Saturday, July 30, 2011

Emperor At Work

Doing his math and insisted on wearing his 'robe'

Mom, I am not teacher Reese, I am emperor now!

"I am the Emperor" declared Reese. This week, he is the emperor of China. We are all from China. He calls me Chinese woman. He is Chinese boy at times. He tells daddy you are part of the family and we all live in the Forbidden City. He wears a 'robe' everywhere in the house. It's one of those old batik dresses he found in my mom's place. He talks about everything China. He told me about Porcelain Tower of Nanjing (seriously, I don't even know what this is until I read about it!), the Great Wall of China, we read 'A story about Ping' that talks about the Yangtze river.

First time at Sushi King and really enjoyed his sushi

Last week he was into Japan. He asked me whether all Chinese people can eat wasabi! He talks about Torri gate, Tokyo Tower and of course sushi. He has been asking his daddy to try sushi. He claims that it is good for him! Hahaha...

Neuschwanstein Castle

Just last Sunday, we were at Popular bookstore and Reese and his dad were looking at some miniature building blocks. There were a few structures and one of them was a castle. Reese asked his daddy what is the name of the castle. The daddy tried to read the name which was in German and because it was a German name, he did not pronounce it right. Guess what? Reese stopped his dad from pronouncing it and CORRECTED his pronunciation of that word (Neuschwanstein castle)! Daddy was a little surprised. So he asked Reese whether he knows where the castle is and Reese promptly told him that it was from Germany! Daddy was really surprised. Hahahaha...

You can find this book at Popular Bookstore for RM15.95

Geo Walk ipad app

My dear son has been reading this book '1000 Words Around the World' and playing an iPad App call Geo Walk. Both the book and app gave him a wealth of information on countries around the world.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Using Google as a learning tool

Many parents boast how good their young kids are with electronic devices like operating the TV and CD players, opening certain websites like Youtube on the computer and play their favourite videos. Is this good? Well, it depends on how you see it. To me, I only teach what is really necessary. Till today, Reese doesn't know how to operate the remote controls for the TV and players. :) I do not want him to freely turn on the TV. Unfortunately, he found out how to use the air-con remote control and turns on the air-con as and when he feels like it!

The same goes with using the computer. I only teach him what I feel is necessary. Lately, I taught him how to do Google search. He loves to view images and videos of his favourite subjects. Now that he can read and spell, it is about time for him to learn to use Google as a learning tool. I always tried to sit next to him while he searches for images or videos. Don't want him to have access to undesirable materials.

Having an iPad is really great too. It is a wonderful learning tool. There are many free learning tools that explain, demonstrate, show beautiful pictures and videos and etc... It can be quite overwhelming at times but it's really good! Learning has never been this fun during my time.

Reading to me aka the story teller...

Reese reading a Little Miss book with a stuffy nose and cough. Poor boy.

Lately, he likes reading stories to me. Good for me, no need to read so much to him... hehehe...
He is into Little Miss series.


We went to IKEA to get additional shelves. Reese's homeschooling corner is expanding. Books are overflowing and no where to put. His little corner has expanded and has taken half of the living room! With the new bookshelves, they should be sufficient to hold his homeschooling books for the next two years or so! In a few months we will be ordering two years worth of homeschooling materials to take advantage of the lowest shipping rate. It has gone up to 19% if we purchase above USD900. We are saving money!! It's going to be around RM4k plus.... *faint* Anyone wants to contribute? :)

Early this year we bought these but they are no longer sufficient. So now, it has become his toy storage area

Our new shelves! We even put up a few pictures of Reese when he was a baby

Now our living room is divided into two

Thursday, July 21, 2011

At Play with Neighbourhood Kids

Yesterday evening, I took Reese to the playground to play. There were about 3 to 4 kids his age playing together. Reese immediately went and joined them. They were playing fishing using a yo-yo as a fishing rod. So I went near the kids to observe.

The first kid said "I going catch golden fish".
The second kid said " I want 'litter' fish".
The third kid said "I want a fish".

and so everyone took turns to fish. It's always golden fish, 'litter' fish and fish but when it comes to Reese's turn to fish, it's different.

Reese said " I want to catch a shark!"/ "I caught a shell fish" / "I caught a crab" / "I am catching a cuttle fish" / "I caught a Dory fish!" / "I caught a prawn.. shrimps..."

I can see a vast difference between Reese and the kids. Luckily Reese is the easy going type. He communicates with the kids mostly through actions. Half the time they don't understand what he says because of language barrier. Most of the neigbourhood kids speaks Mandarin or broken English. I just hope Reese doesn't pick up the 'lah' and Manglish.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Typical Day...

We get to stay home till 4pm before going to my aunt's place for my classes. I love Mondays because there is no rush to get things done. We will have breakfast and then do our schooling. After that, we will go to the playground. After an hour, we head home and clean up. Reese will then draw or read on his own while I prepare lunch or sometimes, we will head out to the neighbourhood and have lunch.

Tuesdays to Thursdays
First thing in the morning he gets up he will take a book and sit quietly on the sofa to read or he goes to his drawing table and draws. Then he has his breakfast, brush his teeth and gets ready for school. In the car, he will read or sometimes he gets to play the Ipad.

After school, he will eat lunch with me and after that we go to my aunt's place (my teaching place). Reese takes a quick shower and then we will do Math and English worksheets. After that it is free time. He is allowed to do anything he wants. Usually he will draw or play. Then he takes a nap. After nap, more Ipad playing/drawing or sometimes he gets to play with neighbours' kids. After my classes end we go home.

