How about Ukulele Son?

A friend asked me if I am interested of enrolling my children to a ukulele class. Well, I’d like to, but I’ll have to ask my children first before doing so. Zoe has been showing his interest on drums lately, but how about ukulele son? I cannot force them to learn a musical instrument without their interest.

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Art by Cyclopsette

Having thought of this, I wonder where in UAE I can buy a ukulele. Back home, I can always drop by our favorite music store near our area to check availability. In UAE, I haven’t personally visited a music store since coming here four months ago. But Google has given me a few stores around the city. Good thing is that most stores offers online service so I can just schedule for ukulele pickup once my children has decided to learn ukulele. I really want them to learn music instruments, that’s why I am exposing them early to music instrument.

Mini Botany Lesson

The boys had their mini botany lesson for a couple of weeks. I remember back in Manila, they love picking the flowers in our neighborhood. They would sometimes bring me freshly picked flowers when they come home from play dates. Living in UAE, I took advantage of the community parks to teach them botany, it has a variety of plants and it’s free.

So this is how it went. After going through the text, introducing the parts of the plants and learning few songs, we brought the boys to the park nearby to facilitate interaction with plants. It’s been said that children who gets to interact with the natural world lose their fear of nature and advance their recreation in the natural world.

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We also brought along some activity which I got from the generous Measured Mom Blog.

 photo IMG_4787_zps16fkg9os.jpg.And after a week of learning, I gave them a botany project. Not just for Zoe’s portfolio, but also to test what they learned.

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And that’s our mini botany lesson.

When Your Child is Curious of God’s Presence

I was about to hit the sack, when my son Zoe popped up a question “mommy is God here?” Then, with my sleepy eyes I answered yes, He is here with us. He replied, “He can see us, but why we can’t see Him? I told him, that God is in heaven and He is powerful that He can see us from there. I continue by telling him that He also lives in his heart, in his brother’s & dad’s heart and in my heart as well. And that, if you have Jesus in your heart you will be a good person. And again, he blurted another question, “then why there is magnanakaw (thief)? Did God create them?” Astound, I answered, God created humans but not magnanakaw. It’s a sin and satan created it. What is sin? Who is Satan? Those were the follow up questions. So I answered, Satan cause people to do bad things. That’s why when you have Jesus in your heart, you have to share Him to other kids so they’ll be good. And the conversation ended with a question “mom, there is only one God?”

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John 14:16 says He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for everGod is Omnipresent. The prefix omni is a Latin word meaning “all.” So, saying that God is omnipresent means that God is present everywhere and He dwell in us.  Isiah 57:15 For thus says the One who is high and lifted up,who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:“I dwell in the high and holy place,and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit,to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.

And we have only one God. 1 Corinthian 8:6  yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

My children usually throw questions about their favorite toy characters, or maybe about a character in a book that we recently read. Although we sometimes read bible stories, they are not as interested about it as they are with their favorite toy characters. That’s why I was surprised to hear those questions and even teary eyed answering it. It was heartwarming that somehow, in his heart, he has developed a curiosity about God. From that curiosity, it motivates me to be intentional in teaching our children about Jesus.

Deuteronomy 6:5-8 says, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

This has led me to examine two areas of my life. First, my relationship with God, second, is my parenting style. The bible is very clear, it is our vital responsibility to teach our children to follow and live for Jesus. There is no way I can teach my children to follow Jesus, if I myself is not a follower of Jesus Christ. And so, I am reminded to take God seriously, to pursue intimacy with Him, to truly follow Jesus and be a responsible disciple and be a good model to our children. Pursuing those will coincide with my husband and I desire, for our children to grow loving and honoring Jesus in their lives. And to make it realistic to the innocent mind, it should start from us, parents, and it should transpire in our home.

Ephesian 6:4, Fathers do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

Letter of the Week | Z is for Zebra

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Z is for Zebra! Having had finished letter B, the boys were expecting letter C next in line. I originally planned covering it chronologically, but after further researched, I found out that it would be more interesting for the children if we introduce first the letter of their names. So, we jumped from C to Z which is the first letter of my boys’ name. Since, I purposely initiated this activity for our youngest Zian, we will be ensuing his name for the coming week.

Here’s how our letter Z week went. This time most of our worksheets were from The Measured Mom. I used the level 1 worksheets for Zian and the level 2 worksheets for Zoe. Thanks a lot for those free printable!

Math

Practice counting and identifying numbers.
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How many zoo animals are there? I asked them to circle the correct number.

 

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Here, they are matching the zoo animals to their shadows.


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And then the pattern activity. Encircling the animal that comes next. They also had concept of size and classification of things activities.

Language Art

Tracing the giant Z in upper and lower case.

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We also did one of the classics, identifying pictures that begin with letter Z, by coloring the picture and writing the missing letter.

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Crafts

Z is for Zipper! Decorating Z with zipper print outs.

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Books

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We were suppose to do a field trip to the zoo, but it was raining almost the whole week.

Fearfully and Wonderfully made

I was washing the dishes from our breakfast when my 4 years old son approach me and all of a sudden told me “mommy, God did not created me. Sabi mo God made me, hindi ganun yun.” I curiously asked why to find out how he arrived to that idea. His answer was, “kasi pinanganak mo ako. God did not created me.” I was blown, how that innocent mind thought of it. Baffled, I quickly answered “God formed you in my womb, that’s how He created you.” I think he was a bit convinced, but he stared at me, while he repeat what I told him.

