Homeschooling VS Unschooling

Waaaa… tak disangka sudah hampir 3 bulan lebih saya absen dari blog saya… rasanya sedih, guilty, tapi tak sanggup kalau harus menulis blog saat sibuk dan sedang tidak mood.

Maafkan saya, saya sungguh tidak sanggup menulis blog selama ini, kalau sebagai blogger saya gagal total deh. Tapiiii, segala sesuatunya bukanlah vonis akhir. Menurut saya, bagaimana kita bisa bangun kembali dan memulai kembali, itu yang membuat kita semakin kuat di masa yang akan datang.

 

Homeschooling VS Unschooling

Ada dua ujung berbagai macam jenis homeschooling. Seperti dengan begitu banyaknya pilihan sekolah dan jenis-jenis sekolah, demikian pula homeschooling. Pada dasarnya ujung yang satu namanya school at home dan ujung yang satu lagi bernama unschooling. Keduanya adalah ekstrim yang saling bertolakkan. Berikut penjelasan berdasarkan pengertian saya dari berbagai sumber.

 

School at home, seperti namanya adalah sekolah di rumah, dimana anak-anak belajar baik dengan orang tua maupun guru atau tutor seperti di sekolah, tapi hanya pelaksanaannya di rumah. Orang tua juga dapat mengajarkan anak secara langsung dan umumnya menggunakan kurikulum yang sudah tersedia dan mengikutinya sesuai dengan ketentuan-ketentuan dari kurikulum tersebut. Misalnya buku panduannya, latihan-latihan dan ada juga tes-tes yang sudah disediakan. Bagi orang tua ini aman, karena semua terstruktur, hanya perlu mengikuti petunjuk dan langkah-langkah yang telah disediakan oleh kurikulum yang dipilih orang tua. Ada banyak sekali pilihan kurikulum dari yang berbasis agama hingga yang tidak berbasis agama. Begitu banyak pilihan membuat saya pribadi sempat bingung untuk memilih, begitu pula saya yakin banyak orang pun kebingungan memilih kurikulum. Ini bukanlah awal yang baik menurut saya….

 

Ekstrim satu lagi adalah unschooling. Pada dasarnya anak-anak bebas menentukan pembelajaran mereka, orang tua pun bebas menjalankan homeschooling semau mereka. Saya pernah mendengar ada orang tua yang suka traveling, sehingga mereka bebas membawa anak-anak traveling kapanpun dan kemanapun tanpa memusingkan pelajaran. Secara gampang, anak-anak unschooling hanya hidup normal sehari-hari menjalankan kegiatan sehari-hari tanpa adanya pembelajaran secara tertulis atau tugas-tugas yang harus diselesaikan.

 

Nah, lalu ada yang ditengah-tengah antara school at home dan unschooling. Ada yang cenderung ke school at home, adapun yang cenderung ke unschooling. Oiya, adapun beberapa metode yang dipilih untuk dijalankan, seperti Thomas Jefferson, Charlotte Mason, Unit Studies, Waldorf, Montessori, Classical, Unschooling, Eclectic (campuran) dan banyak lagi, dengan berjalannya waktu semakin banyak juga berbagai macam metode.

 

Metode tersebut bisa saya sebut sebagai aliran, kemana orang tua lebih memilih atau apa yang menjadi pola dalam mendidik anak-anak mereka. Ada orang tua yang lebih suka pembelajaran Unit Study dimana pendidikan berdasarkan tema, proses belajar terintegrasi dan tidak terpecah-pecah menjadi beberapa mata pelajaran. Ada yang lebih memilih Charlotte Mason karena anak-anak belajar melalui pengalaman dunia nyata. Apapun pilihan metodenya, orang tua dapat bebas menentukan atau merubah pilihan metode mereka.

Semuanya tergantung pada orang tua yang telah dipercayakan untuk mendidik anak mereka masing-masing. Apa yang kami lakukan bukanlah sebuah bahan untuk diperdebatkan. Apa yang saya bagikan disini pun bukan ingin memicu perdebatan, tapi ingin membukakan pikiran anda mengenai homeschooling. Memberi informasi mengenai homeschooling. Jika dibandingkan dengan keluarga homeschooling lain, saya yakin ada banyak perbedaan dan mungkin juga ada banyak persamaan. Yang terpenting adalah kita menjalankan pilihan kita. Mengetahui konsekuensi dan menimbang sesuai dengan keadaan kita.

 

Kami memilih menjalankan homeschooling ditengah-tengah antara school at home dan unschooling, yang mungkin lebih cenderung ke unschooling. Waktu belajar kami tidaklah panjang. Jika saya melihat bagaimana keluarga di AS dapat menjalankan homeschooling sepanjang hari, saya jujur tidak sanggup. Terlebih lagi untuk anak saya yang pertama yang tidak mau menjalankannya. Sempat beberapa waktu yang lalu saya mencoba memberi istilah lain untuk homeschooling setelah jam makan siang. Karena dia tau bahwa dia harus belajar sebelum jam makan siang, tapi enggan belajar setelah jam makan siang. Saya rasa ini dikarenakan saya pun sejak awal mengajarnya hanya sebelum jam makan siang. Sebenarnya sebelum saya mulai mengajar 2 anak, saya berkali-kali sounding ke anak pertama, bahwa kita akan memperpanjang jam homeschool hingga sore jika kita tidak punya acara lain. Tapi ternyata pada pelaksanaannya dia tetap menolak dan sulit sekali memaksakannya. Nah, oleh sebab itu, saya sempat memasukkan e-learning melalui video youtube dan independent reading time. Kedua hal ini berlangsung beberapa hari, tapi masih kurang teratur untuk menjadi sebuah kebiasaan. Sering kali kamipun tidak menjalankannya karena kesibukkan kami atau kecapekan kami. Akhirnya anak-anak kami biarkan berkeliaran dan bermain-main saja. Tapi saya percaya meskipun mereka banyak menghabiskan waktu dengan bermain, mereka justru tidak tertekan untuk harus selalu belajar dan mereka menikmati hidup mereka. Saya pernah membaca bahwa anak-anak jaman sekarang kekurangan waktu bermain, saya rasa, saya ingin memberikan waktu bermain yang cukup bagi anak-anak saya.

