Tuesday, May 18, 2010

16 May 2010

We have been deeply blessed by the church we attended in SG.

We walked into this Church because it was the nearest protestant church when we were staying in a service apartment during our first month in SG. We enjoyed the fellowship and the worship and Den loved the Sunday School, so we decided to stay even though now we live quite a distance away from the church.

We attend this chuch whenever we are in SG.

The past few weeks tru the sermons, God has been reminding me His calling for me when I was a teen. God called me to serve Him when I was 15 years old. I answered the call and promised to serve Him in any area He lead me into - full time minister or not, as long as He lead, I will follow.

God called me to serve in our church in MLY in year 2000. I served full time as Children Ministry coordinator for 10 years. I left the ministry on Dec 2009 when I realized He wanted me to put it down. Since then I have been asking, where He want me to serve next. Especially for the past few weeks, when He kept reminding me His calling for me.

Then the past Sunday, He answered me.

He told me loud and clear that He has ordained me as a wife and mother. That is where He wants me to serve for now.

I have never think of being a mom and wife as being in ministry. But it seems like He want me to learn to do that. Im still in the process of understanding that.

How will I do differently if im now serving in a ministry instead of just a home maker? Will I put more time into setting long time goal and planning? Will I ask God for direction and vision instead of just living day to day?

May be first thing I need to do is to put more thought into developing our family. I seldom think of that. In which direction God want our family to go? In which area God want us to better prepare our selves so that we can serve Him? In fact, DH and I have never set any goals for our family. May be we can start doing that. First, lets pray for direction.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

15 May 2010

One of the advantage of staying in SG for me is the opportunity to explore Den to Arts. Arts shows of any kind are rather hard to come by in MLY. SG is the opposite, there are so much to choose from.

Instead of going to swimming complex this Sat, we decided to bring Den to the Singapore National Museum because "it has transform its public spaces into creative playground for its third installation of children's Season"....at least that's what was written in its website....

Den was very excited about going to a museum. She woke us all up early in the morning, so that we can get ready for museum. She kept thinking she is going to be like Katie and can be transported into the the pictures in the museum. ^^ We had to warm her not to touch any pictures hanging in the museum.

We ended up did not enter the museum gallery! Because all the kids stuffs are hosted at the public area. For today, there are 4 exhibitions/activity corners -

1. Public Power: Public Secret by Twardzik Ching Chor Leng. This public artwork was a huge "public notice board" with lots of things like envelopes, containers of all shapes and sizes "stick" on it. Kids were encouraged to write down a massage (they were supposed to write a secret but I didnt think any of the kids did that) and put it into any of the containers/envelops. They can rearranged the objects on the wall as well.

Den wrote one on the way in and another one on they way out.

2. The Imaginary Story Land by Tay Bee Aye. The wall was covered with flannel and there were lots of soft pillows of all shapes and size and color for the kids to stick on the flannel wall to make up her own imaginary story.

I like the idea of letting kids play together and co-create the wall any way they wanted it. However, there was one particular volunteer at that station who was very rigid and kept interfered with the way kids wanted to play..."You are not supposed to put the pillows on the floor!"; "You need to stick the pillows this way, that way!" Hmmm...sounded like SG government and it took all the fun away.

3. Exploring Africa- Make a Tribal Mask. Den spent more than an hour there coloring an African mask. DH and I left her there to work on her mask while we sat somewhere within sight to read and talked. Den has grew so much, a far cry from the shy little girl she used to be.

While coloring, she also talked to the volunteers working there (she was the only one working on the mask without parents, so she got quite a bit of attentions from the volunteers) as well as other children and their parents. I have no idea what she talked about but she just kept going and going. ^^

After that, we went for lunch and watched a kids theatre performance by Modl Theatre (Korea) called "The Dandelion's Story". It was a good story and good performance. It is about a dirty, smelly doggy-poo, rejected by others, find her destiny in life- help dandelion grow!

Den enjoyed the show very much. I envy their theatre! How I wish we have access to such a wonderful theatre setting for our church children production! My DH think our church production are as good (or even better, according to him...I'm happy since I was the producer!) this. Our ticket was RM2 (USD 0.60)while they charged SG 21 (USD 16) here!

