Browsing Tag

school

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…)

Continue Reading

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!

Sponsored

Start Strong in School with Mott’s

Mott’s Apple Juice is my favorite brand of apple juice. I have been buying it ever since Yuri was old enough to drink juice (I think around his 8th month mark?). I used to dilute it with water when he was a baby, and when he grew older, just the juice straight from the bottle. I never had any hesitations with Mott’s because it’s 100% apple juice — no sugar or any sweetener added — plus the fact that it’s chock-full of Vitamin C doesn’t hurt! Now that Yuri’s going to enter school, I’m planning to still give him Mott’s 100% Apple Juice for his breakfast and baon.

Which is why this package as a sweet surprised that arrived at the perfect timing.

We all want what is best for our kids, and Mott’s has a word for us this back-to-school season!


In a few weeks, the kids are going back to school. This is always a most exciting time for families. Waking up the kids on time, getting them to eat breakfast, and hurrying them along before the school bell rings — these morning routines are some of the most rousing that most families will ever encounter.

Parents naturally want their children to start strong in school, so they’d like to give them all they need to have the best preparation possible. Tomorrow starts with what you do today. For your kids to start strong, parents should help them develop the right habits today. They can start by establishing daily routines to get their kids into the swing of things like eating breakfast at eight, watering the garden at nine, and squeezing in some reading at ten. These routines will prepare their children for the everyday schedule they’d eventually encounter in school.

Parents would also like to place their kids’ sleeping routine down pat. A comforting bedtime routine may include a shower, a change of clothes, a reading of the kids’ favorite fairy tale, a prayer, and a good night kiss. These would make going to bed an inviting routine after a day full of adventures.

But the most important preparation for school may yet be a hearty breakfast. A good breakfast will give children the right amount of fuel to start strong in school. They’ll not only have the mental energy to go through complicated lessons, they’ll also have the positive vibes to make new friends. They will also feel less anxious about the whole back to school experience.

What makes for a hearty breakfast? The great news is that there are a lot of breakfast choices for the family’s nourishment and enjoyment. The traditional Filipino breakfast calls for fried bangus or tocino paired with garlic rice and sunny side eggs on the side. Other choices include pancakes and bacon, oatmeal or cereals with fruits, bread and eggs, and arroz caldo with tokwa’t baboy.

All these choices are best paired with the nutritious goodness of Mott’s 100% Apple Juice. The #1 brand of apple juice in the United States (source: IRI, Calendar YE 12.25.16), it is great tasting nutrition that children can enjoy for breakfast as it consists of 100% real fruit goodness with added Vitamin C. Mothers can trust that they are only giving the best to their children as Mott’s 100% Apple Juice doesn’t contain any artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners. By giving Mott’s 100% Apple Juice for breakfast, the little ones get a strong start to live every day to its fullest.

Mott’s 100% Apple Juice not only comes in 32-ounce & 64-ounce PET bottle for sharing with the family, it is also available in a convenient can that the kids can slip in their lunch box. Children can then enjoy 100% apple goodness in school as well.

Follow Mott’s at https://www.facebook.com/MottsPh/
#MottsPh #StartStrong

This post is sponsored by Mott’s Philippines
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!

Lifestyle Mixed Mess Shopping

Dental Appointment + Outfit Twinning + School Supplies Shopping

Happy mother’s day! Personally, even though I’m a mama myself, I don’t really celebrate mother’s day. However, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it either. So if it empowers you as a mother, go ahead and celebrate your being awesome!

Dental Appointment

Last weekend was another full weekend for me. Saturday was Yuri’s and my sister’s dental appointment. My sister had her teeth “molded” in plaster in preparation for her braces. Her teeth were overlapping so she needs to have them fixed.

Yuri was also scheduled for a check-up. Good news is that unlike last year, where he didn’t even want to sit on the chair by himself, now he did it willingly and without any prodding.

The bad news is that some of his molars had decay (this, despite brushing his teeth 2-3 times a day — sugar is the culprit, as usual) and our dentist recommended filling them in. Yikes! Yes, we are serious about dental hygiene, but Yuri does eat a lot of bread and pasta and sweets. So there. Also, I’m also suspecting Yuri’s current toothpaste, but it’s just a suspicion not to be taken seriously lels.