 

Kami tetap memiliki waktu yang kami gunakan untuk mengerjakan latihan-latihan tertulis, tapi ketika sore tiba atau jika hari itu tidak memungkinkan untuk proses pembelajaran formal, kami menjalankan unschooling. Saya bersyukur suami saya mendukung homeschooling dan kami berdua dapat menjalankannya dengan baik. Apakah saya puas? Ya dan tidak. Tentu saya masih ingin memperbaiki beberapa hal dalam proses pelaksanaan homeschooling kami, tapi ya, saya puas dapat menjalankan homeschooling selama ini. Dulu saya hanya bisa merencanakannya, namun sekarang saya telah menjalani homeschooling di Indonesia. Semuanya tidak seindah yang terlihat. Ada banyak tangisan dan rasa bersalah ataupun ketidak yakinan, tapi kami tetap maju terus. Waktu tidak akan menunggu kita, kita yang harus dapat berjalan sesuai kecepatan waktu. Dan yang terutama adalah untuk menikmatinya dan belajar selagi kita menjalani apapun yang kita telah pilih dalam hidup kita.

 

Keputusan untuk meng-homeschool anak-anak kami berawal sejak saya hamil anak pertama. Pada waktu itu, homeschooling hanyalah sebuah kemungkinan pilihan edukasi anak-anak kami. Berawal dari situ, saya menemukan beberapa buku mengenai homeschooling di Indonesia. Didukung dengan berbagai sumber dari luar negeri juga seperti real life series keluarga Duggars, blog-blog dan banyak vlog-vlog homeschoolers di AS, saya semakin yakin menjalankan homeschooling sesuai dengan kemampuan, keadaan dan pilihan bagaimana kami bisa dan ingin menjalankan homeschooling.

 

Awalnya memulai homeschooling dengan penuh tanda tanya dan ketidak pastian. Belum lagi tanggapan yang kurang mendukung dari pihak keluarga besar kami, kami bersyukur anak pertama kami lahir di bulan Desember dimana umurnya masih setahun lebih cepat untuk memulai sekolah. Kami sengaja mempercepat sekolah TKnya, bisa dibilang sebagai jaring pengaman, jika dalam tahun pertama perjalanan homeschool kami gagal, kami masih dapat memasukkannya ke sekolah normal tanpa ketinggalan.

 

Adapun yang saya rindukan adalah untuk mendapatkan komunitas sesama homeschoolers di daerah kami. Awal kami menjalankan homeschool saya ketahui bahwa jika saya tidak memilih dan membeli kurikulum tertentu saya tidak bisa memiliki komunitas ataupun mengikuti pertemuan-pertemuan bersama mereka yang menjalankan kurikulum tertentu. Hal ini berubah dengan seiringnya waktu, tapi mungkin karena dari awalnya saya harus menjalankan homeschool mandiri, hingga sekarang saya belum tergabung di komunitas apapun. Sebetulnya saya merindukan co-op dimana jika di AS mereka dapat saling menitipkan anak atau bertukar pelajaran. Misalnya saya bisa mengajarkan pelajaran tertentu dan anak-anak saya bisa belajar hal lain dari keluarga lain. Sesuatu skill yang mungkin tidak dikuasai dengan baik oleh kami, demikian juga sebaliknya. Atau paling tidak anak-anak dapat berkumpul bersama dan bermain, ajang sosialisasi mereka. Tapi berhubung pelaku homeschool masih sangat sedikit di Indonesia dan letak mereka saling berjauhan, maka agak sulit untuk memiliki co-op disini. Belum lagi perbedaan pendapat dan prinsip dalam homeschooling belum tentu cocok antara satu keluarga dan keluarga lain. Sempat terpikir untuk membuat komunitas baru, tapi perlu banyak waktu mengurusnya dan mungkin saja suatu hari nanti saya dapat memulai komunitas tersebut.

 

Sekian dulu blog kali ini, lebih baik saya tidak tunda lebih lama lagi untuk mempublishnya.

Terima kasih, sampai berjumpa lagi.

 

Homeschooling di Indonesia

This blog is in Bahasa Indonesia, you may try to read it using google translate, but I am not sure how it will come out. Let me know in the comment below if you are interested to read it in English. Thanks!

 

Sudah beberapa lama saya berpikir tentang blog saya, apakah mau dibuat dalam Bahasa Indonesia atau Bahasa Inggris. Akhirnya saya mulai dengan Bahasa Inggris, lalu coba di-translate menggunakan google translate. Wah…ternyata amburadul. Hahaha…. Jadi saya berpikir untuk menterjemahkan blog saya sendiri. Dan juga membuat beberapa blog khusus yang berbahasa Indonesia yang diperuntukkan untuk pembaca yang berbahasa Indonesia.

 

Hari ini saya mau membicarakan tentang Homeschooling di Indonesia. Teringat beberapa hari yang lalu sepertinya untuk kesekian kalinya saya menjelaskan tentang homeschooling yang sudah saya jalani selama 4 tahun. Tak terasa, dari yang awalnya saya bicarakan dengan suami, dia langsung menyambutnya dengan positif. Lalu mulai saya cari tau lebih lanjut tentang homeschooling di Indonesia. Dalam waktu beberapa tahun saya mulai mengumpulkan buku-buku mengenai homeschooling. Diantaranya:

Buku pertama yang saya beli tentang homeschooling. Oktober 2007

Buku pertama yang saya beli tentang homeschooling. Oktober 2007

Maret 2009

Maret 2009

Maret 2009

Maret 2009

Buku yang sangat membantu saya dalam menjalankan homeschooling

Buku yang sangat membantu saya dalam menjalankan homeschooling

Dari buku-buku tersebut yang sudah langka, alias sekarang tidak bisa ditemukan lagi di toko buku, saya menjadi lebih percaya diri untuk melangkah menjalankan homeschooling. Ada 2 lagi buku pinjaman teman yang sangat bagus juga Better Late Than Early oleh Raymond S.Moore and Dorothy N. Moore dan I saw the Angel in the Marble oleh Chris and Ellyn Davis. Itulah awal perjalanan homeschooling kami. Menelusuri lebih jauh kebelakang, kami sebagai orang tua yang dua-duanya pernah mengajar murid sekolah, telah melihat betapa sekolah membuat anak-anak dan orang tua stress. Hal itulah yang membuat kami semakin berniat menjalankan homeschooling. Sebetulnya ada banyak sekali alasan, dukungan dan situasi yang memungkinkan kami menjalankan homeschooling. Begitu banyak saya bingung mau mulai dari mana. Tapi mari saya coba jelaskan pelan-pelan secara kronologis.

