Trust in formal school

By: Cris Evert Lato-Ruffolo July 20,2018 - 10:24 PM

You can never claim you truly love someone until you let go of those one thousand bills to pay for tuition and miscellaneous fees.

I realized that yesterday morning while Jeff and I had our “business meeting” and literally counted how much are we spending this month for our children’s education.

They are going to a private school, which is neither exclusive nor international, so the total amount we took out of the bank will not leave us homeless.

Not yet.

We have three children so every school uniform set, every book set, every monthly fee is multiplied by three.

Then there are more expenses on transportation and snacks plus new pairs of shoes and socks and school supplies.

Are you getting dizzy already?

I have been teaching my children love for learning in all ways I can think of. I played with them, cooked with them, jumped with them.

We planted trees, climbed mountains, rode buses and counted stars.

I wanted to be their first teacher — an excellent first teacher — so I studied a graduate degree on language and literacy education.

So intense my dedication was to be their first teacher that I endured 2.5 years of making lesson plans, learning curriculum development and familiarizing myself with terms outside of my comfort zone.

And I did it.

I finished the degree in 2016.

I taught them some more. Bombarded them more lessons on the solar system and the life cycle of the butterfly. In between, we played basketball, bought fish and rice in the wet market and learned how to say, “Tagpila ang kilo sa isda, Nang?”

I have been a total control freak in the last five years of Nick and Toni’s lives and of JJ’s two, running three, years of extreme cuteness. I hid in the term “homeschool.”

I often justified my actions by saying that I am a hands-on mother and that I only want the best for them so I am going to devote 99.9% of my time with them.

While I make a joke about having a hard time letting go of the cash, the real score is, I am finding it hard to let go of my children and entrust them to teachers who will teach them lessons that I may or may not have discussed before.

I am quite scared that they will be judged by their teachers, classmates and other parents because they are not typical Filipino children.

We are bringing them up in an unconventional manner and I am filled with doubts if the way they are raised will be a fit to the educational system that we now entrusting them to.

We have taken a step to place our children in a conventional institution.

This is going to be a major adjustment; more for me than for them, I believe.

I have complete confidence in my children that they will make friends and will have fun.

I am not that confident about how I will take this in; the three-hour class schedule for the twins and the two-hour class schedule for JJ.

But I have to let go and trust that the institution has the best interest of the children in mind.

The Department of Education said the Kindergarten curriculum is “designed to respond to the holistic developmental needs of five-year-old learners, along with socio-emotional, values, physical health, creative, mathematics, understanding of the physical and natural environment, language, literacy, and communication development.”

I hope this is not just a press release.

I hope teachers and school administrators will take teaching and learning seriously.

I hope to open up myself a bit and trust the formal school system.

Or I would ask for a refund when my children comes home from school telling me that they only watched TV the whole day.

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TAGS: CRIS EVERT LATO-RUFFOLO, formal, school, trust

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