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  • How This Mom Raised a Math Whiz Without a Tutor

    This mom and another two share the formula for raising achievers.
  • In a world full of distractions, children may have a difficult time focusing on their studies and finding the time to hone their talents and special skills. Most, if not all, parents want their kids to be the best they can be, whether in academics, sports, music, or art.

    Three moms, whose kids have demonstrated excellence and achieved so much at their young age, share their tried-and-tested tips to raising brilliant go-getters:

    Photo by Clerisse Evangelista.

    Clerisse Evangelista, 40, project manager/IT professional and mom to Adia Noelle, 10

    Tip 1: Encourage their passions by looking for classes to help hone or enhance their skills.

    "We realized Adia was an achiever when she qualified to take part in the Mathematical Challenge for Filipino Kids Training Program (MCFKTP), a comprehensive training program for gifted students, and in the Young Mathematicians' In-House Intensive Training Program. This year, she is again participating in MCFKTP to further her skills.

    "She is a consistent honor student in school and has always been invited to join her school's special academic programs, like those in communication arts and STEM.

    "Her teachers always ask me if she had a formal tutor, but she never had one. For school subjects she struggles with, I make sure to help her review her lessons. If she's having difficulty understanding a lesson or a text, I reread it with her and find simpler ways to explain it. If she gets a low score on an exam, we review it and focus on her weak areas together to prepare her.

    "We look for DIY activities or videos available online to see if she really likes [certain activities]. We also buy books about it. Then we enroll her in a summer class or short classes, and if she tells us that it is something she wants to pursue, we look for long-term class options.

    "I encourage her passions by looking for classes she can attend over the summer or on weekends. [Practicing] an activity is a way to become proficient in it."

    "Adia is passionate about football. She got into it in 2017 when she joined her school's football club, and they competed in Rizal Football Girls Association—RIFA Girls—Cumulative Festival Tournament. Since then, she has taken summer classes to hone her skills. She continues to be part of the football club this year.

    "We also make sure that she has 'unstructured' free time during the weekend to do whatever she wants. It means that the free period is not dedicated to a certain agenda or objective. I try not to direct her activities during this period. I let her decide what she wants to do. She can play games, paint, do calligraphy, or create short videos [on her phone or tablet]."

    Photo by Joie Cristobal.

    Joie Cristobal, 37, senior professional services representative and mom to Adrian, 8

    Tip 2: 'Don't force them to do things they don't want to do. Just let things happen at their own pace.'

    "Since starting school at 3 years old, Adrian has been recognized as one of the top students in his class. In March 2018, he took part in the International Singapore Maths Competition where he bagged the bronze medal. He consistently receives first honor since Kinder in Marist School and has been part of the honors assembly for three years in a row.

    "We didn't know right away what his talent was, so we encouraged him to try different classes. He did Kinder music, art, taekwondo, soccer, but he didn't seem interested. About a year ago, we noticed that he had the heart for drawing. Since then, we continued to expose him to different kinds of art—drawing, painting, singing-and now he is taking piano lessons, too.

    "He also likes swimming, so we enrolled him in swimming lessons. We encourage him to do extracurricular activities to strike a balance with his academics.

    "We also let him read what he likes to read, and do want he wants to do. We introduce things we believe would help him further his skills, but also let him just be a kid. We want balance. We don't force him to do things he doesn't like to do, and just let things happen for him at his pace."

    Photo by Cathy Ubiadas.

    Cathy Ubiadas, 44, full-time mom to Gaby, 15, and Ram, 9

    Tip 3: 'Teach them to balance their time at an early age.'

    "Gaby is a Grade 10 student at Poveda, and started swimming when she was 5 years old. She received the award for Most Outstanding Swimmer when she competed at the Philippine Swimming League (PSL) in 2017. Currently, she's a member of Saint Pedro Poveda College Varsity Swim Team and will represent her school in upcoming competitions like the Women's National Collegiate Athletic Association in January 2019.

    "Ram is a Grade 4 student at La Salle Green Hills. He is a member of the Green Archers Swim Club, and has won Most Outstanding Swimmer during a PSL swim meet in 2017. He's also the grand champion of the IronKids Competition Aquathlon for kids 6 to 8 years old held in Subic last June. He's also very good at running and hopes to be a triathlete someday.

    "When they were younger, they only swam during summer vacations, but for the past two years, they have been training from Monday to Saturday. At first, balancing school work and swimming was a struggle. They train after school, rain or shine. It's difficult because they need to run, do land exercises—for strength and endurance-before they even get to start [swimming].

    "Discipline, hard work, and patience were the key to overcoming their struggles. Both kids needed to learn how to balance their time at an early age. They do their homework in advance. Sunday mornings are dedicated to studying, reading, or doing research.

    "As parents, we should support and take part [in our children's journey]. My husband and I would take turns in helping them to get to practice or training. Teaching our children to be a good sport is key. We encourage them to learn or master a stroke or skill. I tell my kids to make the most of their gift and talent and encourage them to build confidence and become a person of character.

    "Praising them for giving their best effort is also important. We let them train hard and have fun at the same time."

    There are several factors that may contribute to your child's development, but one thing these moms agree on is to raise achievers, parents must encourage their kids' passions.

    Photo by Wyeth Nutrition
    .

    Kryz Jeus Santilices's project explores the use of the allutang (rice stalk) of the Kankana-ey tribe of Cordillera in their livelihood.

    Take for example Kryz Jeus Santilices, 8, and Schealana Aundee Villanueva, 14, who were encouraged by their parents to explore their passions by joining the Search for Wyeth Nutrition Kids Innovators. Representing their schools, they bagged the first place in their respective categories.

    Photo by Wyeth Nutrition.

    Schealana Aundee Villanueva's invention aims to improve efficiency in agriculture through the use of robotics and automated systems.

    The Search for Wyeth Nutrition Kid Innovators is a nationwide search that seeks to recognize outstanding kid innovators so they can become future leaders. It can nurture your kid's passion for science and technology, give you the chance to bond with your children, and allow them to learn valuable lessons along the way.

    Through programs like the Search for Wyeth Nutrition Kid Innovators, Wyeth Nutrition is committed to lead the way in nurturing a healthier generation of Filipinos. Stay tuned for the next season of the search by visiting this website and following the program on Facebook.

This article was created by Summit StoryLabs in partnership with Wyeth Nutrition Philippines.
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