Monday, June 28, 2010

27 June 2010

I screamed at Den on our way home from my parents' house just now.

I totally lost it.

I planed to put in a lot of school time for the past one week since we actually stay in MLY for the whole week and did not travel. We ended up did not even do one day of school.

Some due to unexpected delay like waited for more than 2 hours to see the Orthoptist on Wed. But a lot of time it was because Den was super slow in doing the daily stuffs like eating, taking bath, etc and also her habit of deciding last min she wanted to spend nights in my parents house. 

I was getting more and more frustrated when I see our schedule on the board and nothing has been done yet. Finally today, after waited one hour for her to be ready to go home (she need to feed the dog, fish, eat durian, play with dog some more, etc etc), I lost my temper.   

When I calm down, I knew I was not very reasonable. I was letting the pressure of schooling getting on me. I mean, Den already learned more than me when I was 5 plus.

Yes, we did not have even one school day the whole week, but she finished reading 2 books from Sonlight Reader 1 - The Best Trick and Green Egg & Ham all by her self and started on another book - Little Bear today. We did math exercises and finished the read aloud book The Light At Tern Rock while waiting for the Orthoptist. We sang the Mercy Watson song while we were stuck in the jam and we played Mercy Watson games (Read about the Chinese lesson on Mercy Watson here) and we read books before we sleep.

So you see I am the one who was not reasonable. I was the one who let the pressure of the schedule pasted on my white board get to me. She is learning, just that she is not learning according to my planning.

*I updated Review for K book today.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Mercy Watson: Princess In Disguise Chinese Lesson Part II

I wrote about how I made the Chinese translation of this book into a Chinese lesson last week (Read here). This is the add on activities that goes with lessons. If you want a copy of any of the this activity in word format, please email me.

This is the song sheet that I printed for Den to sing. Tune is Skip To My Lou. All the pictures are scanned from the book.




I choose 8 sight phrase from this book I want her to remember (another two is from another book 肚子里有个火车站). After I read to the words for her a few time, I let her worked on this. I printed out the pictures on a piece of paper and the words on another piece of paper. I let her cut out the words and pasted them beside the correct pictures. As you can see, she only make one mistake -肚子&裙子。

To help her remember the words, we play 2 games.

Game 1 BINGO

Materials: A set of flash cards (without picture) & two bingo cards (word arrangement on cards are different).


To Play -
  1. Every player get different Bingo card.
  2. Shuffle the green flash cards. Then put them face down on the center.
  3. Take turn turning over the green flash card and read out loud the word.
  4. Put a counter on the words being read out.
  5. The first person to get a line - horizontally or vertically -win

Game 2- Fishing

Material: 2 set of the same Green Flash Cards (see game 1)- you should have a total of 20 cards.

To Play -
  1. Shuffle two set of cards together. Give each player 4 cards. Put the rest of the card face down in a pile.
  2. If a player has two same cards, she may take them out and put them in front of her.
  3. The objective of this game is to get as many pairs as possible. In order to do so, at her turn, the player has to first ask her opponent if he has the particular card she is interested in.
  4. If the opponent has it, he need to surrender to her. If he does not has it, then she can draw one from the pile and see if she will have a pair. This is the end of one turn.
  5. If a player manage to get a pair during her turn, then she may continue or else it is the other player's turn.
  6. If a player finish all the card in her hand during her turn, she may draw a new one from the pile and start from step 3 again. 
The 2 set of Green Flash Cards also can be used to play memory game - Shuffle the cards and lay them out one by one on the table face down. Player take turn to turn over two cards. If the cards that the player turn over matched, then she may keep the cards or else turn them back and it is another player's turn. 

Another thing I intend to do with Den but have not get around doing it is to ask her to fill in the missing strok. I will let her use the flash card as her guide.  

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

21 June 2010

We have a very busy June - friends stayed with us in SG, holiday camp, etc etc. Even after we came back to MLY, there were friends from oversea visiting us here.

Finally yesterday, we had nothing on! We have not had a day like this for a long long time. So Den and I declared it is a doing nothing day (ordoing anything you want day).

Den started off with practicing her piano. Class concert is next week.

