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Choosing Which School (Part 2)

The school hunting continues… In my previous post, I talked about the factors that I am considering when looking for the right school for Zach. Just to review, they are the following:

  • Teaching Method
  • Zach’s feedback/ reaction when we enter the school or after we talk with the teachers/admin
  • Location (1km – 7km) away from our house as much as possible so Zach will not be bored to death going to and from the school
  • Tuition fee – should be within our budget
  • The school environment – if it’s child-friendly, safe and secured. For me, it is very important that I visit the schools with Zach so I can see his reaction with the environment, with the teachers and the kids.

Last month, I saw a school along Katipunan Avenue that is a progressive school (teaching method – check), has a child-friendly environment (school environment- check) and location is around 7.8km from our house (location – so, so). Although the tuition fee is higher than what we were expecting, I agreed to let Zach join their trial class to let Zach feel the environment and for me to see how they handle their students. So, I set up a trial session and we went there last March 15, 2018. The class that Zach joined is a 3-hour class that follows a routine – they have circle time, one-on-one with the teacher. snack time, story time, etc. While Zach is inside the classroom with his new friends, I stood outside peeking through a small glass window observing what he’s doing and talking to the assistant of the school. All my questions were answered and I saw that Zach had a great time. The school was also clean and childproof so overall, we liked the school a lot. After the trial class, I began re-computing finances and checking timelines. We decided to enroll Zach in this school because of all the positive feedback we received from friends (whose children also attended this school) and from the experience we had. Then on March 22nd, I received a text message from the assistant of the school inviting me for a meeting with their owner regarding Zach’s enrollment. I said to myself, this school is hands-on with their students and likes to get to know their students and the parents well to set up an appointment with each parent. And so, I set up a meeting with the owner and felt mixed emotions of excitement and nervousness as to what we will be talking about on the day of the meeting.

March 28, 2018 10:00AM – I arrived at the school 5 minutes before the scheduled meeting. The owner arrived 2-3 mins after I sat down at the lobby to wait. She invited me to seat inside one of the two (2) classrooms and closed the door gently. Small introductions then the meeting began. I provided her Zach’s medical reports, the developmental pediatrician’s recommendations and gave her a brief background of our bad experience last school year with one of the day cares near our house. To make the long meeting short, she said that Zach “needs” a shadow teacher who will focus on him and who will prompt him when the main teacher in the class gives instructions. I have the option if I want to look for the shadow teacher myself or they will find one. Take note, this shadow teacher should have SPED (Special Education) experience that costs Php15,000-18,000 monthly! If we do not agree to get a shadow teacher for Zach, the school will not allow him to enroll. After hearing this, my world crumbled. Here I am, excited to enroll Zach, planning the adjustments that we will make and the school will not allow Zach to enroll, not without a shadow teacher. I felt very disappointed (and I told the owner that I am) and hurt at the same time because I’ve been looking for a school since December last year and when I finally thought this school is the one for Zach, another problem/ issue rises.

My son has Global Developmental Delay (GDD) and we learned about this when he was 2 years and 10 months. At that time, we thought that it’s too early for him to attend therapy sessions and that he will outgrow it.  “A developmental delay is often diagnosed when a child does not reach their developmental milestone when expected. Most developmental delays are not serious and usually correct themselves. And for some, there is no known cause. They can range from minor to something more significant. However, if your child does have some form of developmental delay, there are things that you can do to address it.” (https://www.adam-mila.com/developmental-delay/). Last year, we went to a developmental pediatrician again to check Zach’s progress and he still has GDD. We started with his therapy session last August 2017.

That’s the reason I carried his medical reports while school hunting so I can explain to the school his situation and the reason why I would like to enroll Zach in a progressive school. We are now under the K-12 curriculum and I am running out of time looking for a school that will accept him and help us improve his skills. Moreover, it’s already April and I wanted to enroll Zach in a Summer class so he can learn new things and focus on reading and writing. It took me a while to recover from that not-so-good meeting but I know I have to move on as time is, as I said, running out. There’s still a lot of schools that I can check and there’s a school out there for Zach, that I truly believe. We just need to continue to pray and continue the school hunting.

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Choosing Which School (Part 1)

Zach is now 5 years old! He turned five last March 17th and I am beginning my school hunting to find the “best” school for him to start his Kindergarten. His experience with his first school last year was THE WORST (if you asked me) so far and I will share that experience on a separate article. So, after what happened, here we go again – school hunting. So, what are the factors that I consider in a school? Here are my top 5:

  • Teaching Method – I will elaborate on this one in a while
  • Zach’s feedback/ reaction when we enter the school or after we talk with the teachers/admin
  • Location (1km – 7km) away from our house as much as possible so Zach will not be bored to death going to and from the school
  • Tuition fee – should be within our budget
  • The school environment – if it’s child-friendly, safe and secured. For me, it is very important that I visit the schools with Zach so I can see his reaction with the environment, with the teachers and the kids.

