Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The End of the Diaper Bag Years

Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Cure for Mondays

Attika's diaper bag has been in storage for almost two years now. She's a four-year-old who prefers organic, fresh fruit smoothies over her own milk when we go out, so I don't bring bottles and milk organizers anymore. That's a lot of physical weight I leave at home, and I'm ever so glad! She has perfected toilet training {all on her own} when she turned three, so I only bring an extra diaper, just in case. I let her use a diaper when we go out so she won't need to sit on public toilets when the need to pee comes {poo HAS to stricly be done before we leave the house}. No amount of toilet seat sanitizer is enough to convince me that a public toilet could be made safe for kids to sit on.

Also, there's no more extra clothes, bibs and an extra of everything else like teethers, squishy books and toys. 

If you're a mom of infants or toddlers reading this, I'm sure you have moments when you feel that a diaper bag is just too much. If you're a dad, moments of vanity may come rare, but a diaper bag would still do a lousy job in making you feel mirror-worthy. 

Now that the diaper bag years are over, I am finally able to carry around a small bag when I go out, yes? NO. That's a no for two reasons. One, I've never had a penchant for small bags. Two, all the things that I "need" won't fit into a small bag. Whenever I see women walk around with those small handbags, it makes me wonder how tiny their purses and packs of tissues and notebooks and books and phones and hand sanitizers and knickknacks are. I have tried to reduce the number of things I put in my bag, but it felt like cutting off my oxygen supply. There was a time when I decided to leave my current read because I thought that if I had one less thing in my bag, that would make quite a difference. What difference would leaving one book really make? I was kidding myself. That decision made it to the list of my doleful life experiences because, coincidentally, that was the time when I had to wait in the park for Mr Young. 


The very first backpack I had was a red one that my father bought for me from his first trip to Hong Kong. The details escape me now -- all I remember is that he went there to receive a bank manager's award. I just turned 13 that time and not only was I obsessed with Madonna and my grandfather's dream-interpretation book, I was also obsessed with the idea of owning a red backpack. I was a small-town girl who always had my nose between pages of books, and even though my sister insisted that I was spoiled,  I knew I rarely asked for anything. So when he pulled my backpack out of his suitcase, I thought I was going to collapse {or maybe I did. I was a very skinny girl who hardly ate anything, so who knows?}. 

I have always loved backpacks for the useful and functional purpose they serve. It makes sense when you're a student because you don't bring just a couple of notebooks and one ballpen to school, do you? Although kids today lug around bags that look like mini-school buses, and that is scary as it is upsetting. Those gigantic bags say how much workload they have for each day, and I can't help but feel sad that they have to be under so much stress this early in life.

My red backpack stood by me until I graduated from high school. Well you know, some of the best things in life meet their end, too. In college, one of the first things I owned was a leather backpack by United Colors of Benetton. The love for backpacks just went on and on and I don't think there will ever be a day when I'd stop liking them. My most recent purchase from ZALORA is a handsome 6-liter red hiker's backpack, which I had to buy for my trip to Cambodia. That would be the third backpack I bought this year, and at this point in time I'm sure I've made my point on my matter-of-factly love for backpacks. Well okay, there's one more stop that I'd like to make soon. This stop actually means sitting on my favorite chair and clicking through one of the best online shops there is and doing my shopping on ZALORA. Jansport is continuously coming out with gorgeous designs and they're difficult to ignore, really. So... I won't. 


Friday, October 2, 2015

Cure for Mondays Has Been Nominated in the Bloggys 2015 Awards

Friday, October 2, 2015
Cure for Mondays

My October started off with fireworks and flying colors. I was pretty sure that I had a couple of readers {okay, maybe five} and they have kept me going since I started Cure for Mondays years ago. The ability to reach out to people across the world from our humble home office/classroom continues to amaze me like a child gazing into the night sky. I admit my philosophy about writing is a bit old-fashioned because I believe that a writer has done her job even if she only has a handful of people thoughtfully "listening" to her. I have always been and will continue to be grateful to my virtual "tea mates" as they are the ones who sit down and listen to me rant or rave about things in this big, big world.

