As a professional blogger, I need to be observant. Observant of the things happening to different people, observant of what the latest trends are and observant of what will come out in the market and the different innovations that products bring. That’s one skill as a “freelancer” that I have and I need.
This past year (2018) though, I’ve been looking out a lot. And looking at other people’s lives didn’t make me feel good, and it just made me compare my life with them. Obviously, I’m smart enough to know that what you see in social media is not the entire reality. But, looking out still didn’t make me feel good about myself.
Aside from looking out, I was so caught up with just doing things for the sake of just doing it. I got caught up with my day to day tasks as an entrepreneur and a freelancer that I forgot to take care of myself. I also “semi” forgot how feeling passionate about my craft was. I don’t know if this was just the feeling of being burnt out, or if this was being frustrated that things didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to, or if it was just me being impatient, but I hated the feeling.
I’m not a complainer. I just end up feeling tired. Although, I am thankful for having a super duper great support system (family and friends who are uberly great!), but I end up tired and feeling sad about my life.
The thing that helped me a lot this year are our prayers at night and my quiet time in the mornings when I run. In the evening, we take turns in the family to say what we are thankful for. Then in the morning, I love the stillness. I love that everything is so quiet, and it would be just me and my thoughts.
So my resolution for this year for both my personal and professional life as a freelancer and entrepreneur is to do more looking in rather than looking out. I promise to do more introspection. I know that this will lead me to become more self-aware and self-awareness is the key to happiness and success. Why? When you truly know who you are, you capitalize on your strengths. You become happier with yourself, and when you are happy, you make other people happy.
So this 2019, I promise to:
Look at my strengths and weaknesses again and use it or act on it.
Try new things.
Blog about what I feel and what I think about things more frequently.
Set aside time to improve myself and my craft.
Spend more time with family and friends and have deeper conversations.
Build deeper relationships with people.
Continue to fix systems and process for my freelancing career and my business so that I free up time — time that I can use as “ME-Time”
I know that by doing this, I’ll be a better wife, mom, freelancer, entrepreneur, etc. I’ll be good at whatever role I need to fulfil in 2019.
I wished I lived in a cooler country, or better yet, I wish this country had cooler weather (I love living in the Philippines). The reason why I thought about this is that I want to change the way I dress this 2019. Watching the Korean drama What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim has made me rethink my wardrobe choices. If you haven’t seen this Korean drama on Netflix yet, sharing with you some of her outfits in different episodes.
I love the flowy blouses and the pencil cut skirts. I’m sort of sick and tired of wearing jeans and shirts. haha! The reason why I revert back though to shirt and jeans is the fact that it’s very comfortable. First of all, I need to be ready to bend down to tie my daughter’s shoe, chase her when she suddenly wants to race and to easily change my top (jeans go with anything!) when something spills.
And the fact that we own a start-up company doesn’t help. In our company, anyone can come in any attire they choose. The only rule is that they have to dress up for events and meetings. But most of the time, people come in in jeans, shirt, etc. and we don’t really mind.
For 2019 though, I want this year to be different. I want to dress for success! As Zig Ziglar said…
You cannot climb the ladder of success dressed in the costume of failure.
Wait… wait! That may be too harsh of a saying since my jeans isn’t really what I’d consider a costume of failure 😄 But, you get what I mean!
So anyway, i’m looking through Lazada now and here are the pencil cut skirts that I’m seriously looking at buying.
Sharing a piece of myself today. No pictures, though, because I couldn’t get myself to take photos.
I’ve locked myself inside my room. I brought my laptop, because I needed something to distract me. Zeeka couldn’t stop whining. First, it was about Monopoly and how she couldn’t get the little paper money inside the little pouch. After whining about that, she whined about not being able to play with the big sack of play dough. I didn’t let her play that because we were having friends over, and I didn’t want to dirty the place. After that episode, I just had it. I didn’t want to do anything that would hurt her, so I ran towards my room, shut the door and locked myself up.
She kept on crying for a good 15 minutes and shouting.
So yeah, this is my life. And ‘this’ happens (behind the scenes of social media) at least a couple of times during the day, mind you. These are the scenes that we don’t show. But, as moms, this is our REALITY.
As I look at young, single and fashionable women on Instagram, I couldn’t help but feel a little jealous. “Look at you having the time of your life,” I scoff. “Enjoy it while you can.”
Now, my life is full of concerns like: “Did she finish her baon today? or did she pee on her underwear or how’s my schedule like next week since they extended club time”.
I want to be concerned just for once about whether my tan lines show or not! Please! Haha!
