Category: Parenting Made Easy


ISM.jpg

Here is an opportunity you would not want to miss.

The International School Manila is currently searching for deserving Filipino scholars for school year 2016-2017. If your child is 13 or 14 years old (or turning 13 years old on or before September 1, 2016), have completed the academic requirements equivalent to ISM’s Grade 7, and is interested in earning a scholarship at ISM, then this just might be your chance.

For more than 40 years, ISM has been granting scholarships to incoming high school students provided they pass the qualifying exams and rigid selection process. Students from public and private schools in the Philippines are given opportunities they could only dream of, including the chance to be granted full scholarships to Ivy League schools such as Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia, Cornell, and Princeton.

This year, they are opening their doors once again and are searching for more scholars. Could your child be one of them?

Here are the details of the scholarship, as lifted from the International School Manila website (http://www.ismanila.org/):

NATURE OF SCHOLARSHIP

  1. The scholarships are available to students entering Grade 8 in the International School Manila.
  2. The need-based scholarships will include fees such as tuition fee, matriculation fee, and book rental. A participation fee may be required from the parents to cover a portion of the school fees.
  3. The scholarships may be enjoyed for five years provided the awardees maintain the appropriate scholastic level and abide by the school rules and regulations set by the Philippine Scholarship Committee.

WHO MAY QUALIFY FOR THE SCHOLARSHIP?

  1. The awards are open to students of Filipino citizenship who have completed their 7th grade (Grades 1-6 plus first year high school or Grades 1-7) of school and who will be 13 or 14 years of age by September 1, 2016.
  2. The candidate must have demonstrated high academic achievement (no grade lower than 85% or its equivalent in any subject). Candidates must submit a copy of their report cards, school records/transcript from Grade 1 to current grade level with completed application forms.
  3. The candidate must demonstrate financial need. (Please see Financial Requirement Letter)
  4. The candidate must meet all regular ISM entrance requirements
  5. The candidate must have an excellent command of oral and written English.
  6. The candidate must possess high personal standards and be in good health.
  7. Only one sibling per family shall be considered for the scholarship program.

The student must be fully committed to attend International School Manila for a period of five years (Grades 8 – 12). School year 2016-2017 at ISM starts August 2016.

The scholarship application packet and all other forms are available at the ISM website. Deadline of submission of filled out forms is on Friday, February 5, 2016, at the Middle School Guidance Office, International School Manila.

Visit their website for more information. Good luck on your application!

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Weekend.jpg

Weekends need not be spent sleeping in late and just bumming around the house. After the kids have finished their home works, you can try exploring the great outdoors, start on a family craft project, or organize a movie night, complete with homemade pizza, popcorn, and fruit shakes! It doesn’t have to be an expensive activity and you don’t necessarily have to go far (although an out-of-town trip is always exciting). Here are some ideas you can do right at home, in the yard, and can be a way to get the kids to help in some major chores at home!

  1. Family bike rides.

Don’t wait until summer vacation before you dust off your bike. Take them out now for some fun rides with the kids while the weather is still a bit cool. Look for a safe bike lane in a park near you or just go around the village.

2. Have a garage sale.

We all have some stuff in our rooms that are no longer useful to us but are still relatively new and functional to be thrown away. Why not gather up all unused toys, clothes, home decors, game boards, bags, books, and any other item that’s simply lying around in the house and set up a weekend garage sale? You can cash in a few bucks while getting rid of all your excess stuff.

3. Search for the constellations.

Clear up the front yard and spread a thick blanket or banig where you and the kids can lie down at night while you search for constellations. You can try downloading mobile apps that help locate stars and constellations to make it more fun!

4. Put together survival/first aid kits.

Mommies, you can take a quick trip to a local drug store or supermarket and shop for the basic contents of a survival kit or a first aid kit. Each child can collect his materials and put together his own kit. You can give them a fun lecture on when and how to use the first aid kits.

5. Create a Family Recipe Book.

Each member of the family has a favorite dish. Why not create a crafty recipe book for each dish? You can personalize each recipe with the person’s photos, handwritten notes, and other knickknacks. You can add more recipes as each child develops new food preferences; before you know it, you have an heirloom of family recipes that you can pass on to the next generation.

6. Work on a puzzle.

If your kids are 8 years or older, you can challenge them to put together a puzzle that has more than 100 pieces. When done, have the finished product framed. This will inspire them to work on more difficult images and eventually develop a hobby on puzzles.

7. Go on a family picnic.

Pack your picnic baskets with barbecue, adobo, vegetables, sandwiches, and lots of fruits. Fill up your water jugs with juice. Whip out a blanket or two (or your trusty banig) and head out to the nearest park (the La Mesa Ecopark is highly recommended) and have lunch al fresco.

8. Have a home “professional” photo shoot.

Dress up, put on some make-up, and click away! Turn a room in your house into a photo studio, complete with different backdrops, costumes, and wigs. Let the kids’ imagination run free!