4. Cartoon Mural by Miel. The last station we went to. It was actually rather interesting. The cartoonist draw a hug mural about Singapore's past, present and future. I would have love to look at the mural with Den in detail and talked about Singapore's history but I was not feeling well at that time. So we did not.

As a whole the experience was positive for Den but I think there are rooms to improve. I was expecting more creative stuffs for kids to participate.

14 May 2010

Den woke up late today at 1130am. Slept for 12 solid hours! One of the best thing of homeschooling is she always get enough sleep. ^^May be that's one of the reason of why she is always so cheerful. Her best friend, EE likes to taut her, "why are you always so cheerful? I don't like you always so cheerful!" ^^

I especially appreciate her cheerfulness when I am sick.

I had a rough night last night. Out of the blue, I was having a very bad case of gastric pain. I used to suffer gastric pain when I was in my teens (the result of always rushing between classes and club meetings, usually only had a few min to finish my lunch...) and twenties. But later on, I gotten wiser and can pace my self better, I always take a bite of two even when I am rushing for things. I can still remember holding crying baby in one hand (Den was less than a month old, I did not hire any confinement lady) and making sandwich for my self with the other hand. I knew I had to eat or else I would suffer the consequences. So for quite some time now I had not have any gastric pain.

So last night I was caught off guard. Even until now I am still puzzled about the cause. May be because I had very busy past two weeks and all the stress just added up? I don't know.

Den was her very cheerful self last night when I was suffering with pain. She was very happy to switch role with me and be the caretaker.

She exchanged sleeping place for me, she let me have her favorite pillow, she prayed for me (putting her hand on my tummy), she told me bedtime stories and finally when she laid down quietly, she tried to stay awake, so that she can check on me!! She remembered how I stayed up the whole night to check on her when she was having high fever. ^^

I woke up fine this morning. Since she woke up late, I get to check my emails, did the laundry, etc. After lots of hug hug and 'snag snag' (Den invented this phrase to mean hugging really tightly), we went down to buy lunch and did some grocery shopping.

We started school after lunch.

Since I have not been blogging for the past couple of weeks (busy! busy!), let me fill you in on what we have been doing. We finished Sonlight week 8 and almost finished week 9. We did all the read aloud, history and science for week 9, the only thing we had not done was the internet links for science and history.

Since I was so busy the last few weeks, we seldom had time for long period of study but I tried to make sure she read a few pages from I Can Read! (under sonlight Reader 1)and did some math worksheets.
Some how her reading started to pick up and in fact, she likes it so much that she would request to read the book in the car or restaurant or whenever she got nothing to do! (A bookworm in the making!)She already finished I Can Read! Book 1 and now almost finished the Book 2 all by her self. I will still go back to the beginning to ask her to read for me aloud to make sure she understand the story, but I am just so glad that she started silence reading and she really enjoy it. ^^

It was not always this way. When we first started Book 1 or even earlier when I was using others readers, I had to make it into an assignment. She would have to read a chapter (2-4 pages) everyday as part of her 'homework' before she can do her fun stuffs. Now she just cant stop reading. She will read books, sign, advertisement, etc etc. I'm very happy. I always joke with my DH, if by 6 years old Den still cant read then it means my teaching had fail and we should consider sending her to school. So it seems, we had not fail.

So today, after we recite week 9 Bible Verse from John 15:5

I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remain in ME and I in him, he will bear much fruits; apart from me, you can do nothing.

and we did her daily eye exercises, I asked her to read for me I Can Read! Book 2. She read 3 chapters for me. She did a good job in understanding the big picture, even though she had some problems with some of the finer details. Since she read them silently before, she can now read the sentences with emotion. ^^

After that we read the two Chinese books we burrowed from the library yesterday. Since she picked the books, I did not realized both were from the same authors, David McKee. Interesting books but I think it is more for the parents than for the kids!

The first book is called "等一会儿,聪聪" (translated from Not Now, Bernard). The story is about a little boy who tried to get the attention of his parents and both kept telling him, not now! Even when he tried to tell them there is a monster trying to eat him.
Later, the boy was eaten by the monster but none of the parents realized that, they just continued their lives and kept saying, Not Now! The monster ate the boy's dinner, watched tv and was sent to bed. The End.

