wikipedia definition of apprenticeships:

Apprenticeship is a system of training a new generation of practitioners of a trade or profession with on-the-job training and often some accompanying study (classroom work and reading). Apprenticeship also enable practitioners to gain a license to practice in a regulated profession. Apprentices or protégés build their careers from apprenticeships. Most of their training is done while working for an employer who helps the apprentices learn their trade or profession, in exchange for their continued labor for an agreed period after they have achieved measurable competencies.

My real-life example of someone who learned a lot from apprenticeships is my dear friend and fellow blissmaker Martine de Luna, who, despite being “college-less,” is now a very successful digital content consultant specializing in blogging and social media. You can read more about Martine’s experience on her business website here and here.

Screen shot 2015-07-27 at 8.50.50 AM

Screen shot from Martine’s business site

Recently, one of my acquaintances sent me more information about apprenticeships, particularly in social care. I will share it with you in my next post, so do watch out for it! :) (Update: The post is already live, and you can read it here if you like.)

In the meantime, I’d like to know: What do YOU think? Is a college education absolutely necessary these days? What do you think of mentoring/mentorship programs and apprenticeships? Please feel free to leave a comment! :)

Posted by Tina@TrulyRichMom on July 26, 2015 · 0 comments · Homeschooling

Disclosure: I was recently blessed to receive Homeschool Planet for free to review, and was compensated for my time. However, all opinions stated here are 100% mine; I was not required to write a positive review. Thanks for reading! :)

online homeschool plannerI haven’t been writing much about our homeschooling journey here, for many reasons which I can’t share in detail right now. Let’s just say that the main reason is this — I simply didn’t feel like sharing about what our homeschooling days at the Kingdom-Seekers’ Academy look like now… mostly because I don’t think they’re that “inspiring” lately.

To be perfectly honest with you, I’ve been going through a kind of homeschool “funk” these days — and have been wondering (yet again!) if homeschooling is still part of God’s plan for our family. (Pray for us, please?)

The truth is, we have actually become more “unschoolish” lately with our homeschooling, and while part of me feels somewhat liberated about it, another part of me feels uncertain and worried about “educational gaps” and “getting left behind,” etcetera, etcetera. (Ah, the perpetual worries of a homeschooling mom, don’t you think?)

I am very grateful, though, for online communities like Catholic Relaxed Homeschoolers and iHomeschool Network, and, locally, DIY homeschoolers and unschoolers and ROCKERS Philippines (the Catholic homeschool support group which, ironically, I helped form) — I have been getting so much support, encouragement, inspiration, and prayers from the members there!

Homeschooling continues — with much needed help from a homeschool planner! 

Are we still homeschooling then, you may ask? Yes! At least for the next year or so. Which is why, even if we haven’t finished our “formal” lessons for last school year (*gasp*), I have started preparing ever-so-slowly for the new school year, which will begin, hopefully, in late September or early October — much like last year, although we actually school year-round, come to think of it! ;)

online homeschool planner

One of the things I have been trying to do is to get more organized and to be more purposeful in planning our lessons and activities. It is a work in progress, though, and I’m glad I was given the chance recently to use Homeschool Planet, an online homeschool planner from Homeschool Buyers Co-op — it’s been a useful tool for getting our plans and goals for the next school year in place.

Here’s a short video that shows you how Homeschool Planet works:

Now, let me tell you a little bit more about how it’s been helping me… more specifically, let me tell you…

…how an online homeschool planner can help disorganized homeschooling moms like me (and you, maybe? :) ):

online homeschool planner

1. It lets you plan ahead for however long you want.

Some moms are comfortable planning for a whole year, while others prefer to make plans for a month or even just a week — or maybe even just a day, ha, ha! (*raising my hand*) You can do whatever  you want with your plan or calendar once you’ve logged in.

2. It allows for flexibility and structure.

Our homeschool is not the “school at home” or “school in a box” type, and, as I mentioned earlier, we tend to be more “unschoolish” these days, though we do try to have a rhythm or routine of sorts. It just works that way for our family, for now, especially since I work from home fulltime (though with flexible hours, thank You, God!).

The thing is, I used to obsess over the fact that I couldn’t stick to the daily lesson plans that came with our curriculum, and I’d end up feeling so discouraged because of it. (OK, I sometimes still do, actually.)

With Homeschool Planet though, schedules and assignments can be arranged and re-scheduled automatically, as needed, so I can just assign tasks to be completed for a specific day, and not for a specific time slot — which means less pressure on me (and my “students”)!

Of course, if you thrive on more structure and routine and on-the-dot, scheduled-by-the-hour tasks, you can still use the planner — whatever works for you! Ain’t that awesome?

3. It can become a “record-keeping” tool.

If you’re not good at keeping records (*raising my hand again here*), you can even use Homeschool Planet to keep track of completed assignments per subject after your kids have done them. (I used to try to do this using a pen and notebook but would always lose track!)

