4 Things My Son Gained From Attending Another Workshop
I recently wrote about my older kids’ summer workshops or classes. (You may read it in my previous blog post.) Yesterday, my entire family of five woke up early and traveled all the way to Mandaluyong to bring my eldest son to another workshop. I got excited as soon as I saw the poster for this learning event. Aside from his dream of becoming a great pianist, my eldest son dreams of becoming an author and illustrator. So, when I saw that there’s an upcoming writing workshop for kids, I contacted the organizers right away. He’s actually the youngest in the group. It’s supposed to be for kids who are at least 8 years old. Since my son is turning 8 in a few months, I asked if he would be allowed to join. Good thing the organizers allowed him.
Another reason why I was excited about the workshop is because it will be facilitated by one of our favorite authors and an award-winning one. We have read some of her books, especially on the Oh, Mateo! series and we loved the stories. Moreover, I have a son whose name is also Mateo. This was one of the reasons also that we became curious to buy a copy from this series and eventually to buy more books from the series. My boys can identify with the little boy in the story, particularly my son named Mateo.
Yesterday, we had a very good excuse to buy more books of Ms. Grace Chong. One of the requirements in joining the workshop is to buy at least P500 worth of books authored by Ms. Chong. I thought that it was a cheap investment for this kind of workshop since my kids and I will be enjoying the books anyway. In truth, my husband and I ended up buying more than the minimum amount and we even other books from the bookstore. Truly, bookworms spend a fortune every time in a bookstore!
Back to my story… We dropped off my eldest to the workshop venue which was on the 4th floor of OMF Literature’s Main branch in Mandaluyong City after buying around seven books authored by Ms. Chong. We bought 6 new titles from the Oh, Mateo! series and Quiet Time with Mateo. We browsed through some more books on the shelves including our toddler who is just a year old. He’s already a little bookworm at his age. 😉
I read some books to my son Mateo while waiting for his big brother. After some time, my husband got hungry so we went to a nearby coffee and donut shop for some snacks. Then, we went back again to check more books and to read more to my younger child.
Lesson for bookworms: don’t stay too long in a bookstore if you don’t want to spend on additional books. haha We spent almost the whole morning in the bookstore that’s why we were not able to resist the urge to buy more that what we planned. of course, we justified it by saying that what we bought are really good books.
I checked on my eldest son a couple of times so I can take some photos, because his younger brother Mateo wants to see his big brother and because I also want to see if he is still engaged. My eldest, just like his younger brother, is a very kinesthetic learner who doesn’t like sitting for long periods of time. The first time we checked, they just had their snack and the author was reading to them one of the books from the series Oh, Mateo! The second time we went up was when they were finishing up their stories already.
I got to read my son’s story from the workshop. It wasn’t something spectacular or something worth publishing into a book yet. But I still think that we made the right decision to invest our time and resources on that half-day workshop.
Let me share some reasons why I believe that my eldest son benefitted from it:
- Sending him there and accompanying him to the workshop sends the message that we support him in any of the dreams that he chooses to pursue. I talked about building a nurturing and supportive environment in my previous blog post on raising a child prodigy.
- He gained confidence by simply being part of a writing workshop. I think more than the actual tips imparted by the author, which I’m not sure my eldest son remembers or grasps fully at his age, the knowledge or fact that he attended a workshop gave my eldest son’s self-esteem a boost. I remember a time when one of my friends asked me if I would like to write or contribute an article to a popular local publication. I loved the topic (interior design) and I loved writing. But I shied away from the opportunity to be recommended by my friend who is an experienced magazine editor. Why? I told her that I lack the experience and I don’t even have any training. That’s how I really felt! Because in truth, I have not attended any writing workshop or seminar at that time. Of course, I regret that I did not seize that opportunity. Looking back, I realized, my friend would not risk her reputation on recommending me if she does not think I can write well.
- It was an opportunity for him to meet new friends who share the same interests. I like what the person who introduced the author at the start of the workshop said. She said that these kids could be the next generation of children’s book authors. In one of my previous blog posts, I said that I was glad that my kids found friends who were also passionate about music. Yesterday, I was glad that my son was in the company of fellow aspiring writers.
- It was an opportunity to meet a new potential mentor. I would love to be mentored by the same author. If she would conduct another writing workshop that’s targetted for adults, I would definitely sign up for it since I’m still a newbie children’s book author. I’m happy that my son, at his young age, has these opportunities to interact with people who could mentor him. I didn’t have these opportunities while I was growing up. I dreamed of becoming a published author since I was a small kid but I didn’t get to attend these kinds of workshops. I’m thankful that my husband and I have the means and the time to provide our children with these kinds of learning opportunities.
Before I end this post, I’d like to share what I learned from one of my conversations with my eldest son. I asked him the day before the workshop if he’s excited to attend it. He said yes. I probed further. I asked him, “Why do you want to learn how to write a book?” He said, “So that when I can’t find a story or book I like, I will just make my own.” I found his answer interesting. I discovered that his reason for wanting to write his own book/books is similar to one of my reasons for writing the previous books I wrote. 🙂 I hope I would live long enough to see that day when he would publish and launch his own books.
Are you also a parent like me? What are your child’s dreams? Do you also go out of your way to search for programs that would help him reach his dreams? What programs for kids have you discovered so far? I would love to hear from you. Who knows, our sons could be classmates in these programs!