Homeschooling with God Nearby

This week is a tough week. As we continue to face big trials in our family, today was the 1st quarter portfolio review week of the kids with The Master’s Academy (TMA Homeschool). I also committed  a month ago to speak to parents of preschoolers this Friday morning. On top of that, my Dad was once again (3rd time this year) confined last Monday for a possible respiratory infection. And add to all that, it wasn’t really the best time for my cellphone screen to break and our car to be towed!

I was about to say, it’s as if God knew…. oh dear! He really knew, knew ahead. My omniscient God knew how everything was set and how everything was going to take place and fall into place. And He was going to supply everything that was needed to see me through. And though the week has not ended, I am praising Him for His goodness and HIs sovereignty in all things.

As I looked through each page of our 2 students’ homeschool portfolios, I see His faithfulness all over.  We learn, we can homeschool despite all other things going around or within us. And this kind of set up has been pretty much the way things go week after week in the last decade or so.  God wants our family  to be totally dependent on Him. And I believe this for every homeschooling family!

Prior to beginning of our school year, I visited a sister who had boxes of books in her stairway and my eyes locked on a book on George Muller:   Christian Heroes: Then & Now  featuring George Muller: The Guardian of Bristol’s Orphans by Janet and Geoff Benge. ( It was situated at the very top of the pile of books in the box ! imagine that? Who then made sure of that? )  We also read of missionary, Gladys Aylward: The Adventure of a Lifetime, around 2 years ago, which we tremendously learned from and immensely enjoyed.

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Project of Raya and Gino in Bible/Language/ Geography

For each homeschooling day during the past quarter, we tackled a chapter; and we saw glimpses of what is means to be near God through the life of George Muller! What a blessed faithful life, completely dependent on the Lord through prayer and waiting upon Him, shining indeed for His Glory .

This morning as we were preparing for our portfolio review, my reading was Psalm 124.

1 If the Lord had not been on our side—

let Israel say

2 if the Lord had not been on our side

when people attacked us,

3 they would have swallowed us alive

when their anger flared against us;

4 the flood would have engulfed us,

the torrent would have swept over us,

5 the raging waters

would have swept us away.

6 Praise be to the Lord,

who has not let us be torn by their teeth.

7 We have escaped like a bird

from the fowler’s snare;

the snare has been broken,

and we have escaped.

8 Our help is in the name of the Lord,

the Maker of heaven and earth.

As I meditated on these lines, I couldn’t help but remember, Moses’ words in Exodus 33:15-16:

15 Then he said to Him, “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here. 16 “For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?”…

And now reviewing the many amazing entries in his journal of George Muller :

The greatness of the sum required affords me a kind of secret JOY, for the greater the difficulty to be overcome, the more will it be seen to the GLORY of GOD how much can be done by prayer and faith.”

“If God is in this, He will supply.”

“I have known my Lord for 52 years and in all that time, I cannot recall a single instance when you He has not answered my prayer.”

So putting it all together, this is my super paraphrased homeschooler’s version of Psalm 124:

If the Lord had not been on our side—

let all homeschoolers say—

if the Lord had not been on our side

when the stresses of managing the home and the school at home are at their peak

they would have swallowed us alive

the fears and anxieties regarding our children’s education would have engulfed us,

the worries over curricula and materials would have swept over us,

the daily battles in the school room would have swept us away.

and our own tempers and tantrums would have consumed us !

BUT…..

Praise be to the Lord,

who has not let us be torn by the burdens we choose to carry

We have escaped and have been protected by our loving Father

Our HOMESCHOOL help is in the name of the Lord,

the Maker of heaven and earth who loves our children more than we can ever do.

And along the lines of Mr. Muller’s thinking, let me add, “If God is in our homeschool, He will supply.”

So, let us draw near to God. Homeschool with Him nearby. Call to him for every homeschooling ache in your heart and mind. Remember what James says.” Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts.” (James 4:8) Admit, confess to Him, say sorry to your students if you have hurt them or failed as a teacher in some way or another and start again, with God nearby.