Dentist’s tip: Even if your oral hygiene is great, if you eat a lot of carbs and sugar in between brushing, you’re still at risk of getting cavities. In her words, it’s not just how often you brush your teeth but what you eat in between. So limit carbs and sugar! 

As we all know, filling requires taking out the decaying part of the tooth by “grinding” them. She told me she will have to refer me to a pediatric dentist because most boys Yuri’s age don’t cooperate and need to be sedated. I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of sedation, and I think our dentist (she’s been our dentist since I was a toddler) noticed that, so she asked me if I would like her to try filling just one tooth. I agreed, of course. I’m much more comfortable with her compared to a new dentist.

“Grinding” hehe

Yay yay yay! Yuri did not only fully cooperate but also didn’t even cry. Thank you, Lord! He flinched at the first touch of the “grinder” but didn’t move away from it or complain. When Doc was done, he even gave her a thumbs-up sign. We could’ve proceeded with another tooth but there was another patient waiting so we’ll return next week. Hopefully everything will be finished before the school year starts.

Tired from the appointment? Hahaha

Outfit Twinning with Yuri!

I may not necessarily celebrate Mother’s Day but that doesn’t mean I won’t dress up for it! My close friend, JM, sells twinning outfits for mothers and daughters, but occasionally, she sells mom and son outfits. When one came out in Yuri’s size, I just had to get it.

Dress from Mommy Trends, old cardigan, old Coach bag, Crocs flats
Yuri: Shirt from Mommy Trends, Oshkosh shorts, Converse sneakers

Wow I miss doing an OOTD! I rarely have OOTD photos taken nowadays because I feel insecure about how I currently look lol but I just can’t help it with this outfit. I find it so cute! I love that it’s not tacky (in fact, you will need to be really observant to notice that our outfits match) but they look good together.

It’s in the details

And I’m not just saying this because JM is my friend. I really love the clothes and I love how I look in it haha!

School Supplies Shopping

Why is it that the younger the student is, the longer the list of supplies?! Yuri’s requirement list, which we got from school after we enrolled (which reminds me — I forgot to write a post about it!), is an entire bond paper filled with names of supplies. And that’s just the basics.

I wasn’t planning to buy school supplies earlier because I wanted to set a date for it to get everything done. However, at Gaisano Mall (we like going to Gaisano Mall now because the Pop-Tarts are there haha), I saw that the entire atrium was turned into a school supply fair. While I love National Bookstore, the prices are lower in GMall. For example, a box of Crayola So-Big in NBS is like P110; there, an exact same box is just P88. Elmer’s Glue is P25 for 50 ml; there it’s just P19. A big difference considering my tendency to hoard, and the fair is right there in front of me, so I decided to just buy whatever I could buy.

There were also socks, underwear, uniforms, bags, lunch boxes and bags, even hygiene stuff. Virtually everything a student’s going to need for school. So I bought na what I can buy. 

Just a feeeewwww of what I bought. I didn’t take a picture of the entire haul anymore because it’s just boring academic stuff lels

I was personally curious about the lesson plan notebooks and the So Big Crayolas. They’re required to use lesson plan notebooks (with blue and red lines), and I saw K-12 ones from DepEd itself. So maybe it’s also a requirement in other schools? I don’t know. I do remember that when I was in Grade 1, we used lesson plan notebooks, too.

Yuri has never used So Big crayons. When he was about 2, I bought him toddler crayons that he rarely used since our old crazy yaya misplaced them. I saw them again just last year and they’re still unused. Yuri has always used regular crayons and never had a problem using them even when he didn’t know how to hold a pencil. So it came to me as a surprise that his school is requiring So Big crayons. I thought they were for nursery students or something. I didn’t know Senior Kindergarteners were also using them. Will the teacher allow Yuri to use regular crayons if he finds these jumbo ones too uncomfortable to use? Hmmm….

There were some items on my list that I didn’t find there but at least I’m already more than halfway done with school shopping. Woot woot!

How did you spend your weekend, mommies?

Mixed Mess Parenting Personal

Last Day at Eye Level + Nighttime Toilet Training

This post has been sitting in my… wait for it… drafts for way too long!

