Educare: Learning By "Doing"

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Should I enroll my daughter in an after-school learning center?Should I let my son enjoy his childhood before enrolling him for classes? What are the advantages my daughter can gain if I choose to invest in a learning program? Where can I go? How do I know if it’s the right one? Should I question what early schooling can do to my kid? Should I doubt the system?

These are just some of the many questions most moms (especially the newbies) ask themselves whenever they reach the point of deciding to enroll their kids in a learning center. Some moms would really go all out and do extensive research before they decide on doing anything; while some completely disregard the thought of schooling their children at a young age.

All moms have their fears of making decisions that would set the track for their children in the long run. In this case, moms give ample time and thought in offering their child any structured form of education. Why? For the fear that they are robbing their children from their childhood.

But what’s great with learning centers nowadays is that they integrate fun, innovative ways for children to learn, without forcing any pressure. Progressive learning is a scholastic movement that looks highly at experiences as the means of learning. The philosophy behind this lies in the fact that child development cannot be achieved through mere memorization of the alphabet, multiplication table, or even through continuous tests. The process of learning is by doing, by actively engaging in an activity that puts any form of knowledge to use.

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There is nothing wrong in putting your children in an institution that practices traditional learning. However, other parents believe that there is a more holistic approach in fully unlocking a child’s capabilities. That on-hand learning is a better option. This very idea sparked the hearts of like-minded women, and led to the founding of Educare.

Educare is an affiliate of Hills Learning Zone (HLZ), a progressive preschool, where academic tutorial programs and daycare services are offered. But why make a sub-branch? Why create a progressive learning organization when an actual school already existed?

“We want to create more opportunities. We want to bring in enrichment programs [apart from what HLZ already had] that would build a child’s confidence and widen his ability to learn concepts around him. We wanted to make learning a wonderful experience where these children would understand why 1 + 1 = 2, rather than memorize that it is,” said Lea Disini-Aquino, mother of two and co-partner of Educare.

“We want to teach children more than what’s written in the books. We want to show them that they can understand concepts around them through play, exploring with your senses, socializing, and engaging with the learning materials and other kids!” said Teacher Bloss Villafuerte, educator and co-partner of Educare.

All of Educare’s founders firmly believe that the programs they currently offer would exponentially improve a child’s way of understanding his surroundings. Though they do follow structured curriculum, the system is not as framed as the ones you would usually encounter in traditional schooling. Here are the programs they offer:

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INSTANT READER (For kids 4 years old and up)

This 20-day reading program is offered to children 4 years old and up! Instant Reader not only targets the development of your child’s reading skills, but also focuses on writing skills and reading comprehension. This program aims to ignite the passion for learning through fun and hands-on activities, with values plugged in their daily lessons. Individuals are assessed and assigned to the level that best fit their reading readiness and skill set: basic, advanced, and mastery.

They teach through association, and they don’t make their kids memorize the alphabet. Instead, they personify phonics through characters & incorporate these whenever there are story-telling sessions, individual and group exercises, and culminating activities. It takes 20 sessions to accomplish a level.

Instant Reader is also developing a read and speak program for adults or foreigners that wish to further enhance their English reading and speaking skills.

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MATHEMAGIS (For kids four to 14 years old)

This program is a Singapore Math Program where kids are taught number relations and composition. Kids are educated to understand mathematics through hands-on activities and visual learning techniques that would concretize and simplify numbers.

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KINDERMUSIK (For kids two to six years old)

This is an in-school program where kids are taught to recognize music and movement through thematic songs, dance, play, and group activities. Contrary to what’s normally expected from these sessions, parents are not asked to sit-in or participate in the program. This allows children to learn and experience both music and movement independently. Classes are offered at 30-minute sessions, once a week, and students are given take-home material to continue the learning process at home.

Of course, before parents can enroll their children in any of the programs, they must undergo an assessment to determine what levels will best fit them amongst the available programs. Parents have the option of doing a six (6) day trial wherein both parent & teacher can observe if the child is reactive to the programs, if they are best suited in a group, or in a one-on-one session. Kids from all walks of life are welcome to join the programs, and are open to SPED students (for their preschool program) as well.

Credible programs and value for money are what Educare’s all about. Long-term benefits await kids who enroll in their programs, given that each program is innovative - keeping up with current trends, and responding to what kids react to. It’s been proven effective for parents who’ve enrolled their kids in their after-school programs: performing better, picking up concepts faster, and developing a sense of “other.”

At the heart of Educare lies the goal to unlock a child’s potentials, and giving them bigger and greater opportunities for them to learn, to explore, to play, and to develop holistically. Educare takes up a model of learning that weaves intricate patterns linked to experiences and meaning. This involves the child’s physical surroundings, emotional and social contexts, their needs and their wants; the integration of everything - to make these kids see the bigger picture, rather than a sum of individual monotonous tasks.

To know more about their programs, you may inquire at Hills Learning Zone: 2/F Parc Chateau Condominium, Onyx Rd.. Ortigas Center, Pasig, or drop them a call at (02) 638-7844 / 0917-896-0046. Visit their Facebook Page to see the possibilities that lie in Educare.