Category: Homeschooling

Manila Workshops: Philippine Homeschool Conference 2015

UPDATE: JOIN the Raffle to get ONE All-Access Pass from Manila Workshops! Read below.

Philippine Homeschool Conference 2015.

I still can’t believe we’re homeschooling already! My daughter is now in Kinder 2 under a provider, and despite all the doubts, groping, busy schedules, and the drama of everyday life, we are doing fine. Nothing’s more rewarding than seeing your child enjoy what she’s doing–as to her own words, enjoy playing while learning.

Last year, I attended a Homeschool Conference organized by Manila Workshops and The Learning Basket. It was a sea of familiar faces yet an unfamiliar field–homeschooling. This year’s another opportunity for the curious bees to learn about homeschooling, the whats and hows would it benefit your families.

Happening on October 17 at the Samsung Hall and SMX Convention Center in SM Aura, this whole day event features two special guest speakers from the US. The event is organized by the Homeschoolers Association of the Philippines, The LEarning Basket, and Manila Workshops.

Sign up here, and enter the Referral Code TKEAHOMESCHCONF2 when prompted.

Happy homeschooling!

If you want to WIN an all-access pass for the event, join here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TMA Homeschool Parents Conference: Set them up for success

About two years ago, my husband and I have started praying about homeschooling our daughter. We’ve done so, albeit unstructured, unplanned, and spontaneous (well, isn’t that what homeschooling is about? =)

A couple of days ago, we have finally decided it’s time for our daughter to enter Kinder. But we have also gotten the answer to our question: should we homeschool or not? The answer was a huge YES! We’ve gotten ourselves a provider (finally!) for our peace of mind, mainly. And since I will be the main teacher-parent, I should equip myself, such as attending seminars like this:


TMA Homeschool Parents Conference on March 12. Register and use TKEATMAHS_1 on the Referral Code and receive a surprise from Touringkitty!
TMA Homeschool Parents Conference on March 12. Register and use TKEATMAHS_1 on the Referral Code and receive a surprise from Touringkitty!


If you’re also wondering what this homeschooling thing is, then YOU should attend! More details at this link:

Decided to attend? Why not attend for FREE by joining this raffle?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Will announce the winner on the 11th of March. Join now!

~ Touringkitty

REVIEW: Educents: Educational resources made affordable

Click the photo to get a $10 credit in!


For a homeschooling mom on the go like I am, I always look online for ideas, resources, and materials that would best fit my daughter.

Recently, I found a site which caters to just what I need: different subject areas, worksheets, lesson plans, books, even supplies, all in one website!

Educents was founded in 2013 by Kate and Kaitlyn, who are passionate about education. They believe that everyone should have access to education, and are offering really affordable yet quality products in their website.

According to their website, since its launch in April, 2013, Educents has saved educators over $15 million dollars and has helped more than 130,000 teachers, homeschoolers and parents gain access to affordable educational materials.

I tried it out myself, and here’s what I can say about the site:

1. Easy to navigate. Who does not love a website so easy to navigate? Clear, concise, and clean website. Easy to understand tabs, and you can even filter materials to your desired grade level. See example below:

See my shopping cart? I already got Snow Kids Color by Code because it's FREE!
See my shopping cart? I already got Snow Kids Color by Code because it’s FREE!


2. Different subject areas, in one site. I don’t have to browse different sites because I can get math, science, and art resources from this site alone.

3. Deals, deals, DEALS! Don’t we all love the words discount and free? You will often see them on the website.

4. They have a blog where you can read how the products, materials, and worksheets are actually used, and more teaching and learning tips. I was able to use one of their products–the Peekapak Homeschool Gratitude Curriculum and my daughter enjoyed reading and learning from the book (though we chose to read from the laptop at first). Get it FREE, only four days left! Sign up now.

Whether you are homeschooling or not, and looking for ways to teach your child at home, Educents makes education accessible, for fewer cents.

Sign up via this link and get $10 in credit to spend in the website! How does that sound to you?


“We aspire to provide affordable education to everyone. That’s the idea behind Educents. Imagine the possibilities.”

Connect with Educents via BlogTwitter and Facebook.


~ Touringkitty


The joys and benefits of homeschooling

My daughter is turning four next month, and a lot of people are asking me if she’s in school already.

For me it’s a strange question. It just shows some well-entrenched ideas about “traditional” schooling. And the answer is no and yes. No, because our daughter does not go to a brick-and-mortar school. And yes, because we teach her at home. We’ve been doing that for almost four years now.

Whether parents like it or not, they begin teaching their kids when they are born. Parents should ideally be their children’s first and best teachers.

I am happy that we’ve nurtured our daughter’s love for learning this early. It was a challenge for me and my husband as she is such hyperactive preschooler. But we were delighted with the early results. She started reading simple words when she was a little over 1 1/2 years old, or about 20 months, and was able to count up to 50, thought with a lot of pauses. At a little over 2 years old, she could read simple sentences and count up to 100, but still with a lot of pauses because she’s still easily distracted.

