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Glancing at Joy Tan-Chi Mendoza’s Instagram is like reading a self-help book in the middle of a whirlwind pandemic.
Long before parents scrambled on their children’s distance learning and wondered how to keep the children busy—mentally, physically and spiritually—at home, Joy and her husband Edric had already mastered the craft, with six homeschooled kids.
The couple takes pride in having the whole “spectrum of students” under a parent-led, home-based education. Elijah, 17, is interested in psychology and programming. Edan, 14, is into botany, art and architecture. Titus, 12, likes the physical science curriculum as well as pre-algebra. Tiana, 10, loves zoology and language arts. Catalina, seven, is starting to like language, arts and math. The adorable Caylee, who’s two years old, well, loves mimicking everyone in the family.
“Preschoolers can get their academics done in one and a half to two hours. It’s a fun level. The rest of the day is for playing… When the kids aren’t studying, they are hanging out with one another, exercising, biking around our village (with masks, of course), going to the garden, reading books, doing art, playing strategy board games, singing, practicing their instruments, doing chores, and more,” shares the doting mom, who is also a best-selling author and award-winning blogger.
The high schoolers, meanwhile, need about four to six hours of academic work to cover their material within 10 months. Elijah is also working on college applications now. Nevertheless, the kuyas always make time for family bonding sessions.
The couple has been chronicling the family’s inspiring activities despite the lockdown—the family worship time, where even the small kids learn to apply the Gospel in their daily goings-on; the talent showdowns and cook-offs, whether in the real kitchen or with pretend toys inside a cardboard box; and working out together in their home gym, with the cute Caylee marching around.
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In one of Joy’s posts, she recounts:
“Today’s workout was [hard] but we managed to crush it together!
“I used to enjoy working out alone, but now it’s become a household thing and we all stay healthy together. No one sleeps in to avoid a workout.
“I didn’t think it was possible to get everyone to agree to this, but I want to appreciate my husband for leading by example, and for making sure everyone is downstairs to do this. (Even my sister-in-law, Nicky, joins us when she visits.)
“You can only skip if you are incapacitated due to sickness. And we hold one another accountable. This is what you call POSITIVE peer pressure. We all need good peer pressure in our lives! We all tend to become like the people we hang out with the most.”
“The quarantine period has actually been a blessing in the sense that it has allowed us to really focus on being together, learning, and getting into healthy routines as a family,” she beams.
Joy admits that even after having years of successful experience at homeschooling and parenting in general, learning never stops. She and her husband are still constantly amazed by the children’s different personalities and ways of learning, and in the process, they also learn how to become better guardians.
Helping them achieve these parenting goals is a stable and fast internet connection which is crucial during this difficult time.
“It’s super important!” says Joy. “We need a good internet connection for research, to enrich their learning, access videos and content that help them to learn concepts, skills and subjects, as well as attend music, art or PE classes. It’s also a way for them to communicate with their friends.”
“Personally, I have found PLDT Home reliable during this quarantine. We are a family of eight, plus our household help, and we all use the internet for various purposes. I’m glad there’s connectivity in every part of our home.”
Joy’s family is a ray of sunshine during this pandemic, even beyond. Most parents get frustrated at balancing a full-time job and child-rearing. But seeing the Mendoza couple serving their kids and the whole family will motivate you to keep the faith that it will all work out in the end.
Editor’s Note: BrandedUp is designed to provide you with insightful, inspiring and educational content created by PhilSTAR L!fe in collaboration with brands like PLDT Home.