Monday, August 30, 2010

What number is after...

I taught N number sequence using flashcards when he was little, but i only taught him up to 50. I recently realised while he knows what comes next after 50, but he doesn't know what comes after 59, 69,79, 89 and 99.

Hence i created this activity using the 'BEFORE & AFTER' activity we did last week. I first presented to him by showing him that 60 comes after 59 etc. We're going to repeat this activity till im certain he got it.

Animals by continent.

Here's another sensory tub activity we played today.

I filled the tub with these animals. And as N took them out, we sorted them according to the continents they live in.

Malaysia, Truly Asia!

It's Malaysia's Independence day (31 Aug)!

Since we have relatives & friends up north whom we often visit, i decided to show N all about Malaysia.

First, we learnt how to spell!

I placed all these stuff in a box and we took them out one by one. I told N we can find these monuments & landscape in Malaysia. He even learnt that Malaysia's national flower is the Hibiscus.

And we also looked at the map of Malaysia.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Art

It's Friday! We did some painting!

I bought a set of paint brush (or rollers? what are they called?).  N happily painting away.

I used an old fork and made some patterns!

Here's N's piece of art!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sensory TUb- Animal kingdom

This is a variation of this activity

I filled the tub with N's Animal toys.

As he picks them out of the tub, he sorts them by the places they live.

He had to decide which animal live in the tree, farm and jungle.

Monday, August 23, 2010

WE FIsh!

My latest craze! Felt Fish Fishing!

 I saw this activity while reading a book on Waldorf method and subsequently at other blogs. I was itching to make them for N but finding a ring like magnet here was challenging! Hence it took me only now to make them. But i am pleased!

A school of fish! Obviously, i used felt cloth to make the fish. I sewed on simple patterns on fish. You can also use any left over cloths and buttons/sequins for patterns. As i said, the ring magnets were NOT easy to find here in Singapore. If you're interested, my husband managed to find them at HomeFix @ Marina Square- yeah, not just ANY HomeFix store mind you!

The fishing rod! I used a pair of disposable chopsticks. To prevent splinters, i wrapped it up with masking tape.

Ready to fish!

Before & After

Here's how i teach N the concept of 'Before & After'.

Materials Used:
Word cards: 'Before' And 'After'
Number cards

Child must know rote counting, at least from 0-5.

I took out 3 consecutive numbers. Here, numbers '5, 6, 7'.

First, i place the number card '6' and the word cards 'before' and 'after' respectively. I told N that '5' is before '6' and place the number card '5' in the right position.

Likewise, i showed N that '7' is after 6 and place the number card '7' in its place.

I did this over a few consecutive numbers until i was certain he understood the concept.

I knew he understood the concept when he could accurately answer questions like 'what day is BEFORE Monday?, what day is AFTER monday?'

Worksheets galore

I have a new favourite website, its has all the free printable English & Maths worksheet for preschool to kindergarten. Here's the link

Matching Numerals to Number words

Identifying the bigger number

Identifying patterns.

Friday, August 20, 2010


It's been a week of screaming and beatings. It's been a hard week.

I found myself constantly yelling at N to not touch this, not do that etc. I don't know if it's me being wonky or him being mischievous.

All week, i have had no time with N. I was either busy with myself, chatting on the phone or household chores. N was left all to himself most of the time. At the tail end of my head, i knew the reason for N's behaviour but i just refused to acknowledge it.

Today has proven my inner voice correct.

Somehow, we had time to do stuff today. N followed me into his room when i was there to pick up something. He voluntarily took out his montessori work and started doing them. As i didn't want to disrupt it, i sat down and watched him. I soon notice how calm & composed he was and there no sign of his monkey like behaviour which was evident all week. Is this what Maria Montessori meant by 'normalise'? I found the word 'normalise' suited him there and there! I also notice how calm & relax I was! I was being 'normalise' too as i watched him work! How interesting! We did some non-montessori work together after which i left him alone to cook lunch.

Unlike the previous days, he gave me no trouble. He became like his normal self, entertained himself and out of my way while i cooked away. Ah, peace reigned in my house!

