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Kindergarten Lifestyle School

School Fiesta and Intramurals Week – TGIF!

I thought exam week was busy. I couldn’t wait for exam week to be over so that I could finally catch a break.

I was so naive. 

This week was ten times busier than exam week! Last week, we only had to study for the exams, and their schedule, which was 4 days/1 subject per day, was very manageable. I even liked their time, 9:30 am, which I thought was a perfect fit for my work hours.

My hatid-sundo OOTD: my favorite striped shirt, River Island denim jeans (because shorts are not allowed), and Toms.

Yuri’s school is celebrating its Fiesta and Intramurals this week, and I think it’s safe to say I’ve been exhausted since Monday! Yuri is actually enrolled in the afternoon class, but since this week called for various celebrations, they needed to be in school at 7:30 am. Waking up early is not the problem, especially for me because I wake up at 5:30 everyday. The problem is that it throws us off our usual routines — both Yuri and I thrive on routine so it was truly a challenge.

Had to be very quick in preparing Yuri’s baon, for starters! In this lunch box: Mini Oreos, Milkana cheese, yema cake, and a banana

But it was a fun week, and I’m glad I was there. I’m still feeling bitter hehe about their Nutrition Month culmination. Growing up, we just had a simple program, went back to our classrooms after, and had regular class. This time, I didn’t know they had events and activities planned, and I wasn’t there at all while the other mommies were! After that, I made sure I’ll be present in all events.

The Flower Boy

Yuri was given his first ever school responsibility last Tuesday, a day before the school’s Fiesta mass. When I arrived to fetch him, I was informed that Yuri, along with another boy and two girls in his class, will be bringing flowers to the mass. I thought everyone in Kindergarten was required to bring flowers, but they just chose representatives per grade level.

Of course, palengke is the answer! We didn’t buy right after leaving school because I felt it was still too early, so we went home first and took a nap. Well, Yuri did. He didn’t wake up until around 4:45 pm and we still had to go to the neighborhood kiddie barbershop for an overdue haircut. Continue Reading

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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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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Kindergarten School

6 Reasons Why I’m Loving Yuri’s Big School

It’s no secret that Yuri’s current school now was not our top choice when we were initially school-hunting. I didn’t really not like this school — it’s just that I wanted to try something new because almost ten years of my life was spent inside this very campus.

Then again, life rarely goes according to plan, and we found ourselves enrolling in the very school that I voted against! We had to consider the logistics and the practicality of doing so — it’s just the most ideal choice at the moment considering those factors. Buuut after a couple of weeks of going to school and parent orientations, one being the first PTA meeting for this school year, I think I’m realising the merits of the decision.

Going to my first PTA meeting, wet uncombed hair and all

1. No heavy bags for the kids

I recently read in Mommy Fleur‘s blog how her daughter has to deal with a heavy school bag every day. I remember doing the same as a child; all my books (an average of 5-7) stuffed into my backpack together with my notebooks (8-10), pencil case, and other school stuff. And we haven’t included the baon yet.

I was pleased to find out that I didn’t need to buy Yuri a huge bag for school. The young children at school, from preschool/kindergarten to 2nd grade, all have lockers where they keep their books and notebooks. I’m not sure about the graders, but for senior kinder, they also have cubbies inside the classroom where all their stuff — art materials, toiletries, extra clothes — are hidden.

We’re only required to bring home the kids’ books and notebooks every weekend, so for the rest of the week, they don’t have to bring anything save for pencils, some supplies, and their baon. 

Yuri’s bag just holds his handbook, pencil case, a supply case (crayons, glue, etc.), wipes, towel, and a sanitizer. It looks big but it’s actually super light. 

(In fact, during the PTA meeting last Saturday, the teachers reminded the parents not to let their kids use huge stroller bags anymore because they didn’t need to!)

2. Little homework (so far…)

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Kindergarten School

Yuri and the First Week of Kindergarten School

I feel so exhausted! It’s just been one week (actually, four days!) that Yuri was at school, yet I feel like I’ve used up all of my humanly powers. In that short period of time, I realised, I’m not Wonder Woman! And it pains me so much to say that, lololol!

