Saturday, November 8, 2014

Blended Learning - What It Looks Like

Blended Services Inc. shared this link on Facebook:

Blended Learning: Making It Work In Your Classroom

Think Nook

Found myself a quiet nook to think and write and read while Matt's at school.

Truth Cards

I've been playing around with 4 x 6 cards. Either painting them or making greeting cards. Today, I decided to make some Truth Cards. (See more information HERE.)

Methinks our camera is getting old. It's the first time my photos came out blurry like this. -_-

This reads:
Angels are watching over you right now... beside you... in front of you... behind you... you do not travel alone.

Sometimes the pain is more than you can bear, dear girl. That does not mean that you are weak. Those are the times when you must turn your pain over to God.

Dear Nina,

Decide to be alive every day.

Dear Nina,

I surrender to my truthteller.

It is going to be ok. You can trust.

Dear Nina,

Let the door close.

Open the doors that are waiting.

Dear Nina,

Only one voice matters. I will listen to my truth.


Lately, Matt and I have just been in school mode. Although I am thankful I have the opportunity to give creative writing classes to the kids. All the stuff I learned in college, writing books, and scrapbooking have all come together in my classes. I've given three so far, or maybe 2.5.

I've also been trying to write a bit more of Manila 2060 but the going is really slow and scattered.

How have you been doing?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Matt and Blended Learning

So Matt has been having a lot of fun lately.

They're given chores at school and one day, he just enthusiastically kept sweeping the leaves over at school.

And, the other day, they had a United Nations Halloween Party at school. He decided he wanted to go as a "tikbalang" (in Philippine mythology, this is a half-human, half-horse entity). His dad did an amazing job on the head and made it from felt sheet. I found these scallop-designed cloth at Carolina's in Megamall (I also bought the felt sheet from there) and sewed it on some pajama bottoms.

He won most creative and another for scariest make-up as one of the games.

Yesterday, we went to the Ayala Museum to check out the Mexican modern art exhibit, which included a piece by Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.

Busy, fun days that just flew by.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

An update of sorts

Hi. I know I've seriously neglected this blog. And there isn't a day (okay, maybe once every two weeks) when I just debate whether to keep this blog or just delete it altogether.

I appreciate the visitors who read my Homeschooling 101 in the Philippines blog post, but there are other topics here that I wonder why I ever shared with the world.


Besides, I can't claim to be a homeschooler anymore. Going by definitions, I guess our family is into blended learning, rather than homeschooling.

We still homeschool once a week. But for the rest of the week, Matt goes to the Blended Learning Center, formerly Kids Ahoy, in Cubao.

I have to be honest that it's been a big sacrifice to commute almost daily to and from Pasig to Cubao.

Is it worth it? Both Matt and I would say yes.

If you want to learn more about blended learning, ask the experts and contact the center. Their website is Blended Learning Services Inc. and their Facebook is at BLeSInc. for short. The center is called Blended Learning Center or BLC for short.

Here is an article found on the site: Blended Learning.


I've also been teaching an elective or extra-curricular class at BLC. It's called the Creativity Series but really tackles Creative Writing for kids. If there's an equation for it, it would be called Words + Art + BLeSInc. kids.

I'm not sure but I believe BLC also offers homeschoolers and outsiders to participate in some of the extra-curricular activities of the school, i.e. field trips and extra-curricular classes.

So if you or someone you know would like to integrate a bit of blended learning into your homeschooling, the best place to do that would be BLC.

Um, I've given two Creative Writing classes to the kids but it feels like I'm still learning how to teach.

It was a different deal when I was just teaching my son. And it was basic things you find in a textbook and/or curriculum.

I'm really just winging it on this one and trying to make the class fun for both myself and the students.

So far, the topics have been:

Workshop 1: Ideas

Workshop 2: Alien Workshop

I'm planning on this topic for the next one:

Workshop 3: How To Survive a Zombie Apocalypse.

Sadly, due to lack of time and the classes have been intense, with a broad range of topics, we don't actually get to finish all the activities I plan for the kids.

If you want the handouts, you can probably ask the school if you can have a copy.

I'm the teacher but I'm learning as much from the students as I try to teach them. Which is not so hard to believe if you experience the same in homeschooling.


NANOWRIMO is starting again this November. And I really should join.

Part of me wishes I could just fast-forward to a future wherein I've already published Manila 2060 and I could just read it already.

Oh well.

With patience, the snail typed out a novel a page at a time.


So how have you been?

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Washi tape journals

So, aside from decorating my pages inside with washi tape, I also decorate my notebooks with them.

I have one notebook per character I'm working on.

And I have one notebook for morning pages. I got the habit of writing 3 pages of freehand, free form handwriting, a purging of thoughts I guess, from reading The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

4 x 6 postcard paintings

So I was supposed to be making backgrounds and playing around with layers for practice in making art journal pages. Ended up with these beauties.

Let me know if you want any of them, I have no idea what to do with them. They're just small 4 x 6 postcard-sized paintings made with acrylic paint.

I love that each one reminds me of old paintings I've seen before, probably from my Mom's room. She used to collect paintings painted by her friends, especially the second, fourth, and fifth one.

The first one and the third one remind me of something I probably saw in a museum once.

Happy to just be playing around with my art stuff again. Although it's already been a few weeks since I finished these.

I have five more which I think I may actually turn into art journal cards or something.

Dyeing watercolor paper

So during the weekend my husband helped me to dye some 12 x 12 watercolor paper I've wanted to play with.

He boiled the coffee and tea for me and I poured them on the watercolor paper with a wet sponge.

Here are the results with the tea. This is just Lipton teabags boiled in water, around maybe four of them, boiled in a pot then poured over the paper with a sponge. I poured tea on the paper, let the paper drip a bit from hangers. Then we boiled the teabags again and poured the tea on the paper a second time.

Then we let the paper dry flat on the table on the balcony to air-dry.

And here are the results with the coffee. This was Nescafe instant black coffee, boiled in a pot, then poured over the paper with a sponge. Hubby says one batch was enough to make about five cups of coffee. I let the paper drip a bit from hangers then we poured another batch of coffee, another five cups' worth, on the paper.

Then we let the paper dry flat on the table on the balcony again to air-dry.

The reason I haven't done this method before is that I'm paranoid my artwork/paper will eventually be crawling with ants or vermin. But, so far, apart from the coffee smell, the paper hasn't attracted any unwanted animals. Maybe just my husband. *big smiley*

The paper dyed with tea doesn't smell like anything anymore. But, yep, the coffee smell is undeniable.

Been itching to take out my stamps to play on them. But haven't had the time yet. Oh well, a step at a time.

P.S. Thanks, Renfield aka AR for the assistance!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

On bullying

Here's Matt's take on bullying. People always tell me we must have done something right because we have such a nice kid. But he really is awesome on his own.

Matt's message:

Be nice!

you know bullys sometimes had their dreams crushed and the only way to solve it is to be nice and to make their dreams come true some other bullys do it for fun because they are bored the only way is to notice them so they have fun and not bully you


Regarding the misspellings and lack of punctuation and capital letters, he says he did it on purpose, to go with the "peace, man" theme. Yep. I have an e. e. cummings in my hands. :)