 

Saya memulai karir di dunia kerja sebagai guru. Awalnya sebagai asisten guru menari, lanjut sebagai guru dan pemegang kepala cabang sekolah tari tersebut. Hal ini saya jalani sejak awal SMA hingga tahun pertama saya kuliah. Sejak tahun kedua kuliah saya mulai mengajar Bahasa Inggris. Hal ini berlanjut hingga 1 tahun setelah kelulusan saya. Jadi total pengalaman mengajar saya kira-kira 8 tahun. Ketika saya mengajar Bahasa Inggris saya sempat mengajar di beberapa sekolah Katholik dan kursus-kursus. Disitu sempat ada pengalaman dimana saya melihat ada anak yang bermasalah, dia selalu mencari perhatian dengan mengganggu jalannya kelas dan meskipun sudah dihukum, baginya hukuman tersebut dianggap enteng. Suatu kali saya bertanya padanya, “Kamu di rumah sama siapa?”. “Sama mbak.” “Orang tua kamu dua-duanya kerja?”, “Iya” jawabnya. Disitulah sepertinya awal saya mulai bertekad jika suatu hari nanti saya memiliki anak sendiri, saya mau bisa menjaga dan mengurus mereka sendiri. Awalnya sepertinya hanya itu, tapi berlanjut saya mendengar tentang homeschooling, saya coba bicarakan pada suami saya. Dia yang ketika jaman kuliahnya dulu pun pernah menghadapi murid-murid les sekolah yang pelajarannya memberatkan mereka pun langsung menyambutnya dengan baik. Kami pun membicarakan tentang buku-buku yang saya baca dan informasi mengenai homeschooling khususnya di Indonesia. Menurutnya pelajaran di Indonesia terlalu berat dan banyak yang tidak penting. Anak-anak terlalu dipaksakan untuk menghafal hal-hal yang tidak berguna, anak-anak harus belajar demi mendapatkan nilai tes yang baik. Tes menjadi tolak ukur kepintaran anak murid. Padahal pada dunia nyata kita bias melihat, bukan anak-anak yang lulus dengan nilai terbaik yang bekerja dengan baik atau memiliki penghidupan terbaik. Kami pun setuju bahwa kedekatan dengan orang tua sangat penting di masa anak-anak.

 

Selain dari buku-buku yang saya baca, kami pernah mengikuti sebuah seminar homeschooling pada bulan Februari 2011 di daerah Pejaten yang membuat kami semakin percaya diri. Disitu kami diingatkan kembali dan diyakinkan, jika kami menjalankan homeschooling, sistem kejar paket merupakan jala pengaman kami dan sistem penyetaraan dengan sekolah formal lainnya. Jadi, jika kami menjalankan homeschooling, kami bisa mengikutkan anak kami paket A (untuk kelulusan SD), paket B (untuk kelulusan SMP) dan paket C (untuk kelulusan SMA). Pada waktu itu kami belum memulai homeschooling. Tapi dengan semakin percaya diri, kami menjalankan sesuai kehendak kami yaitu masa taman kanak-kanak kami sekolahkan secara formal dan masa SD kami menjalankan homeschooling dan selanjutnya untuk SMP dan SMA kami berencana melanjutkan sekolah formal. Beginilah rencana awal kami dan sejauh ini kami sedang menjalankan tahun ke-4 kami. Dalam beberapa tahun lagi kami harus memutuskan apakah akan sesuai dengan rencana awal kami ataukah akan berubah. Sementara ini, kami tidak perlu memusingkannya. Jika waktunya tiba, kami harus memutuskan, biarlah pada waktu tersebut kami memutuskannya.

 

Keputusan kami menjalankan homeschooling tidak berjalan mulus ketika kami mulai membicarakannya pada keluarga besar kami. Ada yang menanggapnya secara positif tapi banyak juga yang skeptis. Kami tau bahwa pendapat skeptis mereka semua didasarkan karena rasa sayang, tapi kami pun menjalankan keputusan kami dengan berdasarkan keadaan kami juga. Kami bersyukur karena saya sebagai ibu rumah tangga dapat full time ada di rumah. Suami saya pun memiliki pekerjaan yang dapat dikerjakan atau dipantau dari rumah. Ada saatnya ketika saya sudah menyerah dengan keadaan belajar anak-anak, suami saya dapat terlibat lebih dalam proses pembelajaran. Ketika saya menceritakan pada teman-teman saya, hampir semua teman-teman mendukung saya. Banyak dari mereka ingin dapat meng-homeschool anak-anak mereka juga, tapi banyak yang merasa tidak sanggup, ragu atau pasangan mereka tidak menyetujuinya. Jika pasangan tidak menyetujui, maka akan lebih sulit menjalankan homeschooling. Keputusan keluarga baiklah jika dijalankan atas persetujuan kedua orang tua.

 

Jika saya ingat-ingat masa awal saya memulai homeschooling, saya baru melahirkan anak ke-3. Sungguh tidak disangka dan diluar rencana kami. Tapi apa boleh buat, kamipun tetap menjalankan sesuai rencana awal kami. Dengan tidak terlalu memaksakan diri, saya dapat memulai homeschooling anak pertama saya sambil mengurus bayi yang baru lahir. Sungguh memusingkan, tapi Puji Tuhan semuanya berjalan dengan baik. Secara akademis anak pertama saya mungkin terlambat, tapi dia sendiri memang usianya masih 1 tahun lebih mudah dari usia sekolahnya. Setelah 3 tahun, masuk tahun ke-4 saya mulai meng-homeschool 2 anak. Jujur saya berasa mulai kelabakkan, anak ke-3 saya sudah 3 tahun dan mulai banyak mencari perhatian. Sehingga pada saat-saat seperti ini saya banyak meminta bantuan suami untuk mengurus anak ke-3 kami agar saya dapat fokus mengajar kedua anak kami. Mengajar 2 anak dengan tingkat yang berbeda saja sudah menjadi tantangan, apalagi dengan adanya anak ke-3 yang menuntut perhatian lebih, kadang-kadang anakpun sedang tidak dalam mood ingin belajar dan ingin bermain bersama adiknya. Ada saat dimana akhirnya pembelajaran yang harus tertunda. Tapi apakah itu membahayakan? Menurut kami tidak, waktu kami bersama dan jalinan hubungan kami lebih penting daripada kurikulum sekolah.

