Tuesday, December 29, 2009

28 Dec 2009

For the last two weeks, we have been travelling back and forth SG and KL. There are going to be more travelling until mid Jan. We are pretty much taking break from study or just do whatever we can.

When I was in SG and my DD, Den in KL, I gave her daily assignments like reading (small phonic reader books), math worksheets, Chinese reading, etc and asked my parents and sister in law to help make sure she did them. Well, she did half of what I gave her. Better than expect. :)

We have not been using Sonlight until today. We drove to SG yesterday (missed church again!!). I brought along some of Sonlight books with me this time. However, I cant bring too much since we are taking a flight back to KL this Thurs.

We are temporary staying in a very nice serviced apartment in SG. My DH, ST's company paid for it. Wish we could stay here forever but it is only for a month. So we shall fully utilized it as long as we can.

I didn't want to stay in the apartment the whole day, so Den and I went down to the resident launch to study this morning.

It was a good decision. The launch is very spacious with nice sofa and no one in there. We have the whole place all by our selves.

We are still in Sonlight week 3!! Hahaa! Den is so good with week 3 memory verse now since she has been reciting it for the past one month!! It is a good verse to remember though - Obey your parents for everything for this pleases the Lord! (Colosian 3:20)

We always start our study with memory verse, prayer and Bible study. However, the Word & Song Bible (under Bible) is too big for me to carry to SG, so I brought along a small comic book published by my church instead. It is a delightful Chinese comic book drew by a young sister from our church. It is about how we can glorify God in the roles that we play in lives - big and small - as long as we play it whole-heartedly.

After that, we started our Week 3 Science. We continued reading from the small book - Weather (under Science). Today we learned about the different type of clouds (we learned about this 2 years ago, so it was a good review for both of us), fog, snowflakes, hail and how lightning and thunder happened.We also did 2 pages of worksheets.

I planned to do the optional activity included in the schedule. However, cant find some of the things I needed here, so I had to skip that and may be do it in KL next week.

After that, she did a worksheet using Disney Princess Addition & Subtraction Workbook (under math). She is getting really fast with that. I have started teaching her carrying the tens unofficially -- as in I will do it with her whenever the math question required it but haven't let her do it herself. That is the next step in her math study (We are using Qdee's math) but I decided not to go into it yet until she is better with her addition and subtraction. I think she is ready now.

We took a break after that. She played at the outdoor and indoor playroom for awhile before we headed for our lunch at the shopping center next to our apartment. One thing I love about this serviced apartment is because it is so convenient. After lunch, I bought some food I needed for cooking soup tonight.

We resumed our study at the resident launch after we put the food back to our apartment. She read one of the small phonic reader book for me. Then I read a Chinese book from 怡学故事列车 (read more about this from my previous post http://homeschoolingmomjournel.blogspot.com/2009/09/for-review-info-on-most-of-books-i.html) for her and we did the activities at the end together.

After that, she did a worksheet from Developing the Early Learner Lever 3 (under Workbook). I planed to let her do 2-3 worksheets but it took her such a long time to finish one, so she ended up only did one.

We did a craft together after that. It is one of her Christmas presents - Glass Deco Art. We traced the pattern (included) on a piece of plastic using the black liner and after that we fill in the colors. We need to wait for 8 hours before we can peel the artwork from the plastic and stick it to the window or glass. We are going to peel it off tomorrow morning.

After that, we went to the play room again. We spotted some puzzle, books and board games we are interested when we came in this morning. So Den read a little bit (Barbie on Little Golden Book series!), then we tried play the Cinderella puzzle, but there were too many missing pieces, so we gave up. We gave up on the incomplete Mastermind too. Finally, we settled on monopoly.

I did not want to play that with her at first because I think she is still too young to play that. We ended up playing for an hour and she was quite good. She cant count the money...too many zero! I have to help her with that but she has a strategy...at least she claimed that's her strategy (I thought it was just luck!), she brought a whole block of properties and ended winning the game!! We had to stop playing after an hour because ST was back and we were going out for dinner.

We are going to do that again may be wed or Thurs. That was fun!

For review & info --For K books - http://www.squidoo.com/booksforK ;
Pre K books- http://www.squidoo.com/ahomeschoolingmomjornel

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! Wish you and family has a wonderful Christmas and a blessed new year ahead!

I shall resume my blog after Christmas and New Year! :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

17 Dec 2009

When my DH, ST is not around, there are a lot of things I have to do it my self. Since I have to be out running all the errants, my DD, Den has to tag along too. So we don't have much time in study.

We only manage to read a chapter from
Living Long Ago (under History) yesterday. We read about the ways of travel in Ancient Egypt. Thus concluded our study on Ancient Egypt. We did the reading quite late at night.

Den spent Tuesday nite in my parents house. My brother and sis in law came back from Aus for holiday. She is quite close with them and wanted to spend more time with them. I only get her back home after lunch. I let her practice piano and watch the new Yamaha DVD (book 3). I will be away this weekend and so she wont have time to practice before her class next Tues. She also finished the Yamaha homework.

Her friends, NN & SS came over to swim late in the afternoon. Then we went out for dinner with NN & SS family. By the time we get down to study, Den was quite tired. She kept yawning even though she insisted she can continue. I decided to stop after one chapter. We talked to ST on the phone and we read
Boxcar Children (under K Read Aloud) before bed. This is becoming our bedtime ritual.

Today we went for check up with the eye surgeon. After that was a series of errants to run - change tires, buy bus tickets, change one panel of Den's glasses, etc etc. By the time we reached home, it was 5pm. I was half dead and still need to prepare dinner.

I let her watch GoodTV while I caught my breath. I wished I can get all those GoodTV Chinse cartoon on DVD. Her Mandarin improved a lot by watching those cartoon. I know most of them are translated from English cartoon but they are all good translation. Hopefully, we will get good Chinese cartoon in SG because I don't think I will be able to continue to subscribe to GoodTV in SG...hmmm...something I have to find out.

For those of you who have not subscribe to GoodTV, I highly recommend it. You pay RM450 one time and that's all. That covers satellite disc, decoder & installation. Good duel! It come with 2 Taiwan Christian channels and 3 more Taiwan channels (public tv, that kind of thing). You never have to pay any monthly fees. Most importantly, your kids will enjoy learning Mandarin! :)

Any way, we had simple dinner and then I decided instead of studying, I let her practiced more on piano. She wont have access to piano for the next few days. So we only read one chapter on Ancient Greece in
Children Encyclopedia (under history). I had not check out the internet links, so I did not show her any. I prefer to check all the links my self first. Some of the link are too difficult for her.

Just now, after she sleep, I check out the links and found the BBC link quite interesting. You can see the Greek play here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/primaryhistory/ancient_greeks/greek_world/ ;
and design a Greek pot here:

I'm going to show her this two links may be tomorrow...hmm..hard to say...another busy day ahead.

For review & info --
For K books -
http://www.squidoo.com/booksforK (updated14 Dec 2009);
on Pre K books-

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

15 Dec 2009

As usual, a very busy Tuesday. Sometime I wonder why I always gets lots of phone calls on Tuesday. I have one call on Monday and today, the already busy Tuesday, I got 11 calls!!

Den woke up at 11am. Second day in the row woke up with dry diaper!! Yeah! Den only used diaper when she sleep at night and I have not been pushing her in not using it. She usually sleeps 10-12 hours at night and I think it is hard for her not using diaper. I don't want to wake her up during the middle of the night to go to toilet. So I basically just waiting for her to be ready her self.

