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?


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.

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!

Tag On Mommy Fears

Last week, I got this very nice tag from Nice. (hehe, i just love using this pun on you,Nice!)

The question is, What is your greatest fear as a mommy?

My answer – That I will die while the kids are still young. Just the thought of it makes my heart palpitates! Goodness! I gave up a very interesting TV career to be a hands-on SAHM to my kids so I figure it will be very, very unfair if I die early. Just imagine a home without a mother, di ba sobrang lungkot?

Siguro, if my own mom was still alive, I won’t be as scared, knowing she’ll love and care for my kids as her own. But since she’s not on this earth anymore, I feel that no one can ever REPLACE the kind of love and care that I give to my kids. Honestly speaking, not even my hubby. Not that I’m disparaging him, but he’s simply not the hands-on type of father that I would be confident to leave my kids to. He cannot even comfort our crying infant, for God’s sake! So how much more a houseful of three kids with different ages and needs? Financially, I have no qualms that he can provide for them comfortably but providing for their emotional needs? Malabo yata!. Iba talaga ang alaga ng mommy. And I’m pretty sure all the mommy bloggers out there will understand where my sentiments are coming from.

Now, I’m tagging Liza and Jen to do this tag.

Wordless Wednesday # 1: Baby Sling



Check out the new Wordless Wednesday HQ!!


Two Sundays ago, my friend’s 90 year old manghihilot paid her a visit. After their session, I borrowed Lola Cita from her and treated myself to a well-deserved hilot (massage). You see, for several weeks now, my shoulder muscles have been feeling stiff, perhaps due to the fact that I’ve been babywearing my son for the most part of the day every single day since I got my sling in late August. That translates to carrying 6 kilos of weight for around roughly 900 hours! Whew! No wonder I was feeling so sore.

Lola Cita is not your ordinary lola. Unlike other elderly people, she is not at all stooped. She can still climb up and down the stairs without any difficulty. She can still read the newspaper without any reading glasses. She attributes her good health to her vegetarian lifestyle.

Her grip was surprisingly strong, firm and forceful for someone her age. Her expert hands really soothed my tired body. And she was so fun to be with! My daughter, yaya and I were doubling over with laughter with her stories and jokes. While going down the stairs, my Yaya told her, Lola ingat po baka matalisod kayo. You know what she said? Anong mag-ingat, gusto mo maghabulan pa tayo dito eh! Hahaha! She was really so hilarious but the fun ended abruptly when she lifted her hands off my body saying, o ayan tapos na. So soon? I was so bitin! We’ve only been into it for just about 20 minutes, I was just starting to warm up, tapos yun na pala lahat yon? Tapos na?!

Oh well, okay na rin since she only charged me 100 bucks for it.

She said she’ll be back every Sunday for 4 consecutive weeks and on the 4th Sunday, she’ll massage my tummy so that my womb will go back to it’s pre-pregnancy size. Yay! That means no more bilbil!

So I waited and waited for her last Sunday but she didn’t come! Haay, I was so looking forward to it pa naman…..

Prettiest Mom

No, no! I’m not claiming to be the prettiest mom! I got this email just now and was so touched by it so I thought I’d share it with all the mommy bloggers out there.

Before I was a Mom

I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby.

I didn’t worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.

I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom –

I had never been puked on.

Pooped on.

Chewed on.

Peed on.

I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts.

I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom

I never held down a screaming child so doctors could do tests.

Or give shots.

I never looked into teary eyes and cried.

I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.

I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom

I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn’t want to put him down.

I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn’t stop the hurt.

I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.

I never knew that I could love someone so much.

I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom –

I didn’t know the feeling of having my heart outside my body.

I didn’t know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby.

I didn’t know that bond between a mother and her child.

I didn’t know that something so small could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom –

I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.

I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache,

the wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom.

I didn’t know I was capable of feeling so much, before I was a Mom.