Saturday, August 29, 2009

28 Aug 2009

For review & info on most of the books I mentioned here, please goes to

Today our homeschooling was a bit unusual. We woke up at 10am and it was a great weather day ... as in no sun and no rain! So we changed, ate breakfast and packed and went to the park across from our condo.

Before we moved here, we said we wanted to go to the park more often (since it is basically just across the road) but....we did not! :(

Ideally, I would love to let Den spend most of her time outdoor. Ideally! First of all, I hate sun. I hate sweat. Second, we always sleep late and wake up late and by the time we wake up it is like so hot out there that it is quite impossible to go to park. So today was a very good day.

We spent about 2 hours at the park. Den played with a Malay girl and an Indian boy (both 7 years old) at the playground. When I saw them played together, I was thinking, "this is the true muhibah!" How nice if all of us can play together without bias, politic, etc etc.

After park, we went out for lunch with my mom. Then we went back to my parents' house. I homeschooled Den there.

Instead of our usual Bible, I decided to read a book I bought yesterday from the Chinese Christian Book Fair(RM20). It is written by 2 kids. They are brother and sister from Taiwan. They followed their parents (dad-doc, mom-teacher)to stay and serve the minority people in West China.

It is a very simple books that filled with photo and pictures.But from the book you can tell how much they enjoyed their stay in the mountain. Instead of feeling deprived, their lives were amazingly enriched.

I choose this book because I wanted to show Den as long as we follow the calling of God, we will live an abundant lives - with or without all the luxury or should I said, the conveniences of modern sociaty.

I have been asking Den if she will be willing to be a missionary if God ever call her to serve as one. Her answer was always 'no!' Reason? No AC, no toilet, dirty, etc etc. Even after we read all the wonderful works that the missionaries did in Africa from "Stories From Africa"(Under Bible & Christian Book), she still say 'no!'. So I have been wanting to show her a child perspective and when I saw this book, I knew I have to get it.We read about 16 pages today. She like it so far. I hope the book will be able to change her perspective and help her to see beyong the physical needs.

After that we continue our phonic lesson with Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons (under Language). She was getting better and better. I tried to write down some of the words she knew by sight in her Homework Helper Lapbook (For detail about this lapbook, pls read my 27 Aug 2009 posting).

After that, we decided to make a craft. I found this wonderful book from the book fair yesterday (only RM20!!!!). It has all the pre-cut paper for you to make 6 houses in NT time.

Today we make the first house which is from the Bible lesson we learned 3 days ago -Jesus healed the paralytic (Mark 2). It was quite hard. I did most of the work but Den was having fun helping - holding on to pieces, blow dry glue, etc. She did the easy part too - pasting all the people and plants.

That's all we did the whole afternoon. By the time we finished making the paper house, my dad - Den's toy came home. So I thought that's all for today.

However, in the evening, when we went out for dinner with my parents. We were caught in a massive traffic jam for 45min! Den was getting restless (me too!) so I decided to teach her Odd and Even numbers since I have her Homework Helper Lapbook with me.

With the help of the chart, she can pretty much differentiated all the odd and even numbers from 1-100 by the time we reached our destination. I love homeschooling! You can teach any where, in any situation!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

27 Aug 2009

For review & info on most of the books I mentioned here, please goes to (updated 27 Aug 2009)

I have been obsessed with lapbooking recently. :)

ST and I went to a couple camp last weekend and only reached home on Monday evening. Trip without Den is so rare and so so so enjoyable!! I didn't even miss her one bit!! haha! Don't let her know. It was so refreshing to be able to focus on my dear hubby alone. Parents! Try it!

Before the camp, I made a simple lapbook for Den. We called it the "homework helper" lapbook. She can use this when she does her worksheets (she usually does her worksheets without my help). This is what I put in the lapbook:

1). On the first page, we have all the alphabet - capital & small letters. Even though she recognize all the alphabets, she has problem with mirror image, so with this she can write her alphabet correctly. She love this because it is Princess Alphabet.

2). The center has 3 sections:
i) Sight Word list on the Left - Some of the word are not so phonically correct and she need to learn by sight and some, after much reading she can recognize by sight. I wanted to start recording down sight word we learned or recognize, so that it is easier for revision.

ii) Skipping count chart(multiply) on Upper Middle- Den understand the concept but I have not really teach her this formally. Will do it in the future.

iii) Shapes on Lower Middle - She learned all these shapes when she was 3 years old. She can still remember most of them but forgotten some like cube and cylinder, I think it is good to include them here for revision.

iv) Addition and subtraction Chart on Upper Right - After she finished her math worksheet, I ask her to check her answer using the chart her self.

v). Fraction on Lower Right - Inside the pocket, there are 6 fraction pictures. I have been teaching her fraction and this is good for revision.

