I’m back! I know it’s been ages since my last post here. (Well, in the blogging world, I think 12 days between blog posts is considered “ages”!) I also know I said I’d try to chronicle our homeschooling adventures on a daily basis but obviously that hasn’t been happening, for many different reasons.

Mostly, it’s because I have been busy with work and, umm… homeschooling. Ha, ha! Not to mention the routine chores, etc. So I guess, in a way, and by default, I’m back to slow blogging then.

The month of October is flying by all too quickly… After I got sick and recovered, it was my husband’s turn to get sick. And then two out of our three kids. And now, it’s me again. I realize that it’s all probably because I/we have not been being true to my One Word for this year. Unhealthy eating and sleeping habits have taken their toll on me (and I guess, my family too)! I am re-committed to correcting that now though. Lord, help me!

In between being busy and sick, we also celebrated our eldest’s 8th birthday with a (last-minute) surprise party! Wow, time really flies!

tim's bday

I want to thank Max’s Restaurant for their great service — particularly their Scout Tuazon branch. You see, we had less than a week to prepare for the party (toldja it was last minute!), and they really helped us get everything ready. Since our guests were limited to immediate family and Tim’s godparents, we just opted to rent one of the function rooms and order from their set menus. We had a blast! (And no, this is NOT a sponsored post for Max’s! :) )

So anyway, I’d also like to invite you all to two awesome events happening this week: the SALAMAT NANAY Art Exhibit on October 23, and the Work-at-Home Weekend Expo on October 25.

SALAMAT NANAY Art Exhibit

philstar.com-salamat nanay

Here is more information about the exhibit, from our children’s art teacher, Dindi Manlapaz’s website: [click to continue…]

Posted by Tina@TrulyRichMom on October 20, 2014 · 2 comments · Advocacies, Catholic, Events, Family, I Recommend, Work At Home

I’ve been ‘silent’ here for the past few days because I got sick, we were busy celebrating my mom’s birthday, and then Anne’s cough got worse, which meant ‘unlilatch’ time for the both of us!

Anyway, I’m writing this quick post to share with you some activities I’ve listed down in an attempt to prepare the kids for the lunar eclipse happening TONIGHT!

Photo credits to Philstar.com

Photo credits to Philstar.com

Sadly, the kids aren’t here now (they’re at my parents’ place — this post explains why) but I sent my mom an email with the following activities:

1. Read a book/books about the solar system.

I asked my mom to look for my brother’s I Wonder Why Stars Twinkle book in their collection at home. If you don’t have an astronomy-related book, you can read this (aloud or have your child read it): http://www.ducksters.com/science/physics/lunar_and_solar_eclipses.php.
You might want to read this fictional short story about a lunar eclipse too:

2. Watch these videos about lunar eclipses:

3. Do a simple experiment.

Try to simulate the lunar eclipse using 2 balls and a flashlight. Or try this experiment.
 If that’s too hard, just play/experiment with shadows in a dark room! :)
Explore Sandbox actually has a wonderful “sandbox” about “The Night Sky” — it has LOTS of great activities that your kids can do to learn more about the night sky, including different phases of the moon. We received a box recently and I’ll write about our experience soon!
Screen shot from the Explore Sandbox website

Screen shot from the Explore Sandbox website

Don’t forget to mention that it is God who created everything, including the sun, moon, earth, etc.! :) You can even read the Story of Creation in your Bible. Instant religion/Bible lesson! :)

So that’s it! I also asked my mom to have Tim write a short paragraph about the eclipse on his blog, after they’ve seen it. :) Let’s all pray for good weather tonight!

Posted by Tina@TrulyRichMom on October 8, 2014 · 5 comments · Homeschooling

I know I ended yesterday’s post by saying that I was going to prepare the kids’ things for our bird-watching activity with the ROCKERS in honor of today, the Feast Day of Saint Francis of Assisi, but sadly, we weren’t able to join them at the last minute. I started feeling unwell and Anthony didn’t want to leave me alone with Anne, so everyone ended up staying home.