 

Mengenai kurikulum sekolah. Kami merasa kurang sreg dengan kurikulum, karena kurikulum dibuat secara umum untuk semua anak. Memang kurikulum dapat menjadi arahan atau langkah-langkah proses belajar anak, tapi jika kita kaku mengikutinya, maka stress juga yang kita dapatkan. Kami tetap menggunakan buku pelajaran, dalam hal ini saya memilih buku pelajaran yang banyak dipakai di sekolah-sekolah Internasional, My Pals, yang sekarang ini memiliki 2 versi. Versi Singapura dan versi Internasional. Saya memilih versi Singapura karena latar belakang dan budaya yang serupa dengan Indonesia. Sebetulnya ada banyak pertimbangan tentunya dan pro kontra, tetapi tidak akan ada selesainya jika segala sesuatu dipikirkan terus pro kontranya. Kebebasan dari homeschooling adalah saya dapat memilih dan menentukan sendiri buku-buku apa yang mau saya ajarkan pada anak-anak saya. Saya memilih Bahasa Inggris sebagai bahasa pengantar dengan harapan Bahasa Indonesia dapat mereka pelajari dengan orang lain disekitar. Tapi sebenarnya yang terjadi adalah mereka sangat terbiasa berbahasa Inggris sehingga Bahasa Indonesia mereka menjadi kurang terlatih. Tapi memang fokus di satu Bahasa dulu lebih baik daripada memaksakan dua Bahasa sekaligus. Saya memulai dengan Bahasa Inggris, memasuki kelas 3 saya mulai perbanyak Bahasa Indonesia. Pada awalnya anak saya menolak, tapi lama kelamaan dia mulai terbiasa dan semakin baik Bahasa Indonesia-nya. Sekarang ini saya mulai mau memasukkan Bahasa Mandarin juga, tapi berhubung tidak terlalu fasih dan pelajaran lain yang keteteran, saya mengesampingkannya dahulu. Inilah kebebasan homeschooling yang kami rasakan banyak manfaatnya. Kami dapat menyesuaikan pembelajaran dengan tingkat stress lebih rendah dan tidak dikejar-kejar kurikulum.

 

Selain buku My Pals, saya juga menggunakan hampir buku apa saja yang tersedia. Karena kami memiliki banyak keponakkan yang banyak memiliki buku bekas yang masih layak pakai, saya banyak pergunakan sebagai sumber buku pelajaran anak-anak saya. Menurut saya, belajar bisa dari mana saja, tidak harus buku A atau B atau C. Saya selalu mencoba memperkenalkan bermacam-macam buku yang tentunya sesuai dengan perkembangan anak. Karena saya mengajar langsung sendiri, saya juga jadi tau seberapa kemampuan anak saya. Sering kali saya juga mengkhususkan pemilihan buku untuk anak-anak saya. Misalnya saya ingin mereka belajar Bahasa Indonesia, maka saya mencari buku-buku cerita berbahasa Indonesia. Dengan membaca buku cerita anak-anak menjadi lebih mudah mempelajari Bahasa. Mereka secara tidak langsung dan tidak sadar mempelajari bahasa tersebut.

 

Dalam menjalani homeschooling saya terinspirasi dengan ibu-ibu di AS yang menjalankan homeschooling. Mereka memiliki banyak anak, umumnya lebih dari 5 dan dapat mengajar anak-anaknya sendiri, bahkan ada yang masih menggunakan full make up! Buat saya, itu luar biasa! Memang kebanyakkan tinggalnya dipedesaan, tapi mereka benar-benar menjadi inspirasi dan saat saya merasa tidak bisa melakukannya, saya bisa ‘melihat’ pada mereka.

 

Saya akan lanjutkan blog saya mengenai homeschooling vs unschooling. Terima kasih, sampai berjumpa lagi!

 

Short Road Trip To Baturaden and Dieng Plateau September 2016 – Part 3 of 3

8 September 2016

Checked out around 8AM.

First stop is to take a photo at the welcoming Dieng signage.

Dieng signage

Map of Dieng

Map of Dieng Plateau

Then head to have breakfast at the place we had dinner, but it was still closed. So, we ate at another place next to it which was not very good.

Mi Ongklok with the peanut sauce on top. top right is the famous Indomie goreng

Two portions of Mi Ongklok with the peanut sauce on top and one that is already mixed at the mid bottom. Top right is the famous Indomie goreng with egg

After breakfast we head to Telaga Warna. I remember going to this place probably about 20 years ago. I am very curious to come back and see how beautiful it is.

Paid 10,000 Rupiahs per adult to enter the area. Another 5,000 Rupiahs (weekday price) for entering Telaga Warna.

Entrance to Dieng Tourist area. We pay separately for each of these areas.

Entrance to Dieng Tourist area. We pay separately for each of these areas.

Entrance to Telaga Warna. Pay here again to enter

Entrance to Telaga Warna. Pay here again to enter

Telaga Warna is literally translated as colored lake. It has its name because of the high content of Sulphur in the water that makes the water in the lake can change color. Sometimes it is greenish or yellowish, sometimes even colorful like the rainbow.

First view of Telaga Warna

First view of Telaga Warna

Path to the right, everyone is recommended to walk to the right

Path to the right, everyone is recommended to walk to the right

I notice some bubbly activities at many points in the middle of the lake.

looking at the view bubbly telaga warna lake bubbling

We spent only about an hour walking some part of the lake. Took so many photos. The lake is so beautiful. I couldn’t wait to have a bird’s eye view of it.

