Wednesday, May 27, 2009
the official reason: we have been working real hard since we came back from Langkawi in April, so we deserve a break.
the unofficial reasons: we get bored, a break is good for both of u!! hahah!
So no school = no blog.
Shall resume next week....unless we enjoy holiday too much...hahah....
BTW, if u follow my blog regularly and think it is too much hazel to check here, you can sign up as my follower and I will send the blog to your email account right after I publish it.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Some background first:
- We started when Den was 2 years and 3 months old and stop right before she turned 4.
- We = 2 moms (MA & me), 4 kids (Den + EE + WE, 2 girls 1 boy all same age with Den and also a little girl, WH who is a year younger. She joined us when she was almost 2.)
- We meet twice a week. MA and I taken turn to teach.
- Sometime we break for a week or two here and there due to sickness, vocations, visitors, busy schedules etc.
This was our usual time table:
10:30am -11am Outdoor activities which include chores like washing the turtles, watering plants and also exercises.
11am-1130am Bible story, Bible verse, Bible application, Bible song, Prayer (Mostly from Gospel Light, will explain below)
1130am-Noon Games, craft, Science, dramatic play that are usually related to the Bible story (Mostly from Gospel Light too)
Noon-1230pm Rest and their favorite- 15 min of Fun Song Factory! (VCD, British program with lots of songs and nursery rhymes)
1230pm-2:30pm Lunch, free play
2:30pm-3pm Extra learning that covered Science, Language (English, Malay, Chinese), Social Study, Math, etc.
We need more time because they are 4 of them. Taking turn to go to toilet also taken up quite a bit of time. :) Lunch was super major event!
We used Gospel Light's Bright Beginnings series called "Exploring God's World". It is actually written for Christian preschool. However it was not hard to make it work for homeschool.
I got the set from Cannanland (the nearest and best one is in NZX) for RM450. It came with : Teacher guide, Devotional Bible, Bible stories Postal (one per story = total 48 postal), Bible Verse Postal (one per month = total postal), Activity Postal (one per month = total 12 Postal), CD (2-3 songs per month = around 30 songs).
The curriculum has 12 units (One unit per month). In each units, it has:
- four Bible Stories (share a same theme) with four Bible Postal
- one Bible verse with one Bible verse Postal
- one activity postal
- 3 songs - One Bible Verse song, One activity song and One Bible Concept or Application Song
- Prayer idea, games idea and activities -Art, Block, Dramatic Play, Game & Science
For us, we only told one story per week. So let said if we tell story A on Tuesday then we would review the same story on Thursday. All the activities for Tues and Thurs were about the same stories. We did not start it off this way. At the biginning, we would teach story A on Tues and story B on Thurs. But then later on, we realized it was very hard for the kids to understand and remember the whole story for one telling. Repetition works for kids this age. They have never complain it was the same story, in fact, they get very excited because it was a story that they were familiar with!
Works for moms too! Less work!
The good things about the curriculum:
- The CD. Kids learn better tru songs at this age and I really like the CD especially the concept song that apply the verse in their life.
- Postal - colorful and bigger than A3 size postal are very good visual aids for kids.
The not so good things about the curriculum:
- Lots of planning. Since the activities are for the whole month, most of them are not story specific. So we need to pick and choose and also modify them. For some of the story I cant find any activities that is really related to it, so I depend a lot on other resources. Like the Play and Pray Bible for younger Children.
- Some of the activity are for school setting so it is almost impossible to play at home due to the limitation of space and also the number of kids.
- Gospel light's has stop producing this, so if you are interested, then you have to search the book store for the old stocks.
In conclusion, it served its purpose for us during that time. It might not be the best out there though. I was very new at homeschooling at that time and that's the best that I can find at the local bookstores. Since we had 4 kids, so it kind of work for a small school setting.
For those of you who is only going to homeschool one kid at home, I suggest you look into www.heartofdakota.com . I have never used it but it come highly recommended. I check out the website and like what I see. It has curriculum for 2-5 years old (I think it is more suitable for 2-3 years old) that come with daily simple activity. If you purchase the curriculum please remember to buy the books and the CD that you need too from them too. Because some of those are hard to find in MLY.
If you have any more question, feel free to write to me or post your questions here or call me up. :)
MA, you are free to post your input here too!
Friday, May 22, 2009
We skated for close to 3 hours. I'm so proud of Den. She fallen down so many times but she never gave up. This is a huge improvement compared to when she was younger.
When she was younger, she dislike to taking risk, refused to try new things. She would only do things she was sure she won't fail.
