At Dream Big Pilipinas, we have two core academic goals: developing literacy (reading and writing skills) and numeracy. We try to make learning meaningful and fun through a variety of activities and games.
We use bilingual books so that kids can work on their English and Filipino at the same time. This exposes them to proper grammar and spelling. The kids greatly vary in English fluency for both speaking and writing. For example, younger children spell phonetically e.g. istar vs. star, iskul vs. school, cut vs. cat. We’d like them to practice their English and be exposed to it as much as possible since they do not get to speak at home or with their friends.
Generally, the weaker readers read with assistance from us, particularly when they don’t know how to pronounce a word or understand its meaning. We ask them questions about plot, characters, setting etc. and get them to predict what will happen next. The older readers get asked about themes or the moral of the story. Whatever they claim they must back up with direct textual references. These activities build comprehension.
Once the kids start writing, we have them correct their own writing and make rewrites. It’s important to give them steady feedback so they know how to improve. It’s also crucial to be enthusiastic, supportive and respectful as you cannot force learning upon them. If they see the value in what they do, they’ll be intrinsically motivated to excel.