I am a tiny speck in the virtual world , but when I get e-mails and messages on Facebook from readers, it makes me feel like the Little Prince(ss) standing on top of my tiny world. And to know that people grab their favorite coffee or tea or wine or beer to sit down with me is enough to make me say, "Hey, today is a pretty, pretty day!"

Yesterday, {October 1st}, I got an e-mail from the Awards Committee Head for Bloggys 2015, Ramiel Rivera, and was told that Cure for Mondays has been nominated in the Family and Relationships category. I read it twice then did the cartwheels.

Thank you for the nomination and the love. Let's continue to exchange amazing stories about our families because as parents we put the world's greatest magicians to shame. I will continue to tread this path on homeschooling and won't tire of sharing them with you.

To the organizers of Bloggys 2015, thanks heaps for putting together this nationwide blog awarding event. Congratulations to the other nominees in the Family and Relationships category!

I agree with the organizers of Bloggys 2015 when they said that to be nominated is already an honor. I have been nominated, yes, but in my tiny world, you, my readers, have made me a winner! Blessed be!

CURE FOR MONDAYS IS A WOMEN'S BLOG, BEST HOMESCHOOL WEBSITE, FAMILY ISSUES BLOG, HOMESCHOOL PROBLEMS, SOCIALIZATION, INSPIRATION, MANILA MOMMY BLOGGER, SAHM, ASIAN HOMESCHOOLER, bloggys 2015 nominees, bloggys 2015 awards, familly and relationships, philippine blogging awards, the little prince

Monday, September 28, 2015

I Made the Wrong Decision to Become Happy...Someday

Monday, September 28, 2015
Cure for Mondays

Tree and Night. Acrylic on canvass by Cole Beldia, 2015 (He painted this for his favorite man in the world for his 40th birthday.)

Perfection is a distant planet; a concept far beyond the reach of earthlings; an idea trapped inside a writer's head. My existence is a reflection of choices. These are choices I have made as a woman, as a partner, as a mother and as a friend.

So, is my life perfect? I'm flattered I was asked recently, but heck, no. I don't even know what perfection means. I don't have to deal with everyday traffic, too much pollution and diabolic bosses, and the why is the answer to the how in this question. I am aware that I have made decisions that are not popular and even risky, as they call it, but these choices define my life now. When people ask me how I do what I do, the answer is simple, really. I made the challenging decision as an effect of a wrong decision I made earlier in my life. I decided to become happy... someday.

I didn't just suddenly make a wrong turn at some point in my life. I am a product of a traditional checklist: go to school, get a degree, get a job, stay in that job, get married, retire, live life. So I went to school, got a degree that I managed to finish in seven years, got a job {this one I did early on since I stared working when I was 18}, and stayed in that {kind of} job somehow. I did not get married, but I'm in an impressively long engagement and we intend to stay legally unbound because we don't want to hit the wall at the dead end. I am now a semi-retiree at the age of 39 and have been living my life, and in the now, for many years now. 

That's not how my parents wanted things to be. In their book, the perfect life for me would have been to get a degree and on time, become either a banker or a nurse, walk down the aisle with some man, become a God-given wife, retire when I'm 60, then maybe do whatever I want to do like travel. Or knit. All that does not sound so bad, and I have, to a certain degree, tried to follow the "good" path, and failed miserably. While the path was good, it was tailored for somebody else, not me.  The plan and me were not two peas in a pod. 

And then, I got older. It was at this point when I asked myself this question: "So when does happiness come?" 

Lake Caliraya 2015

I have read this story called "The Fisherman and the Businessman". I love this short story so much that it's a struggle not to share it with you right here, right now. It's a very short one and really worth reading, I promise. 

The Fisherman and the Businessman

There was once a businessman who was sitting by the beach in a small Brazilian village.

As he sat, he saw a Brazilian fisherman rowing a small boat towards the shore having caught quite few big fish.

