About a month ago, I was asked by Danae’s teacher to speak or share a testimony at Danae’s graduation ceremony about Danae’s and our experience in Kidvantage. It was such an honor to be able to share this on March 29, 2012.

Let me begin by saying that my husband and I believe that EDUCATION BEGINS AT HOME. We, the parents are our children’s first teachers, and hopefully their constant source of knowledge and wisdom as they grow older.

Our daughter Danae was not a traditional learner because she was, still is, very active, and had quite a short attention span. She learned from play time, from our conversations, from bed-time and other stories, from videos, from our trips to the mall or the beach, in the car, on a boat or on a plane. Like all children, she was, still is, a sponge – soaking up everything she is exposed to. She wasn’t really the type who would sit down and learn, which made me just a little bit worried. This is where Kidvantage came into the picture.

We enrolled Danae in the summer workshop when she was 2 and a half years old. Her teacher was Teacher Chris, who was great at distracting her from the thought of my absence (I was right outside, of course) and at keeping her interested in being in the classroom. That class helped in teaching her to stay in a confined space, to pay attention, to be with other kids her age, to respect authority, to be independent, and have fun while learning. How perfect that Kidvantage believes that PLAY IS A CHILD’S SERIOUS WORK.

We waited 1 year before enrolling Danae in Nursery because we wanted to make sure she would not be pressured to mature or to keep up with older classmates. It was also perfect timing because she already knew how to read 3 to 4-letter words by then. She adjusted well and she made new friends. It was also then that T. Milette discovered and nurtured Danae’s ability to read and understand short stories, hence her first excellence in reading award that year. In Kinder, we noticed that she enjoyed answering her workbooks and doing homework. It was quite unexpected, but we took the opportunity to buy her other books and to ask Teacher Grace for more work sheets. Teacher Grace was kind enough to accommodate us on our request. This year under T. Milette and T.Cel’s tutelage, we saw that Danae enjoys Math and Language. She has surprisingly been doing pretty well in Filipino, too. They also told us that she has been steadily improving in her social skills.

In the last 3 years, we have learned that academics are essential, yes, but we believe that CHARACTER BUILDING IS EVEN MORE IMPORTANT. We appreciate the role that Kidvantage, the teachers and staff play in helping us mold our child into a God-fearing, wise, kind and loving individual.

Teachers, when you mediate fights between Danae and a classmate, you CO-LABOR with my husband and I in teaching Danae about friendship, about communication, about self-control, about patience, about humility, about love, about forgiveness. When you remind her that she cannot force her ideas or beliefs on others, you co-labor with us in teaching her acceptance and to respect others. When you remind her to wait for her turn and to share, you co-labor with us in teaching her about having a good attitude and about generosity. When you teach about polite expressions, you co-labor with us in teaching her good manners and respect. When you tell your class to line up, to keep quiet, to listen, to raise their hand, to clean up, to follow rules, you co-labor with us in disciplining her. When you assign her to be teacher’s helper for the day, you co-labor with us in training her to follow and to lead. When you involve our family in school activities, you co-labor with us in building precious memories with her and in teaching her the importance and value of family. When you pray and read Bible stories to the class, you co-labor with us in teaching her to love and honor God. When you encourage her to join games and programs, you co-labor with us in teaching her about unity, cooperation, good sportsmanship, self-confidence. When you teach about different people and different nations, you co-labor with us in teaching her about the world, about dreams, about the future. When you include play, laughter, creativity inside the classroom, you co-labor with us in teaching her to have a love for learning because learning is fun.

So thank you for your hard work and your patience in PARTNERING with us. Thank you that despite the individual lives you lead, which come with its own share of problems and difficulties, you still come to class with smiles on your faces and give your best. Thank you for your passion for your work, that even though it is a high-expectation, low-appreciation, not to mention a not-so-well-compensated kind of job, you are faithful and joyful with the responsibility of giving our child quality and quantity lessons. I’m sure I speak for the parents here when we say thank you for your great love for all our children, who may not always be the nicest or most behaved little human beings in the world, and who may not have the most understanding parents in the world either. Thank you for sowing into our children’s lives. We deeply appreciate it.

May you, Kidvantage, continue to live up to your vision/mission statement that “the whole child is the whole idea.” God bless you, more power, and see you next year….because it’s going to be Noelle’s turn. Thank you.

CONGRATULATIONS DANAE! WE ARE SO VERY PROUD OF YOU! DADDY AND I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT WE ALREADY HAVE A GRADUATE — OUR FIRST GRADUATE! Pre-school yeah, but still a graduate haha. And yes you’re done with pre-school, but not with school. (She was so happy after graduation, saying that she’s done with school hahaha.) Great job on your 3rd Reading Excellence award too (3 years in a row)! WE LOVE YOU NAE-NAE! 🙂

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About Phoebe Torres-Lucero

I am Phoebe Torres-Lucero, wife of a loving husband & dedicated pastor, King, and mother to three wonderful, smart, active little girls, Danae, Noelle and Gianna. Phoebe means bright and radiant. Torres means towers. Lucero means light. Put together, my name speaks of a tower of bright, radiant light. And that is what I hope to be as I write and share with you some of my experiences, especially on being a mom.

4 responses »

  1. may p says:

    congratulations our danae! we are so proud of you!

  2. leaesantos says:

    Love the speech, Phoebs.;) So sincerely and thoughtfully expressed! Making me think twice now about homeschooling. Haha. Kidvantage seems a conducive environment for impactful education, but you’re right, school teachers are co-laborers because education indeed begins at home. And I won’t tire in saying that you are doing an amazing job as a mom! You so inspire me and how you are with your wonderful daughters makes me even more eager to have my own. I know it’s hard work, but watching snippets of your brand of motherhood tells me it’s worth it.;) Appreciate your example,Phoebs.;)

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