4. It gives you the freedom to choose.

You get to decide about what to do with previously planned assignments. So, for example, if instead of doing math or reading assignments for a day, you decide to just let the kids play with Legos all day (ahem!), you can choose whether to skip those assignments altogether, or add them to the next day (or the next week, etc.).

online homeschool planner

 5. It can be printed and is also available on your phone or computer.

If you’re the type who needs to hold planning pages and calendars literally in your hands, you can print off whatever you need to from your Homeschool Planet calendar/planner. You can also access it on your phone or computer — and if your kids are old enough, they can also access the information using their own log-in details. (Perfect for encouraging independence, yes?)

Of course, the aforementioned are not the only benefits of using an online homeschool planner like Homeschool Planet! :) But don’t take my word for it — you can try it out for FREE for 30 days and see if it works for you.

online homeschool planner

After the 30-day trial period, the annual subscription is $65, or $6.95 a month. You can check out the Homeschool Buyers Co-op Homeschool Planet page regularly for any updates or special offers, or stay updated via their different social media accounts: Facebook, TwitterYouTube and Google Plus.

If you do get to try Homeschool Planet, please feel free to let me know how it goes for you! :)

Now, it’s YOUR turn — if you haven’t started your new homeschool year yet, what are you doing to prepare for it? Would you consider using an online homeschool planner to help you get more organized? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments! :) 


Posted by Tina@TrulyRichMom on July 24, 2015 · 0 comments · Homeschooling, I Recommend, Truly Rich Tips

One thing I noticed about the stuff I share here or on social media and, now, on “The Truly Rich Mom Show” is this: I usually need to read or hear what I “preach” at the exact time that I need to. What this means is, without even realizing it, the message that I wish to share with my readers or viewers is usually the message I need to hear at one particular time. Amazing how God’s timing is, right?

Case in point: The past few weeks have been CRAZY for our family (well, crazier than usual)! Anthony and I got sick two weeks ago, though he recovered quickly, thank God — so he could take over most of the household duties! And just as I was recovering, one of the kids came down with amoebiasis — NOT fun (and quite messy), I tell you! Mix it up with work, chores, etc. and, well, you get the picture, right?

So I’m really grateful for this latest episode of “The Truly Rich Mom Show.” It spoke to me again about how, yes, life can be CRAZY at times, but at least we can rest assured that God holds us close, and has our names carved in the palm of His hand (Isaiah 49:16).

So if you are experiencing “crazy” in your life right now, remember, this, too, shall pass (note to myself too!). God won’t give us what we can’t handle, and if, at times, you feel that you really can’t handle it, give it all to Him. Ask Him to cover you with His most precious blood. (Please remind me to do the same, too, Lord!)


O precious Blood of Jesus, infinite price paid for the redemption of sinful mankind. O Divine Blood, drink and lover of our souls, standing between us and the Father pleading mercy.

With all my heart I adore You, sweet Lord, and offer reparation for the insults, outrages and ingratitude, which You continuously receive from human beings, especially those who dare blaspheme the Divine Blood You shed for us.

Bless this Blood of Infinite value. Bless the fire of Jesus’ Love who shed it to the last drop for us. Where would I be if not for this Divine Blood that redeemed me? Indeed, Lord, I have drawn if from You to the last drop. What love! Thank You for this saving balm!

May every heart, every tongue, now and forever, praise and thank this priceless balm, this saving Blood, this fountain of crimson Mercy welling up from the fountain of infinite Love. Amen.

(Prayer source:

May we remember that, no matter how “messy” our lives may be, God has a purpose behind everything!

Be truly rich and blessed! :)

Did this episode of “The Truly Rich Mom Show” bless you in any way? Please feel free to share it with others!

Posted by Tina@TrulyRichMom on July 20, 2015 · 2 comments · Advocacies, Catholic, Family, Parenting, The Truly Rich Mom Show

I don’t know about you, but I think I’ve always wanted to be a mom (well, except for that brief period when I thought God was calling me to be a nun — but that’s another story! ;) ).

I guess you could say that my mom had a lot to do with that desire of mine. Mama may not have been the “perfect” mother while we were growing up (and my dad was not the “perfect” father either, as I shared in this article lately — no such thing as perfect parents, by the way) — but one thing I remember about her was she was always (almost!) there for me and my siblings.

Our family, circa... umm... 1990?

Our family, circa… umm… 1990?

She was — in today’s terms — quite the “hands-on” parent (actually, even if we are all grown up and have our own lives to live now, she is still as hands-on as she can be! :) Love you, Ma!).

Mama was a H.O.P.E. to us, her four kids — a Hands-On Parent while Earning, a term coined by my friend and fellow homeschooling WAHM Teresa.

Speaking of being H.O.P.E. (Hands-On Parents While Earning), I am pleased to announce that Teresa and her team are holding the FIRST-EVER H.O.P.E. Summit on August 8, 2015. It will be from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM at the AVR of PLDT TelTech Building, Boni Avenue, Mandaluyong City.

hands on parents

According to Teresa, the whole-day workshop on hands-on parenting and working smart in the new millennium seeks to inspire and teach parents how to marry hands-on parenting with earning for the family.

