Sunday, March 21, 2010

Resorts World Sentosa

The highlight of the March school holidays was a 2-night stay at Hard Rock Hotel in Resorts World Sentosa (RW) and a visit to the Universal Studios, which happen to open its doors on our last-day-stay on 18 March.

The duos were thrilled of course. Xuan was able to appreciate the holidays more. To Kai, Resorts World (especially the hotel) was nothing more than another place to showcase his mischief. As for me, the 3D2N stay was troublesome but a good break from the routine, which was driving me senile and cranky.

For those planning to visit RW, it might be better to visit them later when they are more operationally ready. As of our last visit, many shops were not opened and eateries were scarce. However, RW is nothing short of beautifully named attractions, which didn't live up to their "names". The "Hall of Treasures" is but a tunnelled passageway, which comprises a few tubes of repeated electronic graphics shooting from one end to another under the background of a loud bass. There were no emeralds or sapphires to speak about. The "Lake of Dreams" is but a small-scale water feature, with "dreams" coming true only from 9 to 9.15pm when it displays its laser show. In the day, it is nothing but a sculptured fountain.

The place more worth visiting has to be the Universal Studios. But we were greeted by intermittent showers and downpours, which drenched our excitement away. The kids were only able to ride the Merry-go-round, Ferris wheel, and finally the Dino-Soar rides before we were hit by the big droplets. We didn't complete the entire Universal Studios. But in between, Tm and I skived off to play the children roller coaster, while leaving the kids under the care of his parents. Yes, roller-coaster meant for children --- but scary enough for an adult like me! So we dropped the idea of putting Xuan in it after we have tried. The highlight of the Universal Studios has to be the killer Cylon! I freaked out just by watching the roller coaster making its killing twists and turns. It is definitely not for the faint heart!
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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Xuan's Chinese today

From "I don't like Chinese", "Don't talk in Chinese (Mandarin)" TO "I love Chinese"!
Not an easy feat for a girl who hated Chinese two years ago.
I still remember how hopeless her Chinese was.
[Her Chinese journey:
Xuan's Chinese (Jun 2008),
Chinese joke (笑话) (Jan 2009),
Story-telling Ritual (Mar 2009),
Improvements in Chinese (May 2009)]

In fact, Chinese is her best subject now. Although sometimes she still struggles to construct proper sentences when she speaks, it is considered leaps and bounds from where she first started a couple of years back. I really think the foundation in Hanyu Pinyin helps. It builds up her confidence in the subject. Now she comes back from school everyday beaming with pride, telling us how well her group scores for the day. The Chinese teacher uses Hanyu Pinyin games to stimulate learning in class. I think it helps a great deal to reward stickers and small presents to winning groups and individuals too! That is why Xuan is so enthusiastic about the subject!

She is now well-verse in Hanyu Pinyin.
What she needs to improve now is the spoken language.
And the good thing is, she is speaking more Mandarin at home now.
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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Home learning

Kai has stopped going to school since his last bout of serious flu. Think we will send him back after the March term break. Meanwhile he couldn't be happier at home, playing computer games, watching leapfrog DVDs, playing with his toy cars, magnetic alphabets and building blocks...

I am happy with myself for initiating some 20 minutes learning each day at home while he was away from school.

At least now he knows all his alphabets, their sounds and their order. He can count his numbers to 20, albeit with a little help. He knows the number words (1 to 10) and can arrange them in order. He knows the basic colours and knows how to match the words to the right colour. He knows the basic shapes and can match the shapes to their names. He knows some simple Chinese characters. He also knows the days of the week and is able to spell simple words. While these achievements may not be awesome to some, they are remarkable feat for someone who only knew how to play cars two months ago.

He is now learning to read basic words and catching up with his vocabulary.
What he is missing is the social skills in school.
So we should be sending him back to school for Term 2.
Should be.

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Friday, March 5, 2010

Let nature takes its course

Sleep is such a natural process of living, yet I am struggling with this simplest thing on a child.

Let him be. He'd grow out of it eventually.
Afterall, sleeping is part of living nature.
The only thing I have to bear is the physical torment when I have to defy nature, when I have to wait for my child to sleep before I can abide by nature's law.
Part and parcels of life, of living.

Kai is slowing weaning off my elbow. He is tossing and turning to soothe himself to sleep in bed. However, there are times he became more alert with the constant tossing and flipping.
The young mind is too active. Constantly battling with nature's law.

I found out a way to soothe him to sleep recently.
"Freeze" is the new game we play.
When I know that he is tired yet couldn't fall asleep.
I'd initiate the new game.
He has to hug his bolster and find himself a comfortable position, close his eyes and FREEZE.
That would stop him from the constant tossing.
Then 1, 2, 3, 4, .... 100.... 150.
By the count of 150, he'd be sleeping.
This mehtod has worked quite well so far.
That was how I tamed the active mind.

But he is still getting up in the middle of the night.

Just let nature takes its course.
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