Reedley International School

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Reedley International School

We are at a stage in Aidan’s life where we need to decide our education strategy. We want the best education for our kids but I believe that most traditional schools have outdated curriculum. Aidan belongs to the Generation Z and I believe that only progressive schools can meet their needs. We don’t want to be close minded on this so we will be doing more research on the different schools in Metro Manila in the next few months. Suggestions are welcome.

Aidan’s generation is different. As early as 2 years old, Aidan begun tinkering with our computer at home. He likes to visit the kiddie sites such as Starfall and Disney clubhouse on his own. We have stopped watching television(including us!) because of the negative impact of TV. When I was in Boracay, we were doing video calls via computer. Aidan’s generation has NOT witnessed People Power 1&2, September 11 terrorist attacks, Glorietta bombings or the Tsunami in South East Asia. I believe that their generation would be more nationalistic, conscious about the environment and technologically connected in ways that we cannot imagine. Mandarin and English would still be the key to doing successful business in the future.

My preference would be the International Schools (like IS or Brent) but they are very expensive because you are paying for the Expat educators. Ateneo and La Salle, on the other hand, are more traditional in nature and I hear stories of 1 teacher: 40+ students ratio similar with our times. One consideration is Xavier School which already upgraded their curriculum and are very progressive. We are also interested with Reedley International School because of its core values and International School curriculum that they follow. We attended the orientation last December 2007 @ Reedley, and let me share with you what Reedley has to offer…

We are considering an international school program where the academic curriculum and knowledge is at PAR with the international schools outside the Philippines. They are required to learn another language which is Mandarin. Aidan will be expected to work with different nationalities and respect their customs and traditions at the same time valuing the Filipino traditions. The teaching style is more exchanging of ideas vs. the teacher downloading information and the student memorizing it.

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I liked Reedley’s core values which is aligned with our core values. I want Aidan’s school to be truly a second home for him where he knows most of the students and teachers by first name. I like the positive culture of discipline they are fostering with focus on understanding the reason for discipline and its consequence versus the focus on punishment. Reedley boast dozens of case studies on turnaround cases where a happy-go-lucky student became enthusiastic about school and a bullied student and pressured by peers in the big schools transforms into being assertive, confident and knowing all about conflict resolution. Finally, I like the focus on finding the child’s unique skills, gifts and talents and aligning the child towards his divine destiny.

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I also like the very low student: teacher ratio where the teachers can really focus on the learning of the students. The maximum class size for lower school is 1teacher : 15 students.

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We interviewed a Reesian and we only get great rave reviews from the kid. Have you looked into Reedley? Or are your kids enrolled in this school? Maybe you can share your experience with us.

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Life Skills are also taught which includes teaching the 7 habits of highly effective teens, instilling virtues, learning conflict resolution skills, understanding emotional quotient, and reaching out to less fortunate brothers and sisters.

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Mrs. Ong, founder of Reedley, shared her beliefs during the December orientation:

” I believe that with an international education, our kids are given lots of opportunities and seemingly more unique ways of learning, inside and outside of the classroom, less structured but more participatory discussions on: Global issues, economics and polities, 21st century technology, society’s ills, and other relevant and worldly concerns. “

” I believe that a good school highly enables its students to have an excellent grasp of the English language in order to survive, to communicate well, and to promote Bi-lingualism.”

” I believe that a both Parents and the School are responsible to help children discover ways to make good use of Life’s Greatest Gift… the Gift of Learning.”

” I believe that a good school is one where: RESPONSIBILITY and HARD WORK are deeply instilled; GOOD MORALS and DISCIPLINE become our children’s way of life.”

The tuition fee is twice that of a traditional school but a lot lower than the other International School in the country because they don’t employ expats. Since they are an IS school, they don’t have a focus on Christian formation which is one of the criteria I was looking for in a school. I grew up with Salesian brothers and priest in Don Bosco Makati and I was hoping Aidan to get the same Catholic formation which I won’t get in Reedley International School.

We still have time to do research about other progressive schools before Aidan turns 6. Any suggestions on awesome progressive schools in Metro Manila?

For more information on Reedley: Reedley International School

Anton

117 thoughts on “Reedley International School

  1. hi anton,
    aidan and my son bryce are of the same age. like you, i am on the lookout of good schools for bryce. right now, i am enrolling him to a preschool near our area, but was debating also whether to enroll him in either xavier or ateneo when he reaches 6 years old. i am interested in the reedley school too but have not attended the orientation. can you please give me a ballpark figure of their tuition fee? thanks.
    sheryl

  2. hello. My little boy is turning 3 in March, and like you, we are already scouting for a nice school in the south. Our choices are Cambridge, The Learning Child, or San Beda Alabang. I share the same sentiment re Catholic formation as my husband and I grew up with the Benedictine Monks and SSpS nuns, respectively. Plus, the teacher:student ratio today is unbelieveable! I do hope you’ll keep this entry about schools updated.
    🙂

  3. xavier! i think it’s, bar-none,the best catholic school in the country right now. good academics and great atmosphere and your kid will be amongst the taipans, connections!

  4. My nephew is 1 1/2 years old. This early me and my sister are already thinking of the best school for him.
    In our vicinity we have Southville International School, Elizabeth Seton, a little farther is De La Salle Alabang. There is also Mulberry School here for toddlers. Sheryl, you reminded me of San Beda Alabang too.
    I had asked Southville with regards to religion. I think they have one also. This is very important to us since me and my sister are both Paulinian, Thomasian and from La Salle too.
    My nephew like Aidan is also interested in the computer, he is also interested in the cellphones.
    I am interested also in international school since when we graduate and go abroad we take English exams. I am just disppointed to learn that many are passing the professional exams but failing the English exams. Come to think of it, these taking the exams are college graduates and they come from the best schools the country can offer. When we go to the US, though we are college graduates, our pronunciation here is very different from what they have abroad.

  5. hello. the only thing i have heard about reedley is that it is a disciplinary reform-type school (though this wasn’t their goal) — a place where parents send their “problem” kids (kids who are “antisocial”, violent, or generally caused trouble at their last schools) when no other school will take them. heard this from a friend of one of the administrators. it’s not necessarily a bad thing if they are able to create a positive environment for kids who feel alienated in other schools.
    have you looked at the beacon school? not sure what tuition is like there…

  6. personally, xavier would still be my 1st choice. however, reedley seems promising. i know that they pattern their curriculum similar to schools in singapore which makes a good balance between “work and play”.

  7. Allow me to share with you that being a part of the Reedley Family (as they call it there—I’m getting teary-eyed…) was both a wonderful and enriching experience for me.
    I learned a lot from working with this school.
    During their first two years, Reedley had a few cases dealing with “problem kids.” They tightened screening of applicants thereafter. I heard their students are much much better now!
    Compared to the teaching strategies of traditional Catholic schools like La Salle and Ateneo, Reedley is more advanced since they send their teachers to workshops and seminars abroad. And yes, I was one of the lucky and blessed ones chosen to receive foreign training.:)
    Anton, good luck to you in searching for the right school for Aidan. As for my two cents worth, Reedley is all worth it! 🙂

  8. Hi, first of all great site…i have had a lot of fun looking around it.
    I am a proud alumnus of the International School Manila, and may i just say that i’m very glad you’re looking into putting your son into a International School. I agree with you wholeheartedly on your thoughts on progressive education with less religion (or none at all) with a good focus on technology and critical thinking.
    I know ISM is very expensive, but please don’t right it off just yet. Did you know that ISM offers a scholarship program? They offer gifted local students enrollment for free. Well, your son may be a little to young to qualify, but i suggest you look into it. Also, you may want to consider the extra things that come with a larger school. Things like first class sports facilities, a very very very good theater program (fine arts in general is very good at IS), more students means more exposure to many different cultures and ideas, also the security on campus is very good. Though it is a bigger school they higher more teachers, and the faculty:student ratio is similar to Reedley’s.
    Perhaps you may want to look into sending your son there when he gets a little older (middle/high school), save a little money that way. But at least check the school out.
    that’s my 2 centavos

  9. Having graduated from Xavier, I would definitely say it’s the best choice. Not only did they upgraded the curriculum, they also upgraded the facilities (big time) 🙂
    Well, Xavier has Chinese…Ateneo doesn’t have..but they’re both Jesuit schools… you might want to try British School of Manila? But, true blue Xaverian here! XD hehe
    but of course, it’s till your choice 🙂

  10. If you are interested in int’l schools like Reedley, check out Singapore IS in Magallanes. My friend’s kids goes there are he raves about it a lot.
    http://www.singaporeschoolmanila.com
    My only problem with IS schools is their lack of Catholic education. Who will answer my son when he asks questions like, “If God exists, why is there suffering in the world?”

