Dear Aeva: How I Choose the Right Summer Classes for You

August 10, 2020

Dear Aeva,

If you’re reading this, chances are, your mom is dead. I don’t know how and I don’t know when. My only hope is that it was quick, not messy, and relatively painless. Being hit by a bus is not my preferred way of dying. I have imagined myself dying in my sleep so I hope that God will make this concession if He chooses to take me.

This month is August 2020.

We are now in MECQ and outside, the Coronavirus or should they say COVID-19 is raging. There are around 50,000 active cases of COVID-19 running around the Metro, and everyone is a suspected COVID-19 case. While COVID-19 is relatively harmless to 98.7% of the population, it still leaves around 2.51% in severe state or dead.

It’s particularly lethal towards senior citizens and people whose immune system has been compromised (e.g., people who are undergoing chemo or have pre-existing heat) 15% of senior citizens who get it will die. To be honest, I’m more honest for her than for you and for us. To date, there’s a statistically insignificant chance of children dying of COVID-19 so if you get it, it’s similar to winning the biggest lotto ever.

We have to wait for the virus to go away before we can go out,” you told us the other day. “Can we go to Kidzania or Kidzoona after?”

You’re a smart kid at 4.5 years old. You still remember your favorite places, and understand the concept on why you’re forced to home quarantine for almost 5 months now. I find it a bit saddening. I’m glad you’re taking it in slide though. To be honest, it’s not anybody’s fault. This is a global pandemic. And since this is God’s will — anyway, who would ever create a pandemic that targets the old and the arrogant, and spares the children — the best we can do is to trust His judgment and pray for His eventual deliverance.

You’ve started zooming last week.

It’s a new way of studying. It’s a time when you sit in front of the PC, see your friends in tiny boxes, and then take lessons from a teacher who’s cities away from you. It’s the best we could make do as of this moment,


You may not know this, but mommy is not really a big fan of online learning. Money still won’t be able to afford the closeness, attention and focus a teacher teaching in front of their students can give.

If you misbehave, nobody can throw an eraser at you just to get you to listen. And how can the teacher send you out of the room if she’s not even inside the room? Isn’t that insane?

What’s more, online learning is not significantly cheaper than face-to-face learning. We did not even get a 10% discount from your kindergarten from transferring from a traditional way of learning to online learning. The time is also shortened because kids’ attention spans are shorter when you can’t throw an eraser at them.

So parang hindi sulit ang online learning for me, because you pay a little less but the time is shorter, and you can’t hug or touch your teacher in school. You can’t also play with your classmates much. The only way you can hide is to press Stop Video, which sucks.

So I miss the good ol’ days of you actually going to school.

We’d drop you and then go, and when we pick you up, you’re smarter than when we first left you. Ain’t that grand? Now, yaya has to sit beside you, assist you with all the buttons and then, take the classes alongside you. She’s like the teaching assistant I’d have to pay extra for. Regardless, thank goodness for yaya. She’s wonderful and patient with you. Just saying that it takes more effort to teach you when the classes are online than before, when we would just drop you, forget about you for two hours, and then pick you up afterwards.

Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate the effort. Presently, all classes in most countries are now in Zoom. Online is the next best option that’s available if nobody can leave the house. Like everything — Always look at the situation positively. For example, even if Zoom is not ideal, it still allows me to book you in several classes one after another, enrolling you via Facebook Messenger and paying the teachers either via bank deposit or Gcash. Oh, high tech na si Mommy right!

I have scoured the Internet for some good suggestions. I have found a few classes that sounds interesting. Personally, I want you to focus your studies on STEM (Science, Technology and Math). I know you like to dance, sing and draw, but those are fun subjects does not need mommy’s encouragement to sign you up.

You will dance, sing and draw even if you look at free video clips on YouTube and if the teacher ain’t as good. No need for me to pay for the tuition, and you will do them without me forcing you.

That’s why I’m signing you up for Mental Math, Chess Classes and yes, I’ve succumbed to an Art Class twice in the morning so life won’t be a total bore.

You seem to like art — Even without prodding, you take the brush and paint your stuff. Here’s some of the stuff you would paint while daddy and mommy are working on the side. You would sit down patiently and do your thing. You make us proud when you can sit down and focus on doing one item at a time:

I’d like you to take up Math because numbers make the world go around.

