TGSSS – The Great Soriano Summer Sweeps

15 April 2019

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I wanted the summer to be productive for me and my kids: not just a time for them to spend endless hours on their gadgets playing games and watching YouTube or me endlessly binging on Netflix on my free time. So I thought of this little gimmick. Presenting TGSSS (pronounced as it sounds, TGSSS, like […]

I wanted the summer to be productive for me and my kids: not just a time for them to spend endless hours on their gadgets playing games and watching YouTube or me endlessly binging on Netflix on my free time. So I thought of this little gimmick.

Presenting TGSSS (pronounced as it sounds, TGSSS, like a drop of water encountering the hot surface of a heated pan or grill and then steam rising)!!!

TGSSS or “The Great Soriano Summer Sweeps” involves weekly “projects” which each kid would embark on that would culminate in a “presentation” every Friday night, and a “reward” of their choice (depending on the “grade” of their final project) over the weekend.  Pretty much like their performance tasks in school, or the weekly tasks in a reality show a la (Pinoy) Big Brother.

Some ideas I suggested when I presented this activity were as follows:

Individual Tasks

  • Write a Poem (at least 5 stanzas)
  • Draw a Picture
  • Write a Short Story
  • Read a Book (available at the attic library) and then prepare a book report
  • Create/ Learn a Dance (and Perform it)
  • Write/Learn a Song (and Perform it)
  • Take 5 artistic photographs
  • Create a make-up look for a special occasion
  • Create a unique hairstyle
  • Learn/Write a scene and act it out
  • Take a summer class
  • Get driver’s license (for those 18 or over)
  • Cook a Dish

 

Group Tasks

  • Dance
  • Song
  • Skit
  • Solve a large puzzle

 

We just completed the first week and let me just say, it was a roaring success! The Week 1 presentation was done at 8:45 PM on April 12—call time was 8:00 PM but I was on a conference call (arg! Bad Mama!).

These were what I got from my two younger kids:

A dance number! I had to ask them to dress up as if it was a performance task in school and this was how I got my fireman with a necktie ensemble from my son (You have a bright future, my son! / May future ka anak!)

Okay, good start! It was just a bonus that when I started taking their video, the fireman coat began to glow because of the camera light! They both did a great job on the dance. I was smiling all throughout.

Then, I got these:

Lucas’s artwork

The first time I told the kids about the weekly projects, he already started drawing eyes. I am thinking there is some sort of a patriotic reason the eye ball has the Philippine flag sun drawn into it.

This is so Lucas. But he did try to mix in some oil pastels colors on the side, like a zombie marching into a rainbow!

This one is so adorable, and apart from the fold-out surprise, Lucas used Sharpie pens for the colors! This wasn’t totally completed when he gave it to me, so I asked him to color in the mouth while I watched.

In his own words, this is a REINDEER that becomes a SNOWMAN!

Don’t get too excited, this isn’t Lucas’s work, but it was included in his portfolio. This was done by his sister, Kristine, and she was kind enough to give it to him.

 

Kristine’s artwork

This was unfinished when she submitted it to me, so I asked Kristine to finish it in front of me. She was copying the image from her laptop.

I love the colors here, and she used oil pastels. She thought it was not pretty enough, so she pre-empted my “judgement” by adding #Fail. For me? Not a Fail!

She used charcoal pencil. Mine. But this is preeeeeetty! I realized she has real talent that can be nurtured!

She used just pencil here, but there’s something about the image that just makes me, well, sigh. Well done, indeed!

She likes the song — probably because it was sampled in “7 Rings” by Ariana Grande, but since I love everything Sound of Music, I appreciated this piece. She used Sharpie pens.


To say I was surprised, albeit pleasantly, is an understatement. I was very happy! Art makes me happy. My kids doing art makes me giddy. My kids being talented in art makes me delirious. And I can see the talent there that can be further nurtured and developed. That they tried different media also fills me with joy. Experimentation! Creativity!

My son even tried to pass off his cereal box puppet as part of his portfolio and I said, “Ah, you did this in school several weeks ago!” He said, “But it was still made by me, right?” Mmm… creative reasoning! He definitely has a future. Haha!

So, a successful first week. What reward did they request? As expected, Robox or RBX or the primary currency for the online game Roblox. But that is fine. My rule is that rewards cannot be repeated, so next week we might actually go out and do something! Can’t wait to see what they come up with next week!

Oh and I got dared…I should also do something every week, to show solidarity, so yeah, I say, bring it on!

I wonder if we can encourage my eldest kid and hubby to join!  Stay tuned for the Week 2 results!