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Strategies to teach your child to read - Part 2

>> Friday, 13 November 2015

My previous post was for parents with children who know how to read.  The following will benefit those moms with younger children.  I remember Aloysius became interested in books even if he didn't know how to read yet as early as 4 months old. That's when we started the mommy and child-reading-routine.

With younger children, you need to give them hard board books so that even if they chew on them, or they throw them or spill milk on them, they will still be readable.  These books have great pictures and colors in them that children get glued at looking at them.  This is the perfect opportunity to introduce reading to them.

Here are the tips:
1.  Look and point at the picture.
2.  Get your mouth ready to read.  The child will be looking at the picture and at your mouth while you are reading.
3.  Tell your child how does the word begin. Emphasize on the sound i.e. O - the mouth should form the O too.
4. Read the word all the way through.
5. Start again.  Skip the word you want the child to learn.
6. Ask the child, does it make sense? He would now recognize the word you missed.
7. Be consistent on the pronunciation of the word. if you say it differently, the child will notice it, if not, ask him "Does the word sound right?"
8. Go back and re-read the whole sentence.  You can ask him to point the picture and the word.
9. Give your child lots of chances to read the story again and again.  This is the key to successful reading.  It is called fluency.

The more your child reads, the more confident and successful he or she will become.


Strategies to teach your child to read - Part 1

I met my youngest son's teacher today at the Parent-Teacher meeting.  It was a fruitful conversation learning how my son is doing in school.  Alexus is turning 7 this month and I am so proud to receive the teacher's report that Lex' reading is excellent, Level S or DRA 34 Lexile 750.  I don't know what all these meant but I was so happy to hear that his reading is advanced, even more advanced for ages 8-9. I am so thankful that my kids love reading and I hope they will continue to read real books even with ebooks and electronic information are available online.

I want to share the tips I used to encourage my children to read.  Children are never too early to read and we as parents can help them become proficient in reading as soon as they recognize our voice and read our lips.

1. Read to your child everyday.
Reading aloud builds positive attitudes toward reading, stimulates interest in books and exposes your child to a variety of reading materials. This should be a fun, relaxing time for you and your child. This is our family bonding time before we read God's word and do our family prayer and devotion.  Kids look forward to each night's reading time.

2. Visit the library weekly.
We do it at least every three weeks because that is the maximum number of weeks we can get hold of the books we borrowed.  On the way to the library, I am asking them what they plan to borrow.  Are they going to get the same author (our favorite is Robert Munsch)?  or get the next the series (Geronimo Stilton, Captain Underpants, Wimpy Kid etc.)?  Get many different varieties of topics: mysteries, nonfiction, science fiction, animals, poems, rhymes, etc.  You and your child may go to the library with no plan in mind and pick out whatever interests you as you browse.

3. Look for accessible materials.
Help your child see that reading is found in every aspect of our lives,  help them read to you the recipe as you cook or bake together.  Read all the boxes and labels as you shop together. Have you child find signs as you travel somewhere, or when you are in a mall or a restaurant.

4. Have your child read to you everyday.
Children need positive feedback and genuine interest from their parents about their reading abilities. Be excited to hear your child read to you everyday.  Sometimes you child may choose a book that is much too difficult but has beautiful pictures.  Instead of reading, have him or her tell you about the pictures using as many details as they can.

5. Share book talks.
After you have read a story aloud or your child has completed an independent reading assignment, have him do a retelling of the read aloud or reading assignment. Retelling helps children review and organize the book. Listen for the following: Does the retelling makes sense? Have your child used the same story language and pattern from the book? Do you have questions?  you can use the following:
-What was your favourite part? why?
-What didn't you like? Why?
-What would you have done? Why?

I hope you can benefit from these because I did. My 3 children are worthy of these and the time spent on reading has paid off.  The return on this investment is long term.  Happy reading.