Once home, he will draw, play with toys or read with me (Science/social studies or readers). After an hour or so, he gets ready for bed and reads his bible story book. Then quiet time for about half hour before he drifts off to la la land.

Every Friday after school Reese gets to go to his maternal grandparents' home for a few hours to play while mummy works.

Saturdays & Sundays
He watches a little bit of TV in the morning and plays the Ipad, draws, plays with toys and reads. We usually go out for meals and some window shopping at malls.

Sushi and Peeing....

Random things I want to record down. My son has taken a liking to Sushi. I have someone to eat sushi with now! Yeah! My dear hubby doesn't like it. :)

Yesterday, I started to train Reese to pee standing (Yes, all these years... he pees sitting). I thought it's going to be a struggle but surprise surprise.... my son did not protest and just promptly change position and hold his birdie calmly and pee. We did have a little accident in the evening when his aiming was out and pee shot all over the toilet! Looks like my threats about not bringing him to Florence if he can't pee standing works! :)
My son is getting more matured lately. Behaves well at school, rarely gets complaints from teachers. He is also playing better with other kids. I am really happy about it.
At home, doing Math worksheets is no longer a struggle as he will willingly sit and do it with me. Not that he doesn't know, it's just that he is lazy to think! bah!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Great Readers Makes a Good Reader

I invest heavily in good books. There are so many great books out there and we will never be able to read them all. For young children learning to read, it is important to buy them the right books. Guided readers are really good. They have appropriate levels to guide the child through different stages of their reading. Readers are great to build confident readers. Never buy a book that is too difficult for a child to read. Go with readers that the child can read and let them enjoy the stories. Increase the difficulty level slowly. Not only do you want your child to be able to read but also comprehend what he reads. Always ask questions or have discussion with your child after he finishes his reading. This help to ensure he understands what he reads and also pick up new vacabulary.

Some of my personal favourite guided readers are from Random House. You can find some of these readers in our local bookstore. If I am not wrong, it is retailing at RM14.90. They have both fiction and non-fiction tittles but limitted. I bought almost all the Stage 4 titles and they are all great.

Usborne Young Reading series is also quite good. They have both fiction and non-fiction. It's only RM11.90 per book(hard cover). They have quite a large selection of titles and are easily available in MPH. Bought both Series two and three readers for Reese. I like the illustration and they do have some interesting non-fiction tittles. We even bought some classics like Around the World in 80 Days, Ulysses and etc.

Another one is I Can Read series. Has over 200 tittles. Mostly fiction.

Do you know our national library is a great place to get these books? Do check it out. You can check online whether they have a certain titles before going there to borrow. I think each person can borrow up to 3 books for 3 weeks. I haven't been there but I did visit their online portal. Quite friendly. Most titles I look for they seems to have it :)

Being Ahead of Reese is a must now...

Taken this morning, after his breakfast... he is on the sofa with a book!

Reese: Mummy, have you seen a man of war?
Reese: How about lovebirds?
Reese: There is even a beach man of war! They eat fish......
Reese: Do you know starboard is the right side of the ship... port is the left side...
Reese: Portholes .... are they the windows of a ship?

I am beginning to feel challenged by Reese! Where did he get those knowledge from? Then I found out that he has been reading the Wildlife fact files! My dear son has been absorbing a lot of knowledge simply by reading. He reads extensively at his school mini library and at home, he will pick up books in our little library to read. He is even reading his children encyclopedia! It is just so wonderful to see him reading for pleasure. Last month and this month alone I bought 10 books for Reese. Our little library is growing and I am getting a kick out of it.... hahaha...

Recent purchases. Reese seems to like non-fiction

By the way, I would like to tell you about this wonderful site that you can buy books from and they provide free shipping to Malaysia and many other countries! I can buy almost any books that are not available here and believe it or not, some books are even cheaper than local bookstores. Books take about 3 to 4 weeks to reach here but the free shipping really makes a big difference(Shipping usually costs between 30-35% of total purchases)!

I already have many mummies thanking me for introducing Book Depository! Happy shopping!

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Leaving School...

After much thinking and consideration, we will stop sending Reese to kindy by end of October.

Some might ask why stop schooling at age 5? Reason is very simple. He is not benefitting from it. Teachers were unable to persuade him to do academic work. Reese's academic level is above what school can provide him. Reese doesn't join most of the activities. Besides playing with the toys/materials, he draws and reads on his own. The new batch of students who came to his school were all 3 and 4 year olds. Most of them hardly knows ABCs.... there is even one that always bullies Reese!

Reese will be fully homeschooled and I will spend less time working (less income for the family!). I am very excited about it but at the same time a little worried about Reese being lonely.

I am going to try to enroll him for some enrichment programs so that he will have social interaction. The reality is he cannot take instructions well in a group environment. Performing arts school rejected him and Takwondo didn't work out either. I still have 2 more options to try, gymnastic and football!

I also arrange play dates for Reese and hopefully it will help. :) He now has a few friends that he goes skating with on alternate weeks which is great. Next week he will start Sunday school at his kindy and hopefully he will fit in well.

He is actually behaving better at school. Less complaints from teachers. A sign of maturity? Should I keep my appointment with the developmental pediatrician in August? Ah.... any suggestions? Saving a few hundred ringgit would be good! hehehe..