Laro Collaborative Art Exhibit

I call this a perfect event for the entire family.  It had many things quite dear to me:  lots of  colorful and beautiful  art, children, our Filipino culture,  an advocacy to build a playground for children through UNICEF,  time well spent with my first Art teacher(Mommy Emma) and my students  (Raya & Gino), and the touching of ones’ heart by evoking so many childhood memories of play.

Creative Kids /Kids for Kids

Mommy Emma, Gino, Raya and I had such a grand time in this unique “celebration of every child’s right to play through the celebration of Pinoy games.” 


I told my Mom to act “excited” as if to cheer for Raya as she jumped in ‘luksong tinik.” Did you know that Mommy Emma taught Art Appreciation in Maryknoll College and was the owner and directress of “Infant Jesus Kindergarten School” where most of the Pangilinan kids had their preschool years. The school was just 3 houses away from 11 Mahusay St UP Village!


What’s a pamato, Mama?


Creative Kids dedicate their 20th anniversary to help raise funds for UNICEF and the building of a playground in a resettlement area in Calauan, Laguna through an artistic exhibit, fun activities and a fashion show.”


As I went through each artwork, Mom who majored in Creative Arts in UP College of Home Economics, and I were in awe with every piece of art.  Gino and Raya  were amused as well as they saw some of the games featured in the art works which  their Lola and Mama played when they were their age!

As part of homeschool PE and Filipino, I have tried to expose the children  by playing “garter”,  patintero, luksong tinik,  limbo rock, sipa, sungka , and using the traditional trumpo.  For their birthdays, we  did some pabitins  and some form of “hit the pot (palayok)”.  Though not Filipino in origin, we also tried to play jackstones and mahjong.  Prior to visiting the exhibit which happened to be in our favorite mall, Alabang Town Center. I had a mini-lesson with the kids on Filipino Traditional Games and we focused on the Filipino hopscotch , or piko.  Hopefully we will be able to play this soon.  I also discovered that there were many   online videos featuring so many of these games !!!

Bahay-Bahayan na! Nasaan ang sandok at palayok?



Didn’t we dream to have that nipa house?


Patintero, sino ang patotot?
Patintero, sino ang patotot?



Tropang Trumpo!
Tropang Trumpo!


Damang-dama namin ang saya dito ! Dali, punta na!


Guess what? Kaya mo ng "check mark", "falling star"and "hide in the cave" moves?
Guess what? Kaya mo ng “check mark”, “falling star”and “hide in the cave” moves?


Taob kayo sa laki ng tsinelas namin !


An additional treat for that afternoon  was seeing and chatting with the event’s main organizer,  our family friend, Bambi Manosa.  According to Bambi, they recently transformed her much sought after art school, Creative Kids Studio into an all-year-round project based art studio “where kids can come  together to help other children through their time and talents.”  The program is now called Kids for Kids.

With Creative Kids/ Kids for Kids Champion, Bambi Manosa. The Pangilinans and Manosas are family friends:)
With Creative Kids/ Kids for Kids Champion, Bambi Manosa. The Pangilinans and Manosas are family friends:)


So amazing were the art pieces created by the children of Creative Kids, that red dots were all over as most of the pieces were already sold.  Bambi mentioned that a buyer or donor could either buy and take home art work or he could purchase it, and donate the art work to a center for children chosen by Kids for Kids.

There are more activities lined up for this celebration of play and you may check  The link also provides information on how to join this advocacy and become another champion for children.

The Laro Collaborative Art  Exhibit runs until May 26, 2015 at the Activity Center of the Alabang Town Center.

If you’re in the mood to actually play these traditional games,  “Tara, Laro!” is set on May16 and 17 in different areas of  Alabang Town Center ( Activity Center, Town Plaza and Corte Extension). The link  has all details!

I recommend this wonderful celebration of play to all families!  Homeschoolers can even create lesson plans and unit studies on this:)  Thanks to Gino and Raya for the photos. We purposely didn’t post all because you should come and experience this for real!  You ought to see the colorful sungkas, the sipa and pabitiin artwork,  sculpted playthings and  the many paintings about famous Filipino nursery rhymes and riddles

Congratulations to Bambi Manosa, Kids for Kids, UNICEF,  Alabang Town Center and all  the other sponsors for this worthy, inspiring, moving and even entertaining, one of kind, art exhibit by children for other children in need.

A giant paper boat! Didn't we all make smaller versions for the flowing canals in our streets?
A giant paper boat! Didn’t we all make smaller versions for the flowing canals in our streets?


I grabbed the chance to write down my comments on that giant boat!  C




Proverbs 11:5 “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”

It’s More Fun in HomesCool!

