Building your kid’s critical thinking skills today can be the key to ensuring his bright future. And I can attest to that! I’ve seen a lot of successful people in the industry who have achieved what they have accomplished because of critical thinking skills. It’s no wonder that this is one of the things that is being taught in the Seriously Addictive Mathematics classes of Zeeka.

In just a few years, job descriptions and requirements have changed. I couldn’t imagine how fast things will change in the years to come. The question is, how do we prepare our kids for what’s ahead? How do we ensure their competitive edge when the time comes?

It’s just normal for us, parents, to get worried about these things. That’s why we do our best to send our kids to school and enrich them with experiences that will help them prepare for real life.

But first, let’s define what critical thinking skills are, and how conceptual understanding skills play a role in it.

What are Critical Thinking Skills?

Critical thinking skills are defined as a set of skills that lets you observe, experience, and analyze information to establish its integrity. It is our ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking and our response as an active learner rather than a passive observer.

These skills vary in levels, but also include the following:

– The ability to observe, analyze, and interpret topics in an objective and critical way
– Reflect, evaluate, and infer different arguments and angles in relation to a particular topic or issue
– Analyze and evaluate a point of view to determine its validity and strength
– Recognize negative points in an argument
– Ability to infer and predict implications of statements or arguments
– Explain and provide a structured reasoning and support for an argument
– Ability to solve problems and decision making

Critical thinking skills are the most sought-after skills in business today. People who have critical thinking skills can be a strong asset to any organization. These people are great communicators, fair leaders, and brilliant strategists that earn well and live purposeful, meaningful lives.

Sounds too good to be true? Definitely not.

As an entrepreneur, I get to be a part of different local and international communities. And every day, I get to meet awesome people who live amazing lives.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that these folks don’t ever have problems. It’s just that they respond better to challenges and find the best solutions to make things better. That’s how I imagine my child would be like in the future. And it’s the reason why I choose to invest in Zeeka today so she could get to have the life she wants.

Today, I’m sharing some tips on how I help Zeeka improve her critical thinking skills. Most of these things are pretty simple, doable things you can do every day. Some of them are worthy investments I make to ensure her future.

How to Improve your Child’s Critical Thinking Skills

1. Read to them and ask questions.

Do you agree that reading is the key to success? 🙂

Reading is actually equivalent to flexing the muscles in your brain. Every time you read, your brain creates different connections and responses, enriching your critical thinking. You get exposed to different ideas, travel to different places, and even change the way you see things with just books.

Reading also increases empathy and emotional intelligence. Stories help kids learn more about other people’s situations and recognize emotional cues. This helps them respond properly and learn more about human interactions.

This is why I invest in storybooks and read bedtime stories with Zeeka as much as I can. I also ask her questions about what she thinks and even let her tell her own stories through the pictures in the books.

Pro Tip: Kids learn through imitation so make sure you also read regularly at home. Kids who see their parents reading have higher chances of picking up books themselves.

You also don’t have to spend big bucks on books. But make sure to get topics that your kids are interested in, like dinosaurs and spaceships.

 

2. Let them play.

Children learn best through play. It reduces stress, improves balance, enriches cognitive skills and contributes to their social and literacy skills.

While it looks simple and complex, play is actually a form of expression that helps kids develop their imagination, dexterity, and emotional strength. It is through play that children make sense of the world around them. It also strengthens their immune system and also develops self-confidence and self-esteem.

It is recommended for parents to spend at least 15-20 minutes a day playing with their kids. Not only does it build your relationship with kids, it also gives you a chance to see the world through their kids’ eyes.

Pro Tip: Let your kids take the lead when you’re playing. As much as possible, don’t impose rigid rules especially on younger kids. Let them explore different materials and let them be creative with their play. As your kids grow older, you can introduce more structured games to help kids practice understanding and applying strategies and decision making.

3. Encourage them to try new things.

Children are naturally curious, and most of them learn through trial and error. And as parents, it’s important for us to encourage them as they go through this learning process.

It’s also an awesome opportunity for us to teach kids about life skills. Challenges are bound to arise, and children can be frustrated when encountering them. With proper guidance and processing, facing these challenges can teach them the value of resilience and courage.

Pro Tip: Kids need to know that they’re safe before they try new things. Strengthen their sense of security on a daily basis by making time for them regularly and paying attention every time. Assure them that mistakes are OK, and encourage them to find solutions to these errors.

4. Pause and wait.

As much as we love our kids, it’s also important for them to learn how to be independent.

