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Sunday, March 18, 2007

A Silver Medal and A Scholarship

Tears of joy ran down my face as I stood there, reading out her name and reconfirming that it was really she that they were referring to. I was filled with awe and happiness that I had told the cab driver who I didn't know about her.

Can you blame me for being so proud? My daughter is graduating from her elementary education this March and she is one of the silver awardees. On top of this, we just learned that her application for scholarship was accepted and will be going to the Pasig City Science High School.

What's the secret? It was a dream,hard work, determination and the will power to persist. There were times in the past when my daughter would think she was not good enough because she got an average grade in Filipino (which happens to be her waterloo) and she cried over having 1 to 3 mistakes in some other exams. But I kept telling her that if she prepared and studied well, what ever the result would be acceptable to us. There was no pressure and she was happy. I asked her to engage in other activities such as playing the flute and doing kumon. I also asked her to exercise in the morning when she awoke. I prepared the food she ate both at home and in school. We went out on weekends as a family. She prayed and we prayed for her. She was in a good school (Mother Goose Playskool and Grade School is the 7th among the best elementary schools in the Philippines). I taught her about finances and about investing. She read a lot. Best of all, she is a good daughter, friend and student. Perhaps these things combined spelled the difference and we thank the Almighty for the blessings. Truly, when it rains, it pours.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Mother Goose PlaySkool - A Blessing to Children

I've been reflecting as my daughter is about to graduate from grade 6 and her commencement exercises are up next week. Did I and my husband make a good choice of the school to send her to? About 8 years ago, I took time out from work to look for a school where I could let my daughter study. She was, at that time, enrolled with a school near our home and it was quite convenient for her to just go there. But my attention was called by the teacher because she was not doing her class work and insisted that she already knew what the subject was about. Fortunately, I chanced upon a neighbor who is a "true blue" educator and he adviced me to look for a school that would challenge my baby enough. According to him, my daughter was showing signs of underachievement because she was bored - that the tasks were too easy for her. So, just shortly before the end of that school year, I was off on a mission to look for a good school for my baby. And then I found Mother Goose Playskool. I have not looked for another school since.

As a mother, I want the best education for my child. All parents do. I'm convinced that this is the best gift we parents can give our children. But not all parents are blessed to find such a school where there is a holistic approach to teaching, combining excellent academics with play, socialization, good citizenry and spirituality. Being involved in my daughter's education was one of the keys to it. In fact, it was the major key. I had made a crude list of what I wanted the school to have. Topping the list is the school's ability to give quality education,followed by proximity, the values taught to the children, and the teacher-student relationship. I had gone to 5 different schools during that "mission" and at each school I requested to be toured. In 4 of those schools, I was privileged to sit in during the class and was able to assess whether that school would be enjoyable for my child. Meeting the "would-be" teachers, I learned what they taught and how they delivered those lessons in class. I took time to check out the works of the children and observed the children themselves, taking mental notes of how they related with each other and with the people around them.

Among those schools, MGP (Mother Goose Playskool) was the best. It still is. The children are challenged with work enough to interest them and to sustain that interest as well. They cater to all kinds of children and yes, even those who belong to the extremes of the learning curve - both the gifted and the mentally challenged. Even those with behavioral problems. I remember seeing a diagnosed autistic kid when he started out as a child who was isolated and how, over the years, he had been able to come out of his shell and interact with the others. The children treat each other like members of their own family - with genuine love and concern for each one.

Children love MGP and never want to leave. At one point, we offered my daughter the chance to move to another school. She simply looked at us with her puppy-dog eyes and walked away. To my surprise and amusement, the parents of the other kids had similar stories to tell. Why would they want to leave anyway when they're having a great time?

With all honesty I dare say that I did not make a mistake. In fact, we've been blessed to have our daughter go to one of the Philippines best schools - Mother Goose Playskool and Grade school.