Sunday, November 4, 2012


It's been a 6 months hiatus. I haven't forgotten this blog but there has been many changes that took place in the family. I was adapting to the new routine with my new work. So, I'll be back with more post and thank you to those who dropped by. :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Revamped Bishan Park

We have been wanting to visit the new Bishan park. We brought our Striders (balancing bike) and had a great time there. The slopes in the park is very suitable for the bike and the boys just cruise around while we chased behind. Y went so fast that K and I couldn't catch up and we lost each other.

Getting ready for the ride. Got knee guards for them but it seem to restrict their movements so we still took them off in the end.

The river. We saw people fishing there. Seems quite fun but the boys were not keen to go down the river, maybe next time.

Nice chair for people to laze.

Hungry and thirsty? The yellow M is there to save your day but be prepared for a long queue.

There's a playground with sand and the boys made themselves at home. Took their shoes off and made some friends there.

Junction 8 is just a short ride away. Perfect place to have our dinner.

We enjoyed the park very much and love the space there for biking. It's crowded but not as crowded for East Coast Park. We only explored one park of the park, will explore the other side the next time round.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Chinese Learning: My Family 我的家人

It's still really hard to gain their interest in Chinese. It can be very disheartening when they reject the activities I planned for them once they see the materials in Chinese. Many times, I wanted to give up and just enrol them in a Chinese enrichment class. But my husband has been encouraging me to keep on trying and we are holding off the classes.

To look on a bright side, from totally not speaking Mandarin to being able to converse in Mandarin now, it's an improvement. Another improvement is accepting Chinese books. They are able to sit through long Chinese stories now. Come to think of it, I was still feeling very down and was complaining to my husband few weeks back when they refused to accept any Chinese books during story time. Thinking through, I think it's because I'm more fluent when I read in English. So, I picked out a more interesting book that I think they will like and practice reading it a few times before reading to them. It helped greatly. The story engaged them and they were more willing to accept other books from the same series.    

They are showing interest in reading but only English words. They will spell the words and ask me how to read the word. I'm hoping they can show the same interest in Chinese words and was trying to do more words recognition in Chinese with them. For this purpose, I have prepared some activities with the theme, My family, 我的家人 in mind.  I wouldn't say it's very successful as Y refused to participate in most of the activities.

Family Tree
First, I did a family tree to illustrate to them the relationship between each people.

Make Your Flashcards
Then I printed some photos of our family members and let them make a set of flashcards.
Matching Game
A matching game where we have pictures of family members on one side and words on the other side attached with velcro.

Hoola Word Game
Another word game we played with Twister Hoola Game. Got this from the Toy r'us clearance sale at $16 with very badly damaged packaging.

I don't know how much learning is done but there's sure a lot of laughter there. I almost got mad at Y for being the trouble maker but decided to take it easy. He didn't want to participate as he didn't want Chinese and kept distracting K.

This is how I play the game

(1) Put the word card on the floor and get the child to read, after he read, let him place the hoola over it.

(2) After placing all the word cards, say a word and the child find and stand on the word.

Didn't work with Y as he started taking away the hoola and putting it over his head. K thought that's super funny and joined in. Since it didn't work, I changed the game.
(3) Collect the hoola - Get the child to read the word, if he can read correctly, he collects a hoola and he can put it over his head.

Paper Plate Bingo
Got this paper plate game idea from No Time for Flashcards. Write the words on the paper plate, cut it and the child fold the correct word down when you call it out. So far, only managed to do this with K, my "I don't want Chinese" Y ran off once he saw the Chinese words.

 I have no idea why Y rejects Chinese so badly but I'm starting to hear him communicating in Mandarin. So, hopefully he can accept it more readily as he build up his confidence in the language.

Happy Food

My husband and I are quite strict with junk. For the first 2 years of their life, we were able to trick them into thinking that sweets are to hold when they come back with sweets that they managed to charm some aunties into giving. But once they enter school, it's getting hard with bags of sweets every month from birthday celebrations. Seeing their friends popping the candies, the "just hold it" trick don't work any more. So, when they bring back the goody bags, I will let them choose 1 item from it.

