Friday, February 25, 2011

24 Feb 2011

Wow Im actually blogging today schooling on the same day! Patting my self on the back! ^^

It was a good school day. Den woke up early at 930am because she was excited about what we were going to learn today (will talk more about this later). I made French Toast for breakfast and while I washed up and cutting vegetables for lunch, she practiced piano.

We started school at 11:30am. We learned a new verse today, week 19 verse -
Seek Ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  ~Matthew 6:33
I taught her a song of this verse we used to sing in church. She learns faster in song and the most important thing is she can remember song much longer than just memorizing verse. 

It is not an easy verse to explain, I tried but not sure I did a good job. The two stories we read from I heard Good News Today were good demonstrations. Today we read about Annie Funk, an American missionary in India who was on board on S. S. Titanic. She gave her seat on the life boat to a mother. She die when the ship sank. 

Another story about Lucy Jamison, a Chinese Christian who was imprisoned for 20 years by the communists because she refused to denounced her faith.  

When Den led the prayer later (we take turn), she prayed that we will be like Annie Funk, willing to give up our lives for others. So I think she is getting the meaning of the verse. ^^

After Bible study and prayer, we watched 7 short science experiment episode about plant from Discover & Do DVD (Sonlight K Science week 17 & 19). We still have not decided if we are going to do the growing bean experiment because with our travelling back and forth, who is going to water our plant for us while we are gone?

After Science, we did review on Chinese. Den still confused about 五(five, she wrote five exactly opposite! mirror image!) and 九 (nine), so I let her wrote this two words as copy work. We also learn 里(inside) and 外(outside) today. She did some worksheets on these.

 I read a picture book for her - 世界为谁存在? (Who is the world for? by Tom Pow). Beautifully written but not easy for Den to understand because there are lots of descriptive words.

Last night I went through my bookshelves looking for books for her to read today...since she finished the two we got from SG library...and I found Shel Silverstein' books from my own collection. I never shared with her before because I think it was not suitable for her then.

I choose to read a few poems for her from Shel Silverstein's A Light In The Attic. My book is actually bilingual. So I read the poems in Chinese for her first then I reread in English. She loved them and she tried to "steal" the book from me so that she can read all the poem in English her self. I refused to give it up because once she read the poem in English, she will not let me read in Chinese for her!! Instead, I gave her another Shel Silverstein's book - A Giraffe and a Half. Since this one is only in English. I told her she can read after she finished her homework. She did. Her commented after she read, "this author is just like Dr. Seuss!" Since she loves Dr. Seuss, so I supposed she loves Shel Silverstein too.

After Chinese lesson, we read Mother Goose...we are kind of behind on this (but very much ahead with The Llama Who Had No Pajama, so you can tell which is our favorite!).. so we played catch up today and read 6 pages. We also started on Come Look With Me - Animal In Art. 

After that, I introduce CLP LA 103-Lesson 1 to her. It was quite easy, just learning question words like could, would, etc. I let her worked on the worksheets her self (and Yamaha homework) while I cooked lunch - rice with 2 dishes of vegetables. No meat for lunch since we are going to have lots of meat at dinner.

After lunch, we did a very interesting project - the reason for Den to woke up so early and being so good with all the homework and schooling, so that she would have enough time to work on this project before her ballet class - she was going to be a paleontologist today!

Yesterday I brought an Excavation Kit from ToysRus for less than RM16 (after 70% off, I felt like a paleontologist finding hidden treasure already! ^^) Den was super excited about this and cant wait to start on the project even though she knew she wont be able to finish it today. I told her she can work on it if we finished school early today. We did. 

The kit came with a plaster pyramid (with treasures hidden in it - a mummy coffin and 4 Canopic jars), tools (Chisel, hammer, brushes) for digging the hidden treasure and 5 tiny pots of paint for coloring the coffin and jars after you dig them up. 

It was not easy to chip away the plaster pyramid, after working on it for about 45 min (with some help from me with a real hammer and chisel!), she finally managed to excavated one of the Canopic jar (but not the cap) and she also managed to broke the pyramid into half and the coffin and the other 3 jars are visible now. All four caps are still missing in action. 

Yes! Found the first jar!!! Then the next!

The coffin and the other 3 jars are visible now!

