Monday, April 16, 2012

Home teaching Quickie

Although it has been really hard to do any home teaching these days especially with a baby to care for, but i still manage to squeeze in a thing or two in the week- albeit not alot. Still, it is quite an accomplishment if i may say so myself. Here's how i do it.

1) Ditch the chores & tolerate the mess.

I don't have a live-in helper so we have to do some chores ourselves, hold the fort until our part time help comes. Till then, i do minimal or no chores. The most i do is to dump our laundry in the machine & the husbster hangs them when he gets home. Oh yes, our house is constantly in a state of a Tsunami- no thanks to babydoll. I am usually too poop to clean by the end of each day, so we've kinda trained ourselves to bear with it..until i can no longer stand it. We are just thankful we are not living in a pigsty.

2) Minimise Preparations.

If i am making my own materials, i usually take the easiest & most hassle free way. Forget about cutting, pasting, coloring, painting etc. Normally, i would use the computer, print, cut & laminate. But before i hit the computer, i usually plan how and what i am going to make. I even plan ahead my design, what clipart to use, what text i will be using. The minute i've the time, i go to the computer and just regurgitate what is already in my head, i waste no time planning or deciding at the computer. Otherwise, i spend money on ready-made materials to save me some time. Or i just rely on assessment books.

3) Plan ahead

I plan ahead on what i want sonshine to learn. For instance, i have planned for him to learn 'Simple present tense' this week. I've bookmarked all the pages i want to use to teach him. So that once i have the time, all i've to do is to pick the books up and flip to the pages. For Mandarin, i've planned what are the new words to teach him this week and i've the word cards ready to be pulled out anytime.

4) Lower expectations

I don't expect us to do a whole lot in a week. If i can manage even 10 minutes of home teaching in a week, i would be over the moon. This way, i don't get too disappointed or upset with ourselves if we don't even do any home learning. In addition, i don't expect us to learn alot in a week. I am already more than happy even if sonshine learns just one new mandarin word in a week!

4) Have learning materials ready on 'standby' mode

I have a pile of assessments lying in my living room- where we spent most of our time. The moment i see that i've got a good 10 minutes with him, i would quickly grab a book, have him sit with me & we'll quickly go through a page or two. To make it even quicker, i only ask that he gives me the answers verbally- writing would take too long. I also have the Basic 500 Chinese books in the living room and once my hands are free, i turn to a page and have the boy read aloud to me.

5) Plan activities that are short, quick yet concise

If i want to make an activity for sonshine, i try to create it such that we can be done with it in 5-10 minutes yet at the same time it is clear enough for him to understand the concept. There are no hype, no balloons, no confetti popping, just straight to the point. I am thankful that it doesn't take much to get sonshine interested in doing an activity. Even with just plain paper he gets entice to do it. I am also grateful that it doesn't take much for him to understand and learn a concept. A quick 5 minutes explanation will do the job. I sure hope babydoll will be like that too...*cross fingers*.

There! I've let you in on my secret- or not. This is just how i scrape by home teaching each day. Gone are the days where i could spend a good 30 minutes with the boy! Our home learning are usually made up of 5 minutes of reading this, 5 minutes of doing that etc and all with interruptions from the babydoll, no doubt! Above all, I am very glad that i made the decision to teach him early when i could afford to give him all my attention. Now, although i can't do much with him but thanks to the early home teaching, he's learnt all the basics in time for Primary school and i can take my time to teach him the remaining. That's call planning ahead, y'all! :P

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