To Homeschool or Not?

My 8 year old boy that is. It’s my dilemma at the moment and I’m really confused.

I spent the whole afternoon yesterday researching on homeschooling in the Philippines. And the wealth of information that I found on the netleft me even more confused and undecided! It’s because I found out a lot of things about homeschooling that both excites and scares me.

But first, let me explain why I’m even considering homeschooling when I am perfectly satisfied with my son’s non-traditional school. It’s because we are still awaiting the result of our New Zealand permanent residency application. We expect to know it by next year but problem is, we don’t know exactly WHEN. And while the decision is still up in the air, we are left hanging in mid-air. We cannot make definite or concrete plans. Like my kids’ schooling for example.

By January 2008, my son’s school will be asking for a reservation fee to ensure a slot for next schoolyear. I know it makes sense to just go ahead and pay the 9k fee and just pull him out in the middle of the school year if our visa comes. But the thing is, we have to pay the full tuition fee of 100k+ regardless if he only gets to attend a few months in school. And I’m unwilling to risk that much money. It’s like throwing away our hard earned pesos which we could use as part of our settlement fund when we get to New Zealand.

And that’s where my idea of homeschooling him came in. But as I learned more about homeschooling, I felt scared. A lot of questions popped in my head. Am I really capable of homeschooling my son? The websites say that you have to be a college graduate to qualify. Check. I’m a college grad. It says that you must not have a full time job. Check, I’m a SAHM. It says you must devote at least four hours everyday to teach your child plus one or two hours of preparation time. Uhmmm…well, maybe. At this point, I began to doubt If I can handle it since I’m a hands-on mom to my baby and therefore has no full time yaya. Then, scenes from my tutoring sessions with my son flashback in my mind. The frustration and exasperation we both feel as we sometimes quarrel over his homeworks. Ugghh! Do I really want to do this day in day out for the next 12 months?

Right now, I feel like backing out na. But when I think of the 100K going down the drain if I keep him in school next year...Aba, aba….. I feel like sige na nga, I can do it!

Haay….ano ba talaga?

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Tribute To Yaya Vi

One of the blessings that we Filipinos have is the availability of cheap labor for our household. Yes, I’m referring to helpers or maids, yayas (nannies), cooks, drivers and gardeners.

In Western countries, a family can only afford to hire such help if they are filthy rich. Or if they belong to the rich and famous segment of society and therefore need to keep up the appearance of wealth.

Here in the Philippines, for a meager 3,000 pesos (roughly $75) a month, a lot of mothers from near and far provinces leave their kids to seek employment in Manila. As most of these women did not finish schooling and therefore cannot aspire for a well paying job, a common option for them is to get hired as a stay-in helper for a Manila-based family.

One such woman is my helper, whom we fondly refer to as Yaya Vi.

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She is not a real yaya (nanny) as I’m a hands-on mom. She sometimes assists me when I need an extra hand in caring for my baby but the rest of the time, she is more of an all-around maid (a helper who generally do the cleaning, laundry, cooking plus other mundane tasks) Yaya Vi came to my household in May 2000 when she was still single.

What I really like about Yaya Vi is her honesty and efficiency. I can trust her to return money left in our jeans’ pocket when she does the laundry. I think we are a good match because like me, she is very particular about neatness and cleanliness in the home. I trained her on my style of cleaning and she quickly adopted it as her own. She has the initiative to look for things that needs to be done around the house (aside from the checklist on her work schedule) and does it even without me asking.

Aside from these admirable traits, she has common sense. And because we’ve had her for a long time and knows our household routine by heart, she can anticipate our needs. She also has a good attitude towards her work. Early on, she told me that should I find anything wrong with her or the way she works, I should call her attention to it and tell her right away so she’d be aware of it and can change for the better! O diba?

Yaya Vi started with us when she was only 19 or 20 years old. After a year with us, she went home to get married. When her kid was already 3 years old, she came back to us but left for home again after a year. Early this year, she came back. But unknown to me, she was already pregnant then. So when she was in danger of having a miscarriage I had to send her back home, both of us with a heavy heart. Back home, she did lose her unborn child and after a few months came back to me.

Of course, like any other person, Yaya Vi has her share of shortcomings and negative traits but I prefer not to dwell on those and instead focus on counting my blessings that I have her in my household.

In a few weeks time, Yaya Vi will be going home to Bicol to take a much deserved Christmas break.  In the meantime, I’m looking for a temporary helper.  I do hope I find somebody like her.

