Monday, October 31, 2011

iPad Apps

Quite a few of you have asked me to post all the apps that I use in my iPad here, so here you go. Please take note that this is as of 30 Oct 2011, I upload/delete my apps on daily basis. I don't have the time to go into detail, so check them out your self. Many of them are paid apps but have free version, so make sure you download the free versions and try them out first before you purchase.

A) Utility:
1. AppAdvice - very useful for the updates on iPad and its apps. It has pc version FOC here.

2. Pocket Expenses - I use this to keep track all my expenses.

3. Sinchew-i - Read 星洲日报 online, FOC

4. CineXPlayer - to transfer and play avi movie.

5. Penultimate - for note writing

6. Facebook - for FB, FOC

7. Blogger - for blogging in blogger, FOC

8. MY Traffic Free- Lite version (that mean Free version) to check out the traffic on major highway in Malaysia.

9. - FOC. My favorite dictionary apps.

B) Bible:

1. YouVersion - Great free app but need to pay for offline NIV (however NIV offline is free from today for 48 hours!). In order to write note, you need to be online.

2. NIV Bible By Tecarta- I opt to purchase this apps because it allow me to keep my note offline. It also come with study note.

3. 荒漠甘泉 - FOC

4. TheProverbProject - Read from my previous posting here.

5. LivingWord - FOC for verse memorizing

6. THEO - video about faith. First episode free.

7. Where's Jesus - puzzle game to find Jesus. FOC

C. Homeschool:

1. Homeschool Magazine - seems like it is not available for MLY account. If you have oversea account, then try it out. It come with 3 free issues.

2. Common Core Standard - FOC. Listed out the common core standard for each grade.

D. Math

1. Math Board - Read from my previous posting here.

2. Math Kingdom - Fun but a bit easy math game. K2 to Grade 1. FOC

3. Math Word Problems - FOC

4. iMathematics - FOC. It give you almost all the formula and definition you need in mathematics. Way above Den's level but good to have.

5. Sudoku - FOC

6. Nxtapp 4 kids -FOC.

7. Oh No! Fraction - FOC. Above Den level, so we have not use it yet but looks like a good tool to use for learning fraction.

E. Chinese

1.  Easy Chinese - Top Chart - FOC

Below are the list of animated Chinese books I find interesting. All are FOC:

1. 动物百科故事绘本12合1 - One of our favorite

2. 神笔马良

hmm...this is taking too long....ok, I change my mind and not going to list out all the Chinese books we use, instead, this is what you can do - Go to your iTune, then select iTunes Store (on the Left panel), after that on the Right hand upper conner, key in the company listed below one by one and it should give you lots and lots of Chinese books, some free and some pay. Check them out your self:

1. RYE

2. Childhood Fine Art

3. QLL

Please take note, many of this apps are bilingual(some even have 4 languages), so you can select Chinese or English (after you downloaded)

F. English Books

1. Bartleby's Book of Button Vol. 1

2. Disney Comic

G. Music

1. Note Goal Pro - Read from my previous posting here.

2. Ear Trainer Lite - I did not purchase the full version. This is the FOC version.

3. Chord Picker - FOC

4. Virtuoso - piano, FOC

5. Praise Hymns - FOC

6. Musical instruments by Tidel - FOC

7. Pluto Music - FOC fun game

H. Other Good Edu Apps we enjoy:

1. Star Walk

2. Toontastic - Making animation

3.  Free Spelling - FOC

4. Brain POP -FOC

5. Solar System Fun - FOC in Chinese only

6. 中国史年表 -FOC

7. Picture Book - FOC

I. Puzzle and Board Games that we enjoy:

1. Monopoly Here & Now, World edition

2. UNO

3. Chess Knight Free -FOC

4. Chinese Checkers -FOC

5. Checkers -FOC

6. Four In A Row -FOC

7. Backgammon Free -FOC

8. Ant Work -FOC

9. Monorail -FOC

10. Word Jewels -FOC

11. Doodle Fit -FOC

12. U connect Lite  -FOC

13. Tangram -FOC

14. Match Puzzle -FOC

J. Other games that we enjoy:

1. Birzzle - we downloaded the Lite version before we purchase the full version but now I cant find the Lite version any where. 