After that she colored and she read book and then she decided she want to do craft. We haven't done that for quite awhile. So we set up at the kitchen table and took out the My Giant Press Out Activity Book I bought from Book Xcess (Amcop Mall) for only RM17.90.

All together there are 5 themed activities in the book. We did the first one -Lets Decorate Horse & Pony. We make the background, including the podiums ourselves, the rest are all pressed out. Looks quite good, isnt it?

We spent about 2 hour doing these and by the time we finished we were starving. So we ate the porridge I cooked earlier. We had been eating too much outside food and we need to let our stomach rest too.

After the meal and clean up, Den colored and draw in her room while I checked emails and doing some research on Chinese words. That is my latest obsession, will go into that next time.

We decided we need some exercises after that. So we took out a dance DVD we bought from Jusco long long time ago but never had the time to use it. We had fun dancing for about 30 mins (actually we were just did the rather hard warm up dance steps and have not even go into the actual dance! ^^). I took a bath after that while Den watched her GoodTV Chinese cartoon.

We went out with my parents for dinner in the evening. We were stuck in the traffic jam for like an hour ( I told my dad we should have go out after 730pm-after the 1st world cup match started). Any way, Den got so bored that she decided to read the I Can Read! Book 2 (under Sonlight Reader 1). She finished the whole book. ^^

After dinner, we spent some time in the mall, I ended up buying a book from 商务 Borders - 肚子里有个火车站 (direct translation -"I got a translation inside my tummy" - I'm not exactly sure what is the English name since it is actually translated from German book). It is a interesting book that talk about what happen inside our tummy when we eat.

It also talks about why it is important to chew all the food well, not overeating and drink warm drinks instead of cold drinks. Den and I enjoyed reading that. I have not make up my mind if I want to make this into a song too.

Friday, June 18, 2010

18 June 2010

We came back to MLY yesterday, so now I can use my Scanner! Yes!

These are the two pages I scanned from the Cube Math book we have been using, read about my write up about this here.

Exercise 19 - Look at the cubes on the right (B, C, F) which one go into which box on the left (some of them can go into more than one boxes)

Exercise 20- If you stick the single cube into the 3 cubes formation, which formation it will make now?

Look at the 3 cubes formation G. If you turn the formation around, which are the possible formations?

A few days ago, Den and I looked at an Art book called First Look At Art - Families. After that she draw a portrait of our family and where we stay. Read about the write up here.

From the Top Left - Me, Den, DH, 3 of us holding hands together and the bottom is our wedding (one of her favorite thing to draw).

On the Right is our condo, she draw three of us at our floor. Besides it are the adult & kid swimming pools at our condo. It has pool side recliners and big umbrella with table and chairs under it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

15 June 2010

Den was having fever yesterday, so we did not do much. I read all the books we lend from SG library and we did a bit of the math cube activity book (read about this here) and we learned the new Chinese song about Mercy Watson (read about this here). She get tired very fast, so I did not want stressed her up.

Today she woke up without fever, praise the Lord!

We started school with her eye exercise first. She seems to be improving. Seems to me she have better control of her eyes now than when we first started 3 months ago but we can be sure until we send her for June check up.

After exercise, we redid all the Level One exercise from the math cube activity book. Den requested it. I wanted to go to the Level Two but she want to make sure she get it all correct for Level One (she missed a few the last time round). She got it all correct this time and she was satisfied. I joined some of the cubes together so that we are ready for Level two tomorrow.

Last night she found out I brought along I Can Read! Book 3 (under Sonlight Reader 1) and was very excited to read them. Today I found out she actually read 5 lessons last night by her self. I let her read aloud 3 lessons for me. She wanted to continue but I can tell she was tired, so I asked her to stop.

After that, it was time for our Chinese lesson. We practiced the whole Mercy Watson song. I sang first and she copy what I sang.

After that we look at one of the book I bought from SG book fair- 纸飞机飞到哪里去了?(Where Is The Paper Airplane?) It is part of a set of 6 bilingual books. It is actually designed to teach toddler about simple vocabs and concept - they cover topic like direction, color, shape, body parts, numbers, comparison and transportation. 

If it is in English it will be way too easy for Den but her Chinese is really...... So any way, I decided to start from the basic with her.