I did the same thing with her toilet training. I started when she was around 1.5 year old. I let her went without diaper for a week or so (when we were at home) and after a week she still could not pass urine in the toilet in time, so I think she was not ready and continued to let her wore diaper.

I did not pushed, just tried again when she was 1 years and 8 months old. Again when she was 2 years old. Finally, at 2 years and 3 months old, after a week without diaper, she could always go to toilet in time. From that week onward, she goes diaper free during the day time. She almost never had any "accident".

However, she still insisted she need to pass motion in the diaper...because she need to stand up to do her big business!! haha! It was rather funny, every time, when she need to go, we had to put a new diaper (since she was no longer wearing any diaper during the day time) for her so that she can past motion in the new diaper.

I continued to wait and wait and finally at the age of 4 years old, she can pass motion in toilet.

With this previous experience, I decided I was not going to push her into not using diaper at night. I would wait til she is ready. I think may be she is almost ready now. =D

Back to our schedule today. We did not have much time to study as usual. We only have about 45 min. So we review our week 3 verse --- we started this 2 weeks ago! (Many things happened in the last 2 weeks - my dad has an heart operation, my grandpa passed away, we went to SG and came back). Then we listen to Joseph story using The Word & Song Bible (under Bible & Christian Book). We put in Joseph sticker in the Book of Time (under History).

After that we only have time for one story from James Herriot's Treasury for Children (under Sonlight Read Aloud). Today we read about Mr. John Skipton & his carthorses - Dolly and Bonny. Mr. Skipton loves them very much, they worked hard for him and with him and now even though he was no longer using them as carthorses (replaced by tractor), he continued to take care of them and loved them.

At the suggestion of the author, James Herriot, the veterinarian, Mr. Skipton dressed Bonny up and enter her into the Family Pets contest. Nobody expect a carthorse in a Family Pets contest. At first, the Secretary refused to let Bonny enter the contest (Den's eyes started to get misty at this point) but Herriot vouched for Bonny & Mr. Skipton and finally they were allowed to enter the contest. Not only that, they won the first prize!

It is such a heart warming story!! You can feel Mr. Skipton's love for his horses and V.S. and also the loves and companionship between the two horses! We love this book!

Den bagged me to continue but I had to cook lunch, so I let her work on two worksheets from Developing The Early Learner (under Workbook). Ha! We were supposed to finish this last year but now we are just in the middle of book 3!

We had fried rice for lunch. Then Den practiced her concert pieces. Her Yamaha concert was last Tuesday but we were away in Sitiawan for my grandpa's funeral, so she missed her concert. I thought her teacher might want her to perform tonight, so I asked her to practice (and I was right).

After that, ballet, came home, bath, dinner and went out again for Yamaha. Today was the last ballet class for this year. It will only resume classes on Jan 2010. We still have Yamaha next Tuesday, but no Yamaha on 29 Dec.

Den performed 2 songs in class. She did not do as well as she did in Book 1. I think it was because teacher asked her to perform at the end of the class. She was kind of tired. However, she was happy with her performance, so I did not say anything to discourage her.

Thank you for some of your emails in encouraging me after my last posting. Don't worry, I am alright. I struggled when I wrote my last posting, I'm not sure if I want to write about my panic. Finally, I decided to be as honest as possible in writing my blog, so that it might be of help for those who go tru the same thing.

Do I missed ST? Of cause. Other than in 1995, when he graduated one semester before me and came back to MLY in Aug (I came back in Dec same year), we have never been apart for so long. Especially when he was on long leaves for the past 6 months and we were together all the time.

Having said that, other than yesterday morning panic attack, I am pretty confident that God will empower me in everything. He is my Shepard and His rod and His staff comfort me. I shall not be in want. Thank you for all your prayers.

For review & info --
For K books -
http://www.squidoo.com/booksforK (updated14 Dec 2009);
on Pre K books-

1st day without ST

My DH, ST started work today in SG.

Den & I went down to SG with him last Thurs and only came home last night.

This is our first day without him.

It finally kicked in this morning when I woke up that I would have to be responsible for the whole household as well as Den all by my self. I went into panic mode for a few minutes.

After I calm down enough to list down the things I need to do this week and put them into priority, I felt much better. Then I told my self to take it easy. Crossed out the things that were important but not urgent like cooking (which involve grocery shopping first!), we can always start that next week. So I sms my friend CST to go out for lunch.

I decided to just do the bare minimum today. Urgent and Important. Instead of cleaning the whole house today, I just cleared away all the stuffs from travelling and washed the clothes - laundry as well as hand washed and also clean the toilet. Vacuuming can wait.

Study would have to wait too. While I clean the house, Den was happily drawing and playing with her new pet - a tortoise - Christmas gift from her grandpa. (ST screamed: "I was away for only one day and now there is an animal in our house????")

We had white porridge for dinner. Just put some sesame source, light soya sources & pepper. Heard that it is good for digestion. Since we had been eating so much outside food, it was a good break for our digestion system...and also the fact that we had an almost empty refrigerator!

At first I planned to do some study after dinner, but my parents wanted to see Den. I think they might be a bit worry that we were alone. So I decided to bring Den over for a visit. While Den entertained them (or VS), I sorted out ST mail. He has been handling all our financial stuffs, now I need to learn to read all those letters from banks!

I struggled if I should go to Giant to buy some grocery but finally decided against it (I don't like to buy in Giant). I just took some eggs, onion and meat from my mom! Yes! Can cook tomorrow.

After we came home, Den took bath, get ready for bed, talked to ST on the phone and finally we only had time to read one chapter of
Box Car Children (under Sonlight K Read Aloud). We started the book in Sitiawan two weeks ago, when we went back there for my grandpa's funeral.

I read it the night before I intend to read for her and could not put down the book. I ended up reading the book in one shot. It is interesting, adventure of 5 orphans trying to make it on their own. The story is cheerful and uplifting and very easy to read. I thought Den would love it and I was right.

This is our second chapter book but it is much easy to read than the first The Milly-Molly-Mandy Story Book (under Read Aloud) in Pre K. Hmm..

This is Den's drawing of the boxcar that orphans stayed in. (For more on her drawing, check out my posting at http://homeschoolingmomjournel.blogspot.com/2009/10/dens-drawing-progress.html )

As a whole, I think we are doing great on our first day without ST. Pray that we will be able to say the same thing tomorrow.

For review & info --
For K books -
http://www.squidoo.com/booksforK (updated14 Dec 2009);
on Pre K books-

Saturday, December 5, 2009

5 Dec 2009

It was a rather eventful week - both of my brothers came back from oversea, then one left for China again, my dad had a heart operation, my grandpa is hospitalized and in the mist of all these, my DH, ST is busy packing for his job in SG starting middle of this month. We did not have any sit down and study time until yesterday. However, Den did worksheets and read from Fun Tales (under Sonlight K Reader)(we are down to Book 25, two more to go) whenever she can.

Yesterday, finally, we had time to sit down and studied. We finished off Sonligh Week 2. We did the memory verse, listen to Bible reading (Rebbecca's twins) and did all the Science books for week 2.

We focused on weather in week 2.Water cycle, windy weather, rainbows, snowflakes, storms and floods. Other than the Children Encyclopedia (Under Science), we also started a new book called Weather (under Science). It is a small book from Usborne as well. Colorful and interesting.

We cant do the experiments this week because it focus on the concept of hot air are lighter (don't think I know about that before this!). All the experiments require heater!! haha! Cant find heater (lots of AC though) so cant do it. We read about the experiments in the
Usborne Science Activities Vol 2 (under Science) and also watched how they raise the hot air balloon in InquisiKids DVD (under Science). I think Den get the idea.