A Parenting Lesson from my Son

A few months ago while helping my son take a bath in the shower stall, he began to playfully splash water onto the toilet area. Because it was one of those mad morning rushes, I got really mad and started ranting to him about how hard it is to clean up spill, and how he’s messing up the bathroom etc, etc.

My son looking sad that I was hyperventilating simply told me “Mom, you could just have told me that”. I was stunned into silence. Oo nga naman, I could have simply told him not to splash water and why he shouldn’t and he wouldn’t have done it.

Lesson Learned: Instead of getting mad with your kids’ irritating behavior, try asking them first to stop and then explain the reason why you want them to stop whatever annoying thing they are doing. Because sometimes, the things that we adults take for granted as common sense (like not splashing water all over the bathroom!) are simply not in their psyche yet. They are doing those annoying things not to irk us parents but simply because the are having fun and being in the moment.

Wordless Wednesday # 2 – The Night The Stars Didn’t Come Out

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Click here for more Wordless Wednesday photos

My Gratitude List

I initially thought of posting a Christmas Wish List. But on second thought, what if my Christmas Wish list got fulfilled? Because the material things that I wanted are mostly bulky things for my home, they will naturally just add more clutter to my compact home.

Also, because of certain circumstances in my life right now, like for example the uncertainty of whether we are migrating to New Zealand next year or not, material gifts though they certainly are a most welcome blessing, seems a bit impractical at this point. (Like, how senseless it would be to bring a suitcase full of clothes which I couldn’t really wear in NZ because of their temperate climate)

So I decided to do a Gratitude List instead. Here goes:

  1. I delivered a healthy baby via normal delivery, despite my being in the high risk category because of my age.
  2. Aside from minor illnesses like colds and fevers, my whole family is healthy.
  3. In times of financial troubles, I could count on my siblings for assistance!
  4. We hurdled through an in-law crisis that almost led to a separation.
  5. I am living in a very nice, comfortable home and have a relatively comfortable life.
  6. My hubby finally gained a permanent status in his place of employment.
  7. Because of #6, hubby was entitled to avail of a health card, which we got to use almost immediately after he got it when my then 5 week old baby had to be hospitalized (talk about serendipity!). So we didn’t spend a single cent for the hospitalization!
  8. One of my favorite helpers is still with me. She’s been with me on and off since 2001. She always comes back to me. She came back after getting married, when her son was a toddler already and after a miscarriage.
  9. My close friend lives right across my house. So I never lack for an adult company, despite being a SAHM.
  10. Because of #9, my kids have quality playmates, which is very important to me.
  11. I am so thankful that because our village is very safe and secure and peaceful, I can allow my teenage daughter to go to her choir practice and friend’s houses all alone.
  12. Because I’m a SAHM, I never had to go through the pain of a working mom when she had to leave her kids for work every morning.
  13. I am so thankful that my favorite helper is also a very good cook because I just hate cooking!
  14. I am so thankful that the next house I’m moving in to is also very nice. Although even smaller than my present home, it is very cozy and very well maintained. The interiors are very luxurious.
  15. In relation to #14, I am thanking my lucky stars that I always get the house that I want while house hunting. For a SAHM and homebody like me, living in a house that I really like is a must and a non-negotiable thing.
  16. We are getting closer to our NZ dream, as we just passed thru the next level in their selection process.
  17. That my kids are studying in very good schools despite our modest means.
  18. That because I opted to be a SAHM despite knowing it will mean less income for our household, we were blessed to have been given the opportunity to own 2 businesses which I can run from home.
  19. My kids are very sweet and loving to us and gives us so much joy.
  20. And last but certainly not the least…my MIL finally moved out of my house!

Birth Month Tag


I am tagged by Liza of My Simple Life about my birth month. I will then highlight the traits the tells the truth about me. I am tagging Jen, Lucel and Nice to do this next.

 

1. Mention the person who tagged you and create a link back to them.
2. Copy-paste the traits for all the twelve months (see below).
3. Pick your month of birth.
4. Highlight the traits that apply to you.
5. Tag 12 people and let them know by visiting their blogs and leaving a comment for them.
6. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve done it!

My Birth Month

MAY: Stubborn and hard-hearted. Strong-willed and highly motivated. Sharp thoughts. Easily angered. Attracts others and loves attention. Deep feelings. Beautiful physically and mentally. Firm Standpoint. Needs no motivation. Easily consoled. Systematic (left brain). Loves to dream. Strong clairvoyance. Understanding. Sickness usually in the ear and neck. Good imagination. Good physical. Weak breathing. Loves literature and the arts. Loves traveling. Dislike being at home. Restless. Not having many children. Hardworking. High spirited. Spendthrift.

