Score for Chore!

Joshua is in the age where it is easy to let him follow some instructions. I want him to be more independent and give him a sense of responsibility, so I thought of doing a weekly chore chart!

We both agreed that he has to complete a set of chores everyday and when the week is over, if he does all his responsibilities he gets a reward from the grocery.

So for the first week, we agreed on 4 chores he has to complete everyday.  His chores included washing his plate and utensils, bathing himself, putting his clothes in the bin, and cleaning up his toys. As his Mom, I have to remind him if he did his chores. If he forgot, I would remind him to complete his task. If he completed it, he gets to put a smiley face on his chart.

His chart is also reported to his dad at the end of the day. He feels really accomplished that he got to complete his work. Together with my help, Joshua designed his chore chart folder by putting family cut outs of which some of them he painted.

At the end of the week, he completed it and he did great! It’s a fun and good way to do chores at home.

Homeschool Schedule for my 4 year old

Just this January, I decided to give a bit of structure to our homeschool. I created a guide on what would do everyday. For a four year old pre-schooler, a good 30 minutes to 1 hour of focused time is all we need for every subject I am teaching.

For English and Writing we do letter writing, sounds of letters and try some small word reading. Honestly, my son does not enjoy  writing, but we encourage him to try. We also do a lot of language by asking questions and answering them, doing imaginary stories, and talking about feelings.

For Science, my son loves anatomy. We bought from a bookstore posters of lungs, internal organs, teeth, and more. We discuss this and he really enjoys it. After our session, Joshua would go to his dad and explain what he understood. 

For Piano, we enrolled Josh in Gray tones school of music. I love their curriculum for kids his age. It is a mix of play and music familiarization and playing the piano.

For Math, we do a bit of number practice 1-100 and concept of addition and make Johua write numbers. We also play a math app on the iPad where it introduces fractions, addition and subtraction and sequencing.

For Arts, I have to find ways to be creative… we do painting, we create animals, we do drawing. Lots of materials are found on Pinterest. One should take a look there and get inspired! This is a sample of what we made recently — butterflies using toilet paper rolls and some colored paper and pens.

For Values we discuss bible stories, and themes like sharing, caring for each other etc.. I love the Bible for Kids app by youversion.com. They make the stories come alive with their graphics and it is easy for kids to understand. We discuss what we read and then find ways to apply.

We also insert some physical activity for Joshua and so we enrolled in swimming at the Bert Lozada Swim School. It is a one hour swimming session where our 4 year old learns the skill on swimming and survival.

What Joshua has a lot of is play. He plays blocks, he plays with clay, he plays with toys and his sister. They watch their favourite movies, they sing and dance…. they fight, they make up, they laugh and play some more.

I am not strict on my son or on myself. We are enjoying the journey of discovery and learning together. Sometimes, I don’t follow my schedule and it is okay. Our pace sometimes is fast, sometimes it’s slow. We go on my child’s pace. As a homeschooling mom it is a discipline not to look at what others are doing and comparing my child with theirs. As a parent-teacher my goal is for my child to learn and enjoy learning.

So far by God’s sustaining grace, we are doing okay.

Sarangani my child’s teacher about the environment

Sarangani is a beautiful province located In southern Philippines. It has mountains, waterfalls, rivers, coastlines, and the beautiful Sarangani Bay. The biodiversity in this province is rich, but is in need for protection. 

About 4 out of 5 sea turtle species are actually laying their eggs in its coast. Mostly Olive Ridley, Hawks Bill, and Green turtle are still hatching on beaches of Sarangani.  In Maitum, they have two turtle hatcheries or turtle sanctuaries. 

I brought Joshua for the first time to the Turtle sanctuary and it was his first time to see so many little hatchlings. I explained to him that turtles give birth to baby turtles by laying eggs.  And when they are ready, they are able to get out of the egg and go straight to the ocean. The ocean is their home.

   
 There were baby turtles in the aquarium and he saw them swimming around. He found them really cute! Joshua got more excited when I told him he was allowed to choose one turtle that he would help get back to the ocean. 

He was a little scared to hold them because they were moving so quickly. Finally he got himself one turtle that he would release to the wild. 

   
  

  
 We released our chosen turtles on the beach and they crawled towards the water and swam. Josh watched his turtle go. He was concerned actually if his turtle will be okay. They looked so small in front a huge ocean. Reality is only 1% per batch of hatchlings survive. (It is an alarming low percentage!)
This is why Josh now knows we have to do all we can to help turtles survive. In fact, he cried hard when we left. He wanted all the baby turtles released in the wild. It actually was the right thing to do. Marine scientists will concur that the sooner the turtles get to the wild the better are their possibility to fend for themselves and survive. 