ALDUB nation and ALDUB Libraries

>> Monday, 26 October 2015

I admit I am an ALDUB fan, although I already swore oath to Canadian allegiance, I am still a Filipino by heart and will be part of the culture that makes all Filipinos uniquely special, one of which is ALDUB nation. It didn't surprise me that I became glued to Filipino TV show Eat Bulaga with the animated dubsmashing of a new character Yaya Dub. Add to it the split-screen romance blooming between Yaya Dub and a good-looking lad named Alden Richards. It felt "kilig" and good and the whole new way of making the audience yearn for more " kalyeserye" brought back memories from my  teenage years. Watching the show became a regular thing for our family, even my young kids laugh at the gimmicks, even sing and dance along but the 3-sisters (Nidora, Tidora and Tinidora) characters added more spice to the love team. The lessons about love, courtship and relationships taught the viewers - some of which have adapted to the fast-tracked, modern ways and missed out on the real values. Lola Nidora ensures that we learn about the right way and that there is a right time for everything.

"Tamang panahon" is the venue for the split screen pair to finally have more time to be with each other as the previous attempts have been cut short due to unavoidable circumstances. Of course, I got excited, I wondered about what's in store for Alden and Yaya Dub at that moment. Meanwhile, the show is going to be held at the Philippine Arena, the biggest indoor arena in the country. It is supposed to fill 55,000 viewers.

What surprised me and made me emotional is the objective of the Eat Bulaga show to donate the ticket sales/proceeds to charity - to build libraries in public schools all over the country and they will call it ALDUB libraries. That is an amazing initiative! ....scenes from my elementary and high school days came flashing and it made tears fall down my cheeks. I hope my kids will be able to read this:

I love to read and always loved books. I think it was triggered by the fact that in my early years of studying, there was scarcity of books in our library. Only when you are given the chance to get hold of one, you will appreciate the joy of reading and learning.  I went to a public school in Pasig (then a municipality) and the books were shared, unlike in the private schools where each student use their own books.  Let's say a typical class have 40 students, most of the time, the number of books available are only 4. The 10 students per group share the book. During high school, I volunteered to become a student-librarian so I will have access to the books available in the library, I took the opportunity of reading Sawyer, Huck Finn, Austen, Odyssey, Iliad, Othello, Wuthering and other Literature in that library, there were only few Filipino classics. The books were old, and pages were brown, fragile and dusty but because the characters and scenes in the novels seemed more interesting, the physical attributes of the book didn't matter. By the way, I belonged in the highest section class and my schools were in Pasig City close to the capital so can you imagine a scenario in a public school in Isabela or in Dumaguete or in Tawi-Tawi? You will be lucky to see 4 books in a class.

My nanny back home told me that the reason why she stopped studying and opted to work as a nanny instead was because there were no books and no classrooms even in their province. My heart sank thinking about the plight of other school children in the Philippines, it is totally the opposite here in Canada.  But I am also sad that with the abundant, newer books, crisp pages and endless varieties here in Canada, children don't read books on their own unless asked by their parents or teachers. Isn't it ironic, don't you think?

ALDUB gave us hope. With the successful Tamang Panahon show and its fundraising that reached 20 million pesos, I'm pretty sure the books will fill each library for the Filipino school children. I am so thankful to ALDUB and Eat Bulaga. They're taking advantage of their popularity for a good cause, it may fade but they will leave a legacy, the ALDUB libraries will make a great impact to our country.  You are not only making us happy and excited everyday but you also gave hope to education and the future of this nation. May the Good Lord bless you more. Salamat sa inyo!


Book Review: The 7 Habits of Happy Kids

>> Tuesday, 29 September 2015

The 7 Habits of Happy Kids by Sean Covey

I'm sure this 7 habits phrase is familiar to you. The other bestselling book entitled The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was written by Stephen Covey.  The 7 Habits are based on powerful Principles that have been enriching lives for generations - principles such as responsibility, vision, respect, teamwork and balance. It is a proven philosophy for adults and teenagers that can now be applied to kids. I am just one of the parents who are interested in bringing the 7 Habits into our home and into our kids schools, that why we are reading this book for the nth time. I am thankful that Sean, the son of Stephen Covey took the next steps in creating a version for teens and kids.