Here's a photo of the bird-watching activity yesterday. Too bad we missed it! :(

Here’s a photo of the bird-watching activity yesterday, shared by one of the ROCKERS members. Too bad we missed it! :(

I did feel a teeny bit better later in the morning though, so I brought the kids to a much-anticipated playdate with their fellow homeschooling friends. You see, I’m all about keeping our promises to our children, and this playdate was something they had been looking forward to for the loooonggggeest time!

So off we went, and they really had lots of fun! It was a time to catch up a bit with my friends and fellow homeschooling moms too, so it was a win-win situation for us all!

It was my mom’s birthday yesterday, too, and we had planned to visit her after the kids’ playdate. Sadly, once we got home, I started feeling really sick again. So much so that I ended up sleeping most of the afternoon, which meant that the kids had to “fend for themselves,” in a way.

Rysse kept herself occupied with playing and watching some Mother Goose Club videos, while Tim built all sorts of things from his Legos. Praise God that Anne also slept for a while, so I didn’t have to “deal with” her. :P

Praise God, too, that Anthony was able to come home earlier than he usually does — I had to send him a “PLEASE HELP!” sort of text message, when the kids were hungry and I couldn’t pull myself out of bed! Thank God again that He led us to this apartment, which is really near Anthony’s office. GOD IS GOOD, ALL THE TIME! :)

So yes, there are days when things don’t go the way we want them to… but I still thank God that He makes all things work together for our good (Romans 8:28)! Even if yesterday didn’t go the way I had planned it to, He still showed me that He is in control of everything in our lives! :)

 How about you? What do you do when things don’t go according to your plans?

Posted by Tina@TrulyRichMom on October 4, 2014 · 1 comment · Catholic, Family, Homeschooling, Our homeschool

*This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase any of the books I’ve listed here via the links posted here, you will be blessing our family’s homeschool funds, at no additional cost to you! :) Thanks in advance and God bless you!

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True story: Yesterday was a day full of challenges (and failures!) for me as a home educating parent. I found myself yelling raising my voice not a few times at our kids, and I have no excuse for my “bad behavior.” :( Thank God for His grace, forgiveness, healing — and for my kids’ patience and forgiveness as well! (End of confession. Back to regular programming!)

On homeschool routines

Now, before I go to our homeschooling activities for yesterday, allow me to share our routine with you. It has deviated a bit from the typical homeschool day I posted about months ago. Actually, for the past few months, our routine has been something like this:

9-9.30am: Kids wake up / Say good morning and goodbye to their Papa / Morning bathroom “ritual” (Sometimes their Papa gets to join us for morning prayers. Prior to the kids waking up, I’m already up — usually by 4 or 5 am — to finish whatever work I need to get done.)

9.30-9.45am: I try to round them up for our morning prayers (Am I the only one who hears these phrases often?:”Wait, Mama, I’m still building something!”, “Wait, Mama, I’m still playing!”, etc. I’m praying that one day, soon, this will change! :P But our kids are young, and even us adults need prodding sometimes to pray, right? So, yeah, I’ll be patient and wait!)

9.45-10am: Morning prayers and a Bible story/passage

10-10.30am: Brunch

10.30-11.45am: Free play time as Mama does chores (laundry/preps lunch/etc.) I used to let the kids help me with chores but I have found it easier to just let them babysit/play with their little sister while I get everything done. Sometimes, if the toddler is especially frisky, I let all the kids watch a short video during this time, too. (Yep, you can go ahead and judge me now, if you want! ;) A mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do!)

11.45am-12.30pm: Lunchtime

12.30-1.30pm: Clean-up time/Free play time/Reading time

1.30-4pm: “Formal” learning time — with LOTS of breaks in between (including Mama putting down the toddler for a nap)!

