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Schools, Curriculum and What I Really Want My Kids to Learn


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rainymike

One of the reasons I'm comfortable with educating my kids in the Philippines, is that I'm really only expecting a basic minimum from the schools. Their curriculum seems copied from the US to a large extent, and my personal view of US curricula is that it is bloated with a lot of useless stuff that pretends to be useful. Nevertheless, it's a game the kids must play so I do want a reasonably good school for them. But I'm not knocking myself out for the perfect school. And definitely not knocking myself out for the school that best matches the US.

 

Based on my life experiences with education, what I really want my kids to develop are some of the following:

 

1. love of reading: to give them the ability to go beyond the curriculum and teach themselves things long after they've left school. After all, the real education begins after college.

 

2. resilience and perseverance: ability to pick themselves up after life has kicked them in the ass, and keep on going. It's okay to feel sorry for yourself, but not for too long.

 

3. basic algebra: unless the kids pick a more scientific career path, I believe that's enough to solve most of the basic problems in life. Calculus is great, but I never had to use it ... even with taxes ... lol.

 

4. hunger or ambition: I don't really want my kids to be the first in their class. That breeds arrogance and laziness after a while. I prefer them in the close but no cigar category. I want them to get into the mode of always having to work at it and not sitting on it and counting their medals.

 

5. strength to walk the road not taken: the personal strength to not have to follow the pack or the herd.

 

6. how to celebrate; after working hard, knowing how to celebrate life. This is different from partying. More of a knowing what's good about their lives and how to recognize it and appreciate it.

 

I'm of the opinion that this 'core curriculum' can be developed in the Philippines. But its a function of parents, schools, life and ultimately the growing child taking it on for his/her self.

 

So yeah, I do spend a lot of time now trying to shape the education of my kids. But even if I couldn't afford the private school, I think those core lessons could still be acquired. I fret about school quality in the Philippines up to a point, but it's not the be all and end all for the education of my kids.

 

 

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Brucewayne

One of the reasons I'm comfortable with educating my kids in the Philippines, is that I'm really only expecting a basic minimum from the schools. Their curriculum seems copied from the US to a large extent, and my personal view of US curricula is that it is bloated with a lot of useless stuff that pretends to be useful. Nevertheless, it's a game the kids must play so I do want a reasonably good school for them. But I'm not knocking myself out for the perfect school. And definitely not knocking myself out for the school that best matches the US.

 

Based on my life experiences with education, what I really want my kids to develop are some of the following:

 

1. love of reading: to give them the ability to go beyond the curriculum and teach themselves things long after they've left school. After all, the real education begins after college.

 

2. resilience and perseverance: ability to pick themselves up after life has kicked them in the ass, and keep on going. It's okay to feel sorry for yourself, but not for too long.

 

3. basic algebra: unless the kids pick a more scientific career path, I believe that's enough to solve most of the basic problems in life. Calculus is great, but I never had to use it ... even with taxes ... lol.

 

4. hunger or ambition: I don't really want my kids to be the first in their class. That breeds arrogance and laziness after a while. I prefer them in the close but no cigar category. I want them to get into the mode of always having to work at it and not sitting on it and counting their medals.

 

5. strength to walk the road not taken: the personal strength to not have to follow the pack or the herd.

 

6. how to celebrate; after working hard, knowing how to celebrate life. This is different from partying. More of a knowing what's good about their lives and how to recognize it and appreciate it.

 

I'm of the opinion that this 'core curriculum' can be developed in the Philippines. But its a function of parents, schools, life and ultimately the growing child taking it on for his/her self.

 

So yeah, I do spend a lot of time now trying to shape the education of my kids. But even if I couldn't afford the private school, I think those core lessons could still be acquired. I fret about school quality in the Philippines up to a point, but it's not the be all and end all for the education of my kids.

 

We have a friend who is a retired school teacher and she has found what I think is the perfect school for our daughter.

It is a modular school, which means that the teachers each teach only one subject.

The child is rated on each course of study and put into the level they are ready for and the class size is capped at 12 students.

If they can do 1st grade reading, the class they attend for that subject teaches 1st grade elevl reading and if they are ready for 3rd grade math, that is what they are taught in that class.