2. Cut The Rope Lite -FOC

3. Cut The Rope, Christmas Edition - Dont seems to be able to locate this.

4. Cordy -FOC

5. Talking Roby -FOC

6. Baby Adopter -FOC


8. Jack of All Tribes -FOC

9. My Horse -FOC

10. Princess Party -FOC

11. Make me a Princess Lite -FOC

12. Sara's Pretty Pet Parlour Lite -FOC

13. Disney Fairies Lite -FOC

Please take note that a lot of the free apps come with In Apps Purchase, so make sure you don't give out your account password to your kids or else.....^^

Saturday, October 29, 2011

22 Oct 2011

My DH and I went to Cambodia for 5 days and left Den with my parents. I prepared a present for her for each day we are gone (2 Thea Stilton, 1 Winx, 1 Sparkle World and 1 assorted board games). I also gave her study works to do each day:

1. Piano Practice
2. iPad - Note Goal Pro and Math Board
3. TimeTable worksheets
4. Chinese 500 (5 chapters per day and practice writing a new word a day)
5. 1 poem page a day
6. 2 Brain Olympiad puzzles a day.

After she finished her work each day, she can open her present and watch GoodTV. She did managed finished all the assigned works and I really like her poems.

Below are some of her poems (Words given in the worksheet are in BOLD):

The Storm
I feel the wind blowing
I see raindrop here and there
I hear the storm going like this - BOOM! BOOM!
Time to go home!
Yes! Go home!
It's raining! Oh! Help!

Hard and Easy
Its hard to do cooking (now)
but it's easy to do homework (now)

Its hard to take care of baby (now)
but it's easy to read (now)

Some things are easy, some are hard, some are in between. 
Some things are hard 'cause I'm 6+ years old. 
They'll be easy when I'm seventeen.

Picnic In The Park
I see tress and grass
I shoo away bees and ants
I munch on butter on bread
I eat lots of cake and cream
We play swing and sand
We play ball and skip
Darn-it's time to leave the park,
because it's really getting dark!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

03 Oct 2011

It has been a rather rough week.

Getting to know some homeschooling families and even though I know I should not compared, I cant help but to started to question the way we had been homeschooling. Are we going to the right direction? Am I spoon feeding Den too much information and not enough practical? Have I been lazy and rely too much on the curriculum and not making enough effort to make the lesson interesting for Den? 

We continued to school as usual but all these questions were at the back of mind and lets just said because of that I was rather restless and short temper. 

People always ask if it is difficult to homeschool. To me the difficult part is not the teaching it self. May be because I used to teach more than 100 kids in one session, so now teaching 1 is a lot easier. May be also because God has blessed me with a rather compliant child. 

To me the difficult part of homeschooling is the mental struggle and self doubt. Since I grew up in conventional school system, how do I jump out of the box and school Den differently? How do I (or should I) measure Den's growth? Am I doing enough? Am I doing too much? From time to time, I will lose sight and forget Den's future is in God's hand and not in mine and thus worry my self sick. 

Of cause it won't help when the whole world is questioning you as well - how about socialization? How about Secondary school? College? etc etc. Yesterday, my dad just found out my intention to continue to homeschool Den instead of sending her to P1 next year. Saying that he is not pleased is an understatement. I did not argue with him since I firmly believe it is my right to decide on Den's education. But it is going to be another war to fight soon when he realize I have no intention in following what he said. 

God reminded me two weeks in the row with 
Nehemiah 8:10 "Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength." 
So for the past few days, I have been focusing in praising God. I choose a few songs in my mind and whenever I feel restless or depressed, I focus in praising God instead. 

Another difficulty I have with homeschooling is Den is with me 24/7 and some time I fell like I don't even have the space to hear my self think. Especially now when my hubby is not with me and my mom is also away, there is no one to even take Den out of my hand for short awhile. This is one of the reason I sign her up for group art lesson (instead of individual lesson at home). I need a breather. 

Since we don't (and can't) do school everyday, I have been trying to squeeze as much study into the days we do school as possible. Because of wanting to squeeze everything in, I get very short temper with her especially when she dilly dally. Sometime I forget, she really doesn't need so much formal school. She need time to do her own thing, to explore on her own. That is one of the reason I homeschool her at the first place. 