It’s been terribly hot this summer — where’s my summer breeze to make me feel fine? — but just last night, we had a strong thunderstorm. It was the same as the thunderstorm we had a couple of Saturdays ago where our electricity even got cut off for 5 hours.  And for the first time ever, our home office flooded (a little bit). Thank God it occurred to me to check the office just when the leaking started. (God has been giving me small reminders lately that went on to reveal bigger things. Thank you, Lord!)

I actually meant to post this almost a full month ago. For time reference, Yuri’s last day at Eye Level was on April 8th, and he got fully nighttime toilet-trained on April 13th.

Last Day at Eye Level

There’s nothing about Eye Level that both Yuri and I don’t love. Honest. I already made a proclamation of love here so I won’t go into details anymore. I just want to say that Yuri entered the enrichment centre literally illiterate (does that make sense? haha). Seriously. He just turned four then and before that, I didn’t think it was important to pressure him into learning how to read and write. After all, he wouldn’t be three forever.

(I have nothing against parents whose children were taught to read and write earlier. Different families, different priorities.)

By the time he turned four, though, I knew our time was up: he needed to learn how to read and write. When I enrolled Yuri to Eye Level’s English program May of 2016, he didn’t even know how to hold a pencil. After assessing him, we started at a pre-literacy level, where we even struggled with writing lines! I loved teaching Yuri, but for some reason, teaching him how to draw straight lines, crooked lines, and curves brought me at my wit’s end.

But after persevering, both in the centre and at home, suddenly Yuri was zooming through writing letters. We had to learn the correct strokes (I was lax at first but later learned to abide by the rules — penmanship does matter). At first, he got B’s and C’s on his booklets, but later on, they became all A’s. After several months, he was already on to reading and forming simple words.

From not knowing how to hold a pencil, he’s already writing and reading and spelling words.I know this is in no way an extraordinary feat, but for us, who started the year illiterate, this was amazing progress. And I credit much of it to Eye Level. The one-on-one hands-on sessions as well as the engaging activities and exercises helped a lot. 

Last day at Eye Level today 😭#sepanx

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

However, Job and I, even though we are 101% satisfied with Eye Level, decided to pull Yuri out after 10 months of being with the learning centre. This is plainly because Yuri is about to enter formal schooling for the very first time in his life. We felt like we all needed a break from any sort of pressure and just focus on resting and transitioning to school life this summer. We didn’t even enrol him to any summer class this year. I also want Yuri to be able to focus on schooling alone when it starts. By the time he adjusts to our new routines, we may come back to Eye Level. This time, we will be going for Math instead of English. Who knows?

Nighttime Toilet Training Saga

My mother has been nagging me about this for so long. You see, even though Yuri got successfully potty-trained before he turned 2, he has still been wearing pull-ups at night. I don’t know; I just felt like he wasn’t ready yet. Each morning, he wakes up with a full pull-up and he does pee a lot at night. In the early days, I tried having him wear his cloth diapers at night. But barely an hour into sleep, he wakes up because it’s already full of pee. So I just shrugged nighttime toilet training off and waited until he was ready.

I knew he was ready a couple of weeks before he turned five. He still wakes up with a wet pull-up but that’s because he pees upon waking up. It’s also the perfect timing because it’s summer and he pees a lot less during the summer. But then, we travelled and I felt like it wasn’t the best time to toilet train. We were sleeping in a hotel room on a hotel bed, after all! I just didn’t want to risk it.

Heels over head 😂

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

When we got back from our vacation, I waited for the next long weekend to come. It happened to be the weekend of the Holy Week. Our first night of no-pull ups happened on the night of Maundy Thursday. I just followed the basic pieces of advice: not giving too much liquid at night and peeing before bedtime. That’s it.

And it was a success! I didn’t get to sleep much that night, though. I was so paranoid he would wet the bed so I kept waking up to check. Nonetheless, he woke up with the bed fully dry and the first thing he did was pee. Teehee. It really does make a difference to wait until the child is ready.


My takeaway from this mothering experience? There’s no competition when it comes to nighttime toilet training. After all, it’s a bodily function that is not easily controllable. We might have used up more pull ups than kids who got toilet trained earlier, but it’s okay. There’s no use pressuring a child who just couldn’t keep his bed dry because he can’t help it. Because I decided to wait until I was sure Yuri was ready, he didn’t have to feel pressured or frustrated. Because we waited, nighttime toilet training for us was super easy, stress-free, and tear-free!