A few days ago, I asked the kids what  were the best activities in our homeschooling journey. As expected, the best and most memorable were the most fun. One of the benefits of having many, multilevel children is   just having more people to enjoy the beauty and fun that comes with homeschooling.  Fun and laughter are truly precious . They are worthy goals to have in your homeschooling day:)

The kids when they could all fit using one desk!
The kids, back when they could all fit using one desk!


Hang those letters!


Water play is always a winner for preschoolers.
Would you believe we picked up trash and sorted them for Math, Science and Social Studies?


Planting is always FUN!


When they’re this small, you only need pillowcases!


When we started homeschooling, “Messy” became our middle name.


Pretend play will never run “out of style.”


“Everyone wants to be a cashier!Didn’t we all? “


Food Pyramid in the kitchen!


Painting for a cause! Gawad Kalinga house in Paranaque

Oh, of course our priority is to develop godly character and set a good academic foundation.  However, i believe, we can ward off a lot of stress  in our day if we just added that “MORE FUN in HOMESCHOOL” goal.  In addition, FUN, for some reason, seems to lock the experience to our and our students’  memory very well.

For the one-child  homeschooling families, the suggestion is to hook up with a playgroup  or a homeschooling co-op/ support group. However, you can still have some form of one-on-one fun with young children . You just have to “think and wonder” like child and PLAY with them.  For those with more than one, just think constantly of activities (projects and experiences) that can involve all your students, no matter how young. It’s all more worthwhile if they’re having fun and helping each other in the process like this joint project of store for the boys’ only sister, Raya.

What to do with a huge furniture box?

So how do you plug in fun?  I guess, it starts first with our mindset as teachers. We have  to believe in the value of fun. We have to learn to have fun ourselves. I’ve learned about this concept of “flow” almost a decade ago in a book entitled, “Motivated Minds, Raising Children to Love Learning” by Deborah Stipel and Kathy Seal.”   Let me quote:

Learning can be so intense and enjoyable that it hurtles a student into a state that University of Chicago psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls ‘flow.’ Flow is a feeling of passionate focus, a pleasurable time when work and play merge, when you concentrate deeply to overcome complex challenges.

      Most people ‘remember a time, no matter how brief, when they were swept along by a sense of effortless control, clarity and concentration on an enjoyable challenge,’ explains Csikszentmihalyi. 

     Be on the lookout for the flow states in your child, because it’s a sure sign of intellectual enjoyment you can        encourage.”

More relays!
More relays!

So I embraced the importance of “flow” in our homeschooling schedule. And as I witnessed one flow after another, one child after another, and experienced the fun, the joy and the added benefit of real learning taking place—I just knew that we were doing something right.  The habit of thinking, “What could be a fun way (usually hands on and activities that involve movement–I have 3 boys!) to teach this concept?” became a lifestyle. Oh, don’t get me wrong, there are days when learning can’t be fun due to certain subject matters or the children’s own preferences and/or moods, but more often the good FLOW days will outweigh the days when it seems like something is stuck in the drain and the “flows” are not happening. And I sincerely believe that the more FLOW days we have, the more mentally and emotionally ready, our students become for some lessons that can’t be taught through an exciting project or in a fun activity.

Have fun homeschooling! CoolHomescoolHomes have fun!


Paul in Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, rejoice.”

Soft Opening of

Oh my! Is this for real? I somehow knew that this had to start at some point. Thankful to Janna & Ian Simpao and Zoe Tuico who helped set this up. And so as the Nike tagline goes, just do it. So here it is. Born April 4, 2015, is a homeschooling blog born from our home. I am Donna Simpao, a homeschooler in the Philippines for the past 13 years. I’ve been married to Gilbert, my college sweetheart, and we have four children, Vince, Marco, Gino and Raya. Our two older boys, Vince and Marco are now in regular schools and we still have Raya, and Gino, in our “leaner” homeschool batch this school year.

Education-wise, I graduated grade and high school from Maryknoll (now Miriam) and completed a degree in Psychology in UP Diliman. I went further to earn a medical degree from UP College of Medicine but shortly after passing the boards, my husband was assigned abroad and I was not able to pursue my residency.

As we settled back in 2001, the wonderful window of homeschooling opened up with the help of my sister, Ate Felichi Buizon, who was then two years into homeschooling. Not only did I open the window but truly opened my heart and all doors of our home as I embraced homeschooling. Homeschooling four children became a full-time career for me eventually as more children came.

Encouragement is so important in the homeschooling community. And this is the main purpose of this blog, to encourage all those who may opt to formally or informally “homeschool” their children. Though this blog may be most helpful to the “official” and registered homeschoolers, we all know that every home is a school for every child. So I guess that explains “dropping” the word “school” from this blog’s name. I’d like to reach out to every parent out there who wishes to make her home a fun and cool place to learn and grow.