For this post, let me share a few simple habits or practices that can actually help bring some freshness or jazz up your homeschooling day.
A common saying among the Filipino children born in the 1970s and 80s goes, ” If you can’t perform, Japorms. ” “Porma ” seems to come from the Spanish term, “forma” which means “shape”. Porma is locally known as to dress,move or accessorize in such a way to impress! So, dress as if you are going to a meeting or to the office, why not? While you’re at it, do the usual moisturize, sunblock your face and do the “no make up, make up” look. At least, groom your eyebrows, curl your eyelashes, put some concealer for those with dark under eyes and put light foundation and blush , and yes, top it with a nice nude lipstick or gloss!
My husband Gilbert and I are in awe of how close our four children have become. They can talk all night, share music, watch videos, do crazy stuff (that only they could understand) together, have inside jokes from shared experiences. The 3 boys play basketball with their Papa, and Raya plays tennis with me.
From eldest to youngest, here are their current ages: 18 y.o , 16 y,o, 14 y.o and 11 y.o (turning 12 soon). Yes, I finally had an “adult” this year, the kind of year they all turn “even” ! Yes, they once were like steps in stairs, marching according to height. Now, the 2nd has overtaken the first and the last is almost as tall as the 3rd. Haha, sounds like a mathematical equation ?
Truly, truly, one of the best benefits of Multilevel homeschooling is the solid foundation it sets for sibling closeness. I am actually smiling now as I write this. It is our prayer that this bond will be rock solid and will be an awesome ally for all their lives indeed.
As more children have been released to regular school, I find myself having more time available for a few other passions: running seminars for homeschooling/part time working, participating more actively in a non-government organization for the poor, and being active in HAPI (Homeschool Association of the Philippine Islands).
Recently, I began a Homeschooling Mentoring Seminar Series as a trial run for a smaller group of parents. Homeschool conferences are quite helpful in the bigger picture encouragement and pumping up but I do find the workshops with small number of participants with a lot of interaction and experiential activities, a bit more personal and heartwarming. I love connecting with others and hearing their homeschooling experiences. And yes, finally, I get to personally meet many of my online friends from the Homeschoolers of the Philippines FB page.
One of the topics, I love to share is How to Run a Multilevel Homeschooling Set up. Multilevel Homeschooling is basically having a “more than one child/ one student ” set up and so, you are faced with a myriad of differences in preferences, talents & abilities, educational milestones, personalities, demands, learning goals, etc and eventually, a whole set of varying outcomes! You face different characters and character concerns, varying learning styles, and yes, even growth and development.
Did I ever research on this as I taught all the kids in a span of 15 years? Believe it or not, I just began researching about it when I decided that it was time to pass on the best practices in Multilevel Teaching to other homeschooling parents. Haha, I guess, I wanted a more solid backing in terms of “educational philosophies, studies and techniques” than mere experience. However, much of what I had applied in teaching multiple kids could be drawn from general parenting books (of various topics like: discipline, creativity, teamwork, motivation, positive talk/speech, parenting during digital age, success, character formation) and my main manual in life, the Bible.
But then again, teaching is essentially parenting ! We learn parenting from many sources but I also realized that I had learned much from our four children (all made in God’s image, yes they are!!!!) and actually “raising them”.. with a whole lot of trial and error, laughter, tears and apologies,
So what did I actually find when I finally hit the books, searched online about Multilevel Teaching? I was floored…..and yes in awe, because many of the beliefs I had formed in what we were doing, many of the techniques I had applied from common sense and practicality, and even the rationale in many of the adjustments and “tweaking” we had done to “thrive, bloom and soar” in the chaos of homeschooling 4 children at the same time, are emerging as solid approaches in multilevel set up classroom ! These approaches are now being implemented by regular schools that believe in Multilevel teaching!
So, what are these principles? What are the approaches ? What are the best practices? Well, be empowered like these these amazing parents by joining our next run on 29th of July, Saturday form 900-12NN at the Unleash International, 31F Jollibee Plaza, F. Ortigas Ave, (former F. Ortigas Ave), Ortigas Center! Email firstname.lastname@example.org for inquiries and/or to book a slot!
It was really fun to “positively overwhelm” these committed parents in the photo above. And borrowing a pose from a bitmoji app I had made of myself;
My sister, Felichi Buizon, another homeschooler of almost 20 years, encouraged the group to pose as in my personal bitmoji ! See, how fun and game, this group was. We declared, Daddy Jomar Hilario as the parent with the winning pose!
So, are you feeling like “You can’t even!”? as you face the daunting task of homeschooling multiple children? Join us! Book now:)
If you are a first time homeschooler, you may also opt to attend this:
Here are a few photos of our run last June at The Parenting Emporium :
Indeed, this last photo says it all. Multilevel Homeschooling is another example of ways in which Parenting is indeed shared. We hope to impart to more parents as we seek to make homeschooling more practical, more doable and sustainable and more fun for all!
Philippians 4:13 I can do ALL things through CHRIST who strengthens me.
Said in the same fashion as “Confidently beautiful with a heart, “(Remember, Miss Universe 2016? Filipina Pia Wurzbach?”, I sort of coined this phrase during the recent homeschooling workshop on Multilevel Homeschooling as I wrapped up. Yes, homeschooling on its own is overwhelming. What more Multilevel Homeschooling?
However, after sharing success stories, “pick up and stand up again from failure” moments, and tried and tested strategies for homeschooling several kids that differ in so many facets, I said, “Yes, be positively overwhelmed. “
Stress we all know may be positive, negative or even neutral. So in a sense, the key, in multilevel homeschooling, is to face stress as inevitable but taking all the possible positives from it. Veteran homeschooler and my “ate” Felichi Buizon says that, “Life in general is a series of interruptions.” And since homeschoolng is life, then expect, embrace and roll with them . Don’t get us wrong. It isn’t having a pessimistic, bleak outlook or having a new mantra ala Murphy’s law, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Rather, it is expecting , stress, interruptions, and a whole gamut of things that are out of our control as teachers/ parents, and find ways to positively turn these experiences to benefit most, if not all.