Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Great Youtube Videos for Learning the Human Body

Reese is crazy over the human body and to supplement his interest, I found some great videos that teach us about the human body. There are many such videos on Youtube but these are some of the simpler and child friendly ones. They are suitable for children age 6-12 years old but if your younger children are interested, then go ahead and let them watch. Only complaint is that the narrator has an accent which eerr.... I didn't like it but. 

Here are the links:

Five Senses

Skeletal System

Digestive System

Respiratory System

Cardiovascular System

Muscular System


Endocrine System

Nervous System

Inmune System

Monday, November 28, 2011

Reese Drawing and Explaining the Human Body

The books we borrowed from PSN were really good books. Reese has been reading them a lot and we learned so much from them. Here is Reese explaining and drawing the human body. :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Reese's Birthday Celebration at McDs

I just got the photo's from Reese's teacher 2 weeks ago. We had a small 5th birthday celebration for Reese with his school mates at McDs on his actual birthday. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Big Bad Wolf Aftermath Sale

I was not suppose to buy any more books for at least 1 year but I can't help it. BBW aftermath sale was just too tempting. So I went today. I managed get myself a preview pass for next year's BBW sale! I was no.83 out of 100. I managed to get 18 books for RM41.00. Most of the books I got were only RM2! I got myself a hard cover cook book for RM5. How not to buy? :)

The sale is still on. Go before it ends. It is on till 28th November.

Some nice readers and read aloud books for Reese.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Jim West Puppets' Dinosaur

2 weeks ago I bought tickets for Reese and I to watch Jim West Puppets' Dinosaur. This morning was the show and guess what? blur me thought the show was at 11am when in actual fact it was suppose to be at 10am. At 10am I looked at the tickets and got a shock to see the time of the show! So out we go at lightning speed (Poor in-laws had to walk/run super fast with us to the car!). On the way in the car Reese commented, "Was it me or what? Are we in a roller coaster ride?" :)

Then 5 minutes before we reached the place the box-office guy called to find out whether we are coming! We were already 25 minutes late. Bummer!

When we reached the entrance, it felt like a relay race because the box-office guy was standing at the side of the entrance with my tickets and membership card all ready and shoved it into my hands and wave us in! Hahaha... 

Well, lucky us, we only missed 10 minutes of the show because they started late. We had fun and it was much more enjoyable as compared to the previous two by Blunderbus (UK) that we saw. 

Learned a few things about dinosaur and puppet making from the show. Simple props but really hilarious. Just two guys doing the entire show. 

Later in the day, we went for the free puppet making workshop that came with the show. Reese did most of the work and he actually enjoyed the whole puppet making process. Maybe he is beginning to like craft!

Here are some pictures taken at the workshop:

Jim West the puppet master
Reese drew the design and cut part of his puppet
Jeremy the other puppet master
Full concentration. I rarely see him so engrossed in his craft. Well, maybe because I hardly do craft with him!
Kids and their puppets
Reese and the two puppet masters
His almost finished puppet. 
It was fun mummy!

Science and craft kits

A couple of days ago, I was browsing for educational toys to buy and came across a whole lot of science and craft kits. I have seen them before in most departmental stores but did not really look at them in detail. These science and craft kits are priced from RM25+ to RM49+ each. One particular brand stands out pretty well is 4M. They have a wide selection of science kits. From building simple robots to dinosaur excavation! I actually find them interesting. Is it worth the price? Well, for most of the kits,  yes! because all materials are provided with instructions. Hassle free.  These kits are for children 7 and above but I am sure some 5 to 6 year olds would love it too! If you have younger kids, go for their craft kits. A few years back I bought 1 and it was quite good. We made a dinosaur and Reese painted it.

Currently there is a promo for this brand where they bundle up 2 kits with a free gift and you save at least RM6 or more. Popular bookstore at IPC has quite a good selection and slightly cheaper than Toys R Us. :)

Some of the Science kits I saw at Popular Bookstore, IPC

  1. Smart Robot
  2. Tin Can Robot
  3. Eco Science Toys
  4. Clean Water Science
  5. Weather Station
  6. Potato Clock
  7. Brush Robot
  8. Soda Can Robug
  9. Windmill Generator
  10. Flying Science
  11. Magnet Science
  12. Night Sky Projection Kit
  13. Solar System
  14. Illusion Science
  15. Detective Science
  16. Spy Science
  17. Cosmic Jet Robot
  18. Cosmic Rocket
  19. Buzz Wire
  20. Kaleidoscope Making Kit
  21. Different types of Dinosaur Excavation Kits
  22. Volcano Making Kit 
  23. Kitchen Science

Science kits from this brand has over 90 different types! There are also a few other brands that offer similar science kits but selection wise is limited. 

