Thursday, May 23, 2013

Homeschooling is a Challenge

Since Matt is turning 3, we are thinking of sending him to school. At first we don't see any problem since there's a school just few steps away from our home. But we are so wrong, because the school near us don't have Nursery level. They have Kinder 1 and 2 but the age requirement is at least 4 years old.

That really worries us. So we talked about it and we decided to just wait for a year. Anyway if ever he will be enrolled in Nursery he will still take Kinder 1 and 2. But again, at one point I get confused again because of what I have read and heard. 

Good thing Daddy talked to her sister, who is a pre-school/elementary teacher. She said she will give us books to guide us what to teach Matt. And while looking for Nursery module, I came across a thread about homeschooling. Actually, I have read and heard much about homeschooling but I never pay much attention since I am a working mom.

I have inquired at Catholic Filipino Academy already. According to CFC, Matt is too young for they Kinder program and so they gave me the Reading program package, which is for children 3 1/2 years old and above. The Reading program is package consists of:

  1) Reading Program Manual

  2) Writing and Activity Workbook
  3) Math Ideas for Nursery
  4) Audio CD of the pronunciation of the letters of the alphabet

The Reading program is made up of 100 lessons and will do 1 lesson a day and it's every other day. The Writing and Activity Workbook is also made up of 100 lessons and will be used in tandem with the Reading Program.

According to CFC, the lesson would probably take just 30-45 minutes a day and can be finished in 5-6 months. 

On the other hand, the Math Ideas for nursery lists down all the math concepts the child needs to know, and it will also teach the parents to teach  those concepts using things at home. This can be done after the Reading or Writing activity.

The package costs P8T (full payment) or they are offering  2-payment scheme of P4400 per installment. There are no documentary requirements.

They also added that this school year, they are incorporating the Reading Program into their Kinder curriculum (in which case, it will only cost P2000). However, the advantage of using it now (and not waiting for your child to be in Kinder) is that, according to them, the child can learn to read at an early age. 

Also, they told us that if we avail of the Reading Program now, we may opt not to enroll Matt in Kinder 1 anymore but proceed to Kinder 2 (when he/she is 4.5 to 5 yrs old). That would be great right? 

So that's the homeschooling program CFC is offering. But because I am never contented, I researched more and found this great site: Letter of the Week. This site is so helpful I tell you. It contains curriculum for children starting at age 0 and upto 8 years old. You can download these for free. 

I already downloaded the Preparatory Curriculum for Matt and I am so excited to start the lessons. I am preparing for our lessons and we will start with these next week. I will buy school supplies that I will be needing to make Matt's Learning Poster.

And I know one question you may ask me. How will I teach him when I am working full time outside home? I find it hard because I am usually away from home from before 7 in the morning until almost 6 in the evening. But it's possible and doable. Since last week before we sleep at night, I am teaching Matt how to write.We started with tracing and at the same time I am observing Matt's learning behavior. I can see he will just do what interest him or what he wants to do. So I am very patient. If he say he doesn't want to trace first then I will wait for the timing to ask him again. I don't want to force him anyway. I try to encourage him first until he say he will trace. I can see he is willing to learn so that's a good sign.

Here are some of the tracing lessons Matt and I did.

Day 1
 We started with tracing lines and curves.

Day 2
He still figuring out the right way to hold the pencil. He is more comfortable holding the pencil this way.

Day 3

Day 4
I have notice that Matt like tracing letters more than lines and curves so I printed letters instead.

Day 5
In the last photo, Matt is playing with his clay camera. Yes, it's just a clay. To not bore him, Daddy  bought a clay. His sister also told us that playing with clay will help Matt in grasping and holding pencil. Just buy the non-toxic one.

It's tiring but when I see him learning, it's worth the time, patience and energy. Homeschooling does not only requires time, but more of patience, determination, dedication and love. 

I know this is just the beginning and there are more challenges to come. But I am ready, we are ready. =)

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