Monday, June 25, 2007

At Summer's End

It's been two weeks since the start of classes, weeks filled with adjustments for me and my family. For me it is time to go to work again as a college computer instructor and for my son it is the start of a new chapter of his life, SCHOOL.

One of the reasons why I chose to teach than to continue my career as a computer programmer is the freedom to choose my time when to go work. I really wanted to have a family so before getting married I shifted to teaching. One of the great things about teaching is that you have summer and Christmas breaks or vacations, but its downside you also don't have a source of income during the whole summer. At least you have a time to try new things and indulge in activities that you can't do when you are working in an office.

Summers are a great time especially if you have kids, you have a time wherein you can really bond with each other. This past summer is really a special and memorable time for me and my son Lorenzo. We really got to bond, it's the time where it is only him and me, his yaya left last February and I am still waiting for the new one my mother in law promised to provide.

We spent the whole summer together even just going to the supermarket to buy supplies became an adventure for both of us. We went to church, ride the LRT, which is his favorite part of going somewhere. Hit the malls and played the day away. Took afternoon naps together and even got to prepare meals together and sometimes spent the day watching his favorite videos.

One new experience for both us is playing video games, I am not much of a gaming person and my ideal game is spider solitaire or tetris so playing Nintendo video games specially playing Paper Mario, a role playing game was really a first in which Enzo was both my partner and cheerer as we blunder along with Mario and getting lost in the forbidden forest. The video game became one of the bonding activity for my family specially when playing Mario Kart(a car racing game). Don't worry now the video game is tucked away waiting for the next vacation to be played again.

It is school time now me and my son, the summer spent only a memory, but a treasured one for both of us. Since I am working again, there are times that I miss those summer days. I know my son also misses those times for sometimes he requests his lolo for afternoon naps like the ones we shared and there are times he asks me when will go to SM.

My son's world is expanding now he has classmates and is in love with his school bus and school, I know that there will come a time that summers will not be spent with just me anymore luckily I have a few summers more to spend alone with him. Summers that I will plan to give us maximum enjoyment and will give more memories to treasure.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

My New Toy

My Blog have been silent for a week now, its because of my crazy schedule as the semester have started and teaching in two universities, having a son attend preschool, and caring for my family without a house-help made my life a little crazy.

I knew it would happen. Attempting to teach at two schools located in different cities in the metro would be challenging, plus having my son’s school right in between. What saved me is some future planning, meals planned two weeks before, schedules on the whiteboard in the kitchen, a supportive family and buying my new toy.

I’ve been planning on buying a laptop since January I realized that I’ll be needing one specially if I am serious in pursuing my online business. I first made sure that my son’s tuition is all saved up for its not good if I have a laptop but my son can’t attend school because of no money. Then think you ways and strategies in buying my laptop without adding to our current expenses.

My life in going through changes at the moment and my new laptop really is a nice tool to help. It is an ASUS A8FM with a core 2 duo processor, 1GB memory and an 80GB hardisk. It came with a free ipod shuffle. I am one lucky woman!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Lorenzo's First Day in School

June 13, 2007, Lorenzo's First Day in School. The day started early for me, making breakfast and preparing the clothes to wear plus the things to bring like water and the cameras, Lorenzo's class starts at 11:30 and we will be picked up by the school bus at 11am.

With the food ready, I woke-up Lorenzo at 9 but he is still wants to sleep, carrying him down the stairs and making him sit on the chair, I allotted 30 minutes for him to eat. By 10am it is bath time and at 10:30 we were all ready and waiting. The truth was we had a struggle to make him take a bath and dress up for he wants to go to SM Mall of Asia instead of going to school. He was only appeased when I told him we are going to SM after attending his class.

His mood changed when he saw his school bus, jumping up and down he was excited when he saw kids his age at the bus. We decided to get the services of a school bus because if we commute going to school he have to battle the traffic and the elements specially with the rainy season and riding the jeepney and walking to school will take its toll in his energy specially with a heavy bag to carry. My husband pointed out that he will be safer with the bus than going by public transport.

When we went to his classroom he went to sit first, looking around he spotted the toys and asked my permission to play with them, Teacher Manel says its ok for its still early, it was only 11:15. The class started with the teacher giving the kids stickers with their name on it. The class is small with only 12 students in the class. We parents were allowed to observe the class for it will be only for an hour and I have the whole session in video, his regular class is for three hours. The teacher introduced herself in class and told them that they are in nursery and what section they belong, checking the attendance was next. At the start of the class the toys were removed from the tables and the students sat at their appropriate seats, blue for boys and pink for girls. Lorenzo was restless and started to roam around the room when the teacher started to talk.

The next part was making the students form a line and the kids were praised for following the teacher. When the teacher produced a rope for the kids to hold, that is when Lorenzo started paying attention to the teacher and following what the teacher asks. Holding the rope with the teacher in front they toured around the classroom with the teacher introducing all the areas, the science corner, play area, the dining room, bathroom for boys and for girls, the bedroom and entertainment section where the class can watch videos and then go back to their seats.

The next activity was the distribution of their bags and school supplies like crayons, scissors, pencils and papers and books. Their tuition includes all their school supplies that they will use in class and the food that they will eat for the whole year. Am I one lucky mom or what? All I have to buy was the uniform. The last activity was singing which my son enjoyed, luckily it was all caught in video for he was shy at home when his lola and tita requested him to sing. The song was “if your happy and you know it clap you hands….”. I'll put the video in you tube when I finished editing it.