She almost never baby talk. When she started to speak, I can understand at least 90% of what she was talking about.
For a long while, she refused to speak in Chinese because she can't pronounce the word properly (She spoke like a foreigner! All in the first intonation!).
We kept encouraging her and told her she can't learn unless she is willing to take risk and fail. We all learned from our failures.
She is getting better and better and today she make me proud.
At first, she cant even stand in her skating shoes. Yet she was willing to let me hold on to her and we skated for quite some time before we were told there was something wrong with her shoes.
We changed shoes and this time she can stand (not stable). But only 2 hours later, she can kind of walk without keep falling down. Too bad that ST forget to take any photo/video. :(
She was tired and starving by 330pm. So we decided to call it a day. We are definitely going back there again. I was thinking may be we can make it a monthly event. Even my mom is interested.
I was exhausted! I did not even realize that until we came home. I fallen asleep taking bath! I think I was too tense making sure she won't hurt her self plus trying to balance my self.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
I didn’t sleep after I finished writing 3 blogs last night.
I think I desperately need to do something for my self. Not for Den, not for the family, not for church, just for my self, something to please my self. Something useless yet made me happy.
Usually a novel will do that job but I’m out of that and my ebook site is not working properly. I ended up watching 2 hours of HK series on the net. :)
At 5am, Den woke up and got me to sleep.
It was a totally wasted 2 hours, nothing was done but it made me happy.
We slept until 11am this morning! :)
MA was here with EE and I just woke up! Den was awakening by the doorbell.
Since the house was a bit messy, I decided to let them played while I vacuumed.
After that we studied together.
Today I told Jonathan & David’s story. Theme: Friendship which was very appropriated. They fight like hundred times for that one-hour that I vacuumed. I use Pray & Play Bible for Young Children. One of my favorite picture Bible. I used that a lot when they were younger. I think it is one of the best resources available locally.
After that we pray for each other. I wanted each of them to come up with ways to help their friend when their friend is angry. They both thought the best way was humor. They both agreed when one of them was angry then the other should say or do something silly to make the angry person forget her anger. Not a bad idea, I shall see if it works.
I also practiced something I learned recently from one of the homeschool blog - Retelling story.
I used to do something like that when they were younger and we have 4 kids homeschooling together. MA and I make them sit on their destined places and placed their bowl in front of them. Then we taught the lesson. When we finished, we asked them questions about the story we just told, if they can answer then we put cereals in their bowl. It was a good way to keep them concentrate.
Now since I homeschool Den alone, I seldom do that. The blog reminded me it is very important for her to repeat to me what she learned so that I will be able to know how much she absorbed and what are the things she get confused with. It will help her to remember the lesson better too. When she is older then she can write down in her scrapbook.
This will help her build up paraphrasing and summarizing skills too.
Both of them can repeat the stories to me while looking at the pictures on the book - Pray & Play Bible for younger chidlren. Den was a bit more articulate than EE.
After that we sing a funny song and play hide and seek. One of them choose to be David and the other as Jonathan:
(Tune: Where is tumbkins?)
Jonathan: Where is David? Where is David?
David: Here I am! Here I am!
Jonathan: Do you need my help, friend?
David: Yes, I need your help friend!
Jonathan: Run and hide!
David: Run and hide!
Then “David” hided while “Jonathan” counted to 20. They took turn playing the roles and did not want to stop.
After that we make a heart shape using inkpad and the sides of Den’s right hand and EE’s left hand (curled up fingers a little bit) to remind them LOVE require two parties.
Their take home project is to write a love letter to each other.
Then I let them worked on 2 worksheet about animals – differentiate the animals who live on the land and animals who live in the sea; match animals with their food – while I cooked. We have fried noodles today.
They ate for one hour! I purposely left them alone after I finished my lunch. I wanted to let them practice self-control plus I need to make a few important phone calls.
Finally, I still had to be in the kitchen with them.
We had good discussion about “teasing” though. I told them teaser only teas if they respond to it (get angry, get mad, etc), the best way to due with it is treating it like a jokes and laugh with them and very soon the teaser will forget about teasing. I had this discussion with Den last week when she was teased by her friends. She listened to my advise and have been working really hard not to response to teases. But then it is always easier to say then done.
We also talked about words that we should only used in private. EE has a habit of shouting out and making jokes of private body parts in the public. So we talked a little bit about we should only whisper if we need to talk about private parts in public and should never use them as jokes.
After lunch, they only have 30 minutes to play before EE had to leave.