We also did the Science worksheets that come with Science Curriculum and read a Chinese story book I bought from the Big Bad Book Sales. It is about a little mouse who thought he is not a mouse because he is fairer than all his friends and thus he begin his journey in search of his "true identity". At first he think he might be a white cat, then he think he is a polar bear. At last, he realize he is a truly a mouse and goes back to his home happily.

I bought almost 2 boxes fulled of books in the sales. It was really wonderful. I only paid RM3 for this book.

Today, we started on Week 3. We have a new Bible Verse that started with "C":

"Children, obey your parents for everything, for this pleases the Lord."
~ Colosians 3:20

Den remember we studied this verse in Pre K. She was right, we did. In pre K, we did the shorter version - Children, obey your parents".

We read one history lesson from Living Long Ago (under History). It talks about the food that Ancient Egyptian eat (surprised to find out it was very similar to what we eat now!) and suddenly we felt like making bread because it talks about how the Egyptian made bread.

So we stop our lesson and proceeded to the kitchen. We ended up baking a coffee cake!=D Have not been baking and it felt good to bake again.

While waiting for the cake to bake, we did the read aloud. We read 2 pages of mother goose and 3 wonderful modern poems from The Llama Who Had No Pajamas (under rhymes & poem) and we started a new book - James Herriot's Treasury for Children (under Sonlight K read aloud). While I prepared for the lesson this morning, before Den woke up, I already knew she is going to love this book. True enough, she fallen in love with the book.

It is a collection animals stories, telling from a country vet's point of view. It is also wonderfully illustrated. Today we read about a story of two dogs in Only One Woof. Gyp & Sweep were brothers and best friends. Sweep was sold by his owner and Gyp missed him. Gyp was a silence dog, he never ever bark, until one day - one year after Sweep was sold, he saw Sweep in a sheepdog competition and make one bark - "Woof!" when Sweep won the competition.

Sweep came over and the two rolled and played together as if they had never been apart. Den's eyes was filled with tears and she said she was too happy for the dogs.

I told her, real friends will always be friends even if we are separated by time and space....trying to prepare her for separating from her friends when we move down to SG.

After that, we did a chapter in Come and Look with Me: Enjoying Art With Children (under Art). It is actually not in Sonlight K schedule, I bought it as an additional because we both enjoyed A Child's Book Of Art (under Art & Picture Dictionary) in pre K very very much.

Come and Look with me is different from A Child's book of Art. We only look at one picture at one time (instead of a group of pictures that share the same theme in A Child's Book of Art). Besides the picture, it also listed discussion questions and the artist background. So far, we enjoy it very much too.

For review & info --
For K books - http://www.squidoo.com/booksforK(updated 5 Dec 2009);
on Pre K books- http://www.squidoo.com/ahomeschoolingmomjornel

Monday, November 30, 2009

29 Nov 2009

We did not study much on Sat. We planned to do quite a lot since we had the late afternoon and evening free.

We went for a buffet branch with my DH family in the morning which continued to mid afternoon. My sister in law, JY gave Den a very cute hello kitty key chain and along with a pink fake key. Den was very fascinated with the fake key.

She came home and tried it on every door locks in the house and realized it wont fit any of them! (She really thought it might fit at least one or two!!) So she decided since it wont fit the real locks, she would pretend it would fit the imaginary locks.

With the key, she "locked" my walk in closet (btw, it doesn't have any lock) and every time before I can go into the closet, I have to ask her to "unlock" it first.

After that she declared it was the key for her cardboard house.

We got the cardboard house from our friends, the Yu family 4 years ago. Yu family was moving down to SG and hired mover to move their furniture. I fallen in love with one the boxes that the mover provided for them to hang their clothes. It looked like a perfect house for Den (1+ at that time). Our friend gave one for us and their kids decorated it and call it "Den's house"

We cut out door and windows and Den used to love to play with it. Hide in there and pretend that's her house. But recently she had not been playing much with it. In fact, I only been keeping it with us for the sentimental reason and also because it is rather popular with some of the younger kids who sometime come to our house. I had been toying with the idea of giving it away.

Then out of the blue, because of the fake key, Den decided to play house. She pretty much drag me along (I was not a willing participant at first...half way reading the novel I bought from book sales...) and we ended up played for more than one hour at the box. I did struggle in my heart and wanted to lead her to more "constructive" activities ---like study and homework....but then she was having fun, so I decided to continue to play. Honestly, the thought of "study" kept crossing my mind, I had to keep rejecting it. :)

We went out for dinner after that and did some grocery shopping. Den also played at the Giant indoor play ground.

We did a bit of study after we reach home. I found out we had not finished our history study for week 2. So we read two chapter from Living Long Ago (under History) - One on Ancient Egyptian clothes (make up, jewel, etc) and the other on the Ancient Egyptian villa.

Den decided she wanted to be an Ancient Egyptian because they put on make up, wore jewels, wigs and lots of perfume (both men and women). :-)

The day before, she found out that one of the Pharaoh had three wives. It was a big shock to her since she always thought 1 husband with only 1 wife. I explained long time of ago (or even not so long ago), most of the kings married a lot of wives. She contemplate about that for some time then she announced that since she is a princess, she is going to take 3 husbands when she grow up. :-)

For review & info --
For K books - http://www.squidoo.com/booksforK (updated 26 Nov 2009);
on Pre K books- http://www.squidoo.com/ahomeschoolingmomjornel

Friday, November 27, 2009

27 Nov 2009

Den was sick (suddenly) on Tuesday night - flu, cough and slight fever, so we have not being doing much this week.

We have a new verse from Act 16:31
Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved - you and your household.

We had 2 Bible lessons using the Word and Song Bible (under Bible & Christian Stories) in which we learned about Abraham's suprise (having a baby at 100 years old) and Abrahma obey (sacrified Isaac) as well as songs that goes with the lesson.

We also put Abraham(2100 BC) and Isaac(2066BC) stickers into our Book of Time.

We finished our read aloud for the week today - 3 pages of the Real Mother Goose & 2 pages of The Llama Who Had No Pajamas (both under Rhymes & Poem)

We also read a short story about two teenage American girls volunteered in India in I Heard Good News Today (Under Bible & Christian Stories). My almost 5 years old dd, Den was deeply moved by the story (she had tears in her eyes) and wanted to do volunteer work when she grew up. I am very happy to hear that. That is a big change from a year ago. The last time I asked her, she said she did not want to be a missionary because she didnt want to stay in poor places and without the comfort of her home. I think she has a soft spot for little children and animals.

It was rather painful for her when we read about how the first people hunt for aninmals and used them for food, clothes, shelter, lamp, etc. She almost cannot continued the lesson until I told her the first people used every part of the animals (meat=food; skin=clothes; bone=veapon; fat=lamp; skeleton=shelter, etc) and they never just killed the animals for sports or for fun, then she kind of accepted it.

This week history lesson was not so hard on her. We read about :

  • The first farmer - from hunter, human had learn to plant with seed and progressed to become farmers. We look at the pictures of the early settlement Catalhoyuk in http://www.smm.org/catal/introduction/

  • The Ancient Egypt - We look at the how they used to make mammies (I think it is a bit scary but Den took it in strick.) and heiroglyphps (Ancient Egyptian writing) in a very interesting site http://www.childrensuniversity.manchester.ac.uk/interactives/history/egypt/makeamummy.asp . For scrap book, I printed out the heiroglyphps alpebets and numbers for Den and asked her to write her name in heiroglyphps.

