Thursday, April 27, 2017

Rainbow Snake

It's summer time but the kids still long for study time! Well then, ibigay ang hilig hehehe :)

I purchased some Jolly Phonics materials during last year's Manila International Book Fair but we haven't actively used them. Sure - the Jolly Phonics songs were on repeat since September of 2016 and we had fun singing to it with the matching actions suggested by the book. But the "big" book was kept away for a while; bacause personally, I felt it was really a bit too early to focus on teaching how to read at only 2.5 years old. Add to that the fact that Z was still "coloring-averse", if there ever was such a term. She learned the basic phonics sounds, though, so I guess that's a great start! :)

Today we tried to do some sheets from the big Jolly Phonics book. It's good that the publisher allows personal reproduction (of some sections) so we photocopied a few Jolly Phonics sound sheets for today's activity. If you look at a single sheet, it looks quite basic but that's exactly what we need right now. Of course, it depends on us how we will maximize the use of the sound sheets. I think it works great whether we use it in its simplicity or complement it with other homeschooling tools/activities.

Here are a couple of sheets to show you what it's like:

At the side it shows Upper- and Lower-case "s". Inside the box we see the hand action of weaving into an "s". On the main part there's an image of a snake curled into the letter, and some tracing practice below.

On the preceding page are some helpful bits on teaching the letter sound. It has a storyline you can share with the child and reinforces the action and letter formation. For advanced toddlers, you can use the blending instruction. And for those looking for something extra, they have the extension activities.

There's also the 'further phonics' box which is actually a teaching note for teachers. It helps ensure that we are teaching the correct phonics sound.

At only 3 years old and 3 months, I don't want to complicate our homeschooling life. Just something that will be educational & fun. Nothing too heavy, or pushy. Light & engaging activities and tools are what we prefer for this particular season of homeschooling. So we just reviewed the letter sound and had fun singing the song with the matching snake movement of our hand.

Tune: The Farmer in the Dell
The snake is in the grass
The snake is in the grass
/sss/! /sss/!
The snake is in the grass 

Action: Weave your hand in an 's' shape, like a snake, and say ssssss.

And then I asked if she wished to color the snake. Totally okay if she did not want to, but I was surprised that not only did she agree, she also had a 'vision' of how she wanted it to look. A rainbow snake

I love how she uses her imagination! I'm also just too glad to see her working on patterns, color/art appreciation and the simple act of practicing how to hold a pen...or a crayon in this instance. As for me? I'm happy I got to "let go" a bit on this one. It's tempting to dictate how the output should look like but I guess there is value in allowing her to work on colors pleasing to her. Ditto on not forcing her to color within the lines and not encouraging the opposite as well. ---> I don't mean for this to be controversial, just that my daughter is not yet physically ready for that, so I don't force the issue :) Although, it's quite tempting talaga hehe..

The kids ended their morning play with... more play! They had a "Guess the Letter" contest facilitated by their Angkong, using the Jumbo Bananagrams. And later on, continued with D as the teacher and Z as the student. 

If you look close enough, Z's picture is blurred because she kept jumping up and down all throughout the game! Very clearly, these kids don't have energy gap! Hahaha... :)

Friday, April 21, 2017

Throwback: Summer at Real Star Beach Resort

Here's a throwback to a mini-vacay we had last year at REAL STAR BEACH RESORT in Real, Quezon. I hold this place close to my heart, coming and going here since 1993! 

Through the years, I've seen how this place, this community has been transformed. This used to be something that was enjoyed just by local residents and occasional vacationers. But now, it's somewhat of a summer destination for Metro Manila folks, and also those from nearby areas.

I feel so old when I think back and remember just a narrow strip of sand where we would leave our things when we go for a swim, or having to manage wobbly stones just to get to the center "island". Never mind the "itim batok" moments when us kids would just go at it with wild abandon at noon time just to collect snails and have a look at sea urchins. Of course, the waves crashing and making a big splash still does it for me. And when I take a look at a certain corner, I swear I can still see my grandfather, walking stick in hand, looking far away to the sea surrounded by his own thoughts.