I am going to get a few as Christmas presents for Reese. The plan is to do 1 to 2 of these kits a month and thus it is inexpensive. These kits are great educational tools. Hands on learning is one of the keys to fun learning and a better understanding of the subject matter. Highly recommended.

By the way, if you are tight on budget, go to 4M's website and download their instruction manual and get an idea how to perform some of the experiments! It's free. :) Here is the link: Instruction Manuals 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Robotic Festival at PSN

I am so excited!
 We went to the Robotic Festival at National Science Centre (PSN) this morning. First stop was to the resource centre to borrow our books (First time). Reese borrowed books mainly on human anatomy. Next we went to the second floor for the Robotic Festival (Free). It was fun with lots of hands on activities for children. These activities are mostly for children above 6. 

Do bring your children there. It is from 19th - 27th November.

Entrance to PSN: Adult - RM3 and Children above 6 - RM1.

Books from the resource centre. Each member can borrow 3 books for 3 weeks.
He is cute mom. He can talk and move!
Do you see me?
First station. Robo Clay. Each child get to choose a robot templet and decorate it with clay (not sure what kind of clay)
Mummy did most of the work!
Second station. Build a robot from cardboard paper. 
Our paper robot. Reese named him Bob.

Fun with Ollo. We are suppose to build a robot dog. Reese checking out the manual.
This is the set with everything we need to build the robot.
The finished product. A robot dog. Not easy. Definitely for children older than 8 years old. There were about 15 participants with their mummies. At the end, all the mummies were the ones assembling it. Some decided to abandon it after a few attempts and by the time I left, everyone was still hard at work. I was the first to finish! Not bad eh? 

Our little robot. Too bad, we don't get to keep it! Hehehe... it's not cheap. They are selling it there for RM125.

Reese played with the robot dog.
Last station. Reese made a sponge moving robot. 
He came home with all these. :)

Our paper robot and sponge robot in action!

Type chatting with his aunt...

Last night I was chatting with my sister on Facebook and my baby wants to say hello to his aunt. At first he started by saying hello and ended up chatting with her for more than 40 minutes. He did all the typing himself and occasionally asked me to help him spell a word or two. It's my son's first time chatting with someone over the internet. Oh boy, he really enjoyed it and wanted to continue chatting. It was hilarious watching his reaction every time he tried to be funny/cheeky with his aunt! Typing for him was not easy but he did quite well using both his hands.

Their conversation:

Jillian: This is Reese or Florence typing?
Reese: You are typing.
Jillian: hmmmm this must be reese boy. reese is naughty boy or good boy?
Reese: yes! i am a good boy.
Jillian: i heard from gong gong reese is naughty
Reese: yes it's true!
Jillian: and your mummy say you are making noise and dont want to sleep. is it true?
Reese: no it's not true.
Jillian: are you going to help gong gong decorate the christmas tree? or yee yee decorate the tree first?
Reese: i want to decorate your tree!
Jillian: ok then i ask gong gong wait for you ok?
Reese: yes!
Jillian: so what does reese want for your christmas present?
Reese: psn
Jillian: what is psn?
Reese: it's a type of cake.
Jillian: ahhhhh, where can yee yee get that cake?
Reese: from the hj farm.
Jillian: and where is HA?
Reese: in brazil.
Jillian: wow... its too far, do you know how yee yee can go to brazil?
Reese: no!
Jillian: hmmm then yee yee cannot buy you the psn cake, so you need to pick another gift for christmas
Reese: no i want it!
Jillian: but you will have to teach yee yee how to go to brazil, else how can yee yee buy the psn cake for you?
Reese: ok!
Jillian: so reese find out how yee yee can go to brazil then you let yee yee know ok? i think its time for reese to go to bed
Reese: first go by boat. ok?
Jillian: ok after travelling by boat then what?
Reese: go to the town. trrrr!
Jillian: what is the name of the town?
Reese: type faster! qwertrr.
Jillian: what is qwertrr? u must be polite when asking question, understand?
Reese: the name of the town.
Jillian: ok, after travelling by boat to qwertrr town then how do i go from there?
Reese: you go back by boat.