Den was quite dejected after that. She did not want to study. She said she already study and now she only wanted to read book. I let her be. She took a whole stack of Berenstain Bear books and sat down and read.
She did not cried but I can tell she was really sad that her friend leave. Finally, she told me she wanted a sibling because she was lonely. That’s the first time she actually asked for a sibling! We talked more about it and I told her she might feel mommy and daddy love her less when the baby is born even though it is not true. I also told her I might not have time to homeschool at the first few months. She said it is ok as long as it is temporary. She also said she is willing to share everything.
Hmmm…..interesting! God’s sign? :)
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
He promised if I diligently keep all His commandment -- love Him, do what He tells me, stick close to Him -- then He will
- personally tends to my garden (Sweden). He is the gardener, He alone keeps His eyes on her all year long;
- He will drive out all these nations (world, temptations, evil) much bigger and stronger than me that stand in my way.
Sometime when I see how the world is going- when I watch the Youtube Video about how the Muslim's numbers is going to be more than Christians soon, when I heard about the water issues, environmental issues, when I see the political situation in MLY -I felt helpless and regret I brought Den to such an imperfect world. It is like I know the world is going to a very bad end and yet I bring her here to suffer.
God's promise warmed my heart. It gave me hope. It matter not if I homeschool her or not because God is going to protect her from the world even if I send her to school. What I need to consider now is only which way is the best way to raise a Christ center young lady. An effective Christian.
Monday, May 18, 2009
- helping widow (2King 4);
- healed Naaman (2King 5): Den still remembered this story. Mary and I told this story last year during one of our homeschool lesson. I put lots of dots on her big plastic doll then wash away the dots to show that God heal Naaman. Until today she still call the doll "Naaman";
- Elisha prayed for his servant so that he can see God's army surrounding them (2 King 6)
After that we practice phonic. She is getting more and more comfortable in reading, even normal books (words that she read in Teaching your child to read in 100 lesson is written with special symbols, she will only learn to read normal word in the later part of the program). However it still required a very great effort on her part and she can only do it for a short period of time before she gets too tire.
After that she we read SPY's email. We asked her some question about fish and she finally replied. She also included some very good internet link. I went to those links and downloaded some pictures and put them into Den's scrapbook.
We also replied a long long email to our friend in Germany. We met this catholic family in Langkawi, they have 2 daughters - 3 & 6 years old. Den became good friends with them even though they don't speak English and Den don't speak German!:)
After that we read What's Under The Sea. We studied about animals in the North & South Poles as well as the divers! These are some of the interesting things we learned:
- Penguins has waterproof feathers (I explain waterproof - Den had fun playing with my waterproof watch!)
- Most of the penguins live in the southern polar seas!! (I thought most of them live in the North Pole!)
- Seal is also a mammals that live mostly underwater. (I thought only whale!)
- Polar bears live near the North Pole and are strong swimmers (I didn't know they can swim!)
- Deep sea diver wear hard suits that protect them from the water pressure. They breathe oxygen form tanks inside. There is also a pump that supply hot water around the suit to keep the diver warm!
We also learned about the underwater archaeologists who explore shipwrecks and looking for relics including jewels and stuff. Den's eyes lighted up when she heard jewels! She is now seriously consider become one of the underwater archaeologist. Sometime I wonder if she is really my daughter, how can she loves Jewels so much when I dislike them so much.
After that we practice Chinese Flash cards. Still have problem with last week words but I decided to go ahead with the new words any way. Just continue to flash those she don't get. The new words are - 过，到，得，了.
She did a lot of worksheets today. Some she did it in the afternoon and some she did it at night. She did 1 math worksheet (addition to 20), 5 from sonlight Developing The Early Learner Book 2. We are a bit behind so I am trying to catch up.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Any way, that's is not why I'm writing the blog today.
I chat with a friend who used to teach Kumon Math last night and he was surprised that Den learn her subtraction in one short lesson and has not problem with the concept. He said most kids have problem with subtraction at the beginning.
When I think about it, may be it got to do with all the numerate rhymes that we did since she was 1 year plus. These are some of our favorite:
A). This is first and favorite, we learned it from playgroup and it is a finger play too:
3 little monkeys hanging on the tree
teasing Mr. alligator,
"You cannot catch me! You cannot catch me!"
Along came Mr. Alligator hungry as can be and ....."SNAP"
2 little monkey hanging on the tree....(repeat)
1 little monkey hanging on the tree...(repeat)
(end) No more monkey hanging on the tree.