When I first started my school hunting last January of this year, my goal was just to find a school where Zach can learn how to read and write (easier said than done). I didn’t know anything about progressive schools back then. I first heard about this term from Zach’s therapist when I asked for his feedback if Zach is school-ready for this SY2018-2019. He said, it’s okay for Zach to go to school as long as it’s a progressive one. Thanks to Google, I learned about the progressive method of teaching and the difference between a progressive school and a traditional school.

I read the article “Choosing the right ‘big’ school for my child” by Jocelyn Laurel and she differentiated the Traditional approach versus the Progressive method of Teaching. The traditional method of teaching is what almost all of us experienced – the conventional way of teaching in a classroom wherein there’s a teacher in-charge and there are students seated listening and taking down notes. The teacher is the instructor, the students are the learners.  This method of teaching has been the traditional way most of us learned – the teacher is at the center and the source of our knowledge. The progressive approach on the other hand, evolves around the child and not on the teacher. It encourages creative learning, and the pace may vary depending on each child. The learning is being done also in a classroom but the teacher serves as a facilitator rather than an instructor.

After reading about Progressive schools, I decided to scout for schools using this method of teaching since I feel that Zach will be able to reach his maximum potential. As parents, we are the ones who decide which school/ teaching method is best for our child so it’s a case-to-case basis. This method might work for Zach but not for others so we better do our research and find out as much information as possible about the schools before we decide if we want to enroll our child. Let me know your thoughts.

You may also learn more about Progressive schools by reading the article I found in this link.

I will share more about my school hunting in my next article.

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September

I was browsing through my blog and saw this post sitting on my drafts for quite a while now. I am assuming this was dated sometime before my birthday when I was still planning on what to do on my special day. But guess what, it’s now April 2015! Hahaha!

Just to backtrack, my 29th birthday ( and yes, I am only 29! ) was spent most of the day in the hospital and I spent my birthday dinner with Turtle. We then watched a movie after dinner and that’s it. I turned a year older. But it was indeed a memorable birthday for me because my baby got out of the hospital that day and that was the best birthday gift ever.

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This was the draft I was supposed to write before my birthday:

“July and August went by so fast and now it’s almost September! Yey, My birth month! 😉 Now, the question is what to do on my special day with my very special boys – baby Zach and Turtle. Zach now loves to walk and play outside so we were thinking of going to the park/ mall and have him play in one of the baby activity fun places.
Initially, we were thinking of going out in the evening but since we have our little buddy to join us in the celebration, we would need to revisit the plan. Maybe we could have dinner (for two) once he’s asleep. ;)”

I missed writing! This is my first post for 2015! I need get things rolling in here.

I missed writing!

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Mommy Practicality: 2014 List of Halloween Trick or Treat Events In Metro Manila

Halloween is almost here and I can’t hide my excitement because this is Zach’s first trick or treat 🙂

Saw this very helpful blog for all mommies out there who are still thinking about what to do with the kids on Halloween.

http://www.mommypracticality.com/2014/09/2014-list-of-halloween-trick-or-treat-events-metro-manila.html?m=1

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Update on My Son’s Mishandled Hand

Last September 8, 2014, my baby was hospitalized due to Upper Respiratory Tract Infection and Hyperactive airways. We stayed in the hospital for 3 days and I blogged about how a resident doctor failed to put the IV on his hand. You may read that article here.

So after 3 weeks when I filed the complaint, my baby’s pedia contacted me and told me that she just read the email I sent to Customer Support because she was out of town 2 weeks ago. As soon as she read the complaint, she called for a meeting with their resident doctors and nurses on the 5th floor (that was where we stayed) of The Medical City and discussed what happened. She apologized for what happened and said that it was an eye-opener for them so this would not happen again moving forward. I was touched with what she did because all it took was a simple apology. But the doctor who did that to my son never did.

I do no want that resident doctor to lose her job because of what happened but I want her sanctioned for what she did. People make mistakes, yes, but what she did to my son is unacceptable and I need to call their attention because it was my son’s life that was at stake here. I need her to do better on her job as a doctor because her purpose is to save lives.

The resident doctors and nurses will have another conference this Thursday and our pedia will update me again of what they have talked about.

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My son’s Mishandled hand

Last September 8, 2014 my baby was hospitalized due to Upper Respiratory Tract Infection. He had to be given medicine for his cough and colds and needed to have an IV inserted to him.

He was admitted at The Medical City in Ortigas, Pasig City and I was disappointed during our first night in the hospital because of what the doctor did to my son.

I had to write a complaint because of my disappointment and to prevent this from happening again to others.

Here’s the letter I sent to their Customer Service Department. I took out the personal information of the doctor.

Continue reading

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Zach the Baby Explorer

Wow! It has been a while since the last time I blogged! Well anyway, just to give you guys an update, my baby Zach starting walking at 1 year and 1 month. And since he is now walking, he is everywhere! He can’t stay in one place for 5 minutes. LOL! Last Monday, we went to a dear friend’s new house and when we went outside, he just kept walking and walking. Here are some of his pictures. Isn’t he the cutest?

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