The businessman was impressed and asked the fisherman, “How long does it take you to catch so many fish?”

The fisherman replied, “Oh, just a short while.”

“Then why don’t you stay longer at sea and catch even more?” The businessman was astonished.

“This is enough to feed my whole family,” the fisherman said.

The businessman then asked, “So, what do you do for the rest of the day?”

The fisherman replied, “Well, I usually wake up early in the morning, go out to sea and catch a few fish, then go back and play with my kids. In the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and evening comes, I join my buddies in the village for a drink — we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the night.”

The businessman offered a suggestion to the fisherman. “I am a PhD in business management. I could help you to become a more successful person. From now on, you should spend more time at sea and try to catch as many fish as possible. When you have saved enough money, you could buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish. Soon you will be able to afford to buy more boats, set up your own company, your own production plant for canned food and distribution network. By then, you will have moved out of this village and to Sao Paulo, where you can set up HQ to manage your other branches.”

The fisherman continues, “And after that?”

The businessman laughs heartily, “After that, you can live like a king in your own house, and when the time is right, you can go public and float your shares in the Stock Exchange, and you will be rich.”

The fisherman asks, “And after that?”

The businessman says, “After that, you can finally retire, you can move to a house by the fishing village, wake up early in the morning, catch a few fish, then return home to play with kids, have a nice afternoon nap with your wife, and when evening comes, you can join your buddies for a drink, play the guitar, sing and dance throughout the night!”

The fisherman was puzzled, “Isn’t that what I am doing now?”

Now I think you're getting why I think this story has played a pivotal role in my life. People have told me to do things to become happy someday by way of financial freedom, career security, successful marriage and later a proper retirement. The way to make this possible was to work my ass off an eight-hour job, especially that I was paid peanuts {a term I'm just borrowing from an intelligent, hardworking, highly-artistic friend who complains about the peanuts she gets or what is also known as her pay}. But as most of us have realized, we could burn our asses all we want and still not get the assurance that someday it will be happy. This is when I started disliking the word "someday". Like most people, I panicked at the thought of failing at present because that would put my someday at risk.

And then I realized, why the heck do I need to wait for someday?  I need to be happy now. Here and now. It's okay to be concerned about tomorrow, but I don't know how tomorrow wants to present itself, so I'll let it worry about itself. 

As Corrie Ten Boom puts it, “Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” I know this line so well because I wrote that down in my journal a few years back to keep reminding me that it's the present time that matters. 

I got to this realization while looking at my son one day. He was eight years old then and he was brimming with life. His peace and joy were so contagious that I didn't want to recover from it. So I decided not to. There's nothing more important than choosing what matters the most and being with people who matter. And they are in the now. 

I'm a homeschooling, stay-at-home, obsessed with cleanliness mom with my half-screams and nameless tears, I live to be 

Cambodia 2015

CURE FOR MONDAYS IS A WOMEN'S BLOG, BEST HOMESCHOOL WEBSITE, FAMILY ISSUES BLOG, HOMESCHOOL PROBLEMS, SOCIALIZATION, INSPIRATION, MANILA MOMMY BLOGGER, SAHM, ASIAN HOMESCHOOLER, the fisherman and the businessman, tips to become happy, caliraya lake, cambodia temples, career success, financial freedom, happy marriage, filipino child artist

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Amazing Bubble Man Puts Manila in a Happy Bubble!

Saturday, September 26, 2015
Cure for Mondays

I remember when I was in grade school, our father brought us to the Philippine leg of the Royal London Circus. I can vividly remember it was set up at a huge empty lot along a famous long road in Iloilo City formerly known as the West Jaro Diversion Road. Now that space is buzzling with commercial establishments, but once upon a time {and for only a couple of days}, a gigantic tent was set up there, and what happened inside that tent changed my life forever. The dazzling lights and the shows were something that I'd remember for the rest of my life. 