Seriously though, it’s been a really full week. Even if I had two days off (Monday was a holiday and I took a leave Tuesday because it was Yuri’s first day of school), it doesn’t feel anything like it. If anything, it feels as if I just came from an 80-hour work week. Having a student is not easy pala! 

I usually wake up at 5:30 (yes, even in the summer), but before school started, this meant spending time in a devotional, trying to work out, and preparing for the day. This time, it means preparing Yuri’s things, uniform, and baon. He doesn’t have to go to school until lunch time — we enrolled him in the afternoon session because of reasons — but since I have work, as much as possible, I need to get everything done within the first hour of the day.

Later in the week, I would find out that it’s a hundred times more better to prepare everything the night before. Hey, I’m still learning! 😀

I spent Monday and Tuesday doing school-mum stuff. I laundered all his uniform, school underwear (just white socks, white sandos, and white briefs), PE uniform, proceeded to iron them, washed his lunch boxes, water bottles, accessories, prepared his things and requirements, went to the mall to buy the last items still un-ticked on his requirement checklist, and did grocery shopping for baon. The works. I still had time to meet up with my best friend George for dinner, so I’m gonna give myself a pat on the back for that haha.

Well, I also learned that preparing for school a day before it starts and preparing on the first day of school itself were two completely different things. I can’t say I was frazzled because I still managed to have fun, but I think I did use all of my major muscle groups. I did manage to get these snapshots!

Weapon of choice: my trusty Instax 210 + film of course

Yuri’s first day baon: Tuna sandwich, cheese shapes, pizza shapes, and Keebler wafers

On the way to school! I brought him to the barbershop earlier that day so his hair was just freshly cut and styled

Hello, school! Let’s do this!

Welcome to kindergarten, noob mama! I swear, there is nothing more intimidating than a group of confident veteran school-mums when you’re melting into a puddle of nerves.

Hello, classroom! This was a really old classroom, a lot older than I am. The elementary building is, I think, the oldest building in the campus.

It’s good to know, though, that the inside was maintained nicely: clean and spacious and well-lit. A/C units look fairly new and it has an overhead projector na lol!

The adjacent classroom was converted into a playroom just for the K2 pupils. It’s also airconditioned and the place is really clean. Yuri’s one of the early birds so he had the place to himself. His favourite things are the bahay-kubo slide (behind Yuri) and the ball pit (right)!

Segue about the playroom: There was no separation anxiety or any drama among the kids, like at all. This was because they were all put inside the playroom to interact with their classmates, teacher, and titas (teacher aides). Yuri didn’t even look at me once he was inside.

The only “drama” that happened came from a boy classmate who arrived late. By the time he arrived, play time was already over and they were back in the classroom. It did not sit well with the child, obviously, and he cried. It does serve as a good lesson about punctuality for Yuri (and maybe his other classmates too).

Second day baon! Peanut butter sandwich, Keebler wafers, ham & cheese shapes, and a banana

I love PE uniform days because they’re easier to iron bahaha!

I really like the lady guard (the one sweeping the floor). She never fails to smile and she talks to the students, especially the smaller ones, in a motherly way. Also, she allowed me to go inside when I was wearing shorts. In my defence, I did not know the dress code was already being implemented during the orientation week! Oops!

A cut-out star can absolutely make a 5-year old’s day 😀

He didn’t even notice me when I was right there. Hi Yuri! 😀 (Also, he wasn’t wearing his PE uniform because a new schedule was given the day before, the day when he was wearing his PE uniform haha)

It was a fun first week. Right after the first day, my nervousness disappeared, and it’s hugely because Yuri was having so much fun at school. He loves his teacher, the titas, his classmates… the play room! LOL! In fact, for him, Monday can’t arrive quickly enough! As for me, I’m going to enjoy my weekend (I just finished washing his clothes ~again~ and wrapping his notebooks in plastic cover) because next week will be a new adventure!

