May 31, 2011

Posted by in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

To Preschool or Not To Preschool? Why not do both with the Kids on Focus Kittens Program!

I often get asked, both as a former preschool teacher and as a psychologist who works extensively with children is whether or not a preschool education is really necessary and if so, at what age is it most recommended. Also, what kind of a school program is better or whether homeschooling is a good option or not.

My standard answer for this is IT DEPENDS :) Of course the standard response I get is either an eye-roll or a heavy sigh from parents who get frustrated because I don’t give them a straight answer. My friends say sana di nalang ako nagtanong. Hehe… but well, that’s what I think is the best answer. While I do believe in the value of early childhood education, I also believe that each child responds differently, has different needs and learns in his or her own way. I follow this up, however, by telling them three important points to consider or to think about as part of their decision making process:

1. What are your goals or objectives for choosing to enroll in a preschool (or the choice of a program for that matter)?

2. What resources are available to your child? For example, is your child home alone for most of the day with only a nanny on hand or are you a stay at home parent? Also, does the child have siblings, cousins, and other children around to interact with?  If no, perhaps he/she will benefit from being around other kids on a regular basis through a school program.

3. Most importantly, is your child ready? I, for one, was a child enrolled in the preschool at age 2. Lucky for me, my school was a non-traditional school that did not force me to sit down and learn to read and write even if I wasn’t ready yet. It also helped that my teacher was able to spot red flags in my learning process that could have led to potential difficulties if not addressed early. Perhaps, if I had been enrolled in a more traditional school, I wouldn’t have thrived the way I did, mainly because I wasn’t ready.

Whatever answers the parents give me to these questions help me in responding to their needs because the bottom line for me is that there is no one size fits all when it comes to preschooling. Unlike, let’s say, more formal grade school education where a more set curriculum is in place. In the preschool, maybe a more flexible program is what a child needs.

This is exactly what the Kittens program of the school Kids on Focus is really all about. As they put it, children who have parents who can act as their primary teachers need not spend 5 days in a preschool.  For these children, going to the preschool can serve as a supplement or to complement, perhaps, what happens in the home. In these cases, preschooling attends to two important goals: the development of gross motor and fine motor skill as well as to improve their social skills.

The Kids on Focus’ KITTENS program is specifically designed to develop your child’s motor and socio-emotional skills through a 3-days-a-week (MWF) or 2-days-a-week (WF) school schedule.  This program is open to children aged 2 – 4 years old. Classes are held from 8-11 am or 12-3 pm.

For more inquiries call KOF at 6826207


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May 28, 2011

Posted by in Reflections | 0 Comments

Oh, Teacher, You Look Different!

warning: this is going to be an all about me post so be prepared for some random self-affirmation and vanity. teeeheeehee.

You won’t believe how many times I heard that on my first day back in school:

“Misss…you’re so blooming!!!”

“Miss Ria, you’ve lost weight!”

“Wow, Teacher, you look so different now…in a good way :)”

Teeeheeeheee. Random moments of flattery, I tell ya. One of my friends even said, “parang tumangkad ka ha, kahit mababa heels mo ngayon”  (you even look taller, even though your heels are not as high as usual). Mwihihi. I guess it must be all the yoga I did over the break that really made my skin so much clearer, my posture so much better (after all, the stretching, the ‘ creating spaces’ and strengthening the spine to hold myself up better must be much like getting an hgh shot or popping a few growth enhancers, right?? hehe), and for the most part, made my aura so much brighter because I am much more relaxed, calm and balanced even if I get stressed from time to time. Oh, and of course, the hair cut and color did add a little change to my physical appearance but the weight loss I guess and the more tone physique is what really makes a difference.

It was nice to know that the changes I have made in my life are starting to reflect on my entirely. After all, as I teach in class, well-being is really a holistic thing.Another thing I realized, however, is that I respond better to these comments and complements now….before I’d get all flustered and stuff…now, I just smile and say thank you :) Yep…teacher is different now.

She grew up. Bow. Teeheehee.