  • We also learn about how the first people traveled. We use the pipe cleaners and plastic bag to make a coracle.

We have not have the time for Chinese and Science yet. Hopefully we can do it tomorrow.

For review & info --
For K books - http://www.squidoo.com/booksforK (updated 26 Nov 2009);
on Pre K books- http://www.squidoo.com/ahomeschoolingmomjornel

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The New K Program Part III - Science

Finally, I am going to write about Sonlight K Science Program. It is not included in the Sonlight K core. I added in because I have been very impressed by sonlight's science so far. Den and I enjoyed all the science reading in PreK program (it was part of PreK core program).

Sonlight science curriculum follow a spiral pattern of education which mean it touch "on certain topic once, twice, may be even three times at different point in one year, then returning to the same topics tow or three more times over he next several years. This way the basic vocabulary of science becomes ingrained not only in short-term, but also long -term memory." (K science IG)

These are some of the main books we used in science:

1.The Usborne Internet-Linked Children's Encyclopedia - The same one we use in History. You can read more about this book in my previous blog The New K Program Part II- History and additional review here (under Science).

2. The Usborne Book of Science Activities Vol 2 (Under Science) -This is a color book that filled with interesting and yet easy experiments for young kids to do. I already have quite a few books on science experiments but I have to say this is one most suitable for young kids (age 4 to upper primary). It has pictures to illustrate every experiments and none of them are too time consuming. Den is very much looking forward to this every week.

3. Inquisikids Discover & Do Level K (Unders Science) Sonlight actually produced this to go hand in hand with the Usborn book of Science Activities Vol 2. It show you exactly how to do the experiment. Good addition even though it is not necessary.

4. Science Worksheet - In the IG (instructor's guide), it include worksheets for every week. I think it is great.

For the 1st week, in the Children Encyclopedia, we studied a few interrelated subjects. True to its spiral education philosophy, we already studied some of the subjects in Pre K and now we are going deeper.

Tru the internet link we looked at some of the eclipse picture and also animation on the way Earth spin at its axis and travels around the sun at the same time.

Air is all around us even though we can see it, so we did a few easy experiments from Usborne Book of Science Activities Vol 2 to prove that.

Before we did the experiments, we watch 3 short video clips from the Inquisikids DVD. In the DVD, it explained how to be a scientist:

1. Hypothesis (Guess): I told Den what we are going to do and ask her to guess the result;

2. Experiment (Activity)

3. Conclusion (Result): We are supposed to keep an journal on the conclusion of the experiments we did. So I decided to ask Den to draw the conclusion in her scrapbook.

It was a fun way to learn. Den has been bagging me to teach her every day. :)

For review & info --
For K books - http://www.squidoo.com/booksforK (updated 26 Nov 2009);
on Pre K books- http://www.squidoo.com/ahomeschoolingmomjornel

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

the New K program Part II- History

One of the main reason I choose Sonlight is because it emphasize on History. Starting from K program, history make up the main chunk of the program.

I think it is very important to know history because
  • History is HIS(God) story
  • A person who does not know her history would not be able to understand the current situation fully neither can she foresees the future.

Sonlight K program is called "Introduction to the World: Cultures". It aims to

  • "acquaint children with the fascinating realities of other places, cultures and times."
  • help "children to sense that there is a great big wonderful world out there to discover."
  • help children "to acquire an appreciation for what God has done through His people". (From K- IG)

For the first week we look at Dinosaur as well as how the lifestyle of the first people. Mainly, we use 2 books:

1. The Usborne Internet-Linked Children's Encyclopedia (Under Science): I cant say enough good thing about this book. Sweden is calling it our precious book because it explain so many things. We use it in History as well as in Science. It is in full color and it make study fun. The best thing about it is you can go to its website, key in the page number and it links you to all kind of interesting sites.

For example, this week, when we studied about Dinosaurs, it give us sites that have animation of T-rax, Pterosaurs, etc. It was really cool. When we studied about first people and cave painting, we used the link to looked at the painting at the cave at Lascaux, did a Ice Age survival test. etc etc.

I highly recommends this book to any 4-5 years old to higher primary. It is well worth your money.

2. The Usborne book of Living Long Ago (Under History): It goes hand in hand with the Children Encyclopedia. It give more detail in the area of clothing, homes, food & transport. For example when we read about the first people in the Encyclopedia, then we read the detail of how the first people make their clothes, where did they stay, etc in this book.

3. Sonlight Book of Time (under History): This is a very important part of sonlight history curriculum. The time line. It printed timeline from 5000BC to 2050AD. It has two section, yellow color paper for BC, white paper for Ad.

It comes with pre-printed blk & wht time line figures that we can stick to the book, see the example below: We stick Adan & Eve at 5000BC.

This is a very good way to teach kids about the concept of Time. At first I was thinking of making the book my self, but then I need one that can last for years. So after much consideration, I decided to order from Sonlight. I was not disappointed. It was printed on heavy duty paper stocks.

Den and I are going to put our family history in there too - 1999 our wedding, 2005 her birth year, etc.

It is getting really "early", I need to go to sleep. I will have to write about the Science next time. Remember to check out the new book review site for more info on the books.

For review & info on Pre K books- http://www.squidoo.com/ahomeschoolingmomjornel ;
For K books - http://www.squidoo.com/booksforK (updated 24 Nov 2009)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Nov Week 4 - the new K program Part I

We managed to finished Sonlight PreK program two weeks ago. There are only two books we have not finished:

  1. The Complete Adventures of Peter Rabbit (under Read Aloud 2): We finished the first 3 stories and then accidentally left the book in my mom house and kept forgetting to take it home...so we have to wait to finish the last story.

  2. New Toes for Tia (Under Bible & Christian Stories 2): A wonderful true story from OMF. We finished the first 2 chapters and have not get around in reading the rest. It is a very small book and easy to carry out, so I have been trying to save it for when we were out somewhere (doc office, grandparent house, restaurant, etc), so far we have not getting around in finishing it.

We started our new K program last week. It was wonderful. Always happy to start new things.

Compare to the Pre K, Sonlight K program IG (Instructor's Guide) is much better organized and more in depth. It came with discussion questions before and after the reading for most of the books.

Sonlight K focus on History. I added in the Science. So for the year of 2010, Den main focus of study is going to be history and science. I think it is a perfect combination.

K program come with Bible and Bible verse CD but somehow or rather, I did not order that. Hmmm.. So any way, I searched tru my collection and found the perfect solution:

For bible this year, we are using The Word & Song Bible (Under Bible & Christian Stories). It come with a 5 pack CD. The CD narrates all the 116 Bible stories in this Bible (at least one from each book of the Bible) and also sings the 75 songs (lyrics and music score printed in this Bible). It is an interesting change from last year Bible reading.

For the first week of K program, our Bible verse is :

"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" ~Roman 3:23

The bible verse for K program is going to go from A to Z. So first week it start with "A"ll and second week is going to start with "B".

For Bible Reading, we covered Creation, Adam & Eve's Sin and Noah Ark.

Other than Bible reading, we also read a chapter each week from a Christian book called I heard Good News Today (Under Bible & Christian Stories). It is a book written to be read aloud by pastors, Sunday school teachers, parents, etc to the children. It has 96 short stories about mission work all around the world.

For week one we read about how an African boy Hosi accepted Christ and went back to his village to share the good news.