Y fell in love with lollipop. Just see how happy he was eating it and sharing it with his brother. I finally understand why sweets are happy food.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I don't want to be your friend.

I've observed that many parents would like to be their child(ren)'s best friend. Sometimes I hear parents saying jokingly to their kids, "I don't friend you already" when the kids don't do what they were told. My advice is, DON'T, don't try to be their friend.

Why? You may ask. The reason is simply because Obedience and Friendship don't come together. As parents, we need the respect and authority for the child to listen and obey in times of important decision making especially during the first 12 years when the child may be unable to make wise judgement and decisions. They will never take us seriously if the consequence of their mis-doing is "I don't friend you". And friends don't discipline. They find other friends if you no longer get along.

I think the best friend parents ideology came about especially for my generation due to our upbringing. When we were young, there's only 1 parenting method and that's the Authoritative Method. You probably will get one slap on the face if you dare to talk back to your parents. There was no choice offered to us in terms of the food we want to eat and we must always clean our plate. We just have to do what we are being told to do. If we don't, we may get the "you'll know it when you get home" threat. There's not much conversation between our parents and us. If we have problems, we will solve it ourselves because we are going to be in deep shit if our parents get to know about it. I'm lucky my upbringing was not this way but my husband was brought up with the "spare the rod, spoil the child" mentality.

It's from the Authoritative Parenting Methods from our parents that we longed for a "friend" figure in our parents. We wished we could talk to them like how we can talk to our friends. We hoped for that understanding from our parents. From there, we sworn not to be like our parents and to be the best parents when we become one, to be our child's best friend. But we didn't know the pitfall to be our child's best friend. Our child start treating us like a real friend, misbehave and disobey us with disrespect. We don't want to risk losing the friend and we don't know how to go about disciplining them. That's how we sink into the category of being permissive parents.

I don't want to be my child's best friend. I don't even want to be a friend. I want to be a parent whom he can rely on. He can come to me about his problems without the fear of being reprimanded. I want to be able to help him through his mistakes and guide him the right way. I want to respect him as a person. There are times when obedience is expected such as anything to do with safety but he is allowed to make allowable choices whenever possible. I'm not the almighty figure like our parents used to be, I don't have to be the know-it-all because I can't be and I am not. We are on a learning journey together, reminding each other of our mistakes.

We can choose our friends but we cannot choose our family. People change and friends come and go. Some friends are here to stay for life while most are just passerby. But no matter how family change, we stick together. This is the difference between friends and family. Friends can leave you but  family won't (under most circumstances). I want them to know the difference, that they have a dependable family where they can always come back to us for guidance or confide in us with their problems whenever they experienced setbacks in life, no matter how old they are in future. So, no, I don't want to be their friend. I want to be better than a friend.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Drawing with Window Crayons

I'm beginning to like rainy weekends. It's on days like this when we play together as a family at home. We try to bring the boys out to parks and get their dose of Vitamin D as much as we can. On this day, we took out a box of Crayola Window Crayons. I love Crayola products though I find them pricey. $12 for 5 pens, very expensive.

Price aside, I like how smooth the crayon glide on the surface. You won't have to worry about scratches if you are drawing on your window surface. We have used them on mirrors, our glass doors, plastic sheets and on this day, we were drawing on our glass coffee table.

My boys love to draw roads, houses, and move their cars around.

The drawing smudges easily so it can your hands and arms quite dirty. But I love the washability. It cleans off easily. See how my boys had a great time cleaning after we finished?

Disclosure: This is a personal review and opinions are my own.

Math with a pack of Erasers

The boys got these as a souvenir from their field trip. How cute! Turns out, they love love love these erasers and have been spending time "biting" people with their mini sharks. I thought I may as well make it a little more useful.