---- and it went on for another 10 minutes!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Random thoughts and sharing

He loves reading in the car. 
Today I took Reese and his playmate to the science centre. After having fun exploring and playing we went to the resource centre. Both the kids chose their own books and sat down to read. I was watching Reese. Watching his expression and the little smiles forming while he read was so satisfying. I can see that he thoroughly enjoyed what he was reading. I could hear soft giggles too. He was so handsome. Ah... I love my son so much! :)

On average we spend about 2 hours in the car everyday. To kill boredom I usually have 3-6 books in the car for Reese to read. Sometimes he will read to me or he will read quietly. I am just so glad that he loves books and seems to have a good balance between playing iPad/computer and reading. We used to restrict his playing time on the iPad but now it is no longer necessary. He is not addicted to it. Now, I allow him to play as long as he wants but usually after 10-20 minutes, he will stop and pick up a book to read, draw or just play with his toys. He gets bored with the games! :) 

My very cheeky boy.
Reese has been telling me about his future. It gets more elaborate and detail each time he talks about it.
He wants to get married a day after he becomes an adult! *LOL*
He still wants a wife named Alice and she has black hair and insisted his wife will work, earn money and take care of us! Hehehehe... He said he will build a modern apartment just opposite our current home. There will be 60 floors and he will live on the top floor. His modern apartment will have more pools than our current condo. He wants to have twins now. He wants to have his office in his modern apartment so that he can teach there. Reese still wants to be a teacher.  
A week back, Reese was helping me arrange 40 sets of books. Initially he was very excited and diligently work on them and arrange the books neatly. After completing 8x40 books, he declared he was 'totally exhausted' (his words). Then he said "But I only have energy to play, Mummy you finish the rest". 
Next few weeks are going to be busy for us. Lots of activities and outings for Reese enjoy and socialize. We are going for 2 workshops on Robotics organized by PSN, watching Jim West's puppet show and puppet making workshop next week, a day trip to the elephant sanctuary and park and a visit to FRIM with a friend and her twins. Ever since Reese stopped going to school, he actually has more social life than before! :)

Thank you teachers!

Reese's teachers. Lovely ladies! Reese was really lucky to have these wonderful teachers to love and teach him. :) We were at the school annual party which was also Reese's last time to be with his kindy friends. So far so good, he did not complaint about missing school. He seems contented being with me 24/7 and I find it more relaxing. No need to rush for time.

Aunty Shu Wen
Aunty Audrey
Aunty Wan Ching
Aunty Mabel

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Reese is getting more advance...

Just this morning, while changing, Reese said "Mummy, the rectus abdominis controls your stomach."  

Other things he said:

One of daddy's favorite band Audio Adrenaline... The daddy asked me whether I taught Reese about hormones! because Reese told his dad that adrenaline is a hormone after seeing the name of the band. :)

"Adrenaline is a hormone. It is produced from a gland, when you are scared." 

"Mom, do you know baby's bones are made of cartilage? It's soft." 

"Biceps and triceps controls your arm movement."

He talks about neurons and brain activities, he talks about light going into our eyes through the pupil and how it hits the retinas and signals are then send to the brain, he talks about how babies are made and etc...

Gosh, honestly all this knowledge he got was purely from reading books. I have only briefly gone through the human digestion process sometime ago. Not only can he remember the facts, he can also pronounce the scientific names. 

I am a little worried. He is only 5, will I be able to keep up with him in his studies as he grows older? Will he complete high school (secondary) before he turns 12? It is very possible. 

2 nights ago, I went for a meeting organized by National Association of Gifted Children Malaysia and had a chance to meet a former child prodigy who entered Oxford at 13. It was really sad that his life was pretty depressing. He was pretty much a loner. Everyone treated him differently at school. He talked about his struggles at university and how he can't take failure. He started working at age 16 and even in the corporate world, he was treated differently and employers expected much more from him just because he was gifted. Life was truly not easy for him. He is successful but not happy. He is currently married and pursuing his passion in photography. 

I don't want Reese to end up like him. I really have to sit down and think of how I want to give him a good education and a balanced social life. I want him to be happy. 

mmm... not easy having a gifted child. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Planetarium Negara

Finally took a trip to the planetarium with Reese yesterday morning. Very crowed with school children from kindy to secondary schools. It was nothing great. The exhibits were old. We went up to the viewing tower to have a view of the KL city. Then went for a show (Dawn of the Space Age) at the space theater. I felt so irritated by the secondary school kids!! Shouting and talking loudly throughout the show, I guessed the teachers were somewhere else! Gggrrrr.... 

Reese's favorite activity there was the anti gravity room. Once inside, you just find it super hard to balance and Reese had a blast running around and going through the slide. 

The main gallery

Sleeping area in the space shuttle

This is my bed!
Viewing gallery with binoculars

ohhh... I can see KLCC!

Mummy, why can't I balance! (Anti gravity room)
PSN is still a lot better and more fun. :)

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

A Short Penang Trip!