9. Paint a bedroom.

Let the kids choose the color they want for a room, a cabinet, or a table (whatever item they would like to paint). Gear them up for “paint day” and let them work on the areas that they can easily reach. Consider buying the odorless types of paint; also, use rollers instead of paint brushes that can get heavy after several dips in the paint bucket.

10. Start a family garden.

If you don’t have an area for soil planting, you can buy clay pots and stack them neatly on a garden shelf or a stainless steel divider. You can start with easy-to-grow herbs and medicinal plants. Create a schedule for each child’s turn to water the plants.

Kids look forward to weekends so they can take time off from schoolwork. Make it more exciting for them with planned activities where everyone can participate. Weekend family fun can also discourage kids from looking for fun elsewhere.

Try any of these activities and share your experiences here! Happy weekend!

Mommy Burnout.jpg

In my hunt for topics that are meaningful to parents — official documents, IDs, passports — things that are most often required in children’s schools and other activities, I came across some useful tips for Moms too.  I’m sharing it here for all the Moms out there who need a minute or two of peace and quiet.  Share your tips too!

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You know it all too well. You wake up with a nagging headache, you go through the breakfast routines, make sure the kids are up and ready for school, the husband fed and his clothes pressed. By the time the brood is out of the crib, you feel tired already. You sit down with your coffee and tablet and browse through your Facebook timeline. Before you know it, it’s lunch time! You have less than five hours to breeze through all your errands before you need to pick up the kids. And you realize you are still in your pajamas: tired, hungry, and with a string of chores waiting to be done.

All of us are guilty of prioritizing the least important things in our to-do list, mainly because these are the easiest and most fun to accomplish. Anything that requires us to go online is almost always welcome; we call these our “happy-to-be-interrupted” excuses. Checking an email or a text message in the middle of putting away the groceries or waiting for the dryer to sound off would sometimes be the gateway to a 30-minute session on Twitter or Pinterest. And that’s thirty minutes we can never take back.

And then again, there are the habits we have developed over time that have somehow become normal. We thought that as we age, we need less time to sleep and rest. We think we are capable of hurling everything in the washer and get everything – from clothes, to beddings, to curtains and pillows – washed, dried, and neatly piled in closets and drawers.

At the end of the day, we are extremely exhausted; sadly sometimes, irritable and withdrawn from our families.

What are these things that cause you to be tired beyond your capacity as a mom? Let’s find out together and see how we can replace these with more positive activities:

1.Checking your email every time your phone sounds off.

Decided on a specific hour of the day (not upon waking up!) to check and reply to emails; prioritize between urgent and important.

2. Cleaning everything all in a day.

Unless you’re having visitors over, schedule your clean-ups so that you have one or two areas that you will focus on each day. Do not try to clean the whole house, put everything in order, dust, and organize all in one weekend.

3. Reading your Facebook feed when bored or tired.

When you need to cool off from your chores or take a break from running to the grocery store and putting everything away, take a quick nap or read a good book instead of browsing through Facebook. It is filled with links that will encourage you to stray farther and farther from your main goal which is to rest.

4. Not getting enough sleep and waking up too late.

When you were younger, staying up late was pure bliss. Whether spent in the comfort of your room, curled up in bed with a book or a night out with the girls, the evening hours were your best friends. But now that your days are filled with mommy duties, any opportunity to snooze is always welcome. Go to bed early whenever you can; wake up a bit later than usual during weekends. You deserve it.

5. Waking up and checking your email first.

Allowing yourself a few undisturbed minutes in bed after you are fully awake makes a lot of difference; you feel more relaxed and energized. Save your online tasks for later.

6. Lulling yourself to sleep with a game from your tablet or phone.

The same reason why you should not check your email first thing in the morning; you don’t want to go to sleep feeling disturbed and agitated because you failed to meet your goal in that time management game you recently downloaded. Make your room a place of rest and relaxation.

7. Too much junk food in-between meals.

Stock up on cereals and fruits instead. Junk food such as chips are loaded with sodium that promote water retention in the body. You wouldn’t want all that extra baggage with you, do you?

8. Not drinking enough water.

Don’t wait until you are thirsty before you drink water; thirst is the first sign of dehydration. A 700ml drinking bottle will help you monitor your water intake throughout the day better than when you drink with a glass. Three refills of your 700ml bottle ensures that you’ve had at least two liters of fluid for the day.

9. Filling your calendar with too much to-do lists.

Some people feel more in-control when they have endless to-do lists on their planners. But if you can organize your lists to make it easier to read and cross out as you go through your day, that’s better.

10. Leaving the TV on while you do your chores.

Try playing some upbeat music you are familiar to instead of letting the TV drone on the whole morning.

Try these simple tricks daily and see how it can help improve your energy level. Be able to do more without exhausting yourself too much. Always remember to keep a positive spirit before your exit your bedroom every morning.

Until next week, Mommies! Happy weekend!

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