Grade 1 acceleration

Yesterday was the Summer Exploration culminating activity for the children.  It was a 5 week session where they learn Filipino, Math and Reading.  I thought that was a very enriching activity they did this summer.  Everyday, they come home so excited about what they learned in school 🙂

Ethan’s  Filipino has also progressed rapidly than I anticipated.  Everyday, he has to read a story in Filipino.  At first, he started with a short paragraph then it gets longer and more complicated.  Even I, the Filipino Mom, was surprised to see how difficult some Filipino words can be.  But with my help, he persevered and now he is able to read and understand age-appropriate Filipino stories. So yesterday, I had a chance to talk to the School Directress to find out Ethan’s assessment result.  She said that he is more than ready  —  meaning he will skip a grade this school year (preparatory)  and at 5 years old will start grade 1. We both feel that this is the right educational plan for him, we just need to spend more time in Filipino subject this year. E was proud of himself but at the same time, he feels sad that he’s going to leave behind some of his close friends.  I reassured him that he will meet new friends in his class and it will be okay.  Besides, its a small school so he can still see some of his former classmates.

Kaya on the other hand started reading 3 letter words.  Her writing has improved a lot this summer and she loves to copy words from her favorite stories into her little notebook, an activity that her brother is doing. She is now counting and writing numbers.  Both kids are now speaking comfortably in Filipino and switching between 2 languages gets easier everyday.  My hope is that Mandarin will also be a part of that equation one day.

Being here in the Philippines also brought cultural awareness to the children.  Young as they are now, yet they are aware of the social ills like poverty and homelessness around them.  They know that some children live on the streets and don’t have the same opportunities in life. That’s why they have to be thankful and work hard in school, to do their best in everything they do, to inspire people and to share their blessings. Every time we pass by the overpass going to SM Bacoor, they always ask money or food to give to the street children. In the next few weeks we will get involve with Pen and Paper, a foundation that helps poor children in marginalized areas in the Philippines by distributing pen and paper for this school year.  “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the and the blind can see” ~Mark Twain.

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