Wefie at Telaga Warna, first stop with a view

Wefie at Telaga Warna, first stop with a view

another scenic view beautiful telaga warna peta telaga warna trees and telaga warna some of the path telaga peninglon so pretty telaga warna close look at the waters path at telaga warna mountains at the background scenic view telaga warna pretty telaga warna

Path to caves

Path to caves

signage to cave boys at telaga warna panoramic telaga warna

beauty going back the same path another signage

Next, we head to the Dieng Plateau Theatre. Watched a 20 minutes documentary about Dieng Plateau.

Dieng Plateau Theatre

Dieng Plateau Theatre

Entrance to the theatre

Entrance to the theatre

Parking at the theatre

Parking at the theatre

View from the theatre

View from the theatre

Out from the theatre I directly looked for a stall selling fried potato for Dieng is very well known for its potato produce. A bag of fried potato and a bag of fried mushrooms cost 10,000 Rupiahs each. Had a very crispy and tasty fried tempeh for 1,000 Rupiahs each.

Surprising fare for foreign tourist. 20 times more expensive than locals

Surprising fare for foreign tourist. 20 times more expensive than locals

I remember these flowers are called Edelweiss

I remember these flowers are called Edelweiss. Local Edelweiss at least, they bloom and won’t wither

Purwaceng, Dieng aphrodisiac

Purwaceng, Dieng aphrodisiac

Dieng Papaya or Carica in real. The ones preserved in syrup at the back

Dieng Papaya or Carica in real. The ones preserved in syrup at the back

Fried potato in a bag and fried mushroom

Fried potato in a bag and fried mushroom

Delicious crispy tempeh

Delicious crispy tempeh. The best we’ve ever had!

Then we climbed up to Batu Pandang which was just beside the parking lot. Passing some carrot plantation, Carica tree-the local Dieng Papaya which is commonly made into preserved fruit in syrup.

Going up to Batu Pandang next to the parking lot

Going up to Batu Pandang next to the parking lot

Grace going up like a champ

Grace going up like a champ

Dieng Papaya tree or Carica tree

Dieng Papaya tree or Carica tree

I finally got the view I have been looking forward for! Had to pay another 10,000 Rupiahs to go up there. My kids went up like a champion! Very proud of them, very independent without their dad too as he waited at the bottom of the stairs-after the youngest one was carried halfway up. The view is so great I feel like staying there longer.

Paid another entrance fee of Rp.10,000 to enter the location

Paid another entrance fee of Rp.10,000 to enter the location. It is good that they don’t charge the kids

View from the very top

View from the very top

Grace at Telaga Warna

Grace at Telaga Warna

Joy at Batu Pandang looking to Telaga Warna and Lake Pengilon

Joy at Batu Pandang looking to Telaga Warna and Lake Pengilon

James is shy when his photo is taken

James is shy when his photo is taken

My kind of view

My kind of view

Strike a pose at the top of Batu Pandang

Strike a pose at the top of Batu Pandang

Further up slightly to the right is the Jembatan Merah Putih or Red and White Bridge. I am sure it is so much nicer up there, but we didn’t have any more time to go up there. We had to head home before it was too late. So at about 12.30PM we head back home to Jakarta.

Last view of Dieng

Last view of Dieng

Gas pipes in Dieng

Gas pipes in Dieng

The weather can change in an instant. The fog fills the path in front of us

The weather can change in an instant. The fog fills the path in front of us

We chose to go directly North towards Pantura (Northern Coast). Driving slightly to West then up North. The view of the surrounding was really beautiful!!! The mountains were in many different shades, stairs of paddy rice fields, and extremely tall pine trees all around. I couldn’t get a picture of the beautiful views as we were quite fast and there was nowhere to stop. The road is small and very twisty. We passed the city of Kajen then along Pantura then Palimanan-Brebes Toll.

Our last meal was a really late lunch and early dinner, a lunner?! Hahaha… we stopped at Richeese Factory in Tegal. I have talked about trying this place a few times long ago. It is a fast food chain like McDonalds, but it provides cheese sauce and we get a wafer or biscuits product for every meals we order. It also has extra hot chicken wings that you can order based on the level of hotness that you can bear, from level1 to 5. We tried the level 3, it was pretty spicy already.

A family picture to end our trip :)

A family picture to end our trip 🙂

We left at 5.30 P.M. directly home. Reached home by 10.30 P.M.

Thank God for a very nice short escape.

At this time when this post is written US$1 is approximately 13,000 Rupiahs.

 

Short Road Trip To Baturaden and Dieng Plateau September 2016 – Part 2 of 3

7 September 2016

Checked out from the hotel at around 10AM then head to Small World, a miniature park of the buildings around the world.

Strike a family photo right in front of our room

Strike a family photo right in front of our room

Entrance fee and opening hours of Small World

This is Small World

This is Small World

There was no clear signage of the direction. We even thought we were lost. It turned out that it was just recently opened, 21 August, from the security guard’s saying.

Parking area and stalls

Parking area and stalls selling food, beverages, souvenirs, toys…

One of the stalls

Some parts of the park was still under construction or repair too, which is very inconvenient. They already charge a full entrance fee of 15,000 Rupiah, which I later discover that it was 10,000 Rupiahs before. Hmm… a bit more disappointing. I was thinking of more of a discounted price while they’re still under construction. Then again, we enjoyed the park, I asked Joy what the miniature was, where can it be found or what is the story about it.

First view of Small World

japan area walkway bamboo playground

We went through the whole park in just about 30 minutes. Lots of people were there just to take selfies. No clear signage about the buildings, we all just have to sort of guess or name the building on our own. The grass also hasn’t grown well yet.

pyramid eiffel big ben and pisa tulips

Entering our city Jakarta

Entering our city Jakarta

Honai. Traditional house in Papua Irian Jaya.

Honai. Traditional house in Papua Irian Jaya.

Rumah Gadang. One of our traditional houses from Padang.

Rumah Gadang. Traditional house in Padang.

Panoramic view Small World Baturaden.

When we went out, we found out that it is actually just behind the hotel we stayed at. It’s just that there wasn’t any road to go through.