This book teaches kids timeless values and principles contained in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - from figuring out how to take charge of their own lives to discovering why balance is best. The characters depicted in the stories might be the same as our children and their different moods, situations and personalities. They can relate to each story as it might have happened to them or they have encountered them in their friends or classmates lives. Each story illustrates one habit or principles that will help our children apply the 7 habits in their activities. After each story, there's a section called Parent's Corner which has some suggestions on how to bring out the habit in that story.t also include list of questions to ask kids and small steps/ tips that kids may start practicing.

Here are the 7 Habits of Happy Kids:
1. You are in Charge - Be Proactive
2. Have a Plan - Begin with the end in Mind
3. Work First then Play - Put first things first
4. Everyone can win - Think win-win
5. Listen before you talk - Seek first to understand than to be understood.
6. Together is better - Synergize "together everyone achieves more"
7. Balance feels best - Sharpen the saw.

Of all the seven Habits, my favourite is the 7th as it talks about balance and it is also aligned to our family's three goals - Feed your Mind, Feed your Body, Cleanse your body.  We feel better when we are balanced, when we take time to renew the four parts of who we are: body, heart, mind and soul. I like the part when Covey explained in the parent's corner that as the car has four tires, we as people, also have four parts. And to be healthy and happy, all parts need time and attention.

The explanation in the story is simple but adults can relate very well.
"You use your heart when you play with your friends." Build and Nurture good relationships.
"You use your soul when you find something quiet to do that makes you fresh inside." Reflection and time to spend with God through prayer.
"You Use your body when you exercise." Physical activities make you well.
"Use you mind when you read." Knowledge is power.

My children remembered  the illustration we saw on a Christian TV show about the soul man and spirit man fighting or getting weak when the body is weak or in sin and how the relationship with Jesus Christ can lighten and bring the joy, peace and love to the soul man, spirit man and physical man. We need Christ as He is the only one who will make us live a balanced and complete life that he desired for us to have. How blessed, how marvellous this life is and we thank God that even in storybooks or inspirational books like these, it is still going back to Him. Read this book and God will reveal himself to you and your children too. God bless.


Green Apron Behaviour - something to learn from Starbucks

>> Monday, 14 September 2015

I was listening to my favorite AM Christian radio station from the Phillippines when I heard this. The sharing was timely as I am contemplating on what's important in building relationships.  Everything was falling into place -I've learned about different personalities and how to deal with each, the different parts of the PIE of life and their portion, how to apply Planning, Leading, Organizing and Control management principles and how to balance knowledge, faith, love to live a God-fearing, purpose-driven life and become the outcome of all these inputs.  Yesterday, in church we learned about our inner calling, our gifts, our influence and how to respond to the "calling" and apply it to our daily fishing for God. Yes, it is too big to handle but with the right formula and willingness to obey, one cannot miss this opportunity.

The Green Apron Behaviour that the Starbucks employees were trained to deliver shows why the coffee store stands out.  It's not only the coffee but the "People" factor that contributes to the increasing and retaining customer base that Starbucks is known for.  The Christians who are also called Fishers of men can learn from the Green Apron Behaviour to fulfill the task. Here is list of the attitude that those who work with green apron are expected to show / deliver:

1. Welcoming - you know when you are truly welcome - you are greeted, there is a genuine smile or the talk is more personal.  Remember, they ask your name to put in the cup, that's you, it's personal. When we want to bring someone close to God, we welcome the person regardless of race, color, size and age into our homes, into our circles, into our lives. Hindi porke ibang religion or beliefs, ayaw na natin makipagusap sa Kanila.  Hindi porke inis ang pamilya mo dun na wala ka naman kinalaman dahil away ng pamilya yun, Iiwas ka na rin sa tao na yun. Paano na ang channel of blessings through you? Alam mo yun feeling na welcome ka di ba? no walls, no pretentions, warm and open. Someone  who is willing to accept anyone including the person you just met and who will connect with you right away. Break that wall, welcome one another.

2. Knowledgeable of product - how can we say or promote something if we ourselves don't know anything about it.  Build our relationship with God first. Learn about God, read the bible, pray, have an intimate relationship with our Saviour,  know about Jesus and the gift of salvation, memorize those verses, learn them and store them in your heart so that when the time comes that you need to "share" or answer questions, the Holy Spirit will retrieve the knowledge and reveal it. Like the Barista, he will give you the right coffee flavour suited to you.

