Grateful Project Day 175: A Supportive Class Adviser

Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I volunteered to be a class parent officer in my son’s class. In my capacity as secretary, I deal a lot with the class adviser. This year, I am excited to work with our new class adviser. We met her after the orientation last week. She seems nice – strict, but nice. We’ve had some exchange of e-mails this past week and it seems that she is very eager to take on her new wards. I look forward to working with her this coming school year.

Grateful Project Day 119: Excellent Report Card

Report cards were distributed last Saturday but we weren’t able to go to Trixi’s school for it. Today was her enrollment schedule so we picked up the card before that. She received excellent marks in all her subjects. She had some difficulty this year compared to the previous years because of the bridging program. Because of the implementation of the K + 12 program, her school embarked on a bridging program this year. That meant learning the subject matter for two grade levels this year so she can skip a level next year. Aside from that, she was also chosen to represent the school in a couple of Math and Science competitions, which meant extra work for her. But nevertheless, she continued to do well. I am happy that her hard work paid off. Keep up the good work, Trixi!

Grateful Project Day 79: Ms. Jona

I am grateful for Ms. Jona, the Math coordinator in my daughter’s school. She was the teacher who chose my daughter to represent the school in an upcoming Math contest. She has been a big help in the contest preparations. My husband and I didn’t know how best to help our daughter. Ms. Jona lent her some books for her to go over. Aside from that, Ms. Jona is also holding one-on-one sessions with her to teach her advanced lessons and to give her practice exercises. We thought our daughter would resent having to do extra studying but she has been enjoying these preparations. She really loves the challenges! So thank you, Ms. Jona, for helping her in this endeavor.

Getting A Tutor (Or Not)

When I was in school, only those with failing marks had tutors. My siblings and I grew up studying by ourselves. Our mom was there to supervise our studying, to answer our questions if we had any, but we learned to study on our own. Nowadays, though, it seems like every other kid has one. Having a tutor now is not only for those with low grades. Even those who do well in class have tutors too. They claim that tutoring gives the extra push needed to do better, to get higher scores, to excel.

My son entered a different school for High School. Standards are higher, lessons are harder. The teachers warned them early on that in this school, you really need to study. Most of you, they said, were able to get honors in your previous school with minimal effort. But now, you need to work harder in order to excel.

When the first set of test results were returned, some members of his class got failing grades. Others got passing marks, but still below what they were used to getting in Grade School.  The parents panicked – let’s get a tutor for our kids, somebody suggested.  These are smart kids; they just need some tutoring now that they are in the adjustment period.

My husband and I had a discussion. Our son was doing okay, in some subjects better than in others, but generally okay. But he got a failing mark in a quiz. Only 3 in their class passed that quiz, but that doesn’t really matter. He failed a quiz. Do we go with the other parents and hire a tutor?

What can tutoring give him that he cannot do for himself? After all, the tutor will not be doing the studying – he has to do that himself. And if we do this now, getting him a tutor because he has a hard time, when does it end? College is difficult – do we get him a tutor then? Work is hard – do we get help for him then?

We decided not to get him a tutor. We believe that he has the skills and the capabilities to handle the lessons that are taught in school. We believe he should learn to cope on his own. If the effort he placed was not enough, then he should realize that he just has to work harder.  Maybe now, he will come to realize that it takes effort to get things that are worth having.

As for us, his parents, we will provide him with everything we can to make this work. We will support him in every way we can. We will do this WITH him, not FOR him. We will keep his spirits up when he gets discouraged.  We will encourage him to strive harder, to go farther, when he feels like giving up. We will celebrate every triumph, however small they may seem.  Whatever happens, he has the satisfaction of knowing he did it himself.

Entering High School

My eldest son starts high school tomorrow. He has never been this excited to go back to school after summer vacation. He says he’s ready, but I don’t think I am. I share his excitement, that’s for sure, but I also dread what this stage means – that he’s growing up, he’s going out into the world and soon he’ll spread his wings and fly. Gone is the little boy who thought I was the smartest girl ever because I taught him how to add. In his place is a young man taller than me, excited at the prospect of having female classmates for the first time.

Trixi’s Turn

It’s been a while since my last entry.  But interestingly enough, this post comes after Chino’s Crossing Over Ceremony.

Earlier this week Trixi came home with a note from the Grade One coordinator, Ms. Rachel.  The note said that Trixi was chosen to speak to the Prep students regarding her experiences in Grade One.  We were asked to help her prepare for it.  So I sat down in front of the computer and asked her to just speak out.  What did she want to tell the Prep students about life in Grade One?  This is her speech:

Good morning, Ms. Rachel, Grade One teachers, classmates and friends.  Good morning to our guests this morning, the Prep students and their teachers.

My days in Prep were fun.  We learned a lot of things through games, activities, and songs.  My favorite then was the spelling game we used to have with Teacher Joey.   When Moving Up Day came, I was so delighted because I was looking forward to becoming a Grade One student.  I wanted to learn new things.  For the summer vacation, we were asked to read at least two books (but you can read more, like I did).

When June came, I found myself in a new place, with new classmates and teachers. For a while, I missed being in Prep.  But I remembered that I needed to learn new things. From then on, I found myself enjoying Grade One even if Grade One is different from Prep.  We stay longer in school and have lunch here.  We have new subjects like Science, AP, Computer Arts, and Theater Arts. Once you get your Grade One ID, you can also start borrowing books from the library.  Just last week, the Grade One students went on a field trip to Manila Zoo, Kinder Zoo and Museong Pambata.  But for me, the most fun thing you will experience in Grade One is joining a club!  I joined the Young Scientists (where we made color windows) during the first semester then the Young Home Buddies (where we cooked French fries and egg sandwiches) this second semester.  There are other clubs too, like Nature Buddies, Sporty Kids, ACT and Dance Club.

You will learn a lot this coming year.  To be good in Grade One, you need to do your homework always and study hard.  Sometimes, there’s a lot of homework that needs to be done.  But at other times, there’s just a little.

So, dear Prep students, you have much to look forward this coming year.  There are a lot of exciting things waiting for you in Grade One.

Too bad Bong and I will not be able to see her as she makes that speech.  But we are oh so proud of her!

Proud Moment

Today was the Crossing Over ceremony in Chino’s school.  He was chosen to speak in behalf of the Grade 3 class.  Bong and I were there, naturally, together with Mama.  I wasn’t really nervous this time, compared to the Pagbigkas contest last year.  This was more relaxed, no worries.

When Chino went up the stage to deliver his speech, I saw that my little boy is not so little anymore.  In his place, there was a young man, about to enter Middle School, ready to face the challenges that lie ahead.  I listened to him relive his experiences in the Primary School.  He said his piece well, much better than any of his previous practice sessions at home.

After his speech, Bong and I were congratulated by a lot of parents. They complimented Chino on his speech, as well as for being chosen as the representative of his batch.

No one could be more proud this morning than Bong and me.