  11. I dont know if they are still there but, some of my old teachers in ateneo are teaching in reedley. I remember when they used to be near capitol 8, and had alot of atenean links (old students, teachers, administrators, etc) I believe a principal of theirs was the BPI Teacher Awardee, when she was teaching in Ateneo (a wonderful educator i might say) the little i know about reedley is that Mrs Ong herself is an atenean mom, (i think she has 2 wonderful kids who graduated recently from ADMU), I have a couple of friends with kids in reedley, although they have an issue with the catholic education, they love the advanced curriculum they have, foreign language lessons are available to students (not just chinese) How cool would it be to have aidan speak in 4 different languages (tagalog, english, mandarin/fookien, and french or spanish )wow!

  12. hi anton! you might want to check out the beacon school or the esteban school which are both in the same pcpd compound along pasong tamo ext. some of the faculty members in beacon are formerly with ISM where my sister teaches. my 3 boys attend the ateneo grade school and i’m aware of ateneo’s efforts to make the curriculum at par with international standards. if i’m not mistaken, they continually benchmark vs singapore intl schools. there’s my two bits. =)

  13. Hi Anton,
    Here was my blog entry when I was faced with a schooling decision last year:
    http://3xhcch.multiply.com/journal/item/78
    Because this was not a Catholic school, we had to provide my daughter Catholic catechism which was fortunately available every Saturday in the parish church of Damar Village nearby. She already had her first Holy Communion just last December 8.

  14. hi snton! it’s good to know that as early as now you are paying great attention to aidan’s education. international schools are good because not only do they have good programs but it also allows your child to be more aware of different cultures and traditions and more. but right now i believe in the effectivity of schools that are multiple intelligence-based. maybe you can try to look for one near where you live.

  15. Hi Anton! Have you tried looking into PAREF schools e.g. Woodrose, Southridge, Rosehill, Northfield, Ridgefield, etc. They have a pretty good curriculum and values formation

  16. hi anton,
    please consider that reedley still accepts students from other schools who are dismissed because of low grades. just this school year, i know of a grade school girl they accepted so i disagree with stephanie. another case – my daughter saw her former classmate last sunday who is studying now in reedley. we asked her why she transferred and my daughter said “cos she is not smart”.
    i know you want the best for your son so please consider this. reedley has that image. it is still your decision
    though my son is not in xavier, i regret not considering that school because of the chinese subject. it is really a good school.
    just a curious question…why not don bosco? where you studied?
    good luck.

  17. Sometimes people get awed with the words “international school”. They think that it is a step above local schools because of smaller class sizes, greater resources, advanced curriculum, better disciplinary measures or even higher scores on standardized tests. But that’s not always the case…. and I am speaking from experience. My youngest son finished 7th grade at Xavier and was accepted at Phillips Andover Academy (www.andover.edu) and Buckingham, Brown and Nichols (www.bbn.org) , both in Massachusetts (company relocated us, hence he couldn’t continue at Xavier). He chose BBN because I would not let him go to boarding school. Daughter finished second year at UP Integrated School and was accepted at Groton School (groton.org), also in Massachusetts. Both Xavier and UPIS worked my children to their greatest potential and that’s why they are able to meet the challenges of these American schools. Xavier has 40 students in class, and UPIS has a similar number. It really boils down to the student and the involvement of the parents on their children’s school life! Nevertheless,I still firmly believe that our local schools deliver a superb education!

  18. Many of our friends from private schools here in the Philippines excel well when they go to the US, Canada and other countries. We value
    education alot! Most of them became A students when transferred abroad.
    I value religion alot, that’s my point against the international schools. So catechisim is one great option but is it available in other places?

  19. Hi Anton…agree 100% with Mai! Reedley has that reputation. They take in the “kick-outs”. Just recently, my friend’s son had to get out of Ateneo because of poor grades and disciplinary issues. He’s now at Reedley.
    I wouldn’t “intellectualize” these matters too much about schools if I were you. I have 5 kids and they all went to traditional schools (La Salle & Assumption) . They turned out to be a good, happy bunch. I know we want the best for our children but let’s not stress ourselves too much. Kids should have fond and FUN memories of their schools. (And so do we parents.)
    Put Anton in traditional schools like Ateneo, La Salle, Xavier and yes, why not Don Bosco? He’ll be fine… 🙂 Good luck!

  20. Hi Anton!
    I guess I have to disagree with what both Mai and Cristina have written about Reedley, that it takes in the “kick-outs.” True, that there are kids who left the big schools like Ateneo and La Salle and were accepted by Reedley.
    But I think it’s always a matter of perspective when you look at kids who leave the big schools.
    Were all of them kick outs? Or did they leave the big schools by choice?
    Were all those kids at fault thats why they failed?
    Or did they lack attention that a big school is unable to provide because of their high student population and their structure?
    I came from a big school. People didn’t care about me. I was not smart, or pretty, or an athlete. I was a name in the class list, a class number. Teachers didn’t really care about me.
    I have a friend who has a daughter in Reedley. And she says she’s very happy about it since her kid is now happier, more confident, and is achieving more academically and socially.
    And she passed Ateneo. 🙂
    Big schools aren’t for everyone. If your kid can flourish and shine there, then that’s a good thing. Keep him or her there.
    But when your kid is not excelling, unhappy (but not stupid or evil) and just needs just a little care and guidance to be pushed to excellence and kindness, I believe Reedley is doing a great job.
    I wish you and your wife all the best in setting a great path for Aidan.
    Best wishes!

  21. Hey there! IMHO, don’t worry too much about getting Aidan into a Catholic-centric school. I think it would be much better for Aidan to decide for himself what religion he’d like to follow (or not follow) when he’s big enough to actually make a decision. What’s important is that he’s getting proper education. From what I’ve read from your post, it seems Reedley is an excellent school to go to.
    Just my 2c worth! Cheers!

  22. @ Jonathan-
    “…putting your son into A International School.”
    “…but please don’t RIGHT it off just yet.”
    “…Though it is a bigger school they HIGHER more teachers”
    I guess ISM needs to step up in spelling and english grammar.
    “I agree with you wholeheartedly on your thoughts on progressive education with less religion (or none at all) with a good focus on technology and critical thinking.”
    Also, Anton wanted his son to receive Christian cathecism. Read his blog carefully.
    Peace! 🙂

  23. I won’t get into which schools I think are the best, because I haven’t done enough research on all of them to make a judgment. Besides, all schools have pros and cons, just as the choice between traditional vs. progressive vs. international school (note that not all intl. schools are progressive) has pros and cons. I think the bottomline is what the parents consider most important in their child’s education, and which system is most suited to their child.
    I completely agree with what Jennifer said above. While most in our generation and our parents’ went to traditional schools and did well, or at least, came out “fine,” we all know students who didn’t. During our time, these students were labelled dumb, lazy, or troublemakers, and some were even kicked out of the school. But I’m sure at least some of those kids could’ve done better if they had not been in such an impersonal school. I know of several cases where kids who weren’t doing well in a big school — and consequently, hated school — flourished when transferred to smaller, progressive systems. With hundreds of students to deal with, even the best teacher can overlook diamonds-in-the-rough.
    As for Catholic education, you will have to decide if you want it to be a constant presence for your kids in school, or something which Rache and you can teach them at home, and supplement with catechism class (which, by the way, ARE available — my nephew goes to one in Forbes). Personally, I prefer for children to be aware of, and learn to respect, different religions early on. Prejudices are hard to break once set.
    Good luck, Anton and Rache! I absolutely understand how important it is to choose the right school.

  24. I graduated from The Learning Child School in Alabang and I would have to say that they really develop their students very well in English (reading, writing, verbal), Math and values excellence. I would have to say that TLC, really helped me get to where I am now. Teacher-student ratio is not a problem at all. Teachers knew my parents by name. They send weekly updates and write to the parents constantly. Religion is also developed in every student. Only hindrance is that they offer only upto grade 7.
    Southville International School in Paranaque is where I finished my high school studies. The curriculum is really very much at par internationally. Moreover, French and Mandarin are included in the curriculum. As well as, automotive, wood/metal working for both the boys and girls. The school provides much opportunity for travel and college abroad. They conduct quarterly aptitude and behavioral tests to monitor the progress of their students.
    Good luck with your decision!!!!

