Homeschooling in Texas – Part 2

We did very well in Arlington keeping up with the schedule and being creative with our time. Lots of time with the cousins in Arlington and that’s always great thing for M.  On some Thursdays, she got to tag along with Ah Ma and Ah Gong to do Tai Chi.  She played with her hoolahoop during this time after the warm-up. Great way to show her that even in golden years, seniors continue to exercise, remain active, and socialize.

When we went to Houston, because we made visits with friends and family during the week, due to long commutes and so many places we needed to visit and dine at,  it was difficult to stay on schedule.

However, we did have fun trips in Houston to the Children’s Museum (free on Thursday, 6-8 pm), Discovery Green Park, the Health Museum (free on Thursday 2-5 pm), the Aquarium, Butterfly Center (free if it is your first visit and if you check-in on Foursquare), the Imax as well as spending a lot of time with A’s brother Erric.

M also got to see all of her cousins in Houston all around the same age so this works out well for M.. She had a blast with them too.  They all got along instantly and played for hours.

I was especially proud that I had a chance to visit with my former co-workers at Catholic Charities of Services to the Seniors program where I worked for over five years. I am grateful I had the opportunity to be in attendance with my Mum and M during their annual luncheon in honor of Older Americans Month. It was a blast and I took this as an opportunity to teach M about why programs like this one exists. While visiting there I gave her an assignment to get to know the name of two people Mommy worked with, what Mommy did there, and how long I worked there.  I’m glad M got to play Bingo with my mother and met beautiful people I used to work with. I don’t miss the bureaucracy but I certainly miss the people.  Such a good visit that this will be a separate post on its own.. coming soon!

M's Texas Schedule

In Music, M is learning to play the Piano via YouTube. So far she has learned to play “Happy Birthday” “Harry Potter” and “Ode to Joy” and she seems to enjoy it quite a bit.

During health and nutrition, she watches some of the Dr. Oz shows I picked out for her and I have also had her watch videos on YouTube and discussed about reading labels and how corn is the evil ingredient. Health and wellness is part of everyday discussions and learning for us in our house.  We discuss regularly why we avoid as much as possible canned foods and packaged food which are mostly processed. We make food from scratch as much as we can and whenever we can.  . She is learning to cook and bake.  She’s done a couple of baking sessions with her aunts (Jack’s sisters),  Ah Gong, Jack’s Dad, and helps me cook in the kitchen whenever possible. When we go shopping and she is with us, I usually ask her to read the labels.  When she sees high fructose corn syrup, palm oil, hydrogenated oils amongst other ingredients she cannot pronounce it’s usually a sign for us that we probably wont’ be buying it regularly. We don’t avoid everything. I talk to her regularly about consumption with moderation and being conscientious about what we put in and on our bodies. We’ve been doing this kind of life learning since she was a toddler.

Also, I’ve done a lot of research in the past months about make up and how to make our own beauty and skin care products now that M has shown interest in makeup. Here’s my Pinterest board on Homemade Skin Care.  Hopefully, we can make these together so that she can see first hand it really doesn’t have to cost so much money for skin care. Perhaps we can invite her friend over during the summer and we can make them together.

She’s picking up quite a bit of the Burmese language and you know that makes me smile, BIG!. I I’ve introduced her to basic Spanish words, but I think this needs to be a bit more focused over the summer when we get back to Chiang Mai. Jack is teaching her basics of the  Taiwanese language and I believe it is going well.  I’m so proud of her.

During  IT  (Computer time), she has experimented with Pinterest and collected potential art projects she wants to do on a board. She’s done a couple of things with her cousins. Here are some of M’s Pinterest boards.  M also enter books she has read and reading on her very own Goodreads account. She also loves to play with webkinz so she uses IT time to take care of her webkinz pets.  She has made 2 super heroes using an online website and created a story for her super heroes. She’s signed up on Scholastic.com/summer “Red for World Record” summer program. We also got her signed up as a student at  Edmodo.com so we can keep track of  her learning activities there.  She’s becoming an expert at using powerpoint and Google drive where she keeps all her work documents saved.

Once we get back to Thailand in June,  I will continue to homeschool her there.  It will be our first time staying the entire summer in Thailand. So my next challenge will be making the best of our summer in Chiang Mai during summer 2013. I’m hoping I can find enough activities to keep her interested and of course I manage her social calendar also for her play dates with her friends.