School Shopping

Unique Back to School Finds at Gaisano Mall’s Grocery!

I know I’ve been mentioning Gaisano Mall a lot nowadays, and no I’m not paid to do it. It’s just my current favourite grocery at the moment! One of my absolute favourite things to do, which I may or may not be proud of, is to grocery shop, so I’m bound to have flavours of the month. Sometimes it’s SM, sometimes it’s S&R, right now it’s GMall!

The school year is about to start and I am not yet done with shopping. To complete my back to school shopping, aside from the usual bookstores and online shops and department stores, I’m planning to check out GMall’s grocery (again) because I spotted unique finds that I was not able to find anywhere else.

Like Pop-Tarts, Yuri’s current favourite hehe

Here are pictures of what caught my eye! (Forgive me for the poor quality; I was trying to be discreet as I was not sure whether taking pictures was allowed!) Continue Reading

Kindergarten School

Eating My Words About Our Kindergarten Plans (AKA We’re Finally Enrolled)

I still remember explaining, quite adamantly, why I don’t want to enrol Yuri in my alma mater. 

I don’t have anything personal against the school. It’s just that it’s the school my older brother and I went to most of our lives (except college), and my younger sister, who is entering her final year of junior high school, is still going there. I just want to try something new, which is why I actively scouted for other schools earlier this summer. The school has to fulfil my small criteria, and it shouldn’t be my alma mater.

Well ha ha ha.

Life has a funny way of making you eat your words, lol. A month ago — I just forgot to write a post about it — a week after I had Yuri take an entrance exam at Holy Child, where despite scoring well, we were waitlisted because they were prioritising old students, I irrationally panicked because what if no slot opens for Yuri? I know; it’s irrational. But staying true to my Type A-personality, I just needed a Plan B. Also, it was already the middle of April, not much time left (at least in my view). The other schools I wrote about I no longer considered, but there’s one school quietly waiting for my approval: the alma mater.

Thinking there was nothing to lose, I scheduled Yuri for another entrance test in ze alma mater. My original plan was to compare which school Yuri likes better. I was still planning to phone Holy Child for a follow up if a slot opens up.

Then, this happened and we lost our helper

A little backgrounder for those not familiar with my story: Yuri and I live in my parents’ house while Job works abroad for a couple of reasons. First, Job is not comfortable with the idea of Yuri and me living alone. Second, my dad is a dialysis patient, my mother is out everyday working, and my tween sister is still too young to take care of my dad if ever the need arises.

Back to the topic. Our helper, because of reasons, left, so we’re back to being help-less again. Our household will not fall apart in the absence of a helper, of course, but it was nice to know there’s an extra pair of hands around especially now that Yuri will be going to school. I built plans considering those extra hands, so when they left, I needed to amend the plan.

Bottom line: to make our lives easier, the most ideal thing to do right now is enrol Yuri in the same school my sister goes. Our routines would be much more streamlined, academic and extra-curricular schedules will be aligned, and in the unlikely event that I won’t be able to go to Yuri right away,  at least my sister is just there in the same campus. It just made perfect sense, and four weeks ago, Yuri was finally enrolled.

Right now, even though I’m sure I will still shop around for another school next academic year, I’m completely content with the final decision (Yuri doesn’t seem to mind either way). I’m just focusing on the most exciting task at hand: completing the boy’s school supplies. LOL!

Kindergarten Lifestyle School

Incredibly Excited for Kindergarten!

We had our last session at Eye Level a couple of Saturdays ago. It’s an enrichment school (formerly Enopi) so we didn’t really have to have summer vacations — and we certainly didn’t have to stop as both Yuri and I loved Eye Level — but I felt like giving him a break since he’ll be going to regular for the first time in his entire life. Yuri misses his classmates, but I just want him to enjoy this summer vacation. Also, it’s not as if he’s pining away after it hehe. We may go back to Eye Level once he’s fully adjusted to schooling, so who knows?