So dear homeschooler, what will it take for you to homeschool with God nearby? Think about it. Make some adjustments. Pray and ask God to be near and He will draw near to you! I am a witness of that for the past 12 years of being a homeschooler! Praise be to our Lord indeed!

So despite the trials and interruptions during the past 10 weeks, the kids were able to submit and present their portfolios:) Raya is even wearing a dress she sewed for HELE!
So despite the trials and interruptions during the past 10 weeks, the kids were able to submit and present their portfolios:) Raya is even wearing a dress she sewed for HELE! Below is a photo with our most loving and supportive TMA Consultant, Ms. Girlie Argosino.IMG_3597

 

Psalm 65 :4 How blessed is the one whom You choose and bring near to You to dwell in Your courts. We will be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, Your holy temple.

Psalm 145:18 The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.

Featured image of James 4:8 : http://mikepittman.org/?p=3071

2015 Philippine Homeschool Conference: A MUST FOR ALL HOMESCHOOLERS! See you there!

The 2015 Philippine Homeschool Conference: Ready For The World  on Oct 17, 2015 is a huge milestone in Philippine homeschooling scene that every homeschooler must attend.

Nothing so far has been mounted in this manner and I am truly excited. I have attended and on some occasions have spoken in several conferences presented by Homeschooling Association of the Philippine Islands  (HAPI), The Master’s Academy (TMA), Manila Workshops and  The Learning Basket separately through the years. But to have all these groups unite and collaborate for this year’s Philippine Homeschooling Conference at the SMX Aura and SMX Convention Center  that is going to be surely one AWESOME gathering and every homeschooler should be a part of it.ready for the world poster

Homeschooling Conferences are one of the best ways to get that encouragement boost as we continue home education which many say is truly a road less travelled. Just look at the program!

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Source: http://manilaworkshops.com/events/homeschool-conference-2015

You may download the actual program here.

As I surveyed the topics for plenary and workshop ssessions, here is how I see them:

The “Big Picture” topics:

  •  Give Me One Reason To Homeschool ( Workshop) 
  • Teaching Foundational Truth (Keynote Message)
  • Global Perspective in Homeschooling (Keynote Message) 

And the very practical and more “close to home topics”:

  • Parenting Basics; Getting Your Kids to Listen and Learn 
  • Stretching Your P-100 Budget in Homeschooling
  • Homeschooling 101: Getting Started
  •  Getting Your Homeschoolers Ready for Independent Homeschooling

The Big Picture topics will be handled by husband and wife, Davis and Rachael Carman, (“proprietors of the number 1 Creation based, biblically sound, long term homeschool curriculum material: Apologia”) and Mike Donnelly, director for the Global Outreach of the United States’ Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) and the current secretary of the Global Home Education Conference 2016 (GHEC).

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Oh wow!!! Who would not want to spend the day listening to these speakers who live and breathe homeschooling with such a passion that brings them to far edges of the world to help fan the growing homeschooling fire worldwide????

On a personal note, our family has been an Apologia Science and What We Believe material user for almost 7 years!!!! I would definitely love to listen to the minds behind this brilliant Jesus-focused homeschooling program!

Add to this, are our local experts on the fields of finances, independent homeschooling, homeschooling basics and parenting!

  • Edric & Joy Tanchi
  • Tina Rodriguez
  • Chinkee Tan
  • Ched Azardon

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This year’s Philippine Homeschool Conference 2015 has also added a whole new dimension to the Homeschooling Expo with craft workshops for children 13 y.o and above. For those seeking for homeschooling materials, this will be this year’s best gathering of educational toys, tools and books!  I have  all this  range of materials and books that I’ve used and reused for more than  a decade now and when I am asked where I  sourced them, I say, “In a Homeschooling Conference!”

Apart from the learning sessions and the expo, there is just something so invigorating in seeing hundreds of other parents all gathered for one united purpose: home education. As moderator of the Homeschoolers of the Philippines FB community, I am also excited to meet as many homeschoolers during this time.

