Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I've recently been reading articles online and reading about education and many ideas are challenging what i would usually expect. We all know early reading program is in the rage these days, even i bought the "You can teach your baby to read" vcd series. I've been half-hearted about teaching it though, partially cos Eliza is only half interested in the vcds (except when the songs come on). That books series was fun cos it was a flip up book and Eliza loved seeing the pictures in we talk about the pictures, though she flips it so fast i don't quite get to say much.
While Eliza loves her books, i'm not sure i want to push her to start reading so early now. And reading from these books, the time will eventually come when she is ready to learn reading.

i chanced upon this book
A Home Start in Reading by Ruth Beechick

"...when and how to begin teaching 'reading'. First let's take up the question of when. That's very important. ...The early starters have read books about how to teach their baby to read. They have labels on furniture, appliances, and doors all over the house. Their baby plays with word cards every day. The late starters are more relaxed. They read books too-the 'late is better' variety. They read to their children. They teach them to cook and garden and help fix the car. And they won't be upset if a child doesn't show a desire to read until age eight or so.

Which of your friends are right? ...In walking between the extremes, we probably lean more toward 'late' than 'early', not because there is anything especially wrong with the early systems, but because we have seen more damage done to the early children. ...but it's too often an over-anxious mother pushing for it.

It is trus that some children can learn to read remarkably early. But the fact that they can does not necessarily mean they should. Should is another question. One school district set up an experiment to help decide this question. Some kindergartners in the district received extensive instruction in reading. Others spent the same amount of time learning science. They melted ice. ...Books and pictures were available for these children if they wanted them, but no formal lessons in reading were held.

What did the school district learn? By third grade the 'science' children were far ahead of the 'reading' children in their reading scores. The reason? Their vocabularies and thinking skills were more advanced. They could read on more topics and understand higher level materials. The reading children, by starting earlier, used up a lot of learning time on the skills of reading, while the 'science' children spent the time learning real stuff. And when they did begin reading, they were older and knew more and learned in a fraction of the time that the others took.

...They drive home the fact that each child has only a limited amount of time in his early years. That time can be squandered in trying to teach reading before the 'optimum' time for it. Or it can be used wisely in teaching 'real stuff' that the child is read for. ...

The real stuff your child learns does not have to be only science. Science is a natural because children are curious about the world around them, and you can capitalize on that curiousity. But you can teach also about music, art, literature, money, work, safety, God, people, and everything else you and your child are interested in.

All such teaching is 'prereading' instruction. It is getting ready for reading. Everything your child learns increases his vocabulary and develops his thinking skills.

Prereading instruction, then, is wider than the whole world. Teach about the cooking and cleaning going on in your kitchen. Teach good eating habits, nutrition, care of teeth. And teach about the stars and the God who made them. Solve problems. "

This is quite a old book...printed in 1985. But somehow i find these wisdom from books such as these really refreshing from the many education 'methods' today. (i'm also reading For the Children's Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay)

God help me to reflect on these things i'm learning so and learn to apply it in our lives.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Pear Juice
It's the age of "i want this and i want it now" (sometimes i think we don't outgrow awful). Last night, we were at my mum's place having dinner and her fav thing at my mum's place is the Pear Juice. I wouldn't allow it till the meal is over, else she'll be too full to eat anymore. Somehow, a few more spoons to the end of her meal, she remember it and started asking for it. We had to come up with stories on why she can't drink it yet...and she wanted it so much she broke down into a pitiful cry-plea. I really don't know how to describe it, she wasn't jumping up and down or throwing herself about...and somehow halfway through we all started to find her expression so hilarious we started laughing. Anyway i wasn't going to give in and told her that she's able to drink it after she finishes her meal. amazingly she did. She asked for it again and wow, you should have seen the super-delighted-this-is-the-best-thing-in-my-life-look on her face when i got up to get it and opened it right before her eyes.

Quick cry and stop
There are times when she wants something not the most desirable to play with (like the long plastic rolls, or rice, or water in the cup..) and i'll allow. But there are times when doing or taking or playing somethings are an outright no-no. Depending on her mood and how much sleep she has had, she'll, at the mildest, cry and then stop immediately. At the worst, she'll throw a tantrum...or more like throw herself around and bang her head on the floor. (i come to find that this happens when she is not sleeping enough or when it's close to bedtime)

I think she was crying cos she was using the pen to rip the paper and then draw on the table, so i took the pen away.

And she stopped quite immediately to see the camera.

It's quite fun to see her at play and the really interesting stuff her little mind comes up with.
I think she was walking Lion and getting him to go out to walk.

Nowadays she's talking more and she'll narrate her own play as well...somehow...i don't always understand what she's talking about.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

lazy updates

There's too much happening with too little time to update.

Been quite busy doing some design projects at nights but not busy blogging.

In short:

Out to Orchard :)

Daddy & Daughter enjoy nuaing in the ball pit

We loved the outdoor concerts, of music, bubbles and food. We'll try to make it to as many outdoor concerts at botanic gardens as we can :)

We're a family of bus-riders. Goes with Eliza does quite well on buses.

I've got to plan a bit for Eliza's mini bday celebrations next saturday. Finally am free to do it. phews.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Letter B

We were on letter B for 2 weeks cos there're so many B words!

I didn't find any much B songs cos the star one was Pat-a-cake but i substituted it with the letter E. One or two i tried didn't quite catch with her. as her A song (the A-a-a-a-choo song)

We did Ball, Bubble, Balloon, Boat, Binoculars, Blue, Bean.

Anyway we started the letter B with colouring, as usual, which she'll happily scribble some few strokes for me.

This is our 'wall' which Eliza will paste the words and colouring for me.

Beans were a hit with her cos she could play with it and cook it..and...

Feed Elmo with it...ok it looks like he's intoxicated with green beans.

And we grew the green beans. Not that Eliza could really understand what growing is about till..

few days later when it bloomed. Actually it was a little neglected for the inital days cos i was working and i left the beans outside which made watering more difficult. After that i brought it in and got Eliza to touch the leaves and water the plants.
She super loves watering the plants, it's the water thing. Playing with water is the draw.

Making sure the water got in.

I should try putting these beans in the soil.

Then we folded paper boats like we folded aeroplanes. But silly me saw an activity to put paper boats in water and i did it....not that it lasted long anyway. I think the paper in the activity used was better ones. My coloured papers turned the water purple and yellow!! And it sank quite fast...esp when Eliza, in excitement flooded the boats.

On another day i tried to make plastic ones instead but it didn't look so boaty and i guess she couldn't quite tell from it. Got her to help me paste the sticker.

The fun was in stirring the boats with the stick

we try to water the green beans everyday

Got her to colour stuff to paste on the binoculars. I didn't exactly teach her the word but i thought it was a fun 'toy' to make.


Bubbles was an activity we did for the week when our kid neighbour comes out to blow bubbles for her...which she super duper enjoys. And she could point out the word bubble for me. haa..i guess it's easier when you like it yah?

It's been fun learning or more like playing with her but i'm still learning to do stuff that's more age appropriate for her, so not too many dramatic or crafty things yet. Look out for letter C soon!