At almost four years old now, she can recall events that occurred long ago, what she did at that time, and who she was with. She has also memorized dialogues of educational videos and favorite movies and even conversations during videos taken on our vacations. She seems to have perfect pitch and rhythm, and she can read like a second grader now.

Did home schooling do all that? We have no idea. But it looks like any form of consistent teaching of discrete topics, done in a spontaneous and fun way, can help children learn better.


Why does our family love homeschooling? Here’s why:

1. We can do it anytime, anywhere. My daughter is more attentive in the late afternoon and evening, so most of our homeschooling is done during that time. Even when we go out, we make sure to make that input, like identifying colors and vegetables in the grocery, or counting and reading anything we see. We also try to explain to her what a certain word in a signage means.

2. It encourages creativity, both for the parents and the child. If I don’t have materials, I use whatever’s at home.

Fishing using magnets:

Ranger hunt, animal-naming, and spelling:

3. Our topics can be as simple and as complex as we want it to be. I have a child who is very open to challenges. So, as much as possible, I create activities that would make her think a little harder.

Classifying animals:

Doing rhythm using stick notation (Kodaly flashcards). Here is also the Filipino poem she’s memorized already:

Science workbook discussing the concept of matter and taste buds:

This is one challenging activity for her ears! Singing triads. Daddy sings Do (root), Mommy sings Mi(third) and our daughter sings Sol (fifth):

4. We could play silly, sometimes. Yet, she still learns.

Our daughter uses her Mega Blocks to form letters and shapes:

5. There’s a reason to shop! We purchased a lot of books, but probably not enough, according to my husband. When she was around two years old and was reading simple story books quite well, we were appalled to see her reading one of her favorite books backwards! She started on the last page and then read the words in the sentences in reverse order. It was a sign that we had to buy her more new books.

There’s a study that says that the more books you have in the house, the more that your child will become a reader. So I guess buying more books and other learning materials can help. You don’t actually have to buy brand new books. There are a lot of used children’s books at Book Sale or Books for Less too. You can also buy books on sale.

This shape sorter game is less than a hundred pesos!

All these book for less than P1,000!

6. We’re always on a field trip. Yes, since we’re homeschooling and we have free time, we can easily go to nearby museums or catch a weekday morning concert at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Our daughter enjoys watching choral and orchestral concerts, as well as musical plays. She learns best with music and she loves singing and dancing, so I try to put some variety on the things I present to her.

7. We get to play games on our computer or iPad. I know that some of you may think that exposing very young children to computers and other gadgets may be harmful. But in my experience, there are cool apps out there that really help young children learn. There are very good free apps too. You may also want to consider investing in some paid apps. There’s usually a trial so you can see for yourself if it’ll be good for your child. Here are some of the apps we’ve used:

Little Reader for iPad (

Elmo Loves ABCs and 123s (


Todo Math (

The three we purchased after we’ve tried their free versions, so make sure you try them out first before purchasing.

There are also a whole lot of free downloadable flashcards and other applications. Smart Apps for Kids website has a lot of suggestions and free downloads.

8. No pressure on learning. One thing I learned about homeschooling is to just follow the child’s learning patterns. Like any other person, each child has his or her own temperament and moods at any given day. So if ever I prepared something and it does not go as planned, I am open to trying it out another time or in another way. Most probably it works after the second try.

For this year, we chose not to enroll her yet because we still want to explore her learning patterns. It also helped that I am only on part-time work now so I could guide her more. Our initial goal is to enroll her as a Kinder homeschooling student next year when she turns five, and to continue to homeschool her until she’s Grade Two. I’m looking for homeschool providers that would best fit our little learner.

Interested in homeschooling your child? Here are some things to consider:

1. Homeschooling is not “school at home”. It’s about taking away the traditional concept of “school.” Homeschooling takes away the structure we find in schools, that’s why our family loves it. Since my daughter is only four, I follow her interests while introducing her to many things.

2. There should be one parent who will dedicate time to homeschool. In our case, it is me. Her father also does some homeschooling when he gets home, usually reading and sometimes, keiko, or Aikido practice. She’s learned a few techniques already!

3. Pray for the grace (and patience!) to homeschool. Homeschooling is a new way of thinking and doing for the parents. And it may not be for everyone. That’s why I am really praying hard for the grace to homeschool, especially now that my schedule is getting busier by the day. A lot of patience is required, too, especially when you have a child as headstrong as ours.

4. One thing will not work for everyone. We have different learning curves, styles, and patterns. Experiment. That’s the only way to learn what will work for you and your child.

5. Take it one day at a time, but make sure to plan ahead. Today might be productive, but tomorrow may not be. It’s perfectly fine. But make sure to have concrete goals and work on them, slowly but surely.

6. Parents are the first and best teachers. Nothing will beat that. Children may learn a lot of things in life but the positive values and good moral behavior is first acquired from home.

