Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mummy, I want to get married!

While in the car after fetching Reese from school:

Reese: (With a serious tone) Mummy, when I grow up I want to get marry (married).
Mummy: Oh! (shock) Why do you want to get married?
Reese: (think for a while) Because I want to have a baby?
Mummy: Eerr....
Reese: My son will be called Peter. Just like gong gong Peter.
Mummy: (Impressed and still a little shock) That's great. So your baby will be called Peter. Nice.
Reese: Yes, my son will be called Peter eerr.... Peter David. My son will be called Peter David. Like my two gong gongs!
Mummy: Wah... nice...nice...
Mummy: Who is your wife?
Reese: eeerrr..... Solomon!
Mummy: ???? Huh? but Solomon is a man! Your wife must be a girl (woman) and not a boy (man).
Reese: mmmm.... My wife is Alice!
Mummy: Alice in Wonderland? That Alice?
Reese: Nope, a different Alice.
Reese: My wife has black hair.
Mummy: I see, is she beautiful?
Reese: Yes, she is beautiful and she has beautiful earrings!
Mummy: Hahahahha....

** Can't wait for my son to tell me one day that he is getting married for real! When we had this conversation, he was all serious. Should see his expression. I wonder why he suddenly talks about marriage... we certainly did not touch on these topics.... :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

My son's favourite cartoons are girlie!

His all time favorite cartoon

Cinderella
Beauty and the Beast
Alice in Wonderland
Rapunzel
Peter Pan
Mickey Mouse Club House
Ni Hao Kai Lan
Super Why
Agent Oso

My son loves princesses! He loves Minnie (He requested for Minnie when we were at HK Disneyland), He loves Kai Lan, He likes Princess Pea from Super Why.... He just loves all the girlie characters!

All his cartoons are hand picked by us. He never saw Ben Ten, Ultraman or any of those cartoon that involves monsters or villains fighting. When watching cartoon, any screen that involves evil witches or scary monsters..... Reese will close his ears or run away from the TV screen!

My son is weird. Does your son like princesses too?

Something funny, lately he has been watching Beauty and the Beast repeatedly.... and that leads to him pretending to be the beast and me being Belle.

When he plays, he will very sweetly calls me Belle just like on TV! He will asked me to dance with him, and then he will tell me how he is changing into the prince when I am in love with him......

Earlier... He came to me and I asked for a kiss... my sweet little boy look me in the eye and said in a very sweet manner.... I am in love! and kissed me.... hahahaha.... I asked... who are you in love with? I am in love with you Mummy! and kissed me repeatedly.....

Friday, March 25, 2011

You are VERY RUDE Mummy!

Whenever Reese got me mad, I will raise my voice when I talk to him or I will shout (My patience running out). Then my boy will reprimand me!

Mummy: (Scolding and shouting at Reese) #(*&$)s^^%$$##
Reese: Mummy! You cannot shout at me! That is very RUDE.
Reese: Stop shouting at me! It is very very rude. You cannot do that! Do you know?
Mummy: #^%#(#*^$&#^@
Reese: (Tears starts to flow....) Stop it. You are very rude. Be gentle. GENTLE!

*Shake head*

We always tell him not to be Rude. Shouting/screaming is rude, Not answering others' question is rude, Must always use 'please' and 'thank you' when you ask for/receive something.....etc...

So whenever he whines and wanted something, he will say something like:

Reese: I WANT IT! GIVE IT TO ME!
Mummy: Don't be rude.
Reese: PLEASE! I WANT IT!!!! GIVE IT TO ME!

To Reese, adding the word 'please' will make everything alright! Hahahaha.... So whenever we tell him he can't have something... he will add the word 'please' and thought that will give him what he wants.

*shrug*

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Learning a lot....

Science
It's been 2 months or so since into our homeschooling. There were ups and downs but overall, both Reese and I learned a lot. My son enjoys Science the most. So far we studied the different kinds of weather, floods, earthquakes and tsunami, volcanoes and air. All we did was read and discuss and did some worksheets. Reese can predict the weather by just looking at the types clouds, he can tell you how to make rain, how floods, earthquakes and etc happened. We did some simple experiments and they were fun.

