Friday, 18 April 2014

Preschool: March-April 2014

There is a new routine in da house.
And I no like.
Tiger will only start school every night after watching Doc Mcstuffin.

Yes, he wants to be a doctor *yawn*
Why isn't there a cartoon on pilots?
Where is Oso with his catchy "three little steps, that's all you need........."?
 You can be a spy, Tiger. I tell him.
Go do something interesting and brave and....
Maybe a spy is asking for too much.
He is actually scared to be a fireman.
I can still hope :)
Probably the only mother on Earth who wants the son
to be a fireman over a doctor.

Truth be told, I want him to set his imagination free and think way ahead of the curve,
so, to be a doctor is not the plan I have in mind.
Other than these pics, we spent some time at the park, 

Not so much
reading, math or right brain stuff.
Lazy month.

Theme work: Flowers
 Here's his work from the flowers theme:

Tiger is very reluctant to attend his YAMAHA classes
cause they are pull-my-hair out boring now.
So much more fun to make noise at home :)
I love this cheeky shot.

Made a gazillion sand art.
Very bad idea. The clean up is horrible, just terrible.

We made so many. Vomit.

 Thinking toys
Mdm Poh Yew said this is the best toy ever.
After her talk, I was like, "Must remember to buy this toy."
 Haha, me is so, very efficient, hor?
Me Chinese ma, kiasu-ness is inborn.
This is the only toy allowed in the master bedroom.

Actually, I made these for him because he was so slow/lazy.
I just ask him to pick out the required pieces.
Considered counting lesson also la.
Make car/motorcycle, plane or helicopter.
Rabbit? No
Dragon? No
See-saw/Ferris wheel? No

Circle time
This calender is one of our most used tool.
His personal schedule too, actually.
He loves putting a tick next to completed activities.

Right brain 
We did so little of this.
Partly because I always give him laser eyes and he hates that.
For mandala, I tried using dot markers so that he can work faster 
instead of coloring slowly, slowly.

We are still using our dry erase board with the workbook.
He is loving the abacus lately, so we worked around that with 
100 board and some skip counting.

We were supposed to learn the chinese strokes with this magnetic puzzle.
He used them for colour sorting instead.
He is completing B cards soon.
Speaking Chinese in school, finally.
Teacher's feedback. More playful nowadays and still speaks with an English accent.

Messy goodness
He is still in love with this gooey alphabet slime.
Didn't work with the cookie cutters. Too sticky was his conclusion

I tried to get him to read his P&J but he was like,
I can only read 2 pages. No ten pages, okay?
I am very tired.

How la?
Must bring out the Amy Chua in me more often?
So far, I'd only shoot him with laser eyes when
he misbehaves or under performs in YAMAHA or right brain practice.

Haven't even raise my voice, okay?
He will reciprocate by showing me sour face.
When I ask him what's wrong, trying to be the kind, understanding parent,
he answers," You show me angry face la. I don't like"
Being a kind, gentle parent sucks.
So much easier to just be Tiger mom.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Baby School: Lesson A

Baby school

Letter A
Easter Sensory Bin

I created the Magformers A, not Tiger.
He just watched as I tried for 13 minutes....and then,
*flips hair*

Someone kept using a chair to reach for the wooden puzzles.
That someone also scribbled on the boxes and had the audacity to announce
"See *insert name* draw" 
I had to move them down before the monkey breaks her neck.
Yes, only Dragon girl would do this to me.
                                      Cry..cannot clean ady.

 Tiger took over my role as teacher.
He kept saying "Mei-mei, look..see, I say look..."
Then, "mama you see this mei-mei, never listen..."

Ignoring the brother, rolling/unrolling mat like there is no tomorrow.

We tried demonstrating one-to-one correspondence. But...

she went off to play with the box of pom-poms with her accomplice.

I find her more cooperative when it is just the 2 of us.


Dot stamping.
I held her hands while doing this.
Then she stamped all over the paper :)

 Tiger wanted to do some Letter A work, so we did paper tearing and glue

Tiger helped in preparing the Easter bin.
We put treasure into the plastic eggs.
Stickers and alphabet slime!


 Her face when thunder roared.
She sat in my lap and hugged me real tight until the storm was over.
I just rocked her saying, "It's okay baby. Mama's here"

Found this picture of Dragon girl in the archive after her
Other Mother aka kakak/help complained that I didn't make a
newborn to 1 year picture frame for her.

