Friday, September 9, 2011

08 Sept 2011

The more I read about the stories of the famous people, the more I doubt the wisdom of a so call "balance lifestyle". I mean we had been taught, well, I had been taught, it is important to have enough sleep (sleep early, wake up early), eat right, balance your work and church and family, oh and don't forget to exercise! but when you look at the stories of all those great men and women, how many of them lived a so called "balance lifestyle"?

Thomas Edison slept four hours a day...and not even consecutively! He took 1 hour rest when he was too tired and he only allowed him self to take 4 rest per day! Helen Keller studied day and night until she fainted because of exhaustion. This is the quote about Mother Teresa "Mother Teresa of Kolkata (Calcutta) led a life beyond balance. She had no secular career, no family, no apparent hobbies. She had an all consuming ministry to those completely abandoned by society. Founding and leading a religious order and expanding the work of the Missionaries of Charity, left little time for sleep, let alone rest and relaxation." How about our Lord Jesus? How much time do you think Jesus get to sleep? 

Great achievement often come from great passion. Great passion often doesn't leave much room for things like sleep, eat or exercise. So now my question is, is it more important to have great passion or balance lifestyle? Or do you think they can be obtain simultaneously? 

Why am I asking this question? Because I find it a very important question to ask my self, as a homeschooling mom. When Den is interested in something, should I let her spend all her time in that particular subject/field or should I insist she has a more balance/well rounded education? Sometime when she is in reading mood or craft mood, she wants to spend the whole day/s reading or doing craft, should I let her be or should I insist on doing school as plan? Am I killing/suffocating her interest/passion by insisting she know a bit about everything instead zooming in into one area? Am I going too broad instead of deep?

These are just thought in progress...writing blog is a good way for me to organize my thought. So I have no ready answer. You are welcome to vote on that thought! Hahah! Im in voting mood!

Any way, as I said, those are just thought in progress, so please take them with a grain of salt. Remember also, this is from someone who has a rather dysfunctional sleep pattern and prefer to stay up til dawn and sleep til noon. One side note, Einstein claimed to sleep 10 hours per day and 11 hours if he need to work harder in solving the problem....because he said dream help him in problem solving. There! I presented two side of the coins! ^^

Back to what we did today. 

Den woke up at 10am. After hug hug in bed and breakfast, we did the sunflower seed math (read about this at my previous blog here) at the kitchen table...Den think it is a game, so happily (insistingly) played with me. After that we left the house for lunch in a mall and followed by Den's 2 hour art class. 

She just started the art class about a month ago. She asked me to send her to art class since she was about 4 or 5 years old. But I kept delaying it because I'm a bit worry art class might kill her creativity - you know, being told how to draw, how to paint instead of just draw the way you want it that kind of thing. 

However when I think back about my own experience, I loved drawing when I was a kid but I stop when I was a teen because I did not have the technique to draw the way I wanted it to come out. So I can understand her frustration when she does not know how to draw what she want to draw. When I found a school that is willing to let us pay on class by class basis, I decided to sign her in. She enjoys it so far and very proud of what she can do. 

After the class, she played in IKEA smallland for less then an hour before we had to leave (to beat the rush hours traffic). I sent her to my parents house, so that she can play with dogs and her grandparents. While she was there, she used iPad to do two pre-assigned homeworks - 

1. Note Goal Pro - a music note reading program Den uses to practice note reading. Yamaha students are infamous for their poor note reading skill, so I'm trying to compensate for that. ^^

iPad Screenshot 3

2. MathBoard - I use this for math drilling. I pre program the apps and it will automatically generates 20 math questions (that suit her level) for Den to works on. When she is done, she can save the result so that I can check on them later. On cool tool is the black board at the side which you can use to do all the draft calculation that you need. This is really cool on a travelling day, no need to prepare extra draft paper. 

iPad Screenshot 1

Yes! I love iPad and I think it is really great for homeschooler! Im contemplating writing a whole posting about all the great apps we use. 

We had dinner at a restaurant together. While the adults were talking away, I read a book that I just bought for Den today. Recently Den has shown great interest in comic. It started with Winx Club (Im still not sure if it is actually suitable for Den's age!), and later she discovered Calvin and Hobbes. So when I saw a series of comic featuring biography of famous people (in Chinese!童悦坊漫画名人堂) in Popular, I knew I need to get them for Den. I bought two of them - Thomas Edison and Helen Keller. I read them while waiting for Den in Art class and I love them! They are very well written. The story lines and the drawing are captivating. The language is simple .

I decided to read Thomas Edison to her first since we just talked about Thomas Edison this week. At first she was a bit reluctant because it is in Chinese but when she saw that it is in comic form, she eagerly agreed to try it out. She loved it and was very upset when we had to stop (the adults were ready to leave the restaurant!). I'm going back to buy the other two in the series - Lincoln and Newton. I think they are good buy at RM16.90 each (before member discount).


  1. I think maybe as kids we should try everything and through that hopefully find out where our passions lie, then later if we want we can choose to spend all our energy on that one thing lor!

    My friend told me about something she read or saw (sorry I can only describe VERY vaguely).. I think the thing is kids' brains are capable of learning lots of new different stuff but if by a certain age an area of the brain hasn't been used (like music or math or whatever) then that part shuts down! Or the brain cells die or SOMETHING causes them to not be so efficient anymore.

    HAHAHAHAHA. Does this count as a huge vote? :P

  2. Good point Hazel! However what if the child doesn't want to try everything and only want to focus on one? Should I make her try everything first? ^^