Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Teachers' Day craft

This is an easy flower craft to make with the kids.
To make one flower, all you need is
1) half piece of tissue paper (the more plies the better);
2) disposable chopsticks;
3) coloured paints for the petals and stem.
4) scissors; and
5) scotch-tape.

What you need to do is to gather up the tissue paper at the center (see photo on left), fold it up and tape it to the chopstick. Thereafter, separate the plies to let the flower blosom. Then add colours to the petals and the stem.



That's it! As easy as ABC.
Oh, and don't forget to tie a "Happy Teachers' Day" tag to it, so that your child's teacher knows who made that lovely flower ;-)
Happy Teachers' Day!

Read more →

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Her passion for Chinese. Finally!

I was once pretty worried about Xuan's Chinese. She could barely speak a word in Mandarin when she was four. When she was five, I was horrified by her reply of, “好!” when I asked her “你几岁?”. At six, when I asked her what was “一月”, she said it was "one moon".

We encourgaed her to converse in Mandarin at home but she couldn't. She couldn't understand and wasn't interested in the language at all. We went into a panick mode, sent her for a few lessons of Chinese Speech and Drama, and she gradually showed some interest in Chinese! But still, her Chinese standard was far from borderline.

We encouraged her to tell us her usual bedtime stories in Chinese, and she gave us some oh-my-god sentences like "大粒的老鼠又是小粒的老鼠". We totally didn't understand what she was trying to tell us. She was already six then. We thought she is going to flunk her Chinese in P1.

But even though I was despaired, I tried to teach her the full set of Hanyu Pinyin. "See, see, Chinese is about English alphabets too!" - bearing the hope that she'd be more receptive to the language. I used to blog about how terrible her Chinese was. Back then, I was assured by a blog reader that the problem would take care of itself when she goes to Primary One... And... IT DID! She was abso-freaking-lutely RIGHT!

Xuan's interest in Chinese took a 360 degree turn after she went to P1.
Today, she scores full marks for all her 听写,which comprises pinyin and Chinese characters.

She engages in intellectual discussion with me regarding Chinese characters and pinyin -
“家”是宝盖头;宝宝的“宝”也是宝盖头。。。 你知不知道还有秃宝盖? 写字的“写”就是秃宝盖。。。提土旁的字有”坏“、“地” 、“坡”、。。。

She concocts Chinese riddles for me to guess the word -
“两个人坐在土地上” (答案:坐)

One day, I concocted one for her as well “一个日本人,拿着一把刀,站在大门口,杀死四个人” (答案:照)

But she said she didn't like "杀死四个人" (too violent), so she replaced that with “杀死四只蚂蚁”
I smiled.
Two years back, she might have told me “四粒蚂蚁”
It was a quantum leap from where she first started two years ago.
Kudos to her Chinese teachers for igniting her passion for the language.

P/S: So don't worry if your child's Chinese is as bad, primary school education will do the trick!
Read more →

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mari kita ra'yat Singapura... then what?

The recent NDP, YOG, fireworks and all, definitely has a big impact on him! He is a bit confused with saying the pledge and singing the national anthem though (see how he held his right fist over his chest while singing). Errm... and still a long way to go to perfect his national anthem.

Take 1

Take 2
Read more →

Friday, August 6, 2010

When your maid added you as friend on Facebook...

you know she is doing well;
you know she has become oh-so-tech-savvy;
you know she is leading a comfortable life back home;
you know she misses you so much that she needs to pin you down on FB!
you know she yearns to be your friend more than your maid!

My experiences with maids had never been good. (Read about my maids here)
But, however bad experiences I had with her, it's all over.
We are now friends!
Read more →

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ready, 1-2-3, BLOW!

I am those types of impromptu mom. I don't train the kids. I always think that they can master certain skills themselves without having to teach. Skills like drinking from cups, blowing their nose, blowing out candles, coughing out phlegm, holding pencils, etc. I mean these are skills naturally acquired along the way as they grow up. They will know it when the time is ripe for them to know. So I don't really have the urge to teach them. Actually I don't really know how to teach them. (full of excuses!) Actually, you can just call me lazy...

I know there are many parents that teach and train their kids in these. It just hasten the process of growing up. And that's just about it, so I thought. With these kind of impromptu attitude, my kids' life skills acquisition and development are slow.

Kai doesn't know how to blow his nose and the candles until recently. It was not because he acquired it naturally. But because the dad, who was more systematic and clever than I am, taught him the skills! "This is call systematic!" the dad proudly acclaimed.

Here's a peek at his secret recipe:

Blowing out candles
Step 1: Let out a deep sigh with mouth open, ensure there is air coming out from the mouth as you do it.
Step 2: Round up your mouth into O shape, and perform the deep sigh in step 1.
Step 3: You got it! Blow out the candles now!

Blowing nose
Step 1: Let out a deep breath, just like the deep sigh, but with mouth closed.
Step 2: Repeat step 1, do it harder
Step 3: You got it again! You are blowing your nose now... blow harder!

I was amused and amazed.
I never know these two skills can be taught!
Well, perhaps some parts of growing-up just has to be hastened.

From now on, I won't have to use the soft rubber suction bulb to suck out the mucus from Kai's nose!
Read more →

Sunday, August 1, 2010

We are Singapore!

National Day is drawing near.
And Xuan has been singing those NDP songs written in the 1980's - "Count on me Singapore", "Stand up for Singapore", "We are Singapore". One of those songs that never fails to raise the goosebumps whenever it was sung together. These are the songs, which when sung, will made you feel you would die for SINGAPORE. Oh well, at least true for me. They gave me that kind of shiok patriotic feel! Especially this! It is classic!

There was a time when people said
That Singapore won’t make it, but we did
There was a time when troubles seemed too much
For us to take, but we did
We built a nation, strong and free, reaching out together
For peace and harmony

Chorus 1:
This is my country, this is my flag
This is my future, this is my life
This is my family, these are my friends
We are Singapore, Singaporeans

Singapore our homeland, it’s here that we belong
All of us united, one people marching on
We’ve come so far together, our common destiny
Singapore forever, a nation strong and free

( Repeat Chorus 1 )

( Sung )
We the citizens of Singapore
Pledge ourselves as one united people
Regardless of race, language or religion
To build a democratic society
Based on justice and equality
So as to achieve happiness
Prosperity and progress for our nation

Chorus 2:
We are Singapore, we are Singapore
We will stand together, hear the lion roar
We are Singapore, we are Singapore
We’re a nation strong and free forevermore

( Repeat Chorus 1 & 2 )

We are Singapore, Singaporeans ( X 2 )

I love my country!
Happy 45th Birthday SINGAPORE!
Read more →