I have to admit my mother was right. She was a darn ugly baby
but my then hormonal brain was deluded into thinking she was soooo beautiful.


Organization: Storing School Stuff

This is how our school room looks, right now:  
 Those are the usual shots I take.
After 3 years of schooling Tiger, I have to admit that 
I'd amassed quite a large collection of things.

It is still not much by American standards but by local standards,
I still scare a lot of people.

The following pictures aren't pretty but just to give you a rough idea on
how I organize the kids' school stuff. Minus the clothes, shoes, toys and outdoor things.
So, don't blink because I am only going to show them this one time.

My knick knack drawers.
Bought during sales from Giant solely for this purpose.
I keep it just outside the room.
As labelled:

 In knick-knacks, I store all the tiny things that will go missing otherwise.
This is also known as the choking hazard drawer.

I love these little containers from IKEA
This set, I stole from my mother since she wasn't using them wisely.
I love the transparent part which allows me to identify each one quickly.
We have golf tees, mini erasers, bento sticks, glass beads, mini colour sticks,
googly eyes, mini straws, etc

 Magnetic sets.
I find it easier to store in ziploc. 
Space saving too

This is the drawer for the containers, cups, plates, spoons

If you are thinking, that cannot be ALL of her things.
 You are absolutely right! Haha!

Here's more:

The study is also my home office, where I am slave to more paper trails,
usually in the middle of the night.

I use a dish rack to sort my mails/bills/letters.
On the wall is Tiger's model student chits :)

Under the table:
Too big a space to waste!
The craft box is just bugging me.

 and more here; next to my table.

Last but not least,
this eye sore above the cupboard
The puzzles, brain games, grolier bags, etc 
The covered gray areas are my personal and work-related folders.

Below them, 
Most left: Early readers
Center: Workbooks and teacher's stuff
On the right: Stationery and papers

Oh darn,
I forgot the pocket charts behind the door!

But you get the idea :)

Monday, 14 April 2014

Playing creatively with a toddler

I like to think that I am pretty creative when it comes to playing.
I may not be able to built a mini Lamborghini. But I will always succeed in
getting giggles and laughter from my kids.
Teaching them is such a wonderful learning process for me.

I know I have not posted a lot of our study time pics lately.
Blame the girl.
She doesn't like the camera in her face.

On with creativity.... this is one of her fav tot tray.
Just an old raisin can (from Tiger's tot days) and some poker chips
We'd done this for an entire month previously.

By now, it was obvious that she is right-handed.
I made it more tricky by rendering it useless.
Use your left hand, baby!
A lil struggle but nothing beyond her capabilities.

I placed some chips between her toes.
I thought it was funny but she frowned at me.
Not too impressed, I guess.

I stacked them up to see if she noticed.
Yup, she was more careful in picking them up.

To increase the task difficulty, I changed the direction of the slit
repeatedly so that she had to adjust her hand position each time

I am sure you can think of more ways but always add a new twist 
to keep things fresh.

 This is Tiger's Playdoh Station, where I set up some
knick knacks for him to explore and create.
This is inspired by Reggio.
Note 'inspired'. The thought of bringing wood and rocks indoors.
They can play with those in the outdoor class, not here. 
I have a lot of confidence in my kids
But I just remind her from time to time that these are not for eating.
I think because I do not deprive them of junk,  there is no need to eat the pony beads.
They get their sugar fix now and then.
Non-organic, sugar-loaded stuff.
My mantra in life is you only live once.
Eat, play and live in moderation.
If anyone dies tomorrow, it would be a shame to think
he/she didn't have that cheeseburger/gummy worm.

So, if you tell me your kid is on an organic, vegan diet, wearing hemp
and only play with natural wood...
you have my respect but we won't get along.
I do buy organic but just the dirty dozen vegetables.
Cannot afford to buy organic apples

Anyhoo, back to the knick-knack setup, she picked her ingredients
and set up this tray for pouring.


The cartoon
Picture again??!!??....No! Hmmphh...I close my eyes

OK la...I pose for you...Faster a bit

What about this look? Cute or not??

 Every parent his/her kid is the best, smartest & cutest.
I am no different.
She has us all smitten, esp hubs.

You do not need fancy equipments to be creative.
Boxes, old cans, bottle caps, knock knacks are excellent.
 Think open ended play.
Think of ways to extend play.
Think about combining different methods.
Think of textures, smells and sensation.
Google creative play space and like Let the Children Play on Facebook
You will be inspired.
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