Critical Thinking
I also did some critical thinking worksheets with him. He loves them. Currently we are working on analogies. He just can't have enough of them. In the exercise, you are expected to compare a pair of objects and its relationship and then you are given a different object and you are suppose to find another object to complement it with the same kind of relationship as the first pair. Reese got 100% right most of the time. I introduced the word relationship to him and was not sure whether he understand the word. Anyway, yesterday I just casually asked him to explain one of the answers and never expect much but he did surprise me!

Mummy: Reese, can you tell mummy what is the relationship between these two?
Reese: Sure, first this is a big circle and in it is a small square then it became like this (pointing to the next object) Circle became small and the square became big. That is the relation. (smiling away)

Mummy: Reese, can you tell mummy what is the relationship between these two?
Reese: First it was ABC and then it became CBA. ABC was forward and then it went backwards! That's the relation.

History and Geography
We did some history about the Egyptians, Greeks and now Romans. We talk about their food, homes, transportation, clothes and their daily life in the past. It's a simple introduction to these world cultures. At times, Reese wasn't that interested especially when we talk about the kind of clothes they wear! :)

Math
I started with addition facts and almost daily drilling of about 60 questions and 1 worksheet from Horizon math. Honestly I did not count the number of questions (addition facts) until last week and realized its way too much. Reese didn't like to do math! It's my fault really. At the beginning, he finds it fun doing the addition facts and he can finish them within 15 minutes for 70 questions. Usually I will repeat the questions until he is able to do them in less than 2 minutes for 35 questions (usually 2 repeated worksheets). As the facts gets harder, he started to dislike it. ( I should have reduced it to 35 questions instead of 70 when it gets harder!) The prints were really small and thus doesn't look like a lot (35 questions on one side of the paper). Bad mummy. So along the way, there were struggles to get him to do his Math. Somehow we got through it but with him not very happy and always finding excuses and it came to a point where he will yawn the moment he work on the 2nd question!

So after another episode of shouting and all last week, I decided I am at fault. I just have to find a way to correct it. So instead of 70 questions, I only ask him to do 35 questions and we abandon the old Horizon K worksheets and replace it with Horizon Grade 1 Math worksheets. We continued playing Teacher and Student Game. Reese became the teacher and he taught me how to do the Math. The last two days were a success. No tears, no tantrums and in fact he wanted to do more worksheets from the new Horizon book! I just have to go slow and keep reminding myself that he is only 4+!!! Really a bad mummy. I felt so guilty actually.... I am just another kiasu mother! Anyway... I am changing!!!!

We are almost done with our addition facts and soon we will work on subtraction facts. I must say, learning addition facts first is really an advantage. Reese never uses fingers to count, he does it mentally and also from memorization. Now, you can ask him any addition of 2 single digit number and he is able to tell you the answer. Example: 8+9, 7+6, 3+5.....

You can do it at home. No need to go to Enopi or Kumon! If you go and google up 'How to teach addtion/subtraction facts', you will find a lot of resources including worksheets. :)

Reading/ Read-Aloud
Reese is currently reading the beginner's bible. Usually he reads a chapter and we discuss the content. Read-aloud is fun too. We finished The Box Car Children, My Father's Dragon and now we started on The Hundred Dresses. We also do poems and rhythms using other books. It's really nice to just read and read and let our imagination soar!

English
We are working on sentence construction/ spelling and comprehension.

That's it for now. My not so little Reese will be 4 years and 6 months end of March. Time sure flies....

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Stunned...

The last few months were really tough with Reese constantly being difficult and me screaming and shouting at him all the time. The past 3 weeks seems to be good and I hope it will continue and the difficult phase is now gone. Just last week or so... while driving... Reese stunned me.

In the car and Reese ask for pretend play

Reese: Mummy, you wake me up the ninth time and I will be very mad. OK?
Mummy: Ok... let's start!
Reese: zzzz....zzzz....
Mummy: ReeeeeeeSEEEEEEEE!
Reese: You woke me up Mummy....
Mummy: Sorry......
Reese: zzzz...zzz...
Mummy: ReeeSEEEEEE!
Reese: You woke me up again!
(After the 8th time...)
Mummy: ReeeSSEEEE!
Reese: (With a very angry voice) YOU WOKE ME UP AGAIN!!!
Mummy: Oh... I am sorry....
Reese: Go to the corner! Now! You hear me? Go to the corner and think of the CONSEQUENCES!
Mummy: OK..... Sorry....
Reese: I need to calm down. I don't want to talk to you until I calm down. UNDERSTAND? DO YOU HEAR ME?