It was a long two-hour drive from where we lived, and I'm so grateful that Tatay never failed to gift us with such heartwarming memories . Tatay is long gone now, but whenever I'd go through an amazing exerience, even ones that don't have anything to do with a circus, it brings me back to that one wonderful memory and it ties me back to our original amazing man -- our Tatay.

who is the amazing bubble man?

Louis Pearl, The Amazing Bubble Man, is in Manila and you should really go see his show. We went to his 7PM show last night and the kids are still bubbling about it. I don't know anyone who is not made happy by the sight of bubbles. Even the bubbles coming out of our teething eight-month-old nephew excites me, seriously.

The Amazing Bubble Man has been touring around the world for 30 years now. At the beginning of his show, he talked about his passion for toys, the toy company he established in 1980 and how he became the famous bubble man that he is today. 

He reminded us about one very important thing: "You should never stop playing!" 

In this day and age of the Internet, it's scary how kids can sit in  front of the computer longer than CEOs can in a business meeting.

What I love about "The Amazing Bubble Man" is how Louis Pearl incorporates scientific explanations about bubbles in his spiels. He tells his audience facts on what bubbles are made of, why they're round and that square bubbles are also possible, what makes bubbles pop, how bubbles can be made colorful and what happens when you put helium in a bubble. It really is an amazing 75-minute show for many reasons. A lot of the kids from the audience {and one adult, who did not mind getting his shinny bald head soaked with bubbles for the sake of science because the bubble man was, well, making a point about bubbles not popping on hair which he demonstrated on his own hairy arm} were asked to participate, and that made the show doubly fun. I should mention that besides Louis Pearl being the god of bubbles, he is also very funny. 

"The Amazing Bubble Man" will be running until September 27, 2015 at RCBC's Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, 4th Floor, RCBC Plaza, Ayala Ave. cor. Gil Puyat Ave. Makati City. Get ticket prices here.

For other kid events, go here. 

More of the amazing bubble man!


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Parks, Sunny Days and Why Kids Have to Play

Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Cure for Mondays

"Alta! Gib him da lion! Giiibbb him da liiooooon!" a nanny let out a long scream while  I was looking around for a place to settle at the Velasquez Park.

If I knew who Alta was and who "him" was, I could have offered to mediate between the two to settle that behemothic issue over some lion. There were around 20 kids and the nanny was screaming at someone from the other side of the park and there was no telling who Alta was, although it was obvious that whoever she was, she wasn't listening.  Or the nanny could have done the negotiation herself because a nanny hired to take care of kids shouldn't be screaming at them in the first place. I know I said I didn't like quiet Sundays, but the sound of screaming nannies is not in my book of bliss either.

It's not only screaming nannies that I find harrying, it is the sight of them taking selfies, pulling kids by the arm and scolding them in public. We've gone a long way and we know that good-natured, well-mannered and patient nannies are hard to come by. A lot of parents spend the entire week breaking their backs to earn a living and have no choice but to hire nannies for the kids.  Most kids spend more time with their nannies in uniforms than with their parents and that is a poignant truth no one really likes to talk about.

It was a Sunday and more than half of the kids at the park were with their nannies. Do parents work on Sundays, too?

A mother is powerless over a little girl who wants to play dress up on a supposedly rough-play day.

What's worse than waiting at the park with insipid coffee {and well, some screaming nannies}? It's waiting at the park without a good book. I bought cofee from a 7/11 store, the one right next to Gino's where we had lunch earlier that day, and it tasted like coffee-flavored hot water, to my utter disappointment. For the record, I've never had bad coffee from 7/11, so this one was a surprise. It was an extreme contrast to the great cup I had at Gino's. I even let my 13-year-old taste it just to make sure I wasn't imagining it -- and I wasn't.

I'm in the last few chapters of Welcome to the Monkey House, and I should really be ashamed about getting stuck with this book for a long time. The park would have been a good place to finish the book, but this woman has got to finish chores and answer a million "why" questions from a  toddler everyday.  I'm tossing out my badge of shame.

