Monday, January 5, 2015

First day of school in 2015!

After a month of no school and just doing whatever we liked, school starts again!

Probably the biggest news of today is that Hannah decided to toilet train herself today! We received some new underwear from a kind friend and she loved them so much that she decided that today she won't wear her diapers and starts wearing underwear.

I told her, " Remember to pee pee and poo poo in the potty!!!!"

And she did! She was really good about them, telling me ahead of time. There was only a tiny boo boo when she was too intent on playing and pee on herself a little. But I'm so glad that I waited patiently for her to decide that she wants to move on to underwear. :D

As for actual school... we started late in the day! ;P
Although there was a lot of grumblings especially when it came to Bahasa, Sean finished whatever I set out for him. Both of us are still rusty...... so Dear God, please inspire us and lead us to exciting and fun lessons. Amen!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day

Today is Mother's day, but throughout the whole week, my whole time was involved in Mother's day activities. I was preparing crafts items for Hannah's Children's Corner and Sunday School. The whole time I was busy doing these, my thoughts were about how fortunate I was to have my wonderful children.

They're are very generous with their hugs and kisses, especially Sean. he never forgets to give me a kiss every day. I get complimented on how beautiful I am very often. They tell me they love me on a regular basis, and Hannah wakes me up with a beautiful smile. I don't think any other job would give me such satisfaction.

Since we've started homeschooling, Sean has become so much happier. All I can remember of last year was me telling him to do his homework. Now, we have discussions about things that crops up on his mind, such as Is lighting matter?

Sean has is getting used to the routine now. I'm a night owl and sleep late. Sean wakes up first, does his maths on his own, only asking if he doesn't know how to do a question. I'll wake up a little later and get Hannah her breakfast. Sean joins us when he's done with maths. Then we continue with the rest of the lesson. The only things that still causes friction is our BM lesson.

Mondays and Fridays are for Hannah's playgroup at Children's Corner. Hubby takes over Sean's lessons on those days. He has his own thoughts about what's important to teach. He's currently teaching Sean how to take notes from the Mystery of History book. It's great that he's doing that since that was one thing that I haven't thought about teaching Sean. My idea was simpler than that. All I wanted to do to begin our homeschool was introduce him to the wealth of knowledge available. I wasn't even expecting him to be able to take notes yet.

Every time I research for Sean's lesson, I get to learn so many things, for example, when I was researching about how to start our science lessons, I stumbled upon a website called Chem4kids. If I didn't, I wouldn't have known that my science knowledge was woefully outdated! I was teaching my tuition kids for SPM Sciences and followed their curriculum, so I thought science would be no problem for me. But if I wasn't researching for Sean's lesson, I wouldn't have known that there are 5 states of matter now rather than 3!

There is still so much to learn. It's exciting and interesting. I pray that God will always guide me in my journey as a mother.

Our first break from homeschool

The aunty, uncle and cousin are here for holidays and Sean begged me to have a holiday from school. Why not? Sure, I said, go ahead. You can have your break from school. After all, this is what homeschool is about. You are able to plan your days the way you want it.

It's really nice to have a break, although as a mum, I don't get any real holidays.. ha ha... But it allows me to do other things for Hannah's playgroup. I guess this is how homeschool mums all over the world have to plan their time and energy.

As my hubby and I looked back to the first few months of homeschooling, we reviewed our objectives. What did we want from pulling our son from school?

We wanted him to have:
1. An enjoyable childhood
2. A love for learning
3. A relevant education
4. Independence
5. An ability to ask questions

When we look at him, we feel so happy that he is a happier person than he was last year. He has regained his cheerful self. He is showing interest in learning new things and has improved much in his attention span.

What about his study?

I started with wanting to follow Charlotte Mason's method but within weeks, we went into unschooling. It just felt natural to organically tailor our lessons to what we felt was interesting.

But I was glad we stuck through with some of the recommendation from Ambleside Online. I was a bit apprehensive if he would be interested in Little Duke and Understood Betsy when we began. After all, they are rather long books and are rather wordy. But I'm glad to say that he started to enjoy the stories as we got into the book. We spent 16 weeks on them and it was nice to read them slowly rather than rush through them.

