It has been quite a while since my last post here, I know.
To tell you the truth, I have had my hands full again with oh so many things (the usual — the kids, chores, WORK, etc.), not to mention events that I have been attending as “media” (though I am still not used to being labelled as such!) and events to which I have been invited as a speaker (Invite me, invite me! Before I give birth, haha!).
Then there is also the “laziness” that comes with being pregnant — many days, all I want to do is lie in bed and read a book (or scroll through my social media feeds! Aaarrggghhh!).
On the few occasions when I did get to sit down and attempt to write a blog post, I was dismayed to find out that I couldn’t log in to WordPress! Huhuhu! 🙁 (It’s a loooong story, but let me just say — I need to subscribe to a new internet service provider!)
Anyway… here I am now, at my mom’s place, taking advantage of the fact that I can finally access the back end of this blog. (Thank you for your patience, everyone!)
First thing on my bloggy agenda is to share important reminders about reading and problem-solving, and learning in general — based on lessons that I learned from attending the Scholastic Readers Cup 2015 last month.
I won’t go into the nitty-gritty of the event though, because:
(a) I already wrote about it for Philstar.com;
(b) it’s 4.30 a.m. and I should be sleeping (so says every person who discovers that I am awake and online at hours like these! “You should be resting; growing your baby requires enough sleep; etc.!”); and
(c) the toddler might wake up to nurse and I won’t be able to finish this post because I’ll end up falling asleep beside her! 😛
So… please forgive me but I’ll just go straight to the point of why I found the Scholastic Readers Cup 2015 truly educational and insightful, especially as a parent and an educator-of-sorts (since we homeschool and all 🙂 ). Here are my four main takeaways, which, I believe, serve as important reminders for all educators and parents, since we parents are considered the primary educators of our children:
1. We need to teach children how to learn and how to use what they learn.
As a parent, one of my goals is to raise independent learners who know how to learn, meaning, how to get information on anything and everything they want to. I think this goal would apply whether or not we homeschool.
At the Scholastic Readers Cup 2015 though, I was reminded that, in today’s society, it’s not just what you know that matters; it’s what you can do with that knowledge that is most important. This is something that both parents and teachers should remember when teaching kids. We need to teach them about the “usefulness” of what they learn; after all, learning should be purposeful, right? 🙂
2. We need to encourage children to read beyond what is “required” of them.
This is something I have been personally
struggling with working on with my kids. They LOVE it when I read aloud to them, but are not yet very big on independent reading beyond what is required of their curriculum. So, we’re working on improving the culture of reading that we currently have, by hoarding getting books which the kids find interesting (many of which are actually from Scholastic!).
I also plan to use charts to help us achieve our goals, which will help the kids track the number of books that they read. Of course, since our Kindergartener/beginning reader doesn’t read so fluently yet, her book “requirements” will be simpler, and limited to the phonics readers we are currently using.
3. We need to encourage and teach children to be problem-solvers.
Based on the slide pictured above, plus Dr. Aziz’s talk, we must remember that both reading and problem-solving (related to proficiency in mathematics) are important. I personally was both a language and math “nerd” when I was still a student, but admittedly loved language more (hence, my current “job description” as writer/editor/communicator!).
As a parent (and a teacher), I hope for my kids to love (or at least like) both too — reading and math. I know that I need to encourage and inspire them to actually have that “love” though, and it is definitely challenging! Time to make concrete plans for the new school year! 😉
Schoolteachers would also do well to encourage their students to be proficient in both math and reading, as this would mean better opportunities for the children later on in life.
4. We need to assess children to help them prepare for the future.
Personally, as a recently self-declared “Catholic Relaxed Homeschooler,” I am not very fond of assessment tools like tests and exams. I actually don’t give my kids regular quizzes, tests and exams. But after attending the Scholastic Readers Cup this year, I was encouraged to look at tests and exams in a different light — more as a “teaching tool,” rather than a way to see what grades my kids are capable of getting. (I know, I know — my bad for thinking of them as such!)
Assessment is not a bad thing — it helps us parents and teachers determine a child’s certain level in a specific subject, so that we can identify areas that need improvement. Something I need to constantly keep in mind! 🙂
In hindsight, I can say that I am really glad that I was invited to the Scholastic Readers Cup 2015. I learned a lot, and am even more inspired to be my children’s “first and best teacher,” as my friends from The Learning Basket always say! 🙂
Scholastic is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of over 600 original titles every year. The Readers Cup is an event that recognizes the exemplary efforts of educators — from teachers and librarians, to principals and schools. At this year’s Readers Cup, Scholastic also launched its new programs, namely Literacy Pro, Literacy Pro Library, and PR1ME Mathematics.
For more information on Scholastic, and its products and programs, email email@example.com or contact (02) 944READ (7323). You can find also them online via their website: http://scholastic.asia/en and on Facebook: facebook.com/ScholasticAsia.