I've been asked a countless number of times why I decided to send the earthlings to a progressive school. Every single time I want return the question and retort why the hell didn't you? With so many non traditional school options around I cannot understand why any parent would choose a school for their kids where they will be 1 out of 35-40 in the class, 1 out of 300 in their grade and 1 out of way too many in the the grade school alone. Unless of course tuition fee is a major deciding factor, but it usually isn't for those that ask. Yes, progressive schools have higher tuition however I don't spend a centavo on any material. Not even a pencil to bring to to school. Instead of being such a smart ass, I tell them the truth and a much short version of things. I looked for a progressive school because I wanted my children to get a better education than I did. I picked a progressive school because I want my children to learn and not learn how to work the system. I chose Keys School Manila because they don't think outside the box, they take the box and redefine it.
This is most of Gael's grade 2 class a couple of weeks ago at their culminating activity for P.E. This short and fun activity is a perfect example of why progressive schools rock and how a progressive school can offer a better education. They did traditional Filipino games and relays for their culminating activity this term. On that day I got to see them work together seamlessly, cheer for the opposing team when that team was losing, there was no yelling at their slowest team mate, no one blamed anyone for not winning and they didn't gloat when they won. Gael has a visually challenged classmate and he also participated in all activities - agawan panyo, karera sa sako and even relay events that involved running and jumping. He did it with a shadow teacher but he ran, he jumped and he was a great member of the team.
Here are my top five reason why a progressive school rocks.
1. Keys School Manila offers everyone the opportunity to a good education. Everyone is different and each of us have our strengths and our weaknesses. They give each child the necessary tools, aides or help they may need to learn to overcome their weaknesses. It may not exactly be equal opportunity but it is fair and just for everyone.
2. No, that may not always be the case is in the real world. But it isn't the real world quite yet. They are 6-14 year olds who need a good education, in more ways than scholarly I might add. Besides, I don't know what real world you live in but in my real world justice and fairness bear more weight than getting ahead of everyone.
3. Kids may be resilient and they will adapt to any environment but even the most resilient adult needs a helping hand every now and then. The teachers at Keys School Manila are amazing, they know my kids almost as well as I know them. They are able to anticipate when a student is going to need a little extra attention and they prepare for it.
4. Keys School Manila makes good team players. Being a small class of 30-40 per year, they get to know everyone. For an outgoing person like Gael everyone means the whole school. He gets to be with children of all ages and with many different personalities. He is a great friend and a good team player, in and out of the classroom. His spelling could be better but I have no doubt that everyone will want him on their team.
5. A progressive education encourages kids to be curious and ask questions. They are not afraid to be inquisitive and they learn skills that are more crucial than acing a test or getting good grades. They learn how to be flexible and critical thinkers, they learn the importance of being good listeners and they learn how to be sensitive to others.