I taught them the song “God Made Me” and I’m sure they have also heard it from the Sunday School. So I am pretty sure that it’s from that song that they learned the concept of God being our creator. Soon in our homeschooling, we will reach the sixth day of creation where God created the animals and people. So I am thinking of how I can expound this matter to him. Would they understand it? Would they pay a high regard to our magnificent Creator if they themselves know that God created them fearfully and wonderfully without even seeing Him physically? I cannot say yes right away since we are still in the process but I’d like to be positive rather than being negative.

Psalm 139:13-16

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.

 

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Teaching our children early on, is a head-start in their lives and drawing them to God’s creation will help our children perceive the qualities of God. This i think is foundational especially toddlers age.

2 Timothy 3:14-15  but as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it,  and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

Teaching the little ones about God could be one tough job in parenting. It is not going to be easy, but we all know who to run to whenever we feel like dropping like a hot potato; it is only by His grace that we can do all things.

 

 

Book Review | Let’s Learn Phonics

I have been looking for a good phonics kit for my toddlers. I have read good reviews about Sing Spell Read & Write. I was contemplating of getting our copy and called the C&E publishing last month to ask if they still have the Sing Spell Read and Write kit only to be told it’s already out of stock. Last month while looking for a good bedtime story book at National Bookstore, I saw this “Let’s Learn Phonics” book by apple publishing international. I did not hesitate to purchase it.

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The book cost 169 pesos. It starts with short sounds, to long sounds and letter combination sound. The book has distinctive colors and also highlighted the letter sound to make it more appealing to children and for easy identification.

I bought this book last month, and I already saw improvements in my son’s reading. This has been mommy’s best friend in teaching my children to read. Our youngest Zian is slowly learning phonics. I believe that it’s worth investing in a phonics books. So if if you are teaching your child to read go phonetics. Learning phonics will help a child improves word-recognition and reading ability.

Letter of the Week

Since commencing homeschooling for our eldest son Zoe, who is now in Kinder 1, I have also thought of how I can intentionally homeschool our youngest son Zian who just turned 3 years old last May. During the first few weeks of our homeschooling, I tried to let Zian sit with his brother while homeschooling, in that way (I thought) he would also learn. But there are lesson that were just too advance for him and I don’t want to pressure him.

I have been reading about the “letter of the week” idea in a homeschool group where I am currently a member. Thinking that it’s a good program for my 3 years old, I immediately gave it a try. I am thankful for the loads of ideas I found on the internet and from fellow homeschool moms.

Last week we have focus on letter “A” and this week we are learning more about letter “B“. A was a good week for us. So here’s how we did it.

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Language Art

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The boys had an identification exercise. I created a list of letters and let them identify the letter A by encircling it. And also have them color an uppercase letter A. I forgot to take a picture of it.

Math

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I let them do a grouping exercise by encircling the letter A that’s group into three. This will improve their counting ability. Zian, however did his own thing, he was encircling the whole row which, according to him looks like a train and then later he did the right thing.

Arts

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A is for alligator. I found this free printable. I printed and cut it into pieces forming a puzzle. I let them do the puzzle and then they color it after.

That’s how our Letter of the week goes. Next week I am hoping to find more fun activities for the kiddos. Bye for now!

 

Zoe is Learning to Read

One of our goals this school year, is for our Zoe to learn reading before the end of fourth quarter. He learned phonics from his nursery class last year and refreshed him this year to eventually master it. We recently started the Learn to Read program of Starfall.com, it’s a free phonics based program online for parents, educators and homeschoolers. Now, Zoe can read short vowels sound and slowly learning long vowels sound.

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Before we started phonics, we used to read books before bed time. Our reading time together has also helped him learn the ropes to reading. Through this routine, my children specially our youngest has develop a love for reading and started to love books. There are times when we would read almost past bed time, because they want to read more books, and that sometimes requires true effort for me, to stay awake and read even if my eyes wants to turn in and hit dream land.

Currently, Zoe is slowly learning to read and everyday I noticed improvement on his reading skills.

 

Guitar for the Little Man

Summer is almost over here in the Philippines, soon school will kick off. But since we are homeschooling this year, we started early. Part of our homeschooling is to enroll the little man in an enrichment program. We are leaning towards a music enrichment program and I am contemplating of exposing him to musical instrument not just to develop the musicality, but also to help nourish his intellectual & social literacy.

We were overwhelmed with the variety of 6 string guitars that are available online. It seems that it’s me who enjoys most scouting for kid friendly guitar designs. Look at this cute designs I found from an online store I visited.

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I’m sure the little man would love to have his favorite tank engine Thomas printed on his new guitar. Hoping we could find one.

 

Zian Turns 3

Our sweet and bubbly little boy turns 3 today. And to celebrate this milestone, we had a simple celebration at home with our family and relatives.

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I am praying that you grow loving God little man. Stay sweet and bubbly. I thank God for you and for keeping our home happy and sometimes chaotic. We love you!

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We are also celebrating my Father’s 61st Birthday all together. We miss you a lot Tatay!