  25. Hi anton,
    you may also want to check out this international school along annapolis street in front of the wilshire condo (forgot the name) – i remember checking out the website and giggled when i saw the name of the school admin/principal… do check it out. From edsa turn right to annapolis and like 200 meters its on your left…

  26. Thanks for all the comments. I did not realize how passionate this blog post could be. I’m more confused than ever and there is no single source of information about education in the Philippines. I’m more determined to go on the IS route because we want our children to be great and not just good.
    I’m not impressed with schools who does a good job of filtering the best among the students. If the student is really great by nature then he/she would excel. But how about the rest.
    I’m more impressed with schools who can develop a nobody or a “throwaway” kid and transform him to the greatest person he can be. Now that is education and hence my admiration for Reedley. For those who want to know them more, below are the Reedley orientation schedule.
    January 26
    March 1
    April 19
    May 17
    June 21
    the discussion in this single post is already a good topic to start out a new blog. I’ll launch it one of these days: Generation-Z.net focused on education in the Philippines.
    Let me know if you have inputs/ more comments. Thanks To all the discussions and keep the comments coming.

  27. It’s good to be an idealist but I hope you will also be realistic about your requisites for the school you choose for your son.Each school has strengths and weaknesses and it would be prudent to consider each morsel on the plate.
    I suspect you were duly impressed with Reedley because it was the first school of which you attended an orientation. That’s normal, but I encourage you to attend a couple more from schools with both a different and a similar philosophy from yours. That way you can see where your family stands. Attending more than 2-3 schools’ orientation, and then you start to get overwhelmed.
    Remember too that whatever anybody says here or in your office or within your family, you won’t really know how the school functions and its effect on your child until you (and your child)are IN the system.

  28. Our 9-yr-old daughter is in the 3rd grade in Colegio San Agustin Makati. We learn that we’ve survived well in traditional catholic schools (I went to St. Scho Marikina, my husband in CSA), and inspite of our weakness in the Filipino language. Our 3-yr-old son goes to a small neighborhood school in junior nursery which is also adequate for his level. They both learn a lot more from experiences at home and out of school, because we want them to be street-smart as well.
    Location would be one of the first considerations for the school of your kids. In case QC is not a problem, you can try checking out the Waldorf School http://manilawaldorfschool.edu.ph/. My friend sends her 5-yr-old son there because of its non-traditional curriculum, utilising the Steiner education, that focuses on the child’s will to learn and self-esteem.
    It says in its site: “Developed by Rudolf Steiner in 1919, Waldorf education is based on a developmental approach that addresses the needs of the growing child and maturing adolescent. Waldorf teachers strive to transform education in to an art that educates the whole child, the heart and the hands, as well as the head.”
    I cannot say more about it, so you can contact the school directly. I can ask my friend for more of her personal experience with the school, which she says so far is excellent.
    Another school to consider is the Maria Montessori in Makati which also looks at the child’s pace in learning, rather than forcing the system into the child http://www.montessori.ph.
    If you are Catholic and worried that your children won’t go through the traditional rites of First Holy Communion and Confirmation, you can actually approach your local parish church for help on that, which is what a friend of mine did for her daughter who went to Maria Montessori.

  29. Hello! Good blog site. I chanced upon this topic of yours about schools and funny enough I am going to enroll my daughter (age 4) this coming June. I already have a school in mind though since she was 2, and my visit to the school has been very interesting and promising.
    The school is a progressive school. In their kindergarden/nursery (which they call CASA-and I got to look at it) looks not like a school. You will see kids ages 2.5 to 6 (also grades 1-3 are in one class, grades 4-6 in another level) playing with each other, leaning together, doing things (a lot of things not just reading.) The setup looks so confusing, the other parents I was with at the orientation were perplexed (they came from traditional school as I am) because they couldn’t imagine how children could learn not sitting straight in a classroom and listening to some teacher in front talking. Some parents also keep asking “how many teachers per children?” The reply was 1-europe trained and certified instructor + 1 tecahing assistant for a class of 20-30. The school though exclaims that they give the learning to the children. Also on the early stages, there will be no grades (Whoa!) in the report cards, just descriptions.
    In my view, teacher to student ratio is important, but another thing that is important is the level of knowledge a teacher has. you can have 5:1 ratio but when your teacher isn’t as good, learning will be quite different. With regards to the grades, this is one thing I personally abhor about our education system. I don’t like the idea of branding my kid with PASS! FAIL! 1st honor second honor labels. I don’t think she has to be exposed to that kind of branding and thinking. (Remeber for every 1st 2nd and 3rd honor there will be x10 others who are labeled as “average”-would you want your children to grow up thinking their just “average” ?)
    The tuition fee is immense (2-2.5x some manila schools I have asked around-5 figure annual) and considering they DO NOT have airconditioning, I’m still sold 98% that I’m sending my kids there. (of course they being a few blocks away from our home greatly helps ;P)
    Why a progressive school? I read an article in TIME magazine, and I also realize that we live in a vastly different time now than when we were in school. Information is everywhere (the net) and instantly available to anyone who wishes to know something. (As I am online almost 60% of my waking hours) The most important thing that I *think* is the ability to filter information. There are a LOT (infact overflow) of information out there, and the ability to process, validate and choose which information is relevant from the non-relevant ones is really important in our children’s future. I myself learned more things (and as we would say, return almost 90% of what I studied during my first 17 years) reading by myself and surfing the net. And this list includes economics, psychology, human behaviour, reality check etc.
    Sorry for writing in jumbled thoughts, I really don’t want to find the time to organize and construct my ramblings ;D Oh the school btw is Maria Montessori foundation located inside Ayala Alabang Village. Have a good day and more power to your blog!

  30. If I may add my 2 centavos, I think your child’s “school friends” will play the biggest role in molding your child. You’d want your child and those around him/her to have moral values planted, and nurtured, to each one of them. That’s why for me, religion-affiliated schools are on top on my list.

  31. The bottom line of most of the comments here is that we want the best and expect more from our kids that what we had and did when we were at their stage. I guess this kind of a parental behaviour is universal but it becomes pathologic once we pushed them to hard to fulfill our frustrated dreams and goals.

  32. The bottom line of most of the comments here is that we want the best and expect more from our kids that what we had and did when we were at their stage. I guess this kind of a parental behaviour is universal but it becomes pathologic once we start to push them too hard to fulfill our frustrated dreams and goals.

  33. my son io is 3 1/2 and i started sending him to o’dea international school just last week. they offer a free 3-day trial for your child to assess his level and i was hooked. what i liked best is that they don’t group the children by age but by the skills/interests that he/she possess.
    they have a maximum of 12 children per class with one teacher and one teacher’s aide. the tuition is a little over 40K per year and it is located along vito cruz extension near pasong tamo.
    i have no idea, really, of how good or bad the repuation of this school is because it only offers preschool classes. what really sold it to me is how close the staff is to the students. everyone there knew my son’s name after just one visit. they’re also quick to accelerate kids when they think they’re no longer challenged by the activities in the level they are in.
    they offer toddler classes which is basically loosely-guided play. the next level is pre-nursery which offers more table-top activities. then the typical nursery-kinder-prep.
    as someone already said, it’s best to look around. they do have a free trial so you can check it out.
    my main goal in sending my boy to preschool is for the interaction. smaller schools are more intimate and are better for the transition as opposed to a big school with big classes. you can always send him to a bigger/better school when he’s bigger and ready. what’s important is that your little boy feels safe and happy in his preschool. =)

  34. ei good luck in choosing the very best school for your son.. he looks adorable. i admire the time and attention you’re investing for your children and family. anyway i wish i can go back when i was still young so i could ask my parents to enroll me to an international school.. LOL kidding.. i also enjoy reading your blog.. i wish u all the the best. good luck and God bless you and your family.

  35. reedley is a good school. have you also tried considering Beacon? would appreciate feedback as well when the time comes for Skye to go to school in about 2 years. 🙂

  36. My sister went to a paref school orientation – Southridge. She is attracted to the idea of a simple lay Catholic background of the school, Opus Dei yata ang management ng school. I might be wrong.
    My brother-in-law is impressed with the academics and sports program.
    So, I think my nephew is going to that school come June 2008.

  37. More than a good education, I think an important component for any child should be social awareness- I don’t think this is something that can be found in ISM (this doesn’t hold true for all though so I am not generalizing)and I’m saying this because I came from there (studied there from Grade 1 to high school, moved to a local high school afterwards) and it seems like I was living a huge bubble. Poverty and the social ills of society are overshadowed by social importance and who revolves in what circles. Back in the day when I was a kid, there were a lot of expat kids who lived in good houses but were the sort of people who had little in other countries but lived the lives of kings here- the balance was struck with expat kids and the local kids in ISM. Over the years, the number of expat kids has somewhat declined (due in part to the economy) but the number of rich local kids has increased which has not made the school what it once was- or at least how I remember it. This is not a personal attack against the rich kids of the school, it all largely depends on how you raise your children BUT what school you put them in is also a big factor.
    In a nutshell, ISM is just not what is used to be, plain and simple.

