Finally got to send Elise's final grades to Catholic Filipino Academy last weekend... and made it! She finished the year with a GPA of 94 for the year. (Clap, clap!) If we did not finish the lessons on time, Elise would be given a 75 GPA.
All the students will get a certificate for a subject in which they are very good at, and a medal for a specific virtue that stands out in the child. She will be awarded with a certificate for Excellence in Science and a medal for Gratefulness. I shall proudly post them here as soon as we get them.
She is always so thankful and appreciative of everyone's efforts and all her blessings. She makes as much big of a deal about God saving us from the flood last Typhoon Ondoy, as when He gives us good weather everyday. She is diligent in sending family members postcards from Palawan and loves affixing the stamps and dropping them into the box at the post office. She writes us little thank you and I love you cards almost every week, slipping them under our pillows or hiding them in our cabinets where we would surely see it. I collect all her notes to Rene and me, and even to Nacho, in a box. One day, I shall show her the box that has been filled throughout the years.
This June, Elise will go to a normal school, with other kids. She is most excited about having friends, and I am excited for her. Although I know that the academic lessons here in the province will fall short of Manila standards, I am comfortable that the gap can be supplemented by many other resources. Whenever we will be in Manila, we will be sure to get more books. And of course, the world wide web is the Wonderful World Wide Web that has (almost) all the tools. And as my sister-in-law said - "just keep them both curious and interested as they are now. You can't go wrong once you've set for them a real love for learning."
Nacho was not enrolled in a program. He just turned 3 last December. But we did the expected ABC's and 123's and shapes and colors and routines. And the two biggest things he accomplished was how to write his name by himself -
and his improving ability to control his temper. His intense and deafening "AAAAAAaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrgh!" frustration filled episodes have lessened considerably.
Thinking about it, I have been with them 24/7 since April. Prior to that, I only spent a total of 3 hours of waking time with them a day! I thought I knew my kids inside-out. But on the first two weeks, I was ashamed to say I did not. This time, I had to consciously BE a parent, catching unpleasant behaviors and all that stress. It got easier when a good friend, Noemi, reminded me - "Do everything not out of duty, but out of love." So I discovered that they listen more when talked to properly, and tantrums are calmed down faster when they are embraced, rather than ignored. We had frequent fun field trips to learn Sibika, Math and Science. We talked more and understood each other more.
I documented most of our trips and some interesting projects. Read more about it here in the HomeSchool '09 Highlights page.
The rest of 2010 will be crazy: new school, building a new home, three short trips to Manila, possible projects here and there. I am hoping that by summer next year, we'll be more or less settled in our own space, with our own routines, and happily living The Life We Are Imagining Right Now. If all goes well, Rene and I are thinking of homeschooling Elise (and Nacho, by that time) again.