Research shows that kids who are given tasks and responsibilities at home grow up to be more successful. They also need to have the chance to learn things and process their emotions on their own.

Yes, it does hurt when we see them cry when they’re frustrated or hurt. But we also need to understand that we won’t always be there to fix things for them.

Giving them the chance to do things on their own will benefit them in the long run and also help them become holistically stronger.

Pro Tip: Get a list of chores your kids can do and assign it to them. Here’s a quick guide of tasks according to age group and abilities.

5. Teach kids to love mathematics

Kids usually find Math difficult to understand because of its abstract nature. The good thing is, there are existing supplemental Math programs that make it easier for kids to understand.

S.A.M Singapore Math let kids learn Mathematics the fun way. With tools and strategies that encourage self-learning, kids of all ages get to learn more than the traditional processes.

Students of the method increase its students’ conceptual understanding. This means children get to grasp ideas and concepts and apply it to different situations and domains.

Solving problems can get frustrating. But this level of frustration can always be a good thing especially if it builds character and grit. As kids solve more problems, their self-esteem grows. It makes them more open to ideas and more confident to face the challenges that come their way.

Pro Tip: Enroll your kids in supplementary education programs like S.A.M Singapore Math to improve their critical thinking skills. Because there is no spoon feeding in S.A.M Singapore Math, kids learn independent thinking and life skills.

If you’d like to know more about S.A.M. Singapore Math, visit the website here.

And here’s a surprise!

To avail of the discount:

  1. Register via SMS/Text by sending: PD15 / Parent’s Name / Mobile No. / Email / City of nearest SAM branch to 0917-5826867
  2. Wait for the reply with the 6 digit code and save it.
  3. Show the 6 digit code at the SAM branch upon enrolment.

*Terms and Conditions:

  1. To avail of the 15%, register to the Promo Discount
  2. Show SAM center the 6-digit code from the reply text of SAM Head Office
  3. 15% off is to be applied on the first month of tuition fee only.
  4. 6-Digit code is unique and is assigned by SAM head office
  5. Only non-SAM students can avail of the 15% discount.
  6. Promo discount is valid from Aug. 27, 2018 to Feb. 28, 2019 only.

Build your kid’s critical thinking skills with these tips! Or better yet, share more tips with us in the comments section below. 🙂

Love lots,

 

The world’s first wildlife channel for preschoolers puts fun in learning about conservation!

Zeeka had a assessment test in one of the schools. She made a mistake in identifying which of these (cow, bear, chicken or mouse) is the smallest. She encircled the chicken! LOL! It just dawned on me that the reason may be because she hasn’t seen a mouse in real life. Since we’re too far from anything that resembles a forest, I think I need to show here more shows that feature animals.

I still think that science, knowledge and empathy of all thing living should be taught to the next generation. But usually, documentaries like these are way to boring. This is why it’s great to see a show like ZooMoo. ZooMoo brings excitement to learning by combining funny and adorable puppet characters, stunning animation, breathtaking nature videos, and interactive games that will help young children develop a love for animals. This channel is available on Solar Entertainment’s latest digital platform, EasyTV.

Do you know that ZooMoo has a lineup of more than 1,500 standalone episodes? These were all made by a collaboration that wildlife filmmakers and early childhood education experts from the University of Otago, New Zealand created.

What’s so cute about it is that each show has a funny animal puppet with a unique personality, strength and weakness (that they are able to overcome through the help of other puppet friends and casts). Some of these animal pals include the optimistic photographer Flash the dog, the wise and pedantic Owl, the skillful and expressive Ninja Gorilla, the inventive and adventurous Piglet, and the gentle giant Panda.

What’s cool is that this channel comes with a companion ZooMoo App that can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store! The app lets kids explore a wildlife sanctuary called ZooMoo Island where they can look for and interact with up to 300 animals.

The app doesn’t require you to have internet connection after the initial download, and parents, like us, don’t have to worry about in-app advertisements and purchases. ZooMoo’s ZooSync technology also enables users to sync their apps with the channel for more free content. Just run the app when a show flashes ‘ZooSync’ to receive gifts from the channel.

ZooMoo is available on EasyTV channel 9. Learn more about ZooMoo by visiting
http://asia.zoomoo.tv/. Follow ZooMoo online by logging on to Facebook at
https://www.facebook.com/zoomooasia/, Twitter @ZooMooAsia, and Instagram @zoomooasia.

My little girl will start going to school this August. Last year, she would go home before lunch time. Her schedule this year goes beyond lunch, so i’ll be sending her both morning snacks and lunch. My dilemma now is how to make her EAT her food! My daughter is such a picky eater. Even if she’s hungry, she’ll just nibble a little bit into things that I send her. I’m having a hard time looking for food for kids that will be both nutritious and fun to eat.