So, we did

Sorting and Counting
Estimating and more counting
I put some erasers into a clear jar and ask them to estimate. They will then pour the erasers out to count. I also tried to introduce the concept of "More than" or "Less than". This activity was inspired by Deborah from Teach Preschool.

Since I'm more of a language person, I see my kids doing very well with language but mediocre when it comes to Math. It's effortless for me to engage them in conversations, to make up stories but it takes a little more effort to introduce Math concepts. It just does not come naturally to me. I wish Math can remain this way all the way to adulthood. I'm so not looking forward to Primary school maths. My consolation, my husband took all the maths subjects available in school.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Highly Sensitive Child

For the past 3 years, I feel tired and stressful. But I'm glad to finally say, it's getting better and can be better.

We have passed the crazy infant stage when I went without sleep and only survived on cat naps throughout the day for the first 3 months. I continued to have at most 4 hours of undisturbed sleep right up till they were 2 years old. And they only slept through the night at 2 1/2 years old. The sleep monster was my biggest enemy. My boys were not good sleepers and they still aren't.

We should be passing (I hope) the terrible twos stage now that they are 3. But I have also come to realize that a lot of things that were happening were not a terrible two tantrum but due to their temperament.

I questioned myself frequently, "what went wrong? what did I do wrong? why are they behaving like that". I read lots of parenting books and none provided any answers until I read this book, The Highly Sensitive Child which shed some light as to why they may be behaving the way they are.

There is an online questionnaire that you can answer to find out if your child may be a Highly Sensitive Child. I personally think they may not all be very accurate but many of the questions may help you identify your child's temperament.

If you have a child, like mine, who...
  • is relatively high need as a baby, often cries and needs you for comfort. 
  • is very particular about clothing. My boys will resist certain clothes and will keep crying if we don't change them out of it, since the age of 5 months old. 
  • doesn't like surprise. We must always prepare them on the next course of actions, what to expect and who to see especially before any social gatherings. I even have to prepare them for the breakfast they are having the next morning to avoid a morning meltdown if the bread is not what they want!
  • cannot accept strong punishment or big reaction from people. I have to control my own reaction when dealing with them, they could go into a fit if I just reacted with a "oh no!!!" when they spill some water on the floor.     
  • seem to sense your mood swings, etc. If I feel crappy, my kids are usually more crappy than me. Recently, they have been asking if I'm happy. I'm not, in fact, very moody for the past few weeks and I know it's affecting them.  
  • uses big words for his/her age. My boys are quite good with their language and could speak in complete sentences at 2 years old.
  • notices the slightest change. Be it a change of position, hair parting, socks, taste, etc, they will notice it.
  • is hard to get to sleep after an exciting day. It doesn't take anything exciting, they can't settle down to sleep with just slight changes to their routine. Will keep crying after we come home from social gatherings, outings, etc due to being over stimulated and overtire as they can't wind down.
  • ask a lot of question. All 3-4 years old ask a lot of questions but I'm quite amazed at the complexity of the questions they ask. 
  • is a perfectionist. They cannot accept mistakes, from themselves and others. They will often go into a crying fit if the bottle they got was not what they wanted.
  • notice the distress of others. When one melts down, the other usually follow suit shortly after. 
  • prefers quiet play. They are not loud and rowdy kids and usually play quietly.
  • is bothered by noisy places.
  • considers if it is safe before climbing high. They are very cautious kids. 
  • performs best when strangers aren't present. They know all the alphabets and shapes very well but I noticed that when strangers or people they do not know very well test  ask them, they sometimes get them wrong. 
  • feels things deeply. They don't forget things easily. They remember the boy who snatched their police car 1 year ago and will still talk about it today.       
As you can see, I almost answered yes to all the questions. But I left some unchecked as I find that some of the questions can be very subjective and probably all parents will answer "yes" to "has a sense of humor". Recently, a reader wrote to me and shared with me a condition called Aspergers, a type of autism. After reading a bit on it, they fit the profile for most parts of it. I'm going to read up more about this. Whether Highly Sensitive or Aspergers, these terms does not matter to me. What's most important is to understand the condition and deal with the meltdowns. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Cardboard Aquarium

Our outdoor plans were shelved on a stormy Saturday afternoon. To keep 2 active boys occupied, we have to come up with something interesting. I always try to reuse any packaging for our crafts and with a new toy ramp, we have 2 self standing cardboards that's very suitable to make an aquarium. We also have some scraps of foam left from a Foam Art pack that they received from my friend. Perfect!

