My 3.5 year old daughter will start school as a Junior Nursery Student at The Mother Goose Playschool this Wednesday.
This is the third time I am enrolling her. So much is my confidence in the school that I have paid for an entire year.
The Tuition Fee
The tuition fee is average to its peers, not too cheap or expensive.
For this school year, we paid Php 135,630.00 for our daughter, which is still reasonable.
If you pay on a twice semestral basis, the first semester is Php 47,000, while the second semester is Php 61,750.00. Paying either way makes no difference as you only save Php 3,120 if you pay for the entire year.
But comparing it to its peers, it’s still reasonably priced.
When my daughter was young, I enrolled her at a popular high-class progressive kindergarten in North Greenhills.
Their tuition at that time was around Php 150,000 a year.
However, they required the children to wear a costume on a weekly basis. For example, this week, they will teach about the farm. So they will ask the kids to dress up as farmers. If this week’s theme was the beach, they will ask the kids to wear swimming suits and they’ll have a small portable pool in the garden.
Conceptually, this requirement brought ideas alive.
What better way to learn than to dress up? However, it was hard for parents to keep up with the weekly extra-curricular activity.
Sure, it was fun to dress up. But there are times you had to go and buy the costumes to keep up. Where for example will we find a doctor’s or cowboy costume at home?
In addition, if there was an event at school, parents were asked to bring materials or food for the event.
At one time, I was asked to bring Jamba Juice for 30 people. I bought Kool-Aid and mixed it at school instead.
Another time, I was asked to bring 2 gallons of Boysen Paint white for International Day. With all the extras, the costs add up.
Honestly, there were too many extra-curricular activities that need parent involvement and expense. So I wasn’t really as keen to continue on for a second year. They were also probably not keen for me to enroll too since I’m more of a Kool-Aid than a Jamba Juice type of parent.
The Montessori school in White Plains is slightly more expensive at Php 180,000 per year but there’s snack included in the tuition. With the additional costs of projects at the Greenhills school though, the tuition plus miscellaneous cost should add up about the same.
So yes, Php 135,000 for me is a reasonable amount to pay for tuition in one of the best kindergartens in the Philippines.
The Facilities are Clean and Well-Maintained
There are two campuses — one in San Juan and the other one in Sto. Domingo Quezon City. San Juan has been there for 6 years, while Sto. Domingo has been there since 1974.
This is the older Sto. Domingo campus. I have never been but apparently, this was where everything started:
This is the newer San Juan campus where my daughter is enrolled:
Here’s the corridors in the first floor and a sample of a classroom. The facilities are clean, super neat and very conducive to learning. It’s a great orderly look for a top quality kindergarten in Metro Manila.
They also have a cool airy gym at the highest floor — PE time is every Wednesday from 8:00am to 10:00am and kids come in comfortable PE attire.
They do allow school visits before enrolling your child. You can take a look at the facilities yourself to see on whether it’s something you like or not.
Teaching Style at The Mother Goose (Toddler Class) — Actively Learning with Others
Here’s what I saw during the Mother Goose toddler class, which by the way is traditional by nature:
There is order in the classroom.
The kids are not aimlessly wandering around.
The teacher is in control of the classroom.
There are ten 18- to 20-month old well behaved kids sitting in a circle. All eyes are on the teacher. She flips through the pictures of objects whose names start with the letter B.
“Ball,” the teacher said as she shows a photo of the ball.
“Ball,” the kids repeat.
“Belt,” the teacher said as she shows a photo of a belt.
“Belt,” the kids repeat.
They go through different photos — Bag, Baby, etc.
The teacher says the word loud and clearly and the kids repeat what the teacher said. This is no place for creativity. This is a place where everyone is taught in the same manner, and are expected to learn at the same pace.
However, I saw that the kids were actively learning.
Their eyes were alive. They do NOT look bored. In fact, they look like they’re having fun keeping on track with the other students.
They smile and laugh as they say the words correctly.
I see my daughter follow and laugh when she get “ball” correctly.
This is a school that rewards kids based on merit and based on learning. Their confidence increase as they learn.
Despite the order and discipline instilled throughout the classroom, the kids do not seem stressed or stifled. In fact, they love that they are learning as a group and weirdly welcome in. Order seem to allow them to focus on what’s being taught.
In the other progressive school where my daughter started, she could not sit still.
During class, she runs around and plays with the other toys even when the teacher asked her to sit. Her teacher in the other school became frustrated and has openly shared with me her concern.
“Ma’m, your daughter seem to lack focus and is tired all the time,” they would complain. “We cannot get her to sit still and listen since she wants to play all the time.”
I am guilty of the tired complaint. My stubborn daughter does not sleep early.
However, at Mother Goose, my daughter gladly sits.
She sits because everyone is sitting. She looks around and sees everyone behaved, so she behaves as well. Consequently, because she is sitting, she can hear what the teacher is saying. She learns.
If her other classmates find the teacher interesting, she too wants to see what the big deal is all about.