When the opportunity to learn how to make Bento boxes came, I grabbed it. We had an intimate event given by Gold Seas Tuna Chunks and it was a session with Bento by Kat. I know about her because I follow her IG account, and what she creates is so amazing. I always love going to Gold Seas Tuna events because for one, I am a hoarder! haha! I always keep cans of Gold Seas Tuna Chunks in my kitchen. I also love going to their events because I always feel like I’m an “empowered” mom after. LOL!

The first event that I went to last year (or was it early this year; I can’t remember) was a cooking event. I was taught how to cook simple dishes (Read it here: SIMPLE TUNA DISHES THAT YOU WILL LOVE FROM GOLD SEAS TUNA) Woot woot! AND, I hardly cook, so having cooked two dishes really gave me the confidence to cook more for my family (which I did).

Then this time around, we were inspired to create our our #BentoyourGoldSeas boxes for our kids. I’m not an artistic person, so for me to complete the task, I had to step it up and listen carefully to Kat.

I was actually so proud of myself, because I got to create this!

TADA!

UP CLOSE!

So this is healthy food for kids that you can send as “baon”. The food on the lower right hand side of the YummyBox are Tuna Cakes. This is how you make them:

TUNA CAKES (7-8 patties)

Ingredients:
1 can Gold Seas Yellowfin Tuna Chunks in Olive Oil, drained
1 large Potato
1 Egg
Salt to taste
Oil from Tuna Can

1. Peel potatoes and slice into smaller pieces. Boil until soft for about 20 minutes. Drain and mash.
2. Mix the tuna chunks and mashed potatoes. Add egg and mix well.
3. Form into patties.
4. Lightly oil a non-stick skillet using the olive oil from the tuna can.
5. Fry until golden brown.

There you go! This is perfect for bringing to school. My daughter loved it!

Have you created bento boxes before? Hope you can share with me some of your recipes!

“People needed someone that didn’t require a warrant or shield to get things done. Call it a vigilante, or a superhero. Call it what you will, but like it or not, I finally accepted that that someone had to be me.” ―Luke Cage

There’s something that draws me towards the Marvel Netflix Series. The more I watch it, the more I love it. I have grown to love The Defenders and their individual series. I especially love Luke Cage and Iron Fist, these heroes for hire. And yesterday, I was part of the Netflix Stream Team (#NetflixAPCC). I got to see the stars of these two shows and their show runners. Seeing them and getting to know more about them made me love the show, the characters and the people running the show even more.

Here are the things that make me love these shows more:

The Netflix Marvel universe seems to have a very encouraging environment, allowing everyone in the team to feel comfortable and loved.

While listening to the invited guests talk in their respective panels, there was one thing that I sensed was stressed in both panels (Luke Cage’s panel and Iron Fist’s panel). They highlighted the fact that each one in the team know that they have a role to play, but each one helps others in the team to make these shows successful. Mustafa (John Mclever / Bushmaster) tells a nice story about his audition. Usually, when actors audition for roles, the show runner would sit on a table which was at a distance from the stage. In his audition, Mustafa says that Show runner Cheo Hodari Coker went upfront (near the stage) and read the lines with him. When it got to the point where he had to pretend to shoot Cheo, Cheo really played the role and dropped dead on the floor. Mustafa appreciates this and says that with this, he really felt confident and lost all nervousness.

The actors and actresses in the series are almost given the same treatment as the lead role.

In a story (especially if it shares a depiction of “real life”), characters live and interact with other people. In order to fully appreciate the lead characters, you will need to go through the characters surrounding them and how each one contributes to solidifying the role of the lead. I love how the show runners, writers and the production team make most of the characters go through some sort of character metamorphosis. We see, not only the main character, evolve. We see the Bushmaster, Mariah, Shades, Misty, Colleen, Mustafa, etc. go through a character transformation which always keeps us on our toes.

The leads are very professional.

It was so refreshing (and you would be able to feel it, too) to see and hear that both Mike Colter and Finn Jones don’t have the “diva-like” behaviour that you think a lead character would have. Cheo Hodari Coker mentions that Mike arrives early at their set and he knows and has memorized his lines. Raven Metzner, showrunner of Iron Fist, says that Finn always trains and practices hard. Hearing Finn also say that he appreciates Clayton Barber (fight coordinator of the show) is just amazing.

And finally, I love that the story of both these 2 shows, encourages each one of us to be heroes.