3). The back is the 1-100 chart -It has two functions - help her in addition and subtraction and also help her to write numbers (she has problem with mirror image).

We did not do much on Tuesday (25 Aug 2009), house clean day. Since Den has no piano and ballet on that day (school holiday), she helped to clean the front gate, shoes' rake and front door. She also practice her piano and did a few worksheets.

We had visitors on Wednesday. My friend Alice and her two daughters - BL (10 years old) and JE (7 years old) came to visit us. Alice wanted to explore the possibility in homeschooling JE. We talked about the different curriculum available in the market and the pro and cons of homeschooling, etc. After that, I taught Den, BL and JE together.

We learned a new verse together: "Whoever is kind to the needy honors God. ~Proverbs 14:31" and we talked about how to be kind. All of them gave me examples of being kind to the needy.

After that we read two Bible stories about how Jesus was kind to the needy - Jesus healed the paralytic (Mark 2) and Jesus healed the lame man at the pool (John 5). Before I read each story, I asked the kids to look at the picture and see if they can tell what story I am going to read. Surprisingly, Den knew both of the stories quite well. She can tell both stories in detail. I think MA & I taught her these two stories last year and may be she also learned it from Sunday School (I'm not sure). I am very happy that she can actually remember them.

We prayed after Bible reading and we prayed especially for the healing of Den's eyes.

After that, we read a story from "Stories From Around The World" (under Social Study Section). Today we read a story about a very poor boy named Dick Whittington and how with the help of some honest and good people, he became a rich merchant and later even became the Mayor of London. He never forgot what it was like to be poor, so he used his money to restore hospital, build colleges and shelters for the poor and old.

After that, we read a new book - "People" (under Social Study Section). Den and I love this book. We were supposed to read it last week as park of Week 26 program but I decided to save it for now because I wanted to do a lapbook with the book.

This book is about different culture, races, nationalities, etc (read detail review here) and I want to use this to introduce Den the different races in Malaysia. Since we only have very limited time, we only did part of the lapbook- self profile.
This is the front. When you open the mirror, there is a picture of Den.

Turn the page, you get this:

Open each flap, you get the answer:
For example, Height is 103cm; Weight is 16 KG, etc.

For Den, this is just part of the "People of Malaysia" lapbook. For JE, this is something she can keep about her self. For the next two week, Den and I are going to continue to work on the lapbook. It is kind of fitting since Merdeka is coming.

After that, we had lunch and the kids played for awhile before they went home. I think all of us had fun. BL even said, she like homeschooling better! :)

Den did some worksheets while I cooked dinner.

After dinner, we spend the whole night making puppet. Den suddenly got this idea in her head the night before at bed time (she always has lots of idea during bed time!!!) that she wanted to make a puppet theater. So for the whole night, with the help of a great book "Drawing is Fun" (under Art and Picture Dictionary Section) I draw and cut and she colored and finally we make 5 puppets - the princess (of cause!), the prince (with removeable sword, just in case it is a love story), the dragon the horse and the fairy.
Then she started to tell stories using the puppet. I should really record them down.

Before bed, we read a wonderful picture book about being thankful for what you have - 金鸡下午茶 The mouse and the egg (at Read Aloud 2 section).

Today, I went to the Chinese Christian Book Fair in PGRM. ST and Den went back to ST's mom's house. She played with Grandma and did 2 math worksheets. I bought so many good books from there. I will write more about them in the future when we use them. For now, I will just tell you about the 2 books that we read tonight --
"玛丽亚的故事 Mary's Story" (under Pop Up & More section) and "疯狂电视迷 Albert Blows A Fuse" (under Read Aloud 2 section).

Friday, August 21, 2009

21 Aug 2009

For review & info on most of the books I mentioned here, please goes to

There were so many things happened after we came back from trip that it felt like we did not spend much time in studying. However, when I sat down and looked at all the things we did for the past 2 weeks, it was not bad.

We managed to finished Sonlight week 25 (except for the book 'people' which I want to keep it for next week), Den did 3 pages of math worksheets, 1 phonic lesson (Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons), 3 pages of phonic worksheets, 2 handwriting without tear worksheets, 1 auditory memory worksheet (Developing the early learner 3) 1 water color craft (birthday card for grandpa), some sudoku and lots of coloring and piano practices.

