Jenni Epperson and Mikaela Lagdameo-Martinez advocate reading to nurture kids' multiple intelligence

IMAGE Kaye Estoista-Koo

(L-R) Progress Pre-School GOLD Senior Brand Manager Rhea Villareal, Mikaela Lagdameo Martinez, and Jenni Epperson at the brand's Multiple Intelligence Recognition Day.


The concept of multiple intelligence has shed new light on how children learn and excel.

Celebrity moms Jenni Epperson and Mikaela Lagdameo-Martinez are both multiple intelligence advocates.

At the Progress Pre-School GOLD's Multiple Intelligence Recognition Day held recently, the two moms shared their experience in creating a home environment that is conducive to multiple intelligence development.

CONDUCIVE SPACE. Jenni, a stylist, lifestyle blogger, style curator, author and columnist, explained how she built a multiple intelligence-friendly home space.

She shared: “Based on experience, I find that my children are very active not just physically, but also mentally and creatively.

“Part of the nurturing process that my husband and I do is to open them up to a lot of opportunities.

“[We give them some sort of a guide on how to deal with life and how to express themselves.

“By doing so, we help nurture our children's choices in life.”

Jenni has acknowledged that there are those who grew up knowing what to do in life starting at a very young age.

“And there are some people like myself, and my daughter who is 18 right now, we don't know what we really want to do.

“But I find that when you try a lot of things, it opens up a lot of opportunities and you also know the things you don't wanna do.”

She then suggested to eager moms present during the recognition day rites, “My tip is to try a lot of things, and for parents to always support their children.”

READING TRANSFORMS. Meanwhile, the Reading Association of the Philippines (RAP) is helping advance the multiple intelligence concept through its various programs.

Together with Wyeth, the parent company of Progress Pre-School GOLD, RAP President Ani Rosa Almario delineated how they advocate reading through teacher training and research.

She explained, “Naturally intelligent children enter the world of reading through words related to nature.

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“While musically intelligent children learn to read through the use of songs and chants.

“And intrapersonally intelligent children can read better through text loaded with emotions, memories and personal associations.”

She proceeded to elaborate, “Using multiple intelligences in reading instruction is just one of the revolutionary views of reading that we have tried to support through various teacher training workshops.

“Our literacy fora in Quezon City, Dagupan, Batangas, and Iloilo this summer focuses on balanced literacy, reading remediation and the need for continuous professional development for teachers of reading.”

HIDDEN TALENTS. Mikaela Lagdameo-Martinez, 30, is a mom of two: 10-year-old Noelle and six-year-old Tyler.

She expounded, “My son, Tyler, plays the drums and my daughter, Noelle, plays the guitar.

“I personally don't have the musical talent, but I just let them explore and learn on their own.

“Even biking and skateboarding... they learned things on their own."

In unity with Jenni and her husband about multiple intelligence, Mikaela offered, “You'll never know what talents or capabilities your children have until you give them the opportunity.”

Mikaela, a model, banker and entrepreneur, stated, “It's good that we recognize that multiple intelligence exists.

“If not for that, we would take things for granted.

“When we recognize multiple intelligence, the children actually feel more confident and they have a sense of accomplishment which makes them wanna do more.”

While she could not recall when she and her husband started espousing the concept of multiple intelligence, she has always been sure about encouraging the kids to learn something new always.

“I don't stop them, if they wanna do something, I always encourage them.

“Whether it's to take a new class or learn a new instrument, I have never stopped them.”

She affirmed that this philosophy has helped her kids.

The proud mom beamed, “I am surprised at all the amazing things they can do.

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“Sometimes they choose reading over playing video games,” she shared.

She further revealed that untypical of children born in the digital age, her kids can actually live without an iPad.

For the simple reason that she herself has eschewed an iPad nanny.

“Not for them, they prefer playing outdoors rather than staying home and playing video games,” Mikaela added.

She also related that her kids themselves have requested that they do and learn more.

“In fact, with my daughter, she was the one who asked me to enroll her in Kumon.

“My son was asking me to enroll him in swimming class because he wants to improve... to be better than his classmates next school year!

“I think it's because we always support them, and they trust that we will help them accomplish their dreams,” she affirmed.

Mikaela, who has a full-time job as VIP Services manager of SSI luxury brands, said her kids also understand her work.

“As for my nine to five job, sometimes I take them with me and I show them around.

“They know what I do and they're curious."

Mikaela related that her parents brought up their children to be “doctors, lawyers, engineers.”

With her own children, Mikaela said she strives to strike a healthy balance between the way she raises them and how she was nurtured by her parents.

“First of all, we listen to them because they both have different personalities.

“They have similar interests but at the same time, they like different things.

“They have different personalities, which we try to respect, and we encourage their strengths.

“This why, we unlock so many things, because we encourage and recognize their skills.”


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