The book we did today is about direction - Up, Down, Under, Between, Over, In, Behind, In Front of, On. Oh my, I was glad I choose to do this with her because sad to say even though she understand all the terms when I said them in Mandarin, she actually cant said them her self. 

The book is interesting because after we read it in Chinese, it came with stickers in English (the whole text). So I cut out the stickers and let her read the English words her self and stick them at the correct pages. 

Ok, I'm starting a new Chinese word list to keep track of all the Chinese words we learned this week so that I can keep using them with Den in our daily lives.

After that we play games with Dolch list 3 and we also played UNO. She practiced piano while I cleaned the house in the evening. She actually said no to playground, so I think she was still not totally herself yet.

DH worked late today, so after dinner, I let Den play with a Chinese website I found today. It has a few songs and games suitable for beginners. I hope to find more website like this in the future. I also checked out the GoodTV web broadcast. I am considering letting Den watch the GoodTV Chinese cartoon through the web. My only concern is the screen is kind of small.

After that, we reviewed the history of Christopher Columbus and the pilgrims. Den requested to play with the Christopher Columbus game she saw when we learned about Henry VIII. I let her played for awhile.

After the game, we read about Art using First Look at Art -Family. I bought this last years at a very reasonable price. It was a bit difficult for Den then, so I waited until now to use it. To read more about it, please check out my review at Pre K Book (under Art).

Today we looked at 3 family portrait and we learned about how to decode the portrait from the way the artists positioned the people in the portrait.

After we finished reading, I let Den work on one of the exercise suggested in the book. Making a family portrait. That's what she is doing now. Will scan it when I have access to a scanner. I missed my scanner!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mercy Watson: Princess In Disguise

Last month, I saw an interesting shop at the CC (community center) near my apartment in SG. My DH and I went in and talked to the person in charge there. It is a center for learning Chinese through story telling. Basically they selected age appropriated books to read to the students and then from there, teach them the vocabs and let them perform certain part of the story.

I like the idea very much and I think Den will love it too since the method is rather similar with what we have been doing with Sonlight. However, with our travelling back and forth Mly and SG, it is not possible to enrol Den in the center .

Since then I have been playing with the idea of DIY the Chinese lesson this way. I went to the SG school fair last week and bought a few interesting books I think I can kick start this lessons with.

Just for background info, we are Chinese but Den first language is English because my DH don't speak/read in Chinese (lots of Chinese Malaysian don't speak/read Chinese) so we speak English at home. My parents are supposed to speak Mandarin with Den but unfortunately since Den's English vocab is better than her Mandarin, she tend to reply in English and slowly everyone speak English to her!

The fact that there were not much Chinese picture books available when Den was younger make it worst. Almost all our reading was in English. Recently there are more and more affordable books translated into Chinese from China available in Mly. Of cause the library in SG is amazing. I need to let Den spend more time in listening to Mandarin in order to successfully teach her the language. Her listening vocab need to be improved before I can teach her to read.

In order to do that, I have been reading as much Chinese books for her as possible as well as started the theme lessons with songs for her. Read about the theme lessons at my previous posting
Now I want to try combine the theme lesson method with book reading. I decided to kick this off with one  of the book I bought from book fair - 小猪梅西扮公主 (Mercy Watson: Princess In Disguise) - animals + princess + humour - sound like successful combination to me!

I started reading the book to Den last week. It took us 3 sitting to finish the 16 short chapter book. Honestly the Chinese translation was awful! I have to paraphrase in many places but the story was very good and very funny and the drawing was excellent. Den loved the story and could not have enough of it. The book come in Chinese and English version. I love the English original version 100 times more than the Chinese one...but please don't let Den know.

It is about a pig called Mercy Watson, who lived with Mr. and Mrs Watson. It is Halloween and the Watsons decided to dress Mercy up as princess to go trick-or-treat. Mercy doesn't care much about the dressing up but really want to get some treat! For her, treat mean butter toast!

Things go wrong during trick-or- treat and Mercy end up chasing General Washington (a cat) around town. General Washington goes up a tall tree and can not comes down. The firemen have to come and get her down. Everyone end up in the Watson's house for their famous butter toast.

