So now that we have all the sponsored bricks nicely washed, dried, sorted out and mixing with our own Lego collection, Reese can finally start creating and building his stuff!
Reese is so blessed and many thanks to our organiser who suggested sponsorship from Lego. We send some photos of some amazing creation by Reese and they agreed to sponsor Reese with 'some' bricks for an upcoming project. It's a child's dream of having so many bricks to build whatever he wants!
So my dear son started working on his first structure and after spending hours on it, he said to me.... "Mummy, it is not very nice. It is not very nice for people to see. I want to tear it down. I want to rebuild something more interesting."
Then the hard work came.... we the adults have to take the bricks apart and sort them out again.... It is a lot of work! My fingers hurt from all the removing and it is time consuming.
Yesterday evening, with our encouragement... he started working on another structure. We helped him with the construction like making sure each brick is properly jointed, getting parts for him... he was the boss instructing us what to do and boy... was he bossy and a perfectionist! What you see here is only 50% complete according to little boss!
We are another step closer to fulfil Reese 's dream! Today we got a big box of building bricks sponsored by Lego. The box weights a few Kgs.... It is a lot of Lego bricks! It took us more than an hour, 4 adults and 1 child to roughly sort them out based on colours. I have never had this much Lego in my whole life! :)
These Lego bricks will be used for a project Reese is working. Stay tuned...
Very generous of Lego Malaysia to sponsor Reese
Mummy, I am rich with Lego bricks!
Reese's grandparents from Penang are here with us and everyone chip in to help sort the bricks... everyone was excited.
One happy boy.... he gets to keep the bricks too!
This morning started washing the bricks and more sorting... going to take a few hours to do this!
After listening to the episode, I was a little disappointed because the correspondence for the show has linked learning at learning centres as a form of homeschooling. It is not. Homeschooling is learning at home with parents taking charge of their children's education.
You will get a glimpse of Reese's life and other homeschoolers/unschoolers tomorrow at 7.30pm on BFM 89.9 radio when Hear&Now in Malaysia brings you Economic Transformation Programme Episode 5 on the topic of Homeschooling in Malaysia. So remember to tune in!
The crew spent 2 half days with us following us around and observed what we did for our homeschooling. We had fun doing the recording. :)
Last Sunday we went to Ipoh, Perak for a short weekend getaway. We stayed a night and the following day we went caving...sort of. :) There is nothing much to do in Ipoh except visiting the many cave temples and eat. We went to the most famous one. Kek Lok Tong.
Mummy.... I love the caves!
Very scenic and peaceful here
Aren't this pair of chickens beautiful? People must be thinking that we were mad...snapping pictures of chickens...hahaha... city folks...can't help it.
They have a huge lily pond and we rarely get to see them in the city. Beautiful rock formation throughout the cave.
After that we went to have yummy food around Ipoh and then checked into our hotel in town. Spent the rest of the day watching discovery channel! It was extremely hot and humid. At night we went for the famous chicken and bean sprout noodles. Walked around the neighbouring area and back to the hotel and watched another documentary. Yeah....boring.... but our main purpose of going to Ipoh was for food and Gua Tempurung. The next day, we had tim sum and then drove to Gua Tempurung. We reached the place around 9.15am and it was deserted. There are four levels of caving. The first 2 levels are dry tours and the last two levels are wet and challenging tours. We wanted to go up to Level 2 but was told that you have to have a minimum of 5 adults for the tour to happen! So we were told to wait till about 10am. At the end, there weren't enough people and one of the guide was kind enough to take us along (he had to collect rubbish and do some cleaning of the cave) and guided us to about level 1 and the rest of level 2 we were free to walk on our own. We were all alone at level two! :) The cave is huge and definitely worth a visit. It takes an hour and a half to go all the way up which they called Top of the World. Beautiful stalagmite and stalactites formation can be seen. Breathtaking! In total we climbed over 600 steps to get to the top.
A lot will go wrong. My son will not survive in a rote learning environment. He will eventually hate learning. He will not have time to play to his heart's content and indulge in his passion for drawing. There will be constant shouting and arguing between us to get his homework done. I will probably get constant calls from his teachers at school for discipline issues (Reese can't sit still and doesn't take instructions well). Reese will eventually succumb to the pressure and constant scolding. He will become another person. This is not imagined. It is very real. I know my son.
Every child is different and honestly schools do not have the capacity to cater to every child's learning needs, especially special needs children(Gifted children of varying degrees are considered special needs children)... It is so sad to see many children went through the system and became different after having to endure a flip-flop system, pressure, bullying and etc for years. Most parents do not have a choice but to send their children to public schools. I am grateful that I am able to homeschool Reese. I am grateful that I know enough to guide him in his studies. I pray Reese will turn out alright and be a God fearing person, able to contribute to society, have a meaningful and happy life.
Having homeschooled Reese for a few years now, I must say homeschooling is not for everyone. One has to be 101% committed in seeing it through. Below are some random thoughts of what being committed means...
You have to learn to be resourceful from knowing where to get hard to find educational supplies to hunting down the right person/organisation to organise field trips!
You have to be sociable. Network with other homeschooling parents so that your child will have friends and playdates.