Materials Needed:
Cardboards (any, I used whatever I have from the new toy packaging)
Foam sheets (keep the scraps from those foam art sets if you happen to make)
Colored Paper
Paint and Brush

These are just some ideas. I took whatever I can find from my craft shelve.

We started painting the cardboard. 

While waiting for the paint to dry, I cut out some fish shapes from the foam scraps and got them to use markers to draw the eyes. I cut more small black dots for them to paste on some of them as eyes too.  

Add glue and glitter to the fishes.

Paint is still wet and we did some tearing, great for fine motor skills
Finally, the paint dried and they started pasting. It wasn't as messy as the foam sheets were self adhesive. I love that though they really love glue more.

It slipped my mind that K's group in school was doing Fish as the theme for the term. He was going to the Underwater World at Sentosa for his field trip. He was so excited and brought his aquarium craft proudly to school on the excursion day for his teacher. Y, though in the other group was allowed to go along and he also brought his aquarium to school as he wanted to give it to his teacher who left.

My husband couldn't stop complaining about the ugly fish shapes I cut. Ok, I admit it was a sloppy job. But to be honest, for someone who is bad at Art, it's actually not too bad! But I like how imperfect the craft looks. The colors and placement were all the boys' own effort. When I see a perfect children's craft, I often wonder who did it.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Glue and Glitter Artwork

What do you do when you have run out of ideas and the boys are asking for an activity? Think of 2 craft supplies that your children love most. And for us, it's Glue + Glitter.

They can do several pieces at one go and thankfully, I have loads of Glue and Glitter.

Monday, April 9, 2012

They REFUSED to or they INSIST .

How many times have you heard a parent or a caregiver says, "he/she/they refused to"? Yes, there are times or rather for us, most of the times, children are not cooperative and refused to do anything we say. There are things that we can let go and there are things that we absolutely have to stand firm, especially when the actions compromise safety and house rules.

I can understand....

- he/she/they refused to wear the new branded red shirt
- he/she/they refused to eat
- he/she/they refused to make their bed
- he/she/they insist on wearing the pair of old shorts to a birthday party
- he/she/they insist on bringing a toothbrush to school

I CANNOT understand why parents or caregivers give in to ...

- he/she/they refused to take his medicine.
- he/she/they refused to hold my hands while crossing the road.
- he/she/they refused to sit on the safety car seat and wanted to sit at the backseat alone unbuckled in the car.
- he/she/they insist on going swimming when he/she/they are having a cold.
- he/she/they insist on eating junk before meal and the parent complains later that their child never eats well.

Those "cannot understand" times are times when you need to ask yourself, who is the adult? Who supposedly can make wiser decisions than a toddler? If a child insist on playing with a knife, will you let him? We don't need such extremes to react and set limits to children who were given more power than they should. I'm exasperated with grandparent who do not set limits and let children take over.