B). Another favorite, it can be sang:
5 little ducks went out one day,
Over the hill and far away.
mother duck called "Quack! Quack! Quack!"
only 4 little duck came back.
4 little ducks went out one day.....only 3 little duck came back.
3 little ducks went out one day.....only 2 little duck came back.
2 little ducks went out one day.....only 1 little duck came back.
1 little ducks went out one day.....no little duck came back.
Mother duck went out one day,
over the hill and far away.
Mother duck called "Quack! Quack! Quack!"
5 little ducks came back.
C). This can be sang too:
5 current buns in the baker's shop
round and round with the cherries on the top.
Along came _____(a child's name) with a penny one day,
buy a current bun and took it away.
4 current buns in the baker's shop (repeat)
3 current buns in the baker's shop (repeat)
2 current buns in the baker's shop (repeat)
1 current buns in the baker's shop (repeat)
D). This can be sang but we are not sure how, so we only said it:
3 little monkey jumping on the bed
one fell down and bump his head
Mama called the doctor
and the doctor said, "no more little monkey jumping on the bed!"
2 little monkey jumping on the bed (repeat)
1 little monkey jumping on the bed (repeat)
Singing all these rhymes has helped Den to understand the concept of subtraction. In fact, at the beginning she don't understand what is 5-2 but when I told her "if you had 5 candies and you gave 2 to your friend then how many you have now?" she can answer without any problem.
I started off saying or singing all these rhymes to her my self again and again because we both loved them. Later on, I would ask her how many monkey (buns, ducks) left? She would answer me. She started singing the songs her self when she was about 2 1/2.
I'm in a much better mood today even though not enough sleep.
I went to sleep around 5am on Friday morning, Den woke me up at around 6am. She fallen asleep the night before at about 8pm. So she was wide awake at 6am. She told me she need water, so I took water for her, then she told me she was hungry. I gave up and woke ST up to take care of her since it was about time for him to wake up and go to work.
I continued to sleep until 9am! ST went to work around 7am, so Den had been playing by herself for like 2 whole hours. Later on, I realized she called my mom because she was lonely!
We started teaching her our telephone numbers when we were in Langkawi. For emergency and that kind of things. She memorized mine, ST & my mom's hp numbers. That's when the trouble started. She would pick up the phone and call us anytime she feel like it.
I told her today, I am going to make her pay for the calls that she made. She told me she would make calls when I'm not around so that I would not be able to deduct her money! I told her I can tract it on the phone bill. She was like, really?!! OH, NO! Hopefully that will stop her from making unnecessary calls.
We practiced Bible verse and she almost getting the whole verse now. Then we read a Bible story - Elijah taken to heaven. She was amazed. This is the first time she realized people can go to heaven without dying first.
Then we read 2 poem from Animals Animals, and a short story from the Little Golden Books. With that we actually finished all our Sonlight program for this week.
After that we read a Chinese book together. It is part of the Odonata first 100 word program (红蜻蜓幼儿100字亲子互动故事系列）It is kind of interesting series. I read part of the stories (background, etc) and she read what the characters say. Too bad there is only 5 books in the first 100 words series. Wish they will come out with more.
After that we practiced Chinese flash cards. She had a very hard time in learning these few words - 很，就，这. We learned these since last week and until today she still don't get it. I make her rewrite 这again since I don't see any other way. That's the bad thing about Chinese. You just have to memorize the word.
After that I let her play in the bath tub for like more than an hour. We have been so so so busy for the past few weeks, she had not been playing in the tub for a long long time. She was very happy about it.
We have bread and fried egg for lunch. As well as Milo+milk.
I wanted to get her to nap after lunch but the renovation at the apartment under mine still very noisy, so we decided to make an Oreo Cookie Pie for CG tonight.
It is very easy, pretty straight forward from the box. No baking. Make and put into the freezer.
After that she did one worksheet on Clock, 2 from handwriting without tears before we nap.
Just now, after CG before she go to sleep, she actually read a whole Chinese book all by her self. This is a very good series called Basic Chinese 500. It consisted of 5 books (at least 5 books for now). It introduce one word in one chapter and the next chapter will build from that previous chapter word.
Lets say, in chapter one it introduce the word mountain. Then chapter two it will introduce "Tall" and put the two words together - "High Mountain".
Every book has 20 new words.
It come with Ping Ying and English translation too. Very convenient for those are not so well verse in Chinese.
Den read the whole Book 1 all by her self before she sleep. That make me very happy.
