It can't be overemphasized that in order for one person to be good in something, he must develop not just one but a set of skills. In basketball for example, to be a good player, one needs to be good at dribbling, shooting, passing, rebounding, agility, etc. Each of these individual skills had to be practiced over and over until a certain level of mastery is achieved.

The same thing with being a good student. One does not simply come to school, listen to the teacher, study and take tests to be a good student. There are certain foundational skills that should be practiced over and over. One of these skills is reading and, obviously, comprehension. One study by Sarah Sparks showed that students who can't read at their grade level are thirteen times less likley to graduate in high school. There are numerous other studies linking reading skills and comprehension to success in other subjects as unlikely as mathematics. After all, some mathematical problems are word problems and therefore require good reading and comprehension. Whole methods are even developed to improve reading/study/comprehension and SQ3R is one such method. The acronym actually stands for SURVEY-QUESTION-READ-RECITE-REVIEW. It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss this method in detail but suffice it to say that its development is a result of the need to develop the skill we are talking about.

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As parents, we know better. This is the principle that all parents need to remind themselves, especially when it comes to their children's lower education. It's not our kids who decide where they want to go and when they want to go. Many children will experience separation anxiety attacks during their first day of attending school all by themselves. They will wail and thrash about, roll on the floor, kick and, yes even say bad words, just to get out of the classroom  to go back to the comfort of their parents' arms. That's alright because the teachers and the teacher aides are experienced in handling these situations. No child will be harmed by too much crying for a few minutes. Ultimately, they all calm down, either completety enough to play, or to settle to occasional sobs while being comforted by adults which, a while ago, they may have kicked and slapped. Needless to say, to some kids, this first day of separation may be a little bit stressful and they will refuse going back again. That's when the firmness of the parents should come into play. This is very critical since children will always attempt to manipulate things and people, even their parents, to get what they want. And most often, what they want is not always the best for them. A responsbile parent should not allow the child to dictate things when it comes to this matter. Those who say "minsan lang naman pinagbibigyan" will soon find out it does not work that way. The "minsan" will be followed by another, and another and yet another.

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A warm greetings to all and may this message find you in a celebratory mood much like we all have here at Eastbridge. 
Every time we gather together for our year-end exercises, there is bound to be heightened emotions. Parental emotions are stirred among Nursery students’ parents as they anticipate their kids’ gala walk on stage to fetch their medals and other awards. The fact that the kids will be wearing gowns or barongs add much to the emotional burdens: will they be able to walk like little princes and princesses? Or will they suddenly freeze mid-stage and throw to waste the amount paid for the video coverage? Kinder parents will be anticipating “better” performance by their kids as they gained more confidence having gone through two years of schooling. Prep parents will feel a little bit special as it is their kids who are graduating today. Some, however, will be more jittery than others as they wait for the announcement of The Eastbridge Child Award, if their kid has been nominated. Whatever the case may be, fathers have to dig deep in their closets for that seldom worn barong or suit to be here. Mothers have to be preoccupied with the physical as well as the emotional preparations. Perhaps, it is safe to say that only the kids will really get a kick out of this without the emotional burden like we adults have. Fine, because, after all, this is their show.
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The teachers thought they would have lots of fun, lots of beach and lots of  souvenirs. They didn't expect to get what they actually did when Eastbridge School held an in-service training with Star Kids for the two school's teaching staff last October 27-30 in Boracay.

 Unknown to all the teaching staff, the administrators of Eastbridge and Star Kids decided to conduct a spiritual retreat this year instead of the usual training that the teachers are so used to. The reason for this has much to do with the Mission Statements of both schools that give lots of weight on the spiritual training and growth of both the teachers and the students. For six sessions, the teachers learned about important bible subjects that are a great comfort to the soul. Emil Tacata, the President of Star Kids started the lesson on "Saving Faith". This was followed by  this writer's lecture on "The Blood of Christ - The Basis of Forgiveness" and "Assurance of Salvation". Mr. Tacata reinforced the lessons with  "The Anatomy of Sin" and then Teachers Jane Limoso and Richelle Tacata divided the remaining two sessions by lecturing on "Basic Christian Disciplines".

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As I'm writing this article, I am away from home. I am actually sitting inside Burger King in Timog in Quezon City at 8:30 in the evening because I am one of the unfortunate ones who got stranded when typhoon "Ondoy" poured a record amount of rain in Metro Manila. One estimate said the amount of rain brought by the typhoon in six hours is equal to one month's rain received by Metro Manila on an average rainy season. That's a lot of rain, alright.
At around 11 o'clock this morning, I tried my luck at going home. I gave up the Litex way because I know my car will never cross the flooded areas in that route. As I crossed the Batasan, San Mateo bridge, I had a premonition that I will never get home at all: the flood water is just about two meters far from reaching the bridge and many evacuees are already walking on the side of the road. When I got to the end of the bridge, I have a glimpse of some houses whose roofs are the only thing visible while the rest are submerged in flood. I waited for a few minutes at Pure Gold and then decided that even that place may not be safe for me so I headed back to Q.C. and stayed at Ever Gotesco until 3 p.m. when the mall management decided to close shop early.
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chapel_hour.jpg Someone said, "The soul of education is the education of the soul." This quote is not necessarily uttered in the context of a church or Christian education. Since the soul may encompass everything that makes a person a being of compassion, gentleness, humanity, etc.  everything that makes a person a man after God's own image is the realm of the soul. At Eastbridge, we also aim for that. We endeavor not only though values formation lessons in the classroom but also in practice in a chapel setting how it is to worship God.The school believes that one is never too young to learn these things. At one time, the Lord Jesus gathered the children around Him and taught His disciples a very important lesson where He said,
"but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea" (Mat 18:6 ESV).

So you see, this is not a simple responsibility and great is the accountability of the one who neglects the soul education of these little ones of the Lord. Our school is not perfect in any way but if there be any defect, we would rather that it is not found in neglecting to train our children in the way that they should go, especially as regards their soul.

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