Googling about schools for the kids especially when they enter Grade 1, I landed on Teacher Tina’s blog, What is a Progressive School?, which I have already visited before when I was researching about progressive pre-schools for the Big Boy. I fortunately spotted her recent post about Mommy Mundo’s event, Mom School Series where topics on School Matters and Raising Bilingual Children would be discussed. Perfect! So I immediately checked my calendar on my Mommy Mundo Mom planner and March 21 was free so I registered for the event via SMS. It was free anyway! 🙂
I also asked my husband to come with me but because he’s not a morning person fueled by his overtime work the previous day, he politely declined. Unless it’s an FC Barcelona game, he probably wouldn’t mind waking up early. 😀 So still feeling a little sleepy (and almost lazy because I was sleepy and the event was for free. haha! 😀 ), I drove my way to Fully Booked BHS at 9am, registered and filled out a form at the booth and found myself seating in a room full of people no one I know. I’m independent like that that I wouldn’t mind being alone in a place full of strangers. 😀
After a few waiting minutes, the program started with Janice Villanueva, founder of Mommy Mundo, welcoming the participants and giving a little bit of an introduction about Mommy Mundo and the Mom School Series. The Mom School Series is one of the events organized by the group to provide information needs to moms when it comes to their children’s education.
But before the talk began, the Asian Academy of Television Arts, an organization that offers training courses and workshops for careers in the TV industry, introduced their product called the Mind Sync Project. It’s an extensive 2-day workshop with activities and learning techniques that allow full utilization of the human’s brain capacity especially for kids aged 6-16.
To convince the audience about the power of this program, a 6-year-old girl demonstrated how her brain was “activated” to it’s optimum level by “reading” colors and numbers while blindfolded. Yes, blindfolded and she couldn’t see what she was going to “read” so it’s not really called reading but…what? Anyhow, the little girl smelled and flicked the cards of colors and numbers (so that’s how she “read” it!) and accurately identified the color and the corresponding number in each card! Amazing! 🙂 But wait, there’s more! 😀 She was able to arrange the cards in ascending order! While blindfolded! Without seeing the cards! 😀 Bravo! 🙂 I’m intrigued at how this program works but it’s not a priority for my kids.
After the magic, I mean demo, the first speaker, Teacher Ryce Calunsag of The Learning Library which offers programs that promote reading as well as the use of the Filipino language among kids, was introduced to talk about Raising Bilingual Children. I share her observation that a lot of Filipino kids nowadays are taught to speak the English language very fluently as their “Mother tongue” but our own language, Filipino, is considered merely as a school subject. Worse, it is most often flunked. Filipino is also thought to be the language of the lower class. Sad reality.
Teacher Ryce encouraged the parents to instill the Filipino language to their kids when she discussed the benefits of bilingualism, how language is acquired by young children, myths about raising a bilingual child and how we can start our kids to speak not only the English language but also our own native language. I particularly like what she said: “Filipino is not only a subject. It is our language.” Very true. This will be our language philosphy at home. 😉
Teacher Ryce’s talk segued to interactive ways to teach the Filipino language to the kids, one of which is through educational digital contents. JoomaJam is one locally produced pre-school learning tool that was created by rockstar, Vin Dancel of Peryodiko! 😀 Yes, he is the brother of Ebe Dancel of Sugarfree and I just learned about it during the event when I heard his last name! They look so much alike you can’t deny they are siblings! 😀
Anyhow, enough of the rockstar chika. 😀 The JoomaJam music was produced in collaboration with local OPM artists like Gary Valenciano, Jolina Magdangal and Barbie Almalbis-Honasan. What can you say? Star-studded, di ba! 😉 Vin showed a sample JoomaJam video in English and Filipino translations and it was fun to watch — visually creative and the music was catchy. I’m curious to see the rest of the videos and learning activities in the app! 🙂
After JoomaJam-ing (hehe!), Teacher Tina Zamora, an education advocate and founder of Nest School, took over the floor to discuss School Matters. She explained the factors to be considered in choosing a school for your child (location, budget and schedule) and the importance of school philosophy and how it should be aligned with the parents own values and philosphy. She echoed my thoughts about pre-schooling — that children are designed to PLAY and they should be having fun in school instead of getting swamped with homework and exams. She also emphasized that parents shouldn’t spend too much on pre-school and it is not a required level in the K-12 program.
The comparison of Traditional and Progressive schools in terms of class size, routines/subjects, child evaluation, teachers, school environment and activities was also discussed by Teacher Tina stressing the importance of knowing your child’s developmental milestones in determining what approach to schooling to take.
Lastly, she tackled ways on how we can engage and become a partner to our children’s teachers to monitor their development. She ended the talk with some parent-school issues encountered and how these can be addressed.
I’m thankful laziness did not strike me that early morning of Saturday because of all the learning I got that would help me and my husband in our parenting journey. Apart from that, I also got to see a rockstar (haha!) and won this bottle in the raffle! Haha! 🙂
It was a worthwhile weekend morning and I hope Daddy J would be able to join me in events like this next time. 🙂