November 15, 2006

Today’s writting for chinese lesson is the word 口 (mouth).  JS already recognize this word long time ago, but teaching her to write this word is the first time.

Though it’s such a simple word with only 3 strokes and very simple squarish form, it took me more than 1 hour for her to write in the correct stroke sequence and I almost lost my patient in between the process of teaching.  What she did was merely drawing a square box which is so wrong.

In Chinese writing, the way each stroke is written is very important. One cannot just simply copy out the form of the words without writing in a correct stroke sequence. The horizontal line must always be written from left to write and to complete the word it’s also from left to write, top to bottom never the other way round.

The proper way for writing the simple 口, is

1: the vertical line at the left

2: the top horizontal and right vertical line in ONE stroke (JS kept doing it in 2 strokes instead of one)

3: Last stroke is the bottom horizontal line, which must be from left to right and seal of the two strokes at the bottom to form the square. (JS did it by writing from right to left instead)

After one hour of correcting her, holding her hands to write, writing example on the white board…she finally got it.

When teaching JS, I make sure that I do it the correct way and not just merely pass through. Whatever I teach them must be accurate so that the effort is not wasted and it the foundation and basic is not right than it will be very hard to change later.

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Home School

November 1, 2006

With the 3 hours spared from school in the morning, JS finds it a little bore at home. Everyday right after her breakfast, she would ask me what we shall do together. She needs a lot of my attention and wont play by herself. Many time I will suggest to her what to do like colouring, drawing, playing toys but she doesn’t seem to be interested unless it involve me. ( I have to be physically sitting right beside her)

Giving in to her demand, I have to forgo my time in front of the PC in the morning and do home schooling with her. Each morning after her breakfast, I will get her to clean up and change and start our home school session. These sessions is likely going to last for at least 2 months until the new school terms begin next year. (At the moment not able to sent her to the new school for trial class as they are currently busy with concert preparation and that the teachers said she might be neglected. She wanted very much to go to the new school, maybe will sent her there for holiday camp/playgroup in Dec) . During these sessions, she always think we are playing school and will call me “teacher” instead of mummy. 😀

Home schooling… it’s not as easy as I thought. Curriculum planning is hard. It’s a skill to divide the time effeciently for all subjects that I want to cover and the “directress” have to be really self disciplined. There are so many topics in my mind that I want to cover from languages (Mandarin, BM, English) to Maths, Science and Art, but I dont really know where and how to start. What we are doing now is to revise all that she has learned in school (roughly know from her exam papers and now with her text books).

My plan is to strenghten her phonics and stroke writing in Chinese and also the suku kata in Malay. She knows a lot of things verbally and can recognize a handful of words, but I notice that her phonics and suku kata is poor and even the words she can recgonize, she cant spell, these are the area I’m going to work at. (For example she can spot the words in books and newspaper and can easily read out the flash card, but when I spell out the word she knows verbally, she cant figure it out what it is)

It might not be a very Montessori way of teaching her since I myself is still learning and have not fully comprehend it, but will incorporate my teaching to a more montessori style along the way. Currently I have yet to add in Practical Life and Sensorial Training in my curriculum with her.

The things we doing now.

English : Continue with her ladybird’s Peter and Jane reader which we have been doing all along. She’s doing book 3B now.

Revise the words she knows . Trying to get her fill in the blank out alphabets of the words. Main aim is to get her to understand the relation of words and alphabets and at the same time working out on her phonics.

Mandarin – Revision on the words she learn in school and enrichment class. Teaching her more new words in a thematic way. Stroke writing. I noticed that she has been taught to write a few simple words in school, but none were done in a correct stroke sequence. 

BM – Mainly revise the words she learn in school and emphasize on the suku kata.

Maths – simple addition (have yet to use the Montessori way, dont have material at home) . Spelling of words eleven to twenty. She has already known one to ten.

Science – Reading to her the ” I Wonder Why” series

Art & Crafts – sources from internet

owl hand puppet

 Birthday card for SIL#1

Computer – She will also gets to play with the computer a hour a day, mainly on educational site.

Music – Revise the music work book and home work from music class. Practise the piano.

With all these activities , I realize she is so occupied that she has requested less to TV. 😀

 Moved the table and stool into the computer room. Steal some time in front of the PC after assigning some colouring tasks to the children.

What makes me so motivated and keep me going is the result. Through the revision and some worksheets that I have prepared for JS ( I wasn’t very confident with her knowledge though the worksheets I prepared were according to what she suppose to know), she surprise me with her capability. I have certainly underestimated her. Seeing the result, it prompted me more to be consistent.

I wish I can spent equally quality time like this with WH. Though he tags along with whatever I’m doing with JS, but I still feel guilty that I have not spent enough one to one time with him. Usually when JS’s at school, I would be sitting in front of the PC and let him play by himself. I have not done as much of nursery rhyme and reading to him as compared to when JS was at his age.  😦


Learning Chinese

September 21, 2006

JS always asked me “What shall we do now??” , “mummy, can I watch TV?” , “mummy, can we do….?” .

She seems to be bored. To occupy her, I have decided to teach her some simple Chinese words. But I don’t want to make it sounds bored….so we “play school” at home and make full use of the easel we have. We took turn to be teacher…even WH joined in the fun.

used recycle cardboard to cut out the underwater creatures for JS to paste on the paper. (Theme: My home : water/sea)

Drew natures and the body part for JS to colour.

The “play school” session was fun , both of them enjoy it. This morning I saw JS sitting in front of the easel and trying to go through the words she learn yesterday all by herself.

I hope I can be consistent in doing this homeschooling thingy with them…..so much idea…but a little lazy  no time to prepare the materials…