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. :)

Teaching Rock and Roll

Found this online and just wanted to share.

History of Rock and Roll

Friday, August 22, 2014

K - 12 Curriculum and an update on Matt

I was browsing online looking at what available curricula are available online. And here are some local (Philippine) sites I've found.

I was happy to find these curriculum guides on the Dep Ed site:

Dep Ed Curriculum Guides

I was also happy to find the Letran and STCQC curriculum for high school online.

Colegio de San Juan de Letran Curriculum for High School

St. Theresa's College QC Curriculum for High School


Just an update that Matt is happily enrolled in another year of blended learning.

Blended Learning Services

Budget has been tight but the learning adventure continues.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The secret of life

The Secret of Life - Alan Watts

Imagine - John Lennon

So many crazy things happening in this world.

Philippine politics continues to be a circus and I'm starting to wonder if we ever knew what we were doing. Maybe it's time to go back to the tribal wisdom and have a council of elders who genuinely have the concern of the whole tribe in mind.

In the Middle East, even in our very own Mindanao, there threads a fine line between fighting for your beliefs to fighting for the sake of fighting.

When I was 8 years old, I only asked for one thing every Christmas time: world peace.

At 8 years old, I decided it was foolish to keep asking for something that will never happen. And that was the last Christmas I stopped wishing for it.

Well, I'm 36 years old. And, inside, I still feel as lost and helpless as when I was 8 years old.

I still can't do much. But I haven't let the cynicism of adulthood affect me so much so that I can't go back to being 8 years old and wishing for the one thing I stopped wishing for.

Maybe this time, we should focus all our thoughts, prayers, and beliefs into what the world needs the most.

Peace comes at a price. It demands love, patience, tolerance, respect, gratitude, and letting go and letting God.

It's not an easy task. How many of our days are wasted on thoughts of self-pity, complaining, anger, resentment, jealousy, petty arguments, and just a general dissatisfaction with everything in life?

Let's just stop. Breathe a moment. And look at the world through heaven's eyes.

And close our eyes and just summon as much light, love, and thoughts of peace as we can muster.

Lift it up to God, to the universe.

Maybe Michael Jackson was indeed right after all. Maybe it starts with the man in the mirror.

If every person woke up in the morning and knew that the man in the mirror is filled with love, peace, and light, maybe, just maybe, there is still hope for all of us after all.

Love, peace, and light to all of you.



The way he makes her laugh and then they kiss at the very end... So cute. :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014