Throwback Tuesday: Gymboree Learning Lab Program

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(As posted in the Bulletin Board of Gymboree Play and Music Serendra Branch, February 26, 2008, Tuesday 9:30am-12:00 noon)

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Today Kit and I took a time off from work so that we could see to it that we’d be there for another milestone for my son. Even though today was just a preview of the Gymboree Learning Lab School Readiness Program since the official first day of school was yet on June 9th, I consider this morning as Kyle David’s ‘real’ first day school. As first time parents, this was a new thing for me and his dad to learn. It’s a good thing the school has this session as it also gives parents like us a rehearsal prior to the full monty.

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I was the proudest mom this morning watching my son from the glass windows outside his classroom. I was surprised that he did not cry nor had tantrums seeing that he’d be all by himself surrounded by 11 other little strangers and Teacher Joanna. To think that he’s an only child and I was expecting him to have initial discomfort dealing with other kids. Ok, there was an attempt for him to sneak out at first, but once his dad asked him to go back as class was still on-going, things have smoothened out. Praise Yahweh, Kyle David is smart enough to have known that his mom and dad were just outside waiting for him. He blended with his classmates easily! I knew his dad who was beside me all along was the proudest father during this moment as well.

The class started with lots of singing and greeting each other and later proceeded with basic letters and art where Kyle got to make use of water color to paint smiley face on his hand and to color a flower drawing. My heart jumped with joy when Kyle was called to come in front at the board and he correctly placed a xylophone drawing beside a letter X. The alphabet we taught him at home was finally showing off. It’s true as they say: just keep sowing the seeds of knowledge to your kids and one day they will grow and bear fruit, just as I have started to experience the beginning of many harvests.

IMG_5571There was an equal split of boys and girls from a total of 12 kids who attended. I was told there should be a maximum of 10 kids per class but I could very much understand parents who wanted their kids to squeeze in (mine included). Better list down the names of his classmates while I can remember: Alexis, Alonso, Beyonce, Clarisse, Enzo, Harry, Kristoph, Sam, Kevin, Hugh-ann, Patricia and Sabine. However, we made two booboos as neophytes in the preschool department: first, we didn’t bring a digicam to capture this very important event, and second, we didn’t prepare Kyle’s “baon” besides water as we thought two hours and a half would be a breeze. Good grief Conti’s is a stone’s throw away so when Teacher Joanna declared “recess time” from 10:30-11:00am, I was able to buy chicken pie and cheese mammon for Kyle. Our profuse apologies, Toto Kyle. Next time we’ll ensure tetra packs of juices, RTD-choco and RTD-milks will come in handy along with sandwiches we’ll prepare for you. We did not realize how Kyle could need so much food (physical and not just intellectual) at stage.

000_0015After recess time, just when Kyle and all the other kids started to feel bored, there was a change of venue as well as teacher. Teacher Marielle took over and in the playroom they had a great time singing, playing and doing lots of physical movements with games like “watering the flowers” and “jumping in the pond” among many others.

IMG_5539I realized that two hours and a half are long enough to bear for kids his age. The schedule allowed them to do a lot and even managed to have quick nap of about 5 minutes before they headed back to the classroom. Another coloring activity once inside the classroom and finally, it was time to call it a day. The funny thing was that Kyle already collected the little chairs and put them all back as if telling everyone he’s had enough for the day.

Other kids were also doing their own thing already by this time. Good thing Teacher Marielle was sensitive and flexible such that she just asked the kids to sit on the floor and slowly the class was dismissed.

Thankfully, Kyle’s two (2) artworks were given to me and I felt proud that both had smiley marks for “very good.”

Kyle went out of the classroom just as excited as we were. I had a feeling he’ll enjoy the school time by June, and I also had a feeling his dad and I will be better prepared than we were after today.

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About the author /


Denice Christine Garcia-Pilla is a freelance published writer and editor in between her profession as a market research professional. Her works have appeared in numerous print and online publications in Asia and the United States including the Asia Pacific Business Guide, Launch Asia, Quantum Spirit, Men Zone, The Philippine Star and Lifestyle Asia. She has profiled a number of CEOs, Presidents, entrepreneurs and tycoons of top corporations in the Philippines, as well as renowned international authors such as Mark Victor Hansen of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and Philip Kotler. After a decade of hiatus from the writing scene with motherhood taking center stage of her schedule, Denice is once again picking up from where she left off via the Side Tripper, where she shares her travel adventures and side trips through the lens of photographer Kit Elton Pilla, also known as her husband and father to her son Kyle David.

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