I had to put a stop on this at 330pm, so that we can clean up for ballet classes.

After class, we brought duck for dinner (left over will be for the super nice duck porridge! Yum!) and since it was a quite night in and she had not watch any TV for the last two days, I promised to let her watch a cartoon   DVD of her choice tonight. She choose Tinkle Bell. I did some house chore when she watched.

After movie, she did her devotion and got ready for bed. I read a chapter of 绿林小子 (The Everygreen Wood by Linda & Alan Parry) for her. It is an adaptation of the Pilgrim's Progress for children. The language is way too deep for Den but she just loves that book, so we have been going through a chapter a night (I have to paraphrase and explain almost every sentence! So a chapter is the most that I can take in a night!!!)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

23 Feb 2010

Den and I traveled back to MLY on Mon (22 Feb 2011). We did not have any sit down schooling but we did review on the road, I still think this is one of the fantastic thing about homeschooling, we usually get our review done during travelling - in the bus, cab, MRT, etc.

We reviewed on 2 & 3 times tables, Chinese- shapes, etc.

She also started and finished  Ronald Dahl - The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me in the bus (from the moment we went up the bus til we cross the border, I was very impressed with the speed!...and worry what she is going to read for 2 weeks in MLY) She loved the book and was laughing like a mad lady while reading it. ^^

She started another book - My Naughty Little Sister during dinner but I refused to let her continue after the food was served. If given the choice, she would have read and eat at the same time (and think it is so heavenly....a bad habit learned

Yesterday (Tuesday 22 Feb 2011) I had some trouble with my car and spent the whole day pretty much sending her to various classes (2 ballet and 1 Yamaha) and fixing my car problems (that is another interesting story, may be I should blog about it next time...might get arrested by ISA though...).

Den stayed in my mom place between classes. I left a 3 worksheets for her to work on:

1. CLP LA 102 Lesson 11: It is more like a self check than a lesson. It cover the various topics we learned and prepare the student for the test. She answer all the question correctly but make so many careless mistakes that she ended up with only 82/100. For example -when she was asked to underline, she circle! She missed out a whole section even though she knew the answer.

2. Enchanted English Key Stage 1 - I blog about this a few months back when we first started using this (you can read about it here) and have been progressing very slowly because I usually only let her do this when I cant afford to supervise her.

3. Four Times Table.

Today (Wed 23 Feb 2011) was no better than yesterday. In the morning I brought my little niece to the hospital for check up and vaccination. Then afternoon Den went to her eye therapy. So we only had a very small window of time in between. She managed to finished CLP LA 102 test and a copy work. She scored 90/100 because once again she circle instead of underline a whole section...10 marks! And before you asked, yes she know the word underline!!!

She also managed to finish reading My Naughty Little Sister and started and finished Usborne Beginners series - Under The Sea (part of Sonlight Science program). What book should I let her read tomorrow???? 

At night I read a chapter of a Chinese book before she sleep.

I am looking forward to the next 3 days, we should have more time to study then the past 3 days (crossing my fingers...).

Sunday, February 20, 2011

19 Feb 2011

This is what we did yesterday (Friday):

1. Piano Practice & Yamaha Homework

2. Eye Exercise

3. Christian Story and Prayer: Read a story about Peace from 圣灵水果屋 (House of Spiritual Fruit I)

4. Chinese Lesson - 
a. Review Shapes and worksheets on shapes -正方形 (square),长方形(rectangle),圆形(circle),椭圆形 (oval),三角形(Triangle) - we have been through this so many time but the vocabs dont seems to stick (when she know her shapes in English since she was 2 years old~! )

b. Review - 四 (four),五 (five),六 (six),七 (seven),八 (eight),九 (nine),十(ten)

5. CLP Language Art 102-Lesson 10 - We learned new consonant digraph today - WH

6. English Comprehension Workbook for Primary 1- Hand me down from my landlady. In every worksheets, Den need to read a short story and then work on the corresponding questions (some multiple choice and some open-ended) I let her work on it from time to time (usually when I don't have time to work with her and have to leave her to do her own thing). So far she has not much of problem. 

7. One sudoku

8. Copy work

9. Goodtv- Christian value cartoon in Chinese

It was a busy day for me and I did not have much time to sit down and school her, so as you can see, she did more worksheets instead. 

