Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Buddhist Education

I attended a Buddhist education forum organized by Kota Kemuning Buddhist Center http://kkbc-info.blogspot.com sometime ago. http://nalandabs.blogspot.com/2010/08/29-august-2010-buddhist-education-forum.html

Director Nalanda Institute, Bro. Tan Ho Soon, shared great insights. I jogged down some notes to share.

"We have to nurture education - not to teach, not learn. Like a mother would nurture her child." This speaks closely to my heart. That is why homeschooling comes very naturally to mothers especially, because that is what they have been doing since the child is born. Nurture includes a wider aspect, it means to love, to care, to observe. More than just to fill in information.

Bro. Tan also said "Worldly education - aims to bring you success in life. - core 3 aspects - knowledge, skills, and values. Buddhist education - aims to bring ultimate happiness in life. Promotes right understanding, compassion, generosity, letting go. One practise meditation, and metta."

During the Q n A session, the audience raised a question about " fear" in general. I guess after attended school for some years, "fear" is a very common emotion that you will come across. Fear of exams, fear of being laughed at, fear of being asked questions... So there was a nun in the forum ( i didn't manage to trace her name) She explained - the bigger the "I" the bigger the "fear" you'll have. there are also some other issues like ignorance, wrong perception of self could result the feeling of "fear".

I was relating this to homeschooling, how could this impact of "fear" vs "self" be reduced. In a large group of same age peers, it is rather important to establish "self". one feels the need to stand out from the crowd, to be identified. However when it is at home, once the child's ability and strength is acknowledged by the parents, the child can learn freely without fear.

Also followed up with this million dollar question from the floor "how to be fearless?" One has to let go of self attachment. Let go of your ego. Reduce ignorance of self. Have a right understanding of yourself.

Brother Tan also drew inspiration from buddha of being a great teacher.
1. One has to have the desire to teach.
2. Be earnest and diligent
3. Be creative and skillful to to all levels of students
5. finally constant advancement and improvement.

Monday, November 01, 2010

A bouquet of broccoli

My head is as stuffed as a broccoli. I feel so inspired reading about other homeschooler's blog, watching Ken Robinson's. Yet I have agreed to send my 2 boys to the strictest chinese kindergarden in the region. 8am-5pm everyday. I feel like I have lost 2 sons.

I was very close to winning them to homeschool. Yet the institutional force is stronger. Or would this help to strengthen the homeschooling foundation even more in future?

Sons hold on tight, fight hard, be strong. May the broccoli bloom one day.

Monday, August 09, 2010

A visit to a bulltique buffalo milk farm

Amazed by their size and rich colours.
We were greeted by the familiar smell you get when you visit the zoo. We have arrived the milk farm that our milk man promised to bring us to, and it is a premium buffalo one!
Expression by a handsome punjabi man

Restful black beauty.

These buffaloes are huge, pitch dark skin reflect some rich blue off the rainny day. All milking process is handled by hand lovingly. There is a river at the back of the farm for them to go swimming every morning. 
Well behaved calves.

It was a rainny day.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Homeschooling myself

Honestly I wished I was homeschooled.

I had a lovely primary schooling experience. When it comes to secondary school, I thought a lot of time was wasted learning un useful thing. especially in geography in other countries (that i have not been), sejarah just limited to one country... etc

I remembered my mom trusted me. I value that a lot. There are days i told her that i didn't want to go to school. coz it was very noisy i could not concentrate. she let me. I remember it dearly until today.

So when i stumbled upon homeschooling at the begining of this year, my found sparkles in my eyes. Yes! this is it! this is what I want. However, to homeschool my children is more than merely my decision. So meanwhile, waiting for my better half to really come on board. I am homeschooling myself!!

Before this, i used to think, to learn something, you need to go to "school". you need teachers. Recently learn up things myself having motivated by the homeschooling spirit championed by Learning beyond schooling.

