Friday, 30 November 2012

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J Summary (3Y8M25D) - Christmas Decoration

 
Compared to last year, J was able to participate in making Christmas Decoration. The kindergarten teacher told us that he had arranged this all by himself with the materials provided by the kindergarten.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

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J Summary (3Y8M24D) - Using Adult Chopsticks for the First Time

 
At our office hotpot party, J succeeded in using adult chopsticks for the first time. The ability coincided around the same time as he was able to hold a pen and write. So I am not sure if he learned to use chopsticks first or holding a pen first, although this two skills are highly related as can be seen.
 
From today onwards, he would not need to use the children's chopsticks anymore.
 

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

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J's Lunchbox



Today, I have no surplus energy. Thus, J's lunchbox consists of frozen sweet corns, banana, frozen green peas, rye bread and canned mackerel.

Monday, 26 November 2012

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Cultural Differences...

The extent Chinese parents will sacrifice for the education of their children...

Here is an article about a Chinese family taking jobs as public toilet cleaners… but they are so poor they have to live in it.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2236286/Chinese-family-jobs-public-toilet-cleaners--poor-live-it.html

The quality of education in the countryside though free, cannot be compared to the city. This Chinese family moved to the city to give their son a better quality education... not unlike the Singaporeans who move home to within 2 km of the school of their choice... thus the extreme high property prices in Singapore near good schools.

In Denmark, people don't quite choose their home according to the school, they choose the home, then the school. In Singapore, people choose the school, then the home. In China, people choose the city of the school, then the home... even if the home is in the toilet...

In school in Singapore, I used to learn in Chinese classes stories about legendary Chinese of ancient times, who undertook extreme hardship and overcame all odds... It is hard to believe that this still exists in real life in China... I sincerely hope that this family's efforts would pay off. At least, their son looked very motivated in his studies in the photo... that is a good start.

Are they happy?

I quote:

"Despite her cramped living conditions Wang Xuanna says: 'Happiness isn’t about money. Happiness is about a loving family. I feel happy because my husband cares about me and my son is a good boy.'" Food-for-thought for the rest of us...

To the west, this may be absurb, but I do admire this Chinese family for their courage, determination and perseverance.

I ask myself: Can I do it?

I do have a lot of courage, determination and perseverance... but I don't think I can live in a toilet... unless the toilet is tiled with marble and fully carpeted... I have been raised up too soft in Singapore.

But even if I could, can my Danish hubby do it?

I don't think so. He already complained that the primary school I signed J up is too far away from our home :-(
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Love God and Love Others

Just to keep myself in check and reminding myself of my main goal in life. The blog MomLife Today, sums it up really well:

"As believers we are called to love God and love others. We accomplish this by seeking after God with all our hearts and leaning not on our own understanding. One way God chooses to reveal Himself to us is through older, wiser believers. We have an amazing opportunity to listen, consider and evaluate our paths based on what those older and wiser than us have experienced and pass down to us."

Here is the full post: http://www.momlifetoday.com/2012/11/got-wisdom/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+momlifetoday%2FXROt+%28MomLife+Today%29

Sunday, 25 November 2012

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Apple "Ice-cream" for Toddlers and Preschoolers

 
 
Directions:
1. 1/2 apple cut into bite size, put in ice-cube tray and freeze
 
Additional Information:
Well, this is actually frozen apple, but it tastes a little like ice-cream, is healthy and fun to eat. It is surprising sweet, even though it is frozen. This serves as another way to serve the good old apple and Joshua loves it. And I can hold off real ice-cream longer :-)
 
I turn it into a Science lesson and ask him what he thinks apple tastes like when frozen? We cut the apple together, he tried it. We then freeze it and he took it out to look at it, compare the texture, the temperature and taste. So that was quite educational, simply with apples :-)
 
I am guessing that not all preschoolers would like this, especially for those who have been given ice-cream as a regular fare. But if you are like me, who is going for simple and healthy food for your child, then this might be for you and your child.
 
 

 
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J Summary (3Y8M20D) - Peeling Carrots

 
 

J loves to help me to cook. He would ask me for the recipe and steps, and would get very upset if I go onto a step in the cooking process without him observing it.
 
Today, I asked him to peel the carrots, while I had a break to read some news :-) He first tried it to peel carrots, when he was 2.5 years old. It has been one year now, and boy, I am impressed with his skills. Below is his finished work, all 6 carrots.
 
 
 
He then helped me to blend the carrots after steaming them. Yes, I am still making baby food and freezing them up, even though J is 3.5 years old now. This is because, he doesn't eat as much vegetables as I like him too. So I hide them in his oatmeal porridge every morning. Actually, I openly does it. He knows it. He would actually asks for it.
 
 
J loves to sing at the moment. He still loves his books. He has started to show some interest in recognizing Chinese characters. He plays very well with other children... but mainly girls. For some reason, the girls will come to him, even at playground. When he is invited for play dates, it is also the girls and their parents who invited him. Hmmm... I am still trying to find how I can find him some friends who are boys. I think it is because he is not as wild and rought as other boys his age. But I am glad that we now have a regular playdate with a boy in his Chinese class, which they seem to get along, but still not to the extent of popularity that he has with the girls.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

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Cultivating the Value of Hard Work, Self-discipline & Good Habit in Your Child from Young

  
We have a problem.
 