The Results are Immediate and Impressive
After two months of enrolling my daughter at Mother Goose, my daughter surprised me with new words.
To be fair, I enrolled her at 20 months old at Mother Goose. It is possible that maybe after a year at the progressive school, she was just soaking up the knowledge while the teacher taught. However, when she entered Mother Goose, she still could not say the names of the colors or shapes despite being in school since 11 months old.
However, at 22 months old, two months after entering Mother Goose, my daughter surprised me with new words.
We are eating at Contis, and she points to the photo and says “burger.”
She knows the colors after two months.
And learns how to communicate with us by saying, “Open this,” “Borrow please,” and “Give.”
These are the words she learned in school. We do not teach her at home.
Her vocabulary grew in such a short time, and she now cannot stop talking in complete sentences as a 3.5 year old. She can now write her name too.
I Like the Headmistress’ Teaching Values
The Headmistress is Ms. Josephine Choa-Yao, and I feel that she really cares about teaching children correctly.
During the recognition ceremony last March 2019, I was impressed with what she said. To paraphrase:
“Here at the Mother Goose Nursery, our kids learn the most basic foundation of learning.
First, they are taught how to follow rules. How to sit, line up, and behave in class.
They learn how to socialize with classmates. Yes, they start by crying on their first day. But slowly and surely, they know how to get along with their classmates and with their elders.
When they want to go and use the bathroom, they are taught how to ask, “Teacher, can I go out?”
You don’t just do what you want. You let them learn that they can make choices, and there are consequences to choices.
Everyone is taught how to speak in fluent English. We also have Chinese classes so they can have a good foundation in Mandarin. When they enter big schools, they are prepared. They go in St. Jude, or Xavier. Our students can capably match their requirements.
The most important thing a kindergarten must teach the children is the basic foundations of learning. That’s why it’s important that you start them correctly. If you do not go through the foundation, it’s so hard to catch up.”
Amen to that.
Look, my daughter is just a normal and healthy child. However, a lot of what she learns is because the school consciously and intentionally teach it to her.
If my daughter was taught a boatload of vocabulary for one entire year that she can build on when she’s 3, how do you think another 3-year old who only started this year in Mother Goose can compete?
My daughter is not that smart.
So many other kids are smarter, and they will catch up sooner or later.
However, I can guarantee you that thanks to Mother Goose, her learning foundation is strong. Not only do they teach the students concepts, but they’re also taught the discipline on how to learn.
Now THAT’S a real competitive edge.
Other Things I Love about Mother Goose
I love the alumni.
I did not come from Mother Goose. Actually, my Kindergarten was OB Montessori in Greenhills back when it was a teeny tiny school.
However, I did flip through their yearbook. Since the school was founded in 1974, some of my peers did actually graduate from Mother Goose.
To my surprise, I recognized some of the Mother Goose Alumni.
Many of them were my schoolmates in Ateneo, whom I found to be very intelligent, meticulous, and hardworking students. I didn’t know that they were from Mother Goose. But I do remember them to not only academically smart, but were also leaders in some capacity in some of the most popular clubs on campus.
Now I can see the difference. How much fun is it to discover how a kindergarten did actually make a big difference!
Most likely it is because of the strong foundation they got at Mother Goose that gave them a leg up in life.
Because of the solid start they had at Kindergarten, the other building blocks of learning was easier to attain, and the Mother Goose students did not have as much of a hard time learning the harder concepts in their successive schools.
I love the uniforms.
I love that they have cute uniforms. They are not very thick and are perfect for the Philippines weather. Always bring a jacket with you for class:
I also love the teachers.
Personally, I think most of them have been there a long time. They seem to love their jobs and turnover is pretty low. They have an easy camaraderie with each other, and they genuinely like kids.
So the quality of education is kept consistently. The old is there to still mentor the new and young.
I love the Chinese classes.
Because why not?
This was her lessons at 2 years old:
A good foundation for Chinese learning.
I love the parents.
They come in and fetch their kids in casual pambahay (home wear). I see a lot of Lacoste, Longchamps and Coach instead of Valentino, Hermes and Chanel in our daughter’s previous school.
The parents are mostly very down-to-earth and are wonderful people. Their values are more similar to us vs. the other schools we saw.
In the other school, the parents came into school dressed up.
The kids had drivers-slash-bodyguards and a yaya.
The parents gave slightly more extravagant gifts to the admin and the teachers.
Honestly, I felt that more attention was subconsciously given to those kids with higher-profiled and richer parents. It’s unconscious, human nature after all.
It was a show and tell for 2- to 3-year olds.
In a way, I felt that kids were exposed earlier that they needed to show off to get more attention. Since there were no uniforms, and the kids had to wear a costume once a week, I felt that money was important to show off.
It wasn’t us so I didn’t really like it. I don’t feel the need to impress, and felt pressured to do so (at no fault of the school).
I love that everyone was treated equally and were judged according to merit.
At Mother Goose, everyone came in uniforms. The parents were more low key. And I sincerely felt more at home.