Friday, May 15, 2009
I had enough sleep. Den was not around to disturb me. She spent the night with my parents so that I can get some work done today.
Yet I was depressed. May it got to do with the fact that I need to clean the house today. I don't know.
Or may be because I had not have any day off since we came back from Langkawi in April. I felt sad because finally a day off but have to spend it doing clean up and Sunday School planing. May be.
Or may be because I have not been drinking coffee?
I finally forced my self to function by around 1pm. Cleaned the house. It was time for the monthly cleaning so took me quite a bit of the time.
When I was cleaning Den's room, I was thinking may be I should not have scheduled my monthly cleaning when she is not around, that way she never learned how much time I need to spend in cleaning up...but then if she were around, I need even more time.
Another thought came to me, if I can teach Den to read successfully, may be next time I can trade with others - I teach her son/daughter to read while she clean my house....I can always dream....:)
Why do I hate doing house work so much? I don't know. I just not wired in my gene some how. I can spent hours preparing for one short lesson but hate to even spend 1 hour taking care of the house.
Then I cooked dinner. Took bath. Read an old book. I hope it would help pick up my mood. It didn't.
Den fallen asleep in my arm at 8pm while we were still out with my parents entertaining a guess from oversea. She seldom fallen asleep this way nowadays. Must have been really tired. We took her home, changed her and she never woke up.
To prepared for CG lesson tomorrow, I read a chapter about motherhood from Dennis & Barbara Rainey's Staying Close. Barbara homeschool her 6 kids. She advocate for the mothers to stay home and see motherhood as their career. I agreed with her but a bit worry when I share it in CG tomorrow, some might take it as personal attact.
I like what formal USA President Teddy Roosevelt once said,
When all is said, it is the mother, and the mother only, who is a better citizen than the soldier who fights for his country. The successful mother, the mother who does her part in rearing and training aright the boys and girls who are to be the men and women of the next generation, is of greater use to the community and occupies, if she only would realize it, a more honorable as well as more important position than any man in it. The mother is the one supreme asset of the national life. She is more important, by far, than the successful statesman, or businessman, or artist or scientist.
Wow! that is a really high praise and yet a lot of mothers willing to sacrifice their jobs as a mother to be the successful stateswomen, businesswomen, etc.
Barbara remind us that as a mother we have to give up a lot of things. Things that we like to do, we love to do, we are good at, etc. Times with friends, reading, painting, movie, etc. May be also time to be left alone? haha, I don't know.
I think one of the hardest thing being married and a mother is I no longer have the time for solitude. I carve solitude. I need that time to be alone. To hear my own thought. May be that's why I need to stay up so late. So that I can be alone. I have not been doing that the whole week...been sleeping really well...may be, I don't know.
No matter what is the cause, I am feeling much better after writing the blog. Writing is truly a good therapy. May be you should try it sometime.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Since I have been sleeping very well every night, I have been waking up a bit early (for me!) around 8-9am. So Den also wake up at about the same time....which mean she has not been having 12 hours of sleep! Around 10 hours only. She is still functioning well though. I think I need to let her to sleep early if she is going to wake up early.
Today, W&W were coming over, so at first I thought we wouldn't be able to do much. However, Den woke up early so we actually have time to homeschool.
We practice the new verse. She still cant really get it yet.
Then we read two Bible stories - both about Elijah - no rain for 3 years and contest with the false prophets.
After that we practice phonic. Short lesson today. Finished quite fast.
Then we studied math. I skipped through Book 4 because I think she already grab the concept of 11-20 (11 is 10+1; 12 is 10+2, and so on). We started on adding to 20 (Book 5) using counter. She has no problem with that either just a bit slow. I will give her more practice this week and next week.
W&W came at around 1pm. We had fried spaghetti for lunch. I cooked.
Then they play a creative wooden block game called "brainstorm" for about an hour. Kids need to use all the weird looking blocks to build 2 or 3 dimensional pattern. My uncle brought this for her 1 years old birthday!! I kept them and brought it out when she was 3 years old, it was too difficult for her still, so I kept it again and got it out again today. Working together they can build some of the easier puzzle. Good! (Give me time to updating my blog too!)
I signed for this homeschooling group in USA a few weeks back. Every day I have to read tru like 60 mails but the good news is I get to know about a lot of the free information out there. It is pretty amazing! Today, I found out that there is actually a forum with the come with activities for my sonlight!!! I'm at week 18...hmm...late but at least I know it now!! Very happy still...haha! cup half full. :)
We read the Mother Goose books, children book of virtues and Golden book together after they watched the Chinese cartoon.
