In a few weeks, we will formally say good-bye to toddlerhood. Once school starts in June, Aki will be a preschooler. Are you excited for him? Me? Not so much. In school, lessons will now be more academic. I hope he responds positively.
When I enrolled him last year for toddler classes, my main goal was to improve his social and communication skills. Until my chubby giggly super cutie niece Baby Dumpling was born last December, Aki was the only kid in the Endaya family. I wanted Aki to have friends from the same age group. Seeing how confident, friendly and talkative Aki is now, his first ever school definitely exceeded our expectations.
However, for a week or two, I had second thoughts if I should still enroll Aki in that school for nursery. Academic-wise, I was not sure if Aki did learn a lot of new things after 1 year of school. I also notice that he has become less interested in writing and drawing. But then again, I had not been as hands-on when it comes to introducing Aki to concepts like I used to be. Before, I would research for activities related to letters, numbers, shapes and colors that we can do on weekends.
What made me doubt the first school really was Aki’s trial summer classes in this nearby school. For purposes of comparison let’s name Aki’s first school as School A and his summer school School B
– Cost-wise, this school costs 20K more than School A. What is good here is that the fee already includes 2 sets of uniform and school materials
– More traditional. They have quizzes and exams.I don’t mind the traditional method of teaching since we plan on enrolling Aki to a traditional big school anyway.
– Very focused on academics. As what one of the teachers told me, the competition in big schools is so much different now. I was impressed when the teacher told me that at the end of the nursery, their students are expected to be able to write their full names, count objects and identify letter sounds etc.
– The classroom was spacious and the library and audiovisual room was very nice.
– Nursery kids have daily 2-3 page homework.
– They have two major presentations every year. Both presentations are held in Insular Auditorium in Alabang. No need to pay for entrance but they collect a not so small fee for costumes. Teacher said last year the costumes cost more or less 2K.
– There are 4 nursery classes. Student teacher ratio is 12:1
– Classes run for 2 hours
– This school is just 10 minutes from our house. We don’t need to pay for school bus.
– I also like that when they introduce a concept, they introduce them thru songs, movements, stories, food and writing.
– Tuition fee is reasonable but does not yet include the books, uniform and school materials. I was pleased though when the head teacher said they kept Aki’s materials from last year so we don’t need to buy new ones.
– Nursery classes run for 3 hours (toddler class runs for 2 hours). This means more learning opportunities and hopefully more returns for our money.
– What really made me choose this school when I was still hunting for a playschool, was that they have 30 minutes of free play. They use this time for one-on-one teaching and for checking for social skills.
– For toddlers, the class size was 16 with 4 teachers. For nursery, I think there would be less teachers. I was not able to ask.
– The classrooms are smaller. I also felt like the walls were over-stimulating. Good news is that when I visited school recently, they were repainting and adding new rooms.
– They have homework but it is not daily
– I also like the small community feel of the school. Presentations are done in the school. Parents are discouraged from buying costumes. For the Christmas and Halloween parties and also for the family day, instead of collecting a fee or having food stalls, families were encouraged to bring food for sharing.
In the end, we decided that Aki will stay in his first school. I talked to the head teacher and she was very assuring. When she talked to me, it felt like she really knows my son. What really made me choose School A over School B are the teachers. I find them friendlier and more approachable. I think Aki would be more comfortable around them and more receptive to learning.
On my part, I promise to be more hands on. I will review Aki on his lessons and find related activities.
Here are pictures from the Moving Up Day.
The theme was The 60’s.
Boys were asked to wear shades, a jacket and a plain white shirt. Last December, I did not read the memo carefully. Come presentation, Aki was the only one who was not wearing green. Yikes. To redeem myself, for the last presentation of the school year, I went to different ukay shops to look for a leather jacket for my boy. Fail. SM, as usual, saved the day. In fact, it saved the day for the other classmates because at least 5 other boys wore the same jacket. Haha.
The kids requested for a pop song. Teachers chose Live While We are Young. I think it was a very good choice. As you can see, Aki really enjoyed the song. Too bad, we don’t have a clear picture when Aki was really into the song. And I mean really into the song. See top left picture. How I wish someone also took pictures of us proud parents of those cute boys as they were jumping up and down whenever it came to the chorus. Crazy crazy till we see the sun. Those kids know how to have fun! I don’t know if it was just me but I got teary eyed seeing Aki and his friends singing their hearts out
For security purposes, I won’t be sharing the name of Aki’s school but if there is anyone who is interested to know or has questions about preschools in this side of Paranaque, please shoot me a message via the Contact Maqui page.