Reese was really happy to visit his grandparents. It was raining a lot and we didn't do much. We took Reese to The Blue Mansion and we went for the tour of the mansion. Reese was a good boy and only towards the end of the tour that he became restless. We even saw the Penang CM! Reese has questions throughout the walking tour and we have to stop him from asking questions! The tour guide even appointed him her assistant and asked him to make sure no one took photographs in the mansion. My boy took it very seriously and kept telling me that he will make sure of it. So funny.

As for hubby and myself, we had some good food and did a little touring of the heritage site. 

On Sunday night we went to have dessert in a small shop and while waiting for our dessert, I casually read out a sign that said "No outside beverages allow. Thank you!". Then Reese asked what 'beverage' means. So we explained to him. Then he stare at the sign for a moment and commented, "Why there is no 'd' for 'allow'?" At first we were all puzzled by him and then we got it. It should be:


My son was correcting our grammar! Hahaha.... 4 adults and none of us realized the mistake!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Drawing as a Language

Last year, while I was actively searching for answers to Reese's drawing ability, I came across Drawnet: The Drawing Network. It was the brain child of Bob Steele, Professor Emeritus, UBC.

He has been creating awareness on how drawing should be seen as a language medium. He believes that:
  1. children have an un-coded language in spontaneous drawing. 
  2. spontaneous drawing is an aid to the acquisition of  literacy.
I have been in contact with him and he is a really nice person. I thought it would be nice to share some of the advice from him with you.

One of the first questions I asked him was how can I help to hone my child's interest in drawing and he told me this;

First 6 years of the child's life should not have formal art instruction! Do not send your child to art classes. Do not let your child watch TV programs that teach drawing. These activities will stifle your child's creativity.

Let the child explore drawing on their own. Let him develop his sense of style. 

Do provide lots of love and encouragement to the child. Have discussion with the child on what he can draw.

Supply the child with art materials, stationery and ample space for drawing. 

Have you noticed for the past few years, suddenly you see a lot of art enrichment centres mushrooming? In their marketing, they will brag about how they can help your child draw really well and create wonderful art pieces? Do you see that many of these teachers are not qualified art teachers? (they merely follow lesson plans with step by step instructions-that is franchising business for you!) Some of these centres even have text books! 

Whenever there are art competitions, do you find that most of the art work produced by kids are very similar in style? Are these truly personal style or merely 'manufactured' style taught by art enrichment centres?

Children education is a very lucrative business (I am in this business). There are just too many enrichment centres in Malaysia.  All trying to milk money out of unsuspecting parents! Malaysian parents are obsessed with them! On average, each child goes to at least 3 different enrichment classes (my observation from friends' kids and my own students). *sigh* Children hardly have time to play and rest. Common complaints I got from some of my students: " I have no time to play", "I have 4 tuition today. I have ballet, English, Enopi Math and Chinese class!", "I am so tired".....

Sometimes when I confront parents about their kids having too many classes, their typical response:

"No choice, no time to teach them. Let others do the job" 
"They do nothing at home so it is better they go for classes and learn something."
"Oh.... ballet, swimming, piano classes are non academic mah! It's fun!"
"Mental math is good for you. Helps the child in his math and so is right brain and left brain training....bla...bla...bla..."

At the end of the day, when you bombard your child with too many activities or classes, the child will experience burnout! What a child needs, is to be a child. Don't you agree?

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

First Lab Session at National Science Centre

Today we went for our first lab session at the National Science Centre. It was a fun experience. While waiting for the session to start, we mingled with some home schooled children at the resource centre. I managed to chit chat with a few mummies. I was really happy because we have finally found a homeschooling group to join. This group is multi racial and my boy will have the opportunity to learn about other races, their culture and differences. Can't wait to get to know these families better. I was quite surprised that some of these mummies actually read my blog! 

So back to our lab session. Today's topic was on Cold Fish and Water Quality. We learned about fish (body parts, behavior) and what kind of water condition is suitable for fish to live in. I must say older kids would enjoy the lab session more. Nonetheless, Reese had fun using different science apparatus, learning how to measure temperature, testing presence of certain chemicals in water and the process in doing so. He did some of the recording and calculation. It was really a great exposure for him. Being home schooled , having the opportunity to use a science lab and doing proper experiments is precious. 

Can't wait for the next session. :)

**From 19th-27th November, National Science Centre will be having a Robotic Festival. They have lined up many activities for children. You can check out their website for more information.

What we learned today.
Something new for Reese
We were given live fish to do our observation!
Taking a closer look at the fish
Mum, I am a little scientist!
Full concentration! Pouring the right amount of pond water for testing
Mum, this is really bad for fish to live in!