We’ll see and I will update this topic of homeschooling in Chiang Mai 2013 when we return there.

Lately, we have had a lot of discussions about homeschooling in general and  when we go to Burma during the school year of 2013 and 2014. M prefers to be in her international school when she is back in Thailand and really wants to continue year 6, grade 5 at her current school. I want to respect that wish, though if we live in Burma for a few months, she realizes that we will need to be homeschooled for the time that we are there. It is my hope that I am able to help her expand her Burmese language skills and enroll her in a Burmese dance school during our time there.

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  6 comments for “Homeschooling in Texas – Part 2

  1. Khin
    May 28, 2013 at 14:53

    Sounds great. Is M getting to play with friends too? Or do some activity together in a group of friends or a simple project to do with a friend. Socialising is very important too. Especially with same age children.

    • May 29, 2013 at 01:08

      Thanks Khin for your comment again. Yes, of course, socializing ought to be a part of every child’s childhood. I find that this is not as difficult as I torture myself to be. It is more of the other kids’s schedules. It was more challenging for us in Houston though she did have time to play with her cousins. While in Houston, I took her to ice skating and I met another Mum who also homeschool. It was great because she had three kids with her close to M’s age and asked the kids if they would keep M company on the ice and of course they became friends that instant and wanted to arrange a play date. Unfortunately we were leaving soon and the schedule just did not work out for us. One of my goals is to make sure she has time with other kids, not necessarily a project because they come up with ideas of their own for projects. And that’s Okay with me. It was a really nice to have all her 5 cousins here in Arlington and a change of pace to see the house in complete chaos with a lot of noise and people everywhere. I think M enjoyed it a lot. We’re hoping one of her older cousins would come and visit us in Thailand while we are still there. 🙂

  2. Jennifer Kunkle-Clark
    May 28, 2013 at 17:31

    I enjoyed reading this a lot because it gave me very helpful ideas about scheduling. My son is attending a private school right now, but as it only goes up to eighth grade, we will eventually have to decide where to go from there. Your kids sure are lucky to get firsthand experience of geography with all of the traveling they do! I just saw a site that had a lot of free Burma maps and info myanmarburma.com The blog section looks like it would be good to u see for interesting reading comprehension lessons. There were stories about things like an elephant who got a prosthetic leg after stepping on a landmine, and the world’s smallest deer and bat. Thanks for sharing your schedule. I plan to use it as a reference.

    • May 29, 2013 at 01:48

      Hi Jennifer, Thanks for your comment. My daughter attended Montessori school in Houston until we moved to Thailand in 2010 when M was 7. It also cost us twice what we are paying in Thailand. I think so too about geography but my daughter said geography is not her favorite subject. SAD FACE. I love geography. That site sounds nice. Can be a supplement to our visits to Burma. M has actually been to Burma with us and we plan on living there a few months in the near future. I will definitely need to homeschool her when we are there. She has learned quite a bit about Elephants and there are conservation centers we’ve taken her to as well. One of them actually has the very first original prosthesis donated to Burma by Thailand. They have it on display. Everywhere we’ve been to we use these as opportunities to learn something and have fun in the process, well let’s just say we try. It’s life learning and that’s the great part of all this. The schedule I shared is one we’ve been using since mid April. We’re returning to Thailand soon and I have asked M to create a schedule to her liking and she has done that. I’ll share that in another updated post. 🙂 I’m glad this was helpful. Cheers!

  3. May 29, 2013 at 06:28

    Hi and thanks for the information.

    Personally, I would not pay money to visit the elephant parks (the first two mentioned above) that uses elephants in a show or use them for tourism,such as riding them and have them do tricks for an audience. We did that having not done our research carefully in 2009 and I regret it to this day. We have discussed this with my daughter about how that was a mistake and should never do it again. The elephant conservation I am referring to has to do with taking care of them and not breaking them into submission and use them into performing tasks etc for monetary gain of the owners.

    We prefer to spend our money on an elephant rescue and rehabilitation center such as Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand. http://www.elephantnaturepark.org/ My suggestion would be to volunteer with children at a park like one I mentioned to help children learn about why it is important to continue to rescue and rehabilitate these gentle and intelligent animals.

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