Why enrol your kids to different schools?

I always get this question. And every time, there is a lag between the question and my answer. I struggle for words to explain that I look for school that would meet each of my child’s needs and not the other way around. I’ve learned my lesson already and I don’t want to make the same mistake twice.

My eldest son Marcus was diagnosed with mild ADHD. He doesn’t have learning disability, actually his IQ is above average and he is as normal as any normal child can be, except for one, he needs more attention. He would always get a bad remark for his behavior because of that. His psychologist recommended that I enrol him in a school with small class size (15 students or below) so that he can get the right attention that he needs. BUT because I didn’t want Marcus to feel that he has special needs, I still enrolled him in a traditional school. I tried to talk to the guidance councilor and adviser to make sure that his needs are addressed. They made promises that they were not able to keep. When these traditional schools gave up on Marcus, namely Don Bosco Makati and San Agustin, I was forced to look for another school. Blessing in disguise, Australian International School was referred to me.  Since Day 1, they did not disappoint me. Now, Marcus is always on the top 5 (among 15 kids with different nationalities), he has proven his leadership skills, getting (almost) straight As, varsity player in basketball and learning to play the piano and bass with minimum supervision. Opportunities that for sure won’t be presented to him from schools he came from.

My second child, Zach, goes to San Agustin. He fits the traditional school discipline. I honestly would want to pull him out from that school because the number of students there per class is so big already (almost 50), not to mention how they treated my eldest son. But so far Zach is doing well. He has good grades, speaks well and is confident of himself. I don’t want to stop his momentum by transferring him to another school. Maybe in highschool. So what I do now is I enrol him to other activities such as kumon and swimming. I also tell him to read books about important things not usually taught in school, like financial education.

My only daughter goes to Assumption College. She was enroled in a progressive school last year. There was great improvement in her in terms of social skills and independence but I transferred her this year because in terms of acads, they’re not much of a hurry. That scares me because I don’t want Lia to be left behind. Also I want her to get values and religious education. In Assumption, there are 16 students in her class (compared to 20+ in CSA for Kindergarten). I am still observing Lia’s progress, but so far so good. I will also enrol her to special class on top of Kumon.

There. I believe that I am in the best position to identify what my children’s needs are in terms of learning and development. I don’t want to force my kids in an environment which cannot provide my children’s best interest. So help me God.

Good Education is Expensive!

Any idea how much it cost us Marcus’ enrollment, school supplies, books and uniform? It was in whopping 6-digit! That’s how much Gary and I value education. We are willing to give the best that we can and even sacrifice some just to be able to enroll our children in a good school. One thing that frightens me though is the thought that my children will think that we are rich when in fact we’re not. This fear heightened when I attended the New Parents’ Orientation. I was with parents who were either foreigners or coming from a well-off family. I was not insecured, but my son could be with these wealthy children around. How will I explain to my son that he’s already lucky being given the chance to be enrolled in that school and living the life as these people do is another story. If these parents can give their children P500 or more daily as allowance, we can’t and we won’t. How can we convince Marcus to get the most of what that school provides in terms of learning when all he could possibly see and hear is that his classmates, even buddies, are fetched by expensive SUVs, provided with up-to-date toys and gadgets, lives in Forbes or Dasma and travels to different countries every vacation. I can’t help but ask, have we really made the right decision? Well, I am hopeful. With me and Gary around to monitor our son’s every move, I think we’ll be able to guide him and instill the values that we would want to impart. Besides, once in a while we give our children what they want and let them experience good things in life just as long as they are responsible enough to do the things expected from them. Above all, we continuously seek God’s help in all our decisions and in everything that we do. So for new parents out there… start saving now! :D