Very short lesson today since it is a Tuesday. A day I cant go without coffee. Dr. House, I'm an addict too!
We started off with new verse this week. Very short but kind of hard because of all the new words:
Only fools insist on quarreling. Proverb 20:3
I've to explain "fool", "insist" and "quarreling". Kind of come in handy though since recently her favorite game is playing "fighting".
Then we read the What's Under The Sea. She really like the book, actually asked me to read it. We studied about Whales and Corals. We learned:
1. Some whales (like the humpback whale) have no teeth, only baleen. They eat Krill (small shrimps).
2. The Blue Whale is the largest animal in the world
3. Some whales (like sperm whales) make clicking noises out and if it bounce off any animal and send back echoes, the whale will know where the animal is.
4. Dolphin is the smallest whale!!!! (That's why I always confused these two animals)
5. Coral is actually build up form the stony skeletons of tiny animals called coral polyps.
Then we read a Chinese book. 公主王子系列-我从哪里来 (Where do i come from?). A little princess want to find out where is she from.
Dandelion told her they were air bound and landed on the ground;
frog toll her he was a tadpole,
chick came from egg,
one of her friends told her she came from the rubbish can and the other one said he came from hospital (why, oh why all Chinese parents tell their kids they are from the rubbish can?)
and finally her mommy told her about sperm and eggs.
Den was not too interested in the question of where she is from since she always know she is from my tummy!! haha!
After that we only have time for Chinese flash cards and she finished 3 worksheets while I cooked.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
A Malaysian Christian homeschooling group that I belongs to started a discussion about this and asked everyone opinion on are we measuring up to the standard? Do we need to measure up?Etc.
My question is why should it be a BIG surprise that some of the homeschooler failed to measure up? Are we operating on the presumption that homeschooler is academically better than those attend national school? Is that why we homeschool our kids?
May be that is the reason some of the people start homeschooling, but not me.
I have never thought I am a better teacher than those who are academically trained. I did not choose to homeschool Den because I think I can teach her better than a kindergarten.
I choose to homeschool because I want her to build a strong foundation in God. For knowing God is the beginning of wisdom. I want her to be wise instead of knowledgeable.
I choose to homeschool because I want to help her build up good attitudes and habits that can last her for life:
- Love for books
- Thirst for knowledge
- Self motivate
There is always pressure from those around you, everyone seems to think since you choose to homeschool it must be because homeschool is better than normal school, so your kid must be better than other, that kind of crab.
I have to admit from time to time, I will compare too. Is she doing better (academic wise) than those who go to school. But very quickly, I will give my self a mental shack. That's not why I choose to homeschool. Come on, if I choose to send her to school, she would have learned to read by now. Instead, we are struggling together with phonic (but loving it!).
If I fallen into the trap of trying to keep up academically, I will start to worry about may be I need to teach her this, may be I need to teach her that and slowly and slowly, homeschool will just be another smaller scale school.
Please don't get me wrong, I have no problem if she can keep up academically, but never at the expand of loosing focus on the important things.
When you focus on faith and character building, then you would not mind so much about not meeting academic target, missed lessons, etc. A day out with friends is a good day in learning too. At the same time, you got to withstand the heat too. Your kid might be slower academically.
It is easier say than done. If not with the support of ST, I will never begin this journey. I have to tell my self again and again, what I am doing now is planting a huge tree. The root need to be buried really really deep and one day one day, it will be come a big tree that last for a long long time. My hope and my prayer.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Den spent the night with my parents. We went over to my parents house to pick up some stuff last night, she refused to come home with us after that because my brother (works in China) & 3rd Aunt (lives in Seremban) were both there.
This morning all of us went out for brunch.
We started school at 230pm...this 2 weeks our schedules are really really unstable....
First, we practice the verse. Her phonic is getting better and she can kind of guess the word by looking at the verse I wrote on our white board.
Then, we read a good story from "The Children's Book of Virtues". Today story is about the little boy from Holland, who put his finger in the dikes to stop the sea water from flooding the country. Even though he had to spend a night in cold (no one realize he was there) and his hand was numb, he was willing to hold on as long a as it takes to get the job done. His bravery and perseverance saved Holland.
A good lesson for today children. Everything come so easy nowadays. So even when a tiny bit of hardship came along, they will just give up. A good lesson to remind Den whenever she think something is too hard for her.