If you’d like to register and join this super duper, worth your while, exciting event,  please click here. It will only take a few minutes to register!

See you there!

If you’d like to avail of a free ticket to this event, and some prizes from Bee Happy Crafts, please visit: Facebook page of HomesCool.ph to see the mechanics on how to join!

Proversbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron,   so one person sharpens another.

Art Series: Secondary Colors

This is another lesson in the Art series that we started in this blog. We are currently focusing on the basic elements of Art and have covered Lines,  More Lines, Shapes, Shapes Part 2Colors and Primary Colors. 

I love mixing primary colors. Whether you use  colored water (water with a few drops of food coloring), acrylic/poster  or water color paint, you are bound to create those secondary colors.

You can also use chalk, chalk pastel, crayons or colored pencils.

Primary Colors :  Red, Blue, Yellow

Secondary Colors:

  • Red + Blue =  Purple ( More commonly used that Violet nowadays)
  • Red + Yellow = Orange
  • Green + Blue =Green

I find using good quality tempera, poster or acrylic paint with bolder colors more fun and exciton, especially for younger children.  It can be frustrating to use low quality paints or very washed out water color in teaching how to make these secondary colors.

However, in the absence of these,   mixing colored water or  rubbing chalk/oil pastels can achieve the color transformation  in a fairly, observable way.

Here is a sample activity from one of our favorite Art resources for the primary years, Evan-Moor’s  manual on How To Teach Art to Children. This resource is also available in electronic version(e-book).

Page from Evan Moor's How To Teach Art
Page from Evan Moor’s How To Teach Art

The simplest way to show this transformation  is through the following steps:

Using this template and poster paint , fill the three circles with the 3 primary colors. Older kids can use chalk /oil pastel, water colored pencils or crayons as they can rub more evenly and patiently to achieve the secondary colors.

 

colorwheel
http://www.kinderart.com/kindercolor/colorwheel.jpg

Or you may use this too :

primary-color-wheel-coloring-sheet
http://studenthandouts.com

 

Then, using a mixing palette,  mix red with blue, red with yellow and blue with yellow to achieve the secondary colors purple/violet, orange and green.  Guide the children in adding more of the primary colors to achieve the desired secondary color.  Fill in the right areas in the color wheel.

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Here are other COLOR Experiments done by kids (ages 5-6 years old)  using the reproducibles from Evan Moor’s How to Teach  Art to Children :

2ndaryColors2 2ndaryColors4

I always like connecting various lessons from different subjects, So for this lesson, depending on the ages of your student, you may opt to stretch this lesson to include:

Bible lessons on the Creation Story,  Noah and the rainbow after the Great Flood, Joseph the Dreamer and his colorful coat. Try to google templates for Joseph’s Dreamcoat or Noah’s rainbow.

For Science,  some ideas could be the Color Spectrum, or even how to make your own Natural Dyes.

We did this many quarters ago.

It wasn't that easy to make dyes from fruits/ vegetables. It will take some trial and error.  That's Science!
It wasn’t that easy to make dyes from fruits/ vegetables. It will take some trial and error. That’s Science!

For Language, you can do a lesson on Similes and teach your children how to create similes using the different colors: “yellow as lemon. black as charcoal, green as grass, red like fire. blue like the sky“. Make poems about the colors.

Social Studies:  You may decide to study about flags. Begin with your country’s flag. Discuss the symbolism with the figures and colors used.  Choose other countries for discussion.  You can even challenge the kids to design and create a flag of a make-believe country,

History:  History of Dye Making

Filipino: Color terms of Filipino (Tagalog)  and how they are properly used

Red- Pula (as a adjective) or mapula, or  pupula/ pumula ( as verbs)

Reading;  Younger Children will enjoy the following;

  • Green Eggs and Ham
  • Little Blue and  Little Yellow
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon,
  • Seven Blind Mice
  • Freight Train
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
  • A Color of His Own

Isn’t the lesson on COLORS simply endless and exciting?? Go ahead and have a colorful homeschooling lesson soon!