So, not knowing how long Mr Young's meeting was going to last, and knowing for sure that we'd have to peel Attika from the park had we decided to leave soon, I sat there and basked in the afternoon sun enjoying the sound of laughing kids and cancelling out voices of screaming nannies. A hundred thoughts rushed into my head and I'm quite certain there were times when I grinned like a loony in the company of I, me and myself.

Both my kids were running around and it was such a joyous sight. I'd normally join in the fun, but I'm a female of the species who sometimes becomes "limited" when the time of the month comes. Cole, who's 13, was mostly playing his big brother role, helping Attika climb ropes and steel ladders, and playing the monster who chased her around.

We let our kids be kids, and I choked just a bit when someone once asked me some months ago if we ever let our kids out since we're homeschooling. Yes, we do. We brought education home and home is a happy place, not a prison. As a matter of fact, we have more time to be gallivanting out in the sun because we're not tied to a rigid school schedule.

Playing is crucial to the growth and development of children. Here are some reasons why we should let them play.

1. It helps them develop social skills.
2. Play allows for self expression.
3. It helps them develop decision-making skills.
4. Playing means they are also learning.
5. It helps them become aware of people's feelings.
6. Active children grow into active adults.
7. The more physical activities kids have, the better learners they become.
8. Play enhances the imagination.
9. Physical play delays mental decline in old age.
10. Play is scientifically good for the brain.

We went to three different parks last weekend, and it wasn't only fun for the kids, Mr Young and I had a great time on the swings, too.

Taken from a playground in Antipolo 

As for Alta, the yaya, the mysterious "him" and the lion, I finally got a glimpse of them before we left. Turned out that "him" was the cute little Spanish boy with curly hair who kept talking to Attika. He won the lion negotiation.


Monday, September 21, 2015

Cure for an Awfully Quiet Sunday: Gino's Brick Oven Pizza

Monday, September 21, 2015

Cure for Mondays
Starting lunch off with Summer Burrata Salad with prosciutto, burrata, parmigiano reggiano, pine nuts and dalandan dressing.  (PhP440)

I don't like Sundays. If there's a day during the week when I get the blues, it's never on a Monday. Sundays always give me that hypochondriac-ish nausea; an out-of-the-blue blues. I like quiet, but if it's the Sunday kind of quiet, I'm quick to despise it. 

When Mr Young told us he was going to have a meeting in Makati last Sunday, the kids and I decided to tag along and intended to make it a long, nice family day out instead. We lived in Makati for three years and have never lost that special spot for the modern jungle that it is. 

Remembering friends and acknowledging the fact that meals are more important than we think, so sit down and eat.

Panna Sausage. Prosciutto, tomato sauce, kesong puti, arugula and parmesan (PhP 320)

There are times when we think about family and friends and wonder how everyone is doing in this very busy world. It's a near yet distant world in the indefatigable presence of the social media. It's so strange that you know what everyone's doing {or not doing; what they had for dinner and who their current pet peeves are} and not really know how they are in their quiet, out-of-the-limelight existence. How people communicate has changed {ancient news, it is} and it's amazing how fast someone can reply to a message from seas across the world. But that has somehow taken away the sincerity of the how-are-you question. Now people ask for the sake of asking because heck, you can ask someone how he is 50 times a day, and get an answer in lightning speed, can't you? The time and the patience spent waiting for the postman to arrive gives "how are you" the hankering it deserves. 

My friend Fay, who's based in New York, asked me if I finally got the letter from her. No, I haven't, and it has kept me on my toes for many weeks, looking out the window for any signs of the postman.

Besides the snail mail, a table with good food on it is a place to make or maintain strong connections with people. The positive impact of family dinners to children can't be emphasized enough by so many studies. During meals, everyone focuses on everyone present at the table, establishes eye contact and makes meaningful conversations. Of course it always helps when the food is good.

Bacon Sausage. Tagliatelle, bacon, homemade sausage, parmesan and cream (PhP 215)

We have established some carry-over rules from our grandparents when it comes to dinner time. Everyone has to be present when dinner's been called; nothing is more important than our time together at the table; no discussion of gory news {a rule my mother breaks all the time}; table manners have to be observed at all times. 