In fact, I always like to make it a bit hard for her. At least from time to time. We went to Langkawi 2 months ago. I purposely packed a small bag for her to carry. It is kind of heavy and I could have put everything in my bag pack, but I want to toughen her a bit. Don't want her to take things for granted. She carried it without complain.
I assigned house chores for her too. Since she is still quite young, she mainly has to learn to take care of her self and her things - change her self (I lay out the outfits), dispose her own diaper, put dirty clothes into basket, put back her shoes, clean up anything she play/studied, etc.
Besides that I also let her clean the balcony and main grill and door. Today, she help me snap french beans for dinner. I want to increase the things that she do at home. I am thinking of putting her in charge of collecting all the rubbish from every dustbin in the house. May be is time to teach her how to do dishes and wipe the dinning table too?
After story, we prayed.
Then we read another story from "A family treasury of Little Golden Book". We almost finished all the 46 stories...kind of sad. We started off hating this book then love it and very soon we have to leave the book...(read the review in Squidoo).
Today it is a short story about different kind of houses that people live in. That get us interested in looking for the pictures of different houses. We found interesting pictures of igloos, tree house, cave house, mud house, trailer, traditional Japanese house (with paper wall), castle, tent (I love internet, I told Shu Teng I can homeschool without Sonlight as long as you give me internet!), and of cause when I asked Den what house she want to live in -- CANDY HOUSE! We printed out the pictures and pasted into her scrapbook. May be later she can draw a house in there too.
Then we have to break for tea (hmm..more like coffee & milk) before we continue our phonic.
Phonic was better today. Either the tea help or she finally getting used to "H" sound. Either way, I am grateful. Today paragraph is much shorter too.
Since we finished phonic early, we have time for math. I started her on Book 5 (Q-dees mathematics foundation program). We learn the concept of 11-20. As in 11 is 10+1, 12 is 10+2, etc. I like this program because it emphasize on the concept part. I think it is very important. Every kids can recite 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.....100 but do they know exactly what does each number stands for? Q-dees is very slow at the beginning but I think is very good for long run.
Btw, this is an very very old program. I'm not sure if the Q-dees nowadays still use the same program. It past down from my Pastor's daughter (who is going to do her master in Aug 2009) to a sister in Christ and then she past it to me when she moved to Singapore! I like it very much and decided to use it on Den even though 1 of the books is missing (Book 7, I intend to improvised!).
After that, she helped snapping bean and then work on 2 math worksheet while I cooked. I didn't get to check her work until 8pm, after dinner. I realized she didn't finished one of the page and the other was all wrong because she did addition on a subtraction sheet!! That's the first time this happened!
I think she was too eager to go play UNO with her daddy (he came back early today) and just tried to get everything done as fast as possible. I make her redo and finished before she go for a night swim with ST.
This is part of her reward. She used to refuse to pass motion in the toilet (she usually don't wear any diaper, she would then ask me to put a diaper on her before she want to pass motion. It is really quite ridicules, putting clean diaper on so that she can pass motion there!). So I put a poster up, every time she past motion in the toilet she get one star. For every 3 stars she get a reward. We discussed and let her come up with reasonable rewards like playing in IKEA, ice cream (if she is not sick), going to bookstores, swimming at night (when the weather permitted), etc.
Now she only gets a reward for every 5 stars. She is no longer passing motion in her diaper but she refused to let me take down the poster and insist in continue the reward system...hmm...I need to think of some way out of this.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
OK, things don't always work out the way I plan. Hmm...come to think of it, it usually didn't turn up the way I plan. :)
Today I had four kids in my house.
I babysit Wes (same age as Den) & Whit (one year younger) once in awhile while their dad has photo shot in the afternoon.
EE is Den best friend (their are same age) and we usually meet up at least once a week for them to play (either in my house or hers). On top of that, they are in the same ballet, Yamaha class, cg, Sunday school!!
MA(EE's mom) & I homeschooled all four of them together in 2008. We used Gospel Light Bright Beginnings "Exploring God's World". If any of you interested in knowing more about the program, let me know, I will try to write more about it when I have the time.
This year, W&W start going to kindergarten. I started Den on Sonlight PreK and it is a bit difficult to homeschool EE & Den together with this. So now MA and I pretty much doing separate things and meet up once a week to let them play.
Anyway, today all of them were here with me. EE came at 1030am. I planed to let two of them played for awhile, then read books, sing song, etc. Theme: Mother's day. All should be done before W&W come (since they went to school in the morning, I think they should do more activities in the afternoon and not sitting around for lesson).
But then Den & EE played so well together (no fight! what a surprise!) and beg me to let them continue to play...so I did. They played for 2 hour!
