Valentine's Day Homelearning

Sunday, February 21, 2016

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Valentine's day. A day which has no significance in my life. From long ago, during my dating days with the current hubs, I have been trained, albiet reluctantly, not to embrace this day with too much passion and hope. In fact, i think the only time he gave me a vday bouquet was when he was staying in the hostel and he patronised some chio girl who was going round the block selling flowers and chocolates. That in itself created a big hoo ha. No, not the chio babe! But the fact that hubby, then boyfriend, bought me a bouquet after 3 years of courtship. All his friends applauded for me! To him, Vday is just a gimmick for marketeers. Yes, who am i kidding? Of course I knew! I used to sell gifts during Vday for extra cash during my school days! After so many years, though I am still a hopeless romantic, I have come to terms that I do not have a very romantic husband. He would only retort by saying that everyday is Valentine's Day and that love is kept in the heart. Well, marriage isn't a walk in the park. You win some, you lose some. 

So, this Vday, instead on harping over the fact that I am not going to receive chocolates or flowers, I focused my energy on two other Adorable Valentines. The following activities were what I prepared for them. Avant Garde way of celebrating isn't it?

An attempt at starting on the Hundred Board. Let's see how long I can keep up with this. I basically had no idea what activity to do with this hence I "tekaned" (bullied) Big K by asking her to copy the numbers from 1 to 100! *Horrors! Tiger Mum alert! She patiently wrote every single number. Took her probably 20 minutes but I was able to get other stuff done meanwhile. 

This was more for Small K. He doesn't even know how to hold the pencil but I thought to let him try out this Vday themed activity.

Counting practise. To teach positioning.

Letter recognition. For Small K. I haven't quite officially started teaching him his ABCs, but at 18months (i think), he was already rattling A to Z (with prompts of course). He is now able to tell me which words start with the letter A. I was using phonics to teach him and went "air air aeroplane; air air apple; air air ant" and suddenly he said "air air Ah ma; air air Ah Gong!" haha.. It is nice that he has a sister whom I am trying to reinforce her phonics. He is able to pick up things here and there when I am teaching Big K. Honestly, the boy has been terribly neglected and I am amazed that he knows so much!

Hook these up with rings so that we are able to bring them out and whip it up during meal times. I know. My kids are weird. No iPads or iPhones during meal times.

Big K is able to count pretty well but I thought of just revising.

Sight words. Ok, honestly, I didn't get to complete this activity as her patience was waning with these long words. 

Teacher commented that Big K needed to expand her vocabulary and needed to be able to hear the sounds instead of memorising. So poor mommy has to be a little hardworking and create these for her. Incidentally, I used the picture chips to do a little linking memory activity with her as well. Something which I haven't done in a long while and was pleasantly surprised that she wasn't too bad at it still.

Big K has issues with left to right. In fact, I am a tad worried that some of her letters and numbers are mirror images. I have spoken to several parents and teachers of whom all told me that she is still young. Strangely she didn't exhibit such habit when younger and I thought all was good. So for reinforcement, The activity on Valentine Sort helped her to visualise what's left and what's right.

This activity was meant for Small K. But, as usual, Big K wanted a part in it and we ended up doing it together. :)

So much for being a Tiger mom. Ok, to be fair, the hubs and I did manage to sneek out for some good food and us time few days before Valentine's day, all thanks to Chinese New Year when the both of us  could take a breather from work.

We tried the newly opened Chop House at i12 Katong. This is under the Wooloomooloo Group. They are well known for their steaks. You might have heard of the Wooloomooloo Steakhouse at the Swissotel? The Chop house boasts a modern industrial decor which makes it a place ideal for a laid back and cosy gathering. The calamari was not outstanding in my opinion. It had a weird "urine" taste if you know what I mean. The portion was also too much for the both of us. The steak and fish however were pretty good and the sweet potato fries are a MUST TRY! The experience was good and I would definitely go back again.

We also managed to have some Thai at Nara Thai cuisine. I was dying to try it after a friend raved about it. It was good but I have tried better. My favourite has got to be the BBQ squid. The Tom Yum was quite different from those you could have in Thailand. Probably cooked too long with prawns, it was infused with a rich prawn taste. Something like a spicy sour prawn soup. The husband wasn't too impressed as he has been spoilt by the Thais from his frequent travels. Me, on the other hand, was very glad that I managed to finally satisfy my craving. It didn't come cheap though. For what we have ordered, the bill came up close to $100. 

So how did you spend your Valentine's Day? Do share with me. Did he get you a little gift of how did you hint him for that bouquet of roses? If you didn't have to, lucky you!!

Chinese New Year Homelearning

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Things have been pretty slack on the homelearning front and I am missing out a lot on the golden period. Blame it on the vicious cycle of bugs! Despite doing a fairly good deal of work with Big K (in my opinion at least), this year i received some rather disturbing feedback with regards to Chinese. We started her on Chinese enrichment this year and after the second lesson, the teacher asked if we or the school had been getting her to write because her Chinese penmanship isn't up to mark. By the 3rd lesson, we again received feedback that Big K forgot the words that were taught to her the lesson before and we should revise with her. Oops! Ok, in all honesty, Mandarin isn't my forte and i have tasked it to the hubs who is great with Chinese History. But with his insane travels, teaching the kiddo is probably the last thing he would do. This jump from N2 to K1 is getting me a little tensed up. Yet, I can't do much now that I am living with the in-laws and have to ensure that things are tidy and done in a timely fashion. Rather hard to match the efficiency of the mil who gets up at 4am to do the laundry and keep the dishes *faint. In addition, it's really quite a challenge to be teaching both children. Kudos to those who homeschool more than one child!

Nevertheless, I stayed true to my resolution of being focused and here were the stuff we did the week leading to Chinese New Year. 

These are for teaching sizes. 

This activity was primarily for Small K to learn his colours. However, as usual, Big K wants a part in it. 

These were made together with Big K for her Chinese Show And Tell in school. Education these days  is really a whole new ball game!

Flashcards to introduce the various activities done during Chinese New Year. 

Hope you enjoyed the activities we have done! Have a "猴 seh" (translation: Good) year ahead!