Somehow were quite hungry for an early lunch, so, guess where we head for lunch?

Pringsewu, yes, again. It was just safe for the kids to eat. Hahaha…

This time the weather was clear and the kids got time to play at the playground.

Kids at the playground. Far at the end is the rabbit farm.

Kids at the playground. Far at the end is the rabbit farm.

Another angle garden view. With the kids new balloon twist.

Another angle garden view. With the kids new balloon twist.

Lunch. Far left Sapo Tahu. In the middle is the content of the chicken soup with the soup on the right.

Lunch. Far left Sapo Tahu. In the middle is the content of the chicken soup with the soup on the right.

We also saw the oyster farm and was given some explanation about farming it. We were a bit late, said the caretaker, if we came earlier in the morning there would have been more ready to harvest. The oyster mushroom is grown in plastic bags as substrates. The plastic bags are sold at a nearby nursery for 2,000 Rupiahs each. They need to be sprayed twice a day. Both ends of the plastic bag can be harvested. Each plastic bag can produce mushrooms every day for 3 months.

Oyster mushrooms

After lunch we head to leave Baturaden at about 1PM. We passed the road to Lokawisata Baturaden, Kebun Raya Baturaden, Baturaden Adventure Forest, and Telaga Sunyi.

Entrance to Lokawisata Baturaden

Entrance to Lokawisata Baturaden

Entrance to Kebun Raya Baturaden

Entrance to Kebun Raya Baturaden

Very inviting Baturaden Forest Adventure. I want to go there someday!

Very inviting Baturaden Adventure Forest. I want to go there someday!

Telaga sunyi entrance

Telaga sunyi entrance

Another scenic view of a bridge in Baturaden

Another scenic view of a bridge in Baturaden

We passed a cow farm. The kids recognized it from the smell! Hahaha. I am very interested to go in someday. We were just in a hurry to get to our next destination.

Love the look on Grace's face smelling fresh air out from the window

Love the look on Grace’s face smelling fresh air out from the window

Arrived in Dieng at 5PM looked around for a hotel but couldn’t find any, only homestays.

Arriving at Dieng Plateau

Arriving at Dieng Plateau

The hills are full of plantations

The hills are full of plantations

After looking around, we decided to stay at Dieng Pass. The room cost 200,000 Rupiahs.

Dieng pass

Dieng is COLD! Around 15 degrees Celcius. I love cold but I am not very well with it. I have to be very well covered.

After checking in, we head out for dinner. Not much to choose from. We saw many Mie Ongklok like everywhere, so we decided to just give it a try at any that has some people eating there. It was so quiet already around 6.30PM in Dieng. The food was good, we thought of going back for breakfast.

Mi ongklok

Mutton tongseng (a lind of broth) and Mi Ongklok (noodles in gravy) served with mutton satay on the far right

Mutton tongseng (a kind of broth) and Mi Ongklok (noodles in gravy) served with mutton satay on the top right. We also tried Carica, a local sweetened fruit in syrup.

20160908_183912

I was offered a tour to see the sunrise on the next morning from Sikunir hill. I love seeing sunrise and I think it is worth to go, but thinking of waking up the kids or carrying them hiking up the mountain at 3AM mmm…. Not at this moment, maybe next time.

Tourist spots in Dieng

Tourist spots in Dieng

 

Short Road Trip To Baturaden and Dieng Plateau September 2016 – Part 1 of 3

My husband has been thinking of a road trip to Java for the last couple of months. We have been delaying it due to our financial circumstances. This is our third road trip. We did our first road trip about 3 years ago, then the second one about a year ago. First trip was to Jawa Timur Park for 10 days and the second one was to Bali for 2 weeks. We enjoyed many stops also along the way. Meeting our friends along the cities where they live and mostly enjoy the local food.

Suddenly it just felt that it was a good time to go. After a few days’ consideration and arrangements, we finally decided to go on a very short road trip. We had to deliver 2 puppies to my parents in law in Sukabumi, a city 140 km or about 3 hours drive away from Jakarta. We always choose to go there as early as 3AM as the traffic is best at this time. We have to pass through some markets along the way and sometimes it can get quite jammed. If we go during daytime, it may reach up to 6 or even 11 hours! Such huge difference, so we always travel when it is still very dark.

So, we left to Sukabumi on Tuesday, 5 September 2016. We spent the day chatting, cooking, and just hanging around together. The kids had their last day with the puppies. We spent a night there and leave at the crack of dawn the next day starting our road trip.

6 September 2016 5.13AM

Dawn from Sukabumi. Lots of motorcyclist.

Dawn from Sukabumi. Lots of motorcyclist.

Leave Sukabumi. We choose this hour as suggested by Garth’s uncle that if we leave later, all the factory labors will already start to pile up the road and we would be stuck in jam. Thankfully we did, along the way we saw some factory labors entering the factory and starting to pile up and even cause some small traffic jams. It was also cool to see as the sky lights up from pitch dark to bright early morning. I always love the color of the sky during time changes like this and in the evening.

Campolay in Sukabumi

Campolay at the roadside in Sukabumi

From Sukabumi we head towards Bandung, we passed a mountainous area where we saw some Campolay fruit. Very vibrant yellow in color and hanging in a bunch. We stopped and asked the seller what kind of fruit it was. We have never seen anything like it before. She offered us a piece to try. The taste and texture of the fruit is like a mixture between ciku or sapodilla and avocado. The seed is smooth like ciku’s seed but as big as durian seed. There was more than one seed in each fruit. It is sold in a bunch for 20,000 Rupiahs.

Campolay

Campolay

We stopped for lunch near Tasikmalaya eating Sate Maranggi. One of the best I have ever tasted.

Sate Maranggi

Sate Maranggi and Sop Iga (Beef satay and beef ribs soup)

Instant drawing after passing a few nature scenes

Instant drawing after passing a few nature scenes by Joy

Food bill

The bill

Lunch

Lunch

Three Mustkidsteer. Well fed, ready to continue our trip.

Three Mustkidsteer. Well fed, ready to continue our trip.

We passed many paddy fields and I wished to have another slower pace trip where we can talk to the locals to learn more about farming. Some bridges also has such beautiful view.