Gino's Brick Oven Pizza at Salcedo Village in Makati

Pizza is an easy decision to make when we're out looking for a bite, and Gino's Brick Oven Pizza fed our fancy last Sunday. We started out with Summer Burrata Salad which had a generous serving of burrata {Italian cheese made from a mix of mozarella and cream}. The Panna Sausage pizza was flavorful yet very subtle, a welcoming change from the usual pizzas we have that always burst with strong flavors. For pasta we chose Bacon Sausage, which turned out to be a delight! 

Gino's at Bautista St., Salcedo Village, Makati City. Call them at (02) 7798192 or 09179645339
And if you've had your share of disappointments from insipid Americanos like I have, Gino's Americano will win you over, I tell you. 


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Kid Events for September 2015

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Aaah. The smell of weekend. A friend once asked me if weekends still excited me after being home-based for quite some time now. The answer is: yes. I'm just another human being programmed to look forward to weekends even if our everyday feels so much like the weekend. The boyfriend works from home, the kids are homeschooled and I, the mother, hangs out while trying to find my way to zen one chore at a time.

If you feel like doing something more than just hitting the playground with the kids this weekend, I have a few suggestions that I'm sure will be worth your while. I also looked up the list of plays for our monthly field trip and my oh my, what a joy to discover that there is quite a number of plays running beginning this September!


Watching live theater does more than just entertain.  A study published in Education Next showed that students who watched high-quality theater production of either Hamlet and A Christmas Carol enhanced the students' knowledge of the plot, increased their vocabulary and showed an improved ability to read the emotions of others. Professor Jay Greene who specializes in education reform said, "What we determined from this research is that seeing live theater produced positive effects that reading a play or watching a movie of the play does not produce."

But what about the movies? Movies are good, too, but they don't engage viewers the same way, according to Greene. You can read more about the positive effects of live theater at Science Daily. There are also hundreds of sources if you want to know more about the positive effects of theater to young people.

Check out these events that I think your kids would enjoy. I'll be doing a monthly post of plays and kid events, so remember to come back for more. Do let me know if you want anything included on the list. Shoot me an e-mail at

Tickets are from PhP522.50 to PhP731.50

The best place to take the kids for an elaborate palate experience! 

Cure for Mondays

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Fresh Oregano Tea from Our Tiny Garden

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Our tiny patch says, Merry Meet!

Mang Gener, our neighbor who’s a great {and often inebriated} gardener, went back to the South(ern Philippines) and left us with beautiful pots of herbs. One of them is oregano, an herb that grows well even with a person like me around who kills every green thing I touch. We placed it at the atrium where it gets good sunlight and where we feed it “good food” every day. Everything’s been fine so far. Our oregano plant has flourished and is growing very fast producing more leaves than I know what to do with. Everything needs to be fine! Hazardous as I am with plants, I love them with all my heart.

We are growing our tiny garden one pot at a time. We started urban farming when Attika was barely a year old, but we lived in a penthouse and the winds from Laguna de Bay were just as murderous as I was. This time, I am seriously meditating day after day just so I’d grow a green thumb. Where I got the idea that you could develop green thumb escapes me now. Maybe I made it up.

I keep boxes of different kinds of teas in our cupboard and my goal now is to replace most, if not all, with fresh produce from our tiny green patch and we’ve started with oregano. My tea press was just sitting around, probably hating its teabag neighbors, but that has changed over the last few weeks. I’ve made mugs of fresh oregano tea, and I’m not going to pretend and say I jumped for joy the first time I tasted it. I’ve been using oregano in most of my dishes, but I’ve never had it fresh as a cup of tea. The discontent of my tongue only lasted a few sips though. My palate warmed up to it when I got halfway down my mug. A few minutes later, I started burping, and boy, that felt good! A happy tummy makes a mommy happy.

Make your own fresh oregano tea and enjoy the benefits.

