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About

I’m Keren, a church planter’s wife and a stay-at-home mom of two based in Manila, Philippines. I spend my spare time drinking a lot of coffee, trying to keep my ornamental plants alive, reading and collecting books or watching crime shows online. 

Are you a pastor’s wife?
Yes, I am. I serve alongside my husband as a ministry volunteer in a confessional Presbyterian church in Quezon City, Philippines.

Are you a Calvinist or a Reformed Christian?
Yes, I subscribe to the Westminster Standards as a faithful summary of teaching found in the Bible.

How old are you? 
I am in my 30s.

How old are your kids?
Little Miss is 6. Little Man is 3.

Are you homeschooling? 
Yes, we are! Little Miss in enrolled with a local homeschool provider, while the Little Man is homeschooling independently.

What curriculum are you using for your homeschool? 
Curriculum originally means “a race” or “course of the race” in Latin, so it’s something that you do as opposed to something that you buy. With this in mind, our homeschool curriculum is drawn from the philosophy and pedagogy of Classical Christian Education, a traditional approach to education with emphasis on the seven liberal arts and the great books.

Why do you blog?
I see this blog as an avenue where I write out my thoughts on homeschooling, Scripture, theology, education, marriage, ministry, parenting, and homemaking in general. This blog serves as an outlet for all those attempts, and them some.

What are your biggest dreams and aspirations?
My biggest dream and passion project is to develop locally published, confessional Reformed and Presbyterian children’s resources and Classical Christian homeschool materials for children.

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Illustration by Margaux Janelle Chua

Instagram

  • We played around with #Numicon materials and some hand number manipulatives! We counted the Numicon shapes, placed pegs and counted them, built number towers on top of the pegs, matched the shapes with hand number manipulatives, and strung the pieces together!

This is our #PreschoolMath lesson today. 
#TheClassicalPreschool
  • I have been under the weather ever since we came back from a conference—we brought the whole gang! So I have been too tired to do anything else. Thankfully, I've learned to embrace #scholé in our homeschooling so we're sticking to essentials as I slowly recuperate. I've also realized after listening to several lectures under #ClassicalU and my other readings that much of what I've known as classical education is actually neoclassical (Sayers/Wilson model). Classical education is not merely the #Trivium, but goes beyond that. This is why I'm also trying to learn Latin. It can get overwhelming to know how much I need to catch up on seeing that I haven't received a classical education myself. But, #restfullearning also applies to me. 
Anyway, the Little Man is a little more than 3 years old and has been showing interest in learning his letters lately. So I've been introducing the first group of letters from the #JollyPhonics program as opposed to doing the alphabet in order. I used the cover for the #MightyMind puzzle set and placed some salt for tracing. Metal and tin materials are better because salt can get sticky in a tropical country like the Philippines. I've also used wood but it didn't work as well before. Cleaning is easier with metal, too. Younger children may not hold the pen properly but they can write on sand and salt. Some may find the sensory experience fun and enjoyable as well. 
The magnetic letters in #DNealian and flashcards are some of the Jolly Phonics materials we already have at home, along with the companion books you can easily find in secondhand shops. I also posted the books and materials we use in my stories today!

I haven't taught him the name of the letters, just the sound it represents. So far, he's learned the first four in the first group of letters. But we're not in a hurry to learn them, and you shouldn't hurry your child if they aren't ready yet. Homeschooling gives you the freedom to go at it at their own pace. 
#TheClassicalPreschool
  • "The Greek word for leisure (scholé) is the origin of Latin scola, English school. The name for the institutions of education and learning mean 'leisure.'" —Josef Pieper, Leisure: The Basis of Culture

#schole #scholeeveryday
#scholesisters
#restfullearning
#classicalu
#classicalchristianeducation
  • "If you could make a homeschool wish list, what might it include? How would you go about fighting Homeschool Frustration Syndrome in your home? For our family, the cure has been about establishing a time in our day when we can all learn together. A time where the oldest (me!) down to the youngest can study largely from the same curriculum, be read to from the same books, and contemplate the same ideas—each to their own ability. It has been about creating a space for shared discussion and presenting truths that are education for the old just as much as for the young. It has been about using simple but powerful methods as old as education itself—methods like listening to stories, questioning and discussing, telling back, and recitation. It has been about adding beauty and delight to our day to feed our souls and keep us going. All of the above are on my homeschool wish list, and fortunately I have a found a practice that allows me to easily add them to
our day. It is called Morning Time." (Pam Barnhill, #BetterTogether)

Some may call it Morning Time, #MorningBasket, or Circle Time. But it's essentially the same thing. You gather around a book, a hymn, a poem, a catechism lesson, and savor them together. 
I have deliberately arranged our homeschool room recently to have a place for our Morning Basket materials. Part of what I have included in the basket are chapter books like Narnia and #LittleHouseonthePrairie. And one of the ways to spruce up a chapter reading is to hand these small puppets for younger children to play along with while they're listening. 
We've zeroed in on essential things in our homeschool like reading, arithmetic, character,  and practical work. But we carve out time to learn the wonderful truths of God and enjoy the great works in our #MorningBasketPH time.

What's in your Morning Basket? Would you like to see what's in ours? 
#TheClassicalPreschool 
#ClassicalChristianHomeschool
  • We're a tad bit late in posting about the fourth book we read for the #PKRPBBuwanNgPanitikan challenge. But we're set to finish what we started even if it's no longer April. 
No follow-up activities for this one, I'm afraid. This was just a plain read aloud about the legendary origins of palay (unhusked rice). How many rice variants can you name? 
#FilipinoBooks
#PinoyKidsReadPinoyBooks
  • The children and I created some felt hands as I slowly introduced #PreschoolMathAtHome by Kate Snow to the Little Man, another recommendation from the #WellTrainedMind. 
At first, we only made one hand to target counting up to 5. Then I had the idea of using different colors to differentiate fives from one another. That's when I realized it was also a great opportunity to teach about God's wonderful design in diversity. 
Thankfully, we had #ShaiLinne's book 'God Made Me and You' to help explain this deep topic about color, race, and God's grace. I was raised in a Chinese church, and I mostly grew up with people who are the same as I am. Missiologists call this the "Homogenous Unit Principle," which explains that we are drawn to people whom we are most like. This is true to some extent. But there are times when race and culture become blinding idols, and we make light of sin by calling it ethnocentrism instead of the evil that is racism or ethnic bigotry. 
The Bible continually speaks against my remaining depravity while I seek to love and serve those who are radically different from I am. I am grateful that we now have the context of a local multicultural church to practice this. I love that homeschooling has given us more opportunities to delve into difficult topics such as celebrating God's plan of calling different people to Himself. I am also thankful for days when learning and parenting can go hand in hand, just like today.

#HappyMath
#TheClassicalPreschool
  • "The reason for the inclusion of children in the church finds its roots in the Old Testament, and it is a truth which God himself expressed passionately in the face of denial: children of professing Christians are God’s before they are ours." —Chad Van Dixhoorn, Confessing The Faith

Dr. Chad Van Dixhoorn is coming to Manila for a theological conference in June 7 and 8. Please visit pilgrimtheocon.org to learn more.

#RaisingCovenantChildren
  • I made a Decimal Street out of felt pieces to make our #MathUSee place value lesson more visual and engaging. We built and counted how many are "home" in the blue (tens) and green (units) houses. Thank you for @mathusee and @demmelearning for helping us see that "Every value has its own place!" #HappyMath
#DyscalculiaAwareness
#TheClassicalPreschool

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