Sunday, 21 July 2013

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J Summary (4Y4M16D) - I Want to be An Astronaut

J tells me that he wants to be an astronaut, when he grows up. This is not the first time that he is telling me.

I asked him why?

He said he wants to be an astronaut because he wants to fly up there to meet Jesus.

Actually, God is in our heart, and no one is allowed to God, but I don't think I could really explain it in a manner that he could understand (so many of us as adults do not fully understand as well, and I do not claim to understand it well) and I don't want to dampen his enthusiasm. And actually, I would rather that he has a more "down to earth" career such as being an engineer, lecturer, teacher, doctor, IT, etc. and frankly, I really don't want him to be an astronaut, as it is too dangerous. But I don't have to worry, as there are such stringent requirements that it would be in a million chance for anyone to qualify.

Although I don't want him to be an astronaut, I will take full advantage of his passion right now to teach him all about astronomy and help him to understand the importance of being a well-rounder, meaning exceling in Maths, Science, English and Chinese :-). (Ok, I know moms out there would say to follow your child's heart and aptitude, which I do too, but I think we have to follow them in such a way to help them maximise their full potential. I for one is a good example. As a child, I just did whatever I wanted, and I did nothing much, just wasting my time away. I discovered that I really like Maths and could do better with Maths at a very late age, although I have been placed in the Arts stream and suffered, until I made a switch to the hard subjects, when Denmark gave me a second chance. Switching from a totally Arts background at a late age to pursue Statistics, which required a lot of Maths, during my Masters was a tough switch and required a LOT of hard work, but I obtained an above average grade point average. If only someone has allowed me to work on a broader range of subjects that included Maths than such early streaming in Singapore, I would be better adjusted today, and not suffered so much in school, trying to make sense of Shakespeare's thou and thee, which made no sense to me).

I told him that he needs to have excellent grades in Maths and Science, as well as English and Chinese (since you have to be a citizen of one of those countries which has a space agency capable of sending humans to space - thus it would not be small little Denmark or Singapore. It would mostly likely be USA or China). I explained that he also needs to get into a top notch university and graduate with top grades in either engineering, biological science, physical science or mathematics, which he of course did not understand what I am talking about at this age. I haven't told him that he needs to have (near) perfect eyesight, blood pressure lower than 140/90 in sitting position yet. But I will skip the height requirements of between 158 - 190 cm. I will tell him that he would first need to be a pilot and he needs to be very brave to be able to fly a plane and thereafter a spaceship. I will also tell him that he needs to be very responsible, reliable, organized and have an eye for detail and precision, as being in a spaceship does not tolerate any carelessness or error. In this aspect, he is so far on the right track. For a 4 years old, he is a very responsible and reliable boy. J will make sure things are looked after, and will even remind us what things not to forget, when we are in a hurry to leave the house.

J picked out three relevant books from his Chinese encyclopedia shelf and requested me to read to him - books about the planet, aeroplane and volcano:



J requested that I prepare a Montessori activity on the Solar System, but Science is the least of my training - Help! I am passing it over to Daddy who said that he thinks he would be able to prepare a Montessori lesson on Solar System. I have also found some Montessori activities on Solar system that I am going to get some inspiration from:

http://mymontessorimoments.com/2013/07/11/montessori-inspired-solar-system-unit/

http://livingmontessorinow.com/2012/10/04/montessori-inspired-solar-system-unit/

It is too time-consuming to prepare such Montessori activities, and unfortunately time is not what I have on my side right now, unless Daddy could live up to his promise with this Science activity. Until I get my acts together for this Montessori activity, I am just going to read him books about space and the solar system. I found this children encyclopedia that covers:

1. The Universe
2. Calazies
3. Ball of gas
4. The Solar System
5. Flying rocks
6. Eye spy space
7. The Apollo program
8. Exploring space
9. The red planet



It is available from Amazon:


I will also be reading these Chinese books which I bought from the Popular Bookshop in Singapore:



The Science and Space video section of National Geographic is a good source. Here are some of the videos that I would like to show to J:

http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/kids/science-space-kids/solar-system-101-kids/

http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/kids/science-space-kids/space-shuttle-sci-kids/

http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/kids/forces-of-nature-kids/volcanoes-101-kids/

References:
http://www.wikihow.com/Become-an-Astronaut

http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/postsecondary/features/F_Astronaut_Requirements.html

http://science.howstuffworks.com/question534.htm

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