The Twelve Months

JANUARY: Stubborn and hard-hearted. Ambitious and serious. Loves to teach and be taught. Always looking at people’s flaws and weaknesses. Likes to criticize. Hardworking and productive. Smart, neat and organized. Sensitive and has deep thoughts. Knows how to make others happy. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Rather reserved. Highly attentive. Resistant to illnesses but prone to colds. Romantic but has difficulties expressing love. Loves children. Loyal. Has great social abilities yet easily jealous. Very stubborn and money cautious.

FEBRUARY: Abstract thoughts. Loves reality and abstract. Intelligent and clever. Changing personality. Attractive. Sexy. Temperamental. Quiet, shy and humble. Honest and loyal. Determined to reach goals. Loves freedom. Rebellious when restricted. Loves aggressiveness. Too sensitive and easily hurt. Gets angry really easily but does not show it. Dislikes unnecessary things. Loves making friends but rarely shows it. Daring and stubborn. Ambitious. Realizes dreams and hopes. Sharp. Loves entertainment and leisure. Romantic on the inside not outside. Superstitious and ludicrous. Spendthrift. Tries to learn to show emotions.

MARCH: Attractive personality. Sexy. Affectionate. Shy and reserved. Secretive. Naturally honest, generous and sympathetic. Loves peace and serenity. Sensitive to others. Loves to serve others. Easily angered. Trustworthy. Appreciative and returns kindness. Observant and assesses others. Revengeful. Loves to dream and fantasize. Loves traveling. Loves attention. Hasty decisions in choosing partners. Loves home decors. Musically talented. Loves special things. Moody.

APRIL: Active and dynamic. Decisive and hasty but tends to regret. Attractive and affectionate to oneself. Strong mentality. Loves attention. Diplomatic. Consoling, friendly and solves people’s problems. Brave and fearless. Adventurous. Loving and caring. Suave and generous. Emotional. Aggressive. Hasty. Good memory. Moving. Motivates oneself and others. Sickness usually of the head and chest. Sexy in a way that only their lover can see.

MAY: Stubborn and hard-hearted. Strong-willed and highly motivated. Sharp thoughts. Easily angered. Attracts others and loves attention. Deep feelings. Beautiful physically and mentally. Firm Standpoint. Needs no motivation. Easily consoled. Systematic (left brain). Loves to dream. Strong clairvoyance. Understanding. Sickness usually in the ear and neck. Good imagination. Good physical. Weak breathing. Loves literature and the arts. Loves traveling. Dislike being at home. Restless. Not having many children. Hardworking. High spirited. Spendthrift.

JUNE: Thinks far with vision. Easily influenced by kindness. Polite and soft-spoken. Having ideas. Sensitive. Active mind. Hesitating, tends to delay. Choosy and always wants the best. Temperamental. Funny and humorous. Loves to joke. Good debating skills. Talkative. Daydreamer. Friendly. Knows how to make friends. Able to show character. Easily hurt. Prone to getting colds. Loves to dress up. Easily bored. Fussy. Seldom shows emotions. Takes time to recover when hurt. Brand conscious. Executive. Stubborn.

JULY: Fun to be with. Secretive. Difficult to fathom and to be understood. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Takes pride in oneself. Has reputation. Easily consoled. Honest. Concerned about people’s feelings. Tactful. Friendly. Approachable. Emotional temperamental and unpredictable. Moody and easily hurt. Witty and sparkly. Not revengeful. Forgiving but never forgets. Dislikes nonsensical and unnecessary things. Guides others physically and mentally. Sensitive and forms impressions carefully. Caring and loving. Treats others equally. Strong sense of sympathy. Wary and sharp. Judges people through observations. Hardworking. No difficulties in studying. Loves to be alone. Always broods about the past and the old friends. Likes to be quiet. Homely person. Waits for friends. Never looks for friends. Not aggressive unless provoked. Prone to having stomach and dieting problems. Loves to be loved. Easily hurt but takes long to recover.

