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

Imprinting

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. :)