For read aloud, we have 2 poem books:

1. The Rea Mother Goose: ANOTHER MOTHER GOOSE! That's my first thought. We have been reading mother goose since Den was 2 years old. I was not looking forward to this one but Den love it. She love every mother goose books any way. Compared to last year, we are reading in a faster pace. For PreK, it was one rhyme per day, in K, we read 2-4 rhymes per day.

2.In Pre K, we have Animals Animals (Under Rhymes & Poem), in K we have The Llama Who Had No Pajamas (Under Rhymes & Poem). We love this new book. It has 100 poems and so far we loved them very much. It is a great book to help kids to fall in love with poetry. To read one example of the poems, press here.

Thats all for now. for the History and Science Lesson and Books, I will leave them for Part 2. I really need to go to sleep. :)

For review & info on Pre K books- http://www.squidoo.com/ahomeschoolingmomjornel (updated 23 Nov 2009) ; For K books - http://www.squidoo.com/booksforK (updated 23 Nov 2009)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Scolding = improving?

Den cried in her ballet class yesterday. I did not know about it until one of the mother sms me at night.

I was in the line dance class while she was in her ballet class. She seemed to be her active and cheerful self after the class and never mentioned anything.

Usually I would ask her how was the class and did teacher call her name (she likes to talk in class). Some how, yesterday, I forgot to ask her.

After I received the sms, I asked her about it. At first she denied.

I talked to her for a few minute and ST threaten to call her teacher and finally she told us she cried because her teacher scolded her. When I asked her why her teacher scolded her, she claimed she had forgotten (whenever she wanted to avoid a topic, she always said she forgotten).

After a few min more in talking to her, finally she admitted teacher scolded her because she cannot remember her steps. She also claimed, half the classes didn't remember their steps and was scolded by teacher too. She was the only one that cried though.

We were at Yamaha when we confronted her. So when we reached home, I hug her and talked to her more. I talked to her about why she cried and why she did not want us to find out what happened.

She admitted she felt shameful because she cant remember her steps. She wanted to be the BEST in everything she do (she has been a perfectionist since young, I have been trying hard in changing that). She cannot accept she is not doing as well as some others.

I talked to her about how God give everyone different gift and how impossible and unfair it will be for anyone to be BEST in everything. She thought about it and told me she wanted to be BEST in ballet and Yamaha then (sigh!). She also claimed she wanted to teach ballet and piano when she grow up! (That's news to me! Not sure if that's just to justified her wants in being the best.)

I told her I'm the second to last in my line dance class. I'm really bad in anything physical. She must be taken after me. :)

I told her I understood how hard it can be in remembering steps. She felt better after she knew I'm the second to last in my class. Then she wanted to know who is the last. After that she tried to comfort me and told me she thought everyone dance well in my class including me.

After that, she had enough hug hug and ran to play her things and left me pondering about what I really want to write about today -- can we improve kid's performance by scolding?

I'm not angry with her ballet teacher or anything like that. Sweden cried easily anyway. But just that this make me think about how we use scolding in hope of correcting any wrong in our kids. Is it effective? Will it ever work?

I am really one of the worst dancer in my line dance class. Just imagine, if my teacher start scolding me, will it make me a better dancer? Will it help to make me remember my steps? Off cause NOT! It will only make me more nervous and making more mistakes.

That led to self reflection. Do I scold Sweden in hope that she will listen and improved?

I seldom scold her during study. Whenever she has anything she don't understand or make any careless mistake, I just make her do it again and again. I don't see the point of getting angry. The only time I scolded her during study was when she was not paying attention. But then even that, I found it not effective. So nowadays, whenever she is loosing her concentration, I ask her to run a few rounds to clear her mind and come back to study or change the subject and come back to it later. So I don't usually get angry when we study.

Someday, it takes her forever to decode(read) the phonic paragraph (in Teach Your To Read In 100 Easy Lessons), to keep my self from being impatient, I read my newspaper while listening to her read.

Getting angry with her for other stuff is another matter. I scold her whenever I feel it it something she is able to do but do not do it properly. For example, taking hours to finish her meal, taking forever to get ready, absent minded, character flaws, pestering, etc. One of the things that really get on my nervous is when she takes more than 1 hours sleeping on the bed before she fallen asleep.

But then I asked my self, can scolding improve all that? The answer is may be some but really not much. First of all, some of the stuffs I put under this category of "things she is able to do but not doing them properly", is my assumption that she can in control of these things, but can she really?

We all have sleepless night, we can force our selves to sleep, may be she has the same problem, even though I perceived as she doesn't close her eyes or she is playing with her fingers or etc.

Can scolding improve absent minded? If yes, then may be I should get someone to start scolding me.

It is much more productive and not to mention speedier when I continue to stay at the dinning table with her after I finished my meal. Scolding or withdrawing privilege don't seems to work too well.

Character flaw? Don't we all wish we can scold our kids out of dishonesty, etc. We can always hope. :)

I supposed I need to find a better way than scolding. :(

It mean more work on my part - more patient- but then the best thing about motherhood is making us more Christ like! :)

Friday, November 13, 2009


ST, my dh of 10 years seldom gives me any presents. He is not stingy, just refused to give gift out of principle. But that is another story. Today I want to tell you about what my 4 almost 5 years old dd, Den gave me.

But before I can tell what she gave me, I have to tell you, what my dh gave me last year. After years of bugging, he finally decided he to make an effort and bought me a heart shape porcelain box as my birthday present last year. Not only that, he printed out 10 massage coupons and put them inside the box. The idea was I can take out the coupons and claim massages from him. So sweet of him.

Den saw it and loved the idea (may be because she saw how very happy I was). She also loves the box. Every morning, after she wakes up, she will tiptoes into my closet and looks at the porcelain box. Off cause she also make me promised to give her the box after I die. :)

For my birthday this year, she decided to imitate her dad dad. She spent 2 nights in her room cutting and drawing and finally produced a few coupons for me! There are so cute!

She has things like - dancing together at night, foot massage, playing piano for me, etc etc. She don't spell well yet, so she draw instead. Then she put them into a plastic bag, sealed with lots of colorful cellophane tape and stickers. She put the plastic bag into a nice box and gave it to me today. She told me I can take out the coupons and claim the presents whenever I want.
For this coupon: She will pick flowers for me.
For this coupon: She will pick berries for me!!! She got the idea from Milly Molley Mandy (Under Read Aloud).
She doesn't care if it make any sense!
For this coupon: She will massage me.
Btw, every of this coupon, I can use 20 times.

For this coupon: She will dance with me at night (Sunset on the right).
This is the etc coupon: she will walk with me in rain, walk on my back, etc etc.

She imitate her dad dad and did exactly what he did.

Once again, this reminded me --our actions everyday are making a profound imprint in our children's lives. They imitate the way we talk, the way we act, the way we respond. Even though, imitation is the highest form of flattery, it scare me to death too.

Me! The imperfect Me! She is imitating the bad temper, impatient, imperfect Me! Everyday! Every minutes!

I got panic when I pondered upon one of the reflection questions in the book that I'm reading (The mentoring Mom by Jackie Kendall). It asked, "In what ways do you want your child to grow up to be like you?"

Right away, all the answers that sprang up were negative : I don't want her to be as bad temper as me, I wish she is more gentle, more loving, more patient than me, more tidy, more hardworking.....the list goes on. IT DOESN'T SEEMS LIKE I WANT HER TO GROW UP TO BE LIKE ME AT ALL! Period.