3.  Genuine - you build relationships with others, not just your family or close friends. There is true friendship in every fellowship. Did you know that each time you interact or react to someone, you are making an effort to connect to that person? The outcome of the conversation makes or breaks the interaction. Most of the time you will receive kind words, good comments from a barista because they want to connect more with you. Sales strategy? Maybe, but at the end of a stressful day, having someone to vent out our frustrations to makes up a barista-customer relationship. Naalala ko dati sa ATC, ask ni barista, how's your day mam? I will say, bad trip, init ulo, alam na niya ang oorderin ko - ahh Mocha Frapp ma'am? So how are you with a friend who is in need, do you reach out or just even listen to them? Or do we stay away from him because we don't want to get involved. Where is the relationship-building there?

4. Considerate - when I was pregnant or I brought my kids to Starbucks when they were little, the barista asked me if I will have coffee? He would offer non-caffeine smoothies to my children and less caffeine or fat to a preggy like me.   Are you the same with whatever situation your friend is in? Can you easily adapt to a situation?   Would you consider someone else's feelings or agenda, or only your own? What about God's plan? Sometimes and I admit I am guilty of this too, we tend to focus only of ourselves that we miss out on  the opportunity. selfie ika nga.  Let us be considerate of others even if we are annoyed at that person, there is still something good in that person that we are expected to bring up if we show the love, kindness and consideration that we as Christians are supposed to be full of. Kahit nakakainis na siya, or di niya deserved yun, let us give him the benefit of the doubt and bring out the goodness in another. Anak din siya ng Diyos.

5. Involved - this is related to item number 2, how can we be genuine if we are not involved? How can we lend a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear if we are not available? Tucked away in our"comfort zone" with an alibi," problema niya yun, I don't want to get involved." How can that person know that there is hope in God if we are shutting our doors and windows to that person? God will use us if only we allow him to. We need to admit that we are not created to live in isolation and be willing to be used for another person's encouragement or building up.  "It is not good for a man to live alone, I will create a companion for him." "Walang sinoman ang nabubuhay para sa sarili lamang. Tayong lahat ay may pananagutan sa isat isa."

What makes you go or come back to Starbucks? It's not only the coffee, but it's the total "experience" that makes it more attractive. The traits mentioned are not only for Starbucks barista but for all the people, for Christians who are called to bring others to Christ and make him enjoy the experience. Like the barista who stands behind those counter, we can do the same, share the total experience so that others will know and come or return to Christ. We can be Welcoming, Knowledgeable, Genuine, Considerate and Involved and we can show it in so many ways. Not only lip service, I have to do the same and I ask God for guidance, more love, forgiveness, kindness and willingness in my heart to live the kind of life He wants us to live. May God guide us, in Jesus name.


Filling the bucket and its impact to others (long-lasting)

School year started 2 weeks ago and I almost lost the letter sent by Kyle's teacher last summer. I found it at last and I wouldn't let days passed without recording this in my blog. The letter was short but the content was heartwarming and I must admit I feel proud that I'm considering this as my ROI when it really should have been Kyle's. For our nightly storytelling, we started reading the book "Growing up with a bucket full of happiness: Three rules for a happier life" by Carol Mccloud 2011. And it looks like, we are seeing the results of everyday bucket filling.

Miss DeVal of Briarcrest Junior School wrote this last July 1,2015:

To the parents of Kyle,

Here is the summary of what Kyle's classmates said about him this school year. Words have such power. May the thoughts the children in Room 8 have expressed about Kyle be as heartwarming to you and Kyle as they have been to me as I have typed them up.

All about Kyle:
"You are a good reader."
"Kyle, you are a very hard-working person and always try to enjoy a little laughing time."
"You are very kind to others and are also good at drawing."
"Kyle, you are very smart and very kind to others."
"I like how you play fair and make sure myself and others are okay if they are hurt."
"You always know what to write on your paper."
"Kyle, you always help others with their work."
"You are a hard worker."
"Kyle, you speak up when you believe something is unfair!"
"You are intelligent."
"Kyle, you are funny!"
"You always follow through on what you say you are going to do."
"Kyle, you are very smart. When you win games, you don't brag."
"You always try your best."
"Kyle, you speak to me or help me solve a problem when something is wrong."
"You have very good handwriting."
"You are a good friend."
"Kyle you are joyful and kind."

