Monthly Archives

July 2017

Kindergarten School

Going Frugal: Making Worksheets Without Spending Too Much

It’s examination week… again!

It was also examination week the other week (when we stayed at Go Hotels Lanang), but that time, we were studying for their first monthly exams. Now, we’re I’m busy again preparing for another week of examinations — their first periodic exams this time.

And for me, exam week means printing worksheet after worksheet after worksheet. At the moment, I just finished printing more than 25 pages of worksheets and mock exams. It sounds like a lot of work for the child, but really it’s not. There’s just many pages involved when you take big fonts, generous writing spaces, and attractive pictures into consideration.

(Whenever I make worksheets, I feel a renewed respect for my mother, who had to write everything by hand and use carbon paper to duplicate sheets. God bless the day we finally bought a typewriter, but it wasn’t the most convenient thing to use when making mock exams…)

I didn’t actually realise the amount of printing it takes to raise a kindergartener. It’s only July now, but I think I’ve already used up a hundred sheets of paper. And if you’re on a budget and trying to be frugal, it’s a lot! So how do I save on worksheets and mock exams? Here are the things I do that can hopefully be of help to you.

1. Recycle paper.

Remember those forms that you were never able to fill in or those price lists you requested or fliers you kept but never looked at? Yep, use those! Honestly, I haven’t used a single sheet of new paper yet. All I’ve ever used were used papers, scratch papers, and print-outs with errors or lopsided photocopies. If you have them at home, don’t throw them out! Simply use the clean side of the paper.

You can see on the wrong side of the page that it’s been used before for village transactions.

In my case, I spent one Saturday afternoon (just an hour, really) in our family home office. I’m quite lucky because my mother never throws out things. I dug through all the used papers that she kept in a pile and gathered those that I can reuse. Voila, I now have a ream of scratch papers to use!

I use these drawers (around P450 for 2 drawers at National Bookstore) to store printing paper

Scratch paper kingdom inside

If you don’t have access to this much scratch paper, try asking your neighbours or nearby offices. I’m sure you’ll encounter someone happy to unload his “trash” to someone else!

2. Use dry-erase markers and a thin plastic envelope.

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Hotel Places

Staying at Go Hotels Lanang in Davao

So let me get this straight. The chain of Go Hotels is no luxury hotel — it is a budget hotel that caters to travellers looking for cheap but clean accommodations. I actually book Go Hotels whenever I travel because while the room rates are very affordable, the rooms are clean, the amenities are complete (at least the basics!), and I never had bad experience with regard to customer service.

Image via expedia.com.ph

Yes, I am a cheapskate who appreciates nice things and good service lololol.

Anyway, when I found out sometime last year that they were (finally) opening a branch here in Davao, I was excited. At long last! Then randomly, I stumbled upon a post of a Facebook friend stating how she was able to book a room for just P88/night as part of their opening promo. That’s no typo – it was really just P88/night! And I couldn’t say no to a good bargain. I know Go Hotels Lanang is just 10-15 minutes away from home but hey, that’s still several days and nights of not having to clean, wash dishes, etc!

I forgot how much I paid but I think I paid less than P1,000 for two rooms x 8 nights in total. Winner?

My first stay was last month, just after my birthday and before school started. It was intended to be a mindless staycation, and it was! Yuri, my sister, and I just lounged around, watching horror movies and MasterChef hehe. Of course, I had to work (in bed, though).

My second stay was just last week, which also happened to be Yuri’s exam week! They were having their first monthly exam, so we had to study during our stay. It helped that the place was conducive for studying and really near restaurants and mini-groceries. Because what child does not need to eat while studying?

Let me show you around the budget hotel room:

I forgot to take pictures of the toilet and the shower. They’re passable though; both are clean and the bathroom comes with hot and cold shower + hold and cold rain shower.

Extremely cheap promo rate aside, I really liked my stay in Go Hotels Davao because of the service, amenities, and convenience. It’s nothing like your standard luxury hotel, of course, but for those who are looking for budget accommodations or even for those who just want a staycation without breaking the bank (like me!), Go Hotels is certainly a good option to consider.

Kindergarten Messy Haul School Shopping

Going Frugal: Yuri’s Kindergarten School Supplies!

I know, how late right? We’re now already preparing for our first monthly exams next week (gasp!) and I’m still writing about school supplies. Why not haha!

Okay, seriously, I had photos of Yuri’s stuff all along. I took pictures of his supplies when I was preparing them before the first day of school and stored them in my computer… and promptly forgot all about them. Since I already have pictures, sayang naman if I don’t write about them so here they go! Yuri’s school supplies for kindergarten!

Despite all the excitement and the build-up, we didn’t really buy a lot of things for this school year. It’s mainly because we received free things from friends as birthday gifts (yes, we were ecstatic to receive school supplies as birthday gifts lol!) and from blog sponsors as well (thank you so much, National Bookstore!).

And then for the things we ended up buying, I made sure to get the practical options. As elders say, Yuri is, um, all boy, and can sometimes be a little rough with his things. While I was keen on getting high-quality stuff, I also had to consider cheaper options in case they need to be replaced before second quarter even starts. ‘Wag naman sana! Anyway, here you go!