Teresa, who is an expert in designing programs used locally and abroad and in helping people grow and achieve their goals, will be the main speaker and facilitator of the workshop. The other speakers in the summit include two other dear friends of mine (and fellow blissmakers!) Martine de Luna and Ginger Arboleda, and another friend (and fellow homeschooler!) Jomar Hilario.

As you may (or may not know, heehee), Martine is a work-at-home advocate, award winning blogger and blog coach. Jomar, on the other hand, is the “Philippines’ Internet Marketing Guru,” who teaches individuals how to be virtual professionals and online business owners. Ginger is a serial entrepreneur, business coach and blogger. All the speakers are hands-on parents to their kids while running their respective businesses (sort of like me, but I don’t have a business… yet!). :)

The summit will also feature guest panelists who are successful Hands-On Parents while Earning, including Denise Bernardo of Indigobaby (another dear friend of mine!), Angeli Del Rosario of The Beadlady, Katrina Ambion of Mommyfide PH, Chef Jonathan Chua of Magsaysay Institute of Hospitality and Culinary Arts (also one of our partner experts at The Parenting Emporium), and Jay and Cherry Castillo of Foreclosure Philippines.

hope 3“Being able to work with a lot of flexibility has been one of the biggest blessings I have received in life,” Teresa shares. “I was able to witness all my children’s milestones, personally take care of them and breastfeed them because I am home almost all the time.

“I am able to shape my children’s character and educate them while pursuing my passions and earning through these passions. I want to share what I have learned through the years to my fellow parents so that they too can spend ample time with their children while contributing to the family income. This is my way of helping families grow and remain intact.”

Below are the event’s objectives:

  • To enable parents to discover their big why in aspiring to be Hands-On Parents while Earning (HOPE).
  • To enable parents to come up with a clear and compelling vision for their children and for themselves as parents and as earning individuals.
  • To help parents to come up with a list of new habits that they can easily and consistently implement after the workshop so they can be more involved in their children’s lives.
  • To help parents discover ways to work smarter so they can free up more time in their schedules to bond with their children.
  • To inspire moms and dads to be hands-on even while earning for their families and to learn tips and strategies on how to be successful in their careers/businesses through the stories of the featured moms and dads (guests) in the iHOPE Summit.
  • To introduce different earning options for parents while being actively involved in their children’s lives.
  • To give parents an opportunity to meet and interact with other parents who also want to become H.O.P.E. (Hands-On Parents while Earning).

I am really proud of Teresa, and admire her for what she is doing. She founded the Hands-On Parents while Earning Network primarily to help other families, and as part of God’s “mission” for her as a parent. :) She really sees all this as her “service” to others (we are quite alike in some ways, hehe!).hope 4The summit is valued at P3,500 per head at least but because Teresa wants to help as many families as she can, she found a way to make the workshop more affordable to parents.Thus, attendees get a 43% discounted rate even as they pay the regular rate of P2,000 per head. Couples are encouraged to attend together through the couple rate of P3,000 only. Click here to read more details about the summit and to register for this life-changing event.

The H.O.P.E. Summit is co-presented by Full Life Cube Publishing and Events Services, Sun Life Financial and PLDT Home Telpad. Participants of the summit will get a chance to win exciting prizes during the raffle from its sponsors which include Indigobaby, The Beadlady, Mommyfide PH, Bert Lozada Swim School, Gymboree Play and Music Philippines and Halo Philippines.Participants will also receive freebies like P500 gift certificates from Lozada Swim School, copies of Mustard magazine for kids (the BEST and MOST FUN inspirational kids’ mag for your kids! And I’m not being biased here… OK, maybe I am, just a little bit! Heehee!) and so much more.

If you want to check out updates about the H.O.P.E. Summit, please visit and like their Event page on Facebook.And now… for the exciting part!!! :)

Our H.O.P.E. Giveaway!

Teresa is generously raffling off a seat to the H.O.P.E. Summit via Truly Rich Mom! :) Below are the mechanics:

1. Like the H.O.P.E. Facebook Page: Hands-On Parents while Earning

2. Like the Truly Rich Mom Facebook Page

3. Post this on your Facebook wall: “I want to attend the @HandsOnParentswhileEarning Summit on August 8! Join me! Thanks @Truly Rich Mom for this opportunity!” Tag Hands-On Parents while Earning, me via my FB page, and at least 3 of your friends who are also parents.

4. Make your post public so the H.O.P.E. team can see your post.

That’s it! :) Please note that the giveaway via Truly Rich Mom will run for one week, and will end on Sunday, July 26 (thanks to Teresa for extending the giveaway period!). Winners will be notified by the H.O.P.E. Summit organizers. If you have any questions about the giveaway, or the Summit itself, kindly contact:

Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag

Mobile no.: +639178345846



I’m praying that my husband and I can attend the H.O.P.E. Summit, too, if our schedules permit it! Hope to see some of you there! :)

Posted by Tina@TrulyRichMom on July 12, 2015 · 2 comments · Amazing Grace Giveaways, Family, Parenting