Gosh! I realized that what he pretended to say was exactly the way I spoke to him when he got me angry! Even his tone sounded like me! Hahahaha....

Reese Played His 1st Song!


Ah..... yesterday Reese played his first song on his toy xylophone. So proud of him.

He was playing with the toy xylophone when I decided to just play a simple tune for him. I played 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars'. He became interested and I briefly taught him the first part of the song. He repeated after me and after a few more tries, he played the entire song all by himself.

When we reached home, he played the song for his daddy. I will be teaching him another few songs. If he is keen to develop his new found skill, maybe I will get him an electronic piano and teach him piano!

We are suppose to enroll him in Yamaha kids music lessons but timing was not right, have to wait till they start a new class.

In the mean time.... we will make use of the toy xylophone!

video

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Developmental Pediatrician

About 1.5 months ago, I had a word with Reese's teacher concerning his behaviour at school. It stills baffle us why he refuse to join group time (since beginning of school last year!). We had tried everything and it didn't worked. So now during group time, he will do his drawing instead (He has his own set of markers and A3 paper at school). Teachers at school can't get him to sit down and learn with them. Very rarely he will sit with them to do any work! Yet he learns by simply observing and listening while playing! Teachers also said that he is not fitting in well socially. He whines with shouts and tantrums (very exaggerated kind) at the slightest thing. He disturbs his friends with the cheekiest smile! *sigh* just so that he gets to see the kind of reaction from his teachers. Thank God he is not the aggressive type. The head teacher said the most, after a few months they will be able to get a child to obey them and work with them but not Reese. So the head teacher concluded that we should take him for an evaluation and see whether he is really a gifted child and if so, at least they will equip themselves to handle him and help him to fit in with other children. Sound serious huh? *sigh*

So happened when Reese was down with that viral fever, we spoke to our pediatrician about it and was recommended to see a developmental pediatrician. She said, if he is really gifted, we should intervene early to help him fit into society better else when he grows up, it will be more difficult. She said gifted children will find it more difficult to interact with their peers due to more advance intelligence.

So made a call to the one and only developmental pediatrician practicing privately and guess what? Waiting list to see her is 5 months! Crazy! We are told that it's going to be expensive too.
So at the mean time, will try to get him to behave better at school and wait.

Honestly, to me, Reese is very normal. Maybe at school the teachers were too nice to him? They are never strict and children are always given choices. They do not force them. I strongly feel that Reese is merely taking advantage of them and bullies them! My other option is to take him to another school for a trial or something like that and see whether I get the same kind of feedback from teachers. But my only reason for him to attend school is for social interaction! It's alot of hassle going around looking for another kindy and I am really not keen about it and don't want to spent too much on fees. He is learning at home with me and so far, we are having fun and he is learning so much.

Actually I am a little reluctant to take Reese to see the doc simply because we felt that he is normal even though the teachers seems to think otherwise. After much thinking, we will go ahead because we also want a formal confirmation on his giftedness. So far, we are guessing only.

Yesterday afternoon, after my class with a student (same age with Reese) they started playing and Reese was telling him about earthquakes destroying the town (pretend play with his blocks) then how tsunami waves swept the houses and buildings away (all the while using his blocks to illustrate his point) and how these buildings became debris (Reese uses big words).....etc... my student just looked at him blankly and not interested. Upon seeing this, I realized that my son is indeed advance and constantly talking about things that are way beyond his age. Could this be a problem at school? Getting bored is one thing, but not having friends who are on par with him could cause him to be alienated? *sigh*

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Promised Land... Reese's Version

