Category Archives: Learning

Last Preschool PTM for Z

Given everyone’s busy schedule, we had to split the PTM into 2 parts. We did the first session with the English teacher and had to arrange for a separate session with the Chinese teacher.

We used http://www.littlelives.com to check on Z’s progress. Basically, he was already at the tail end of preschool and he was able to accomplish everything on the list. There was hardly any surprises there.

The teacher covered his progress in English & Math. Generally, he understood the basic concepts for Grammar but had to work on his composition writing. He was unable to extend stories on his own. I hoped that reading Enid Blyton would help him. His Math was generally good so no issues too.

However, what surprised us was when we heard he had behaved in a surprising manner in school. He was aggressive to a classmate, the resident bully, who had picked on him. While one wrong did not right a wrong, it made me wonder how boys of that age should stand up for themselves in tricky situations likes this.

To be honest, Z had stayed away from the boy and told the boy not to do certain things. Unfortunately, the bully persisted on, as he did not see a problem with his own behaviour. It did bring to mind the unfairness of the situation that people only noticed you for irregularities you did, and not the constant thing you were known for – such as consistently bullying others or consistently taking care of others.

The second session with the Chinese teacher materialized a week later. She commended him on his love for the language and the enthusiasm shown. We hoped he would continue to enjoy the language and embrace the learning of Chinese.

She noted that he was still unable to write a short story at this point but it was only a requirement when they hit P2. My guess was other children who went to Chinese enrichment classes were probably savvy in doing so.

I also asked her about some of Z’s random or overly sensitive behavior. She attributed part of it was because of how he was so used to be in the center of everyone’s attention. Another part was that going to primary school was a major transition in their lives and we ought to be more patient and supportive.

She noted that he was already thinking at a mature level and shown deeper level of analysis of situations.

With a snap, I was going to miss Z the preschooler very much.

Doctor for a day

We finally caught a round of “Doctor for a day”. In the past, when it was free or sold at $20 a day, it was fully booked out.

We actually had to pay $50 for this but I read that the proceeds would go to charity so we still went ahead.

At registration and issued a ‘training’ robe 

Listening to the briefing

The next stop  

Z had his arm bandaged, which X also wanted

Owww.. my injured hand

The kids played with dolls, it was cute to see them acting like parents.

Nanny Z
  

This was the graduation photo-taking room

He even received a certificate!

More free events for the families – Free photo magnets

Balloon sculpting

Uh wells…

Elf-hat making

X’s cycling progress @ ECP

At 2 years, 10months and 1 week old, X cycled for a stretch of nearly 90 minutes at East Coast Park. We were impressed with his stamina and I was especially happy that he cycled properly.

We even got the boys to climb up a breakwater. I did not recall the sand was so low in the past. Once we got up the steep, sandy breakwater, Z asked how we were going to get down!

A family shot by a kind passer-by on the breakwater
The boys are their Oreos and listened to Nr H explain the purpose of the breakwater. What a lovely day, if only the haze always stayed away.

X in action  
   

Stickering 

When Z was 3, I had bought him a Disney Sticker Treasury book. There were so many stickers that it took him a long time to complete the book. 

I had forgotten about it for X till a friend started looking for sticker books for her toddler.

I was thankful for the reminder and bought a few sticker books for X.

Here he was, hard at work   

It was then I realized X was very good at stickering
 

I thought X loved stickering but he declared a stop when Z had completed his work. 

Next moment, he sprung up and yelled,”Kor kor, play car!”

Z’s first pencil drawing – Masterpiece #3

Every 5th & 6th lesson of the term would be on pencil drawing.

I had drawn my first still life object when I was 11. My son had gotten to his before he even turned 6.

I was biased but what a cute puppy that he drew!  

Kids’ course @ Forest Adventure

I had been wanting to bring Z to Forest Adventure for some time. I had tried it as part of team retreat and found it great for confidence building. The last time we attempted to come by was at the beginning of the Jubilee weekend but there was such a heavy rain that we had to cancel. Z was supposed to go on the forest adventure with his classmates on 16 sept but the haze rendered it impossible for them to go.

We were given the Forest Adventure voucher to be used at our own convenience by 31 Dec 2015. We made plans with his best friend and were lucky that it was a haze-free and water-free day!

Putting on the gear
We brought our own bicycle gloves for him  
  

Z & school bestie

Up they go  
  

Leading the way  

Overcoming challenges 

He was most afraid of this    

He squealed and almost broke into tears. We did not go up with him and I was giving him advice from the ground. Generally, he did well. He also took my advice on not squealing and opted to sing. Mr H and I were super amused.

When he was done, I persuaded him to go for a second round which he gamely took on with an incentive thrown in. He breezed through the second time he was up in the trees. 

I had been very impressed with him on both rounds. While he was scared initially, he had no qualms about starting off first. He kept moving forward while I cheered him on. I reminded him that when he was up there, all he had to do was to believe he could do it and just do it. He actually finished the course in less than 30min.

During his second round, he was fearless, agile and fast. He easily took half the time.

I explained to him that it was a confidence building course. Confident was a quality inside each of us. When faced with new and unfamiliar experiences, we tended to feel scared and some of us might not even dare to try. However, we would only learn upon trying and then we would realize how doable the task was. I encouraged him to remember this course and should he ever feel scared in future, just remember the confident steps he had taken up in the trees.

Z and Chinese 

The school had done such a fabulous job that he was pretty good in Hanyu Pin Yin. He was able to read Chinese books out loud too.

However, there was one aspect which I forgot.

Conversational Chinese.

Despite being able to read and write Chinese, his conversational Chinese was hesitant and unconfident.

I was very surprised. What a major blind spot it was.

Now we had to work on that. It was not as natural as we had limited vocabulary in our daily conversation but we all tried our best.