Wow! I was like that is just so true! I asked Den did she ever feel that way? Did she ever feel all that we said to her the whole day were 'Not Now!'? At first she said no. But later on, she told me some time. :(

I told her, the next time she feet like we are ignoring her, she need to say 'there is a monster going to eat me alive! '^^ That will help to remind me!

The 2nd book is equally thought provoking. It is called '彼得王子和泰迪熊' (translated from Prince Peter & the Teddy Bear).

Prince Peter's birthday is coming, the King & Queen want to know what present does he want. Peter request for a teddy bear. King and Queen cant believe their ears! A teddy for our prince? No way! So everyday they present something for Peter, may be a silver sword? a new crown? a new horse? a new chair? a new armour? a new carriage? But everyday, Peter tell them, all he wants is just a teddy bear.

Finally, on the day of Peter's birthday, King & Queen present a teddy bear for Peter...make in pure gold! Peter thanks his parents, bring the bear back to his room, put it on the desk and ignore it. It is not what he has in mind.

In the middle of the night, Teddy cries and asks Peter to hug him. Peter says, "but you are so cold and hard!" Teddy continue to beg. Finally Peter carry Teddy to his bed. At first Teddy is hard and cold but after awhile, it does not feel hard and cold any more. Teddy tell Peter, that is because you are hugging me.

The next morning when Peter wakes up, he starts hugging his daddy King and mommy Queen and suddenly they become close to each other and no longer distance and cold. The End.

Two lessons to be learned (for parents, not kids)- first choose the presents your kids want, not the present you want your kids to have!! (good reminder for me! I always think I know Den better than she know her self!) Second, hug hug and more hug hug! We got no problem with the 2nd one because we spend lots of time hug hug each other every morning. ^^

Wonderful books. Fascinating! I am so happy I have kids so that now I can read all the wonderful kids' books!!

After that we read math books. Just the other day, I had a discussion with my DH about the different way Western country and Eastern country teaches math. For us, it is always drill and drill and drill. For the Western country they emphasize on the concept and the why. Since we homeshcool, we should be able to combine the two. With the wonderful math books selection in SG's libray, I might be able to do that.

We burrowed two math books from the library. One is called "A Second Is A Hiccup" by Hazel Hutchins. It is a wonderful book in explaining units of time.
How long is a second?
A second is a hiccup -
the time it takes to kiss your mom,
or jump a rope
or turn around.

It took a math concept and turn them into sometime whimsical and beautiful! It continue to explain how long is a minute (sixty hiccups, sixty hops or a chorus, verses, not too long), an hour (build a sand tower), a day (wake up to sleep), a week (7 wake up, 7 sleeps), a month (caterpillars find their wings) and finally a year (when your birthday almost here).

I read it to Den in the library yesterday and she loves it so much that she insisted in bring it home so that I can read to her again and again.

The second math book we burrowed is called "You Can Estimate, That's Really Great!' It teach kids how to make estimation and the vocab (in between, around, about, less than, more than, etc )that goes with it.
It has never cross my mind to teach estimation (even though it played such a big part in our lives when I think about it). I mean when I think of math, I think of accuracy. So I was rather excited when I see the book. Den was very excited about the concept. She cant stop playing the estimation game. We tried to guess how many books in a book, how many steps it takes for her to walk to the door, how cold is the room etc etc.

After reading, we did the Sonlight Week 9 internet link. In week 9 science, we talked about Green House Effect and Global Warming. A very timely topic, especially with all the natural disasters happened all over the world. To see an animation on Green House Effect, check out here.

To see very cute Go Green! animation series, check out The GREENS.

For history, we study about Tudor in week 9. These are some of the interesting links -
a) Tudor exploration

b) Learn about Henry VIII and play a funny pie game, check out here.

c) Find out what happen to Henry 6 wives here.

d) In dept details about Tudors, check out here.

After that I gave Den 'home works' while I cooked dinner. Her homework include, practice writing her name in Chinese, drawing a picture of Green House Effect and drawing music notes.

Little Stuart 3 was showing on TV after dinner. I let her watched the movie since we were done with all our school and DH was late coming home.

DH was still not back after the show. So I took out Dolch Word List 2 and we played word game. We have not go tru the list for quite some time and I thought she might forget some of the words but she surprised me, not only she can remember all the words from list 1 and 2, she can read almost all the word from list 3 & 4. Hmmm, I better start making the cards for list 3, 4 & 5!

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