Although we read many other books at the same time, I have to say that I remember these 2 books really well because we kept them in mind for so many weeks. They have truly found a place in our hearts. If you ask me what other books we read all these other months, I would tell you, "Hold on.... let me check in my list..."  ... ha ha ha.....

We also did Famous Men from Greece, but because each chapter is a short story of a different character, it didn't really stick with us, well.... not me anyway.... . One of the reason could be that there was not much continuation from one chapter to the next. So it makes sense to look for books that are well written.

When we started lapbooking, Sean began to be interested in doing independent work. But it's still new to us and not everything I found was as interesting to him as it was to me. There's still a lot for me to learn..... In fact, there's so much to learn that sometimes I wonder where should I begin?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

March 2014 - The blog is back in business. Beginning of homeschooling journey.

It's been 3 years since I stopped blogging. Recently I felt that I ought to take it up again. The one big change at the moment is that we've started homeschooling since the beginning of this year. I hope we'll be able to document our journey again.

I kind of feel bad that I didn't blog anything about Hannah. But I enjoyed being with her so much that blogging just didn't enter my mind. I hope I can record more good memories about both Sean and Hannah from now on.

We've been a trial and error stage since Nov last year, trying out different ways of learning. A lot of the problems have got to do with discipline for all of us, Sean, Hannah and myself.

Sean came out from school disliking anything that has to do with learning. He's been in chinese school since nursery until Standard 1. He didn't enjoy school very much, especially with the bullying that went on for almost the whole of last year. I felt that being in school brought out the worst in him. So we decided to pull him out after his final exams.

Sean has improved his reading by leaps and bounds, but his writing has suffered. He hates BM and writing and it comes to a point where he starts to whine and sulk and throw tantrum. Then I would lose my temper and the situation gets worse.

So I am trying to curb my temper and readjust his lessons. I admit that some of the lessons I plan for him are way beyond his level. So I am changing the curriculum. This is what I love about home schooling. Everything is so flexible and I can tailor the lessons accordingly. It really helps that I didn't buy a curriculum off the shelf and am doing it myself. This way I can do whatever I like. Unschooling is the way to go! :D

We've been following Charlotte Mason's ideas this year, which consists of a lot of reading and discussion. We started the school year with Plymouth Maths, Famous Men of Greece, Mystery of History (history of the church and middle ages), Usborne Geography encyclopedia, Wild Weather, The Little Duke, Understood Betsy, Childcraft: About Animals & Places to Know, Burgess Animals, Parables of Nature,Scott Foresman English and Bahasa Malaysia.

Bahasa Malaysia is the subject that causes lots of flying tempers. Sean hates BM. So I've had to revised our lessons over and over again. Finally we've decided on starting him with really easy BM books in little snippets. BM is going to be really slow going.

Along the way, we've dropped Burgess Animals and Parables of Nature, and last week I've decided to drop Usborne Geography, Wild Weather, and the Childcraft books.

We joined WSC, a home schooling group, that meets once a month. They're starting this year on a lapbook about Desert Animals. Sean seems to enjoy it and looks forward to do more. So we'll be doing more lapbooks from now on.

Our new lessons will include:
Time of Wonder lapbook that includes geography, science and english.
Paddle to the Sea
The Castle Diary: Journal of Tobias Burgess
Life Sciences:
Desert, Nocturnal and Polar Animal lapbooks with WSC, and maybe a few of our own choosing.
Chemistry: Matter

Oooppsss.... It's Hannah's turn now. Hannah has been such a blessing. She's pretty, cute and cheerful. She loves to sing and dance. She's still only 2 but she already knows what she wants! She only wants to wear pink pretty dresses. She thinks she's a princess and wants to marry a prince so she can live in a castle. She can play make believe by herself and loves to go to playgroup. I brought her to 3 playgroups last year, but since we're homeschooling this year, Hannah only goes to 1 playgroup on Mondays and Fridays at Children's Corner. She's very friendly and makes friends easily. What's there to gripe about? ;P

The only little complain I have would be the fact that she still breast-feeds and is very sticky to me, so I don't have any personal time at all. I can't even go to the toilet without her barging in and sitting inside while I do my business! So I am always trying to run away and get some personal space while she runs after me looking for me. ;P But it's all good and well. Whatever my complain may be, I really do enjoy being with both my children.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


My blog was erased for a short while. Unusual blog activity

This is a test to see if it still works

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sep 2011 - Dealing with 2 kids

Baby Hannah was born last month. She is the most adorable and wonderful addition to our small family.

