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!

 

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Hang those letters!

 

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

 

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Planting is always FUN!

 

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

 

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

 

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Pretend play will never run “out of style.”

 

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

 

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Food Pyramid in the kitchen!

 

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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.

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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.”

Relays!
Relays!
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.

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Have fun homeschooling! CoolHomescoolHomes have fun!

 

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

Welcome to Raya’s Room !

Hello! Welcome to my room! Here in Raya’s Room you will see many DIY’s, crafts, sewing projects, and much more! Today, I am just going to show you around!

Here is my bed, where I sleep, read, and come up with ideas.

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On my bed I have some handmade/machine sewed throw pillows. They really make my bed much more interesting!

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Next to my bed is my desk. This is where most of the crafting is done.

As you can see it is quite messy….

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And here is my favorite part of my room! I like to hang many inspirational quotes on this wall. It makes me very happy when I wake up.

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So that was just a quick tour of my room. I’ll try to post as often as I can. So, see you next time!! <3

 

“See I have chosen him… and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability, and knowledge in all crafts—to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship,” Exodus 31:1-5

 

 

 

 

Raya’s Room

Take a peek on what goes on in our daughter’s room. It’s always busy with sounds of a running sewing machine, washing of paint brushes, hammering, and cutting. I call it the factory of pretty things.

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Raya created this artwork last week using wooden letters from Typo (Greenbelt 5) and just splashed craft paint in a canvas.

More posts in Raya’s Room coming soon!

The Most Amazing Book Ever

Our family believes that the Bible is the Word of God. We are committed to grow in the knowledge of Jesus through His Word and so we have prioritized the “passing of God’s Word” to our children through homeschooling. The toughest challenge in teaching God’s Word is that the best way to teach it is to LIVE it. As you share the Christ-like principles through the parables and verses by WORD, you also need to show it by DEEDS.

To honor God and how He has blessed us with His Word, my first “official” post is about GOD’s WORD and homeschooling.

After 16 years of being parents, we’ve moved from reading verses to the baby in the womb, to Bible verses in lullabies and children’s songs, to toddler Bibles, to Bible story books with lots of illustrations (from realistic, to cartoon, to comic!) to Bible Devotionals and now, they’re all reading from the same version I use and the challenge is to read the whole BIBLE, verse by verse, chapter by chapter.

These are the  first few and favorite  Children’s Bibles of the children:

It's more fun when it rhymes
It’s more fun when it rhymes
The Bible as our babies made their first steps .
The Bible as our babies made their first steps .
Another version with more text for older children.....
Another version with more text for older children…..
The Bible for the preschoolers and early primary years.
The Bible for the  early primary years, with lots of added information .
The BIBLE that points to JESUS in every story
The BIBLE that points to JESUS in every story

 

Heare are some of the Children’s Bibles that Powerbooks had last Holy Week 2015.

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Here are some of my interesting finds (Cost: Php 450-500++):

Jesus Calling Bible Storybook
Sample page from the Jesus Calling Storybook
Sample page from the Jesus Calling Storybook
Collection of Bible Stories
Collection of Bible Stories
Sample page from 100 Bible Stories
Sample page from 100 Bible Stories
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More details in this version
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The Children’s Illustrated BIble – More Realistic illustrations
One story for every day of the year
One story for every day of the year
One Day, One Bible Story
One Day, One Bible Story,

Other versions may be purchased from Fully Booked, OMF Bookstores  and PCBS (Philippine Christian Book Stores).

Let me end by sharing my two homeschooled kids’ memory verse last week, Psalm 119:105 (New International Version), “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”  Indeed, the best treasure we can give our children is God’s Word, which we pray will take root in their hearts to guide them  and lighten their path.

Happy reading!

Soft Opening of HomesCool.ph

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, homescool.ph 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.

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