It has been really hard to do any home activity with the son and i blame it entirely on the school! I realised i have been busy preparing & sending the boy up & down, to & fro school that it disrupts any home learning- even for baby doll. In the morn, we rush to get his breakfast done, then off to school, i run errands in between school, off to pick the boy up, rush to have his snack & finally his nap. There's simply no breather in between for us to do any learning! What irony! I am in half a mind to pull him out of school and home school him entirely!
At times like this, i turn to assessment books! I used to shake my head at moms who purchase piles & piles of assessment books. Turns out, i am just like them! So don't you scorn at me! Nowadays, i turn to anything that is ready made so to save me time from all the planning and preparing.
Assessment books are my best friends-now. I use them mainly as a guide, it gives me a good idea which areas sonny needs to work on. I don't do the sit-down-for-an-hour-and-finish-5-pages thing. Instead, i pick a page, find an appropriate time, grab the boy and have him give me the answers verbally. We usually do a page or 2 and are done in 10 minutes. After which, i shoo him off to play while i make a mental note on what he needs to work on. I don't believe in making such a young child sit at the table and finish pages after pages of work. I think it is a sure way of killing any interest in learning.
Kumon books are my latest assessment craze. I used to wonder why Kumon books are so popular. I didn't get the cut & paste books and wonder why anyone would want to buy a book full of just addition sums when one can easily create that at home. Actually, i still don't get it. But i recently took a liking to Kumon Word Problems series because i was looking for an assessment book with just word problems, topic by topic. Strangely, this type of books are really a rare find in the book store. Also, i bought 3 books for sonny to work on his Writing and Comprehension. I felt Kumon Writing series is a great way to help sonshine start off simple writing (note not handwriting but writing in simple sentences).
On another note, i recently went on a frenzy, purchasing English assessment books! No thanks to a friend (a male) who casually told me that students in Primary 1 are expected to do Composition. It immediately set me on panic mode! Because sonshine's weakest area is composing sentences- let alone Composition! So, i went on to buy alot more than i should English assessment books., mostly on grammar & writing. Actually, no regrets, because it serves as a good guide for me on what & how i should teach the boy otherwise i would have no clue.
Anyway, i later found out from a mother (the wife of the very same friend who told me about Primary 1 composition) that Primary 1 students are just starting to learn grammar and are being taught to write in sentences. Composition is just but a small part of the lesson and it is actually very simple sentence composition. In her view, if the child can read and knows phonics, he is more than prepared for Primary 1 English.
For a moment, I turned into a headless chicken, worrying for sonny especially since he's only got 1.5 years to go to Primary school. I even contemplated sending him to Creative writing class-yes me! Well, i am glad that he is not expected to write paragraphs after paragraphs in Primary 1 because i know for sure he needs more than 1.5 years to work on that (especially now that i have no time to teach). Till then, i'm still going to resist enrichment class. Instead i'll continue to read alot of books with him & use these assesment books as a guide to help sonshine in writing. Hope it is a good decision, hope i can do it, hope i won't be ruining his English! *cross Fingers*