So for the past few days, instead giving her lots independent works (homework/worksheets) to do when I'm busy (cooking/cleaning/resting...), I let her do her own thing. She happily reread many books from our library, playing piano, drawing, etc.  

It has been rough and lots of up and down and shouting, but I also managed to do a lot of thinking. There are still more to consider and may be some changes in our way of studying. 

This is the summary of what we have done for the past one week:

1. Bible - we continue Proverb Project in ipad (at Chp 12 now), praise and worship (sometime I led and sometime Den led) and a new verse:
Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hungry, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.            ~ Roman 12:19-21
Den is getting very good in memorizing verses. This one only took her 2 sitting. I was a bit unsure if I want her to memorize the KJV or NKJV version (without all the old English words like saith, thou, shalt, etc). Learning KJV will help her in understanding classic like Shakespeare later on. So finally I decided to let her use all the thine, saith, shalt but change the last verse to NKJV (because KJV doesn't sound right on the last verse!)

She also did the copywork for this verse. It is a long verse, so I broke it into two parts and let her copy in her journal and she also  drew a picture at the side to illustrate the verse.

2. Science - We almost done with the 66 scientists video (9 more to go!) and we've totally fallen in love with science again. Now Den says she want to be a scientist, just cant decide which field to go into! LOL! I learned a lot of new thing my self like Nano technology (ok, I have to confess I have never heard of this word before this!), lung cilia, etc. 9 more to go, who know what other new things I'm going to learn with Den. 

We finished Sonlight Science Week 22 (mainly about what the scientist do) and started a bit on Week 23. Haven't done Week 22 experiment yet because keep forgetting to buy the red cabbage! Does anyone know you can actually use the juice from red cabbage to test and see which things are acidic?!!

Den also did an observation on ant for her homework. This is what she wrote in her science notebook:

We also had an impromptu discussion about Earth, Sun, Moon, seasons, day & night and New Moon, Full Moon, etc today (We discussed this once when Den was around 4+, but she had forgotten all about it. No idea why the sudden interest, but I'm very happy to explain it all again. )

3. History - We started Sonlight Week 23 today and read about different type of houses for the past hundred years or so (we already did those before this past 100 years).

I also found this wonderful wonderful book in MPH sales corner called Fatimah's Kampung (I felt like I've strike gold! ^^). It is so wonderfully illustrated! It bring the readers back to the time of the old in Kampung and it also talks about how the kampung has gave way to the modern development and thus a lifestyle had been demolished.  

I was standing in MPH totally in awe of the book, but at the same time cant decide if I should spend RM45 (after 30% discount!) for a book. (Don't ask me why I would be hesitated to pay RM45 for gold. Our budget for books has gone so far out this month....and BBW sales is coming this Friday!!! STL, pleas pretend you didn't see are not here to stop me!!! ) Den saw me struggling and told me she would give me all her pocket money so that I can buy the book. Now what more reasoning do I need? ^^

We just started reading it. I am going to count it as history and social science study.

4. Chinese - As I mentioned before this year is our "Improve Chinese Year". So far I think we are progressing well. Den is close to learning to read about 100 Chinese words now and her listening has improved a lot too. When my Sister In Law is back, she will have someone to practice conversation with (my SIL only speak Mandarin!). My urgent need is to get more level appropriated good reader for her to practice reading. I have a few from Odonate Publishing but it is not enough. Ok, I need to go through all those Chinese picture books again and hopefully can find something appropriate for her to read. 

We have finished reading the comic book about Thomas Edison and now into Helen Keller. Den loves the series. She will even read through the pictures even though she cant read most of the words yet (I was like "YES!!"). To know more about the comic series, read here

5. Math - After playing the games from Peggy Kaye's Games For Learning (read here), Den is getting better in place value! So we continued on our Challenging Math workbook. Today she did the multiplication below 40. 

6. English - We are listening/reading Dr. Doolittle now. 

We also did all the read aloud in Sonlight week 23.  Today I let her start using Scholastic Instant Poetry Frame. It is much easier than writing journal, so she jump right into it. ^^

CLP is getting harder and harder, so I didn't let her do the worksheet as often as last time. 

7. PE - She swam 3 times this past one week and also the usual Ballet practice.