Since Den has problem with her eyes, we also spent some time studied about eye. I found some very good resources from Museum of vision website With the resources, we study about different parts of our eye, how do we see and focus, and I explained to her what is wrong with her eye. We also did lots of fun experiments and I made a flipbook for her. I had been trying to explain to her how animation was made but without success. With this flipbook, she finally get it. We might make a lapbook on eye. Have not decided yet.

Since we had been out of the house a lot for the past 2 weeks, I carried with me some of stuffs we can do while waiting (there were a lot of waiting in doctors offices). We actually manage to get quite a lot done and it also made the wait not so tiring/irritating for Den. It never failed to 'amazed' me when I see all those parents bring their kids waiting at the doc office and do not bring along anything to keep them busy. It is not like just15 or 20 min. Sometime, we waited up to 2 hours or more. Kids get very restless and bored and then they become very fussy. For the past 2 weeks, we worked on these two books when we were out:
1. EQ - a series of Taiwanese playbooks that I got from Popular quite some time ago. I got them during sales, so it only cost RM4.50 per book. It has 2 levers - age 3-5 and age 5-7 and it has 4 topics - accept your self and understand others; understand emotion; cultivate problem solving ability; positive thinking.
We used some of the the age 3-5 books when Den was around 3 years old. Now we are using the age 5-7 books.
The book we are currently using is "Cultivating problem solving ability". There is a lot of creative and think out of the box type of activities in the book. I enclosed one of the example: Look at the shape provided and what does it look like? Den think it looked like a vase, a bow tie or a woman.

2. The Fittest Link & Eye Q Booster: I got these 2 books from Popular too at RM7.90 each. I bought them when Den was only 3 years old because I love the books. As you can see from the example here, it is IQ, logic game. I used one of them with Den end of last year (while waiting in the immigration office) and she could not do it so I kept it for awhile and took it out again this week and she can do it now. We did 11 pages while waiting. So of the them still a bit hard for her and require some explanation.

Friday, August 14, 2009

13 Aug 2009

I'm writing this blog with a heavy heart. This morning we bought Den for eye examination. 6 months ago, we were told she has astigmatism. Today, the ophthalmologists told us she has Squint (strabismus) and she need to undergo a surgery. Besides that, she need to wear glasses.

Initially, I was shocked to hear that she need to undergo surgery, even though it was supposed to be a minor surgery. I quickly masked my reaction, Den picked up others' mood very quickly, I didn't want to scare her. We continue our routine activities and even some schooling this evening.

I told her very soon she might need to go for a surgery. In the surgery, doc would put her to sleep so that he can correct her eye sight (I did not go into the detail). She was more concern if there is any needle involved in administrating the general anaesthetic. She was also quite excited about the prospect of wearing glasses!

Only when everyone was asleep, I started my research on strabismus. The more that I read, the more I became confused. I'm not sure if the surgery is the only way. I think we need a second opinion. I will call up another center tomorrow.

After that, I did my devotion and prayed. I prayed for wisdom. I prayed for guidance and protection. I believe He is in charged.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cuti Cuti MLY & SG

For review & info on most of the books I mentioned here, please goes to (updated 11 Aug 2009)

We just camp back from our 19 days trip around MLY & SG. It was a very long trip. I'm not sure exactly how long did we travel. Hmm...need to ask ST about it (1970Km in total acc to ST). For those who asked, this was our schedule:

Day 1 - Selangor to Muar (breakfast), Batu Pahat (lunch), JB (dinner) and finally reached SG at nite.

Day 2- SG zoo
Day 3- SG bird park (Den is crazy about animals...she want to be a zoo keeper when she grow up...)

Day 4- Children Church, then Orchard Road (bookstores, surprised to find SG bookstores carry more or less the same selections of book as MLY...was hoping to find more hard to get book there...dissappointed...or I just went to the wrong bookstores?)

Day 5-Church, I shared with some of the sisters involving in Children Ministry.

Day 6- SG to Kuantan (lunch) then reached Cherating for the night

Day7 - Kemaman (branch), Rantau Abang (see sea turtles) and reached Kuala Terengganu for the night

Day 8 to 12 - Pulau Redang (we like it so much that we kept extending our stay there, so we ended up have to skip Perlis)

Day 13- Took the earliest ferry out of Redang and visited KT Islamic Civilization Park then reach Kota Bahru for the night.

Day 14 - KB, we watched wayang kulit at night.

Day 15- KB to Belum Forrest (Gerik), we saw some wild mushrooms!

Day 16- Belum to Pulau Pinang.