This is the formula i've derived from here. If i spend lesser time with N, the monkey in him will prevail. But if i make some effort to do stuff with him- doesn't matter what we do, he becomes more calm and peaceful. Hence, it comes to no surprise that when daddy's home, the monkey goes away. Why? Because daddy ALWAYS gives his full attention to N when he's home.

I realised that N, like any kids, need to release his energy. Some kids need to go out and climb trees and some kids needs indoor activity. Mine can be satisfied by the latter. If we don't help fulfil their need to 'release' their ever bursting energy, they tend to become haywire and strange. Just like when they are way over due for their naps!

So, lesson learnt! It's partially my fault that this week turned out bad for us! We'll try better next week!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tens and Ones

Since N can count in tens, i thought it was time to teach him about tens and ones. Frankly, i taught him many times and in different ways but he didn't seem to understand it. Finally, i found the 'formula'.

Materials used:
Montessori ten beads
Montessori Short beads stair
Number cards in blue from 1-9 (DIY)
Number cards in yellow from 10-90 (DIY)

 First, i took out the blue number card and asked N to give me the short stair bead that match the number, in this case 3.

Then i took out the yellow number card and again asked N to take the correct number of beads to me, here it's 20.

Then, i placed the blue card over the yellow card to make a two-digit number, in this case 23. I showed N that 2 ten beads and 3 (short stair) beads make 23. Sometimes i would painstakingly count them one by one to show N that there are i.e. 23 beads altogether. I did this over and over again with the other cards until i was sure he got it right.

On a another note, N indirectly learnt addition just by doing this activity. He understood that for instance 10 and 2 makes 12, 10 and 5 makes 15 etc. So i am hoping with this current activity he would be able to make out that 20 and 3 makes 23 etc. We'll see! 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Youth Olympic

I am so proud that Singapore is hosting the first Youth Olympic games! It's a shame we couldn't go witness the torch bearers and perhaps the ongoing games. It's such a rare opportunity!

Well, i wanted N to be aware of the games, hence i created a simple activity for him.

I cut out the Youth Olympic logo and prepared some picture cards on some of the sports.  I also made word labels to match the pictures. I showed N what each sport is and we talked about which ones are water sports (swimming, sailing) and which one lift heavy weights (weight lifting) etc. N also had caught a swimming relay as well as weight lifting competition on tv. I intend to expose him to more sports by letting him watch the games on tv of course!

And continuing with our series of World flags in Mandarin.

Matching games

After reading books on where different animals live, i came up with this activity to help N revise. First, i made 3 word labels "I live in a Farm", "I live in a tree" and "I live in the Jungle". I took out his animal puzzles who live in these environment and had N sort them according to where they live.

Here's a language activity that i printed from here (click on Picture sentence Matching). I placed the picture cards randomly on the floor, got N to read each sentences aloud and match it to the correct picture. He scored perfectly!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

This week...

We are continuing our series on 'What animal eats'. This week we are learning what a bat, duck, goat, cat and seal eats.

I created a Mandarin version of my shape game for N. The other shapes were much too 'cheem' (difficult) for erm, ME so i only taught him 3 new shapes in Mandarin (oval, diamond and pentagon).

A numbering game i made. It consist of numbers from 50 to 100. I had N arrange the numbers in order. Abit like the hundred board game.



Last night, the whole family trotted down town to watch our National day-Fireworks. We even managed to catch a glimpse of the contingent marching pass! N had a great time waving his nation's flag and watching the army tanks until the appearance of the fireworks...The husband had to scurry away with the very frightened son. Oh well, this mama had loads of fun watching the fireworks!!! Although we were not at the stadium but the atmosphere was awesome.

Back home, i taught N how to spell 'Singapore'.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Read, read and read...

I have stop doing Language (both english and mandarin) related activities with N. Mainly because i am already satisfied that he can read an English book on his own. I am not big on phonics so i'm just going to leave it to his teacher. As for his Mandarin, again his teacher is doing such a great job that i am mostly hands off.

That said, i am still reading and reading and reading with him as i want to expand his vocabulary. I am also focusing on his comprehension skills as we read. I'd read a sentence and ask a simple question just to see if he understood the book.

Here are some books we have been reading.

Is it me? I find it really hard to find good simple mandarin books for N. The best i can find are books from Pelangi. I always look for books with one or two sentences in a page and these Pelangi books fit the bill.