I was out for 2 hours yesterday afternoon and left the boys in my mom's care and they refused to nap, refused to let my mom in the room and they insist on playing and starting a party in the room. With no limits set and things going their way, they took over and got over tire and had a bad meltdown when I got home. My mom, not knowing what to do and often terrified of the boys' meltdown, closed the kitchen door and busied herself in the kitchen while I'm left alone to stop 2 violent boys from hurting themselves and me. I'm mad, very mad. How do we educate the older generation on setting limits? How do we remind ourselves on limits setting?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

When You Never Expect Highly Sensitive Twins

Meltdowns is a word that always appear in our home and in this blog. 2 days ago, my 3 years old went berserk when he was greeted with a thunderstorm after waking up from his nap. I wasn't sure if the thunderstorm is the cause of it but it definitely contributed to it. He just went bonkers and there was no distraction or redirection that can calm him. Tantrums are supposed to be common with children of his age but I often wonder if the intensity of the meltdown is normal. To others, my boy, a well behaved, mild mannered, quiet and often regarded as a "timid" boy screamed and kicked with all his might. There seem to be fear in him from the way he screams. He started hurting himself and when I tried to stop him, with a look of vengeance, he attacked me. After an hour of what I called an "abusive meltdown", I was drained, upset and hurt. This type of outburst is not unusual. In fact, it happens frequently, especially during start of school, new routine, after social gatherings or outing. But we had a week free of this. I thought things were looking up and I was beaten when he blew up out of the blue.

I couldn't pick myself up after the meltdown. I wanted to know if such meltdown is what people called as the terrible two tantrum. We have considered seeing a child therapist many times to find the answer but I have my concerns with that too. I started looking on the web to find support groups or blogs about sensitive children. There aren't many that are similar to our situations. The closest I could find was Raising Smart Girls.

A paragraph in her blog touched me and it gave me hope.

"I guess I wanted to tell younger mothers (and fathers) who are struggling with their highly sensitive, highly spirited, intense children, it does get better.  Our challenging children are a gift for us to dig beneath the surface of their behavior and also to dig beneath the surface of our responses." 

Our children have some similar Highly Sensitive Traits and I could identify with her pain and struggles with her children. And it makes me feel so much better than I'm not alone.

I didn't want to share too much about their sensitive traits and the problems I have with them on this blog as I don't want friends and relatives to think there's something wrong with them. At the same time, I do not want to be dismissed with "it's a phase" to our problems. Being sensitive is not an illness or problem though it often bring me woes as their mother. I must find a better way to help them and to guide them. Sensitive children may have a harder time growing up, learning to adapt, coming to terms, etc. But if given the right guidance, they can use their sensitivity to their advantage.

I'm sharing this because I want to tell other parents that they are not alone if they have a child or children who can't sleep, who doesn't talk or response to people they don't know well, who clings on to you at a new environment, who stand at the playground for an hour observing other children and not playing themselves. who meltdown after coming back from home after an outing, who remembers the boy who snatched his car more than a year ago, who tend to have long meltdowns, you are not alone and things can be improved. The good news is that we have actually improved quite a few areas with patience,  perseverance and knowledge on Highly Sensitive Children. But it may still a long journey for me when it comes to handling the outbursts and not having a break down myself.

Raise a C child

I want to raise a C child. A child who is

- Confident

- Courageous

- Creative

- Caring

To do that, I must remind myself again to give them Time, Patience, Empathy and Love. The 4 essentials to raise Highly Sensitive Children that I have. 2 of which, Patience and Empathy is what I struggle with. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Outsourcing Parenting - How much did you outsourced?

I came across this term, "Outsource Parenting" from a post by Blinky Mummy which sounded amusing to me initially. But when I gave it a deeper thought, many families I see may have a problem of outsourcing too much. Be it to maids, grandparents, enrichment centres, child care centres, televisions, iphone, ipad, etc.

And I'm on the other end of the spectrum which is bad too as I'm like a mad woman everyday because the only thing I outsourced was Preschool. I admit I gave homeschooling a serious thought before. Thank god I didn't have the courage to go with it and we found a great preschool in our area.
How much did you outsource?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Drawing with Bike.

Few days ago, we were drawing dirty stares from people while scribbling with chalk on the ground. Few days later, my boys came up with a better activity while waiting for me to get my phone I left at home. 