We usually don't do any study (except Read Aloud story books) at night because it is the time to spend with dad dad. However, since my hubby was having a very long conference call that evening, Den and I continue to study. 

We spent about an hour with a very very good World War I interactive game call Over The Top. It is an online adventure game that allows the player to experience life in the trenches during WW I - the excitement, despair, brutality and sheer horror of trench warfare. The player is asked to make crucial decisions from time to time. The decisions will impact the survival rate of the player. The objective of the game is to make good decision and survive the war.

I really enjoyed the game and at the same time learned a lot about trench warfare (I never like war movie/ my war knowledge is very limited). I thought it show the brutality of war but at time same time it was not too scary...but I was wrong. Den seemed to enjoy the game even though she was very afraid to make wrong decision at the beginning. She was getting rather decisive later into the game. So I thought she was OK with it....until bed time!

She has been sleeping in her room by her self since Oct last year. Hubby and I will stay in her room for awhile, saying thank you to each other and pray together. Then my hubby will leave her room. I will stay with her a bit longer, talking a bit more and then I will give her a foot massage. I will leave her room right after that even if she is not asleep yet. She has no problem with that since last Oct...but yesterday, she told me she was afraid...she can still hear the bomb (sound effect from the game...believe me the sound volume was very low) and her blanket smell like fire! 

So I stayed with her until she fallen asleep and I decided not to continue other internet links that suggested by the Children Encyclopedia. She went to sleep by her self just now without any problem. Having said that, I think the links provided by the Children Encyclopedia are very good, so if your child is not as sensitive as Den, you can check out these too:

Friday, February 18, 2011

17 Feb 2011

This is what we did yesterday (Wednesday):

1. Reading: Den was in reading mood and she ended up spending more than 2 hours in her room reading. We borrowed 5 books from the library last Sat and she finished them all. This is the book list:

Book Name
Sharon Creech
Love That Dog
Alan Durant
Diary of A tooth Fairy
Ronald Dahl
The Enormous Crocodile
Francesca Simon
Horrid Henry’s House of Horrors
Francesca Simon
Horrid Henry shows who’s boss

2. Eye exercise

3. Christian stories and prayer - From I Heard Good News Today, we read about Toyohiko Kagawa, a Japanese seminary student who decided to live in the worst slum of Japan and worked along side with drunkard, gambler, thieves and murderers so that he can share the love of Christ with them.

We also read about how two Indian believers from a remote village longing for missionary to go to their village to share gospels and taught their children about Christ. Finally, after many disappointments, they managed to convince Ezra Steiner, a missionary, went with them to their village and started a church. Years later, there were thousands of believers in that area.

4. History - We read about WWI in Children Encyclopedia. We did not have the time to go into the internet links yet. I'm still debating how in depth I want to go into this. It is going to be a balancing act, I want to let Den understand the cruelty of war and yet I do not want to scare her or make her depressed.

The book Twenty and Twelve came into mind, we should have read it now and not before! It would be a perfect tie in with WWI and WWII. I love that book, I think it balance very well the cruelty of war and the humanity. May be we can reread it.

5. Chinese Lessons -

a. Read Aloud - 露露的恶作剧 (LuLu- Grenadine Fait Des Blagues) It is about April Fools day. I realize I have not been teaching Den some of the sub-holidays (for us!). 

I mean she is aware of New Year, Lunar New Year, Easter, Hari Raya (Muslim), Deepavali (Hindu), Thanksgiving and Christmas but not Valentine's Day (just taught her a few days ago), April Fools' Day, Labor Day and, National Day (did I missed anything?) I don't think we need to cover St. Patrick's Day since almost no one celebrate that over least we dont know anyone who do. May be this year, I need to make it a point to put them into our study. 

b. Learning new vocabs about Park - Like 公园 (park),跑步(jogging),散步 (walking),运动 (exercise),休息 (rest). 

c. Quiz 听写 - 四 (four),五 (five),六 (six),七 (seven),八 (eight),九 (nine),十(ten)

d. Review Shapes

6. CLP Language Art 102 lesson 9 - We learned "Ve" Rule - If a v come before e at the end of a word, the vowel can be long, short or the sound of  /Ə/ - in other word, the vowel before ve is pretty much guess work! ^^ 

7. Copywork

8. Piano Practice

9. Playground

Today (Thurs) we met up with a friend for lunch. Den did her math home worksheets when we were talking. I checked her work just now, she only make one mistake. This is the question:

A fruiterer sold oranges in boxes. On Monday, he sold 4 boxes of oranges. On Tuesday and Thursday, he sold 3 boxes each day. He sold 5 boxes of oranges on Wednesday. On Friday, he sold 2 boxes. How many boxes of oranges did he sell altogether? 