It took me sometime before I can stop all those negative thoughts and focus on the good quality in me. You see, I can wish she is a lot better than me but most probably she is going to turn out a lot like me. So I force my self to think of some of the good things I wish her to imitate:

  • Dare to be different

  • Be a critical thinker; don't follow blindly

  • Love, obey and seek God

  • Willing to be changed by God

  • Optimistic by putting my trust/hope/faith in God

  • Love reading.
I don't usually filled with self doubt. I know my value in God's eyes. But somehow, when I think about Den is going to grow up like me, it really freak me out! Praying hard for God to cover all my shortcomings. :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

10 Nov 2009

For review & info on most of the books I mentioned here, please goes to http://www.squidoo.com/ahomeschoolingmomjornel (updated 10 Nov 2009) & http://homeschoolingmombookreview.blogspot.com/

We finished week 34 yesterday and most of week 35 today. We started a new verse, Philippians 3:1 -
"Whatever happens, dear friends, be glad in the LORD"

We also finished reading the Chinese book we started last week -顽皮一夏

I had a meeting last night so we went out late in the afternoon. So we were a bit behind than what I planned. But then that is usually the case. :)

We went to the Time bookstore in Hartamas Shopping Center before meeting to look for Wee Sing Cd for a friend in SG. The bookstore has recently renovated and it no longer carry Wee Sing Cd. That is sad. Den love Wee Sing. We have 5 or 6 of them. It usually has 60-100 plus songs in a Cd and it comes with book with lyrics and music score.

We had our 1st Wee Sing CD -We Sing Animal Animal Animal (under CD Book) from Trisha & Sasha (a very good children bookstore that closed down last year) when Den was 2 years old. We fallen in love with the CD right away. Later on we got a few more titles from Borders and Time Book store.

If any one see this CD any place please let me know.

Today is the busy Tuesday. We only had time for two writing worksheet - one Chinese and one Handwriting Without Tears before Ballet, since Den woke up at Noon! But then she slept at 1am last night.

After we came back from Yamaha, we managed to read 4 stories. We almost finished all the Sonlight Pre K books. It was hard for us to say good bye to some of the books that we had been using since July last year. But then at the same time we are very excited about the K books. If it goes well, we are going to start some K books next week.

I planned to sell off Sonlight Pre K book after we finished. At least that was the plan at the beginning, so that I will have the fund to buy the new books. However, we love the books so much so much that we cant imagine selling them off. So we are keeping all our books...for now.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Week 1 Nov 2009

For review & info on most of the books I mentioned here, please goes to http://www.squidoo.com/ahomeschoolingmomjornel & http://homeschoolingmombookreview.blogspot.com/

We finished week 33 last week.
We have a new verse from Proverbs 11:1-
"The LORD hates cheating but HE delights in honesty."

Its an easy verse. Den memorized it right away.

The Bible reading is about Last supper and Easter. So I decided to read 8 chapters in one sitting. From The last supper to prayer in Gethsemane to arrested, judged, crucified to resurrection. I think it is easier to get the big picture that way. It was quite a long reading though.

We also continue on the science book, Why Do Tigers Have stripes? (under Science) Very good book. Den loved it very much. So far we enjoyed sonlight's science books very very much. Too bad our local bookstores do not carry any of these books.

Den also continue to work on math, phonic and writing worksheets.

We read 1.5 Chinese books. Our friend lend us a few Chinese books that are published by China 南京师范大学. There are meant to be used in China Kindie. We love the books and have been reading them. For every book, there is a theme, then there are stories, poems, game, facts about plants or animals and even songs that are related to the theme. This is the example of one of the book we used:

This is the story for this book.
One of the many poem in the book. Some are modern poem like this one and some are 文言文

I like this part very much, it always has a section on plants or animals.

Some time it will include a song. With the music score, I can play it on the piano and learn the song.
I don't think we can buy this locally. Wish we can.
We are going very slowly with our Chinese flash card but her vocal vocub seems to improve a lot. So I am trying not to panic. :)

Friday, October 30, 2009

30 & 31 Oct 2009

For review & info on most of the books I mentioned here, please goes to http://www.squidoo.com/ahomeschoolingmomjornel (updated 30 Oct 2009) & http://homeschoolingmombookreview.blogspot.com/

We finished week 32 yesterday! :)

I did not use the verse for week 32 because Den is still not too familiar with week 31 verse. So we continue to practice week 31 verse.

We started a new Science book in week 32 - Why Do Tigers Have Stripes? (under Science 2). It is an interesting book about how animal camouflage. We read 4 pages today that talk about how animals use their body color and pattern to hide from their enemies and prays. We will continue this book for the next few weeks.

I also taught her about adding large number without carrying, for example 22+54. It is a logical steps after our last lesson 2 weeks ago about learning the tens and ones (pls read detail here). She was a bit confused at the beginning, then I realized I need to give her some review on the tens and ones (since it was taught 2 weeks ago and even though she insisted she still remember the lesson). After that, she did a few exercises without problem.

Today she did another 5 questions on this. She only spend about 10 min on it, much faster than yesterday. I intend to continue to let her do exercises everyday until she can master it before I will teach her subtracting large number.

Last night we went to MPH and I found a Kumon's Word Problem math workbook for grade 1. I choose a few questions from different sections and tested her. I was pleasantly surprised that she had no problem with all the questions I asked her. From the way she came out with the answers, I can tell that she really understand the concept of adding, subtracting and number relationship.

Today, I need to prepared tomorrow Sunday School lesson so just let her did her math and writing exercises and asked ST to read 2 Bible stories with her. The rest of the time, she spent it playing card games, puzzles and swimming with ST.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

28 Oct 2009

For review & info on most of the books I mentioned here, please goes to http://www.squidoo.com/ahomeschoolingmomjornel (updated 28 Oct 2009) & http://homeschoolingmombookreview.blogspot.com/

For the past one week and this week, we had been very hardworking. Even though Den was sick on Mon and I was sick today, we still continue our lessons. Why? Haha! because we got our new Sonlight K program!! After I wrote my last blog, I suddenly realized I only have 8 weeks of Sonlight PreK lessons left. We can finish 1 week of lesson in about 1-2 days. So we were almost out of lesson to use! So I ordered the K program and it reached us last Thurs (19 Oct) and we had been sooooooo excited about it. That motivated us to finish off the remaining lessons in order to start the K program!

Ordering Sonlight can be very easy and can be very complicated. The easy one is to go to their website http://www.sonlight.com/ and just order a newcomer set according to your kids age group. That will come with everything but cost a big bomb!

The complicated one is to order acc to your own need. In the process of doing that, you might missed something. Last year, I missed a book to go with the Art book. This year, I missed the Bible and the CD for verse!! Order again is out of question because of the shipping cost, so I need to be inventive! Last year, I found a similar book from Popular plus another 2 from garage sales to compensate for the one I missed. This year, I searched tru my bookcase and found a children Bible that come with narration & song CD, so that's the one I'm going to use! Hopefully it will work. If it doesn't, I'm sure I can think of something else.

We had finished week 29, 30 and 31. The verse for week 30 from Exodus 20:7 :
"Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God."

She learned a new word - Misuse and a new concept - What is misuse the name of God.

Verse for week 31 is from Matthew 6:20:
"Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy."

New concept - storing treasure in heaven! In today reading from The Lion Storyteller Bedtime Book (under Read aloud 2), we read about how a farmer burned all his crops in order to draw all the people from the village to his field and thus saved them from the tsunami. I used the story to explain to Den, that's storing treasure in heaven.

We have finally finished the two big story collections we started last year - The Lion Storyteller Bedtime Book and A Family Treasury of Little Golden Books (under Read Aloud).

