It’s Dada’s 12th birthday today. And Yes! We are having a break! A break from our normal school routine (and so are the rest of most students in traditional schools). Our idea of a “summer break” is much different, though, as we can always take a break any time we like during school days, we can go see a movie (they are actually watching IRON MAN 3 now at SM), go shopping (later after the movies) or go swimming (scheduled next week at the Mount Sea Resort (Rosario) Cavite) and just have fun learning things we like most.
On one condition – they are required to solve math problems in 30 minutes and another 30 minutes to be spent on whatever subject/lesson they are interested in – everyday – until our school break is done. Music and Arts are given…I can’t make them stop their passion anymore…they love every minute they spend on it.
Luckily, they like math, too. They are solving math problems on IXL – an interactive math program online I bought for them two years ago. I see it as an effective tool in mastering their math skills as they are able to monitor their own progress. They see how long they took on each skill, they are able to correct their own mistakes and eventually master the concepts after several repetition. A feature I like most on IXL is that, it shows them how to solve a particular problem correctly if/when they get their answer wrong the first time (or the second time and the third – until they finally get it). This method actually teaches my kids persistence as they learn from their mistakes. Cool, huh? 😀
When I noticed Dada having a hard time with her math problems while still in traditional school, I did not hesitate buying this program (specifically for her), when we started our homeschool. It took her frustration out of math as it allowed her to practice on her own pace and stay focused. The rewards and certificates after successful completion of the skills, likewise, provided motivation. Two years into the program, I see Dada’s confidence now in “attacking” her math problems. She no longer sees math as a scary subject. And for me, that’s incredible!
For their second 30-minute subject, Nice is very much focused on developing her writing skills. She had completed the last level of her Kumon Program last January 2013, therefore, giving her credit for her English Reading, Language and Grammar up to 4th year High School (which she completed in just one year). She is now into writing short stories and fan-fiction and her personal blog. It would be nice if you can check it out and give her a piece of your two-cents worth. She is always excited (that is, inspired and motivated, I believe) when someone comments on her work. Thank you.
After completing her Kumon English Reading Program, I thought it was time for her to improve and develop her writing skills. Once again, my research online led me to a home study course called The Brave Writer Program by Julie Bogart. Her books Help For High School (for Nice) and The Writer’s Jungle (for me) are now our easy reference in honing both of our writing endeavors. Nice and I spend a lot of time reading our books so hopefully, this would work for us. I don’t have any problems with Nice’s writing style because I know she freely speaks her mind when she writes – but I don’t (poor me!) LOL
Side-note: I just want to mention here that she is also into dress-making and that she is currently officially enrolled at a TESDA Accredited Trade School (BESTECH, Inc.) where she goes to every Saturday. A very busy gal, don’t you think? 🙂
Dada’s second (30 minute) subject includes her readings on science and computer programming (her favorite subjects). I am still looking into how I could support her interest on these subject areas. Mind you, it’s not that easy! Meantime, I just allow her to read her Ate Iris’ books (in college). Still on our list, though, is her enrollment at the Bert Lozada Swimming School swimming courses (at least 4 courses) by next week (which she eagerly looks forward to).
I have been reading this book about Getting The Most Out Of Your Homeschool This Summer (a Kindle edition) by Lee Binz, The HomeScholar. It’s a quick-read for everyone (homeschooling or not) with valuable insights and bright ideas for the summer. This book got me into pounding on my computer (again) because I want to capture the “sparks in my head” at the moment (while it’s all still there). She reminded me of catching up with my record keeping – our Homeschool Transcript, our Reading Lists, our Lesson Plans for the coming school year and my continuing education. Geessh! That’s NOT a lot, eh?!?
Well, there you have it. Our Homeschool Summer Break!
(You call that a “break”? – C’mon!!)
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit! – Author Unknown