Day 17&18- Makan in P.Pinang

Day 19- P. Pinang to home.

At first we planned to travel for 4 weeks then I realized Den would have to miss 4 weeks of Yamaha! That would be a bit too much. So we ended only going for 19 days. We started our journey the day after her Yamaha, then came back before her Yamaha. Even with that, she missed 2 classes. We have to see tonight if she can still catch up. (note: she can!)

She was a bit advance (she was one song ahead of teacher) before the trip and practiced as much as she can the week before we go. In SG, she also get to practice since we stayed in our friend SX house. After SG, for the rest of the trip she had no access to piano. So she practice on book, pretending she was playing on piano.

On our last day, we went to my uncle house in Penang. He has a piano in his house, so she played it. She did not play as well as usual. She practice yesterday (after we reached home) and today and she seemed to be doing least to time may be we can miss 3 classes...haha!

One of the things I worry the most before the trip was how was she going to travel for so many hours. We had a few long stretch of driving - Selangor to Singapore (with the detour, it took about 6 hours), Singapore to Cherating (8 hours), KB to Gerik (4 hours), Penang to KL (4 hours)

So I packed a bag full of stuffs for her to play. There are books, magazine, craft, etc. No only they can be played in car, they are good for rainy days when we were stuck in hotel. These are some of the things I packed:

1. a new toy -for long trip, I always prepared a new toy and this time I chose a lacing toy that are very inexpensive and yet fun to play. I got it from the 'made in china' shop in Atria for RM16.90. She had hours of fun with it and it is good practice for fine motor skill, creativity and eye hand coordination.

This are to of the examples of the works we did together. I make the face for the rabbit/cat (haha, cant tell), she did the body and hands. She also did the hair for mermaid.

2. Magazines - I bought 3 - two Charlie & Laura that usually have fun craft to do like this time we make spider together and one Disney princess that usually include simple math, stories and coloring (bought from newsstand, RM7-RM9)

3. Magnetic game board - contains 12 games including Tic Tac Toe, Draughts, Hoppiti, etc (bought frm MPH at RM26.90)
4. CDs- especially the Wee Sing series (bought from various bookstores - RM39.30 for one CD)
5. 2 bottles of playdoh ( we ended up did not use them)
We did not have any formal study time, but I brought along some materials for part learning, part playing:
MATH: Sudoku board & a math workbook.
LANGUAGE: two talk about book, that has vivid pictures to stimulate talks- Yackety-yak, the Alien's Back & Then and Now (see review at "talk about book" section)

SCIENCE: a book about science (part of Sonlight) - How do you lift a lion? (see review at "science" section)

BIBLE: a short story book (part of Sonlight) - The Gods must be angry (see review at "Bible" section)
PHONIC: Scholastic Sound-Out-The-Word Phonic Readers Set 2 (See review at "Language" section) -It has 5 little books, we only managed to read book 1 & 2.

CHINESE - 奶各中的青蛙, a German chapter book translated into Chinese.

LAPBOOK - this is the first attempt at lapbooking. I get all my templates from the net then printed them out and pasted them on a folder the night before we travelled.

On the front of the lapbook is a record of our traveling. Everyday, Den wrote down the no of day we traveled on one of this little book, then I helped her to write down the date and the places we were in and also recorded inside the food that we ate. Then at the end of our travel, Den was supposed to choose the food that she like the most during this trip and I would help her to make a pop up page. She ended up choosing 5 food instead of one -面薄 from Muar, a famous bread with kaya and butter from Kuala Terrenganu China Town, Spinach soup from Berjaya Redang Hotel, 油炸鬼from Kota Bahru and Egg toast from Penang. She cant decide which one is her favorite and insisted she love all of them. So here we goes -
The inside, we did a special book about Singapore. We learned about the time different (same, no different) and the animals and pets in Singapore. I also leave a lot of blank pages for her to cut and paste pictures that she like about Singapore. She ended up pasting all the animals pictures.
We also draw the flag of Singapore and the different states' flag and listed down the things we wanted to pray for that particular country or states.
In the middle, I put in a plastic bag for her Singapore coins and 相思豆 collection.
After that is a page for a variety of things.
First we wrote down everything we can think of that started with "S", then another started with "SH".
Then we draw the Malay costumes that we saw in KT & KB. (I drew with in put from her then she colored)
We also make 2 postcard, one about Redang and one about Kuala Terrenganu.

At the back of the lapbook is the map of MLY & SG. Everyday, we mark down the route we took with Green pen.
We had lots of fun doing lapbook and we both enjoyed it very much. I think we are going to do more of it.