With regard to social skills, and this is one thing other people worry about when homeschooling, my daughter is very sociable! As parents, we are there to teach her to respect others before anything else. Don’t forget that during the preschool age, our children should socialize with children their age. We supplement this by bringing our daughter out to play with our condominium neighbors, bringing her to church every Sunday, and sending her to play classes once in a while.

Whatever your decision, whether to homeschool or not, just remember that all of us parents have the duty to raise good human beings, not just smart ones.

Want to homeschool your preschooler, too? Here are some online resources:

I gather my homeschool activities on Instagram (follow @touringkitty) – Activities from baby to elementary children. – Materials and ideas for Pre-K teachers and students. – A Filipino blog about gentle homeschooling and also an online book store.
ABC Jesus Loves Me – Free curriculum for ages 2-5
Letter of the Week – Integrated activities for every letter of the alphabet

K5 Learning Program Review

A couple of months back, I was invited by K5 Learning to try out their reading and math program. Just what I needed that time when I was not regularly homeschooling my child. I posted about it here.

Click on photo to try it out for free!

So, here’s our review of the program. (Disclaimer: We were not able to finish the entire program because my persistent kid would just do this when she wants. Will tell you why in the review below.)

What we liked about K5 Learning Program:

You design your own program. You get to choose the level of your child after having her assessed, then choose which skills you’d want to focus on. I did this because I know which skills we should work on already since I’ve been teaching her already.

Free worksheets. For busy moms who want easy access to a library of worksheets, K5 had them all compiled for you. Just click and print, or save for future printing.

Compiles valuable resource on their Blog section. As a homeschooling and career mom, researching material for our lessons can be quite overwhelming. K5’s blog combines a great mix of external links, internal resources, and tips and tricks for the parent and the student, all in one website.

What we think can be improved:

Audio and sound bytes. This might be really minor, but I have a sound-sensitive child so perhaps I should take note of this. At one point, she told me to turn the sound off before we begin the K5 lesson. There’s this fanfare sound which ends each exercise that bothers her ears. So, I did turn off the sound, and she finished the activity. Though in the next lessons, we needed to listen to the sound for her reading, I was able to talk her out of it. I once noticed that the male voice sounded like a female, so maybe this can be improved as well.

Pacing of each exercise. Shorter instructions and extros, perhaps? We can’t move on to the next unless the sound byte is done with her dialogue or her counting or the instructions.

iPad app. Oh yes, this would be a very welcome improvement! Everyone turns on their iPad cos you just click and go. My daughter has all her writing and math supplements in her iPad. I do hope K5 considers this!

Certain sections I appreciated, like the reading comprehension and prediction, although I must say that some exercises there could still be improved. I had a hard time explaining the “what could happen next” exercise, mainly because the illustrations given were not that clear and comprehensible at first sight.

I’d recommend this program to supplement your child’s learning. I would still want Aria to try it, maybe in the next two years when she can better manipulate the mouse or trackpad on her own. I have, in the meantime, saved the worksheets for our homeschooling activities.

K5 learning is a good substitute to your kid’s computer time. Mix the learning and the playing in this program. The best news is, K5 is not only for kids, but for adults as well, giving us a wealth of information and ideas on how to successfully guide our child in his learning journey.

Why don’t you try it for yourselves? Get a 14-day free trial and optional assessment through this link and let me know how it goes.


~ Touringkitty

Homeschool find: T-Mato Teacher-Made Toys

I have been sort of homeschooling my little one for some months now. Though not yet as structured as I wanted it to be, at least we’re starting somewhere.

Recently, we got these new educational toys that will surely help our homeschool routine:


I got the Color Popsicles from the All Saints Day party organized by ROCKERS Philippines, a homeschool group on Facebook which I am part of. Tina of Truly Rich Mom organized this rockin’ party (which I have not shared on my social media sites yet!). Aria won this during the raffle (among other fun stuff from other games!).

Meanwhile, the Stickies I received from Martine aka Dainty Mom. Thanks, Martine!

T-Mato is a new and innovative product made by teachers themselves who are sensitive to the needs of every child. Something to be proud of is that these are all Filipino-made, right in the heart of the City of Smiles, Bacolod City!

I also like that they are wrapped in an eco pouch and that there are instructions for using and safekeeping in the bag.

Here’s how we’ve been using it so far:


Aria and her wet hair look! Did homeschool right after her morning batch. Here she is matching colors.


And eating them afterwards!

Meanwhile, here’s what she did for Stickies:


Identifying and Reading lesson: Shapes


Building shapes. These are made of painted popsicle sticks and velcro. Pretty clever, huh? Simple materials do make the most sense when it comes to playing and teaching!


She asked me to make other shapes not in the cue cards as well, like this silly heart,


And this silly house!

The possibilities are endless with these toys! I just browsed their Facebook Page and I would like to purchase some more, especially the Chinese Jackstone which I enjoyed as a kid!

Here’s to more homeschool fun for you and your kids.

~ Touringkitty

P.S. Interested? Browse their products through their Facebook Page. Just send them an email at to order.