June 24

Learning, the Kumon Way

This summer, we did away from the usual sports activities, and instead opted for a more academic experience, so we enrolled EA in the Kumon Math program.

What is Kumon, you may ask? And how does it work? I took an excerpt from their website just to give you a glimpse of how Kumon works:

The following four strengths enable Kumon to achieve its learning objectives:

1. Individualized Instruction

Kumon is an individualized learning method that allows each student to study at a comfortable level, regardless of age or school grade, and advance beyond his or her current school grade level. At Kumon, students become enthusiastic for learning and experience a sense of accomplishment as they increase their academic ability and develop their potential to the maximum.
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July 29

Reasons Why We Love Creative Explorers!

From the time Heinel was in preschool until now that he is in big school, I am often asked by fellow parents who live in our area as to whether his school, Creative Explorers School for Children, is a good (progressive) pre-school. Heinel started at the age of 3, and for me, that is relatively young because in my time I took preschool when I was 6. Given his young age, it was important for me that he will be in a school where he will be guided in all aspects and not just in academics.  Heinel was with them for 3 years and I have nothing but good words for the school. Here are my major reasons why we love Creative Explorers (Heinel).

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September 7

The Fight Against Bullying

Our EA is in his first grade in big school and  one big factor in choosing a school for him was the safe environment, whether outside (within vicinity) and most especially inside the school and classroom. I was very particular with the small class size and a co-education environment because it decreases the chance of him being bullied. Read about our big school selection process here.

Bullying is probably one, if not, the greatest concern that parents like us have and think about as we send our children to school everyday. Stopbullying.gov defines bullying as an unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. With the popularity of internet and social networking sites, bullying can also happen there. Nowadays, it is called as cyber-bullying. It is very easy to spread rumors in facebook and twitter or upload videos intending to malign or discredit one’s character. The effect on bullying can be lasting, and if happened to very young children, can forever affect their personality and behavior.
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July 5

First Month in Big School

Heinel in big schoolIt is July so it means our EA has already been in his new BIG school for almost a month now. He is slowly adjusting and as each day progresses, I am convinced that after all our considerations, we enrolled him in the right school (read about our decision process here).  Just like his former school, his big school has a small classroom setup with just 24 students (boys and girls) and 1 teacher. This made the adjustment easier for him. During those times when I fetched him, I saw that he is already talking and sharing some good laughs with his classmates and he mentions some of their names to me when I ask who plays with him often.
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April 27

The BIG Big School Decision

A few years ago, I blogged about our son Heinel, getting ready for preschool and what factors we considered in choosing the school for him. And now, 3 years later, Heinel is finally done in pre-school and is about to be in the 1
st grade in big school.

Heinel has an introverted personality, and his preschool, Creative Explorers for children, did a great job in building his self-confidence. It was actually sad that just when he got really comfortable in his school, he has to say goodbye and transfer to a big school.
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July 31

Mom Kat Recommends: BUBBLE GUPPIES

Bubble Guppies is a show in Nickolodeon which features animated preschool mermaids and mermain. This has become my son’s favorite show before going to school because it somehow mimic’s his classroom setup in his progressive school such as circle time, lunch time and outdoor play.
I also like the show because I find the characters so cute and the songs are catchy. One of my favorites is the song that teaches kids how to take care and love their pets. At their age, preschoolers get fascinated with pet animals and it is a good thing to teach them how to take care of their pets and consider them as members of the family.

<iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/kKsHgnn8DHk” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

Hope your kids enjoy the video as much as mine did!

February 22

Sending Toddlers to School

During my time, children start to go to school at age 5 or 6. But nowadays, even 6 month old babies have schools designed for them. I used to disagree in sending kids to school at an early age because it might cause them to lose interest later on because of burnout having been exposed way too early. But when my son became a toddler, I had a change of heart. I soon learned that toddlers have very sharp minds and they absorb everything like a sponge. Also, since he is an only child, my son had very limited exposure to kids his age, and thus, he gets very uncomfortable when and shy, to the point of being scared around other people. Furthermore, we noticed that when he’s at home, he gets to watch a lot of television and gets exposed to noontime shows and telenovelas, which are not appropriate for his age. It is for these reasons that we decided that send our son to school at age 3.

Choosing a school for a 3 year old is a crucial decision. We do not want to put him in a traditional school wherein everything is structured and kids are asked to just sit still and listen. We immediately decided to send him to a non-traditional school, or for some, it is called progressive school. I’m not an expert in early child education so I will just use the term non-traditional school instead. The big difference in a non-traditional school is that children have a lot of hands-on experiences. Considering that they are a very young group, the curriculum seems like 2.5 hours of play for them but it is in fact, integrated with comprehension activities, science, social studies, values formation, math and of course, physical education.
My son’s first school year is about to end soon and I must say, sending him to school early was a wise decision. He became more confident and we have seen a great improvement in his social skills. He has also become more considerate of others, more independent and more inquisitive. He is also more articulate.
Parents nowadays are lucky that there are many schools, traditional or non-traditional, to choose from. All you have to do is browse the web to find the school nearest and most convenient to you.