You can use dried oregano leaves, but nothing beats fresh herbs. Oregano is a member of the mint family and it could be bitter depending on how much oregano you use and how long you infuse it. When I tried it the first time I just used three mature leaves. I wasn’t sure about its taste and I found out that three leaves were enough for my 8-ounce press. If you want it stronger just add more oregano and chop them. You can also stir in a teaspoon of honey if you’re a sweet tea kind of person. I take a spoonful of honey especially when I feel like I’m going down with something, but I never use them in my teas.  

It’s been quite a while and I’m sticking to my 3-oregano leaf, no-brainer concoction. Tell me how yours went if you decide to try it.


2015 Workshops by World Stage International

spend the rest of the year enhancing your potentials and improving your finances with these workshops from world stage international.

It’s the last quarter of the year, and you may either be rounding up the year with fun-filled activities to lower your stress level or are making plans for the new year ahead. If part of those plans is enriching your knowledge and getting fired up for 2016, I have fresh news from the World Stage International Network. I have read about moms raving about their summer boot camps for kids, but no worries they have year-round workshops for everyone. 

World Stage International Network has three workshops and one boot camp happening this coming October.

Discover your Fascination Advantage with the Fascination Advantage Assessment and use this to capture the attention of your audience be it your co-workers, your friends and your family. Know how to communicate and get your message across depending on the advantages your listener is using. 

Unleash your abundant mindset and see how your beliefs and way of thinking affect how you manage your money. Revise your financial blueprint and discover that the secret to unlocking the resources around you. 

Learn simple and ethical hypnotic triggers to close sales easier. Captivate an audience and make your message valuable and relevant to them. Make selling second nature to you!

For those who want the biggest out of their lives, this is for you! This life changing intensive boot camp will dig deep to your family, work and self issues. You'll learn techniques to manage your emotions, improve your communication and even facing your fears. Energize your goals and you'll leave the seminar motivated and full of passion! 

Register before September 30 for huge discounts. Check their Facebook and website for more details.

Thank you to Ms Inna Abrogena for keeping me in the loop!

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Friday, September 11, 2015

What is the Best Homeschooling Approach?

Friday, September 11, 2015

Photo courtesy of

The first step to homeschooling is knowing what the best homeschooling approach is for you.

We have been on a homeschooling journey for almost five years now beginning with our son, who was nine then, and now with our four-year old daughter who, on her own, decided to hop in our alternative learning vehicle when she turned three. More and more parents are beginning to see the benefits of homeschooling and are trying to discover important aspects about it.

People have asked us these questions:
  •    Why do you homeschool? 
  •      How do you homeschool?
  •      What kind of grading system do you use?
  •      How do you know what level your child is in?
  •      When do you level up?

For now, I would like to address the second question. You don’t have to have an orthodox approach to understanding the different kinds of homeschooling methods, but you somehow have to understand just enough to know which one would work best for your family.

Here are a few things to consider:

The last two are very important because that is where you will begin your homeschooling journey. If you find yourself totally overwhelmed and you feel like jumping off the cliff on the first few weeks, please hang in there. All homeschooling moms have been through it and I’m happy to tell you that (according to what I’ve read) we’re all alive, happy, still overwhelmed at times, but definitely glad we made the decision to homeschool.

Our family has tried several approaches. Everything worked out well for us, but at the start of our school year this 2015, we felt that the “Eclectic” approach is the best one to use for Cole, who will be turning 14 in barely four months.

This is the reason why we call it a journey. I have mentioned in my previous articles that there is no one perfect method in homeschooling, or education, for that matter. In your first few months, you might find it helpful to look into different approaches and try ones that you deem is suitable for your needs as a family. Homeschooling is about harnessing your creativity and doing that away from the rigid (and sometimes inapposite) view of society.

There are so many approaches, but I chose ones that I am familiar with and are popular among homeschooling families.