As for regular school, I still have a full month and give or take 2 weeks before it starts.

Aaaand I can’t stop online window shopping for school supplies. It’s like I’m addicted to it. I even dream of school supplies. Then again, I shouldn’t be so surprised — I find every excuse in the world as a valid reason to shop. Well, at least I’m not spending money! Err, at least not yet…

His hair was already too long in the wrong places, and I wanted to have him get a decent haircut before we make a first appearance at school lol

There was a new barbershop in the neighbourhood that also caters to little kids, and the haircut here costs almost half of what I used to pay for at Fun Cuts Just For Tots at SM Lanang. We love the place and how near it is to our house! And the cut’s not bad at all. Win!

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about our three initial school options for kindergarten. Those three were supposed to be initial choices, which meant I should’ve been adding more choices. However, I think I’ve already looked into all possible school choices in our area, and I didn’t find anything worth adding. If you didn’t get to read that previous post of mine, I am really just looking for a good school that is near our house. This is the first time Yuri will be going to a regular school and I don’t want us getting up extra early for a 45-minute travel. Of course, once he gets older, our priorities will shift and the accessibility of the school, while still important, may no longer top the list.

I originally planned to go to all of those three schools to inquire and maybe have Yuri take entrance exams. However, we ended up going to only one school. Here’s why:

  1. Little Leaders Learning Village is the most expensive out of the three. To be honest, even though the price difference is almost negligible, I cannot reconcile with how it’s more expensive than the other two considering it’s the smallest (it literally just occupies a unit in a commercial building). Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m not sure if it has an open area where the kids could run around. This is very important for me because I grew up running in playgrounds. I’m sure it’s a nice school, but it’s not the one for us.
  2. PNJK is officially out of the option because of a neighbour who has a certain reputation. I don’t want to go into details, but let’s just say that I don’t want to risk it. Don’t get me wrong; he’s not a threat to society, well at least, but he seems to just hate his Filipino neighbours (even though he’s Filipino himself). It’s just not worth it.

Sooo, by law of elimination, that means we’re left with one option: Holy Child! It’s not like we’re left without a choice, though. It was already on top of my list mainly because it is super near home, and I do think it’s a good school for kindergarten.

I failed to take a picture of the campus and the classrooms. I’ll take pictures once we’re enrolled.

Just last Wednesday afternoon, we went there to inquire. Since we were already there, I asked the person in charge if Yuri can take an entrance exam. It was already 3:30 in the afternoon, and the in-charge was quite hesitant because Yuri might not be able to finish on time. I asked her how long it takes to finish it, and she said it depends on the student. It is possible to finish early though, she said, so I went ahead and paid for the entrance exam anyway (P200), hoping Yuri can answer despite being unprepared.

I adored the examiner. She was so well-spoken and her voice was well-modulated. I loved her techniques, too!

And he passed! It didn’t take him long, thank goodness, and I was just observing from where I was waiting. I am not going to tell you how exactly the examination went; all I can say is that I liked the method of the examiner and she was really kind and helpful and accommodating. She even praised Yuri a couple of times when he finished the exam, and I was absolutely grateful for the affirmation. And yes, a little bit flattered, too, lol!

However, we weren’t able to enrol yet because they are prioritising their old students last week. I’ll have to wait for Wednesday to inquire whether a slot is available for Yuri. Realistically, I think there would be since we’re not a particularly big community and some kids might get transferred to bigger schools. But I really hope there is because we snooped around the kindergarten area (with permission, of course!) and Yuri really liked what he saw. When we went to SM Lanang later that afternoon, he even told me what he wants to put inside his table: his lunchbox daw, his pencil case, etc etc.

The fact that Yuri suddenly became super excited didn’t help… me. Because he’s excited, the excitement that I had already felt since the beginning of this month intensified further. We still haven’t bought school supplies yet — save for some that were given to Yuri as gifts or were bought in advance because naka-sale hahaha — and now I can’t stop looking at websites, blogs, and even Youtube vlogs (I just re-discovered how fun watching Youtube vlogs is!). I’ve been all over eBay, Amazon, even Shopee and every single kids’ online shop out there. I am a woman obsessed!

