Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I am a supermom but not a perfect mom

Yes, i am supermom. I can cook, do the laundry, mop, iron, feed, on top of taking care of 2 very young kids-all on my own. I get a sick sense of satisfaction from being able to accomplish my daily chores. Perhaps that's why i stubbornly refuse any help, no not even a part time maid.

Yet im not perfect. There's alot of guilt and i can't quite keep my temper in check. You'll find me yelling, screaming, scolding, nagging at sonshine boy for very minor things. That poor boy. As for the girl, she's being ignored (not by choice) and left to wail her lungs out (specifically in the car when im driving to send/pick the boy up from school). It's really hard, while im attending to one, i neglect the other. At times, the day ends with me feeling like i didn't satisfy any of their needs/wants. That's when Mr guilt comes knocking at my door. For both of them, i worry my erratic behavior will affect their emotional well being.

That said, i am really blessed that sonshine boy is, well, a sunshine. Despite all that verbal bashing from me, he remains very cheerful and upbeat. He still shines his very wide and bright smile at us each day. He rarely, actually never, throw any tantrum. If there's any crying from him, it's because of me. :( I caused it. Although i can't quite give me all my attention, he's still happy with whatever i can offer him.  He doesn't mind getting the tired, moody mummy, as long as mummy is next to him, he's happy. Still, i don't want to take advantage of that, i think it'll not be healthy for him in the long run.

On a positive note, things have improved. Im not as snappy as before. Nowadays, i am able to keep my cool, of course there are down moments. All of us are getting the momentum, we seem to know our places now. Well, during the school holiday at least. Now that school has re-opened we are all thrown into a new routine once again. Chub chub has to get use to travelling up and down to send/pick big brother up, big brother well... has to return back to his old routine. As for me, i can relax a little since i don't have to cook the boy's lunch....but i've to get use to the girl's horrible wailing in the car.

I know things will get better with each passing day. We will get through this! w i

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Non Fiction Mandarin books

I love to read. But i tend to read fiction books and steer away from non-fiction books. Perhaps that is why im more dreamy than knowledgeable!

Anyway, i don't want my kids to be like me, i much prefer them to read a wide variation of books including non-fiction. That's why i make an effort to pick up not just story books but also General knowledge type of books for Sonshine boy. I think it's working, the boy has no qualms about reading either type of books.

We've been reading mandarin storybooks but rarely non-fiction types. I saw these books from online and thought it was apt for the boy! It's non-fiction and its in mandarin! Usually, i would be slow to purchase books since the boy can read quite alot and it's senseless to keep buying & buying. But i rarely find these types of mandarin books in the library so i decided to invest and keep it for the little one!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Multiply with coins

Although sonshine boy can count and do mental sums by multiples, he still doesn't know how to form its equations.

So i came up with this activity to show just that! I took a couple of 5 & 10 cents coin. First, i laid down 2 5cents coin and asked the boy how many coins there were and how much were each coin. I wrote his answers on the paper, and showed him that 2 coins X 5 cents makes 10 cents. I continued to show him with varying combinations of the 5 and 10 cents. He seems to understand as he was able to form the multiplication equation on his own ( the last one).

Since i had the coins, i also took the opportunity to show him that 2 5cents coin is the same as 1 10cents coin. We played an exchange game. I gave him say 4 5cents coins and ask him to give me the same value in 10cents. No sweat!


Here's another Acorn book we've been reading. In fact, we've read its entire series on rivers, lakes and oceans.

I've always wanted to teach Sonshine boy about the different oceans but never got to it. He finally learnt about it simply by reading the book.

Here's our follow up activity. Sonshine boy placed the labels on its rightful position. Easy peasy!

Friday, June 17, 2011


I happen to grab this CD-ROM while in the library recently. I didn't know what it was actually! After letting the boy play today, i was glad i borrowed it. It's got cute and attractive graphics. More importantly, it has simple games that promotes creative thinking.

All in all there are 6 games, all fairly simple.


Thanks to the Mathstart books we've been reading, i am able to introduce fractions to Sonshine boy. We read this and this books about Fractions. Honestly, i don't recommend these books, it's pretty confusing for the child if you ask me. In fact, i've been reading blindly to the kiddo without explaining much. I don't know how much he actually understood!

But what he understand is, that each piece is 1/2 in size when we divide something into 2 equal parts, 1/3 when dividing into 3 equal parts, 1/4 for 4 equal parts etc.

To make it clearer for him, i demonstrated the meaning of Fractions to him by using our Playdough. I rolled a piece into one long strip on a paper and wrote '1' beside it. I rolled another strip and cut it into 2 equal (i tried!) parts. I asked the boy how much was each piece and he could tell me 1/2. And i went on with the demo till we hit 1/4.

I also showed him that when we add all the equal pieces, we get 1 whole piece. I deliberately skipped 1/5 and cut a strip into 6 parts. I asked him how big was each piece and he said 1/6. Yay, he got it!

This is how i do it...

Taking care of 2 kids on my own is insane. If there's any mother who is thinking of doing the same, i'll tell them 'dont be kay kiang (ambitious)!'. Get help, or get rid of the older kid (send to childcare)!