Haaay, eto na talaga ang "all the feels"... :)

Enjoy our video! :D

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Momzilla Fair at Century City Mall

Trying my 'bestest' to cease & desist from shopping, I purposely didn't make a schedule for Momzilla Fair in Century City Mall. Hahaha, that's all I can say 😊

One thing led to invitation, lunch with family and I find myself (and my wallet) 'dangerously' entering the Momzilla Fair premises. 

I browsed the list of sellers and made a mental note of stalls to visit. At this point, I just wanted to maximize the PHP 100 entrance fee by checking out products I've been stalking on Facebook or Instagram. I go further to justify my purchases in the fair that at least I get to save on shipping fees I would otherwise incur if they were bought individually online. :) Lusot na ba? Hehe :)

Overall it was a tiring day but I still had fun eating with the fam at Hole in the Wall. So glad I got to order my all-time fave Bad Bird chicken with yummy Mexican corn..aaaahhh!!! And babywearing at that! :p Let's pretend for a minute that that's my secret superpower...woooosaaahh!!! :p

E sleeping soundly while being worn in the Baby K'tan Breeze
We also bumped into our classmates from Ms. Rome Kanapi's birthing class. I'm inggit because MG's slim na! Well, she always has been naman :) Means I need to start thinking about my diet and exercise plan 👍🏻

Babywearing moms, FTW! :)

Here's a look at the Momzilla Fair. Not a very flattering shot because --> baby, tired & toddler..get it? Hahaha :)

I don't know if it's just me or the lighting was really lacking..... 

Now onto my loot:

Yep, just the pillow case hehe. I was a bit disappointed with what I originally chose, the one that came with the pillow I bought online; because although I love the look, the fabric was too thin. So it was good that I was able to see the fabrics in person and I got to choose something thicker. :)

Please excuse my foot! Yikes! Hahahaha..

I know they're cute but I really wouldn't spend for this, if not for the prodding of my daughter. I was asking the seller which one was the cheapest and they had one that cost P300. But our little miss was bent on the colors and design she really wanted. So rather than spending on a cheaper item she probably doesn't like that much and maybe wouldn't get worn as much, I decided that for P200 difference, to just get the one she fell in love with. Major thanks to the jolly seller who gave a bracelet freebie too! :)

3. MOTHER NURTURE 7-in-1 CHOCOLATE MIX (P140 for a pack of 8)
This is something I keep on reading about in mommy forums so I decided to just go for it. I love that I get my fix of daily hot choco while at the same time receiving lactation benefits from the following ingredients:

-Gotu Kola | the most spiritual of all herbs 
-Ashitsba | with power to supply vital nutrients
-Stevia | healthy substitute for sugar
-Malunggay | "nature's medicine cabinet"

also has: non-dairy creamer, calcium lactate and cocoa powder, of course

I like the taste because it isn't too sweet. I think I just might try the coffee variant on my next purchase.

4. BUENO NIÑO Book | Pockets for Corduroy (P350)
The Corduroy book is a staple in our rotation. We discovered it as part of our BFIAR / Before Five In A Row purchase and my daughter loved the teddy bear's mini adventure inside the mall, as well as the friendship, love, and companionship he has immediately forged with Lisa. On my end, I'm just as amazed with the illustrations that depict the era when those books were written. I guess I just really love all that old world charm and the simplicity that comes with it.

That's it pancit!

P.S. They had credit card terminals but I "went rouge" and bought cash-basis hahaha :) My hubby and our bank account would be proud?! Yizzz...I'm actually reforming myself from using 'plastic' and buying non-budgeted items (no matter "how much I want it").

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Homeschooling: Working, learning and bonding with family members

There are so many things I love about homeschooling. Too many, that I could probably keep on gushing about it.

