Family, My Kids, Parenting

We Can’t Afford It

Before the school year ended, our family was faced with a dilemma. Do we go back to homeschooling for both girls or do we put them both in regular school? Or should we keep one in regular school and keep the other in homeschool?

Our original plan was actually to put both girls in Danae’s school, but we were suddenly apprehensive about the cost due to certain changes that the school made. I told the girls that we may not be able to afford it. But Danae really wanted to stay in her school. She said if she had no choice then she would agree to homeschooling again. Noelle said she was fine with continuing homeschooling. Perhaps I was not convinced of that plan, that I would constantly check the girls about what they thought about it. I would go back and forth, thinking and asking God what would be best for our girls.

I was leaning towards homeschooling them both again (with the help of a teacher), but no matter how hard I tried to convince Danae, she would not budge. Even when she would recall hurtful situations that happened in school and cry while telling me, she still insisted that she wanted to stay. She believes that she learns better there. Noelle started out excited about homeschooling again, but then slowly seemed indifferent. One morning, she quietly told me how she really felt — she wanted to go to Danae’s school! She was willing to homeschool only because we could not afford to put her in regular school.

That broke my heart. I really cried to God and to King. I did not want to put the burden on my daughter about what we can or cannot afford. She should not have to sacrifice for us. That is our job as her parents, to make sacrifices in order to give her and her sisters the best that we can possibly give. That pushed us to rethink and reorganize.

As I was talking to one of my mentors about this, she told me that they never tell their kids that they can’t afford something. That’s where I realized my mistake. Even though I want my children to be aware of the reality of expenses and I don’t want them to grow up feeling entitled, I should never say the words “we can’t afford.” I realized that telling them we can’t afford something tells them that it is useless to dream, that some things are just not possible for them. Telling them that sends the message that we are relying on our own capacity and looking at ourselves as the source. Instead, like what my husband always does, I should encourage them to pray and ask God. I should help them believe that God is able, that God owns all, that God is good, that God knows and gives best to His children.

Though it may be true that we cannot afford all things, I do not have to burden my children with that fact. I must encourage them with the truth that with God, all things are possible. We do our part as parents, and we wait on God and watch Him prove Himself faithful.

This school year, they are both going to The Sycamore woohooo! Not because we can afford it, but because we believe that God will provide. However, they also know that we take it a year at a time. Next year may be different, not because we can’t afford it, but because their needs may be different. We have been pleased with the regular school set up of The Sycamore (formerly 360 Studio) because basically it is homeschool away from home and we have been happy with the character building and the disciplines Danae has learned, but we do not close our doors on homeschooling yet. The Lord knows best and we will submit to His will for our children. 🙂

 

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

 

Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? Luke 12:24-26

 
Taste and see that the Lord is good;
    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
    for those who fear him lack nothing.
The lions may grow weak and hungry,
    but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. Psalm 34:8-10

Homeschooling, My Kids, Parenting, THE BRAINY BUNCH

Noelle in School

Noelle’s school, Kidvantage Learning Center, celebrated Linggo ng Wika (Language Week) two weeks ago. All the kids were asked to wear Filipino costume, and each class prepared a Filipino number to show to the parents.

The day before however, I forgot about the adjusted schedule and brought Noelle to school when practice day was already over. I was concerned that she might feel awkward that she was not able to practice her dance with her classmates and that she may feel bad that she wouldn’t be able to follow the moves, but her teacher was confident that she’d be able to do it.

That Friday, we woke up late and got to the event by 8am. I thought Noelle had missed her dance, but thank God she didn’t. I know I know, I was kinda out of it that week…..or should I say I was out of it for an entire month! Glad we’ve gotten back in the groove though.

When it came time for her to perform, she did great! She wasn’t shy at all and she followed the moves quite well! Danae, on the other hand, was such a stage sister, coaching Noelle to pay more attention to what she was doing haha. We are super proud of our 3-year-old!

I love that my youngest daughter is in regular school, while her big sis is homeschooling. Danae spent 3 years in pre-school, had her own thing while Noelle was just home with me. This time around, Noelle has her own thing while her sister is at home. We thought we’d give her the opportunity that Danae had at her age to learn in a classroom setting, to bring and eat snacks (her favorite), to have time on the playground, to do homework, to have a routine, to experience school activities and programs. She wanted it so badly too, since last school year. She really enjoys it.

Aside from the fact that I don’t think I’m yet capable of handling two homeschoolers, we really felt Noelle needed time away from me because she’s the more clingy type. It showed more than ever when we put her in summer school when she was two (2011). If we put Danae in regular school because she is such a people person, we put Noelle in regular school for the opposite reason. Danae has always been fearless and friendly, Noelle a bit timid and choosy. Albeit differently, regular school has definitely benefited them both.

Having said that, Noelle also enjoys tagging along with Danae in her MAPE class. I’ve been noticing that she likes doing homework too. She and I have been talking about it, and it looks like she is open to homeschooling as well. I don’t know how everything is going to play out, but like what most homeschooling moms say, we will take it a year at a time. Everything is great just as they are right now, but who knows? I may have two homeschoolers in my hands next year. 🙂

Just My Thoughts, Parenting

TO HOMESCHOOL OR NOT TO HOMESCHOOL?

My 5-year-old Danae is in Kinder. She goes to Kidvantage Learning Center, a school 10 minutes away from our house. We were always open to homeschooling, but seeing that Danae enjoyed her first tries at school so much and that she’s such a people person, we decided to enroll her in a regular school — a small school, whose teacher to student ratio is ideal (1 plus 1 assistant is to 12) and whose teaching styles, activities and results I am quite happy with, and whose teachers are very approachable. I believe a small school is the next best thing to homeschooling, because I can better monitor my child’s progress and growth than if she were in a big school. Oh and did I mention that I do not believe I am patient enough to create a lesson plan myself, let alone teach my kid daily? Funny thing is I used to work as a teacher, and I think I’m a pretty okay teacher. But reviewing for Danae’s exams this school year just proved to me that we should not YET do homeschool, for my sake and hers. Needless to say, there were times we both got exasperated and frustrated.

So why on earth did I ask her which she preferred between regular school and homeschool last week??? I wasn’t even thinking. Maybe I was expecting her to say something else, but man, was I unprepared for her answer! She actually told me that she wanted to do homeschool. She said she wants to just do homework, and that I should just buy the books. What!!??? I thought for sure she’d tell me she loves school and that she’d miss her friends. Instead she told me she wants to do what her friends Pablo and Jaden are doing.

I panicked in my head, knowing that I will not be able to pull that off so soon! I was set to enroll her for next year already. So I resolved to make a deal with Danae. WE BOTH AGREED THAT WE WILL TRY HOMESCHOOLING IN 1ST GRADE.

When I told my friends, they laughed (because they know me and my apprehensions) and gave me all the selling points of homeschooling — no more homework because all the work is done at home, no more tardiness, I can meet Danae at her level, our schedule will be more flexible, and so on. What solidified the decision to wait till and start in 1st grade was what my friend Michelle said. Her 3rd son Jaden will be in 1st grade the same year that Danae is!!! That makes me feel so much better — that I can ask help from a veteran homeschooling mom (she’s been homeschooling her boys for at least 9 years I imagine, since her eldest is now 12), and ride along her lesson plans and then learn from there. The task doesn’t seem as daunting anymore.

So as I gave my word to Danae, we’re homeschooling in June 2012. I have more than a year to prepare the curriculum, lesson plan, etc…to prepare Danae, and most especially to prepare myself. We’ll take it a year at a time. God help me! 🙂