Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mixing Math with Art

I told Reese to write out the multiplication sums and this is what he did! Guess it is his way making a subject that he dislike more fun. :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Art Prodigy

We found Dr. Ellen Winner, Professor and Chair of Psychology of Boston University and also a Senior Research Associate of Harvard Graduate School of Education to look at Reese's work recently. She confirmed that Reese is indeed an art prodigy. We knew Reese is special in our hearts of hearts but it feels good to have an expert to confirm it.

"Reese's work is stunning.He is extremely gifted! I'd call him an art prodigy. Instead of insisting on optical realism, his drawings are fluid, playful and filled with movement. They remind me of the childhood drawings of Paul Klee." Dr. Ellen Winner

We made a video to showcase some of Reese's best work from his very 1st drawing at 3+ years to 5+ years. Hope you will enjoy the video. Do SHARE this video with your friends as we are trying to help Reese gain some exposure in hope to find some sponsors for Reese's 1st solo exhibition. The reason we need sponsors is because we are not selling his work (We have many enquiries). We want to share his work with others especially children to inspire them to pick up a pencil and draw and let their imagination soar! It is Reese's wish to have the exhibition. If you want to follow his art journey, click LIKE on his Facebook page at

Friday, September 21, 2012

The past few days...

Created stained glass pattern on mahjong paper.

How cheeky can he be? Drew a grave for his Ahma (Paternal grandma)

Making fun of his Ahma (Paternal grandma)

The construction of a 30 storey building in 15 days and the fall of it in minutes.

Reese decided to show us where some of the world famous skyscrapers are located in the map. All the cities Reese plotted were correct except 2 places which was slightly off.

Discovering the Maya civilisation. Can you see the archeologists digging at the top and the Mayan town buried underneath layers of sediments. 

Reese's first ever 3D structure. Built completely by himself. He did this yesterday.

Reese's mansion

Comes complete with a nice looking garden and some ruin

It also has machines and cannon

Giving your children unstructured playtime allows them to create freely. Do allow more playtime rather than academic work.

Creative Writing

Reese is full of surprises. Yesterday night after I came home from work, my mother-in-law showed me a message Reese wrote to an imaginary friend.

This is good for a almost 6 year old.

This worksheet required Reese to write specific instruction based on the diagrams. Without any help, he did it on his own. (I thought I will need to guide him on this but I was wrong)

I am amazed at Reese's writing and spelling skills. Early this year, when I was about to start some lessons to teach him to spell I realised it was unnecessary. Then when I wanted to teach him grammar and sentence structures, I found out it was also unnecessary. So what do I do for his Language Arts? Read. Read. Read. (with lots of discussion)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mom My Wife

This is how much he loves me. :)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mathematics - Higher Order Thinking

If you have been following my blog, you would know that Reese dislikes mathematics. He hates repetition. Whenever he starts on a math worksheet, in less than 5 minutes, he will yawn and becomes  sleepy. He always goes for questions involving word problems first and addition/subtraction/multiplication or anything that is repetitive last. 

I was baffled as to why he dislike math so much. He has no problem understanding math concepts and in fact, using manipulative was totally unnecessary. Then I realised that he hates repetition  but then again, you need to practise in order to be good in it right? 

A few weeks ago, I met a former Math teacher turned math/parental coach online and I asked her what I can do to help my son. She said he needs higher order thinking word problems. He needs challenging math rather than the usual stuff! Don't make him do repetitive work. 

So again, I have to change the way we do math and also the kind of worksheets for him to work on. I got Reese a few Challenging Maths books for Primary 2 and 3 last night. These are Singapore Math books and retailing at RM19 per book. I also got Horizons Math Grade 3 from USA for  RM142.00 (Shipping charges is a killer!) Will be using these books soon as Reese is finishing Grade 2 Math.

A quick review of Challenging Maths series by EPH Pte Ltd
The questions in these books are indeed challenging! They expose children to various types of word problems with higher order thinking as well as critical thinking skills. This series is for above average children. You can find them at Popular Bookstore.

Soon Reese will start Horizons Math Grade 3 as his Math Core and will supplement it with Challenging Math Primary 2 and 3 for higher order thinking word problems.

Some word problems with higher order thinking examples:

Challenging Maths Primary 1 (We are currently doing this)

Jars A and B have 12 cookies each. There are 14 fewer cookies in jar C than jars A and B together.
a) How many cookies are there in jar A and jar B altogether?
b) How many cookies are there in jar C?

There are 7 cakes in a bakery. There are 5 cherries on each cake.
a) How many cherries are there on the cakes altogether?
b) If there were only 4 cherries on each cake, how many fewer cherries would have been here altogether?

Betty exchanged a fifty-cent coin for ten-cent and twenty-cent coins. She got more ten-cent coins than twenty-cent coins.
a) How many twenty-cent coins did she get?
b) How many ten-cent coins did she get?

Challenging Maths Primary 2

Bianca had 197 beads. She gave 17 beads to Susan. Bianca now has 10 more beads than Susan.
a) How many bead does Bianca have now?
b) How many beads does Susan have now?
c) How many beads did Susan have at first?

There were 8 watermelons in a fruit shop. 3 of them were sold at $4 each and the rest were sold at $3 each. How much money was collected from the sale of the watermelon?

John finished his English homework at 4 o'clock. He did it in 45 minutes. At what time did John start to do his English homework?