  38. More than a good education, I think an important component for any child should be social awareness- I don’t think this is something that can be found in ISM (this doesn’t hold true for all though so I am not generalizing)and I’m saying this because I came from there (studied there from Grade 1 to high school, moved to a local high school afterwards) and it seems like I was living a huge bubble. Poverty and the social ills of society are overshadowed by social importance and who revolves in what circles. Back in the day when I was a kid, there were a lot of expat kids who lived in good houses but were the sort of people who had little in other countries but lived the lives of kings here- the balance was struck with expat kids and the local kids in ISM. Over the years, the number of expat kids has somewhat declined (due in part to the economy) but the number of rich local kids has increased which has not made the school what it once was- or at least how I remember it. This is not a personal attack against the rich kids of the school, it all largely depends on how you raise your children BUT what school you put them in is also a big factor.
    In a nutshell, ISM is just not what is used to be, plain and simple.

  39. My husband and I are both Filipinos but we decided to send our son to Xavier School. My son has thrived in the school environment and manages to get by with mandarin without a Chinese tutor. On the average, there are 30 boys per class. Xavier has a strong and active Parents Association and the teachers are very compassionate and caring. They also continuously upgrade their facilities. I also like the fact that the students take the PSAT in their Sophomore and Junior Years to prepare them for the SAT in case they want to attend College abroad. Actually, it can pass as an International School.

  40. same here… in search of a good daycare school for my tot as well… with a lot of sprouting day care in the Metro, it’s just hard to choose one

  41. Hi There Anton…I guess both of us have the same dilemma. But I would go for traditional catholic school. Tech and Biz are something kids can learn outside but ISM makes a kid stronger..
    Look at us =)
    My first choice is De La Salle Zobel. I have a girl and a boy and hopefully they just study on the same school with a very good curriculum and have catholic teachings. San Beda is next choice. Their cousins started there and it is for convenience.
    I have nothing against IS schools but they get too much liberated. I don’t like that happening to my kids..
    Go Busko…=)

  42. hi anton. just like you, i’m a parent who is as concerned and as involved as you are with my kid’s education. ive been asking around and a preschool called EXPLORATIONS always comes up. they are a progressive school whose teaching method is based on the Bankstreet Education in New York. people ive talked to about this school say that they have an excellent curriculum and wonderful teachers. it’s near shaw blvd. you may want to try it out. i’ll definitely check it out this summer. their number is 7244271. good luck!

  43. I heard British School charges around 800k-900k per child per year in tuition fees. Beacon charges around 520-520k per year per child. Whew! Expensive!
    Considering that it also provides quality international education, Reedley’s fees are only around one third of or even less than what Beacon charges per year per child.

  44. Don’t forget that People Power 1 and 2, the recent tsumani tragedy, and 9-11 represent just the tip of the iceberg. For example, scientists argue that the effects of global warming are being felt right now and it may affect food supplies, health, and other issues. Food prices went up significantly last year (e.g., wheat prices went up by 75 percent) and magazines like *The Economist* argue that this is a long-term problem brought about by increasing demand and global population, drought, and reliance on biofuels. Peak oil is now a certainty, with prices going up dramatically during the last few years for the same reasons, especially due to increasing demand from China and India. Not only that, we will also be facing water shortages soon. And the IMF reports that we will be experiencing major economic problems due to mounting debts for the next few years.
    The effect might be decreasing income and increasing costs for various necessities like food, oil, medicine, water, and electricity in the near future and for the long term. We need to factor this in when we look at choices for schooling and so forth.

  45. you call ateneo and la salle “normal” schools?
    during my time i call them as special schools already, a place only rich people can afford.
    normal schools are psba, ceu, jru, and yes, don bosco.

  46. Maria Montessori is a school worth looking into. Merville Subdivision. Non sectarian but predominantly seems like the students are Catholic. This is the one that used to be in Pasay City years ago. Maria Montessori is the original Montessori school, teachers are trained abroad, learning materials are specialized, each class has about 20-25 students with one teacher and 1 asst. teacher (this is true until Gr.7, not just the Casa level –that’s what they call the nursery/kinder/prep levels–), Cathecism (Religion) is offered as an extra curricular activity once a week 2hrs and includes 1st Holy Communion and Confirmation when the time comes, they offer 1st Fri mass, also has Mandarin, taekwondo, crafts, scouting, many more, environment is personalized, warm and secure, teachers and staff are very helpful and know the students, children learn with gusto…I’m not kidding! It’s strange… :), no bullies…that’s 1st hand info! (my two sons are 11 and 14 and started from Casa level, though the older one has moved to Southridge for highschool), they have swimming, soccer, basketball, there is a good guidance counselling, cafeteria, canteen and clinic service. Each sem there is a one on one for parents with the teacher. Tuition is a little bit higher than Ateneo but also may seem higher bec your initial outlay includes a bond which is returned when your child leaves the school or you may choose to donate it to the school, they have Xmas programs, family day, Fil week, UN week, field trips etc. As soon as I read what it was you wanted out of a school for Aidan, this one seemed to fit. It is a non trad school. Report cards are data about child’s accomplishment but you may request it in numerical also and you will be furnished a copy. Admin services are professional and efficient. To this day, I have never regretted sending my sons to this school. Like you, we wanted to move away from trad schools at least for grade school in order for the children to love learning and not get burnt out and have a negative attitude toward school by the time they reach highschool. The bonus is that they are kind hearted boys and if you will ask any Ma. Monte parent, the school’s ability to mold the children into free thinking, intelligent and independent kind hearted persons is of wonder. Good luck in your search.

  47. Did you noticed that most school are adding “international” to their names nowadays…?
    Teachers are the most important. Match this with students who wants to study and you have the perfect combination.
    Instead of spending a fortune in an international school you might consider to hire some private tutors for the subjects your son is interested in.
    Of course your son need to be motivated.
    Private tutors are not so expensive… international schools are.
    Of course if you want to impress the neighbors you need to send him to ISM or Brent. You might also want to consider those schools if you want to sent him to an American University later on. They know how to prepare their students for entrance in American Universities.
    But Anton, don’t put too much pressure on your kid.

  48. “I believe that their generation would be more nationalistic”…
    Sorry but this is “old” thinking.
    I believe quite the opposite. The world is getting small, Anton. Your son is living in a Global Village. In a few hours you are in New York, London, Tokyo, Beijing… Our children are citizen of the world. As you pointed out he will be able to do a video call to anybody anywhere in the world.
    We don’t need more “nationalistic” people (this brings only wars and hatred) but people who can easily blend and adapt to other cultures.
    My son is quite international and feels at home with local farmers in Sorsogon but at the same time he is not ashame to address a crowd of VIPs in Belgium. The key to happiness is not “nationality” but the ability to connect with people from different backgrounds, race and nationality. To be open to other cultures and accept the differences that is the key. To feel confident as you are.

  49. Good luck on your search for a school. If you are bent on an “international school” set up, check out Beacon too. Waldorf is non-traditional/progressive. Or how about a school like Raya which focuses on kids appreciating their being Pinoy more?
    As I have aged though, I have discovered and realized that it’s not really the school but how an individual really is that determines how a person turns out. I have come across a lot of people who did not go to very prominent schools but are very persevering, pleasant, and just “all-around” great individuals.
    My son goes to Ateneo, a highly-traditional school. Schoolwork can be daunting but I have no complaints. I’m happy.

  50. Any Christian-based school with emphasis on academic and Christian values is good. I don’t believe in IS typed of curriculum just because of their skyrocketing tuition fees. I am a product of Benedictine Abbey School, now San Beda Alabang. I have no information how good their standard is now. I am sure there are better schools than “Bene.” Our children, ages 16, 11 and 8, go to public school here in an affluent town in New Jersey where we live. The school standard is high because 40% are Asians. There are so many materials here so I supplement their studies with extra work so they will be more advanced. Basically, home-schooling plus their school works. Parent involvement is very valuable with their academic works. Bible school is their religious schooling plus here at work. But I am sure you will find the best for your Aidan.