Then after my “internal” rants about my predicament and after feeling sorry for myself, I hear a knock on the door. This cute little human in pigtails asks me for food, because she’s hungry.
I remember going to a parent-teachers meeting in Zeeka’s school. They asked us, parents, what our parenting objectives are. My husband and I shared that we want Zeeka to be an independent and confident adult in the future, capable of making her own decisions. We want her to learn and eventually exhibit the values that we believe in.
I think every parent wants to raise independent learners. I know we want our kids to grow and thrive so they could live the life they want.
The demand for problem-solving and critical thinking skills are much higher today than it was before. Because of new discoveries and innovations in technology, new businesses and careers are required to fill the gap. That’s why I try to give Zeeka as much support and opportunities as I can while she’s growing up.
So I did a quick research to know what skills and traits one should have to be called an independent learner and here’s what I found.
Characteristics of an Independent Learner
– Independent learners are naturally curious and explorative of their surroundings. They love learning from different angles and approaches
– Independent learners are motivated by personal goals they set for themselves.
– Independent learners know how to evaluate themselves fairly.
– Independent learners are responsible and remain accountable for their tasks. They also do it out of need without anyone telling them what to do.
– Independent learners are critical thinkers who examine possibilities and come up with multiple solutions to a problem
– Independent learners also have an uncanny way of learning. They read, visualize, or kinaesthetically instruct themselves and require little or no instructions from adults.
– Independent learners are also persistent. They don’t give up easily even if the tasks seem impossible.
So how do we raise our kids to be independent learners? Here are some tips
1. Build their confidence.
Self-esteem is a characteristic of an independent learner that you can nurture through acceptance, support, and love.
As parents, you need to recognize your kid’s talents and give praise when it is due. But be sure to be realistic with the praise and not let it get to their heads.
It’s also important to let them know it’s ok to be silly at times and not to take yourself too seriously.
Let kids experience failure so they know it’s part of the process. Kids need to understand that every mistake can be turned into an opportunity to learn from. What’s important is how they are willing to adapt and make necessary changes to correct their mistakes.
2. Create opportunities for independence.
I have the tendency to look at my little girl as if she’s always going to be my baby. I guess that’s just normal for every parent.
I mean, kids do grow up too fast. And I’m also so lucky to get to witness Zeeka grow up before my eyes.
But I also know that I won’t always be there to help her. So I try as much as I could to present her with opportunities where she can learn on her own.
I give her small tasks at home that she can do by herself, like packing her toys away or choosing what to wear for the day. I also ask her to help around the house. Even if we have a helper, I let her set up our table when it’s time to eat. I also require her to eat by herself.
These might menial, but it helps strengthen her motor skills and build her character. It also makes her aware of what responsibilities are and gives her a sense of accomplishment every time she completes a task.
3. Nurture your child’s interests and help them set realistic goals.
My little Zeeka is quite a performer. She can be shy and timid at first, but when she gets her groove on she can be such a ball of energy.
She loves being in front of the camera. She even told me she wanted to have her own talk show someday, like Ellen.
Here she is doing her version of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman.
Here she is looking so kikay when we visited Lady Kitty’s house at Sanrio Puro Land.
That’s why I look for different events and workshops where she can showcase her talents. Last summer, I enrolled her in a dance camp for kids and she absolutely loved it! She even has her own Youtube channel where she gets to talk about her toys, makeup, and other things she loves.
Check out her KinderJoy Egg Surprise Review here:
4. Don’t interrupt.
Kids learn things best when they figure it out on their own. Sometimes, their methods may not be what we expect. And as adults, we also need to let them be and learn how to deal with it.
Case in point.
If kids ask for opportunities to help or work on their own, don’t interrupt. But make sure to be there when they need some guidance. Don’t dismiss them or ignore them when they have questions.
It also helps to have a “no spoon-feeding rule” at home. In case they can’t figure it out, you can point them in the right direction. What’s more important is their desire to give things a try.
5. Encourage the love of books and math.
Reading books introduce us to different concepts and ideas. And in turn, it also feeds our minds and makes us more creative. It also expands our vocabulary, improves our communication skills and our memory.
Reading also enriches our analytical skills and enhances our decision-making. It also stimulates our mental capacities and improves focus and concentration.
Much like reading, Mathematics is a mental exercise that helps develop critical thinking skills and independent learning. It is all about making connections and seeing patterns and builds our concrete and abstract thinking abilities.
Research shows that Mathematics trains the brains to see connections and build neural pathways that increase the brain’s power.
