Friday, July 11, 2008

Prep School Life, Oh Her Prep School Life!

our daughter is now in Prep. her work load is overwhelming, to say the least. every day, she comes home with a bag full of homework and activities. quizzes are scheduled every week (sometimes 3-4 in a given week). nyar.

not that i want to complain. she breezes over all her English subjects (math, reading, language, science, etc). thanks to her constant addiction to workbooks (we buy her about 3-5 new ones each month). but with Filipino, it's a whole different ball game.

actually, we never really thought about talking to A in tagalog when she was younger. even her nanny was tasked to talk to her in English (yea, yea, K's pet peeve, hey, we're talking about the freshie who aced the grammar competency test in Ateneo! *cough* hehe, don't ask me where it all went, ask my husband, hehe). one incident however changed all that and had us determined to teach her to speak in the native tongue. see, back when i was still chummy-chum-chum with one of the ex-PBB... uh... housemates (hmm, i wonder where she is nowadays? last time i saw her was on my hubby's digicam. apparently, they're now friends, and have the same embassy-ascend-alchemy-jaipur-what-have-you clique), she took A inside the PBB house, where A met one of the directors and the other peeps behind PBB. and this conversation ensued:

Director: Hi! Anong name mo?
Ex-PBB Housemate: What's your name daw?
A: A!
Director: Hi, A! Ang pretty mo naman. Gusto mo bang mag-artista?
A: Oo...
Director: Para pareho kay ni Ate (names Ex-PBB HM)...?
A: Oo...
Director: Sinong mas maganda sa inyo ni Ate (names Ex-PBB HM)?
A: Oo...

when our nanny realized that her ward can't become a celebrity because she couldn't speak Tagalog, she started teaching A simple words. today, A speaks in broken tagalog. "Gulat ako" "Ano pakain mo for A?" and all those funny broken tagalog phrases, which hey, i attempt to correct, but to no avail.

so anyway, because i've been spending more time teaching A (we didn't need to teach her a thing last year, since everything was easy as pie for her, what with her workbooks at 1st and 2nd grade levels already), i have been struggling with teaching her Filipino. last week, she had a "quiz" on Alpabetong Filipino, where she had to memorize all letters that are Patinig, Katinig and those Hiram na Titik (kayo, alam nyo yun?). The quiz was announced the day before. and because it was the first time for us to see her Filipino notebook that day the quiz was announced, i couldn't help but despair on how to explain to A what those letters are. i explained it in English, and she got it naman after a few tries (yea, we got through studying at 1130pm, and by then, she was already running a fever). she aced the test though with a perfect 40/40 and a big "O" for "Outstanding", so yey!

because of that test, i figured i should make note of every single lesson she brings home each day just so i can review it with her, in case her Filipino teacher springs another surprise. we started with words that begin with or contain the Patinigs A through U (i got it from her Binhi book, which she brought home for homework). see, i have to work with A in such a way that simple words such as aso, araw, apoy, etc. are translated into English. as a result, we already have a mini English-Filipino dictionary of some sort. there were about 8 words per vowel, so i figured it'd be pretty easy as long as we prepare for any upcoming quiz. true enough, a quiz was announced Wednesday. the quiz was to be on Friday (today). and i was glad that her teacher announced the quiz two days early so at least we'd have enough time to go through what A had already started to learn. but then when i read the notice in her homework notebook, it said "pag-aralan ang mga salita sa BINHI at WIKA"! that's two books! and when i got all the words for all the Patinigs from both books, it summed up to about 20-25 words per vowel! how'd you expect a 6-year-old to learn more than a hundred new Filipino words in two days?!

funny how you have to be very graphic when teaching A. it works well for spelling so i figured i should do the same for Filipino. i go through each word, and what i cannot explain in drawing or English, i draw plus demonstrate. example: ARARO which is PLOW in English. since she doesn't know what a plow is, i drew it for her (with matching carabao and farmer plus field) and demonstrated how a farmer plows his field by walking around the room with an invisible plow. :P last night, at about 1115, we were going through the U words, i was trying to make her remember the Filipino word for HUT, which is KUBO (since she kept getting the same mistake). so aside from showing her a picture, i told her "diba, you know the song Bahay Kubo?" to which she replied with a "nooooo..." but then a few seconds later, her face lit up and she gleefully said, "yes! yes! i know Bahay Kubo!" then she stood up, placed her right hand across her chest and sang... "Bahay Kubo, Perlas ng Silanganan..." ayayay! :P

we worked through Wednesday and Thursday ('til late at night) and in the car each morning, with A "testing" her dad since it makes it easier for her to remember the right answers when R purposely makes a mistake. and today, she came home telling me that the test was a little hard but she prayed before the test and got only 3 mistakes (haay, salamat! i thought she was coming home with a red mark!). i checked her results page and true enough, she got a 38/41, an "HS" for Highly Satisfactory or i dunno... "High Score"? R is relieved. nakakaawa na daw kasi yung bata, ang dami sobra ng inaaral, akala mo college. and being the loving dad that he is, he told me we should get A something to reward her for her hard work. :)

this is just Prep. what do kids do in grade school nowadays?!

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