The obsessed mum and the exasperated child

I’m afraid I might overbuy and buy stuff that aren’t even needed, but then again, who doesn’t? Still, I want to stay practical and ~rational~ in this kindergarten school supplies shopping thing, so I’m doing all the research!

What were/are your kindergarten must haves? What do I need to buy? What can I do without?

Kindergarten Lifestyle Preschool School

Comparing My Three Initial Choices for Yuri’s First Big School

So we’re officially graduating from our unique preschool setup. Now, it’s time to look for Yuri’s big school for kindergarten!

About a week ago, I finally learned how much the tuition fee for the school I really, really wanted was. It was admittedly a bit higher than what I was hoping for — it’s around 10k higher than our projected budget — but Job gave me the go-signal. The fact that it is a really good school and comes highly recommended by everyone makes it easy to forget the slight difference anyway.

(Okay, it’s Davao Christian High School.)

I’ll be back when Yuri learns to wake up at 5 am. T.T (taken from DCHS’ Facebook page)

But there are two major drawbacks that keep me from finally choosing that school.

  1. Both branches are far from where we live. The distance is fine for an elementary student, but for a kindergartener who will be going to school for the first time in his life, I think it is quite far.
  2. Chinese is required in their curriculum. None of us speaks Chinese or can even remotely understand it. We would have to hire a language tutor, which I think is an unnecessary expense. I’m not even sure whether my son needs to learn Chinese. So, yes, it’s one of the major things that’s making me unsure.

While I’m still hoping we can go to Davao Christian when Yuri grows older, for now, I don’t think I should push it. You see, I actually have just a few non-negotiables for Yuri’s kindergarten school, so we can go choose another.

  • It has to be good. It doesn’t have to be big; it doesn’t have to be progressive. I just want it to be good (good environment, good teachers).
  • It has to be relatively near. Yuri’s not exactly the best when it comes to waking up early so I wouldn’t want to add to our stress.
  • Of course, the tuition fee must fit our budget.
  • There must be a place around or outside campus that is conducive for work.

So yes, I’m busy looking for a school! It’s fun but it’s also a little bit frustrating because almost all of the schools that seem interesting are in the south and I live in the north. Whyiii! 

There are good schools nearby, of course. I’m just jealous because almost all of the cool-sounding progressive schools are in the south *pouts* lol. Anyway, these are my options so far (as my list is still growing):

1. Little Leaders Learning Village

Taken from Little Leaders’ Facebook page

Reputation: I have eyed this little school ever since I started looking for a preschool for Yuri (and before we ultimately decided to semi-homeschool). The school is a progressive Catholic school, and I have heard good reviews about it. Since it’s just beside our cooperative, where we keep some of our savings, I’ve walked by it a number of times already. However, I’ve never been inside. (Also, cute name.)

Location: It’s just less than 10 minutes away and conveniently located near commercial areas in the city. In fact, just in front of it, a new Gaisano Mall is being built.

Fees: I sent their Facebook page an inquiry (I haven’t gotten around to school-hopping yet), and they sent a response rather quickly. For Kinder, the tuition fee is around 36k — not sure if this already includes the 4k miscellaneous fee or not.

Conducive Place for Work: I’m not sure but there are restaurants nearby. But they are not the most conducive places to work (for me), so if we choose this school, I’ll probably just go home to work.

2. Holy Child College of Davao

Taken from Holy Child’s Facebook page (will try to take a full picture when I visit)

Reputation: Holy Child is a pretty well-known school in Davao, and they have a handful of branches around the city. I know a lot of people who graduated there, as well as teachers who taught there. I pass by their campuses all the time, but I’ve only been inside their main campus.

Location: Fortunately, one of their branches is literally 5 minutes away from home. I have yet to explore it, but I will anytime soon.