  51. Hi! Anton
    I’ve been checking your site since May 2007 & your site hepled me decide easier where to spend my 31st birthday. We went to Hacienda Isabella for my birthday!
    Re school please check GCF-International Christian School with Christian Values & 1 teacher = 15 students. State of the art facilities too.
    It’s located in Ruby Road cor. Garnet road. Ortigas. Back of Robinson’s Galleria & Cityland’s Megaplaza.. Near Emerald Ave. AIC Tower where NU107 is.
    I can assist you if you wish. I am currently a PTA Officer for this SY. Send me PM & I;ll give you more details 🙂

  52. I totally agree with you on the outdated curriculum of traditional schools. My daughter, aged 9, came from a Chinese catholic school. I am Filipino, her dad, chinese. We enrolled her in that school because that was the ”normal” course a filipino-chinese family would be expected to do. Although she made great friends there, i noticed that she was starting to get exhausted and not at all excited about going to school. When classes are suspended, she’d say “hooray!”. Something must be wrong here. They are made to memorize without really understanding the concepts. Then they are asked to throw back what they have memorized. They’re like robots! Her dad and i decided to move her to The Beacon School in Taguig. Never mind if we live in Greenhills. Never mind if she has to travel 40 minutes longer just to get to school. It’s the only international school accredited by the IBO for their Primary and Middle school years program. It’s definitely cheaper than IS and Bristish school. Student-teacher ratio is 1:15. Yes, they are exposed to different cultures and nationalities,are expected to respect one another despite of their religious affiliations. Where can you find a school whose headmaster knows the students’ name by heart? You will even find him playing ball with the kids when he has time! My daughter is very happy now with the new curriculum. I was worried about her adjustment, coming from an exclusive girls’ traditional chinese catholic school. She now feels sad when classes are suspended! The kids are encouraged to think critically, analyze problems, encouraged to ask questions, and solve problems. For about a week they visited museums and at the end of the lesson, they held their very own museum in school. They invite a lot of resource persons so children get to listen to them and be inquirers. While before, there is tremendous pressure to have high grades which eventually wears them out, now, the focus is on competing with oneself. Challenging oneself because they know they can do their best. My only regret is that I had not known about this school before but I am happy that she belongs there now. Here’s their website:
    http://www.beaconschool.ph/

  53. I totally agree with you on the outdated curriculum of traditional schools. My daughter, aged 9, came from a Chinese catholic school. I am Filipino, her dad, chinese. We enrolled her in that school because that was the ”normal” course a filipino-chinese family would be expected to do. Although she made great friends there, i noticed that she was starting to get exhausted and not at all excited about going to school. When classes are suspended, she’d say “hooray!”. Something must be wrong here. They are made to memorize without really understanding the concepts. Then they are asked to throw back what they have memorized. They’re like robots! Her dad and i decided to move her to The Beacon School in Taguig. Never mind if we live in Greenhills. Never mind if she has to travel 40 minutes longer just to get to school. It’s the only international school accredited by the IBO for their Primary and Middle school years program. It’s definitely cheaper than IS and Bristish school. Student-teacher ratio is 1:15. Yes, they are exposed to different cultures and nationalities,are expected to respect one another despite of their religious affiliations. Where can you find a school whose headmaster knows the students’ name by heart? You will even find him playing ball with the kids when he has time! My daughter is very happy now with the new curriculum. I was worried about her adjustment, coming from an exclusive girls’ traditional chinese catholic school. She now feels sad when classes are suspended! The kids are encouraged to think critically, analyze problems, encouraged to ask questions, and solve problems. For about a week they visited museums and at the end of the lesson, they held their very own museum in school. They invite a lot of resource persons so children get to listen to them and be inquirers. While before, there is tremendous pressure to have high grades which eventually wears them out, now, the focus is on competing with oneself. Challenging oneself because they know they can do their best. My only regret is that I had not known about this school before but I am happy that she belongs there now. Here’s their website:
    http://www.beaconschool.ph/

  54. props to you anton for giving aidan’s education the time, thought and effort it deserves. instead of just “automatically” sending him to your alma mater or to a big-name school and buying into stories and reputations, you’re actually going on field yourself to find out what’s what. props as well for knowing what you want.
    quick suggestion: apart from what you want in a school, have you read up on child development to see what aidan will need most at different stages of his life? it might be interesting to see how the schools you will visit address those needs. just a thought. 🙂
    good luck on the hunt! although i don’t have kids myself, i’m looking forward to reading more posts like these.

  55. Hi Anton! I don’t even have kids yet but I’m already worried about what school I should send me future kids to! In case you decide to visit/check out other schools, I hope you can do a post about it as well. A lot of people are obviously interested (judging from the truckload of comments alone), and I’m definitely one of them 🙂

  56. Hi guys, where do you get all the money to send your kids to schools which charges six figures a year? Geez..
    I’d go for a school with
    -progressive curriculum
    -small student-teacher ratio
    -multiple-intelligence based education
    -not bank breaking (i mean, hello, I want to give my child the best but I won’t stress, 100k a year should be fine)
    Thanks for putting up this post, anton. the comments are helpful for me too, I have 2 boys who are about to go to school in 5 and 6 years time. Omg, by that time, the 100k im looking at should already be right around 200k, gosh. It’s not that I’m not willing to pay for the best but it’s just me being thrifty. Im sure everyone here wants value for money too.

  57. But makes me think too, about the current state of the public education system. Since we’re discussing about educating this generation’s youth, have you stopped to think about the majority of young Filipinos who go to the public schools?
    I have such high respect for such gems of teachers in public schools but I think the system is just too overwhelming for them. It’s just pitiful and bad. I WISH MORE PEOPLE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY LIKE YOUR CHILDREN HAS. Let me share with you that I had to work real hard to get noticed, studied hard to excel, do all sorts of stunts just to really “make it” in a public school. Thank God I turned out fine. Hence, I’m still proud to be a product of the public school system. But it’s really saddening watching how the trend hasn’t changed in decades, for example, in public high schools, one star section per year level per school, and about 30+ average (or what was branded as “lower” sections, as popularly called.)
    So I agree with this blog’s author that in our own little ways we can do something to change how us Filipinos brand ourselves nowadays.
    Anton, I appreciate your efforts about making peple aware of their heritage, and being proud of being Pinoy. Hopefully when we become more proud of who we are, the margins between the rich kids and the lesser priviledged will lessen. And then everybody can get a good education.

  58. Hey Anton. Been reading your blog for the better part of a year now. It’s been such a good resource for new restaurants and kid-friendly places to go! This post about Aidan’s school options may be off-topic, but it’s certainly about a very important decision so kudos to you for sharing it with your readers. With your permission, just my little two cents’ worth below.
    Our four year old boy is starting in Explorations (in San Juan) in the new school year. Been there twice to observe, and have come away happy and impressed. They’ve got a good teacher:student ratio, teachers who trained in the Bank Street method, and students who look like they like to learn. Like you, we’re caught between this progressive v. traditional school debate, and while I’d like to think that my wife and I – who both went to traditional schools (like you, I went to DBTI Makati) – turned out OK, the greater attention the so-called “progressive schools” can give their students because of the low teacher-student ratios is a winning criterion. I have friends whose kids go to some of the “traditional” schools, and the stories I hear from them is that almost all of the kids have had to get after-school tutors to keep up with the work load. That, plus a tendency for the traditionals to focus on rote learning, are areas of concern that made us take a long, hard look at the progressive approach.
    I’m not shilling for Explorations, and if you haven’t made any decisions yet about where to send Aidan I encourage you to check it out yourself.
    Your posts make it clear that you and your wife are very involved parents; bless you for that, good luck and more success to your excellent blog!

  59. hi anton!
    thanks to an online friend I got hold of your site. i am also presently looking for a school for my 3 yo daughter and i’m considering brent south campus for her as we are very near the place. i don’t have a clue about international schools but they sure sound promising as i feel kids are presented with more options.
    anyway, i enjoyed reading all the comments here from our fellow parents. thanks for bringing this up. im definitely learning a thing or two on what and whatnot to consider.

  60. Has anyone tried Chinese International School Manila? Non-sectarian with daily Mandarin lessons that focus on the conversational skills rather than memorization. It just opened this school year (Aug 2007). It’s cheaper than ISM or British (about half the price). I like it because it provides a good compromise between traditional and non-traditional schools…there is daily homework but it is kept to about 30min a day. Learning for me is NOT memorization and there is little of that. Most importantly my kids go there and are happy with it. With the school being quite small the whole student community interacts across all grade levels rather than just their own. People that run it are well qualified and with the school being brand new they were able to cater to my children’s needs really well. Check out their website http://www.cismanila.org or call them at 815-2476.
    Happy Parent

  61. Hi Anton!
    I’d say ISM still offers the best. My brother was in 1st grade when he had problems with his old school(teacher traumatized him),so my mom decided to transfer him. They went to all the exclusive Catholic schools in Manila, but he was too scared to even walk around the school because of what happened to him. It was only in ISM that he was able to actually get out of the car,walk around the campus and even talk to the teachers and students. My brother is now in 5th grade and still in ISM,my sister now in 8th grade was also transfered from Poveda, since my parents really saw results. I myself saw that now my siblings are more sociable, and that they really think different(I graduated from Poveda).They are always excited about school and don’t have problems dealing with people. I say, save up for middle/highschool, enroll your son first in Xavier, and transfer him to ISM!:)
    BTW, I studied in Reedley for a year, and it wasn’t a very good experience. Their curriculum lacked so much. (was there during their 2nd year),though, my batchmates who stayed were able to get in the “big 3” colleges here in Manila.