Materials Needed
- A puddle of water.
- Empty space
- Bike
- Creativity


Monday, March 5, 2012

FAQ for my Twins

With twins, we often get a lot of attention from strangers, often unwanted. Someone always have a comment about how small I am to have twins, how skinny I have become to take care of them and they are total strangers, throwing such remarks directly at me or sometimes, worse, behind me, loudly in a dialect they think I don't understand.

I also get a lot of questions about my fertility from total strangers.

Here's some examples of very direct ways:

"Oh, you have twins? Are they natural?"
"Oh, those are your twins? Did you go for IVF?"

Or, they will ask indirectly:
"Are they twins? Does twins run in your family?"

And when I answered no, here are the 2 response.

(Response 1) So you went for IVF?
(Response 2) Oh I see. (Cloud forms above their heads, "She went for IVF")

For the past 3 years, the "ultimate blatant award" goes to

 "You are so lucky, IF they were natural."

And there are those who have bad communication skills.

They: "They are twins? Natural?"
Me: "No, I went for C section"
They: IVF ah?

It took me some time to realize that when people ask "natural?", they are not interested if you had a natural birth, they just want to know if your twins are genetic engineered.

While I don't think going through IVF is something shameful and I would openly admit if I had gone for one. I would think such matters are private and they aren't things that we start to chat with total strangers. More so when I didn't go for any fertility treatments and I felt I almost have to explain to people that I didn't undergo any form of fertility treatment, so stop looking at my twins as if they are some genetic engineered freaks.

And then, there are two types of people who react to twins:

(Group 1) Full of envy, excited to see twins like they are some celebrity. Look up to you like you are an almighty super mom.

When they were babies, there were times I felt like celebrity mom, except that nobody ask me for my autograph. There are people that just love twins so much and they get really excited when they see one and they start to throw questions at you like a machine gun.

(Group 2) Sad, jealous people. Tried all ways to undermine you as a mom to cover up their low self esteem that they are just not as fertile as you.

It's probably sour grapes. These are the people that insist on thinking that your twins are foetus that grew out of a test tube and it should be a breeze to care for twins.

There was once I was on the train and 2 ladies came in and spoke loudly.

Lady A: Hey, look, they are twins. Oh... they are so cute!! 
Lady B: (Looked at us, from top to toe, rudely I might add.) I don't want twins. What's so great about twins?

It didn't help that my twins were fussing at that time. I tried my best to block out but they were talking too loudly and I had the impulse to go up to Lady B to tell her, "Don't worry, there's a superb high chance you won't get one."

Here's a video that's really happening in real life. Don't be surprised, there are lots of insensitive people like that and actually worse. If you have met me outside with my twins, I probably didn't see you because I was concentrating on the road, avoiding eye contact with anyone, so they don't get a chance to throw these questions at me. I used to hate train trips when I'm stuck in the train and the people next to you or opposite you start a discussion about you and your twins openly. It's getting better as they get older. It takes more observation to know that they are twins.

Well, have a good laugh with this video.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Art Appreciation: Street Art

Saw this book at the library and got intensely interested in 3D art. Was very impressed with what the artist did.

I suddenly recalled that there was a street art exhibition at Bugis by Joe Hill. Was utterly disappointed when I found out that the exhibition has ended just the previous day!!

Nevertheless, we still went out with our chalk and pretended to be great chalk artist in our neighborhood.

I was quite surprised to get some dirty stares when we were at it. The chalk scribbles were easily washed off with some water when we were done and the rain that comes in the afternoon left no traces behind. I think we are no where near vandalism.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Why Teach What The School is Teaching?

Children these days are getting so smart. I have been seeing many preschoolers who are academically ready for Primary 1. They can read, spell, add, subtract and some could even do multiplication and division, all under the age of 7 years old. Many would think these kids are gifted, but in actual fact, most of them are not. But they have received the greatest gift. That is, very committed parents who have spent time and coached them well or send them to renowned enrichment centres as early as 4 months old to stimulate and educate.

I don't deny I'm one kiasu parent. From a mother that is all set to teach her kids from birth with Glenn Doman flash cards and achieving academic excellence in the society's eyes, I have evolved to one who believes in providing an environment for the children to learn.