W&W came around 1pm and brought along yummy lunch. We ate lunch.
Then we baked cake. I always like to bake with more kids around. More fun! Of cause, it is messier but when I see the way their eyes lighted up, it is all worth it!
After that we make mother's day card. I got the idea and pattern from Internet. There is a tea bag in every cup and the words say:
"Here is a gift for mother's day
I'll try my best in every way
But when you get upset with me
Relax and have a cup of tea!"
You can tell their different personality through they way they color. :) From Top Left - Wes; Top Right - Den; Bottom Right - EE; Bottom Left -Whit
MA came right after we finished the cards. We had a great tea time - drinking milo, eating cake that we baked. EE have to go after that and of cause Den cried.
After that, 3 of them take a quick bath at the bath tub together. Usually I let them play for awhile in there. But today we were a bit short on time, so they just took a very quick bath. Followed by Chinese Cartoon (goodtv).
After cartoon, I decided to see if they are interested in listening to story. They were!
At first they were a bit reluctant to follow me to the study. But when I start reading, they were hooked. We read "What Mommies Do Best" and 4 pages of mother goose rhymes from "A treasury of mother goose". I didn't read the other book that I prepared because I think it would be too difficult for Whit.
After that we learn a new song:
(tune: Are you sleeping or Frere Jacques)(I took me a long long time to figure out Frere Jacques is Are you sleeping...)
"I love mommy, I love mommy
Yes I do Yes I do
and my mommy loves me
Yes my mommy loves me
She loves me, I love her"
They got it after we sing it for like 3-4 times and W&W promised to sing it to their mommy, I wonder did they do it?
After that they played for a few minutes before W&W have to go home. That's is the end of a very fun day. I did not finished all the things I planned to do with Den today but I think she had a fabulous time with her Friends. That's good enough for me.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
I continue the "taking it slowly" mood. We woke up by the renovation noise at around 930am. Today is actually not too bad, hopefully all the heavy metal major stuffs already done and now is just all the light weight drilling, etc....I can always hope....
I prepared lunch while Den ate breakfast and played. Then I have to fix a table lamp that she accidentally broke. By the time we started school, it was Noon.
We recite the verse and prayed. We finished all the Bible stories for the week....it is ONLY Tuesday!
Then I read 2 Chinese stories book for her:
1. 公主王子成长绘本系列 "我要我的牙齿" (I want my teeth).
It talks about a little prince who was very sad because one of his teeth fall off. He went around looking for his fallen teeth. While he was at it, he realised everything in the nature lose some of their 'old thing' in order to gain some thing new -- Leaves fall off in Fall and New leaves in Spring; Swam lose her feather then grow new father; Fruit drops from the tree and then new fruit grow, etc.
Finally, he accept this and looking forward to his new teeth.
2.红蜻蜓幼儿首100字第5册 "小鱼". This is part of Odanata publication first 100 word series. I am using them like story books. Den can read 40-60% of the words in there. I think very soon I need to purchase the first 200 word series.
I tried using this to teach Chinese word but find it very dry and boring. Reading as story book make it much more fun.
After that we practice Chinese flesh cards. We learn 4 new words today - 家,头,就,这. She already know 家.
Then she work one 1 page Chinese worksheet, 2 lines of writing (write 这) and 2 pages of subtraction and addition.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Reason of not updating my blog: SICK! SICK! SICK! No worries, not H1N1. Any way, this back dated to last Thursday:
We were supposed to go out with my friend SY at around 12:15pm.
We were ready at 11:45am, that gave us sometime to study. We did not do any Phonic, my sour throat plus the noise from the unit downstairs have pretty much make it an impossible.
We read 3 Mother Goose rhymes, 2 pages of Eric Carle's "Animals Animals" and finished one of our favorite " Things that people do". We were kind of sad because we finished the book. But quite looking forward to the new book next week. I think it is the "Stories from around the world". Will tell you more about it when we read it next week.
Right after we finished, my friend arrived with her very cute 1 year old boy.
We went to the curve because the noise in my place make it impossible for any quality conversation. Any way, we have a good time chatting. Will tell you more when I have the time.
After my friend left, Den and I went to the Borders. Den "read" at the children corner while I looking for books near by. I overheard her making a conversation with a jie jie. The jie jie is around 8-9 years old.
She said "Hi" to the jie jie and draw the jie jie into conversation. What was even more amazing, she get the jie jie into reading for her!! hahah! Who said homeschooling kids have problem in socializing?