We also finished two very interesting book about Science. We love Sonlight Pre K Science books and cant wait to see what is in store for us in the K program.

1. What's Smaller Than a Pygmy Shrew (under Science 2) by Robert E Wells, the author of Is a blue Whale the Biggest Thing There is? (under Science). This time round we learn about protozoa, atom, electron, neutron, quark! Not sure how much Den understand since Im still MCC my self. However, she enjoyed reading it and requested me to read it again and again and at least she understood, things are not just what meet the eyes. They are make up by smaller parts. She is also very much looking forward to have her own microscope.

2. How To Dig A Hole To The Other Side Of The World (under Science 2) is another wonderful book to read. It is about Geology!! I have never ever find geology interesting until I read this book. Read more about this two book in my book review blog at http://www.squidoo.com/ahomeschoolingmomjornel

Besides all the reading from Sonlight, I also started Den on Sonlight K Language Art. I brought that with the Pre K program but ended up did not use it because I find Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons (Under Language) is much more effective. So I lend it to my friend MA and intend to use it as a review after I finished teaching Den with the 100 easy lessons.

Well, we still have not finished the 100 not so easy lessons!! But I think she is able to read all the books from Fun Tales (part of the K LA program) and it will help build her confident in reading. So I decided to start her on that and intend to finish the 36 weeks program in 2 months. So far we can finished 1 week program in 1 setting. I was hoping to resell the whole program by end of this year. Her new K program has cost RM2200!!!

Sonlight K LA program consist of a few parts:

1. Introduce the sound of each letter. Which I'm not using since Den already know most of the sound. However, I find the two games rather interesting for practicing sound -

(a) Go A to Z. It is a card game that goes like Go Fish! or Donkey! Basically you try to match the cards that you have. However instead of taking cards from your opponent's hand, you have to ask him or her for that particular sound.

(b) Alphabet Bingo. It come with 8 Bingo cards and basically, we draw out a mini alphabet cards and read the sound out loud, if you have the sound on your card, you cover it. Whoever get 5 in a row win!

2. My first Picture Dictionary (under Sonlight K Reader). It is used as part of the learning the sound. I used it as review for Den and also learning new vocab. We were very excited when we watched the movie UP today and saw something we just learned today - zeppelin.

3. Language and Thinking For Young Children (under Sonlight K Reader) For PreK to 1st Grader. It is a very good manual meant for parents to teach their kids at home. All unit in the manual are flexible to use either very simple learning or more advance learning and the unites are not sequential so they may be taught in any order.

4. Fun Tales (under Sonlight K Reader) - 27 small booklet that come with phonetically correct sentences. Great for kids who just are learning to read using phonic.

5. Activities: The IG (Instructor's Guide) offer some interesting idea for kids to learn to make up story or complete stories, etc.

6. Writing: The IG also come with instruction and activity on writing. Since I have been using Handwriting without Tears (under Workbook) with Den, I did not use this.

Talking about writing, I have started Den on Handwriting Without Tear K program. The pre K was too easy for her ( I will recommend for age 3-4), so when I got the K workbook along with the new Sonlight program, I decided to switch her to that. Still working on her mirror image!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

3rd week of oct 2009

For review & info on most of the books I mentioned here, please goes to http://www.squidoo.com/ahomeschoolingmomjornel & http://homeschoolingmombookreview.blogspot.com/

We intended to start homeschooling this week but I got sick. So we went a bit slower than what I have planned. This week, we did 2 phonic lessons. She is getting better and better in decoding the words now.

We also did Chinese flash card with 4 new words - 什,么,出,来。

We have not been using Qdees math for some time now. I stop at book 6 (lost book 7 when my friend SH past the system to me) about 2 months ago. For the past 2 months, I just drilled her with lots of worksheets - plus & minus (below 20). She is getting quite good with that, so I decided to continue the lesson this week. We did book 8 and almost finished the whole book in one lesson.

Book 8 introduced the larger number - to 100. She already knew her number til 100 but I think the book introduce the numbers in a very easy to understand way, so I decided to go tru with her.

Book 8 introduced counting quickly in tens. For example 40 is 4 tens. 42 is 4 tens and 2 ones. I think after the lesson, she understand the numbers better now. I think the next book will be adding double digits.

We also finished off Sonlight week 28 and started week 29. The bible verse this week is "Husbands, love your wives. ~Ephesians 5:25" I find it interesting that they actually included this verse in kids memory verse.

Besides all these, she did phonic, math & Chinese worksheets. I was very happy with the phonic worksheet she did today. She was given 9 pictures and she need to write down the spelling for each object - bat, tap, bag, hat, cat, fan, rat, van & hat. She only missed one-she wrote baC instead of baG.

Her phonic is getting better and so is her handwriting. Having said that, there are still lots of room to improved. I decided to go online to find alphabet guide. I found some good free guide from the handwriting without tears website http://www.hwtears.com/. I saved them and printed them out and put them in her homework helper lapbook. So that she can use that to write and complete her homework.

We have been using handwriting without tears (refer to my previous posting here) but I have never went to the website until today. Hm...should have done that earlier, can even download most of the the songs that it mentioned in the book! Ok, late is better than never.

When I was in SG two weeks ago, I met a pair of parents with a 2+ DD. They were amazed at what Den can draw. I kept telling them Den only able to draw like this recently but they don't seems to believe me. hahah! So I decided to put some of her previous drawing here, so that you can see the progress.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

10 Oct 2009 _1 month after surgery

For review & info on most of the books I mentioned here, please goes to http://www.squidoo.com/ahomeschoolingmomjornel (updated 10 Oct 2009)
& http://homeschoolingmombookreview.blogspot.com/

My almost 5 years old DD, Den had a surgery to correct her squint one month ago. (For the detail about that, please refer to my previous post).

When I looked back at the past month, we had not been doing much. For the first two weeks, we took it easy because I did not want to add any stress to her body. I just read aloud a lot of stories for her whenever I can.

3rd week was Hari Raya and we went out almost everyday with families and friends. It almost felt like Chinese New Year just minus the Hong Pao.

28th Sept, we went back for eye check up and her ophthalmologist was satisfied with the result. Praise the Lord for that. After the initiate 3 weeks, Den did not complain about double visions or dizziness any more. Her eyes still tend to get red at the corner whenever she is tired though.

Most probably, we are going to bring her back to the orthoptist for detail check up to make sure she is really using both eyes now. She is also praying that God will take away her astig so that she does not need to wear glasses. ST & I have been trying to build up her self esteem - she think she is very ugly when she wear her glasses - but that is another story for another day.

30th Sept to 4th Oct we were in Singapore again. My DH, ST accepted a job there and we were down there scouting for good area to stay.

I brought along a few tiny books for her to practice reading - Scholastic Phonics Reader 2 & Brand New Readers Green Set (both under Review - Language),
and worksheet for her to do -Disney Princess Addition & Subtraction (under review- math)
& My Bible Activity Book (under review - Bible & christian stories 2).

To entertain her in the long car ride, I brought along the lacing toy that she enjoyed very much during our cuti-cuti MLY & SG trip (read more about it here) and I also found a wonderful series of CD book from MPH midvalley - Usborne Young Reading (under Review-CD Book). I bought one of the title before the trip - Stories of Prince & Princess. She loved it so much that I went back a few days ago to get another 3 titles -Pinocchio, The Princess & the Pea, The story of Castles. There are still many many more titles available at RM19.90 each (20% off if you go on Wed, member only til end of OCT 2009).I have not given the new books to her yet. May be I will wait til the next long car ride.

