Saturday, 17 November 2012

Reaping what was sown

I admit I didn't spend too much time teaching my kids at home especially when it's also a workday for me.  Here in Canada, working mothers are expected to balance the time spent for the husband, kids, household chores and other errands because there's no household help. Our mornings are crazy - from waking them up, to eating breakfast and trying to make them wear appropriate clothes for the weather.  Sometimes I would shout so loud that my voice is heard in the whole neighborhood trying to make the three boys listen.

Lately, the kids were comparing Progress Report Cards and I couldn't help but smile.  It was also a parent-teacher interview this week and what a revelation. First, I got excited upon seeing my second son's teacher, she looked like Pippa, so gorgeous, can't take my eyes off her LOL! We had a nice chat. She told me nice only good things about Kyle. He really is very good with his handwriting, it's like the model's, straight and in-line, almost the same as what you see in books as patterns. He was a perfectionist that each time there was something off, he would erase it and start all over again. Pippa said that sometimes he gets frustrated and cries because he doesnt want to make mistakes. An opportunity there.  He was also recognized for his nce drawings and the teacher asked me if there are artists in our family hahaha. Pippa showed one of his drawings and another book which looked exactly the same.  I told her about my eldest who is also an artist and wants to go to the Etobicoke School of the Arts in Grade 9.  Pippa knows Aloysius because of him being a bright boy (he graduated with Honors and Best in French in the same school last year) and also being one of the kids who were called in office for a little misbehaviour they committed - yes, I consider it not being popular in a good way (notorious?) Anyway, because Kyle was Pippa's student and she was excited to tell more about his progress, we talked more about Kyle.  She said he was almost perfect for him and an advance reader for his age.  The average reader's level for his age bracket is only 6 but Kyle is on level 14.  He is now starting to read chapter books like Hardy Boys (inspired by his brother, and mother hahaha).  Like Pippa, I am so happy to hear about all these.

My second interview was with Lex' teacher.  She was Aloysius' teacher before so she told me that she already knew that Lex was a bright boy.  She explained that Lex is a good leader, makes friends easily and firm.  He would sometimes say no if he doesnt like to do stuff and  would later join the group.  He wants to play rough with the boys and sometimes makes the girls cry (I hope this doesn't happen in another way when he is older).  He is always sleeping in school and sometimes gets tired easily because of his energetic behaviour.  There are some things to improve but not really significant because he is still too young (only 3 years old when he started school) and adjustment will come later. The  teacher said that all the things she mentioned are nothing compared to the sweet and thoughtful ways that Lex expresses.  She said that every morning, Lex would hold her hand before going inside the room or if she is not outside while they are waiting in line, he would go and find her in the room and greets her "good morning".   I feel so proud of my baby.

Lito and I went to Aloysius school together and met another gorgeous teacher.  I feel like I'm in Hollywood, hahaha.  As expected, Aloysius gets excellent remarks from the teacher. He really stood out from the class because he is only 10 years old and already in Grade 6 and joining the advance class with the Grade 7.  What's unbelievable is, he is also making presentations and teaching these grade 7s.  Lito is so happy because he said that that is the least thing he would do to stand in front of a lot of people and speak. I couldn't believe it either but the teacher said that he is confident, knows the subject very well (French - he took Extended French at Briarcrest)  and articulate.  My kind of boy...following Mom's footsteps and exceeding, he is starting early eh!  His social skills are also improving and the effort done on every homework are recognized as well-thought of and brilliantly executed.  If it were not for the bell ringing and the PA system telling us that it's wrapping up time, I wanted to hear more success stories. But I guess they can wait till the next time. The hours spent with reading, math exercises, Picollo in between the videogames paid off.

I can only say is that my prayers are heard and my God is an awesome God.  Establishing a good and regular study habits at an early stage is something I can give as a tip for parents with children struggling with school.  Let them cultivate that habit and when the time comes that you will have less time to spend with them, you will be confident that they will become successful because you have planted the seeds.  A little watering will do in checking and reviewing them every now and then. But also don't forget to pray and seek God's help.  Our children are God's gift and He also wants the best for them.

Here are some of the comments from the Progress Cards:

Aloysius Miguel responds to challenges with a positive attitude. He follows daily routines and instructions with no supervision.  He strives to carefully complete assignments and homework on time and uses an agenda to record what needs to be done. He observes, questions and explore options before starting to work.  Excellent marks in all learning skills and work habits

Achilles has adjusted to the rules and routines of the grade one program. He approaches new learning situations with confidencs and enthusiasm.  He completes all assignments conscientiously, paying careful attention to detail and with a high level of organization. PE, Drama and Music are the only subjects marked Progressing well, all others Progressing Very well.

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

Saturday, 10 November 2012

BHAG and BHAP (Goal setting and prayers)

BHAG is a corporate buzzword. Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal. We set goals to improve continously. Since I belong to the department in charge of continuous improvement, goal setting- meeting and exceeding them is one of our normal activities.

To come up with a plan to be successful in reaching the goal, it is important to follow these guidelines: PBANR

1. Determine the PURPOSE -ask yourself  "why am I making this my goal? What is it for?"

2. Consider your BASIS - these are the numbers or statistics that can help you in setting the goal.  What was the earnings / savings last year? How can I increase profit? Based on last year's consumption, What months can I start conserving electricity?

3. Develop the ACTION PLANS - List down the strategies in meeting your targets.  Use Visual strategy, display reminders to keep you focused on your goals.  Think of the roadblocks, things that prevent you from meeting the goal and stay away / prevent them. Be mindful of the tasks you need to do, list and review frequently. Raise the awareness levels, use checklists.

4. NIKE - Just DO it! Do everything to keep you meeting the target, once you reached the goal, move on to the next higher level, exceed the expectations and be successful.

5. REVIEW the results, see how far have you come. Exceed, repeat the cycle.

Now for a Christian who believes that God answers, goal setting and prayers are used interchangibly and the power of Divine intervention works.

BHAP - Big, Hairy, Audacious PRAYER is something every Christian need to have in order to keep and increase faith in God. We know that God is a gracious God and whatever the prayer is, as long as God wills, it will happen. Mr. Wiersebe, the author of the book "Pray Big" mentioned in his book, the story of a Pastor who always pass by a land in his hometown and praying for it to be the site of their new church until the land was awarded to him and eventually became their church.

PBANR guidelines are applicable to BHAP but enhanced to fulfill God's words:

1. PURPOSE - Is it fulfilling the "Great Commission"?  What is the impact of my prayer to others?

2. BASIS - What does the bible says about my prayer?Based on Scripture?

3. ACTION PLAN - Pray, Read God's words, visual reminders.

4. NIKE -Just DO IT! Attach all actions to Goals, Purpose, BHAPs.

5. REVIEW - Is this what God wants? No Answer, maybe there's another and better answer, WAIT.

Here are other pointers:

SHARE / Find a Partner.
STARTS WITH ME. Change in lifestyle. "You are a new creation, the old is gone and the new has come."
If you can't pray, PRAISE.

We are reaching the end of the year and God answered most of our prayers.  But as we look forward to the coming year, we can start setting our goals for 2013 following the guidelines above.  Take our prayers to the next level by making it our BHAPs. 


WHILE PRAYING                      WHILE WAITING

READ God's words                       READ God's words
BELIEVE                                     BELIEVE
DECLARE                                   TRUST
OBEY                                          OBEY

Maligayang Pasko and maraming answered BHAPs sa bagong taon!