I cut my own hair. Researched into non toxic tick solution for my first pet. I picked up cycling. I learn guitar. Bake scones etc. now creating an tick life cycle observation box. Some of these might not interest my kids. But it matters to me. I am revisiting events that i missed out due to rushing for exams in the schooling years.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Artfully naked

Xuan and his art.
Kids draw differently at different stage of development. Sometimes they have something very interesting going on. Then after afew months they dissapear. The more adult instructions, the faster the naive originality dissapear. I witness it in eldest 5 years old Shanyang. He had something intricate going on at his 4 yrs, but recently it is disappearing.

So adsorbed.
Xuan recently just started to form some conscious creation. very consistently he drew faces. steady continuous strokes. I find it very unique. Wondering how i can immortalised it b4 it changes. Recently saw a friend even allow her kids to draw on her white car. I started to have ideas over my blank cupboard.
Firm support.
Xuan @ Scribbling stage from 2-3 yrs
I was thinking of disposing this cupboard. Now i think i will cherish it for life.  Check out Drawing Development in Children

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Atta pumpkin twist

Thai style pumpkin pan mee made of atta flour.

Pumpkin capati with the left over pan mee dough.
It was quite a productive day. I had a kunyit facial, washed the toilet during bath, created the above 2 dishes. ( previously made dough) It is quite convenient to have some capati dough ready in the fridge. heat it up with some cheese makes a healthy finger snack.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

棕的感动 Dumplings that touch you.

A work of art. A beautifully crafted dumpling from Sarawak.
This year I have the priviledge to receive many different homemade dumplings from friends and neighbour.

First was a vegetarian dumpling - this one bought from Da ai educare. no meat, still managed to keep some good flavour. a humble celebration.

Then chang from Muar - made by Janice's mom. Everything comes in double - double mushroom, chestnuts, pork... you can feel the warmly double happiness there.

- chang from my sinsei neighbour - she made it with her fellow staff in the fully equipped clinic kitchen. tasted very yummy too, i suspect she flavored it with some salted fish.

- chang from my good old friend Jade - Her mom makes lovely chang without fail every year. She uses red bean in her chang wrapped by lovely white glutinous rice. The fatty meat used was soft and melts in your mouth.

- also chang from my good friend Myra - She made it with her mil. Delivered to me in a mickey mouse bag. It is also made with the white glutinous rice without the dark soya sauce. This time has some garlic accent in it.

and lastly a chang from sarawak made my Joshua's aunt- wrapped in local bamboo leave pluck from the local tropical forrest. thick and deep texture neatly wrapped the content with bamboo string. It has lovely white glutinous rice as well, and the ingredient taste slightly sweet with a dash of nyonya influence. it is simply heavenly and touched every bit of my heart. Also a big thanks to Esther for serving it to me first thing in the morning.

so 6 different types of chang I have tasted this year. It is a warm festival celeberated with great art and friendship. I can only be thankful.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Crafty Indulgence

want to avoid buying the commercial cartoon backpack. 
Wonderful craft book to inspire the boys,
they don't know what to do when the tv is off.

Found this lovely craft book from the big book shop in atria for RM14.90 - Summer Crafts by Marjorie Galen. Feeling warm and fuzzy after browsing it. can't wait to share this with shanyang. he loves making things. I' ve been wanting to make a backpack for each of my boys. found a pattern inside.

Also found an extremely beautiful craft blog by an artist in Portland made for his twins, there are lots of simple and artistic ideas. Here's a free DIY paper city template - city & people , vehicles , helicopter. A Malaysian homeschool mom also does something similar paper template for sale in Etsy. She has a free facebox template for download as well. Such wonderful work from home ideas.

copyright :madebyjoel.com

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

a Homeschooling day

Homeschooling is slowing flowing in my vein now. I can now easily come out with things to do for especially a 3 yr old, just off my head. it's great. After all the reading and researching,  today i was doing it without having to refer to a book or the computer. Just went with the flow, observing the kids.

We bring a long a mat sometimes,  just chill in the park, reading, sketching.