Fees: I also sent their Facebook page an inquiry, although it took almost a week to finally get a response. I get it, though, since it’s Graduation and Moving Up season. According to the response, tuition fee is 32k and it already includes the miscellaneous fees.

Conducive Place for Work: It’s in the middle of a residential area so there aren’t many establishments surrounding it. However, it’s a relatively easy problem to solve as our house is just so near — I can just work at home instead.

3. Philippine Nikkei Jin Kai International School

Taken from Panoramio

Reputation: Among the schools in my list, this is the school that I know best because I went there in first grade. Back then (lakas maka-tanda), it was only a tiny school with a tiny playground with a tiny library filled with Japanese books (I can still remember “reading” a Japanese Pinocchio). It’s a good school and I also know a lot of people who graduated there. Japanese is a required subject, but I learned basic Jap in first grade and in college so the prospect is not as scary.

Location: It’s not super near, but it is located on the route that I know best because it’s near Eye Level.

Fees: I haven’t inquired yet, but they published their 2015-2016 schedule of fees online so I’m going to refer to it. According to it, tuition fee + miscellaneous fees for kindergarten is 33k, inclusive of books.

Conducive Place for Work: Its location is actually teeming with places I can work and it’s only a couple of minutes from SM Lanang Premier. Not good for my wallet, though, lol!


My parents have been insisting on my alma mater, but it’s always received an immediate scrap from me. Nothing against my high school alma mater; it’s just that my 2 siblings and I have gone there for a total of 21 years already. And my younger sister is still in middle school! I’m just itching to try another school, really!

Obviously we haven’t made a decision yet. We haven’t done any physical school hopping yet, only digital, and I’m still on the lookout for other options. If there are mommies here who hail from Davao, can you please offer me school suggestions? Thank you!

Homeschooling Lifestyle Parenting School

On the Fence About Homeschooling

I missed the local homeschooling conference in Davao City last weekend.

I had really planned to go, but during the last few months, we’ve been on the fence about homeschooling. I can talk about the benefits of homeschooling and how homeschooling has helped Yuri grow for hours — and really, I still believe them to be true — but the other side of the truth is that we don’t think it’s going to work for us next year.

Despite the schedule that I had established in the beginning of this school year, we haven’t been able to follow it. Because of my busy schedule, juggling work, real estate events, blogging, family, household chores, and my personal life, homeschooling just slid down the list of my priorities.

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Hear me out. I’m a full-time working single mum whose partner lives and works over 5,000 miles across the globe. I don’t have household help. Everyday I do not only take care of Yuri; I also assist the rest of the family, especially my dad who undergoes dialysis twice a week. I planned to homeschool after work, but most of the time, the only thing I want to do after I’m done with work is to rest.

I don’t think I can do it next year. Continue Reading

Homeschooling Preschool School

Our Homeschool Preschool Routine – A Day in the Life

Homeschool Preschool Routine

I’m very new to homeschooling.

Prior to this year, we’ve never done formal homeschooling. But now that he’s 4, we decided to formalise it (on a certain level) by following a regular homeschool routine and teaching specific subjects and lessons. (Note: We’re homeschooling independently.)

And even though we are so new to this, I’ve already gotten several questions asking me how we do it. First of all, I try not to pressure myself and Yuri. If I’m feeling tired from work or household chores, I call it a day and we just play instead. If I sense that Yuri’s not in the mood for pencil work, I let him paint or draw or whatever he likes.

I don’t shy away from technology either. We use 2, no 3 free websites to supplement our lessons (I’ll write about them too for everyone who’s interested).

Now, here’s our specific routine from sun up to sun down: Continue Reading

Homeschooling Preschool School

The First Week of Homeschool Preschool

We survived our first week of homeschooling!

In fairness, I didn’t even feel it. Each day, after work, whenever I take out Yuri’s stuff to begin our “session,” he was always eager to trace his letters, practice his numbers, or his favourite, do some colouring.