The correct answer should be 4+3+3+5+2= 17 but she wrote 4+3+5+2 = 14 - she either does not understand the concept of "each day" or it is a careless mistake. I have not had the time to talk to her yet. Will go through with her tomorrow.

There is another question she doesn't know how to do. I promised to work with her tomorrow. This is the question:

Tomorrow is Friday and the date is 20 September. 
(a) Last Thursday was __________ September.
(b) Five days from today is _______ September.

She just starting to understand how the calender work last month, so this is a bit advance for her. 

After lunch we went to the library and borrow 7 books for her. She finished one (Daisy Trouble With Live by Kes Gray) before dinner. I was hoping to bring along 2 books back to MLY next week....but the rate she is going, she might finish all before that. I know I should not is really hard to keep up with her reading in MLY without SG library!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

15 Feb 2011

We did these yesterday:

1. Eye exercise

2. Christian stories and prayer- 2 stories from I Heard Good News Today about H.J. Brown (missionary in China) and 1 story about peace from 圣灵水果屋 (House of Spiritual Fruit I).

3. CLP Language Art Book 2 Quiz 2 - She scored 99% this time. Not very often she get the perfect mark. Not because she doesn't know how to do it but because of careless forget to do a whole section....

4. Chinese Lesson - 
(a) Review words that we learned

(b) Learn new words, copywork and had a spelling quiz on 四,五,六,七 (four, five, six and seven)

(c) Read aloud - 露露好喜欢看电视 (Lu Lu -Grenadine Aime Trop LA Television)

5. English copy work - copy the verse of the week - Remember the Sabbath Day.

6. Piano Practice- she is 3 songs ahead of her class now...Im  thinking of talking to her teacher to get extra song for her to play.

7. Watch Goodtv Chinese Cartoon tru internet - The Torchlighters series on Gladys Aylward (艾偉德)- I'm so glad we (I also attracted and watched it with her) decided to turn on Goodtv today! This is a 30 minutes cartoon about missionaries. The story we watched yesterday was about Gladys Aylward, a missionary that saved more than 100 kids in China during WWII. Find out more about her and the series here.

A very encouraging story. I was crying when I watched it. In a world in need of hero, we should all introduce our kids to people like these! It is a perfect tied in with our earlier stories about HJ Brown and our forth coming study on WWI.  

8. Picnic at the park - we have two very big and very good parks within walking distance from our apartment and we have not make full use of them! Since we were eating sandwiches for dinner yesterday, Den and I packed them and had a picnic at the park. We also played at the adventure playground, run at running track and studied flowers!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Since it is my CNY resolution to blog, I better start is half way tru CNY.

Lets start by summarizing what we have been doing and our progress so far. 

(A) Sonlight - We finished Week 17 and now in btw Week 18-19. We detoured so much from the ReadAloud that we just dont follow the schedule any more. We still try to keep up with History and Science.

(a) History - We finished Wild Wild West and Victoria era and going to venture into World War I this week.
(b) Science - We finished animals and for the past few weeks we have been studying about plants. Expect to finish plant this week or next.

(B) Bible -Den has been doing devotion every night by her self. She finished a few children bibles already. Currently she is using God's Little Princess Devotional Bible (by Sheila Walsh) when we are in KL and The Children's Bible in 365 stories when we are in SG.
The Children's Bible in 365 stories is actually a gift from my dad when I was a teen. Now I give it to Den. 

On top of that, we continue to memorize verses from Sonlight schedule. This week verse is:
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work but the seventh day is the Sabbath to the Lord your God. ~ Exodus 20:8-10
Even though it is quite long, she has no problem in memorizing them in just one setting.

