Homeschool over a Filipino Meal with Japanese Guests

Last Friday, we ate dinner in a Filipino restaurant with two Japanese guests. They were heading a group of high school students who were in the country for a two-week English camp. They tied up with the university my husband works in. As with usual conversations when kids are around, Mr Koda asked my son, “What grade are you in?” And my son cautiously yet matter-of-factly said, “Grade 5-ish…mostly.” So my husband explained: “Different levels…in English, advanced; in Math, same level; in Filipino…Grade 2.” And we laughed, because of the irony of how a Filipino kid wasn’t adept at Filipino just yet (though I know many of us homeschoolers are in the same boat when it comes to Filipino, am I right?)

 

Prior to the “What grade are you in?” question was the usual precedent: “Where does he go to school?” And of course I answered that we homeschool. Then Mr Koda said, “Ah…when you home educate, you also learn.” “Yes!” I beamed.

 

There were exchanges of stories about Filipino and Japanese culture throughout our meal. Then I also mentioned how my son learned to write some Japanese characters sometime ago. So Mr Koda started writing Japanese characters on the paper placemat, and asked us to guess what they meant. It was a fun discussion, and my son gamely chimed in. 🙂

 

Thinking about it now, here are some takeaways:

  1. It’s OK if your kid is in “Grade __-ish.” Many homeschoolers can relate to this. Ways of learning differ, interests in certain subjects differ, some lessons and concepts are understood faster than others. That’s OK. Because the key is learning. So if something isn’t quite understood yet, it’s OK to take longer. And if something is already understood, then no need to linger.
  2. In homeschooling, it’s not only the kid who learns, but the parents as well. Oh yes…and I’ll add that many times, we learn together. Because obviously I don’t know all the answers. So when a question is posed, and I have no idea, I’ll say something like, “Hmm…I don’t know…let’s research….”
  3. Learning happens all the time. It’s always an enriching experience when you meet someone from a different place. And that knowledge widens your view of the world.

 

I encourage you to notice the many “homeschool moments” you have in your family; you may just be surprised!

Have you had a homeschool moment that was a fun experience? Share in the comments. Would love to hear your story!

 

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Having self-doubt about homeschooling?

I’ve encountered moms who say they want to homeschool but are worried about several things, such as whether they can actually homeschool or not, or whether they have what it takes. If you feel the same way, then I’d like to encourage you. Here’s an answer I shared with someone who wanted to homeschool but was worried that she might not be the best teacher for her son:

I think most, if not all, of us go through the self-doubt and the feelings of inadequacy. But if it’s really in your heart to homeschool, then God will equip you for it. Plus the fact that you are your child’s mother—the only one who can love him that way—is more than enough for you to start.

 

Of course, if there will be certain subjects along the way that you feel someone else should be teaching, then you can hire a tutor, or send him to a homeschool support center for that certain subject.

 

One of the nice things about homeschooling is you can always tweak/change/improve along the way. If you feel something isn’t working, you can adjust. You also mentioned that you want to impart values. That desire tells me already that you have what it takes…because homeschooling is so much more than academics or head knowledge; it’s helping develop your child as a whole person.

 

Also, I understand your worries and fears. But maybe they are unfounded. Sometimes, we tend to overthink and worry—oh no, what if this and that happens—but the truth is, most likely it won’t. So much mental stress before we actually do it. But once we start, we realize that it’s doable, especially by God’s grace.

 

Hope that provides some valuable insight for you, dear mommy. Blessings!

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