Posts Tagged ‘Homeschool’

International School of Manila

November 19th, 2012 3 comments

Kalani went to a “real” school for the first time last week.  We have been homeschooling her for the past 3 years, but with our move to the Philippines we decided to enroll her in the International School of Manila or ISM as it is referred.  So far things have worked out well.  This “night owl” daughter of ours that stays up until midnight in the states and doesn’t wake up until 9am, is now waking up before 6am and starting school by 7:30am!

International School Manila (pre-school to high school)

We started the enrollment process in August since there is a limited amount of space available.  The class sizes are about 23 students.  In the 3rd grade, there are 6 classes.  Kalani didn’t start school right when we arrived since the school was on a week long holiday.  Then she needed to take an assessment test and have an interview with the elementary counselor.  The assessment test was done on a computer, and I was told it would take 90 minutes to complete.  Kalani finished it is 45 minutes and I was told she did well  (not sure what her score was, but it doesn’t really matter).  She took the test one day, interview the following day, then gave the teacher a full day to prepare for a new student and finally she had her first day of school on Friday, November 9, 2012


Elementary School playground/courtyard

She wears some kind of uniform everyday for school…it is nice not to fight over what she wears.  There are some options.  There is a PE uniform that she has to wear on the 3 days that she has PE. (and she could wear the PE uniform everyday if she wanted to AND if we let her)  Then she can choose from 4 different color polo shirts, and shorts, capris or skorts to wear.


Happy and ready for the first day of school

On the first day of school she woke up at 5:30am and ate breakfast at 6am.  (we are still living in the serviced apartments and breakfast starts at 6am)  Traffic is bad in Manila.  The school is only 3 miles away from where we are staying.  But, because of traffic it takes anywhere from 20 minutes to 45 minutes to get to her school.  So we leave at 6:30-6:45am to make sure she is at school by 7:30am.  I was so happy to pick her up at 2:20pm and to see a big smile on her face!


Big smile after her first day of school

Kalani asked me if I was going to homeschool her again when we return to the states.  I said that I would like to continue to homeschool her if that is what she wanted.  She said, “yes” that she wanted to be homeschooled again when we returned.  I said that was fine, and then followed up by asking if she was happy to be attending ISM.  She said yes, that she is enjoying herself by going to school.  Then I asked if she wanted to homeschool because she gets to sleep in…again she said yes!

The Mind Museum

November 4th, 2012 No comments

When Matt and I came on a house hunting trip to the Philippines in September, we were told about The Mind Museum.  I love taking the kids to museums and letting them learn while having fun.  So, we spent a couple of hours there and had Kalani bring along a friend she met at church.

Learning about static electricity

Crazy mom hair!

Kalani inside a large bubble

Mason making a bubble “just like his sister”

The museum wasn’t super cheap, but it was a needed activity for our family.  You can only do the same things a number of times at the temporary housing before you get stir crazy.  It was also a bit upsetting that we paid $11-$15 person and could only be there during a certain 3 hour time frame.  But, the museum was pretty cool and there were things that we didn’t get around to seeing or doing.  I’m sure that we will attend again before we leave the country.



Homeschool year 3

November 2nd, 2012 No comments

I never did an end of the year re-cap of our homeschool year for 2011-2012.  So, this is to try to capture the fun things that we did during the year.

We tried Co-op for the first semester and these are the other kids that also participated

Homeschool friends held a “Thanksgiving Fest” at their home

A couple of families came over to make candy houses…these are Mason’s and Kalani’s master pieces

Valentine party and card exchange…Lots of kids and lots of fun

Easter Egg Hunt and picnic with friends

We attended the Houston Symphony

Kalani had a science class once a month at the Natural Science Museum…this class was about teeth

We hosted a book club at our home twice a month…this was a fun activity for “James and the Giant Peach”

A group of us went camping

The kids had art club twice a month and end of the year they made tie-dye shirts

We attended the Police Academy during Police Week

We went back to a wildlife park that we attended a couple of years ago

We do our schooling at the dining table

We have loved homeschooling.  I have a good idea of what Kalani knows and what she struggles with.  We try to teach her about the world and her interests.  If she has a question, we search out the answer.  We also do many social activities so she can interact with other kids and I can interact with adults.  And because Kalani is around adults often, she isn’t afraid to ask questions or make comments to them.


More homeschool photos

Categories: Family, Homeschool Tags: , , ,

Camping 2012

May 15th, 2012 1 comment

For the past 2 years I have taken our kids camping by myself while Matt worked.  Finally after being married for 9.5 years and having 2 kids, Matt joined us on a camping trip!

"We are a happy family"


Mason loved playing with our friend's dog

Kids enjoying nature

Talking to friends around the camp fire

5 families that all went camping together


Thanks to our friends who planned this trip and invited us to tag-a-long.


Crazy Campers

March 30th, 2011 3 comments

The first crazy camper is me, the mom. Who in their right mind would take a 7 year old and a 22 month old camping without their spouse? Through one of my homeschool groups they set up a camping trip and Kalani LOVES to go camping with friends. I took the kids last year with Mason as an 11 month old and figured that this year would be a little easier since he was older.

The other crazy campers enjoying nature

The weather didn’t cooperate completely since it was wet most of our second day there and then was really cold trying to pack up on the third day. Nature is also a little loud at times. Like at 3 am when a coyote and cubs decide to make their presence known near our camp site. Or the owl that was above our tent. And then there are the man-made noises like trains that want to blow their horn in the middle of the night.

Most of the group going on a "hike"

But, I know that “I Can Do Hard Things” (sister’s favorite saying). Like going on a hike…we only walked a mile and then turned around, but I walked that mile holding Mason at 30 pounds for the majority of the hike. On the way back we decided to take the road since we wouldn’t have to worry about rocks and going up and down hills. A friend brought her wagon since she has 3 small children and Mason got to ride in the wagon while I pulled it. Mason started taking off his hat, then shoes and socks and throwing them out the wagon. I guess he was done riding in the wagon and stood up while I was pulling. I looked back just in time to see him stand and then fall backwards and hit his head on the asphalt! Blood appeared, water was poured, pressured applied and baby was crying. I wasn’t completely sure what I should do since it looked like he needed stitches, but I also needed to take care of Kalani and I didn’t know where the hospital was since we were over 2 hours away from home.

2 cuts

Luckily I have great friends who took care of Kalani for me, a dad ran back to camp to get his car so I could get Mason to the hospital quicker and then all the kids were looking for my keys that I couldn’t find (they were under my pillow). I asked the park ranger where the nearest hospital was and it was only 2 miles away. I was doing a great job of staying in control and not freaking out.

I got into the ER quickly and Mason was acting like himself, playing in the water at the sink, giving the nurse high 5’s, saying hi to people, etc. There was a lot of waiting around…2 hours later Mason leaves the hospital asleep (it was his nap time) with 2 staples in his head.

2 staples

I asked to cover the staples since there was still blood and I knew we were going back to camp where Mason would be playing in the dirt. I really didn’t want to deal with an infection on top of everything else…AND with Matt in California and not being able to talk to him because of poor reception, I felt totally on my own.

100% boy

The staples aren’t keeping Mason down. He only knows they are there when I change his diaper since he doesn’t lay down very often. But in 10-14 days he gets them removed. I feel like a real mom now after going to the ER with one of my children. I think that Mason is going to change me and how I parent! And I am crazy enough to take our kids camping again, even by myself if Matt can’t be with us.