We managed to climb this tree before it was chopped.  It's important to bond with the trees.
Going to the park is our important morning routine. I wake up in the morning not knowing what to do usually. Visiting the lovely park near my house is often the best answer. The park is just 1 min walk, and has about 50 trees. Xuan starts to run following the track once he reaches the park. It's wonderful to see him knowing what to do naturally. I will do some walking and meditation under the trees.
The brothers posed for me as they were walking home. Look at Xuan, he was so thrilled with his elder brother holding him.

After for about 30 min in the park, we head home for a shower. 1 year old xinyuan will go for her late morning nap. While my "student exchange" from cambodia will help me to prepare lunch. That leaves me some free time without a baby. Suddenly it strikes me to do a lap book with xuan. I have read and talked so much about it, but have never done it b4.
With some colour papers and tools, we are doing a shape book. i help xuan to cut some shapes out, he  happily sticks it. I feel great, don't know about xuan. he thought we were doing a card. he has already decided to give it to Aunty Dora.

Then it is lunch time, and hopefully they will nap soon, then it is my happy hour!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

bake, double boil & permanent exhibit.

 been craving for some nanka muffin. too troublesome to order from the baker. I try to bake some myself. haven't been baking for so long.
 Bought a soup recipe book. trying out this double boil wild bamboo with vege tonic... I happened to have all the ingredient. looking pro....
this is a latest addition of permanent exhibit on my wall. It's fixed with glue! I'm just thinking, these kiddo drawings are here to stay till they grow up to show their own kids in future. Looks like an outdoor lion dance to me.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Homeschooling 5 kids?

During Chinese new year, 8 years old Cass came over and the kids had a wonderful time. She naturally lead the group of 3-5yrs old kids, guided them to sit down with some story telling. The little fans gave her undivided attention.  When it comes to an end, Cass said : ... the end. Finished." 5 year old Shanyang said : Wait, I have more books.

As it get more interesting, the teacher stood up to continue.

The little fans also followed her to get a better view... She has a wonderful clear speech and is gentle and kind to her little followers. Check out the videos below to find out how it is possible to homeschool 5 children. In these videos you can just see how kids learn, they don't sit still!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


It was a dry brownie. Super dry. I can never get a perfect brownie.

Leaking pipe, the wall paint is peeling off. blk moss growing wild. Contractor came when i was out fetching son.

Crying babies. Why don't you just go to sleep.

Maid agency owes me money Rm100. for over a year. I hate calling them and explain to them over again.

Today I hit a low point after many months of consistant high. Feeling a little low. Perhaps I am tired. A little blur. Lost sense of direction. Lots of things to do, but do not know where to start first. I usually only do things that i like. Not things that i need to do.

I ve been wanting to homeschool. It's a huge effort. but i know it's for better. It's a field i find it interesting. I could learn at the same time i can be with the kids more. and foster better sibling bonding. I don;t get positive support from my partner. Feel like giving up. Why should I be the one worry so much about it. Some one else is in doubt of my ability. I should just forget about it.

I don't like a sad blog. But today I feel like putting the low point up.

Leave me alone.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

my little girl

my little girl has just turned 1 recently. she was born on the 4th day of cny. I used to leave most of the baby care to the maid. But she fell sick often. So changed strategies. Do it myself as much as i can.  She used to have milk rash. Used to cough for months. I kept her happy and bond with her more. Slowly i cracked the "davinci code". Her milk rash went away. The cough is healed. I can see her growing stronger. I connect with her more now. Her face is glowing in radiant. I'm glad i have awaken. It's a joy caring for u my girl - Xin Yuan - happy birthday. Mama bakes u a choc fudge cake.

Monday, January 04, 2010

the presents

The beauty of working in pep design, teaching us the joy of giving and receiving every year end without fail.

recycled packaging design.

Thank you so much. peppies.
• hand made bag, baking tools, julie n julia book n dvds from dora
• 2 cook books from diane - one italian and one chinese new year + insightful pyramid b/w photo with words
• cake deco stand from janice - vintage gold fish writing pad too
• rose teapot from bobo
• eco lunch box from pharnie
• teohchew basket with goodies from god son