Actually, come to think of it, this can be applied to teaching literacy, too! In other words, raising a child shouldn’t be a competition.

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!

Real Estate Broker Diaries WAHM Diaries

Messy Life Lately: Too Blessed To Be Stressed

Hi! I think it’s time for me to come out of hiding. Lololol. I miss blogging! After all, it’s been three weeks since I started my self-imposed hiatus. And it’s March now! Come on, how fast does time fly? Wasn’t it just yesterday when I was freaking out because it’s Christmas season?

It’s supposed to be the start of summer, but it’s still cold and rainy! I can’t complain, though. As much as I love clear and sunny skies, there’s just something so enchanting about gloomy weather. I’m enjoying it now because I’m sure I’m going to miss it when the sun finally takes over.

Anyway, how are you? As for me, life is full lately – and that’s a cute code word for stressful. And it’s only about to get even fuller!

1. Helper wanted!

I’ve taken my recent hiatus because I just didn’t have any time to blog anymore. I still haven’t found a helper for the house, so it’s looking like a disaster zone and a daycare had a lovechild. Seriously! Why is it so hard to look for decent help nowadays? There was one who came to our house last Sunday. My friend, Yankee, referred her to me. However, upon arriving at my house, she was shocked to know that she will be serving an entire family. She thought she will be working for me alone daw.

I was surprised; it turns out there was a misunderstanding between her and my friend, and I can’t blame either party. Long story short, even if she didn’t insist, I made the helper go back home. Mahirap na, baka manumbat pa in the future.

2. Operations Manager -slash- Real Estate Broker

I’m still working my 8-hour job, which I thankfully love. And we’re still terribly busy setting up our real estate office. We’re not yet done with the preliminaries; there’s so much to do!

Cavanico Il Mare!

Here’s my routine. Right after I’m done working, I proceed to either work on my real estate website or head out to visit sites, get accredited in offices, or do whatever. All my weekends are fully booked, but in fairness not everything is about work. Just last Saturday, we spent the day at Cavanico Il Mare, which was a welcome opportunity for some R&R!

3. School hunting season starts now

Oh, and there’s Yuri. Thank God he doesn’t have to do any homework at the stage he’s currently at in Eye Level — or else there will be a four-year old kid who hands in empty workbooks every time. My Type A personality would not be able to handle that!

Then again, reality check: Yuri’s starting kindergarten this school year and we can’t delay it any further. Also, I will have to face the truth that homeschooling is not for us. It does not fit our current lifestyle. Even though Job is supportive, he is more than 5000 miles away, so everything that needs to be done (at least physically) is up to me. And my katawang lupa can’t handle it. It’s time for big school and we have to prepare for it!

4. Yuri’s birthday

And speaking of Yuri, he is about to turn 5 later this month! His birthday is actually on the 26th pa but because we’ll not be in Davao that day, we will celebrate his birthday a week earlier.

It’s just a small party – actually I wouldn’t even consider having a party if not for McDonald’s. I’m not really the type of person who holds parties, pero sayang naman ang gift certificates lol. His party is already booked (which was a breeze — thank you so much, McDonald’s!) but I still have to finalise the menu, the cake, etc. I haven’t even finalised the list of invites yet. Help!


I’m supposed to be losing weight now because I’m doing a lot of things, but the opposite is true. I’m stress-eating more so I’ve gained more weight. Eek! So I’m planning to revisit my routine, follow it, and find a way to prioritise my faith, health, and well-being.

Let’s start with a couple of minutes of positive thinking. I’m thankful I have to scrub tiles and wash dishes and mop floors because it means I have a house. I’m thankful I have to balance my time between my day job and my being a real estate broker because it means I have valuable skills to impart. I’m thankful we have the option to look for a good school and have a party! Even though I barely have time to shower — let alone moisturise — I’m grateful.

PS: I want a new bag though. Huhuhu.

Feature image from thefinerthemes.com
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.

Continue Reading

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!

IMG_2782

IMG_2799

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.

Continue Reading

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 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