Friday, March 26, 2010

25 March 2010

Ok, I was a bit reluctant to blog about what we did this few days...because it did not feel like very homeschoolingish. :)

I know I should not feel only the academic, head knowledge stuffs are considered homeschool but it is a habit that hard to break! So I force my self to blog tonite.

We were exploring our new neighbourhood in SG for the past few days.

We went to the public library on Monday and again on Tuesday. We are going back there again tomorrow! We wish we can sleep there. We applied for the library card. We learned to use the system - self check out, etc. Den greatest struggle now is which book/s to return tomorrow. She wants to borrow new books but very reluctant to return the books she already borrowed. :)

We get to know some of our neighbours - a couple with 2 cute dogs, always sit near the small roundabout from morning until Noon (the dogs nap at noon!). If we get our timing right, we can spend some time playing with the dogs.

Playing at the playground downstairs, we get to know a few kids. We met a friendly uncle from Malaysia who was looking after his 2 grand sons at the playground. According to him, only Malaysian and China kids play at the playground. Singaporean kids never come down to play. So far, I have to say he is right, either that or there are not many Singaporean in our neighbourhood.

Den was a bit shy with the kids at first. Part of it is because of the language barrier. All kids converse in Mandarin here. Sometime they cant understand her. But after awhile, she started to play with others.

I got asked a lot "why your girl is not in school?" or "which school your girl goes to?". When I told them I'm homeschooling her, most of the responses are "is it legal?", "are you qualified?".

From what I can see most of the kids here go to school from 3 years old onward or even younger. Cant blame them, mostly are from two incomes families. I think I must be one of the youngest housewife around here.

So Den and I get stared at a lot when we go to the market. Oh, yes, we ventured into the wet market. I have never ever buy anything from the wet market in MLY before but since the wet market here is not wet and looks clean enough, we decided to give it a try yesterday. The meat are definitely fresher than the one from the super market and most of the stall keepers are very chatty and friendly.

We also went to the Chinese Garden yesterday. Chinese and Japanese Gardens are both within walking distance from our place but we have never try walking there before. Yesterday evening, Den and I decided we need an adventure.

It took us about 15-20min one way to walk to Adventure Sports Zone in Chinese Garden. It is like a playground for big kids, equipped with flying fox, rock climbing, etc. The best thing is, it is covered with sand. It was totally deserted when we went there at 430pm on a weekday. Den loved the flying fox. We also saw some trees near by that we thought is good for climbing. Shall do it the next time. I have never ever climb a tree when I was kids, I hope Den will get to climb some!

Walking back was a bit of a struggle for Den. She was really tired from all the play. She did not complain though. Later, when I praised her for not complaining, she admitted she did not complain because she worried if she complain, I would not bring her back there to play any more.

Other than all these adventures, we worship together everyday. We also read some interesting books that we borrowed from the library:

1. For English Reading - You Read To Me, I'll Read To You: Very Short Stories To Read Together (under language book). When I saw this book in the library, I decided to let Den take a break from I Can Read! Book 1 (Sonlight Reader 1). I saw this book sometime ago in MPH 1U but the price was too ridiculous. So I am really happy to burrow it for FREE now.

It has very short and cute stories (2 pages for a story). It is written to be read by 2 persons. It is almost like a play with 2 characters. Den and I had fun reading them. We read two stories a day. I am very interested in looking for another one under the same series after we finish this book. Especially the one about fairy tales.

2. For Chinese ReadAloud - 1001 说不完的故事 (1001 stories)(under Non Sonlight ReadAloud). One of the best Chinese translated picture books! It is a mix and match fairy tales - little red ridding hood, 3 little pigs, Hensel & Gretel, princess & the frog, etc etc all in one book.

What is so good about it is, the reader will have to choose an action at the end of each page. Different action will lead you to a different page. So the story will never goes or ends the same way each time and according to the author there are 1001 ways combination.

3. Math: I found some interesting math books in the library and cant wait to try them with Den:

(a)Pizza Parts: Fractions! (under math). We went tru some basic fraction last year - 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/6. I think it is a good time to review the concept. The book is meant for age 9 and up, so the math is language is a bit hard for Den but the concept is not. So I paraphrased some of the words the book and skip one of the chapters and it worked.

The setting of the story is about a girl having a birthday party in a pizza plaze (run by her family). A good setting, right away Den is interested.

Kids want to share a pizza but each want different topping. So they have to split the pizza into 1/2 or 1/3 or 1/4 or in one case 1/8 for different topping.

From there, it also bring out the concept of 2/4 is equal to 1/2, 2/8 is equal to 1/4 .

(b) The Price Of A Pioneer Journey: Adding & Subtracting Two Digit Dollar Amounts (under math): A much easier book for Den. I read for her and she did all her plus and minus on paper.

The setting is about pioneers on the Oregon Trail. They have to spend money on wagon, food, supplies etc. We have to count how much money they spent or how much they are left with that kind of thing.

(4) Just for Fun! books -

(a)The Squeaky Door (under non Sonlight ReadAloud). When I saw this book in the library, right away I knew Den would LOVE the book. I was absolutely right. She loves it so much that, she can now read the whole book. She read it to me, she read it to Dad Dad and she read it to herself and no way she will let me return it tomorrow.

How do I know she is going to love it? I get asked this a lot too, especially by parents with young kids. I observed and I make a guess base on some of her past favorite.

For example, I know she like funny story and this is a funny story -A boy spent a nite in his grandma house. He cried every time grandma went out the door. Grandma offer to put animals in bed with him - started with cat, then dog , then pig, then Horse! Finally the bed broke and yet it still did not work. The next day, grandma found the solution - oil the squeaky door and the boy slept like a baby.

Besides funny, it is one of her favorite topics- kids who refuse to sleep or too afraid to sleep and animals! Plus the story and language are repeating (something she likes too) until it build to a climax. All this mean she is going to hang on to the book for a long long time.

(b) Toads and Diamonds - An interesting choice from Den. We spent like 30mins going back and forth before we can decide which 8 books we were going to borrow but this was one of the first one she decided she wanted to take home.

She heard this story from last year in one of the book in Sonlight pre K (I cant remember if it is from Stories Around The World or Children Book of Virtues). Some how she love it above all other stories. In fact she remember the story real well and after she took the book back from library, she has never request me to read it. She was just happy to look tru the book her self.

She really like the concept of every time the heroin speaks flowers and diamonds flow from her mouth and when her evil stepsister speaks toad and snakes fell from her mouth. Off cause I took the opportunity to remind her when good words come out of our months then it is like flowers and diamonds.

Finally today, we decided we are not going any where. We stayed home and study. Den has been in drawing mood since yesterday. So she spent the whole morning drawing.

After that we worship together, I read a story 圣灵水果屋1. We continue to focus on the concept of Agape love. Then we did her eye exercises and she did math and writing worksheets while I prepared lunch.

After lunch, we practiced her Yamaha song and we played "pick up sticks" before we study. We read from some of the books I mentioned above and then we also played bingo and go with Dolch word list 2- at, him, with, up, all, look, is, her, there, some, out, as, be, have, go, we, am, then, little, down.

This was our second day with the list. She almost got all except for "There" and "Then".

We snacked and rest for awhile before we watch Between The Lion (under CD/DVD)-The Ram In the Pepper Patch. We just loved it!

For review & info --For K books - (updated 25 March 2010)
Pre K books-

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