I was dumbfounded upon reading this and until now, my smile is like Yaya Dub's and Alden's in their second meeting. I am thankful for the feedback and brings joy to my heart.  I am encouraging all parents out there to continue their work of raising their children to be caring and responsible as it is more lasting and appreciated than any other recognition. Relationships count more than numbers. 

"The source of much of our happiness is found in being a caring and responsible person." -Carol McCloud

  1. Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.


GPR - to build and expand

>> Monday, 3 August 2015

I was asked to exhort in our recent family camp at Liebenzell. The theme is Life Builders. While I thought that a training workshop (Colours Insights/Temperaments) would be a good one for the 3-day camping, Pastor suggested that we do that another time. I thought I will not participate anymore, but on our first day, he asked that I do the first night exhortation. I know I'm not qualified but because I believe that God will help me and I do this in my work as training specialist anyways, I responded and it was a pleasure to serve God. Here are some more information that we can use in our meditation. God wants you to think about these:

WHAT: Purpose - God created us for a purpose. There is something that God embedded in us to trigger that longing to know and serve God. Have you figured out why are you put in a certain situation, lead in a church or group of people or became friends with a certain individual? Matthew 28:19-20 the Great Commission and Jabez prayer in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 says, "Expand God's territory..."

HOW: 1. Prayer - Our way to communicate to God is through prayer and His way is through HIS words- the Bible. There is a need for God's words to enter into our system so we will know what He wants us to do and how we can live our purpose. We cannot do it on our own, we need God. "The effective, pervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." James 5:16;

Prayer and His words are man's link to God, so imagine drawing a line from top to bottom this is the VERTICAL line in drawing the cross.

2. Relationships - there are 2 relationships that we need to build and nurture, the first is with God through His son Jesus Christ and the second is among All the people, regardless of color, size, location, gender and age. Relationships represent the HORIZONTAL line on the cross.

HOW: 1. INPUT - how can we share if our knowledge is limited? The parts of our body were made for a purpose - EARS - "faith comes from hearing God's words.." EYES, HANDS....we link our activities to let God's words enter into our system.

What kind of music do you listen to? Books, magazines or other kinds of media do you read? Who are you always talking to, share your thoughts with? Is he a godly person? What kind of movies, TV shows do we watch, or Facebook, YouTube viral media do we spend our time on? When we listen to God's words in preaching, do we write keywords to remember and meditate later on?

What do we do to nurture these inputs? "meditate on it day and night.." Do we have a daily devotional or quiet time with God?

2. OUTPUT - our actions speak louder than our words. To apply the inputs within us, we need to be aware of God's purpose in our actions. Will Jesus do this? How would He react? Will this build relationships, or break it?

WORDS - what kind of words come out of our mouth, are they encouraging, hopeful, full of love and compassion, kind and forgiving? "Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks..."

ACTIONS - a helping hand, a listening ear, there are lots of opportunities to do good and let God shine in our actions.

What is the impact of the action or reaction? Will a negative situation turn into positive? Are we contributing to making this world peaceful? How is our co-worker or neighbor or even a distant relative react if they found out that we responded differently and not biblically? God will use us to expand His territory so we need to make it happen by DOING and not just say God's words. LIVE it.

As our assignment, I left them three questions that we also use in our lean management/continuous improvement processes, you can also ask yourself these:

1. What am I doing that I'm not supposed to be doing? Commission or subtraction

2. What am I supposed to be doing that I am not doing? Omission or Addition

3. What am I doing that can be done more right, biblically? level up to expand the territory.

GPR - God, Prayer, Relationships


About This Blog

My blog is about ME as a wife and a mom to Aloysius, Achilles & Alexus. MYSELF as a career woman, and IRMEE as my other roles - a daughter, a sister, a co-worker, a friend and all my discoveries in this wonderful life that God gave. I'll also share my latest finds in food, fashion, gadgets and places.

The rest is anything under the sun, so read on.

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