Before we started reading the book, I listed down the new vocab I wanted Den to learn:

  • 公主 (princess)
  • 王冠 (tiara)
  • 女巫 (witch)
  • 海盗 (pirate)
  • 粉红色 (pink)
  • 裙子 (skirt)
  • 危险 (danger)
  • 追逐 (chase)
  • 牛油 (butter)
  • 消防员 (fire fighter)
I still not sure if I want to use flash card. May be I will, just for a few words.

We finished the book today and after that I taught her the song I wrote for this book (she learned faster with song)

(Tune: skip to my Lou)

梅西是只小胖猪 (Mercy is a little fat pig)
她最喜欢吃牛油 (She likes to eat butter)
梅西是只小胖猪(Mercy is a little fat pig)
她最喜欢玩追逐 (She likes to play chase)

梅西是只小胖猪(Mercy is a little fat pig)
她穿起裙子戴王冠 (she wears a dress and a crown)
梅西是只小胖猪(Mercy is a little fat pig)
打扮成一个美公主 (she disguises as a pretty princess)

Oink (x5)
不是海盗不是女巫 (Not a pirate, not a witch)
Oink (x5)
小猪梅西扮公主!(Little pig Mercy disguises as a princess!)

梅西是只小胖猪 (Mercy is a little fat pig)
她最喜欢吃牛油 (She likes to eat butter)
梅西是只小胖猪(Mercy is a little fat pig)
她最喜欢玩追逐 (She likes to play chase)

你追我吖,我追他!(you chase me and I chase him)
他追小猪梅西!(he is chasing little piggy Mercy)
梅西追猫将军! (Mercy is chasing the cat general)
Oink Oink Miao Miao Oink Oink Oink!

Since it is such a long song, we only learn the first two verse today. We will continue singing this for the next few days. Let see if this can be a new way to improve her Chinese vocab!

*I added some activities after that, if you are interested in reading about them, check out the Part II.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Math activity book

For the past two months, I have not been teaching Den any new lesson in Math. Every day she did a page or two on addition or subtraction. She is getting faster in adding and subtracting. Recently I also added in easy workbook to introduce the concept of times table.

On top of that, we have been reading math books we borrowed from SG library. We read about time, measurement, prediction, etc.

Last week I went to SG book fair with the intention of getting Chinese books. I did managed to get some very interesting Chinese books (I will blog about them in the future) as well as a very interesting math book.

It is a book using cubes to learn about the concept of space, logic and visualization.

It took me two hours to make all those cubes and after that I had fun playing with them.

We had not have so much fun with math since we first started sudoku. Den was like, this is math?????

Den has no problem with Lever one - using the least cubes to make certain formations, guessing which formation is possible with the combination of cubes, etc. I'm excited to get into the next level next week...but I have to carry those paper cubes back to MLY first! I wished the book could have provide more sturdy cubes!

I dont have access to scanner here in SG. I will scan some of the pages to show you once Im back in MLY.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Den going to 'school'

The number one question I get asked whenever I tell anyone I'm homeschooling my DD is "how about socialization?"

Especially when they found out I only have one kid!!

Den used to be a very shy kid when she was 1-3 years old. By not pushing her, slowly she learn to push her own boundary and came out of her shell. She is still not the most outgoing girl around but she is getting there ^^.

The month of June is school holiday month in SG. There are lots of school holiday programs organized by various organization. My DH and I decided to enrol her (along with two of her friends) in a speech & drama camp at the CC (community center) near our apartment.

It was a 4 days camp and ended with a class performance on the last day of camp. This was the first time Den go to any classes without mommy (except for Sunday School). I was a bit anxious about it. I was very sure she was going to enjoy the class once she settle in but I was not sure how long would it take for her to settle in since I heard so much about 1st day of school jitter.

It took her 1 min! ^^

I sent her to class, I kissed her good bye, she asked me am I going to stand outside the class waiting for her, I told her no, she looked a bit worry but did not beg me to stay, so I just turn around and left.

The teacher later told me she has no problem to participate in the class, in fact, she was selected to introduce the play even though she is one of the youngest in the class! I'm so proud of her!

There were 3 kids staying with us last weeks. From what I can observed, she has no problem to socialize with them. She can give and she can take. She prepared her two most treasured princess pyjamas for her friends to wear. She does not act any different from the 3 school going kids....may be one thing different...she has no idea what is a machine gun or laser gun when her friends mentioned them...^^