Saturday, March 22, 2014

Proud Mommy

The small medal is for his Academic Award  (top
honors) and the big medals are for Kumon (reading
and writing)
I had a pleasant surprise yesterday when I attended the Moving Up Day of my son.

A couple of days ago, my son's teacher sent me text messages asking me if I got our invite and confirming our attendance. And then last night, she sent another text message saying that my son got a Gold Medal for Kumon. I shrugged it off, thinking that there are other gold medal awardees.

I always thought that my son was an average child. I mean, I know he is special and extraordinary but whenever I would see his quarterly exams and grades, it's seldom that he would get a perfect score. So I thought he was just like any other student. We don't push him as he's just a pre-schooler and I want him to enjoy his childhood. Although we set aside daily time for him to do his Kumon assignments, we let him play as much as he want.

When we arrived in school, the teachers who recognized me offered their congratulations. I just smiled as I was thinking it was because of his teacher's text that my son is an awardee. It was when I saw the programme that I realized how big of an award he will truly get. And I could not help but shed tears.

For one, he was given an academic award for being one of the top students of their class. There were 5 students recognized out of their class of 15 and he ranks second.

Next, he was given a Gold Medal for his Kumon studies. Two Gold medals actually, one for Reading and one for Mathematics. What made me more proud was he was the only one given such an award for Kumon. I had to research what it meant and apparently, he's doing work that's 3 levels higher than his current grade.

What Milk Did He Drink?

One of the common questions that I hear about Basti is asking what milk we gave him when he was an infant. My son was not purely breastfed. I was mix feeding for 3 months and when I returned to work, he was on pure formula (Enfalac A+). Don't get me wrong. I am still an advocate of pure breastfeeding as the benefits are definitely favorable for the child's development. If ever we will be blessed with a second child, I will breastfeed him/her up to the best of my abilities.

When he turned one, we switched to NAN and kept at that until he turned 36 months. When he turned 3, we had to switch milk but for some reason, he refused to drink all the kinds of milk that we gave him until we just finally gave up. His pedia assured us that he'll be fine as long as he gets other sources of calcium (yogurt, ice cream, Chuckie, cheese).

We do not have a lot of restrictions in our house probably because we do not have enough energy to enforce them. I salute moms who are able to raise kids in a no-TV and no-tablet household. My son was the opposite. We let him watch TV but for some reason, he would only watch for a few minutes and then would go back to playing. Nowadays, he seldom watches TV and would only do so if we're watching.

We let him play with the laptop so now, he can navigate Windows like a pro. He's always on Youtube as he loves watching music videos of his favorite songs. Although we only let him do this when an adult is with him. Who knows what he might stumble on while he's searching.

Kindermusik and Playschool

Probably one of the best decisions that we did was enroll Basti in Kindermusik. He was only 18 months when he started with Teacher Ana Castro at Alabang Country Club (although I think she holds classes now at BF. You can call her at 502-8241; 0917-5322437). I heard that music helps with cognitive development and with the prodding of a-friend, we enrolled him in his first Kindermusik class.

Basti was so hyper before. He would seldom sit down and he started off running around the place but he eventually learned how to sit down and I would want to think, he learned how to love music because of this class. We enrolled him for 3 more semesters until he started his pre-school in Toolbox with Teacher Gittel.

Toolbox Learning Center is all the way in BF which is a good 15 minutes from our house (barring any traffic). From a weekly class in Kindermusik, Basti now goes to class everyday for 2 hours. It was here where he learned different life skills and developed his social skills. Whenever we would have our parent-teacher conference with Teacher Gittel (238-3542; 0922-8015915), she always has good things to say about Basti. One thing that she remarked on was his incredible memory (quite my opposite). I don't know if his memory can be considered photographic but he has this uncanny ability to remember everything that we tell him. That's why we're very careful whenever we promise him something because he will remember.

He spent 2 years with Teacher Gittel and her wonderful crew. When we had his recognition day there, they were made to read a book in front of everyone. My Basti memorized the whole book and barely needed the help of the teacher assisting them.


We tried having Basti admitted in Pre-Kinder with De La Salle Zobel but for some reason, they did not accept him. Their non-acceptance somehow made me reevaluate my perception of my son. I still think he's extraordinary but I changed it to thinking that there were more extraordinary kids than him. I just shrugged it off (although my husband was very upset as he's an alumni and wanted our son to follow his footsteps) and we enrolled him in The Learning Child which is also found inside the same village as DLSZ.

It turned out it was a blessing in disguise. It was in this school that Basti learned how to play with other kids and his social skills really bloomed. I noticed beforehand that Basti does not like to play with other children. We thought that since he's an only child, he'd rather be with himself. But in Learning Child, he found his bestfriend who he positively adores to pieces. His teachers tell me that they are inseparable.

I really love their arts-based curriculum. Basti is now fascinated with art materials. Whenever we would go to the mall, he would literally drag us to National Bookstore so we can get him new crayons or markers. On his birthday, I asked if he wanted Lego or any other toy, instead, he asked for art materials. So we splurged on that. Fortunately, we have a lot of scratch papers at home courtesy from our MBA days. I knew there was a reason why I did not throw away our old papers.

My son would draw random things or even write down the names of his classmates (full names, mind you). The funniest thing he did was write down the whole playlist of a Beatles album that he's listening to. Complete with running time per song and track number.

Next school year, Basti will no longer be returning to Learning Child as DLSZ finally accepted him as a Kindergarten student. However, he will still be returning to TLC as he will continue his Kumon there. It has been very beneficial for him and hopefully, keep him from getting bored. Also, it'll be the chance to see his bestfriend who is staying behind for one more year. Hopefully, we can arrange more playdates with his mom.


People have been saying that he should be accelerated or whatsoever. Personally, I do not want that to happen. I want him to stay with his age group so his social skills will grow the same rate. I want him to have a happy childhood and not burden him with people's assumptions.

Even with his extraordinary skills, I still do not want to expect more from my son. In fact, he continues to surprise me everyday. Whatever he achieves, I know that we will be proud. In fact, whatever he has done now is beyond my expectations already so I am doubly proud.

I've been asked what I would want my son to be when he grows up. Honestly, I have no idea and if have, I will not tell my child. I want him to chart his own course and make his own path. As parents, we will provide him the best education and teach him the right values so he will have basis for the career he will eventually choose.

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