One of the view from a bridge. Border between West Java and Mid Java. Showing workers collecting river sand.

One of the view from a bridge. Border between West Java and Mid Java. Showing workers collecting river sand.

We arrived to our 345 km journey from Sukabumi to Baturaden at 4PM.

First thing we did was to check out the hotel. We just picked one that looked the best. When we went to look for other hotels, it started raining, we decided to have an early dinner before checking in to any hotel. Pringsewu is a very famous restaurant with tons of small banners all along the roads in Java. We tried that restaurant and found the food is quite costly but the Pringsewu in Baturaden has such nice facilities and a very beautiful garden. It has a playground, a rabbit feeding area and a small oyster farm. The service was really good and friendly too. I like that they have like a homemade chicken soup that is suitable for my kids. The staff entertained us by a mini magic trick show with cards that I get to take home and balloon twisting.

Outdoor dining area next to the playground.

Outdoor dining area next to the playground. At far right is the oyster farm

Outdoor dining on the floor

One of the outdoor dining area

Garden path @ Pringsewu Baturaden

Garden path @ Pringsewu Baturaden

Garden view Pringsewu Baturaden

Garden view Pringsewu Baturaden.

Dinner time.

Dinner time

Mini magic show and balloon twisting by a waitress.

Mini magic show and balloon twisting by a waitress

Beverage menu

Beverage menu

Food menu

Food menu

Dinner @Pringsewu Baturaden. Top left is the chicken soup, Low mid is roasted chicken. Right is fried oyster.

Dinner @Pringsewu Baturaden. Top left is the chicken soup. Low mid is roasted chicken. Right is fried oyster.

After dinner we went directly to check in to the hotel. Honestly I was a bit disappointed at the quality of the room that we got, it was not as nice as the room showed previously. I had to just accept it as I thought of a room with a bath tub will entertain the kids for some “ensuite swimming”. We stayed at Puri Wisata Hotel, I chose Deluxe 1 type of room, the room cost 255,000 Rupiahs with a 10% membership discount. The membership is free, so I just made one not even knowing if I will ever come back again or not.

The kids had their fun time in the bath tub. Then we all slept early. The weather in Baturaden is just cool, not very cold. Probably about 20 degrees Celcius.

That sums up our first day road trip.

At this time when this post is written US$1 is approximately 13,000 Rupiahs.

 

Note:

I have been working on this post to publish from about two weeks ago. I actually planned to make this whole trip in one post, but the longer it gets, I just have to make it into 3 posts. Hope you all enjoy it!

 

 

School Grades in Indonesia

Kids in Jakarta may start school as early as 6 months old! Well, they call it ‘school’ in a way or ‘baby gym’ or ‘baby class’, but formally school starts for kids at the age of 4 or 5 years old for 2 years in Kindergarten, K1 and K2. We call it Taman Kanak-kanak or TKA and TKB. Then 6 years in Primary school, we call it Sekolah Dasar or SD kelas 1-6. Then 3 years of Junior High School, that we call Sekolah Menengah Pertama or SMP 1-3. From SMP students can choose either to go to normal Senior High School which name has changed a few times either Sekolah Menengah Atas (SMA) or Sekolah Menengah Umum (SMU) for 3 years or to go to somekind of a college called Sekolah Menengah Kejuruan (SMK) for 3 years too. The difference between these 2 is that Senior High School students will need to continue and are prepared to go to University and college students can go directly to work field. Undergraduate university normally is about 4 years or 3.5 years if students rush to finish faster. Postgraduate university ranges from 1-2 years. These are the normal national education in Indonesia. It applies for all public and National private schools. For each end of Primary, Junior high school and Senior high school there is a final examination. This is can also be called package A for Primary, package B for Junior high and package C for Senior high.

 

Though school should start at the age 4 or 5, most parents would put their children in some kind of ‘school’ since their children are 6 months old, 1, 2, or 3 years old. Usually they are called Baby class (6 months to 2 years old), Pre-Nursery (2-3 years old), and Nursery (3-4 years old). Each school has their own definition or class names, which basically are more or less the same. Then switching from Primary school to High school, some schools depending on the method it takes, may have varieties in the names or levels. Some schools call it Year 1 to 12, some others use Primary 1 to 6 then 4 years of Junior High and 2 years of University preparation.

 

There seems to be a big gap in how the education system in Indonesia in reality. It is highly opposed that kids learn to write and read before the age of 6, yet entering Primary school, kids HAVE to be able to read and write. Now, how could it be? Are they going to read and write in one night? Or maybe during the one month long holiday? Definitely not. Therefore many kindergarten do not only have fun playing, but school also teach them to read and write, and also do some simple mathematics.

 

This is one of the reason for us to choose homeschooling. I love the freedom not to teach my children too early to read and write. Some of my friends’ children are stressed at the demands of the Primary schools. Some choose to move to another school or most will put their children to extra after school lessons. If I see my child is ready to read or write, I will teach them, but if they are struggling, I will definitely slow it down and wait until she’s ready.

 

From the very beginning, we already decided that we will let our kids go to normal school during their kindergarten years, then we will do homeschooling for their Primary years. For their high school years, we choose to put them back to normal school. We will see and decide for sure when time comes for us to decide either to put them back to school or just continue homeschooling. This is our 4th year homeschooling, later close to Joy’s 5th or 6th year, we will need to decide either to continue homeschooling or put her back to normal school. One of the reason for putting her back to normal school is that we want her to have school friends and catching up with normal school curriculum. We will also assess our situation later too. We need to decide to have package A for Joy or not. If she is going to a normal school that needs her to have it, then we need to have her pass it. But if she wants to continue homeschooling or if the school she goes into doesn’t need Primary school certificate, we can just skip the package A.

Why we choose homeschooling

I never thought life would be like this. I never really planned for 3 kids though I’ve mentioned it jokingly in the past.

