Thursday, 31 July 2014

A New Rhythm

Suddenly realised I have not updated on school recently.
Honestly, it's because we no longer have a structured system with nice themes and trays.

And it's all because of this fireball.
This is how she looks like on any given school day.
How to attend a real school like this? 
Whenever I say no painting, she screams and starts painting the whole room orange/red.
 I pity her future teachers and I am expecting regular calls from them.
 

Her rhythm is paint, markers, trays, walk around the room, 
disturb Tiger and wander off.

When she is very quiet, it's because:
1. She's pooping in a corner
2. She has drawn something, somewhere (bed/wall usually)
3. She found food or some crap to eat
4. She has destroyed something and she is frantically trying to fix it.
5. She is flipping a book. Weird but true.
I personally like option number 5 only.

For Tiger, we are still doing his regular school work:

1. Workbooks (Math & English)
We use stickers, crayons, markers, magnets, dry erase, etc so that it's fun.
 Or he does whatever strikes his fancy.


2. Peter & Jane. 
We are still at book 6A because I limit it to a page per day.
It's a compromise because MIL thinks I am torturing him.
He does read more fluently now.

3. Chinese
Baobei and Odonata Flashcards (yucks)
Odonata books
Chinese Picture books

4. Lots and lots of games
Connect4
Tangrams
Checkers
Marble run
Blocks building

5. Toy Based Learning
This week: Moon & Cats
I hate to say it but he doesn't really like picture books.
Which makes me mad because they are so expensive.
Oh, except this Pete the Cat book we borrowed from the library
Here's a video on this book. I totally rock the chorus, which is why he likes it.

He prefers books about space with little tiny words
that I have to read repeatedly in an Indian accent.

We are starting some project based learning and here is what we did for moon/space:
A globe (earth), 
 Torchlight (Sun), 
Tennis ball as the moon  
(The moon is actually a quarter of Earth's size. 
Did you know that? No? That's why you must read more)

I used Nobita (from Doraemon) to represent Tiger
"Mama, I don't wear glasses. This is not me!"
"Ermmm, it's okay baby. Mama and papa also wear specs. This is you in 10 years time"
He stared at Nobita for 2 minutes while considering my words.
I waited.
"This is not me. This is kor-kor."
Okay. Whatever...We stuck Nobita on Malaysia, on the globe.

6. Art
We paint a lot more because of Dragon girl.
Sometimes we just paint the whole night.
They have a little art corner with all the materials displayed, 
except the glue gun and glitter.

He helped me with the frames for the PLAY, READ and HEART at the reading area.
We upcycled them with some poster colour from Buncho.

Msde confetti with some mini punchers from Mr DIY for rm1.80 each

7. Music
Practicing do-re-mi, mi-re-do at home.
 


8. Outdoors
We spent waaaay too much time outdoors.
Whenever I don't smell the bloody haze, we run outside and celebrate.

Dragon girl in her Jerry shoes. Tiger has a blue Tom pair.
You know, Tom & Jerry, since they are always fighting.

Running in the field.
 

 In our outdoor classroom with some green aquarium sand just for variation.
Nope, I do not have kinetic sand. Sand is sand la...
 If you cannot make a mess with sand...then, don't play with sand!
My 2 cents. I'd rather buy lots of paint with rm239.
 

Holiday
Visited another animal farm over Raya break.
Poor boy was on the brink of crying cause the little duckling is scary.
Still forced him to smile :)

Only the ears grew from 2013.
Bwahahahahaha......he is taller, hihi...but that's not so obvious in pics.

Gangster girl and the poor rabbit.
She literally force-fed the poor bunny by stuffing feed into its mouth.
You should have seen our faces.
 We were like NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

We stayed at Thistle, Port Dickson for a night.
It was a last minute thing, hence we could only get this gigantic, overpriced room
 
   
The kids really enjoyed themselves. Obviously, since they are not paying.
Tiger wants to move to a hotel for the rest of his life.
Any hotel. Preferably no ghost one.
Last year, Dragon girl had post MMRV fever and rash, so we avoided the sea.
Tiger was disgusted with the idea of swimming in murky waters.
This year.....
 

  Guess who thought she was a mermaid?
One aunty commented, "She swims in the sea all the time? First time ! She is fearless!"
Haha, we've noticed :)
 

Tiger was a scientist as usual.
He threw the coconut into the sea ....lo and behold, it floated!
He was absolutely fascinated. 
Nothing like learning naturally.
It really made me think about project based learning.
Thank you, coconut.

And finally,
One for the album, for, you know....
 me, to look back at my 22 year old self when I am 30.
What, I was 22 last year? 
No laaaaa....I am 22 years old EVERY freaking year.

 It rained the next day, so we asked for lots of bath gel and did this :)


Mama is reading up on these:
Problem-based learning
Froebel
Reggio

So, what exactly is our rhythm?
Our homeschooling style is never fixed.
It changes with the nature of the children.
It follows their interest and that has always been our rhythm.

I can't say for sure that ours is the best method,
but I believe my children are capable beings,
they think,
they feel,
they are curious, 
they want to learn.
BUT
I do not believe children are empty vessels,
they are not waiting to be filled with information.
Hence we are moving away from right brain/rapid flashing.

Dragon is not going to read anytime soon,
so, paint and play she will.

Tiger is all about space and cars,
so that we will read about space every night,
weird accent and all.

There shouldn't be a standardized version of school for the convenience of adults.
I believe my children are special in their own ways,
as do you in your precious ones.
Why stifle their natural style with school?
Learn, play, love.
What is in store for us in years to come?
I have no idea.
But I am looking forward to it.

Goodness, I sound like I am 50.
I assure you I am 22 in internet years.

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