We are enrolled at Peniel Christian Academy for Danae’s homeschool, and one of the perks I enjoy is the freedom to use the materials we choose to educate our child. We were advised by my friend Michelle to use paces since it’s our first time. They’ve proven to give me less stress as I do not have to create lesson plans or seat works anymore.
Danae likes her English paces because they are like her work books that we buy in the book store. She likes to answer those. Although tedious for her and she complains about it the most, the math paces I like. It trains her to master her addition and subtraction, which she’s pretty good at. She’s good with her Filipino too, although there are words there that aren’t part of our conversations, which makes it hard for her to remember without reviewing them. We use a book for her civics so that she learns it in English. We’ve both been enjoying this, learning more about the Philippines. She’s completely bored, however, by her science paces. I try to make it more exciting by doing some practical science stuff like planting seeds. Sometimes we do art, or learn more about it on the iPad. It’s great that they have science experiments in their SPARKS class.
Obviously, the paces aren’t enough. We do additional reading, writing, and spelling exercises. Sometimes we use scrabble tiles to form words, or look in the good old dictionary for some vocabulary. For math, we use flash cards. I also use blocks to teach her to skip count. It’s quite effective, but practice is still key. I also used Math House Games in the beginning, though it looks like it will be more useful for Noelle at her age.
I thank our close family friend, one of our principal sponsors at our wedding for gifting Danae years ago with a set of Filipino reading books. We have been using those to improve her reading and comprehension in Filipino. I thank my friend, one of Danae’s godmothers who recently gifted her with a puzzle of the Philippine map. Even Noelle learns from it! Well, even I learn from it haha. I thought getting a map was already a good idea. A puzzle is even better! Plus it helps that our children have traveled with us to some of the places that she’s studying in her civics book.
I also found reading books for Danae that I got from the Sonlight Curriculum. Well I learned of them from Sonlight, but I bought them at Booksale. Another friend told me that it is worth getting their science package, and after looking into it, I ordered it. Thanks to my sister-in-law who purchased it for me in the US and sent it here, we can liven up Danae’s science activities after sem break. Aside from books, it has science experiments too!
I am sure there are so many other ways to teach our children effectively. We can be creative! We use old blocks, old scrabble tiles, old magnets, old puzzles, old books — stuff that my girls mostly already had for years. The scrabble letters and some books are older than them, in fact. There are so many ideas on the internet too. There are so many sites we can download work sheets from, so many apps we can use for them to play and learn. The possibilities are limitless!
I appreciate the freedom that we have to choose what works for us, and the freedom to channel and even develop our creativity as teachers. I realize that sometimes it’s easier to be following an already established structure, but with a little determination and a lot of passion for our kids, we can use this freedom to our advantage. 🙂