The teacher didn’t care if the kids were high-profile or not. They were judged only by their own merits, which is through their class performance.
Not everyone was given an award.
If you reached the standard, you were recognized. But if you did not, you are given more help so that you can reach it next year.
On her first year, our daughter was Top 2 of her class. On her second year, there was 7 of them who received recognition in a class of 12.
Every quarter, the Most Outstanding Students were posted.
Every child is given the chance to reach the Most Outstanding Student roster. Since the kids are regularly assessed and guided, more and more students are included in the Most Outstanding Student list per year.
This is great teaching — Just like in life, the school don’t give you a prize just because you were present. It gives you a prize because you deserve it. So if you want to be recognized, you have to work harder. Because if you do, you will be recognized, and all your efforts become worthwhile.
I love the traditional way of teaching:
I am a big fan of the school, and the traditional way of learning because of the following reasons:
1. She “learns” more than she “plays”: I initially placed my child in a progressive school and felt she really wasn’t learning much after a year. After I transferred her to a traditional school, she’s bloomed significantly.
2. Discipline is reinforced by the school: Maybe because of the loose format, she became more unruly. The teacher complained she used to go around the classroom a lot. After transferring her, structure was introduced and she’s way more behaved since everyone are taught to follow instructions.
3. Clearer performance metrics: You have to work for a medal. There’s 13 of them in a class and 7 was recognized. Sorry but I think it’s better the performance metrics are clear so you know where she needs to improve.
4. Better preparation for big school: Her preschool has a ridiculously high acceptance rate to all big schools. They’re supposed to be more advanced than the progressive taught kids at age 5 or 6.
5. Creativity can be taught at home: I’d rather she be taught structure and discipline in school and creativity/fun at home. I am not worrying about creativity. She can learn that from us afterwards.
So many other reasons why traditional is the best for us. I thought progressive was best but became a convert once I transferred my child to a traditional kindergarten and saw all the wonderful results!
A word of warning
Do not pick Mother Goose if:
- You think that at a young age, kids should enjoy the youth and learn through play.
- You want the teacher to focus their attention on your child. In Mother Goose, while the child is well cared for, but not a single child is VIP.
- You are afraid that your kid will get sick. Look, they are most likely to get sick when they are in any school, not just in Mother Goose.
- You want to be inside the classroom to observe the teacher and your child. Mother Goose has a strict drop-and-go policy.
- You do not believe that kids should have homework or tests at the age of 2 or 3.
- You believe that every kid should get a medal to gain confidence.
- You don’t like to see your child left out from recognition. You think the school should give him/her a prize so he/she won’t feel left out.
- You cannot bear to see your child crying during drop-and-go. If your heart breaks, YOU are not ready for your child to go to school, so please keep your child at home.
- You do not agree with what I just said here. Nothing I said excites you. And you think your child’s current setup works just fine.
- You are not fine with the school instilling discipline to your children. You feel that kids are kids and have a right to be naughty. If they don’t want to do things, to just let them be because they don’t understand. You hate molding the kids to a strict structure, and want them to flourish on their own.
- You want your kids to be creative, and believe that the traditional way of learning stifles creativeness.
- You think you can do a better job homeschooling your kids
- You do not live close to San Juan or Quezon City. Mother Goose is too far for you.
- You cannot wake up for the school time, and your kid will most likely come in absent or late.
- You think the tuition fee is too expensive and enrolling your child will put you in debt.
Look, Mother Goose or the traditional way of teaching is not for everyone, and I give kudos to other moms who would rather homeschool their kids, or expose their children in a more progressive school setting.
But to be honest, I work so I don’t have much time to teach and tutor. So since I can be very hands-off with my daughter’s education, it is crucial for us to pick the right school for our child. All I can do is entrust my child to the right school and they will do the rest.
Based on our experience, we are so happy with my child and her school.
She’s learning, becoming better behaved and is more advanced than many of her peers.
That’s why I’m gushing about why Mother Goose is a better fit for us.
Now, it doesn’t mean that there are no other better schools than Mother Goose. I’m sure there are. However, it doesn’t change the fact that the Mother Goose Nursery is a good school, and is a safe choice for moms who live in Quezon City and San Juan. So if you’re interested, go and call for a school visit to see if you like it.
Personally, I think it’s all about a Mommy’s gut feel — I went for a school visit and immediately loved the school and everything it stood for.
Anyway, good luck with your school hunting! All I can say is to share my experience, and hope it offers you a glimpse of another school option for your children.
Good luck Mommies! Have a good weekend!
Mother Goose Sto. Domingo
159 Don Manuel Aggregado Street, Sto. Domingo
Quezon City, Philippines 1100
740 20 25 / 712 0707
Mother Goose San Juan
Mons St. Cor. P Guevarra St, San Juan, 1500 Metro Manila
Tel: 234-1019 / 234 1170
Disclaimer: This is NOT a paid advertisement. I am still paying the full tuition. It’s just that I can’t believe my luck in finding such a good school for my daughter that I cannot help but gush.