Browsing Tag

preschool

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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Homeschooling Lifestyle Parenting

Homeschool Preschool Supplies!

Hi! It’s the third day of our homeschool preschool!

I mentioned in a previous post that I’m as woefully unprepared as I can be. I didn’t do prior research on homeschool preschool curricula (though I was obsessed about them 2 years ago, if that helps…) and didn’t bother preparing a dedicated homeschool area (the home office was a disaster area). Until yesterday, we were just using the kitchen and the living room and the kitchen, but I don’t think the boy even noticed. But I cleared up my half of the home office this afternoon so we’ll probably be able to use it from now on.

Good thing we have homeschool supplies. A lot of them.

Over the years, I’ve collected several workbooks and educational books aside from the classics and picture books. I had also received a couple of Buriboxes (planning to subscribe to more in the coming months), so we have collected art materials.

For those planning to homeschool their preschoolers too (it’s never too late to start homeschooling — that’s one beauty of it!), here’s a list of our homeschool preschool supplies.

Primary Supplies

Preschool Supplies

  1. Pencils
  2. Erasers
  3. Sharpener
  4. Pencil Box
  5. Crayons
  6. Scissors
  7. Glue

Writing/Reading

Continue Reading

Homeschooling Lifestyle Preschool

Homeschool Preschool, Here We Come!

I had meant to homeschool Yuri for the last, err, 2 years.

Sadly, it never became a top priority for me mainly because Yuri was still too little to pay attention to school “work.” In the past, homeschooling just meant reading books, learning new words, seeing new sights, travelling — basically trying to grasp every teachable moment.

All of a sudden, Yuri is 4 and I couldn’t anymore rely on just catching teachable moments as they go. We initially planned to enrol Yuri in a “real school” this year. However, because of reasons I detailed in this post last month, the real-preschool-plan was promptly scrapped. We were suddenly back to our original plan, which is to homeschool… and I am woefully unprepared.

Thanks a lot to regular enrichment classes from Eye Level (!), Yuri already has had a head start. Whew.

After-school frozen yoghurt pops! #wahmlife #homeschool #preschooler #toddlerlife

A photo posted by Marie Angeli Laxa (@maanlaxa) on

In all honesty, I still haven’t found the time to prepare a meticulous curriculum. It’s funny because when Yuri was 2 years old, I spent almost all of my free time researching on homeschool curricula that we could use. In my old laptop, I even had a spreadsheet comparing and contrasting the curricula. Yes I was very OA, yet we didn’t even get to homeschool haha!

(In my defence hehe, I attended a seminar on homeschooling and was told that it’s too early to formally homeschool 2 and 3 year olds.)

Now that it’s time for real homeschool, I’m caught unprepared! We haven’t begun yet even though it’s already the end of everyone else’s first week of school. Then again, two years ago, when I was very vigilant, I was a freelancer who had a yaya. Now I have a regular 8-5 job — and a real estate broker on weekends — who is yaya-less and helper-less. But I’m confident that we’ll soon get the hang of it — as soon as I am able to organise a proper schedule. I’m procrastinating, help!

Anyway, in contrast to two years ago, when I had a full list of homeschool supplies to buy and several printables to print, right now, all I have are Yuri’s unopened preschool workbooks which I have collected over time (I told you I was OA!). The great thing is that they’re really helpful.

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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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Homeschooling Parenting Personal

Adulting Tuesday!

Hey guys!

Yesterday I took a leave from work to do mummy duties AKA:

  1. Take Yuri to his pedia
  2. Take Yuri to our family dentist
  3. Take Yuri to Eye Level in Bajada, Davao for his diagnostic test
Selfie of an adult (Because a caption that reads "adult selfie" would mean another thing)

Selfie of an adult (Because a caption that reads “adult selfie” would mean another thing)

Well, we spent the entire morning downtown but only number 3 was a success (relatively). Here’s why.

I did not set appointments.

I have an A-type personality so I almost always never leave the house unless a sure appointment has been set. However, when I lost my phone a few months back, I also lost all of my contact numbers, which include my doctors’ contact numbers. The phone numbers I saw from the internet were also outdated. So we decided to wing it. Continue Reading

Blogger Perks Homeschooling Parenting

Unboxing the February Buribox

Buribox

What better way to spend the weekend than to read books and make crafts with your noisy toddler?

Thanks to Buribox by Adarna House, this is not just possible but easy. It’s amazingly easy because all you need to do is open a box and — voila! — everything you need is there.

We received our first Buribox last October thanks to Janice Lim of TheRollerCoasterRide.com. Then it was my turn to share the blessings with five other mums. Of course, I had mine, too — the February edition of the Buribox. Yay!

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This time, the Buribox’s theme is emotions and facial expressions and Yuri and I had a blast! Here are the contents before anything else:

Continue Reading

Blogger Perks Homeschooling Parenting

Unboxing the October BuriBox

October Buribox

Busy, busy, busy!

(Then again, I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t busy. I’m sure you can relate!)

Right now, after a full week of work, I’m squeezing in some real estate duties (I’m a licensed broker *hint hint*), blogging duties (obviously), and a bit of mothering. I’m sure that last bit made me look like the worst mum in the world. Truth is I’m relishing Yuri’s newfound independence. He’s still clingy — a lot clingier than other kids his age, seemingly — but most of the time, he does fine on his own.

One of my frustrations as a mum, though, is the lack of time (and budget) to look for stuff that will keep him entertained other than the tablet. When I was still freelancing, I had all the time in the world to shop for supplies, but now that I have a full-time job to attend to, time is a luxury I sometimes can’t afford.

So when I heard about BuriBox from Janice’s blog, I couldn’t be more excited. What put a damper on my spirits, though, is learning that they didn’t deliver outside Metro Manila. But that was before. Last month, Janice offered a promo wherein you can receive a BuriBox and just pay for the shipping fee. Of course I grabbed the opportunity!

We received the October BuriBox and here’s what’s inside: Continue Reading