  62. Hi Anton! Great site! I’m a fan!
    LAdy, I studied in Reedley during its first year. I must know you since it was a very small school back then. 🙂
    That’s sad for you. I have the fondest memories of Reedley. High School would never have been better if it were not for Reedley.
    I was traumatized like your brother when I was in grade school in some big catholic school. When my mom transferred me to Reedley, I was cynical and doubtful at first, since it was such a new school then and was on its first year of operations. However, in time, with the attention that the teachers, and even the owners, gave me, I saw myself blooming and excelling in my studies, and even in my social life, both at home and with my friends.
    Maybe the experience wasn’t that good for you because of Reedley’s growing pains during its second year. Looking back, I would’ve felt the same: there’s a lot missing in Reedley. But now, being older, I understand that the school was still growing then. Hey, all schools, and companies, go through this. You just can’t please everybody, all at the same time. Thus, they were working on their services, most especially their curriculum.
    And yes, I was one of those who stayed, and got accepted to one of the big three colleges here in Manila. I’ll always be grateful to Mrs. Ong, Mr. Castro, and all the teachers there.
    Anton, I would recommend Reedley when Aidan gets to be six or seven. Reedley doesn’t have preschool. They start at Grade 1.
    Now, Reedley, being eight years old I think, have patched up on all their shortcomings when they were younger. I heard they’re now a member school of this international school accreditation body. I think it’s called CIS. ISM is also a member. I think. Go check it out.
    Reedley rocks!!!

  63. Hi Anton!
    Try Abba’s Orchard Montessori near Blue Ridge, Katipunan. The owners are Christians and I know of kids who go there. The kids will wow you because they’re mighty polite and smart at the same time 🙂

  64. I am thinking to enroll my kid at Chinese Intl School or Singapore School Manila. Any comments or suggestions will be appreciated.

  65. hi Raf! I think Brent international school is the best! Considering the student to teacher ratio… their method of teaching and etc… my kid is presently enrolled there

  66. It’s good to know that Reedley is holding an Anti-Bullying seminar this Saturday.
    A lot of parents are still unaware of this problem. Most of them think it’s just a rite of passage that their kids must go through and surpass. It’s a serious issue and I believe our kids can go through life without suffering from bullying.
    Most of the big Catholic schools don’t have any programs to address this problem. They only fix it when they catch the bully, or when fights erupt, or only when fights are known about. Paano yung mga batang hindi nahuhuli? :S I came from a big school. Parang Ghetto talaga ang buhay big school. Dog Eat Dog. Patuloy ang bullying, kasi walang chu chu (sumbungero). I had a lot of classmates who were bullied, including myself. And the bullies kept on tormenting us…for years.
    Anton, please post more details about this seminar. I’m really interested.
    Thank you. Your blog is really insightful.

  67. Susie, yes, ive heard and looked at eton already. Once I found out that it’s in Malate, I stopped. I’m not fond of that area. For gimmiks, yes. But an international school?

  68. i would recommend maria montessori – in mervilla paranaque – this is their website – http://www.montessori.com.ph
    my eldest daughter goes there now (5 yrs) and i cant begin to tell you how amazing the school is. then maybe for high school – ism? – i studied there my whole life until high school grad – though this was eons ago…im not sure if its the same school i remember.
    but for pre-school to grade 7 – we plan to stick with maria montessori. good luck in your search

  69. I’d recommend Explorations Preschool in Mandaluyong. Their curriculum and progressive teaching quality and method are in my opinion, similar and comparable to that of an international school. They teach subjects around a theme and highly espouse experiential learning.
    I like that they let the child explore and learn, rather than just feeding the child with information and testing them on well they fed the child which is what some traditional schools do. I also like that the teachers here are generally warm, nurturing and of high standard (good backgrounds, high English proficiency, can carry intelligent conversations with parents) and the kids, including mine, are happy, confident and involved. The teachers seem to stay long, too. Explo also seems to have a good reputation among Early Childhood Education majors seeking practicum work/jobs. Check it out. Oh, this school is also not ‘pabongga’. It likes keeping things simple and straightforward, with the way they do things and specially with its school activities. No fancy costumes or “required” fees here and there. 🙂
    Downside: The place is just a converted houseand is a bit cramped. Playground space almost nil.
    Explorations does have a new sister school a block away called Keys Grade School. Prep level up. Likewise progressive. 20-25 kids to 2-3 class teachers. If you like Explo’s style and philosophy, chances are you’ll like Keys. Teachers seem really good. I find that Keys’ curriculum, which is centered on Philippine social studies, is very well thought out. Attend one of their orientations for prospective parents which I did. Say, they have a jeepney theme, all subjects for the 1-2 month period revolve around that theme. The kids would for their field trip ride a jeepney (pre-arranged) and go to a jeepney shop. They get to interview the people there to practice their Filipino and speaking skills and do Math and Literacy work based on their experience. For art, they converted a toy jeep into a jeepney and decorated it. When I first heard of this style of learning, I had that light bulb moment. I never went through progressive schooling myself but as a parent, I just know there’s something wrong or missing with the way traditional schools have been teaching. That was an eye opener.
    BTW, Keys, and I think in the better progressive schools, do a lot of writing work as early as Prep. (Actually even in Explo, preschool lang yan ha). Where a 5-6 yo child in a traditional school would be made to focus more on penmanship, memorizing a list of CVC words (consonant-vowel-consonant like cat, bat), and do a lot of encircling or matching type of seatwork or homework, here, they would be asked to write their answers, thoughts or stories out even if spelled wrongly. Kids are really trained to think, ask and process. I’ve seen the works, even of kids considered average. It’s amazing how trad’l schools underestimate what kids can do.
    Downside: Same with Explo. Place is an old house and has become quite cramped. I think they have 100 students now. Also, they’re only a grade school, no plans for high school. That’s an issue for many. Only facility available is a library. Sports program is very minimal and facilities are outsourced. Growing pains 🙂
    One thing I’ve learned from talking with various moms: There’s no perfect school. We just make do with what we think is the best choice for our child and work on what’s missing.
    Hope above helps. Good luck! 🙂

  70. i don’t know if this school should be included here. but i’m trying my kids out at the Reach International School in makati.
    it’s different in the sense that it’s all-inclusive. it’s open to regular students who just want a step-up in the usual curriculum, and it’s also open for students with delays because of the school’s age-appropriate and catching up program. it’s also a great way to monitor the personal development and performance of your child because of the very small student:teacher ratio and the school’s individualized program curriculum.
    like what fulltimemom said, there is no perfect school.
    but for a mom who has kids who didn’t get enough learning from their old, money-hungry preschool, reach international school is indeed a blessing.

  71. hi! everyone,
    I’m a mom of 2 boys (6 and 4).. and for the sake of experimentation i enrolled my 6yr old to progressive/non traditional school, while my youngest goes to a regular school. the tuition fee in a progressive is a little higher compared to that of a regular school but its all worth it. My 6 yr old learned his phonetics and math in just a couple of days, the things i expected for him tolearn ina regular school where he attended 2 years of pre-school. My eldest don’t bring homeworks, accordng to him they do their activities in school and mind you.. he’s a happy kid. He’s relaxed at home and gets to spend time w/ family on wkends. My 4yr old on the other hand
    brings home a big bag every Friday filled with books and homework. He’s also a happy kid, however he likes to draw, color and build make-believe houses and buildings with his blocks.. one thing a regular school restricts. At home, I put up an “art wall” for my kids to post their magnificent works.. you can spot the difference right away.. the artworks from the progressive school is more cerebral i should say because they allow kids to think and reason. They don’t dictate, instead, they encourage. The artworks from the traditional school on the other hand, is predictable, it will take you a few years back when you were in pre-school yourself (sabi nga nila medyo “old school”) in style.
    Its a choice among us parents.. what is important is that our kids will grow in an environment that will not restrict the independence, reativity and reasoning. I’ve made a choice.. I’m transferring my youngest to a non traditional school like his kuya.. Good luck to all parents out there. Picking a school for your child is a big decision so make it good! God bless!

  72. If you live in Quezon City, you may want to check out the Camelean Academy in Project 4, QC. They have nursery, kinder and prep. Have a nice day!