Their grade level is decided upon by the average of their abilities and they are allowed to graduate only when they are able to pass 12th grade classes.

I don't have the name of the school in hand, but am scheduled to visit the school in person after the new year holidays and should know more by then.

I have also been told that tuition there (no costumes/uniforms!) is quite reasonable, about P20,000 per year.

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tobster

Nice post and it really is spot on as far as I am concerned.

 

My daughter is 3 now and speaks both English and Bisaya very well as well as Tagalot she has picked up from TV. So for me she is already ahead and has her own tablet and understands the basics of a computer.

 

Who can say if she is motivated to go on to university or not. For me if she is happy, she can do what ever she likes and I will support her.

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80-90% of what you learn in school you will forget within 5 years.  The remaining 10-20% you will remember for the rest of your life.  There is nothing wrong with educating a child who is going to live in the Philippines to Philippine standards.  But if you want that child to maybe one day go and work overseas (so they have access to a First World passport) then you're probably going to want to educate them to First World standards.

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cebubird

Nice post and it really is spot on as far as I am concerned.

 

My daughter is 3 now and speaks both English and Bisaya very well as well as Tagalot she has picked up from TV. So for me she is already ahead and has her own tablet and understands the basics of a computer.

 

Who can say if she is motivated to go on to university or not. For me if she is happy, she can do what ever she likes and I will support her.

 

Wow!!! My 3 year old is just a 3 year old. Congratulations I guess.

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Headshot

We have a friend who is a retired school teacher and she has found what I think is the perfect school for our daughter.

It is a modular school, which means that the teachers each teach only one subject.

The child is rated on each course of study and put into the level they are ready for and the class size is capped at 12 students.

If they can do 1st grade reading, the class they attend for that subject teaches 1st grade elevl reading and if they are ready for 3rd grade math, that is what they are taught in that class.

Their grade level is decided upon by the average of their abilities and they are allowed to graduate only when they are able to pass 12th grade classes.

I don't have the name of the school in hand, but am scheduled to visit the school in person after the new year holidays and should know more by then.

I have also been told that tuition there (no costumes/uniforms!) is quite reasonable, about P20,000 per year.

 

Would you mind telling us the name and location of this perfect school? It sounds interesting.

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Davaoeno

 

 

There is nothing wrong with educating a child who is going to live in the Philippines to Philippine standards.  

 

 

Personally  I think there is very much wrong with that !!       [ when you are referring to current standards ]

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rainymike
The remaining 10-20% you will remember for the rest of your life.  There is nothing wrong with educating a child who is going to live in the Philippines to Philippine standards.

 

I think you're right. But I'm not limiting the kids to just school standards. If they are true learners, they will rise above those standards. Besides, if you are right, then 90% of the stuff is just stuff. Should focus on the standards for the relevant 10%. (LOL ... I know it's not that simple though).

 

And, I meant my list to be the critical core standards. Not the entire set. 

 

In real life, I discovered that I forgot a lot of stuff after college. But I was always able to look it up to refresh my memory if I had forgotten or to learn something new if I never learned it before. That's the kind of core skills that I think my kids need.

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rainymike

 

 

My daughter is 3 now and speaks both English and Bisaya very well as well as Tagalot she has picked up from TV. So for me she is already ahead and has her own tablet and understands the basics of a computer.

 

I'm constantly amazed what our young kid learns. The curiosity she shows. The willingness to explore. 

 

Sigh ... and then comes school ... and some of those doors begin to close (but others open as well).

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Brucewayne

Would you mind telling us the name and location of this perfect school? It sounds interesting.

 

Once the holidays are over, she will take me to the school to look around so I can see how it works in action.

I am quite excited about it myself and hope I am not in for a big let down.

But the lady has a grown daughter with brain damage that schools told her would prevent the girl from ever reading.

The girl is now 22 years old, has finished the 8th grade and can speak English, Visayan and Tagalog, so I guess her momma is not only a good teacher, but surely a good judge of schools.

Oh, I almost forgot, the school in question is on San Vicente somewhere and just outside of Yati.

I used to live out there, but there wasn't much of anything back in there until a few years ago when a bunch of high dollar subdivisions started building up.

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