Five Popular Approaches to Homeschooling 

Unit Studies

One great thing about homeschooling is that it allows your kids to learn based on their interests. Unit Studies support that by tying their interests with subject areas such as science, history, math, art, social studies, spelling and reading. This approach acknowledges the fact that learning is more successful if it’s based on a learner’s interest.

If a learner is interested in, for example, Greek Mythology, he or she will have enthusiasm to read books and articles on Greek Mythology, write journals and papers based on it, do projects, create artwork and learn Math (three-dimensional, circles and triangles, etc.) from Euclid’s teachings. According to History for Kids, there are still modern-day mathematicians who began studying geometry from Euclid’s books.

Eclectic/Relaxed Approach

This approach is very popular among homeschooling families. After all, the main reason why parents homeschool their kids is to make the most out of their learning. Workbooks for reading, math and science are often used, and for other subject areas, an unschooling approach is taken. Since the homeschoolers are not enrolled to a program, the parents have the liberty to choose books that they deem are helpful to their children’s education and activities that are relevant to their chosen subject areas. Homeschooling dot com says, “The advantage of the Eclectic method is that the parent feels that the "important" subjects are being covered thoroughly.”

The word “eclectic” or “relaxed” may concern some people a bit, but rest assured that learners are expected to meet educational goals.


This approach is purely interest-based, child-led and natural learning. There are no school books, no curriculum to follow, no routines, no pressure. Learners follow their interests and if there ever is a to-accomplish list, it is one made by them. They learn math, english, science by observing and discovering things in their surroundings.

Founder of the unschooling movement, John Holt said:

Unschooling, for lack of a better term (until people start to accept living as part and parcel of learning), is the natural way to learn. However, this does not mean unschoolers do not take traditional classes or use curricular materials when the student, or parents and children together, decide that this is how they want to do it. Learning to read or do quadratic equations are not "natural" processes, but unschoolers nonetheless learn them when it makes sense to them to do so, not because they have reached a certain age or are compelled to do so by arbitrary authority. Therefore it isn't unusual to find unschoolers who are barely eight years old studying astronomy or who are ten years old and just learning to read. (Teach Your Own: the John Holt Book of Unschooling)

Charlotte Mason

The name homeschooling is often associated with Charlotte Mason, a British educator who believed that children are not empty sacks to be filled with information, but that they are able to deal with ideas and knowledge. The CM approach focus on exposure to great and noble ideas through books, music, poetry art and music. It also includes nature study, copywork or handwriting practice, habit training, the use of living books as opposed to text books, memorization and proficiency in a foreign language.

To a certain point, CM is similar with the classical approach and very different from child-led unschooling since this approach is teacher-centered. Charlotte Mason created “A List of Attainments” for six-year-old and 12-year-old children.


Long before the conceptualization of formal schooling, homeschooling was the method by which people were educated. The world’s greatest thinkers and artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Albert Einstein, Douglas MacArthur, Abraham Lincoln and a kilometric-long list of names that follow were homeschooled. Other famous people we know from history were either self-taught or got their education from home.

The classical method works on Trivium, or the five tools in learning that include reason, record, research, relate, and rhetoric. According to the Homeschool Diner’s Guide to Classical Homeschooling, “The Grammar Stage (K - 6th) focuses on memorization and general "gathering" of knowledge in each subject, The Logic Stage (7th - 8th) focuses on a child's developing abilities to understand the abstract, see cause and effect, use formal logic, analysis and criticism. The Rhetoric Stage (9th - 12th) is when students concentrate on using their knowledge and reason to express their thoughts in clear, eloquent writing and speech.”

As parents, we tend to aim for a perfect education, a perfect household, a perfect everything. You have to remember that at the end of the day, what really matters is a happy, healthy family. Children who are treated well at home, who are given all the love and support will naturally be interested in taking in knowledge.

And this is just one of our homeschooling days

Other homeschooling methods include Holistic and Alternative Homeschooling, The Waldorf Method, Montessori, Multiple Intelligences, Delayed Instruction, Thomas Jefferson Education, Distance Learning for Gifted Enrichment and Online Academies. Learn about them here.

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