Constantly be up to date with the latest in education, be an internet expert.... know how to source for good educational YouTube videos, reliable online learning resources, how to do in depth search, find the best Apps, learn to use torrents (saves lots of money) and the list goes on......
Be positive at all times... oh well, most of the time! :)
Be a jack of all trades! ( I am a driver, maid, cook, teacher, mother, carpenter, designer, tour guide, nurse, nutritionist and etc.....
Be thick skin and at times kiasu for various reasons. Hehehehe.....
Be curious and adventurous - have been living a sedentary lifestyle for a long time and now because of Reese, we are beginning to venture out of the city more... just recently we went to Kuala Selangor to watch fireflies and last week we went to Gua Tempurung (caving)... we are looking forward to the next adventure...
Be a risk taker! No guarantees that Reese would turn out ok homeschooling but we are taking the risk
Be humble and learn together with your child
Be super patient and try not to lose your sanity. :)
Trust in your child to lead in his/her learning
Have lots of fun as a family. If your spouse is not actively involved in homeschooling your child, make sure you involved him in activities as and when possible.
Learn to get the best deals from books to enrichment activities to save money..... homeschooling can be quite expensive depending on your expectation and your child's needs.
Be good at reading maps and using GPS.... at least for me it is a must. We frequently go to unknown places for field trips.
Learning from other families is encouraged but DO NOT COMPARE. Every family is different, every child's learning style is different....
mmmm.... for now... that is all..... too early to to think! :)
Recently I chanced upon Snap Circuits and knew instantly Reese will like it. Did some research and bought it through a group buy with some mummies. I paid RM320 for Snap Circuit Extreme SC-750 model. It is not sold here and the only way you can get it is to buy from eBay (cheaper).
Snap Circuit Extreme SC-750
First time assembling a circuit
Expert after a few days....
Reese played with it non stop for a few days straight. He was so excited each time he joints the circuits to do see the outcomes. After a while, he began experimenting with his own circuit designs. Reese now knows how current flows, names of electronic components and their functions like transistors, diode, oscillator and etc...
It is a nice set with clear instructions, easy to built circuits... just snap them in place. :)
It has been months since we started our science co-op group. I am proud to say, we have come closer together, just like a family and the children are more settled in. For easy management, I keep the group small. I always look forward to our fortnightly meet up and for Reese..... it's the playtime after lesson! Last week was a good one. Before lesson, the children were gathered together to learn cooking. They peel, dice and chop vegetables, made lemonade and watched Aunty L fried rice. It was so much fun. We had a science review lesson after that and of course.... the kids can't wait for the food to cook and eat!
See how mummies and their kids work together?
The boys are cutting cabbage and the girls are peeling garlic!
Reese cutting carrots
Kids watching Aunty L fried rice
After class, the kids helped to take the yummy food and drinks to the nearby field and hungrily dug into their food. Food was extra good because they helped prepared it. Lot's of vegetables and my boy did not complaint! In my heart, I am so glad for I am creating wonderful memories for Reese.... and learning and play are one.
Can't wait to eat!
After lunch, they played around the field while we mummies ate and chatted. :) Love it!
On our way home, I asked Reese what they did at the gazebo and he told me they made secret potion. They used twigs, leaves and flowers for that. They tried reviving a dead person with their potion.......... sounds like fun to me!
Recently I introduced Reese to programming not knowing whether he will like it. Surprisingly he loved it and spent more than 2 hours playing with it that very day. After some research, I downloaded a program called Scratch. It is a very user friendly programming tool that allows children to learn the basic of programming without much coding. It is free and there are lots of resources you can find online to get you started with the program. With just 1 lesson, Reese is able to create interesting animation with sound effects and learning some concepts in programming. He has also started to create his own graphic.
I think it is really important for a child in this generation to know some basic coding. Our world can't do without computers and technology. I hope in time, I will be able to guide Reese in learning a proper programming language so that he can create interesting stuff! I foresee our next step will be towards robotic programming (Looking at Lego NXT). I want Reese to enjoy his Lego bricks now, creating interesting buildings and stuff... fuelling his creativity and innovation. Learning some basic programming with Scratch allows lots of fun and indirect learning. This is very important to me. I want his learning to be fun and non academic and technical at this point in time. When he is ready for more challenges, we will move up another level.
Will update more when Reese is able to make something really interesting!
To download Scratch: http://beta.scratch.mit.edu
Exploring the basic
He was so excited that he didn't want to take his lunch break! Eating lunch and play
Recently in January our science co-op went to UPM to visit their dairy farm, human anatomy museum and animal anatomy museum. It was a really good field trip. Friendly staff and the kids had a great time.
The children got to see cows, watched them eat and how they prepare and clean the cows for milking and the milking process itself (using machine). Reese was fascinated by cow dunk and started throwing little pebbles on them to form patterns! Crazy boy.
One happy boy!
Up close and personal with a calf
Milking cows with machines
Going out of the farm.... who would have thought that there is such a beautiful place in the city!
Next we drove to the medical faculty to visit the human anatomy museum. A pretty doctor was there to give the children a guided tour. She was really good with the kids, gave us lots of information about certain health related issues and of course explaining a few body system to the kids with the many models in the museum. After the guided tour the we were given light snacks before proceeding to the veterinarian faculty. No guided tour here but a technician was on hand to answer questions. Many animal skeletons on display.