AUGUST: Loves to joke. Attractive. Suave and caring. Brave and fearless. Firm and has leadership qualities. Knows how to console others. Too generous and egoistic. Takes high pride in oneself. Thirsty for praises. Extraordinary spirit. Easily angered. Angry when provoked. Easily jealous. Observant. Careful and cautious. Thinks quickly. Independent thoughts. Loves to lead and to be led. Loves to dream. Talented in the arts, music and defense. Sensitive but not petty. Poor resistance against illnesses. Learns to relax. Hasty and trusty. Romantic. Loving and caring. Loves to make friends.

SEPTEMBER: Suave and compromising. Careful, cautious and organized. Likes to point out people’s mistakes. Likes to criticize. Stubborn. Quiet but able to talk well. Calm and cool. Kind and sympathetic. Concerned and detailed. Loyal but not always honest. Does work well. Very confident. Sensitive. Good memory. Clever and knowledgeable. Loves to look for information. Must control oneself when criticizing. Able to motivate oneself. Understanding. Fun to be around. Secretive. Loves leisure and traveling. Hardly shows emotions. Tends to bottle up feelings. Very choosy, especially in relationships. Systematic.

OCTOBER: Loves to chat. Loves those who loves them. Loves to take things at the center. Inner and physical beauty. Lies but doesn’t pretend. Gets angry often. Treats friends importantly. Always making friends. Easily hurt but recovers easily. Daydreamer. Opinionated. Does not care of what others think. Emotional. Decisive. Strong clairvoyance. Loves to travel, the arts and literature. Touchy and easily jealous. Concerned. Loves outdoors. Just and fair. Spendthrift. Easily influenced. Easily loses confidence. Loves children.

NOVEMBER: Has a lot of ideas. Difficult to fathom. Thinks forward. Unique and brilliant. Extraordinary ideas. Sharp thinking. Fine and strong clairvoyance. Can become good doctors. Dynamic in personality. Secretive. Inquisitive. Knows how to dig secrets. Always thinking. Less talkative but amiable. Brave and generous. Patient. Stubborn and hard-hearted. If there is a will, there is a way. Determined. Never give up. Hardly becomes angry unless provoked. Loves to be alone. Thinks differently from others. Sharp-minded. Motivates oneself. Does not appreciate praises. High-spirited. Well-built and tough. Deep love and emotions. Romantic. Uncertain in relationships. Homely. Hardworking. High abilities. Trustworthy. Honest and keeps secrets. Not able to control emotions. Unpredictable.

DECEMBER: Loyal and generous. Sexy. Patriotic. Active in games and interactions. Impatient and hasty. Ambitious. Influential in organizations. Fun to be with. Loves to socialize. Loves praises. Loves attention. Loves to be loved. Honest and trustworthy. Not pretending. Short tempered. Changing personality. Not egotistic. Take high pride in oneself. Hates restrictions. Loves to joke. Good sense of humor. Logical.

Two Things Meme

I was tagged by lucel for this Two Things Meme.

1. Two names I go by: florence, pop (thus my handle, popski)

2. Two things I am wearing right now: pink striped pjs and my pink havs
3. Two things I want (or have) in a relationship: Love & Responsibility

4. Two things I like to do: going on vacations with my fam & decorating the house

5. Two things I want very badly in this moment:approval of our resident visa to NZ & peace of mind

6. Two things I did last night: wrote an entry on my blog and breastfed my baby

7. Two things I ate today: chicken sandwich and coffee (drink pala yung isa!)
8. Two persons I last spoke to: Hubby & my helper

9. Two things I am doing tomorrow: blog & look for a temporary helper for the holidays

10. Two favourite days of the week: Saturday & Sunday
11. Two favourite holidays: New Year & Christmas (same as lucel)
12. Two favourite beverages: Starbucks mocha frappe and ice cold Coke
13. Two things about me that you may not have known: I used to work at RPN 9 & had the biggest crush on my boss!

14. Two jobs that I have had in my life: Production Assistant and Boss of my own events company

15. Two movies I would watch over and over:You’ve got mail & serendipity

16. Two places I have lived: Philippines pa lang, and within that, QC and Antipolo

17. Two of my favourite food: Pizza and lechon

18. Two places I would rather be right now:New Zealand with my siblings and Disneyland with my kids

And here is another question: What are the 5 gifts you would buy for Yourself this Christmas, if you had unlimited income?

1. Tour of the world with my family

2. Vacation houses in different parts of the world
3. My dream home (fully furnished with my dream furnishings including my dream vehicles in the garage hehe!)

4. investments and fully loaded bank accounts

5. total clothes and shoes revamp plus a makeover!

I want to know your answers to this Nice, Liza and Jen!