I was so fascinated when I saw babies recognizing words and toddlers adding and subtracting. I thought I want my kids to be able to do that too. I wanted my kids to be more advanced than the average kid. I used to follow the infant developmentally chart closely to make sure my boys' development are in the advanced column. Started doing my a letter a week curriculum with my boys and before I could reach letter Z, they could recognize and read all the 26 alphabets at 20 months old. I could proudly say they know all the basics, Alphabets, Colors, Shapes, Numbers 1-10 before 2 years old. I was pleased with the progress, especially when the learning was done in a very relaxed manner. I didn't even drill them, just imagine the amount of knowledge they could take in if I did, I thought. I wanted to teach them a lot more but I'm often overwhelmed by their tantrums and the responsibilities as their care giver.

Something struck me one day when I was peeping at my boys when they were at their playgroup with my Mum. The teacher was teaching them about the color Yellow and all the children were sitting down listening to their teacher. And there was my boy, playing "swimming" on the floor at the back of the classroom. I was displeased as they were the most attentive when I'm teaching them at home. My mum remarked, "he already know all these, nothing for him to learn."

What my mum said kinda woke me up. If I cover all that's to be covered in school, what's there to learn in school? School would become boring. It may still be alright at preschool level since preschool is still focused on play but it's going to get very boring as they progress to Primary school where they have to sit in front of a board.

I braked. Instead of covering the academic stuff, we did lots of open ended art, outdoor play and reading. There were times when I'm worried if they may fall behind when almost all the toddlers we know are attending enrichment classes of some sort. But my husband, never fail to bring me back to what we believed in. "Time, is what we can give them."

"Thank You Mummy"

The boys have been skipping naps. That just means cranky evenings and endless fights. They have been very difficult and humanly impossible to live with. Things worsen when I went away for a one night staycation with my husband for my birthday. It was a great treat, just that I have to face 2 very angry kids who are all out to get back at their Mom for "abandoning" them for 24 hours (for the first time) when I get back.

Today, K got me all worked up when he chose to poo in his pants and refused to go to the potty. I have a raw nerve for that. I lost it and started hurling at him. After I cleaned him up and helped him with his pants, he muttered, "Thank you Mummy". For the first time, I felt so appreciated and immediately following, guilt rushed upon me. Gosh... MOTHERHOOD. 

My angel... 1/10 of the time.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Chinese Learning - 国学 - Three Character Classics 三字经

I'm using Three Character Classics, 三字经 as part of our Chinese Learning Curriculum. I chose 三字经 because it teaches them Chinese history and moral values. This was used to teach young children in the past. There's a story behind each verse and it makes it easier to teach them and let them understand the morals behind the words and stories.

We recite the verse together informally. It's hard to get them to do anything with Chinese. It's a losing battle to get them to sit down to read. So, I do it very casually. But I read from the book, pointing to the words and they will sit beside me sometimes to look. Read with a bit of rhythm so it sounds catchy and they will soon recite together with you.

The video below shows how we recite the verse on an evening, in the midst of some prohibited sofa jumping. After a few sessions, K could memorize the first page of the book. Y, having adverse reaction with the Chinese language could also recite a few verse on his own.

This was a huge achievement to me, for a language that they have been rejecting for the past few months. So, I'm now very motivated!! Being very ambitious, I also started on a reading program called 四五快读 but it was a bad start so I decided to shelf it after the first lesson. More on that in another post. 

Here are the materials I used for our Three Character Classics, 三字经 curriculum:

I like this book for the clean layout. It comes with 2 CDs. 
This book covers the stories behind each verse. 

I try to cover the following: 

- Reading each verse and read about the meaning behind the words
- Read a story behind the verse
- Watch a video on the story behind each verse
- Learn a word from the verse
- Do a craft or activity related to that verse

I hope the boys will be more interested in the Chinese culture and history from this.

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