We ended up Unschooling.

Library with books.
Library with books.
Photo by Stanislav Kondratiev on Unsplash

Education is important and essential to everyone. My wife and I got our education the traditionally accepted way — through the school system. We never would have thought that when we became a parents we would homeschool, but the more we read and researched, the more it resonated with us. The biggest reason my wife and I chose to homeschool our kids is because we want to give them the best chance at finding what they want to do in life. …


Two thoughts that keep my positive outlook in check.

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Photo by Szilvia Basso on Unsplash

I’m an optimist. I used to always look at the brighter side of things and ignore the alternative, because focusing on the negative seemed to be a waste of energy. Life showed me the error of my perspective on multiple occasions. Along the way, life experiences honed my views, and I’m no longer the reckless optimist I was when I was younger. The other side of things, when things don’t work out, is an important part of decision making and shouldn’t be ignored. Two thoughts have helped keep my optimism from getting too far ahead of me.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Being optimistic doesn’t mean I have to be irresponsible. …


Lack of common sense can be painful.

Two silly toy figures fighting each other.
Two silly toy figures fighting each other.
Photo by Frank Busch on Unsplash

Just like you, I’ve spent a lot of time learning. Every new day I get to see, I learn something I didn’t know or see things from a different perspective. It’s what I look forward to, and fortunately there’s so much in this universe that we don’t know about I won’t be running out of things to learn anytime soon.

With all the lessons I’ve learned, I always found it funny that the ones I remember most are the ones that caused me the most pain.

Metal monkey bars will burn you.

Sometimes it’s better to give up.

Growing up, I always had access to a park nearby where there were monkey bars. I loved swinging across the monkey bars without ever having to let go and touch the ground. It was my “thing” as a kid. Any length of monkey bars, I would have a competition with myself to never let go until I made it to the end. As a 5th grader, there weren’t many accomplishments that I could claim as my own, but that was one of mine. …


Games can have a positive impact on your life.

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Photo by Ryan Quintal on Unsplash

Playing video games is something I’ve grown up doing. I’m not sure if that puts me in the majority or minority, but they are an entertaining way to pass the time and play with my friends and family. I remember when playing video games as a kid was seen as anti-social, but I don’t think people can make the same claim as confidently as before.

Gamers had and still have a negative connotation as being lazy loners who don’t have social skills. The funny thing is that the gamers I know and play with regularly are great people who look out for each other. …


Now stop looking for someone to give you permission.

Neon sign lit up with “Do Something Great” against a black backdrop.
Neon sign lit up with “Do Something Great” against a black backdrop.
Photo by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash

You don’t need anyone’s permission to succeed, especially mine. I’ve wasted too much time waiting for the right time to start projects that I cared about, because I was holding off until I was ready. My education subconsciously trained me to wait for that moment of readiness, but at some point it was just holding me back.

Looking back at my life and education, I realized that I was constantly waiting for someone else to tell me I was ready to move on and start the next level. From elementary school to high school, I learned that I couldn’t move on to the next grade until I adequately finished my current grade level. …


Don’t make it more difficult than you have to.

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Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash

When writing and working on other projects, I have an uncanny ability to over-complicate things. Don’t get me wrong. I come up with a logical solution to problems that arise, but when I revisit my solution, I realize that I could have made my life easier by making a smaller change somewhere else.

Keeping things simple is something I try to live by, and it’s a work in progress. I get so excited that I have a solution that works, I get tunnel vision and just start plugging away at my solution. …


Software is meant to make things easier on you.

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Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

Always keep your working environment in context, because when you get into auto-pilot, it’s easy to forget when to re-take the controls. I easily get caught up in the software I use and constantly forget that it’s a tool to make things faster and more efficient. I have to repeatedly stop designing within the software, whether it’s coming up with the proper data structure or coming up with the correct graphic design solution. I have to remind myself to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. …


When you’re running on empty, you can’t waste your energy.

Fog covered mountain tops in Wankspitze
Fog covered mountain tops in Wankspitze
Photo by Paul Gilmore on Unsplash

Burnouts have a negative connotation and it’s easy to understand why. The definition of a burnout explains it perfectly. According to HelpGuide:

“Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.”

I’m not disagreeing with that definition at all, but I am saying that not everything about burning out is negative. In my case, there was an interesting, positive outcome that came from me burning out of my original profession: I was able to focus on what really mattered in my life.

To be clear, burning out isn’t fun.

If you can avoid burning out to learn the same lesson I did, I’d highly recommend it. The process of burning out is not pleasant. Things that once made you happy lose your interest and the days just repeat; happiness is harder to come by; you tend to have less patience with everything in your life. …


monkey shouting in cave
monkey shouting in cave
Photo by Asa Rodger on Unsplash

That’s not the issue.

All the marketing out there about coding explains that anyone can code. That is true, but anyone can do anything if they put the time and effort into it. Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.

I didn’t start out coding or in the tech industry. My career began in architecture, the kind where you design buildings and physical spaces, not databases or software. I got into coding by taking online tutorials and using free resources where I could, like edX and codecademy. This was all in whatever spare time I could scrounge after a full time job and time spent with my family. There was a lot of frustration involved, and the only way I could keep pushing myself was having a stronger reason than my frustration of why I was coding. …


brown letters on table
brown letters on table
Photo by Gautam Arora on Unsplash

Assimilation starts early.

Words are important. Unfortunately, some people think only their words are important. In our world, there is an abundance of languages that anyone can learn and speak. What’s great is that you don’t have to settle for any one language, you can learn as many as you want to. But, there used to be a time when the majority of people thought you had to give up a language in order to learn another language.

“You should speak English at home.”

On the surface, it seems like a simple recommendation and it was the same advice my Kindergarten teacher gave my parents as Filipino immigrants. …

About

Roper Macaraeg

Writer of happiness and homeschooling. Spreading joy through writing and learning. Simple as that. :)

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