J (3Y8M19D) tends to wake up early now and refuses to sleep a little longer in his bed. I need time to get ready in the morning.
 
This is not the problem.
 
But while we are getting ready in the bathroom, this is what he does - just lying on the floor, getting in our way and wasting his time:
 
 
That's not a very good habit to have. So I encourage him to practise hand-writing instead.
 
To move him from lying on the floor to sitting down and writing happily wasn't that easy. In the beginning, he protested and was very grumpy. That was how he looked:

 
 
It got a little better, as I was firm that he has to complete his work, before he could go downstairs. 
 
 
This is the finished work during the first time we tried, while he was very grumpy:
 

 
According to most experts, it takes on average three consistent sessions to change a habit. That's quite true. It got easier now. Today he got up early, while we were still in bed, really sleepy. So I made an agreement with him that if I woke up as he requested, he would practise his hand-writing, while I got ready. He agreed. He happily completed writing the letter "a", and got a sense of achievement.
 
 
 
To other parents, the question raised was, why be so hard on the child? I don't think we should pressure our children, but we should encourage and inculcate good habits. This teaches the value of hard work and self-discipline. And the best time to start is to start young. It is harder to change as one gets older.
 
I do think that your child will actually appreciate you for teaching him the value of hard work.
 
Besides writing ABCs, J requested on his own to practise hand-writing using dry-ease pen.
 
 
 
Today, he finished his writing, but I still wasn't ready, so I asked him to choose a puzzle to work on, while waiting for me to get ready. He chose the ABC puzzle. He started by going through the letters sinigng the ABC song, and then he put the pieces together.
 
 
The lap tray/ table is available on-line in Amazon:
 

Thursday, 22 November 2012

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Hurray....

Hurray... my nephew, J, who battled ADHD passed his PSLE exams!!! He could go to NA (Normal Academic stream in secondary school in Singapore)!!! I am ELATED!!! This is a miracle, but also showed his efforts. I am soooooo proud of him!!!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

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True Identity


http://gracefullmama.com/sisterhood-he-sees-you/
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Montessori Activity: Teen Bead Hanger



AGE: 4 years old

OBJECTIVE(S):

1.     To teach the teen numbers, counting and numeral recognition in a concrete and fun way.

2.     To train fine motor skills.

MATERIALS:

1.     1 colored short bead stair

2.     9 ten-bars

3.     1 mat

4.     1 set of number tiles from 11-19

5.     1 Teen Bead Hanger (optional)

PRESENTATION:

1. Take out the colored bead stair.

2. Take out 9ten-bars and count one with the child: “1, 2, 3… 9.”

3. Place 9 ten-bars vertically at the top of the cloth or hang it on the teen hanger.

4. Place one-unit directly to the right of the ten-bar and say: “This is eleven.”

5. Have the child count with his index finger saying: “1, 2, 3… 11” ending with the red bead as 11.

6. Place two-units directly to the next ten-bar and say: “This is twelve.”

7. Repeat for 13 – 19.

8. Invite your child to try to create the numbers 11-13.

9. Do a Three Period Lesson for 11-13.

10. Repeat for 14-16 and 17-19.

11. Finish each Three Period Lesson with the numbers in order.

12. Discuss with the child how many of the numbers have the word “teen” in them. Review some of the numbers that have the word teen in it.

13. Tell the child that the word “teen” means there is a ten in the number.

14. Look at different examples such as seven-teen. “That means that there is a 7 and a 10.”

15. After a few examples, look at 11 and say that this however doesn’t have the word teen in it.

16. Have the child mix the bead bars and then create numbers 11-19 in order.

12. Do a Three Period Lesson.


VIDEO DEMONSTRATION:


TIPS:

Pretend that the number tiles are money – dollar notes and use it to “buy” the beads from your child. You give him 11 “dollars” and he should give you 11 beads – a ten-bar and a red bead.

CONTROL OF ERROR:

The child’s own foolproof knowledge of the numerical order from 1 to 10 will be his guide in forming the series. He needs only to become familiar with the new names and their sequence.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

It is easy to recite 11 - 20. Most children can do it, but what I like about this Montessori activity is that it helps children to understand what 11-19 really means, when they are reciting 11-19.

J (3Y8M15D) tried this on 20.11.2012. Joshua was able to do 11 – 17 without problem, and then he got tired. He wasn’t too keen to count 18 or 19 beads :-(. But when we turned it into a “buying” game – I gave him the number tiles as “money” to buy the beads, he got excited and motivated again and starting counting the beads.

REFERENCES:

Brilliant Minds Montessori Maths Curriculum


Updates:

8 July 2014 (5Y4M3D)


Monday, 19 November 2012

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Montessori Activity: Metal Inserts




AGE: 4-6 years old

OBJECTIVE(S):

1.     To prepare the child for writing by learning to grip the pencil and controlling it including lightness of touch, evenness of pressure, continuity of lines and control of lines.