That said, it is not impossible. With alittle planning and foresight, one can get by the day with chores complete and even catch an afternoon nap (and blogging, tee hee hee)! But it is definitely not for everyone!

So it's the holidays and it seems to be tougher to manage since sonshine boy is home all day. BUt surprisingly, it isnt that bad. I can't believe we're almost done with the holidays- how did i even get by?

Let the boy play Noddy Fun. Good thing is he is quite independent. I don't have to play with him

Noddy fun consist of many different books with varying themes from Maths to Colors etc. So, it's enough to go around to entertain the boy

And play logico! The boy is getting a hang of this. He is able to figure out the question (its all in mandarin even i have difficulty reading them!) without any explanation from me. It's another educational game he can play independently!

And here is our favourite! I bought this CD-ROM for him to play on the puter. The good thing was he has been trained to use the mouse pad and mouse and can play without much help. The other great thing (for me) is he's able to understand the instructions and can pretty much play on his own.

These are my secret weapons to entertain the boy while im busy nursing the girl! And let's not forget the television of course!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sometimes while im busy nursing the girl, i have the boy sit next to me and we'll work on the above assesment book.

Surprisingly, he had no adverse reaction to writing his own answers.

Can you see the faint lines on the answer box?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Blogspot's fault

I don't mean to be rude but blogspot is finding fault with me. I can't seem to respond to all your comments. I've got lots to say but but but...something is wrong with my 'comment' function. This is such an irony, the blog owner can't even write on her on comment! DUH! So anyway, please don't take it that i'm being haughty or ignoring your remarks. I've read them all-I just can't reply! :I

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

How we learn Mandarin

I've come to realise that the best way to teach a child any topic is simply by reading. And that's exactly how we learn mandarin- we read lots of Mandarin books!

Earlier this year, as i've shared, i bought a set of chinese books and we've been reading at least 5 books each night. Im happy to declare that our efforts have paid off! Sonshine boy can read Mandarin! No need to send him to any Mandarin enrichment classes! WOOT!

These are some of the books we've been reading. If im not wrong its by Orchard series- i think its not sold in the retail shop. Its sold only to schools.

These are books recommended by N's school. Each term they'd read 2 books and the kids will bring them home (obviously, since i paid for it!). Usually, i'd not be too quick to read the books to N, instead i'd ask him to read to me. I wanted to see if he was paying attention in class. So far, he's been proving to me that he has! He's had no issues reading the entire book.

In addition, i used this book as a guideline to teach N some Mandarin words. The theme of this book is 'Opposites'. Thanks to this book, Sonshine boy has mastered a number of mandarin words! We're almost through with this book and will be moving on to another.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Comparing weights

Mighty Maddie Thumb

Here's another Mathstart book i happen to borrow from the library. This time the theme is on Comparing weights.  It's a fairly simple book on the sizes and weight of a girl's toy.

 Following the book, we played this weighing game set. It comes with fruit miniatures and weights. The objective is to find out the weight of a fruit or a bundle of fruits.

Here's the picture of the game set if anyone's interested. However, i've to say the quality is really poor; the balance beam doesn't quite balance!

Free Worksheets

It's the holidays, so what have i done to entertain the boy? I printed some free worksheet from online here and let him 'fire' away!

Matching the picture to its begining letter sound

Identifying the object that rhymes with the first object

Addition (of course i had to write the answers)

Practise using the scissors

Give me half!

I first learnt about MathStart books from My Playschool.net But i didn't think much of it until i read about it again on The Pig and Rabbit. Hence i decided to borrow from the library to check out the content and if it was any good to buy them for keeps.
Although some of the books didn't sit well with me (I thought the maths lessons tend to get drowned by the storyline in some of the books. In other words, it doesn't bring out the lesson as clear as i would like it to be), i still use some selected few as my 'textbook'- as a guideline on what and how to teach certain Maths topics.

Give Me Half! Thumb

 Here's the first book i used. This is about Fraction, or rather about halves. Just to kickstart the lesson, I first read this book to N for a couple of nights.

Basically, i wanted N to know that dividing something into halves means splitting into two and not just that, it has to be two EQUAL parts. So i made the following activity for him.

I cut out some shapes (2 each). One set is cut equally into halves, and the other not. I asked Sonshine boy to identify which shapes were cut into halves and which were not.

Here are the shapes that are not equally divided into halves.

A chicken's life

I've been trying to find some ways to teach the boy Science subjects. But i couldn't find an experiment that is mess free with minimal preparation. Then it occurred to me that the best way to teach any subject is to read a book! So off to the library i went!

Our first Science topic is about the Life Cycle of a Chicken. This was our 'textbook'!
I simply love books by Acorn series- its apt for toddlers like Sonshine boy! It has one line per page and very clear illustrations- i love such books because it brings out the message very clearly to the child.

I created some activity for him to reinforced what we read from the book. He had to arrange the pictures and word labels accordingly

Sonshine boy had to match the labels according to what we've learnt from the book.

And here's killing 2 birds with 1 stone. N traced the words 'hen' and wrote the words. This way i have him practise his handwriting and learn how to spell at the same time!
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