I think in the Philippines, most of us are still hopeful and optimistic about how and where our country will be in the next few years. We know that we can achieve success if each one does their part to be the heroes that each one can be. I love Luke Care and Iron Fist, because both series are very relatable. Both shows also have deep lessons to be learned and have characters that we each can relate with.

So, let’s get on and watch these shows. I suggest though that you watch it in this order:

How to watch the Marvel Netflix Series in order

Daredevil Season 1

Jessica Jones Season 1

Daredevil Season 2

Luke Cage Season 1

Iron Fist Season 1

The Defenders

The Punisher

Jessica Jones Season 2

Luke Cage Season 2

And finally, Marvel’s Iron Fist season 2! And I can’t believe I was one of the first who watched it. And guess what, we also watched EPISODE 1.

My thoughts on IRON FIST SEASON 2

I know most of us would have loved to see Daredevil Season 3 first, but after having seen Season 1 of Iron Fist, I’m glad that they came out with this first. I love how new characters were introduced and I love the faster pace of the story. After unveiling and solidifying the character of Danny in Season 1, it’s so refreshing to see a more confident and solid character for Danny. And as usual, I loved how bad-ass Colleen is, and how very well-grounded on her values and virtues she is (or will she still be?? haha). I don’t want to give too much information, but seriously, you need to watch the upcoming season of Iron Fist.

Give it a chance, peeps! It won’t disappoint.

I really enjoyed going to Asiapo Comicon 2018. I am proud to be part of the Netflix Stream Team. Were you at the Asiapop Comicon 2018? What did you enjoy? Share your thoughts with us!

We always tell Zeeka before going into a toy store that she needs to choose a toy that she will let go of before we buy another toy. We tell her that money doesn’t grow on trees, but to explain where money comes from, we’re glad that we have Cashaysayan. Cashaysayan is a book that teaches your little one about money. This book is super helpful!

Before I tell you about the book, I’d like to acknowledge the authors for doing a good job. One of the authors (Divine) is actually a friend, do kuddos to you Divine and your co-authors for writing this book. I apologize it took some time to write this, but I really want to spread the word because I know this will help a lot of kids understand concepts and everything about money and value.

Sharing the authors of this book:

Divine Gil Reyes is the Chief Creative Officer and owner of an advertising and public relations agency. She is a writer, lyricist, and part-time voice actor. Divine has written a musical album for kids about positive values, and several episodes for the children’s TV show “Jollitown,” and a few short films. She hopes to help raise a new generation of dutiful Filipino citizens.

Michelline Espiritu Suarez is a wife to her college sweetheart, mother to five kids, and mistress to three lazy dogs. A Liberal Arts graduate, she is fascinated by history, philosophy, sociology, and literature. Halo-Halo Histories is her midlife crisis in book form. She hopes the series will spark an interest in and love for our common heritage, in children and adults alike.

Joonee Garcia, or “Miss Joonee” to her students, is a music teacher, theater teacher, composer, writer, and occasional actor. She penned the musical “The Princess and the Red Carp,” as well as many childhood music and movement programs. She was the Local Musical Director of the London West End Production of the The Sound of Music in Manila, 2017.

Benjor Catindig is an illustrator, graphic designer, art director, and owner of an advertising and public relations agency. His many works include theater posters; a children’s book, The Legend of Juan Pawikan; and the graphic short story, “Karnabal” (co-written with Joonee Garcia), which was a finalist at the first Philippine Graphic /Fiction Awards in 2007.

About the book…

I started reading this book to Zeeka and she was deeply interested. What I personally liked about it is that we forgot that our money (bills and coins) tell a lot about our history and culture. We always take it for granted (although not when we need to spend it… haha!), but it’s time that we share with the younger generation how it’s created from the time when “value” was created with the exchange of goods to how we acknowledge it at the present.

When I read Zeeka this book, I showed her different bills and showed her the images in the bills. I told her also to observe the different coins that we have.

CASHAYSAYAN: A History of Philippine Money is actually the second book from the wildly popular Halo-Halo Histories, a series dedicated to making the study of Philippine history fun and engaging for young people. I think it’s about time that we dig deeper into our culture and find ways to pass it on to the next generation.

It’s so cool that these four authors came up with this book! More power to all of you.

Regards,

 

 

P.S. Have you read the book? What do think of it?

P.P.S.

Order your own copy online through www.tahananbooks.ph or visit Tahanan Books at Unit 402 Cityland 3 Building, V.A. Rufino corner Esteban Streets, Legaspi Village, Makati City.