Thursday, February 2, 2017

Back to School 2017

Once again, my blogging surge came to a halt and a long hiatus too. Well, not as long as the ones before hehehe. As usual, it's because of the busy status of a working mom. 

True to my plan last December about semi-homeschooling the kids I have been busy for most of January contacting my friends who work as teachers and getting idea here and there. Education here in Australia is very different from the Philippines. I can't really say one is better than the other. I do like the way the children's social skills are being developed in public schools here. They are also inclined to explore their creative skills and talents. But while I find these aspects really good, I decided that incorporating a little bit of the education system in the Philippines couldn't hurt them. 

From memory, I remembered how strict it had been for me as early as Prep level (equivalent to Kindie here). One particular incident that stuck to me was when I failed to completely copy our homework from the black board because I got tired of writing. I remember clearly how I said to myself that I will finish copying at home, and then realised at home that it wasn't possible hahaha. I believe that was my first lesson in learning from my mistakes. When Mrs Santos checked our notebooks and found mine to be incomplete, she threw away my notebook. It was embarrassing. But, no, I didn't grow up broken or twisted. Or did I? Hehehehe.

I started this journey of semi-homeschooling feeling lost. I searched the web for a definite Lesson Plan that would show me which topics to teach for a definite subject, for a specific grade level and for the right time. While there were plenty of resources, most of them were very vague. One of my primary problems was trying to make sense between the Reading and Language subject or just English subject as a whole. With a lot of help from my teacher friends, I was given the answer that Reading and Language were separated during early years of learning to establish a child's reading skills. Also, I learned that the lesson plan I was looking for is also know as Subject Matter Outline.

So this afternoon would be my third session with the girls. Last Tuesday, we did groceries so we didn't have much time for proper lessons in the evening. Not to waste time, I did give them drills - multiplication for Demi and sight words for Daisy. I can't really say that I have established a concrete lesson plan. There are times when I think too much and try to plan ahead until my brain crashes and then I lose track. I use planners now and for a scatterbrain like me, this is a very daunting task. This is just one of the challenges I face.

The other challenge I encounter is when the girls don't pay attention. I knew this would happen and so one of the preventive solutions I implemented was to keep away their gadgets starting Sunday night up to Friday afternoon. I clearly let the girls know about this as well so they would know what to expect. On the first day of the homeschooling, Daisy clamored non-stop for her Ipad. Giving her a response could be tiresome and even when I ignored her, she would still push her luck. The key is to be firm. It also helps if you orient the daddy beforehand (hehehe). If you feel as if daddy's giving in to the whims, keeping him out of the way is the plan B.

One of the other challenges I face is how to motivate the girls. Sometimes, making things fun stirs up their mood. The only disadvantage is that the girls fall for the hype too eagerly and before I know it, they start mocking around too much.

Anyway, it's only the 3rd session really, but last night I felt like giving up and stopping altogether because homeschooling them is also trying my best to control my temper hehehe. It is very difficult choosing which button to push: from being nice to motivate the girls, to being strict to keep them moving or up to what extent of behaviour to tolerate before hitting the anger button. It's indeed a roller coaster ride! But, I will keep pushing and hopefully be sharing more progress later on. I do believe the girls will get used to the routine and the task will become smooth by then.

Until then! Hoping to establish a better SMO soon and be willing to share this with every mom out there who are riding the same boat!

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