When we were in SG, we visited a kindergarten. It is run by a church and has a good review and according to the parents in SG parenting board, it is not so academic.

I was playing with the possibilities of sending Den to K1 kindergarten in SG for 2 reasons - 1st, when we move there she is going to miss all her friends in MLY, this is the fastest way for her to get to know new friends. 2nd, everyone bug me about how good is SG education system and think I shld not miss the opportunity for sending her to attend SG school. So we decided to check it out.

It was quite a disaster. It was a big school with hundreds of kids. We went there during the supposed to be "fun time" - exercises before the class. The teacher leading the exercise on stage had no expression on her face. In fact, none of the teachers there (except for the principle) smile!! There were a lot of class works and they even have Spelling homework for the K2 kids every week!! The principle explanation - so that kids would be able to get use to going to Primary!! Yes, I'm sure those kids whose start going to school since 3 years old will be very well adjust for Primary, so well adjust that they will be totally bored with school by P2!

The scary part is this is supposed to be the not so academic driven kindergarten!!!

Ok, at least that is an easy decision - I will continue to homeschool Den. Just have to find out ways for her to get to know more friends ... a bit difficult...looks like all SG kids are in school...shall pray about it.

We did not do much fun stuff this time round. We had a free day on 2nd Oct, so we decided to go to the Science Center near where we stayed. We worried it would be a bit difficult for Den and she might not enjoy it as much as zoo and bird park. Surprised! She loved it! We spend closed to 8 hours in there! She especially enjoy the optical illusions section since we talked about this before (I thought I wrote about this but I don't seems to be able to find it any where in my blog! ).

I loved the futuristic section, where you could control the screen without touching it, played harps without strings, had a fake pond that move when you "push" the water. If our environment continue to deteriorated, we might need that soon.

ST loved the F1 stimulation race. He was no 1 in the race!

We had to miss one of the fun sections- water work - playing with water!! because we did not prepare extra clothes to change! :(

Den think it is even better than zoo & bird park! haha!

After we returned from SG, Den beg me to start homeschooling her. I love homeschool because Den beg me to school her instead of the other way round!!

So this week, we did 2 lesson of Teacher Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lesson (under review-Language). She did not forget any of the sound, just forgot one or two sight words. In fact I think she is getting faster and faster in reading.

We also practiced Chinese flesh cards - only forget 3 words. Very good.

Besides that we also finished one week of Sonlight program and a new Bible verse - Pride goes before...a fall. Proverb 16:18.

She also did some math and Chinese worksheets. As a whole, I think she did not forget anything important even though we stopped school for closed to a month.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

19 Sept 2009

For review & info on most of the books I mentioned here, please goes to http://www.squidoo.com/ahomeschoolingmomjornel (updated 19 Sept 2009)

I thought we can start school this week. I thought wrong.
We went for Yamaha lesson on Tuesday night (15 Sept), almost 7 days after Den's operation (read all about her operation here). She was actived and seemed to be doing better and better. The redness at the corners of her eyes have almost disappeared. So I did not expect any problem.

Half way tru the class, she told me she was dizzy and wanted to go home (that's the first for her, she had never request to go home since we started Yamaha 1 years and 9 months ago, she used to cried whenever we sang the good bye song), so I knew she really was not feeling well.

That's the first time she complained dizziness since the operation, I think may be it was due to concentrating too long on the keyboard and notes. She practiced piano almost every day at home but did not has any problem. But then she usually only practiced for 5-8 min at a time.
We continued the class until the end but I did not let her played any more songs.

I decided than it was still too early to start school, so there was no school no worksheet for the whole week.

On Wed, my friend SY and her 1.5 years old boy visited us. So Den had fun playing with him. I also packed up some of Den's old toys and books and sold it to her. That's about the only way I can make Den let go of her old toys...we are saving up all the money from the sales of her old toy and set up a toy fund to buy age suitable toy for her! Even with that, she refused to let me sell off a few of her toys that I think she already out grown.

She is a collector - collect everything under the sun - toys, books, stickers, rocks, plastic bags, boxes, letters, envelops, stirring spoons, etc etc! You name it, she has it! Every time anyone wanted to throw away anything, she would asked, "Since you don't need this any more, can you give it to me?" When you said Yes, she would be so happy that you thought may be you have given her a diamond instead of just a plastic bag!

The only thing she is giving away willingly is the clothes that she has out grown...may be because physically she cant wear them any more.

On Friday, W&W came over and played. They have not been coming for awhile and so they had lots of fun together. We are going to really missed them when we relocated.

Other than that, we did not do much. Just read stories. We started reading Robert N. Munsch's stories collections Munschworks (under Read Aloud 2) again.
I bought Munschworks Grand Treasury (contained munschwork1, 2 & 3) and also Munschworks 4 from Trisha & Sasha when Den was only a few months old because I love the stories! They are so so so silly! They make me laugh and laugh! Off cause at that time, Den was too little to understand the stories or to enjoy the humour but last year when she turn 3.5 years old, she starting to love them.
The stories are just so funny and silly and some with a very subtle message behind them but some just for the fun of it. We started on the Grand Treasury last year and before we can finished it we got distracted by some others books and forgot to continue. Recently, Borders is selling a lot of Robert N. Munsch's books (single title, around RM23 each, buy 2 free 1) and that reminded us we have not been reading his works for awhile.

Just to give you a taste of his story, let me summarized the story that we read last night called Stephenie's ponytail.

Stephenie asked her mom to tie her hair into a ponytail at the back of her head because no one in the school had ponytail. When her classmate saw her, they shouted," ugly ugly ugly! " She said, "Is my ponytail and I like it!"

Then next day, every girls in the class have ponytail at the back of their head.

Stephenie was very angry and asked her mom to tie a ponytail at the side of her head. The next day, every girls and some boys have ponytail coming out at the side of their heads.
Stephenie was very very angry and asked her mom to tie a ponytail on top of her head. The next day, every girls and boys have ponytail on top of their head.

Stephenie was very very very angry and asked her mom to tie a ponytail at the front of her head and cover her eyes. The next day, every girls, boys and even some teachers have ponytail at the front of their head and covered their eyes.
Stephenie was so so so angry that she announced she is going to shave her hair and came to school bold the next day. The next day when she reached school, everyone - girls, boys, teachers had all shaved their head and bold. Stephenie is the only one left with the ponytial coming out at the back of her head.

Den and I laughed none stop tru the story. I also used the story to remind Den that she need to be confident with what she has and who she is even if it is very different from others - for example her glasses. She hated her glasses and think she looks ugly when she wear it. It did not help when all those 'well meaning' people saw her and said with pity "Ai Yo! So SMALL has to wear glass! So POOR THING!"

But then that's life. We can go tru life trying to fit in with everyone and conform to the norm or we dare to be different and be proud of what we have and who we are. Sometime, when we dare to be different, others will start to follow suit too. Hard lesson for a 4.5 years old though.

Other than stories, she also had lots of free time to draw since there was no worksheet. I was very pleasantly surprised by some of the art works she came out with:

She draw this parrot in my mom house on Tuesday before we went to Yamaha without copying from any book! I think it was really great and wanted to show everyone but she refused.
She keep saying it was no good and she can do better and refused to let anyone see it except for ST & me.
Hmm...a perfectionist! I don't like it!

The title of this is "EE & Den On Stage". She draw this yesterday when I prepared dinner.
She only shared it with ST & me and refused to let anyone else see it.