I’ve had some experience teaching dance and English since I was in high school until a year after I was done with my University. I’ve seen how kids turned out at school and it made me think about choosing homeschool as how I would school my children. After reading some resources from books and talking about it to Garth, he agreed. We both agreed on how school in Jakarta stresses out kids, cost a fortune and which school your kids go to will surely determine your level of expenses. Our current situation enable us to adjust to homeschooling. This is a choice we choose to do as a family. Situations may be different in other families. We also decided to do homeschooling for the first 6 Primary years only. We put our kids to normal school for Kindergarten and plan to put them back to school during their Junior and Senior High School years. For the time being, this is our decision, but later when we have reached the time to decide whether to go back to school or continue homeschool, we’ll just have to see the situation then. We may still change our mind, as we go along this journey in our decision, we face some challenging situations with relatives who disagree with our choice, challenges in managing children, and being able to manage some time off for ourselves too. I enjoy all this though, by the grace of God we are still standing. Many times we face challenges, tiredness and boredom. These are just normal daily life, right?!

 

I am truly grateful to have a supporting husband, I couldn’t have done all this by myself. I am grateful also that we are a great team together. There are many things that we do together in parenting our kids that is may be difficult for others to understand, but we have our own ways of getting things done. Most of all, I am grateful to have Christ in the center of our family and marriage. He is the One who keeps us together and enable us to do all things.

Simple homeschool net Growing up around the world

This blog is the answers to the questions on the Growing Up Around the World

I am very excited to participate in the global adventures. This is my first blog and I am sure it will give a lot of information about us.

Our family consist of my husband, Garth, me, Lucia, Joy our eldest daughter who is 8.5 years old, Grace our second daughter who is 5.5 years old and James our son who is 3 years old. We are a Chinese-Indonesian family. Our grandparents came originally from China mainland, they married native Indonesian and have children in Indonesia. Chinese-Indonesian are about 4-5% of the whole ethnics in Indonesia. Chinese culture is quite obvious in some Chinese-Indonesian families like us, whereas some may choose to disregard the culture, but very much similar to the common Chinese family around the world.

We live in Jakarta, but we both came from smaller cities outside Jakarta. Our parents moved to Jakarta and so we stayed here and breed 😀

I have lived here for about 25 years, previously in Surabaya and was born in Medan. I’ve only lived abroad once for work for 1.5 years in Hong Kong.

Living in Jakarta means dealing with the traffic all the time. I am grateful that I can choose to schedule my day trying to avoid the rush hours or commuters, but sometimes we just need to jump into it and deal with it. People here mostly live in houses, though they are getting so much more expensive, but the apartments are even more expensive. Many are moving towards living in flats, but my husband and his love for automotive still finds it difficult to part with his garage. Also the simplicity of parking our car in front of our house rather than having to live in a much smaller and much more expensive space of apartment. People say that you can have just about anything you want in Jakarta. Specially nowadays people are very familiar with ‘gojek’. It is an online service that uses motorbikes to deliver or pick up our online shopping, food, or just about anything you want to pass to others. That beats the traffic! Ha!

Bahasa Indonesia is spoken in Indonesia as our national language. Our second language is English, though it is not as widely spoken in the society. English is mostly passive here, unlike people from some of our neighboring countries which can use their second language alternately. Here are some phrases in Bahasa Indonesia:

Good Morning : Selamat Pagi

Good Afternoon : Selamat Siang (before 3 PM), Selamat Sore (after 3 PM)

Good Evening or Night : Selamat Malam

How are you? : Apa Kabar?

Nice to meet you : Senang bertemu denganmu

Good bye : Selamat Tinggal

There are plenty of choices of traditional food here. Indonesia is very rich in culture and culinary. Here are some of the local Jakarta traditional food: Kerak Telor, Gado-gado, Nasi Goreng, Asinan Betawi, Soto Betawi, Kue Cubit, Kue Pancong, Getuk, Ongol-ongol, Onde-onde, just to name a few.

Indonesia has two seasons, hot and rainy. Our country is a tropical country, exactly on the equator. Most of us wonder what snow is like, as we have average temperature around 30-33 degrees Celsius the whole year through.

In Jakarta most kids go to either public school or private school. Here there are so many choices for private school, they use the term National, National Plus or International School. National school both public and private are conducted in Bahasa Indonesia, the school subjects are more challenging as in the high standard of the Indonesia National curriculum. National Plus School use both Bahasa Indonesia and English for their spoken and written language, school curriculum depends on each schools methods. Some may use IB, Cambridge, Montessori, etc. In International School everything is done in English, using either same or different methods or curriculum as in National Plus Schools. I grew up with only the choice of either public school or National private school. I went to either one of them along my school years.

We are one of just a few families that does homeschooling as a choice to teach our kids. It is still very rare but quite common for many celebrities or special needs children. Our children is none of those, we just choose homeschooling because we want to be able to give a better form of education for our kids. To have a closer relationship with them and helping them to learn a lifelong love of learning. We find that the school we had in the past was very stressful, and the other options are too expensive. School in Jakarta is very, very expensive. Most kids go to even more additional tutoring for school subject after school. It is very common that children here are lack of play during their Primary school years and too stressed during the whole higher education years. Though homeschooling is growing in Jakarta, most of the families join a certain group of homeschoolers or they belong to a certain group of the same curriculum users. We choose neither of those, we have been doing our homeschooling on our own. There are many after school activities to choose from that we call lessons or courses. Some of the options are school subject lessons, English, swimming, art classes, dance or even a choice of a whole sports activity membership for gymnastics, dance, ballet, tennis, swimming, etc. Most parents enroll their kids to at least one of these after school activities.

The highly anticipated day of the whole year is Hari Raya Idul Fitri. It is a Moslem celebration at the end of the Ramadhan month. What is not told much is that it has a huge impact on the city Jakarta. Most families in Jakarta hire helper that comes from many different areas outside Jakarta, during this time of the year, they all go back to their hometown. Jakarta becomes less crowded, less traffic jam, there is about two weeks of holiday and most families use that time to have holidays out of town also.

If I had to move away, I don’t think I will miss anything. I love new things and look forward to changes all the time. I may miss the food that I can have here. Most people say that they would miss Nasi Padang (food from one region in Sumatra) and Indomie (a very well known instant noodle)! Hahaha….

Many books are folk stories and legends about how a place is formed. Some of the famous ones most Indonesian would know are Malin Kundang, Sangkuriang dan Dayang Sumbi, Bawang Merah Bawang Putih, Keong Mas.