For Tim, this consists of the 4R’s daily (Religion, Reading, Writing, Math) plus other subjects once or twice a week. Sometimes, Tim does his handwriting practice in the morning, plus his Math and Grammar lessons “so I can already build stuff!” he says. At least the kid knows his priorities, right? ;)

[click to continue…]

Posted by Tina@TrulyRichMom on October 2, 2014 · 5 comments · Catholic, Family, Homeschooling, Our homeschool

Yesterday, we “re-started” another homeschool year and made it really “official” by FINALLY enrolling the kids in Kolbe Academy. Below is a screen shot of the email that came with Kolbe’s Welcome Packet for enrolled families:

Screen shot 2014-10-02 at 7.19.35 AM

Yes, after much prayer, consultations with other homeschoolers (both enrolled locally and homeschooling independently, some with Kolbe, some not enrolled anywhere at all), more prayer, lots of wrestling with doubts and fears, we have decided to continue being independent homeschoolers.

We believe that it is God’s will for us, for now, but will always stay open to His leading. (I’d like to give a special “shout-out” to my friends and fellow homeschoolers over at Catholic Filipino Academy, The Master’s Academy and Peniel Christian Academy, who patiently entertained all my inquiries, answered all my questions and prayed with and for us during our discernment process — we are blessed by your love and support!)

Anyway, we didn’t do much formal academics yesterday, because I wanted to keep things light for the kids. We started off with a “special” brunch, in honor of Saint Therese of Lisieux’s Feast Day and to celebrate our 2 “school-going” children (“Tt” is for “Therese” — both the saint and the girl — and “Timothy”):

t for therese

Cheese sandwiches for Rysse and whole wheat pancakes for Timothy! :)

After brunch, I had Tim take Kolbe’s End of First Grade Assessment Test. (Um, yeah, that’s how I “keep things light,” ha, ha!) He happily proceeded to continue building Lego creations after the test. I’ll try to write more about my thoughts on his test results and how I reacted later, because it totally calls for an entirely different post! Let’s just say I’m SO grateful to have fellow homeschooling moms who totally “get” me and my family! (*Waves and sends virtual hugs to Mommy Blessie!)

In the afternoon, I put the toddler down for a nap and let Rysse spend some time on Starfall.com, while Tim kept busy with his blocks. We also played “Buying, Buying,” so Rysse learned a bit about simple addition and identifying Philippine currency.

Later on, I let them watch The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (again, for the nth time!) while I prepared dinner. You can read Tim’s “review” of it here on his blog, if you want. He wrote it last week, and when I asked him to give me “a paragraph” about it yesterday, he basically said the same thing. ;)

The highlight of our day, of course, was our first “Nameday” celebration. I had been wanting to do this for the longest time, ever since I first saw it in other Catholic moms’ blogs. We didn’t do anything grand, but we did have cake!

The cake shop left out the "St." part, even if I gave specific instructions about it! Oh well!

The cake shop left out the “St.” part, even if I gave specific instructions about it! Oh well!

We also watched this super-short video, and read about Saint Therese from this book. Even if we didn’t have anything special lined up, and our plans to play some St. Therese-inspired party games didn’t push through, it seems our little flower still enjoyed celebrating her Nameday!

homeiscool

On the other side of our choco roll, I had the people at Red Ribbon write, “Home is Cool” and “Mt. 6:33,” to commemorate our official first day of homeschooling. Matthew 6:33 is our family’s life verse, and the anchor verse of our homeschool (hence, the name, “Kingdom-Seekers’ Academy). :)

Finally, since October is traditionally the month of the Holy Rosary, we prayed the Rosary together before our usual bedtime read-alouds. Anthony and Tim took turns leading it. :) If you have any prayer intentions, please feel free to share them with me via the comments, or on Facebook, and I’ll include them in our nightly prayers!

Whew! I know I said I’d try to do this every day but it seems like so much work! Ha, ha! :) Should I or shouldn’t I keep this up, friends? ;) What do you think?

Posted by Tina@TrulyRichMom on October 2, 2014 · 4 comments · Catholic, Family, Homeschooling, Living the Liturgical Year, Our homeschool