  
Sarangani was our teacher that day about turtles and our environment. I believe if we pass on these values about caring about the environment at a young age, children will grow up doing so. I was about 8 years old when school explained the hole in the ozone layer causing the greenhouse effect. Garbage also directly correlates with destruction of the environment and adding to carbon footprints. That information has impacted me personally.

Now, I want my children to have that same values and conviction of loving and protecting the environment. And lucky me because my children will learn a lot of these in Sarangani.

Memory Verse- John 3:16

I felt challenged by a friend who is a missionary to teach Joshua some memory verse. She gave me a lesson plan they use in Vacation Bible school or Sunday School. The first on the list is John 3:16.

For God so loved the world He gave his only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

I thought, wow that’s going to be a long one. I read the different styles. Some use gestures like sign language, other methods are using color book to describe key words. I thought, il do the color one because the hand movement was more challenging.

So that morning, I got gold paper, red paper, blue paper, and white paper. Then, I got glue and several round cylinders used for creams. Fortunate for me I had about 5 of those.  So I cut the colored paper and asked Joshua to help me paste them on the cylinder tops.  And here we got the following:

1. GOLD – this represents GOD. Joshua placed eyes because God sees everything. Gold is glory and also reminds us that Heaven’s streets are gold.  

  

2. RED – This represents LOVE. It also reminds us of what Jesus has done was shed his blood on the cross because of His great love for us.

 

3. BLUE – This represents “the world”

 
4. CROSS – This represents Jesus and to tell us God gave Jesus. This part is “He gave Jesus”

 

5. Happy face – This represents the person who believes. Joshua says this is him.  The key word is BELIEVE. 

So I say: “so whoever …”
Then Joshua says: “Believes” 
I say: “in Jesus will not…”
then Joshua says: “die”
I say “but have eternal…”
Joshua says: “life”.
 

So we did this again and again… Soon to my surprise, Joshua can say the memory verse by using the illustration. I am amazed that my two year old can memorize this verse!  When verses like these are remembered, these become foundations to my little one’s mind and heart. He will remember that God loves him and his faith in Jesus gives him eternal life! That is a fundamental truth that will guard his heart from many lies. God is love and He loves us! 
  

  
  
  

I want to go to heaven

One of my heart’s desire and prayer is for my children to believe in Jesus in their youth. I take seriously the command of the bible in Deuteronomy 6:5-7

  
Joshua and I have conversations about God and Jesus because we get to read the toddler’s bible. We get to explore who God is through the stories in the Old and New Testaments. His favorite stories are Moses who prayed to God and the Red Sea opened, David and Goliath, the birth of Jesus, the Cross and Jesus’ Resurrection.

At night he sleeps to this song which his nanny has taught him -“Kay Buti Buti mo Panginoon” (God, you are sooo good). He can sing it too. 

But as of recent, our conversations have become more interesting. I explained to Joshua that heaven is a beautiful place and Jesus is in Heaven. He has prepared heaven for those who believe In Jesus and ask Jesus to come into their hearts. So I told him to ask Jesus to come in his heart and he said it… “Jesus, come in my heart”.  Then for how many days since our conversation… He has been asking about Jesus and he has been saying, “I want to go to Jesus. I want to go to heaven.” My response is, “me too, I want to go to heaven and to Jesus”.

 
The bible tells us that heaven is not only beautiful and perfect… It is also a place where we are in complete fellowship with God.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” (‭Revelation‬ ‭21‬:‭3-4‬ NASB)

Joshua seems really excited to go to heaven because he was asking if we can ride the car and go there. I told him, we have to wait for Jesus to come and to take us to heaven. 

I know many probably freak out with this kind of conversation. But, if you believe in God and His Word, then heaven is where we all should desire to go. Even as young as 2 years old, my little boy is beginning to desire that too! (Who desires to go hell?  Not many I hope!)

In my quiet hours, I am thanking God for the opportunity of being able to share these moments with Joshua. It made me think, if parents do not teach God and their faith with their kids, then the world will teach them many confusing and (often) cruel things. 

I pray by God’s grace, I can raise my children in the fear and love of the Lord. My other prayer is that they grow up committed to love and serve the Lord, and influence others to do the same.