2.     To develop eye-hand coordination.

3. To familiarize the child with the curves and angles found in letters.

MATERIALS:

1.     1 metal insert (They are exactly the same as the wooden inserts of the geometric cabinet)

2.     3 color pencils

3.     1 piece of paper

4.     1 tray

PRESENTATION:

1.    Choose a shape.

2.    Show the child how to correctly hold the pencil.

3.   Trace the outline of the inner circle from the metal insert and say: “I have made a red circle.”

4.    Place the metal circle directly on top of the circle that you have just drawn.

5.    Trace the outline of the outer circle with another color pencil.

6.   When the child has done many of the different shapes of metal inserts, and you feel confident of the child’s ability of tracing the metal inserts, tell the child to make lines inside of the blue shape.

9.   Select another colored pencil and draw starting from inside left edge of the drawn shape and draw a vertical zig-zag from the top to the bottom of the shape drawn.

7.    Invite your child to try.

8.   Show your child how and where to store the finished work.


VARIATIONS:

1. After drawing around the interior edge of a frame, the child places the insert on the paper so that it does not correspond with the first drawn shape (this would not be possible with the circle.)

2. After drawing, the child combines two and more shapes to create a symmetrical pattern with many sections to be filled in.


1.     Cut out the figures and paste it on a page.

2.     Make booklets.

3.     Make patterns with tracing different shapes and turning them around.

4.     Let the child experience the effects of different pressures on the pencil.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

The variety of movements required in this work provides the child the chance to practice the control of the writing movements and with changing directions. According to Info Montessori, “the child can learn to make continuous stroke. This is particularly helpful in cursive script.

J (3Y8M14D) tried for the first time at home today. He had tried it at the kindergarten and he enjoyed it very much. He was still not very good at controlling the metal inserts so that it did not move around, when he traced the shape.

If you don't have Montessori metal inserts, you can use shape stencils or any shape blocks to substitute. 

Updates:

We tried this activity on 27 November 2013, and J (4Y8M22D) was very enthusiastic in trying out many different shapes.

REFERENCES:

 
The Montessori metal inserts and optional tracing tray are available from Amazon:


Saturday, 17 November 2012

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Introducing Fun with Chinese Class with Preschoolers...


 
Every Saturday from 9.30am - 12pm

 

You can see more pictures of our activities here:

http://www.facebook.com/elaine.friis?ref=tn_tnmn#!/media/set/?set=a.10151157245133348.452573.705043347&type=1

Behind the class lies the journey of three Chinese moms in Denmark... going against the odd, determined to teach their children to be literate in Chinese...

Friday, 16 November 2012

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Montessori Activity: Hundred Board

 
 
 

AGE: From 4 years old (After the child has been introduced to the Teen Board and Ten Board)

OBJECTIVE(S):

1.     To provide the experience and learning in sequence numeral from 1 to 100.

2.     To show the layout of the whole chips and the sequence numerals.

3.     To enable search for certain numeral.

MATERIALS:

1.     1 set of Hundred Board (A wooden board frame. The board is lined to form one hundred squares. A wooden box with a divider in the middle to hold 100 chips... Square chips with numerals 1 ..100 printed on them)

2.     1 mat

PRESENTATION:

1.     Place the box on the right upper of the rug.

2.     Layout out the chips and category from left to right.

3.     Find the numeral 1, put it on the upper left of corner square and say its name.

4.     Find the numeral 2, put it on the right of the 1 chip (You may ask child to help you find the numeral) and say its name.

5.     Ask your friend to find the numeral 3 by saying: “Can you find the good friend of number 2? Yes, it is number 3.”

6.     Continue with each group of chips and encourage child to work with you until whole chips are filled in.

7.     When finished, replace the chips to the box.

8.     Replace the material to the shelf and roll the mat and replace it.

TIPS:

1.   Remove some of the tiles and have the child insert them back to the correct places.
 
2.   When child can do the work independently and correctly, have him write the numbers on squared paper of long row of paper from 1 to 100.

 
VIDEO DEMONSTRATION:
 
 
CONTROL OF ERROR:

1.     Seeing the child does not put chip on the right sequence.

2.     Seeing the child does not filled in the whole chips.

3.     Seeing the chips left on the mat.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

J (3Y8M11D) tried this for the first time today. He enjoyed it very much, but didn’t want to say the name of the numbers out loud. I did not insist. If I say the name of the number, generally he could find the corresponding tile. It was a long session to do all to 100. I only had in mind to complete up to 30 or 50, but he suggested to go on after each ten. We reached 100 and it felt good. He felt the sense of achievement. I am so proud that he was the one to suggest to continue and that he went on to finish it. But I hope one day he could do it without me by his side.


REFERENCES:

Shu-Chen Jenny Yen’s On-line Montessori Albums

http://faculty.fullerton.edu/syen/mts/math/_link.htm


The Hundred Board is available from Amazon:


 
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