  73. Hello!
    Wow…this is a great site! Hopefully,I can get some feedback from you all….
    We moved to Manila about a year ago from Canada. My husband is Chinese and I am Filipino (by birth, but immigrated to Canada over 35 years ago). Our 5 year old son is currently attending a Kinder school in our subdivision. We are relocating to Dasmarinas,Cavite next year. Please provide any suggestions regarding International Schools that would be close to our new location next year. A couple things high on our list, is a curriculum (taught in English), that offers little religion (or none)and foreign language studies (mandarin and french).
    Thanks in advance for your comments.

  74. My son & daughter went to Cradle of Joy Learning Center in jamboree St., QC..you can check out their web site. a small school with small class sizes, pre-school and grade school- Catholic, progressive, learning styles, character 1st- very good pre-school, kids get into any school of choice for grade school! Join a school open house to see the difference.

  75. I went to Southville I.S a long time ago.. Anyway I was really a crap kid during grade school. During HS though when I graduated .. pretty much a changed person!
    7 years later, I find myself having Graduated from the top engineering/IT in europe (arguably worldwide) with a first-class degree masters, having worked in fortune 500 companies as early as 19 and having international certifications while being fluent in Spanish.
    This is coming from someone who was failing in grade school!
    Anyway, at the moment -> I think the school is doing alot better.. its ladderized to I.B. (wasnt during my time) -> which provides a stepping stone to the top global universities.

  76. If you live somewhere in the south , you may also want to try International British Academy located in Imus, Cavite . Its not going to be as expensive as other IS schools but the quality of education is top of the rank.

  77. Really now? bullying is still there in Reedley, of course those kids won’t tell you. you do know the very very poor image of that school esp in passing their college entrance exams… not worth my 150K

  78. Bullying is still there in reedley, believe me i know.
    plus the grads tend to do poorly after school since competition is heavy non-existent inside (you’re only competing with less than 100 people, most of whom are kicked out of other schools). the kids love it there since they have their way mostly, few studies, short school hours but in the end, it just spoils them. better of bringing your kid to a larger institution with a name, just make sure that you do keep attention with their school matters and studies. Good Luck!
    BTW out of observation, most people from chinese schools like xavier do well in college. but other schools like st. paul,ateneo,miriam,makati hope, poveda,pasig catholic school, don bosco and la salle also do well.

  79. In myy opinion, traditional schools are still the best. i understand your concern and it’s actually normal for parents to look into options other than the tried and tested ones. Teaching in an international school here in manila, I can tell you that all these international schools and what they offer or seem like are just novelties, you like it, you consider it just because it’s something different. I am teaching grade 6 students (middle school) strategies on how to add, subtract and multiply just because their elementary school academic foundation is so poor (if none at all)You get a lot of crap from all these school presentations and how much are you required to pay? Of course parents appear satisfied with their kids’ performance, but that is based from a low expectation, kids do what they want to learning under the disguise of self-directed curriculum. I have a friend who teaches in reedley and was initially optimistic at first, but then came to realize that they are just after the money. did you look in their academic schedule? What would a kid be learning from a half a day schedule – and the reason is that the owner believes that kids shouldn’t be studying the whole dayI came from DBTI and having been in a Don Bosco yourself, i guess there is no other school that offers both a regular and technical program liike what I got from Don Bosco. Chinese language education in Xavier plus their math curriculum is an advantage. Think about it.

  80. I recommend Cambridge Salcedo Village branch for preschool. I have gone around all preschools in our are and most of them just sound good in their websites/reviews but when you actually visit and observe, they’re not very organized/dirty/cramped/impolite careless teachers. What i like abt Cambridge Salcedo is that it’s very systematic, clean, the aura of the place is nice (unlike other schools where its dark), and the teachers are excellent w kids. I used to worry about my daughter being bullied or being too shy or picking up bad manners. In Cambridge, she comes home happy and glowing with things they did and learned in school. I believe preschool should be about interaction w other kids, having fun, picking up good values. Also in Cambridge Salcedo, they have a good mix of international classmates so cross-cultural interaction is there too. For reading and math, i enrolled her in Kumon and Galileo where she happily goes.
    For elementary school however I have no idea. Same w the other parents, I find IS fees ridiculously expensive (esp that I graduated from UP spending 4k per sem) but would want progressive non-traditional schooling as well wout the absurd fees.

  81. Anton:
    Thank you so much for your Awesomeplanet. I come across this site many times when vacationing in the Philippines looking for restaurant reviews, thank you, very helpful reviews and pretty photos.
    I am a parent myself, I do understand your concerns many many times over. What to do when it comes to my son’s education. It seems to me that we put so much emphasis on the school, I don’t know that my parents bothered that much. I am doing very well so I guess we can relax as parents and let go a bit.
    Such a big fuss. Even here in the States, Filipinos ask for the school where one graduated from. Well, maybe Filipinos in L.A do ask. 🙂 And we have this big joke about Feati. I wasn’t even aware of that school up until then, but apparently it was not the best school that it became to be the butt of our joke when pointing to someone smart, I forgot the genesis, but it became that, a joke. Until one time one of our barkadas making fun about the school, mentioned that his Dad was actually graduated from Feati. Engineering, no less. He actually asked his Dad, “Dad, did you learn anything?” Apparently he did. He is a very successful businessman. The same way that we can not always expect spectacular achievements from someone of name brand schools.
    I was an expat in Singapore for a year. Part of the reason why I chose to live elsewhere was my opinion, or rather, my husband’s opinion of the school system there. My son was 2.5 years old at that time and attended a private school. No issues, well nursery after all. Mostly play, write, color, sing lala la, learn Mandarin. Right. It was my friend who actually had an issue, she said the regular private school is mostly route memorization that she ended up putting her child in Australian International School. I love Singapore, don’t get me wrong. Love Chijmes, the hawker centers, nice appointed apartments, very cosmopolitan and safe. However, the school system? This is the place where you hear people say at work “it’s pressurizing!” if there is such a word. And I wouldn’t wonder why they are “pressurized” when I see their kids the size of a pint carry bags bigger than themselves. Pressure there starts early, memorize, memorize. So Singaporean educational standard, I am not so sure.
    I understand Reedley being accredited of some sort. Don’t get us started with accreditation because accreditation is a big a business. We have a lot of accreditation everything here in the U.S. I have a venture capitalist friend, one of his company is a school for accreditation (Project Management, Microsoft, etc.) here in D.C. and he is making a ton because organizations and people want to buy themselves into whatever they can buy into. Did the PM become a good anything after the the PM accreditation? Do accredited “International Schools” really have international standards?
    That said, a true international school costs a lot of money because they need to pay dollars/euros for their teaching staff who have years of experience teaching in their homeland (US/UK etc). Teachers here, as per my experience for my son, mostly have masters degree in their field and I suppose so should be those teaching in the International Schools there. Salaries range for elementary-high school teachers are on average mid40s -50s ++ so that fully explains why an International School charges as much, to cover those salary expense. On the other hand, a teaching staff who knows of their “international standards” based on few seminars, ongoing that may be, makes the school’s international status suspect. You will be paying for branding that may not even be correct.
    Education is not just in the books, or in the school field. It is a totality of life lived. One way we can really teach our children is to not overprotect them. That includes not fussing too much over them. Well, maybe a little bit.

  82. hi anton,
    just came across ur blog site and id like to share my view. My son is currently in k1 at la salle greenhills and also passed the entrance exam for prep at ateneo de manila. la salle greenhills grade school got the level 3 accreditation from the PAASCU; the first ever accreditation granted to any grade school institution in the PHILS. my son’s tutor who also handle ateneans say that lsgh truly upgraded their curriculum, since the k1 academics of lsgh is only being thought in the preparatory level of ateneo. however, these 2 superb schools virtually excel in their own fields, far more excellent than the rest. as the saying goes “nothing beats the original”. common let’s face it – it’s just ateneo or la salle in the end and nothing more…..hope this help u align ur thoughts for your son’s education.

  83. hi anton,
    just came across ur blog site and id like to share my view. My son is currently in k1 at la salle greenhills and also passed the entrance exam for prep at ateneo de manila. la salle greenhills grade school got the level 3 accreditation from the PAASCU; the first ever accreditation granted to any grade school institution in the PHILS. my son’s tutor who also handle ateneans say that lsgh truly upgraded their curriculum, since the k1 academics of lsgh is only being thought in the preparatory level of ateneo. however, these 2 superb schools virtually excel in their own fields, far more excellent than the rest. as the saying goes “nothing beats the original”. common let’s face it – it’s just ateneo or la salle in the end and nothing more…..hope this help u align ur thoughts for your son’s education.

