Abacus Math and Mandarin lessons

We just arrived from Festival mall, Alabang for Ethan’s first Abacus Math and Mandarin lessons.  Before Mike left for the States a week ago, we visited the place to make sure that the school will be a good fit for him.  We decided to give it a try so we went today with an open mind, not knowing what to expect.

The school is called A plus learning center which is located on the 3rd floor of Festival Mall, Alabang.  We signed up for once a week (Saturday)  2 hour tutorial for both subjects — Abacus Math and Mandarin.  Since February, we have a native Mandarin speaker that comes to our house 2x a week. Laoshi Kelsi has fostered a love of Mandarin in Ethan in their conversations, creative play and games.  Every week, he looks forward to their lessons, so we thought that this is the best time to introduce Mandarin in a more structured way — classroom setting. We observed the ongoing Mandarin class 2 weeks ago and were pleased with the way Teacher Babes deal with the younger kids. Later,  I was informed that she has 20 years of experience teaching in the classroom as well as tutoring younger children. When E finished his 2 hour lesson today, he came out smiling. When I looked at his seat work, I was pleasantly surprised to see him beginning to write strokes (Chinese character) starting with numbers 1-10.  Not bad for first session, huh? 

On with Abacus Math.  Abacus is a mental math arithmetic using modernized abacus with one bead at the top and four beads at the bottom. For little kids, it looks like a toy that is fun to play. When E was 4,  he started doing abacus and finds it interesting because he likes to do manipulatives.   He did it for 6 months and was doing so well, doing addition and subtraction with minimal effort.  One  day he refused — whining, crying and what not.  Since we are travelling back to Philippines for a month that year and we wanted him to enjoy his vacation, we didn’t really push the issue. However, when we came back, it was already difficult to pick it up. Nowadays, he doesnt want to touch his Abacus. We lost the battle. So, when we found out about Abacus being offered in the same center, we were so excited and enrolled him, but with no expectations. Today, when he entered the classroom, he was reluctant to go in. Thankfully, teacher Honey  started talking to him right away making him feel at ease.  Later, when asked if he still wanted me inside, he said I could leave and pick him up when its finished. I knew then that its going to be okay. Two hours later, he was proudly showing me his work and the teacher said that he picked up easily where he left off.  Its just amazing how kids brain work!

Tonight, I will write an email to my husband so when he wakes up, it will put a smile on his face. Yes, Dad, mission accomplished …. for now 🙂  I’m off to bed now … tired but happy!