Animals going through the maze to reach Canaan Land

His little world

Animals lining up to go Canaan


'Tim Sum' place heavily guarded by soldiers and firefighters

Reese's version of the promised land by God and 'Tim Sum' place in Hong Kong. :)
According to him, the animals are lining up to go through a maze to reach the promised land (Been reading about Canaan and God's Promise). Then the animals will reach Canaan. Then next to Canaan is the 'Tim Sum' place in Hong Kong. Soldiers and firefighters have to guard the place and next to the 'Tim Sum' Place is the Red Sea.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Elmer the Patchwork Elephant


Yesterday took Reese (School Outing) to watch Elmer the Patchwork Elephant at PJ Live Arts @ Jaya One. The production was by Blunderbus Theatre Company from the UK. This is Reese second time watching the show by Blunderbus. He saw The Giraffe Can't Dance last year.

He was all excited and even interacted with the cast before the show. It was fun and if you have a young one between the age of 3-7, do go and watch it. The show will run till 20th March. Very popular with International school kids. Book early! It was full house yesterday when we went. Ticket price is from RM44-RM77.

Before the show

Cast interacting with the audience. They will go around talk to everyone! The kids especially.

They use puppets and lots of great acting from the actors!

video

A short video of the performance

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Importance of Critical Thinking Skills

I have been doing some exercises on critical thinking with Reese and I find them fun and really challenge Reese to think. It is so unlike other subjects that I am doing with him. He enjoys the stimulating activities very much. Books that I use with him can be found in my previous post.

What I want to highlight is that I strongly believe that critical thinking skills should be taught right from young. Previously it was believed that children under five are incapable of rational thinking or of beginning their education but now, it is widely accepted that young children are fully capable of learning the basic before kindergarten.

There is a limit to what we can teach our children but if we equip them with critical thinking skills, their knowledge is limitless! If you think about it, our success in life is in direct proportion to how we solve problems and make decisions.

Sad to say, our education system is very much memorization and exam oriented. It does not allow the flexibility of thinking out of the box! If you look the kind of students our education system is churning out.... they lack the ability to think analytically.

Examples, in Math - Students have problem doing word problems not because they do not know math but they fail to comprehend the problem well enough to see the math problem. Higher level math requires several thinking skills like deductive reasoning, classification, identifying sequence and many more. Have you ever wonder why some children reads well but fail to comprehend what they read? Reading comprehension is all about the depth of analysis. Children with poor thinking skills have poor reading comprehension skills.

Nurturing Critical Thinking at Home

One way to do so is to ask questions that lack a single correct answer, and ask them casually, rather than quizzing your child. The personality and interests of children are the keys in interacting with them and addressing critical thinking at home. If interacting aloud is not appealing, take a less direct route by observing your child at play, with others or alone, and determine the level of complexity he or she shows during these activities. Listening to your child and gauging how he or she makes sense of the world will enable you to understand what critical-thinking skills your child uses and whether your intervention is needed at home to extend his or her level of thinking.

Get some fun critical activity books to do with the child. Look up the internet for some fun brain teasers to play! Invest in some puzzles and building blocks. When they watch cartoon that interacts with them, you might want to watch with them because some of these cartoons don't really encourage critical thinking but conformist thinking! For example, my son loves watching Mickey Mouse Club House. Each episode will have some problems to solve right? There was one episode that talks about putting an item into the right box. The child was given 3 boxes to choose from(smaller than the item, just the right size for the item and bigger than the item). Obviously Mickey wants the child to choose a box that was just the right size for the item but hey, if we think properly, the item can be put into 2 of the boxes! The box that was just the right size and the bigger box! Right? That's conformist thinking!

You know, I have been hunting for critical thinking related books for young children in bookstores and yet found nothing. So sad. I did find one place that sell a few of these books but they are expensive. University Book Store in P.J. Opposite Jaya One. They sell books imported from U.K and U.S. They cater mostly to students going to international schools.

Do you know Singapore math books do incorporate critical thinking in their math. If you want to teach your child math, instead of using local books, try using the Singapore math books. The text books are colorful and easy to understand. Only thing is, they are in English. I feel so sad with our Government reverting the teaching of Science and Math to B.M. *sigh*

Hope this article helps! :) I am still learning!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Hong Kong 2011 Pt 4

Getting ready to go home... Reese was sooooooo happy! Not after this picture was taken, my poor boy fell asleep on this trolley while waiting for daddy to return the octopus cards!