  84. I second BING’s post last January 2008 regarding MAria Montessori Foundation. She had already said everything important there is to say about MMF.. try it. My son has beent here since Grade 1. He is now 3rd year and flourishing every year.

  85. I am however talking about Maria Montessori FOundation in Ayala Alabang, not the one in Merville. But generally,Montessorians are happier, smarter and productive kids. =)

  86. Hi Anton,
    I have a 2 yr old boy. I’m in the stage of choosing his pre school. Do you have a list of pre schools that you consider for Aidan? Which school did you enrolled Aidan now?
    Thanks!

  87. Hi Anton. I just learned that Paul Michael Cruz, the only Filipino student to be invited to Obama’s inauguration, is a Reedley graduate. This school must be doing something right. Also, Sean Covey’s 7 Habits is taught to their kids and Covey himself commended them for their curriculum.
    Check out their blog: http://www.reedleyschool.com/blogs. This school is very interesting. I think it’s worth checking out. Great posts. Keep it up. I love your blog.

  88. my nephew went to reedley school, sad to say no one in his batch passed the upcat. for high school, still the best UP Rural High School in Los Banos.

  89. UP Rural High School in Los Banos is very good. Hard to get in but the best training and education for your children. Check it out.

  90. Hi! Anton. Are you familiar with “authentic” Montessori school? I wonder what school your kids go to at the moment. I don’t know if there is an authentic MOntessori school here in the Philippines but I think this is what our kids need. I hope you could research about this and blog about Montessori school. Since most of the schools now have the “Montessori” name in it, people don’t know how great Maria Montessori’s work is!
    Please see
    http://www.montessori-ami.org/
    http://michaelolaf.net/
    http://www.montessori.edu/news.html
    I guess you would love this kind of school for your kids.

  91. Hi I'm still confused which is the authentic Montessori school. I know that there is a school in the south who would have teachers really certified in the Montessori education. Most of the schools usually would have the head of the school as the only one certified…
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  92. ateneo? di siya normal school anak ko hirap na hirap sa lessons nila 3 math 2 english and 2 science. imbes na maganda experience sa bata. yung mga bata tuloy na prepressure naawa tuloy ako sa anak ko =(

  93. Hi All,
    Same with everyone, I wanted the best education for my child. I have a six year old daughter and she is currently enrolled in a Catholic school adapting a British Curriculum. I can say their method of teaching is the best. It is not all about academics, they have a lot of extra -curricular activities. Sports and playtime are always encouraged. We are moving back to the Philippines this year and I wanted to enroll her in an international school but British school Manila and ISM are very expensive.
    My preferences are: Reeedly/ Fountain International school, Beacon and Domuschola? Any comments ?? feddback?
    I am currently working abroad and i’ve graduated in one of the university in Manila and i noticed that Filipinos are technically excellent but the social skills as well as conversational is quite average. Take note I am talking about top graduates of some of the top universities.

  94. Hi Anton,
    Not sre if you are still confused. My child used to be in a Montessori school (not in the Philippines) in her pre-school years and i can say an authentic Montessori school will not let the cild be stressed out with homeworks, in fact there are no homeworks. Foster self respect and others. They have special materials used for learning and these are not available in any bookstores (exclusive only for Montessori). I can say my child after MOntessori is very independent, analytical and very intuitive.

  95. colegio san agustin was my school from preschool to gradeschool. i can say that it really has a good academic curriculum. but i don’t think it’s what a child like your son needs to have now. than again, csa has a very great environment. fresh air, good facilities, wide and neat surrounding. there your son will meet a lot of foreigner classmates, and he might even develop their accent.
    don bosco is a good school for youngsters his age. it will be good if as early as childhood, children are trained to love the sacraments. moral values and good discipline are very important to be learned by a child like your son. DB is also a school where you can see very close relationship between the students and the brothers and priests running the school. i saw these when i was in high school. it’s a school that never isolates the rich from the poor, and the poor from the rich.
    now that i’m in college, i’ve met several students who graduated from reedley’s. they pay 800 thousand per year for their education in high school, but many students even from not so well-known schools perform better than them in college. and they are the types who drink and go to parties a lot, sometimes twice a week.
    i have cousins who went to xavier. they’re good in academics, nice people, good communicators, rich, and chinese. but they terribly disgust poor people, and they rarely find joy in the simple things in life… like discovering binondo, riding a jeepney, meeting different kinds of people, etc.

  96. Hi, I was reading your blog over skype while my husband is in Colorado with my kids voice in the background chatting to their nannies in Filipino and English, interjecting Spanish every now and then. Yes, the world is turning into a global village and we share your passion about raising global kids that are multilingual and multicultural 🙂
    We are currently in the Philippines for 2 months and my 3 and 5 are learning Filipino faster than I ever hope for. That also influenced our decision to stay here and enroll them in a Chinese school. I am looking for feedback from parents or students from Chinese International School or Singapore Manila. So far, google has shown fewer results. Our goal eventually is for the kids to be be able to speak English, Filipino, Spanish and Mandarin. BTW, in the States, they went to Spanish preschool and had an amazing experience. We really hope that we will be able to find a good Mandarin immersion school, or close to one. Thanks.

  97. Hi Anton, it’s 2012 now. I chanced upon this blog entry – we’re expatriate going back to Manila and looking for the right school to put our kids to. They’re used to IS in the places we’ve lived in, but it’s not worth it if we will be the one paying.
    To which school are you sending your kids?

  98. Fact: There are Reputable international schools in the Philippines that do have Campuses in Provincial Cities in the Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao regions.

  99. Hi! I found this post because I’m looking for a review of la salle greenhills. Related to Reedley on your post was the homeschooling, so I’m not sure of the updates and developments. Since it’s been a while, I wonder if you went for Reedley or somewhere else. I’m very saddened on my son’s situation now, he’s in Grade 1. He’s preschool years were from a small/progressive school, and we’re both coping to the changes now. 🙁 Since we’re overdue on changing our minds, because of that DEPED rule on withdrawal, we might have to weather this school year (sad), I’m planning ahead.
    Thanks and Best Regards!

  100. Alot of times, its really an issue of wether we can afford such international educations. ISM and british school are really good. Theyr not just the usual international names, they actually have credibility and i know alot of students that go there. If tuition was not an issue, id send my kids to british school even.
    But theres other really good schools That you dont have to sell your kidneys for. I did years of research to find the best education for an affordable price and that are within our vicinity. Xavier is good, but i want my kids in a coed environment. At least for the development years. Highschool is another story.
    So far KIDS center in Pioneer Highlands Mandaluyong was really good to my kids development. They are progressive and every single child that started there all passed getting into “big” schools. They are DepEd accredited and they follow a decs curriculum. They mix traditional, montessori and other methods of teaching to prepare your child for any school. The tuition fee wont give u a heart attack at all. But they are only for pre-school.
    International Montessori School moed to a new location. They used to be in Forbes, now they are in Treston Internation College in the fort. They are also very good. Tuition fees are in the low 100s, but very worth it.
    Another gem that people dont know about is VCIS. Victory Christian International School. The campus is in the Every Nation Building infront of Market-Market. They offer mandarin classes as well and also teach core biblical values as well teach your kids how to pray. They are also in the low 100s. Its a very good school.
    Everest Aademy is also superb…they are a CATHOLIC international school with an awesome curriculum…but the tuition is much more. Its in the mid 200s range the last time i checked…. I dont know now anymore.
    Another place im cheking out this week is King’s Academy in Paranaque. Some otherplace to add to the list.
    Hope your kid got into a good school by now 🙂

  101. I know its late but for those who will come across this post I just want to share that Reedley is a common school for St. Paul Pasig (and other private schools) kickouts. I know the term is harsh but this is the reality. A lot of SPCP kickouts become top students in Reedley. This definitely says something about the level of education. Learning diff languages is truly a great thing but this can be learned outside the school. Traditional, i believe is still the best — with the help of the internet and other modern media, what progressive schools achieve is really not that hard to get as well.

  102. We are also just starting to look into progressive schools in the South and stumbled upon this blog post. Would you mind sharing what school you did end up deciding on?

  103. hi good day! My son is 4 years old and I enrolled him here in quezon city Tandang Sora. I would like to ask some opinion. Because they have fieldtrip on October 26, 2014 Sunday. I’ll just want to know if it was legal and if ched is allowing Sunday fieldtrip? Ill also want to know because the teacher is pursuing and blackmail all the parents that their exam will be topic for science is base on there fieldtrip. We are on tightbudget so we cannot come on fieldtrip. plus all parents in kinder level was not agreed for starcity plus it was sunday. So all of us parents doesn’t want to come on the said fieldtrip. Thank you in advance.

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