Challenging Maths Primary 3

Mrs Lee left her office and took 10 minutes to walk to the bus stop. She boarded a bus after 5 minutes and the journey lasted 25 minutes. She walked to the food centre in 5 minutes and stayed there for 25 minutes. Then she left for her house at 7.50pm. At aha time did Mrs Lee leave her office?

2 oranges and 3 apples have a total mass of 840g. Each apple is 30g heavier than an orange. Find the total mass of the 2 oranges.

Friday, September 14, 2012

I Am A ZooKeeper: Zoo Negara

 We went to the Zoo! Reese's second time to the zoo. It was quite fun. We saw some animals (lack of time) and enjoyed the activities prepared by the zoo. This is a special program organised by one of the mummies. We paid Rm45 for 1 adult and 1 child. The purpose of this program is to let children experience some of the things zookeepers do daily. The children were taught to prepare snacks and playthings for some of the mammals at the Mammal Kingdom section.

The lovely zookeepers and the co-ordinator

Going into the zoo!

A short briefing

Taking the tram car

One of the first animals we saw

Working hard to entangle the rope

Mom, I got one!

Reese really enjoyed this!

Some kids were assigned to poke holes into the banana stem and then stuff raisins and bread into them. They are preparing some snacks for the porcupines!

Mummies helped cut up meat for the Hyenas and Civets

Even the little ones had a great time helping out! She is painting a pinnate for some animals to play!

The zookeepers preparing twigs for the kids to make cages

Oh, this is really yummy!

Busy making holes

I made this twig cage

Then we put in some meat and bread

Reese helping to cover/hide the food with banana leaves

Mom! all done

World biggest rodent. Capybaras! Not too long ago we read about them and Reese was really excited to see it for real.

Snack time!

Can you see the cages we made? These are civets

A hyena sniffing the cages

A caterpillar

Reese wanted to sit with the tram driver at the front

We donated some money to the zoo and this macaw came and took the money from Reese

One happy boy. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Helicopter Parenting

Don't touch that, don't sit on the floor, don't do this/that, be careful! Parents watching his/her child's every move like a hawk and almost never letting his/her child out of sight unless at home. Sounds familiar? Any parent who tries to over-protect their children maybe doing their children a disservice without knowing it. 

What on earth is helicopter parenting?

Oops! I am a helicopter parent!!! Dear me, have to change...have to change..... :)

Do this instead: 

Loving parents will WANT their children to face, struggle with and ultimately overcome hard challenges in life, for that is how everybody grows and improves and becomes stronger.
Parents, be there to guide and direct your children when they come to you with their problems, but DON’T take away your children’s growth by solving their problems for them. Instead, TEACH your child to be a problem solver on their own; a self-starter and independent worker as it were in the game of life.

Remind your children that you as the parent will always be there for them, but that this is their life to live and grow and learn from, and that you cannot do any of that FOR THEM.

Whatever motivates Helicopter Parenting, be it extreme love or extreme guilt or a lack of faith in your child’s ability to face and overcome the normal obstacles of living, now more than ever all parents everywhere need to realize that our children can grow only if we allow them the opportunities to do so.

A few hard knocks is often a good thing in a person’s personal progression in life. As a loving parent you can be there for your child when they get a hard knock trying to figure out some aspect of life for themselves, but by all means don’t rob your child of the opportunity to grow by trying to clear away all the obstacles of life by which that growth is made possible.

Growth requires personal resistance to difficult circumstances, which creates in each of us the comforting knowledge that we can take what life has to offer, and that we are capable of getting back up even if we are occasionally knocked off our feet.

Your children can learn to be happy, healthy, strong and independent children in no other way.
Helicopter Parents everywhere, get out of your children’s way and allow them to grow and succeed.

(Preteen-Thru-Teenage-Parenting-Action Guide)

Friday, September 07, 2012

Tanjung Tuan Light House Field Trip

We took a drive to Port Dickson. Meet up at a HS family home and had lunch. The kids played for a while and then we drove to the forest reserve. Meet up the rest of the homeschooling families and up we go! 20 minutes hike to the light house. It was fun. Once at the top, everyone were busy exploring the light house compound. 

Later we were given a tour of the place. The adults got to climb up the light house and wow! the view from the top was breathtaking. Too bad, it was hazy that day otherwise, the view will be even better. After the light house visit, everyone went down to the beach where the corals were and silly us got the wrong instruction and hike down thinking that we were suppose to meet there. So we ended up missing the beach fun. Original plan was to go for satay dinner but instead we went home and had Hj Samuri's Kajang satay at UpTown. :) It was a fun trip but we were all dead tired at the end.
Warrior Reese. After lunch waiting to go to the light house.

Little discoveries here and there, a kind of fruit/plant that monkeys love to eat

Daddy took a day off from work to join us for the field trip! The start of the hike.

Lots of big and tall trees in this forest reserve

The Tanjung Tuan Light House

Need to write in to get special permission to enter the light house

One of the older kid brought along her sketch book to draw and observe nature

All of us enjoying the view after the 20 mins hike

Kids found all kinds of bugs

The spiral staircase to the top of the light house. Sadly, kids were not allowed to go up.

Yikes! Dead lizard and the kids were poking at it and having fun!

The light house
Another shot of the light house

Running freely... even had a chance to pee in the open space!

All getting ready to take a group photo

The view from the top of the Light house... it was breathtaking!