Colouring is my secret weapon. If a session is met with resistance, I get him to start colouring a page. After that, he normally doesn’t mind doing more serious work. Then the hour (or hour and a half, depending on his mood) passes by without me noticing.

Here are some pictures from our first week of homeschool preschool:

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I know Yuri looks oh so serious in the pictures above, but he’s actually goofy and silly half of the time lol. I just wait for the serious moments before I capture a picture haha. Seriously though, I don’t want to be too strict on him. As much as possible, I don’t want him to view school work as a chore but as something he genuinely enjoys doing.

So whenever he draws way too long lines on purpose or insist on doing upper case letters first, I try my very best not to be frustrated (people close to me know how easily frustrated I am haha). I gently remind him that there is a proper way of doing things and, well, hope I make sense to a four year old.

Homeschool Preschool Routine

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Lifestyle Preschool Review School

Eye Level (Enopi) Vs. Kumon — And Our Unique Preschool Setup

Eye Level vs Kumon

Today marks our third week of going to Eye Level, formerly Enopi.

I know it’s still May and not yet officially school season, but we already started our “schooling” because we’re not depending on the school year anyway. If you’re interested, here’s our current schooling setup.

We were set on enrolling Yuri, who turned 4 a couple of months ago, in a “formal” school this school year. However, when I weighed the options, I was convinced it wasn’t our best option now. Before I tell you why, here were my requirements.

Anatomy of a Good Preschool (for me)

  1. All of us are working. While I am working from home, my job entails following regular office hours. Because of the nature of my job, we need to find a school that is just within our area.
  2. Location has to be good. It shouldn’t face the highway directly, and strangers shouldn’t be able to access the kids.
  3. Given that I would need to work while waiting for Yuri, there needs to be a good waiting area conducive for work AKA quiet and comfortable.

We tried to go on a school-hunting but none of the schools within our area fit our standards. Better schools are farther away, and I am not willing to commute that far every single work day. I also can’t afford to be unavailable for a couple of hours each day to my team members.

Nuh uh. *shakes head vigorously*

So here was my new plan:

  1. Homeschool (we haven’t officially begun as we are still in transition period — I don’t want to overwhelm the boy)
  2. Enrol him in an enrichment school (choices were Kumon and Eye Level)

Let’s not talk about homeschooling today lol. Honestly? I haven’t laid out a concrete plan yet! So let’s just talk about the enrichment school part of the plan.

Why enrichment school? It’s not as demanding (time-wise) as regular school, but, based on my experience, is effective in driving important concepts to a child. Also, learning is personalised and according to each child’s pace — no one is pressured to keep up with the pace of the others. Finally, I want another person of authority teaching Yuri.

Both Kumon and Eye Level offer English and Math classes. Math sounds really interesting, but we are prioritising English first because Yuri doesn’t know how to write and read yet. There are also some abstract concepts (read: positions) that he can’t grasp yet. And it’s overwhelming to enrol him in two subjects. Math can come later.

Now, why did we ultimately go for Eye Level over Kumon? Continue Reading

Elections Events Mixed Mess Parenting Preschool School

Messy Weekend: Elections + Mother’s Day + Yuri’s First Day of School!

WOW!

What a weekend!

It’s already Tuesday evening and I’m still reeling over the weekend that transpired. I don’t think I ever had a weekend as busy and brimming as this one. Well, maybe except Christmas and New Year. But that’s another story. Let’s talk about the weekend that was. Here’s a photo diary!

Enrolment + Trip to the Dentist

Eye Level Davao

We liked Eye Level so much that we decided to go back last Saturday to enrol. Yuri’s excited to attend sessions!

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After going to Eye Level, we went to our family dentist’s clinic to have Yuri’s teeth checked. It was Yuri’s very first time to visit the dentist so he wasn’t comfortable sitting on the dentist’s chair yet. So I sat down and sat him on my lap while our dentist prodded at his mouth. He has one cavity that needs filling up and we’re going back this Saturday. Good luck teh.

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