After that the teacher thanked all of the kids for behaving and gave each of them a star at their right hand and they will receive many more stars in the days to come if they are good. The class ended with a prayer, the same prayer we used to pray when I am still studying there. “Angel of God my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here. Ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.”

I say the day was a success for not a tear was shed. We were told that we will not be allowed anymore inside the classroom the next day and would have to wait outside. At least now I am content, I know that my son is in good hands and I also realized how independent he already is. I am so proud.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Choosing a Preschool for My Son

It’s my son’s first day of school tomorrow and after two weeks of waiting my son will FINALLY go to school. It has been two weeks of waking up in the mornings with Lorenzo coming to breakfast with his bag in tow telling me his ready to go to school. I hope everything goes smoothly tomorrow, the batteries of my digital camera and camcorder are being recharged at the moment in preparation for the BIG day, meals and clothes planned and prepared. I’ll blog his first day on my next post.

I was very particular about the school my son will be attending. Even before I had him I already have a mental list of the kind of schools my future children will go to.

Here are the things considered when looking for a school for my son:

It must be near our home and readily accessible through different modes of transportation. If it is in walking distance the better.

Legitimacy and Reputation of the School
The school should be licensed and registered and receives good feedback from the existing parents of students enrolled there. Meeting and knowing graduate from the school would be good.

The School’s Program Philosophy
Knowing their method in teaching children and their approach to learning must be clear and what will be the activities being done during school hours should be evaluated by parents if it fits their own beliefs and approve the kinds of activities the child will do.

Environment and Facility
Looking and evaluating the school’s facilities is important. Are the classrooms well ventilated or air conditioned. Is there enough area for playing and are they child proofed? Is the school clean and secured? Is there an adequate medical facility.

The School Approach to Discipline and Teacher-student Ratio
Is the school’s approach to discipline reflects the way to want to discipline you child. Any verbal or physical abuse should not be present in any school. Is the Teacher-student ratio just right for his age, could the teacher handle the size of his class specially children at the age of 3 or 4 years old? Can the teacher cater to each of his students’ needs during classes?

Affordable Tuition Fees
Is the amount of tuition fees reasonable for the kind of services they are giving? Are there payment plans available.

Teachers and Principal
Are the Teachers enthusiastic, patient and interested in their students? Does the principal reflects the schools philosophy in education. Are they approachable?

Child Readiness to go to school
Does your child show interest in going to school? Is he comfortable in the school’s environment? Is he ready to be left alone to teachers? Is he ready to interact with other kids?

It took me two years looking for the right school for my son and did not expect it to be the same school where I graduated in Elementary. My son attended another school much nearer our home in summer of 2006 but I was not satisfied with what they were teaching him, the school was just in a space in a ground floor of a building and there was no open spaces for children to play, plus the tuition fee cost more than fifty thousand pesos a year.

Early this year we visited my former school and was surprised with the changes they made(I attended school there 20 years ago). They offer preschool now and the school facilities were upgraded to accommodate preschool children. Met and interviewed the teacher(to ensure good quality they only have class for the nursery level) observe the class and toured the preschool classrooms(they offer nursery, kinder and prep). It also helped that the current principal was my teacher and the tuition was affordable(half of what the first school was asking for). The decision was finalized when my son asked to visit the school again, he enjoyed our first visit and is already comfortably familiar with the school's facilities specially the canteen.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Hello Mommies! . . . sweet mommy joan signing in!

I am excited to tell everybody that I recently joined the Pinoy moms network. And I would like to share some tidbits about myself.

Hello my fellow mommies! My name is Joan Piñon, I am a mommy to Lorenzo, my 4 year old son. My dream is to become a mother since I was a child and having Lorenzo fulfilled that dream after 2 years of waiting.

I joined the Pinoy moms network to reach out to mothers like me and to learn more about motherhood from fellow mothers in the network.

I catalog my life through my blog Sweet World of Joan. I have been blogging for a year now and now trying to regularly put entries on it. I am a very passionate person that I believe is reflected on my blogs. My life at present is a life filled with planning and decisions to be made, my son just started schooling and I want to be there for him but I have my work too. I am now considering of just being a stay-at-home mommy but I still have to weigh in everything and hopes that this network will give me insights in the decisions I will make.

At present I am a working mom and a budding entrepreneur, I am a university instructor for nine years now teaching computer engineering subjects at Polytechnic University of the Philippines and starting this semester I will also start teaching in Pamantasang Lungsod ng Marikina. I also have this hobby I rediscovered when I got married and turned it to a home-based business, cooking and baking. I baked sweet goodies like crinkles and macaroons but my specialty are molded chocolates, which I sell at Christmas. You can see some of my goodies at my website

Many people who first get to know me will get a weird impression for it seems my life and interests are filled with different things seemingly unrelated to each other. I hold a masters degree in Information Technology and teaches computer/technical subjects and at the same time I have a vocational certificate in Baking(which I took immediately when my graduation in my masters was confirmed) plus numerous seminars on baking and chocolate artistry.

Even my students are amused on my interests and even ask tips in baking and cooking, of course they also enjoy the free treats I bring specially when I am experimenting on a new treat. But I believe the two worlds can be interrelated, just see how I applied my masters degree in putting up my online chocolate business.