This day provided us with yet a new experience and something new to love about decision to do preschool homeschooling. Very simply, it's the fact that we get to enjoy (and learn) at home during these precious early years and spend time with people truly dear to us - our family! :)

During this homeschooling activity, we decided to work on a few challenges with our Wedgits blocks. These are not your ordinary blocks as you can see from the pictures. It gives the opportunity for the child to look at patterns and possible designs in a totally different way. What a great way to introduce STEM concepts, as well as develop interest & capabilities in this discipline!

"Nest! Stack! Wedge! This educational building toy encourages creativity, stimulates spatial thinking and teaches geometric patterning. Five different sizes of building shapes and expansion bridges fit together to build almost anything or use the design guide to create 3-D sculptures, futuristic space craft and towering structures. Tips and techniques are also included in the design guide to get started. Winner of many prestigious awards, including the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award. Includes 35 building pieces and 1 design guide. Ages 3+"

And challenging, indeed it was! We picked a card which we were not sure how to "solve" the top-most part. We had to "call a friend" by means of asking help from grandpa (an engineer) and Daddy A (an architect). 

I think they too were a bit stumped! Hahaha :) 

For me the "magic" here unfolded in many ways. 

First, we learn that we don't have the answers all the time. So we have to be humble to accept our limitations and at the same time, still try our best to work out a solution. 

Second is we cannot always get everything right the first time. This calls for perseverance in that we should stick to the work at hand and also calls for creativity - Can we do trial and error? Can we look at all the different angles, literally and figuratively? 

Third, I hope my child learned the value of collaboration. In life we definitely need to be able to work harmoniously with others from different backgrounds or disciplines. I guess this is what more "senior" homeschoolers try to explain about socialization. It's a common argument by folks in the traditional setting who worry about homeschooled children lacking socialization with peers their age. In reality, they are actually given the opportunity for "vertical socialization". They get to interact with (and learn from) people of different ages. This day demonstrated just how wonderful it was to collaborate with family members with quite different orientations, who also belong to different generations.

This Wedgits "problem" threw off our homeschooling groove for the day. But you know what? It compensated with so many teachable moments that we really wouldn't have it any other way :)


**In the spirit of full disclosure, there are affiliate links on this post, which means that I may get a commission if you decide to purchase anything from Amazon. I only recommend products & systems that I use and love myself, so I know you’ll be in good hands :) **

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

FO GUANG SHAN Mabuhay Temple

This is what keeps us busy on Sundays. Good bye to sleeping in on weekends, ha!

A couple of hours of singing, playing, and learning Mandarin Chinese for the kiddos. For only PHP 3,600.00 for a whole year of tuition...that's not too bad, right? They have classes for kids of different ages. I guess it's from nursery/preschool to high school level but these are more of supplementary learning. Some are learning about scout tradition, some on photo journalism and well, we're stuck with the play group hahahaha :)

For a homeschooling family, I treat this as a welcome break and a place where my child can meet and interact with kids her age (horizontal socialization). I'm quite impressed too that at their age, they really have very absorbent minds! She sings and sings her Sunday Mandarin songs endlessly...endlessly, I say! :p To the effect that the helper and I get the song stuck on our mind as well...LSS na.  

So far, so good! :)

Dancing at Home: Mambo No. 5 with the "kids"

We just got back from a vacation in Zambales but travelled much longer than expected. Just imagine : a 4-hour trip that turned into 12 hours!! Gosh! I'm feeling happy-tired, but tired nonetheless. 

While Easter Sunday was supposed to be a day of recovery for us, the kids managed to brandish the Wii equipment and started dance-dance-dancing...

And I guess you know what happens next when the beat calls you for some hip shaking! Hahaha :) Enjoy our video!

P.S. Oh yeah, this is also a wake-up call for me to get serious with my fitness...or fatness, rather! :p


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