Behaved really well in the airplane. Thank God we paid extra for a hot seat with extra leg room and space for him to walk up and down!

On the first day, walking to the MTR station and guess what happened? He tripped and fell and got his jacket dirty with bird droppings! Had to pay HKD66 for laundry.

At the sky bridge at our hotel. You can see right through to the bottom! Really scary. This was at the 41st Floor.

Our room view. Not so nice this time. The last time we had the harbour view!

Hong Kong 2011 Pt3


The Sleeping Beauty Castle Reese saw at Disneyland. Check out the details. It is the 5th Anniversary celebration for HK Disneyland. So they decorated the castle with extra lighting, glittering plastic thing all around the castle and also the number 5 at the center of the entrance to the castle. Reese drew everything from memory.
After seeing a very long bridge in Hong Kong, he was reminded of The Golden Gate Bridge in US

Sleeping Beauty Castle with fireworks. He drew many version of this after he saw the fireworks display in Disneyland

Thean Hau Temple in KL with lots of lanterns and fireworks

Another version of his Thean Hau Temple with fireworks

These drawings were all drawn while in Hong Kong. He drew whenever he is in the hotel room. :)

Hong Kong 2011 Pt 2

Expensive macaroon. RM18 for 3

Dim Sum. Taste good and different from KL

Carrot Cake. I never like this but these were really good. It melts in your mouth

Reese enjoying his 'Dim Sum'

Our favourite Porridge Shop Sang Kee. The porridge here is really good.

I had 'g jap' and fish and hubby had 'g jap' porridge

Enjoying his beef noodles

Curry Beef Noodle. The tendon was really good. This is at Kau Kee (Very famous)

Dry version of the beef noodles. I personally like the beef noodles in soup. The soup was fantastic.

Life sea prawn wonton soup. Limited supply and this is at Chee Kee near Time Square.

Wonton noodles

We also had some other food but did not take photos. We also had Mos Burger, Honeymoon desert (Different from KL) and some other stuff. Wish we could taste a few more things on our list but because of Reese not being well and also not very co-operative, we only managed a few. Next time we will go try out more food! :)

Hong Kong 2011 Pt 1

Hong Kong Disneyland

My very excited son

Very happy!

He was jumping up and down

Enjoy most rides

Golden Mickey Show

Eating mickey ice-cream

Was so happy meeting his favourite characters

Dead tired, slept for nearly an hour on me. My back ache so much!

Another fun moment for him

Family photo

MTR ride. Reese learned how to use the Octopus card. He will tap in and out on his own when we take the MTR.

Having fun in the tub

Drawing what he saw daily

First day at Hong Kong, we fed Reese his medication and off we went to have 'Dim Sum' and then Disneyland. Everything went smoothly. Reese was very excited. He went for some rides, explore Disneyland here and there and had lunch. Then he became whiny and wanted to go home! Somehow with alot of persuading, he slept in my arms for almost an hour. Then got up and in a bad mood. Didn't want to go for rides and wanted to go home! So again, a lot of persuading and bought him a balloon then bought him a Minnie and still not happy. Hubby gave up but I tried and eventually we did it. Saw the parade, then went for more rides, dinner and finally, the fireworks. He really enjoyed it. So in all, it was still a good time for Reese at Disneyland.

The next few days was not that great. We had plans for great food, shopping and Ocean Park. Looking at our first day at Disneyland, we decided not to go Ocean Park because Reese was still weak after 6 days of fever and we will probably have a hard time there. So alternative plan was just to go for some nice food and walk around. Every time we traveled down town, Reese would pester us to go home saying he is tired and all, a couple of times we had to carry him and it was really tough! He is so heavy and both hubby and I just cannot carry him for long. And my poor boy really meant it when he said he was sleepy, he will just doze off!

Throughout the trip, Reese preferred to stay in the hotel room than go out. Despite him protesting, we still managed to go down town and have some really good food and did some shopping. All in all, it was quite a good trip.

Oh, this time, Reese was an angel on the plane. He was happy being on the plane and surprisingly he had no ear ache when the plane took off and land.