Monday, September 27, 2010

Learning phonics through Leapfrog

That's how Kai learns his 26 alphabet sounds and the blending of alphabets to make words. I simply couldn't recall learning English through the phonics way when I was a kid. The term "phonics" was completely alien to me until my university years (no kidding) when I selected the subject as one of the study module in the Chinese department. I wonder how I picked up English without struggling through phonics when I was a kid?!

Kids nowadays learn English the phonics way, which has become part of their everyday life, as early as 3 years old or even earlier. It is like if you don't know phonics, there's no way you are able to read the language! But erhem, didn't I (and perhaps parents of my generation) do English without phonics?

Anyway, every kid is learning phonics today. So I made Kai learn it too! (Xuan missed out on that. Lucky for her!). First I made alphabet cards (more of paper) and made Kai sit through the phonics learning process with me. He wasn't interested. After a few mouth-opening session of "say 'ah'", he'd run away. Obviously, I wasn't train, and didn't know the correct sequence and process of teaching phonics.

It was later that I learned about Leapfrog DVD through some online forums, and decided to purchase them! It was definitely a much easier way out! The DVDs were truly awesome! Both Xuan and Kai were glued to the DVDs. They were a million times more effective in grabbing Kai's attention than torturing him with "open your mouth and say ah!"

These were what I got for him.

The Leapfrog characters are extremely effective in grabbing the kids' attention with their wild adventure at the Letter Factory and the Talking Words Factory. Letter Factory teaches the 26 alphabet sounds while Talking Words Factory teaches the simple blending of alphabets.

Unfortunately, these two DVDs were heavily battered by Kai with scratches and cannot be played anymore. Luckily he mastered his basic phonics from them before they bid goodbye. Sigh!
Read more →

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Full moon

The kids had some fun (despite a short one) carrying conventional lanterns in the park last evening. That was the first time we celebrated Mid-Autumn Festival in such traditional way...

"Look at my lantern made in school!"
Read more →

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

When the dad is sick...

it means...
there'd be three stucked in a bed.
literally stucked...
Kai demanded that I wrapped my arms around him while Xuan glued tightly to my backside, whispering, "I'm scared... scared..."
that's how the trio got stucked in an unshakable bond. at night.
what a 'bliss'
an unmistakable bliss!

it also means...
the poor dad would be gazing miserably into the starry night sky
while the crazy mom croaked "明月几时有,把酒问青天。。。" to the tune of Faye Wong's 《但愿人长久》
to crack herself up.
what a clown
an unequivocal clown!

You saw similarities between the two? Yes? No? Haha!
Read more →

Monday, September 20, 2010

A view from our window

Sunset. High-rise. Tower cranes.
I thought I saw two suns..

Read more →

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Oh may I be granted the power to talk enthusiastically to the kids ... always

Communication with kids is a critical survival skill. If communication fails, it will be like end of the world. You'd live in misery, constantly bickering with the kids, and at each other's throat. Of course this applies to all other relationships, not only to parent-child relationship.

I realised (seems like lots of realisation lately) that we need to use lots of enthusiasm when we talk to the kids, for them to listen, to participate. In fact, we need to talk like them and act like them. But seriously, how often do we have the energy to do that?

Good communication with kids is a skill, which I am trying very hard to master. Sad to say, I've changed from a quiet, sweet, demure next-door girl (shameless, haha!) to a chronic nagger cum yellow-faced grumpy woman since the kids can communicate sensibly. It's like a 360 degree transformational change. Seriously, I tend to nag a lot and I hate it. I simply lack the energy to be enthusiastic.

"Xuan, your study table is so messy... can you tidy it up now?"
"Kai, your cars are everywhere on the floor, can you pack up the toys now...??!!!"
But no matter how much nagging I administer, the kids will not budge. They have somehow turned a deaf ear to all my nagging.

Occasionally, when I try to force out some vigor and gusto, I find my enthusiastic communication with kids work like charm!

OK, kids! Let's tidy up the house now!!! (stood up, give a few claps)
Xuan, you'd tidy up your bed and table.
Kai, you'd pack up your toys in the living room.
I'll take my bath and when I come out, you'd give me a BIG SURPRISE OK!!!"
(the secret code word is "Surprise" - it always work... but I can't use it too often or it'll lose its effect. Just like all good things - must use sparingly, Right?!)

Kids: "YEAHHH!!! OK!"
And they quickly hurried to work on their respective areas.
I couldn't be happier.
With this enthusiasm, I have the best of both worlds.
I get to bathe in peace.
I get to be greeted by a tidy house after a refreshing bath!
Couldn't be better!

Unfortunately, this kind of enthusiasm is difficult to sustain, with the never-ending housework and whatever work... sigh!
Read more →

Monday, September 13, 2010

Coolest Gadgets and Gifts

Let me proudly present
my new baby...
a new kid on the BLOG


and another

yet another...

no lah, just kidding!
They are more for fun.
Simply because of my new-found hobby (modifying blogger templates!)...
I'm not serious into web designing yet (2nd display).
Stay tuned for more ... if I have the time.
Read more →

Friday, September 10, 2010

Game of the season

I realised that some games the siblings played will get out of fashion after a while. Just like the iphone hype, which they couldn't put their hands off during the few months craze. I was glad the craze died off, .... (sigh!) only to rekindle slightly of late. Well.

So, while this particular 'TOM Play' is still in fashion, I shall document it here before it slipped totally off my memory after it goes off season.

It is a highly disturbing play which I dislike.
It will start whenever one of them is 'naughty'
The angry party will put up a phone-calling gesture and script goes, "di-di-di-di, Hello Tom, can you catch this naughty (Jie Jie/Jun Kai)... te-te-te-te."

And with both arms stretched out, they will run towards the naughty person, while that person will shriek loudly in excitement!

Terribly loud play.
I wish it will go out of season real soon, just like the iphone (and never make a comeback)!
Another update,
We've finally bought the duo a training bike each...

I hope they will divert their energy to cycling rather than focusing on the 'Tom play'... well provided I bring them to the park (haha, u know lah, this lazy mommy)...

Read more →

Monday, September 6, 2010

New milestone: Reading

I used to envy those parents whose kids love to read.
Afterall loving to read is a good hobby.
I'm not a book-lover.
I don't really like to read.
(I know you wouldn't believe I have worked in the library for 10 years!).
I read only for essential information.
The dad also doesn't like reading.
So I thought no way is our kids going to love to read.

Then one day, I saw this and I was really happy.

It has become a common sight in the house now.
She holds up her story books during meal times.
And it has even become a problem...
albeit a happy one :)

And I thought it is this particular Rainbow Magic series that ignites her interests in reading!

Read more →

New hobby

I'm into a new hobby lately and have totally neglected this space!
Sometimes I wish I can go to sleep with a laptop. I can't work in the study in front of the PC at night cos' I know my 'best friends' are waiting for me. We have come to a compromise of late. They would only crawl out when we are in slumberland or when we are out of the house. When lights are off, it means party time for them!

Oh, let's forget about them... yup, my new hobby, that's right.
It's a hobby that is not good for the eyes. It entails staring at the PC and deciphering programming codes... And it is extremely addictive. But I enjoy doing it. It is web designing. Nah, actually it is merely hacking html codes in existing blogger templates. I'm even thinking of earning pockets out of it. It is too addictive. I need to stop and go back to my indexing and blogging soon.

Arrggg... I wish I have more time!
Read more →