Coincidently, today in our SG church adult Bible study we study John chp 7 in which Jews wanted to kill Jesus because they thought Jesus broke the Sabbath law by healing a man on Sabbath day. Jesus in turn asked them why they could perform circumcision on Sabbath and yet He cant heal on Sabbath. I intend to go deeper into this verse and discuss with Den about the meaning of this verse tomorrow.

I also continue to read to her I heard Good News Today (from Sonlight) and  圣灵水果屋 I (House of Spiritual Fruit I). 

(C) English

(a) Read Aloud (books that I read to Den) - My Grandma's Attic- I decided to skip a few books in Sonlight list to this book first because I think it would be much more attractive to Den and I am right. She really love the short stories about a little girl (Molly) growing up more than 100 years ago. We will go back later to read the books that we skipped like Doctor Dolittle and etc.

(b) Reader (books that Den read to me) - I mentioned we borrow Sonlight Reader 2 Intermediate from a friends a few months ago. At the time, I was very doubtful Den would be able to read them since those books are recommended for Age 7-9 years old. But she surprised me by finishing them all (except for one) in less than 3 months! Hmm...the next time I order Sonlight 1, I wont be able to order the core curriculum any more since Core 1 only come with Reader 1 or 2!

So for now we have no Sonlight reader to read instead we rely on SG library. Recently she is very into Horrid Henry (by Francesca Simon), Daisy (by Kes Gray), some Ronald Dohl and Enid Blyton. She is reading too fast for me to blog about her reading list. May be I should just write down the name and author.

(c) CLP Language Art 1-She is finishing book 2 this week. We both enjoy learning about all these language rules very much. Since English is not my first language, I actually learning along side with her. Yesterday we learned about when to use CK and KE to spell the ending K sound. CK goes with short vowel sound and KE goes with long vowel sound.

(d) Copywork - She continue copywork even though she doesn't do it everyday. We have detoured from what we downloaded from Teaching You Own (read about this at my previous posting) and I designed my own copywork to go along with what we studied. For example, yesterday, she wrote "photosynthesis produces sugar and oxygen". Her writing has improved significantly since we started in Nov 2010. I am very impressed with how neat is her writing now. I don't have an access to scanner now so I can only scan some of her work next time.

Just a word to my readers who complained about their kids handwriting. Don't push when they are still young, I have never let Den do any copy work until she is almost 6 years old. Very minimum tracing when she was 5. But I let her color (lots of princess coloring books!), lacing, playing with things that require eye hand coordination and all these build up her ability to write. 

(D) Chinese
Hubby and I are seriously thinking about sending Den to SG primary school next year for a year or two in order to broaden her social life (...she has almost zero friend here...). We have not make a decision yet and still praying for God's guidance. Any how, since there is a possibility we might be sending her to SG primary school, I really need to push her on her Chinese!!! 

After some survey at the local SG bookstore, I realized I need to start her on Nursery Chinese! ^^ So that's where we start. I use the nursery workbooks in conjunction with some of the things we have been doing like  字形画 and 字家族. I also making sure  I read to her in Chinese more frequently. Blessedly with my brother working in China, I can ask him to buy back lots and lots of Chinese picture books! We have "imported" more than 70 picture books from China!! ^^

Honestly, her exposure to the language is still not enough. I am still thinking how to expend her exposure. This year our focus is Chinese! (I've to remind my self that every other day...)

(E) Math
We progress slowly but surely on this, I think. She finally can grasp the concept of multiplication (I tried every half a hear or so), so we started last week on 2 and 3 time table.

Besides that, I also let her work on some of the more difficult questions from SG primary 1 math workbook. For example,these are the questions she did yesterday all by her self:

1) Complete the following:

    (a) 9, 11, 13, __, __, __ 
    (b) 10, 13, 16, __
    (c) 17, 19, 16, 18, 15, __, __, 16

2) If E=5 and J=10, what is N?

3) If D=3 and L=11, what is Q?

4) Kelly has 3 hairclips in her jewellery box. She put 1 hairclips into the box each day. How many hairclips will she have after 6 days?

On top of that, we continue to do sudoku, play lots of different logic games. She always asked me, "are you sure we are actually doing math, mom?" (She just cant believe playing game is math!)

That's all I can think of for now. Very long blog. ^^