Here are some of the brain’s response when doing Maths according to Creation.com:
It creates the basis for systemic thinking
Develops analysis and problem-solving skills
Helps build critical sequencing skills that help one arrive at accurate results or logical conclusions
Promotes cautious thinking through deciphering complex math problems to arrive at an accurate answer.
Learning to integrate different principles by a trial and error basis to come to a logical conclusion
One way to build your kid’s independence is to enrol them in Math enrichment programs such as S.A.M. Singapore Math.
Seriously Addictive Mathematics Philippines or S.A.M. makes it fun and easy for kids to learn Math. Students get to learn Mathematics through play, using toys, tools, and manipulatives. This makes it easy for students, especially the younger ones, to understand mathematical concepts and increases their comprehension levels.
Raising independent learners can be easier with the right type of tools and a community supports you along the way.
So if you have any tips on how to raise independent learners, please do share them with us in the comments below.
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Show SAM center the 6-digit code from the reply text of SAM Head Office
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Did you know that using the CPA approach can help kids learn Math better and faster?
I first heard about the CPA approach when I was doing my research about Seriously Addictive Mathematics, and it was definitely an eye-opener.
My close friends would know how much I love learning new things. And as a mom, I want Zeeka to also have the same love of learning as I do.
Now that she’s in school, one of my priorities is for her to enjoy learning, especially Math. But because math is an abstract subject, it can get difficult for kids like her to understand the concepts behind it. I’m lucky though that ever since Zeeka was a little, she loved counting more than singing her ABCs.
To make mathematical concepts more concrete, the Singapore Ministry of Education devised a learning program that uses the CPA approach. They then applied it to what we now know as Singapore Math for kids. I have been noticing a lot of improvement from Zeeka, so I decided to share with you what the CPA approach is (based on my research).
CPA Approach Explained
Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract Approach (CPA) was a concept derived from American Psychologist Jerome Bruner.
It is based on a theory of instructions proposed by Bruner in his book, Towards a Theory of Instruction. The idea comes from enactive, iconic, and symbolic modes of representations, and was later on adopted by the Singapore Ministry of Education as its key instructional strategy.
Bruner believed that students learn best by doing. In this approach, students learn by using manipulatives to learn mathematical concepts and skills. Students get the chance to explore, discuss, and understand the problem first hand. Instructors, on the other hand, facilitate and provide structure and feedback to students and increase the depth of understanding for the students.
Concrete Stage – This stage lets students manipulate concrete objects to model problems. Unlike traditional processes, the CPA approach brings the concept to life and allows students to handle and experience the objects and make sense of the problem at hand.
Pictorial Stage -This refers to the seeing stage, where images are used to represent objects to solve a math problem. It lets the students make a mental connection between the concrete object and the models that represent the problem.
Abstract/ Symbolic Stage – This stage lets the students connect the previous stages to the abstract symbols to model the problem. It also involves the teacher introducing abstract concepts using numbers and symbols.
Using this process ensures that the child gets a deeper understanding of how problem-solving works. It also helps children create powerful mental connections and provides them with a structured way to learn concepts.
Most importantly, kids also get to learn at their own pace. With enough support from certified trainers, students get a fun and effective way to learn Math.
That’s what makes Singapore Math for kids awesome.
How to Use the CPA Approach at Home
So how can we parents use the CPA approach to prepare our kids for learning Math?
I went to Pinterest to look for simple, easy-to-do learning games we can play with our kids. And here are some we can use the materials we already have at home.
Lego blocks have huge intrinsic educational and creative value. But more than that, children can also build their spatial and proportional awareness through these toys.
They also help increase your kid’s gross and fine motor skills. And in advance situations, high school and college students can also use advanced Lego kits for robotics, computer programming, modeling, and more.
So how can you use blocks to introduce counting to your preschooler?
Draw numerals and dots on Lego Duplo blocks and help kids recognize numbers. You can even use the blocks as a measuring tool.
Playdough is soft, fun, and can be changed into whatever shape we want. And this makes it an awesome toy/tool to use for teaching our kids math.
You can form it and shape it to numbers and dots.
You can hide small toys in them and do a mini-treasure hunt while counting how many they got.
You can also cut it into and use it to demonstrate fractions for older kids to understand.
Watch this video to see ten more ways you can use playdough to learn math from DeniseGaskins.com.
Popsicle sticks are a creative way to help kids identify numbers.
All you need are 20 popsicle sticks and a few colored markers. Number each stick from 1 to 10 in bold, black letters. Then make designs on the remaining sticks with corresponding numbers using different shapes and colors.
Once done, you can ask your child to match the sticks with the corresponding numbers, and even ask about the different shapes and colors on the sticks.