[Kitchen 143] From minding your manners to brain training: Unique summer classes for your kids

Michelle Aventajado

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[Kitchen 143] From minding your manners to brain training: Unique summer classes for your kids
Parents can now offer their kiddos diverse choices for growth outside of the mainstream classroom

Summer is in full swing! This means a break from lunchbox meals, everyone can sleep in a little later, and we can slow down just a bit to enjoy each other’s company. When my three kids were smaller, however, I was a firm believer that I had to keep them busy learning new things during this time, whether that involved sports, art, cooking, etc.

This summer, I am pleased to share some of the out-of-the-box classes and activities I am considering for Gelli, not just because of what she will learn, but because of how I believe these lessons can help build her character. Here are some of the options we are considering for The Bean:

More than manners

When my boys were small, I saw Tin Dychaio post classes about her friend Rachelle. Rachelle would take small groups of pre-tweens and tweens to teach them table manners and etiquette classes. This would be a two to three-part class where the same group of kids would come together to learn how to behave in social situations, what to do when dining, and even how young men should behave around ladies.

Recently, I saw another friend, Chef Kerri, post about her etiquette classes too, and it reminded me of when Miguel would be driven all the way to BGC (we were living in Alabang at the time) so that he could dress up and learn the proper decorum for social gatherings. 

Chef Kerri also offers similar etiquette classes for the kiddos now, too! Besides offering her usual baking classes for little ones, she also now has a “fine dining” class that will teach kids of all ages what to do when having dinner at a special place. Inclusive of a six-course degustation menu, this class covers grooming, dining etiquette, good manners, and what is socially acceptable for kids aged 6 to 12 years.

Brain training

BrainRx may seem like it’s another school-related activity to strengthen cognitive functions, but beyond presenting opportunities to improve upon critical thinking among kids of all ages and abilities, their activities provide opportunities to build characteristics vital to succeeding in school and eventually, the workforce. 

Backed by published studies and available in 36 countries, BrainRx programs are quite different from tutoring. BrainRx is more like mental gym training, where students work with a personal brain trainer to absorb, process, and remember better, and to improve learning efficiency, mental stamina, and resilience. Because BrainRx facilitators encourage students to view mistakes as opportunities for learning, students are able to reflect and persevere in their training, giving them valuable skills for life.

Total personality development

The only Emotional Intelligence-based school in the Philippines, La Vie Institute offers classes and one-on-one coaching sessions for kids and adults of all ages. With a plethora of options that are helpful for the whole family, coaches help students create an understanding of emotional intelligence. The newest offering of donation-based classes, which are open regularly, guarantee that emotional intelligence can empower anyone.

Encouraging a positive mindset, and providing hands-on lessons and self-evaluation, means that teachers promote self-awareness, emotional regulation, creativity in planning, collaboration, and clear communication. 

Parents can now offer their kiddos diverse choices for growth outside of the mainstream classroom. Encouraging our children to make critical decisions rooted in self-awareness and awareness of the world around them can help ensure that they can be successful, grounded, and kind to themselves and others. –

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Michelle Aventajado

Michelle Aventajado is a Filipina American striving for an ever-elusive balance in everything she does. Advocating for individuals with IDD through Best Buddies Philippines, sharing her parenting journey with her daughter's extra chromosome through Momma 'N Manila, and churning out love of home and hearth through Kitchen 143 are just some of the things that fuel her passion and serve her God-given purpose.