You see the world with different eyes and can make more logical decisions after running the numbers. I know you don’t like it, but Math is about discipline and training your mind to think a certain way. Even if you’re not naturally capable of it, practice makes math easier. All you have to do is to solve question by question, until Eureka! You finally get it! That’s what I did to pass the first two years of Math in Ateneo. I’m not naturally smart, but I sure did not give up.

Besides, did you know that Lola Sandra used to teach calculus to first year Engineering students in Adamson for 10 years before meeting Lolo? All I’m saying is, while math may eventually not be your favorite subject, it is one subject of most critical use in this world. That’s why I highly suggest that you don’t run away from it. Because even if you do, Math will eventually catch up with you.

Take mommy for example — I hated anything that has to do with IT and Math. So what did God give mommy? My first formal job was in one of the largest tech companies in the world. My second formal job was in a bank. Who says that God does not have a good sense of humor?

Do not run away from Math. Embrace it. If you can, get a good mathematical foundation in a young age so that your building blocks will be stronger. If you practice it, you will start to get it. If you get it, you will think it’s easy. And if you think it’s easy, you won’t run away.

aeva math

Here’s how you count when you don’t have enough fingers!

Which is why I’m enrolling you to all math classes while you’re still young. I’ve contacted CMA to follow up on an online schedule. Don’t hate mommy. This is only for your own good. You can spare your own kid the math classes once you’re big enough to get some (though not too early).

As for chess, well, your Auntie J says that chess is not an Olympic sport. That’s why I’m enrolling you. Olympic sport or not, Chess will hopefully teach you to think strategically, and look at the long term view. I do not need you to be a Grandmaster, but I do want you to know how not to give up even if something is boring as hell, and hey, if you can beat a guy at chess, that would be terrific.

The stupid, insecure ones will run away from you. Siyempre, the guy must have their own ego. But it would take a smart man who loves your intellect to realize that a woman who can beat him at chess is a woman you should keep and marry.

Even if you disagree with mommy, just know that I made these decisions with good intentions and with a long-term view. Just trust me for now, okay? I know what I’m doing. So just take those lessons, maximize the time so hindi sayang ang pera ni mommy, and we will just revisit your educational plan once you finish all your classes. But for now, I have signed you up for:

  1. Art Classes: 2x a week, 1.5-2 hours per time
  2. Chess: 2x a week, 1 hour per time
  3. Tutoring with Teacher Lizzie for writing, math: 3x a week, 1 hour per time
  4. Mental Math: 2x a week, 1 hour per time (TBC)

I may enroll you to another class but I’m still researching on the Net. There’s Speechpower which will improve your English grammar, pronunciation, and intonation. Engineering/ robotics but best to wait till you’re 6 years old. And if ever, programming and coding.

You and your friends are far more advanced than we could ever be at 4 years old. I think life now for kids are more interesting than it was during my time. Education is probably the best gift I can give you. Even when daddy and I pass away, you still have what you know stuck to your brain, and no amount of bad husband or bad boss can take that away from you (Just don’t do drugs).

A child’s brain is more powerful than we think. Many people may think you are smart. Lest anyone forgets, you have been studying since you were 1 years old. While other kids were playing, you were already taking lessons actively from many fronts. Even if you only learn a miniscule from a teacher here are there, all those small incremental lessons and our guidance make you the smart girl you are today.

So keep on studying and absorbing more. People say that the child’s brain till aged 6 is like a sponge. We look forward to you absorbing more, and surprising us with what you know.

Love you my love,


Aeva Time

I asked my daughter to make me some iced tea. We played rock, paper, scissors to see who will make them. Since she lost — because she has this inclination to always pick scissors, Aeva has to make the iced tea.

She sweetly grabs Yaya and drags her to the kitchen to make her iced tea. Then, she presents the iced tea to us, and say, “Tadaaaaa!”

I told her to give the iced tea to her father first.

Afterwards, we eat brownies and iced tea together.

Lessons Learned:

  1. If you don’t pivot and change your strategy, you will always lose.
  2. If you are incapable of doing something (or you’re too lazy to do so), just delegate.
  3. Even if you did not make it, you can share the credit for it IF you just know how to present it in your own cute way.
  4. Always sip sip to the boss by giving them the iced tea first.
  5. After you finish your work, you can play with your iPad. This shows you need to prioritize finishing work first before playing.

Have a good week ahead!


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