Thursday, April 19, 2012

let's sail

so to commemorate the titanic 100 years anniversary the father has come out with some ideas. We have built the ice boat earlier on, which didnt last too long for them to play in the bath tub. Then we moved on to build something more lasting. A simple raft out of a palm trunk we collected. It's easier to saw than wood! Then we drilled a hole in the middle to fix the mast using a bamboo stick collected from the park near our house. (yes we have a wonderful park nearby that provide us these natural materials!)

We also took a trip up to Penang to experience the ferry and watch ships from afar. The kids were overjoyed! I must say ships are such beautiful invention. Even i started to like these water engines! Such marvelous piece of fine work. They spotted some oil tank ship, a ship sailed from hong kong...

We also borrowed some books from the library, a titanic book and a pirate ship book with beautiful illustration naming all parts of the boat.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Learning Chinese via art, calligraphy and Chinese painting

We are getting a bit concerned about 7 year old shanyang not showing much interest in learning Chinese. He managed his way satisfying his knowledge acquiring needs via phonetic reading the English books. His exposure in Chinese reading has need badly hindered by too much early reading and writing during the 3 years in the kindergarten.

So we hope to revive his interest again slowly. We are experimenting with learning the language via art. we have found teacher lai to be a suitable teacher who specialized in Chinese art and understands children well. So we expressed our concerns to him and we were told that at a tender age of 7 play oriented learning is still the best approach. We feel very comforted to leave our kids in the hand of teacher lai . Today we've had our first class together. The kids had free form art lesson as the teacher still trying to understand the child and I had a Chinese calligraphy lesson. I felt great after the class it seems Chinese calligraphy helps to regulate your breathing and cultivate your emotion. I love to be able to learn at the sametime with the kids, not merely ferrying the kids around.

After hearing from teacher lai, again I am confirmed that young school going kids should still be left to play and experiment instead of learning the hard and fast rules. the ripe age to learn doing calligraphy properly is at about age 10.

It's great I am learning it myself now. So that I can teach him when ever he is ready. Hmmm in homeschooling, it is true that the parents should learn first! And the child would be curious and start to imitate.

Teacher lai' studio

Into Boat, ship and marine life (Wednesday 4-4-12)

Recently shanyang showed great interest in transportation on the water. His dad has been telling him about titanic as this ship in sunk sometime around April 15. Dh asked if he could borrow the titanic movie back for the kids to watch, I strongly against it for the movie has much cliche to drown the young kids's senses.

So we try to build an ice boat after lunch. ( I seemed to gain more consciousness after lunch, everyone in the family will come into the similar wave length after having a meal together.)

We spent a long time fixing the boat and left it in the fridge over night. However the time for enjoying the boat floating on the water is too short. The ice melt fast. So I have a dissatisfied 5 yr old complaining his boat is gone. Hmmm... Have to find another way to build a lasting boat again.

Gingerbread man (tuesday -3/4/12)

We've been enjoy reading the gingerbread man book from the library. So it is time to try out the recipes at the back of the book. After a well fed lunch we started our baking project. The kids were overjoyed.

I haven't done baking with them for a long time, as I was over occupied with curriculums. I see sparkles in their eyes, i am blessed with their undivided attention. they are fully engaged with their hands and all the senses. After the first round of bakes, they waited for it to cool down patiently and had it with a cup of cool milk. simply blissful.

I also witness a keen enthusiasm from my 3 yr old daughter in working with her hands. She was so focus in sieving the flour n sugar. I see a rare intense concentration coming from her. Silent Sweat drop from the hair to the forehead.