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May 28, 2011

Posted by in Classroom Escapades | 0 Comments

Teachers Goals this Trimester

This coming school year is bound to be a roller coaster ride of ups and downs. I can feel it already. But like any roller coaster ride (being someone who loves these kinds of rides, that is) there is that feeling of excitement and anticipation, and a bit of dread, in the pit of my stomach. At the end of the day, however, I know that this ride is going to be a good one. Like the roller coaster, there are more exciting parts, some that you kinda fear (like the sudden dips and in my case, the hanging upside down), and the feeling of comfort and accomplishment at the end of the ride.

This year I am facing a new challenge. One that I never thought I would. This would entail me doing the one thing I’ve always hated the most: research. While I have always hated it, deep down inside I know that I have the ability to do it and to think along the scholarly, intellectual lines that I keep running away from. Sure I don’t expect it to be fun, but in the end, I suppose I can say it was a great ride. I’m lucky too that going on this ride seems to not be sooo very difficult because of the support and encouragement I am receiving from people around me. I don’t even have to get a loan or to  check city payday advances or what not…after all, tuition can be so expensive, right?

And so because of that, I have to make some changes in the way I handle my time and my classes in order to really get things done.

So this term I aim to:

  • give more relevant examinations that measure and assess learning without necessarily resorting to too many essays.
  • avoid putting off checking papers and grading them so they don’t pile up
  • work on more efficient time management
  • stop cramming!!!
  • oh…and on another note, I really wish I can really work on getting to memorize my students names quicker!!!

Keep your fingers crossed for me, ayt? :)


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May 28, 2011

Posted by in Classroom Escapades | 0 Comments

Random Snappies: Teacher Goes Back To School

Because I have given up my preschool job, I have had so much time to do nothing. Literally. Well, yeah, I was supposed to do a lot of work over the month and or so that classes in college had let out, but I think I really needed the break and so it was good that I was able to take a long enough hiatus from the daily grind.

Now, however, its back to school. And I realized….I SOOO MISS THE DAY TO DAY OF PRESCHOOL!! Haha…during the summer we usually decorate our classrooms and stuff, and I didn’t get that done this year so when I was asked to help decorate the psychology departments bulletin board, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. I tried my best to keep it “grown-up” and scholarly but…I guess there’s no way to get rid of the bright and shiny preschool teacher in me. My partner in crime in this task also happened to be a former preschool teacher so I guess we can’t do anything about the bright sunshiney preschooley vibe we went with. MWAHAHA. To be fair, it does add a little life to the seriousness of the room :) Lookit…it’s sooo cute

It isn’t done yet, but it’s still cute! Will post the updated version next week when I finish it. GAAAWD I MISS PRESCHOOL.

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May 20, 2011

Posted by in Random Snappies | 0 Comments

Random Snappies: Goodbye Friendster!

Recently I (and I guess the rest of the Friendster social networking community haha) got the notice that the old site was being closed down and revamped to a new platform. Like many other users, I decided to log on and check what was still there.

Oh it was like a trip down memory lane! I came across photos and testimonials, friends I haven’t heard from in, like forever, and so on and so forth. One of the photos I found there was this one:

It was that of a trip two of my best college friends and I took way back in 2007 to Bangkok. Despite that being a difficult period of my life, that was one of the most fun trips I had ever taken in my life. We capped of the trip with an evening at the 360 bar of the Hilton hotel where we probably spent more for the evening than we did for all other meals combined haha. When I shared the photo on Facebook, my friend said, do you remember how we messed with that cab driver that brought us home from the Hilton? haha. It was soooo funny because the cab driver was trying to hit on us and was asking our names and stuff. We said we were, errr…Lindsay, Christina and Britney. Yes, named after the pop singers haha. At that time they were all the rage (well, before they kinda went off course and got in trouble with the law and had to be confined into california treatment centers and in jail, etcetera etcetera). In any case, it was fun pretending that evening! :)

Have you logged on to your Friendster account? What memories did you find there???

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