However, our major concern right now is with Sean. From being a wonderful boy, he's going through a very difficult period. He's been showing his temper, answering back, and generally not listening to us. The last straw was yesterday when his teacher in school finally had to complain to us. It seems that all his teachers have been having a problem with his behaviour recently.

It is probably related to the arrival of Hannah. I have been busy with Hannah and because of his bad behaviour, DH has been hard on Sean. So all his resentment and anger must be manifesting into the current behaviour pattern.

Sean has no problems at all with Hannah. He has issues with figures of authority, i.e. us parents and teachers. We have been pushing him too hard and yet been spending too little time with him.

We are going to have to try out a different approach to tackle this problem before it gets out of hand. Currently, Sean is a different boy from the one a few months ago. I hope we can rectify whatever it is that we did wrong.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

June 2011- Number 2 is coming soon!

Okay..... My blogging has been on a hiatus for much too long. But just for updates,

I'm on week 32 pregnancy and it's a girl! =D
2nd trimester has been really good. I had a lot of energy and no morning sickness at all.
Entering 3d trimester, I get bouts of exhaustion, but it's quite expected. So nothing to worry about. I just rest whenever I'm tired. Or eat a bar of chocolate to pick me up. =P

This pregnancy is all about chocolate. I'm glad we have so much chocolate at home, otherwise I would be spending a lot of money on chocolates. Ha ha ha =P

Sean has been accepting about getting a baby sister. At first he wanted a baby brother, but this year he's been playing with more girls at school, so he's quite happy to have a sister. Girls are as fun to play with.

We've discussed with him that he's got to learn to be a koko and that when the baby is just born, mummy would be busy with the baby because it's still so tiny and can't do anything much.

Once he asked, "Why can't the baby come now?"
I told him, "Enjoy whatever time you have now, because once the baby is here, there won't be much peace and time!"

When Sean was still a young baby, I read about Attachment Parenting, and tried as much as possible to adhere by it's principles, i.e.

1. Birth Bonding
2. Breast feeding
3. Baby Wearing
4. Bedding close to baby
5. Belief in the language value of your baby's cry
6. Beware of baby trainers
7. Balance

I believe the results are starting to show now. He's a wonderful boy, who is caring, confident and compassionate. Of course, there are days when he does get on our nerves because he's jumping about and talking non-stop when all we wanted was some peace and quiet! He's really quite active and is one of those boys who can't sit still for long. But overall, he's a son any mother would be proud of. =D

Once I was busy cooking in the kitchen, he came over and said, " Call me if you need any help, ok." And then he watched TV. A few minutes later, he came again with arms akimbo, " Why haven't you called me to help you?"

He always says, " I want to help, I want to help!", but there are just some things that get done faster when I do it myself. So sometimes I need to remind myself to let him help out. It does him a lot of good when he feels he has been helpful. He feels really happy about it.

He's quite a joker. Most of his jokes are really NOT funny, but he derives so much fun telling jokes, that it makes me laugh anyway.

He's quite willing to share his things, to the point that I have to tell him to be a little selfish. After Sunday school, the boys would play Bay Blades. Whenever we look for him, someone else is always playing his Bay Blade, and then they would go on playing without returning it to him. I've got to tell him to go and ask for it back. I feel a little bad to teach him to be selfish, but he's got to learn to take care of his own things!

He's still very close to me. Still needs to sleep with me, but I told him that when the baby comes, the baby will need Mummy more because it'll be so small. So I hope he'll be able to adjust to the fact that he won't have as much of my time anymore. But I'm confident that he'll be able to adjust. Some days I'm so tired and need a rest. When I tell him I need to rest, he lets me have my time and try to do his own things.

Many times when I drop him off at school. He would always tell me, " Zai Jian, mummy. I hope you have fun.", then he'll give me a kiss and a hug, and sometimes he add, " I love you, Mummy", and then a flying kiss.

I feel happy and blessed to have such a wonderful son. He's loving and kind, willing to share and to help out and almost always starts his day with a smile and a laugh. It really lifts my spirit up =D.

And I'm looking forward to meet my daughter when she's ready to be born. I hope to be able to build another wonderful relationship with her.

It's only another 8 weeks to go! =D