I chance upon ELF books and i love them! It has simple and repetitive lines on each book- suitable for early readers like N. I especially favour its books because they are educational at the same time!

We've read a book on animals that live in a tree. I got N to read the book aloud every night and now he can name me the animals that live in a tree- all thanks to this book!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Studying our flag

Contiuning from my national day theme, i whipped out the Singapore flag so that we can study what's on it.

Before that, i asked N if he remembers what colors are on the Singapore flag. He could tell me 'red and white' without even referring to it but couldn't recall what symbols were on it.

So we briefly studied the flag over dinner and he discovered that there is a crescent moon and stars on it! We counted the stars and now he also can tell me there are 5 stars on our flag. :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

National Day

In the name of Singapore's national day (9 August), i came up with an activity to 'celebrate' our country's milestone.

We took a couple of nice shots of Singapore's landmarks while touring on Duck tours months back. I printed them out and prepared the labels. I asked N what can we find in Singapore? I showed him the various buildings and matched the labels as i went along.

I cut out a map of Singapore from the Singapore map brochure. I explained to N that this was a map of Singapore. N knows where he lives (by heart) so i took the chance to show him where our house is on the map.

We also checked out where Singapore is located on the world map. We determined that Singapore lies in the Asia continent.

Happy national day!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

An Honor

It's an honor that my blog is being recognised by other fellow mothers- although i never quite set out to acheive that.

I have recieved my first blog award from Karen (Mi Escuelita Montessori) - thank you so much- I am truly humbled! I was suppose to pass on the award to 10 other bloggers but as much as i tried i could not. Not that there are no good blogs around, on the contrary, there are too many! Different blogs present different inspiration to me at different times. Hence, i found it really hard to highlight ten specific blogs. But thank you very much Karen for remembering me. :)

Also, a local group of mothers have set up a homeschool website. It  is abit like the Montessori GOldmine where it complies all the good blogs on its web page. The founders also share their homeschool ideas and insights on the blog. Again, i am honoured that they have asked me to contribute some of my ideas on their website. I have written two articles thus far. Do hop on over to My Playschool and check out how other Singaporean Mothers are homeschooling their children!

Sensory Tub

I saw this sensory tub activity all over other Montessori Mother blogs and decided to try it myself! I filled the tub with some cotton balls and stuff some puzzles inside for N to discover.

N enjoyed digging his fingers in the tub and discovering the 'treasures'.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Learning in 10s

After we read this book on counting by tens, i continued the lesson by using the Montessori method

Using the tens board and beads, i showed N that two tens make twenty, three tens make thirty etc. My presentation must have been a little shaky, N didn't seem to get it. But fortunately, an inspiration hit me, he seems to be able grasp the concept.

After the presentation, N got to practise what he learnt. I'd call out a number and N would bring to me the said number of beads. For instance, i would say '30' and he would pick up 3 tens and hand them to me.

Singing Psalms

I have been wanting N to learn this verse but never seem to get my butt moving. Until last week, my husband turned to me during our church service and suggested that we teach N this verse. I never told my husband my intention hence i was surprise by his suggestion. Yet, i took that as a confirmation that this is going to be the next verse N learns.

"Surely goodness & mercy shall follow me ALL the days of my life"


A bit of this and that

We have been experiencing 3 weeks of drought in terms of our homeschool hour. It was interrupted by family trips and visits from relatives. But it was all good!

This week, we can finally resume although i think i may be losing steam- im running out of ideas!

Once again, i depend on my old pals- puzzles! This is a set on What animals eat. This week, N is learning that Panda eats bamboo shoots, Caterpillar- leaves, frogs- insects and Snake eats mice & eggs.

Last week, we read on a book about the sounds different animal makes. As a follow up, i created this activity to revise what we read from the book. I wrote the different sounds and had N match to the correct animal, i.e. Owl hoots, frog croaks etc.

Since we read that lion roars, i decided to teach N how to spell 'lion'.

Practising his pincer grasp. N had to remove the cloths pegs from the namecard and clip them back on again.

Another revision. I wanted to check if N still remembers the name of the different shapes. Well, he mixed parallelogram and trapezium up but everything else he got it right.
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