Necessities

All-white closet basics

All of Yuri’s underclothes I bought from the department store. Save from the black and white socks, everything came from Gaisano Mall’s back-to-school sale. I don’t remember well, but I think the undershirts, briefs, and face towels were more or less P15-P25 apiece. In fairness, they’re quite good! Especially the towels — they’re still super soft even after being washed so many times. The Burlington socks (3 pairs) were around P200. The black and white socks, which are unbranded, were bought from SM’s sale just before school started. A pack with 4 pairs of socks was only around P150! I wish I only bought those because they’re a lot softer and tougher than the Burlingtons. I believe you can find them in SM department stores.

(Just goes to show how branded is not always better!)

Academic supplies

These were also bought from Gaisano Mall’s back-to-school sale (they were a lot cheaper than regular price) save for the box of Mongol pencils and fasteners, which were from National Bookstore.

More supplies

There are a few “free things” in this picture. The plastic envelope is not really free, but we had that since Eye Level days to store Yuri’s workbooks. The workbooks eventually outgrew the plastic envelope so I just hid it in my home office. The Transformers pencil case is a gift to Yuri from one of his village friends, the Westscott Wild Ones scissors are given by National Bookstore, while the Crayola glue was part of the Crayola kit I got for free when I bought Enfagrow milk from Lazada last year. Yup, Yuri got an entire bunch of Crayola stuff as freebie for a box of milk – best purchase ever!

For Yuri’s hygiene kit

Hygiene kit

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Parenting School

A Month of Kindergarten: Discoveries, Adjustments, and Baon Ideas (Help!)

I still can’t believe it’s already the second half of the year. Konti nalang, -ber months na! Christmas na! Hahaha super advanced.

I also can’t believe we’ve been going to regular school for nearly a month now. I thought it would be harder, but really, I think we’re coping just fine. Yuri is still in love with going to school (so far!) and I adapted quite easily. A big reason, I think, is the lack of homework. When we get home, all we need to do is rest and recharge. I hope it goes this smoothly the rest of the school year!

Stuck in traffic! Dili unta ma-late! 💪🏻

A post shared by Marie Angeli Laxa (@marie_angeli) on

Kindergarten is actually very new to me because I didn’t go to kindergarten myself. There are things that surprise me. For example, last Friday, the children attended a seminar with the guidance counsellor. I was pleasantly surprised because the seminar was meaty, and Yuri learned a lot e.g. bad touch vs. good touch and how to act around strangers and people they don’t know.

Good touch!

Our System

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Personal

Piano Lessons and the No-Go Signal

Job and I differ in so many ways. One of the ways we differ is our interests. He’s a very active guy, loves to tinker with things, and loves sports. There are four sports he’s good in: swimming, soccer, baseball, and track and field.

On the other hand, the only sport I’ve ever competed in was Scrabble.

Kainis, ‘no? On top of that, I don’t know how to swim and ride a bike! I’m glad I know how to drive now — at least there’s something I know how to do.

Aside from that, I don’t know how to play musical instruments either. There was not much opportunity for me when I was a child because my parents prioritised education over everything else. Lessons were also expensive and my parents didn’t want to spend their money on that.

Just to make it clear, I don’t feel any resentment over it. I did learn how to write and got to read tons of books because I had all the time in the world. However, I do want Yuri to grow up playing sports, maybe even knowing martial arts, and playing musical instruments. In fact, over the summer vacation, I asked Yuri what he wanted to learn, and he said piano and violin. I kept that in mind and shared it with Job although there weren’t concrete plans made.

The Piano Lesson Promo

I didn’t think about it at all until last Friday. When I went to school to fetch Yuri, there was a lady outside the gate distributing leaflets for what was obviously a music/performance school and I just had to ask for one. I asked her where it was located, and she told me it’s just beside Yuri’s school. OMG!

I studied the leaflet while waiting for Yuri. They’re having a 50% discount promo, and it sounded like a really good deal to me.

Job is off from work on Fridays so I quickly snapped photos of the leaflet and sent it to him and waited for his go-signal. Meanwhile, I was already imagining Yuri as the next piano prodigy.

A go-signal from him is very important to me. This is not just because he’s paying for it or he’s his son’s father. I am a very impulsive person. Making big decisions on the spot is not foreign to me. On the other hand, Job likes to think things through. He never jumps into something without careful calculation, so more often than not, whatever new venture he’s entering, he’s already 101% prepared for it.

A simple decision (like piano lessons!) for me can be made in a split-second; for him, it takes weeks, sometimes months, sometimes years. Now you see why I need his go-signal; I can’t be trusted with myself! I also like to believe that God’s wisdom is better coursed through Job’s method of making decisions. With my style, sometimes I even forget to seek God’s wisdom.

The No-Go Signal

I was already super excited for Yuri to begin his piano lessons (or violin lessons, whichever was preferable). Unfortunately, I didn’t get the coveted go-signal from his dad. I was disappointed, but I understood the decision. I was especially appreciative of the fact that Job explained his reasons. According to him, Continue Reading