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Friday, October 31, 2008



Her first test

Today my girl is sitting for her very first kindy assessment test or evaluation. She is rather excited about it.

A month ago we were given a piece of paper with the test syllabus. So I had been helping her to "study". Each time we completed a part, I would strike it off the given syllabus. Finally, we had almost completed her English, Malay, Moral, Maths, and Science Papers. Then she came to me and asked me "Mummy, how come we not yet do the Chinese?" Hahaha. "Its because mummy don't know how, thats why!" lol.

Eventually, mummy had to take the dictionary and painstakingly try to figure out what the part of the syllabus was going to be covered. Boy! That was tough. But we managed to cover it, I hope. Haha.

Last night before we went to bed, I asked her if she had any questions to ask me about the test. She had all kinds of questions including..

"Mummy, I'm afraid, I don't know."

I had to explain to her that she need not worry because she had worked very hard at studying so its ok if she didn't remember everything. Then I gave her some exam tips like
  • moving on to the next question if she does not know an answer and coming back to it later
  • checking her work if she finishes early etc

Hmmm... while helping her to study, I had forgotten to give her these tips. I think that teaching a child study tips and exam tips are equally important as just covering the syllabus. Hopefully, that can lead the way to a more independant her in the future where she won't need to study with mummy anymore.

She's still having more tests next week but she has mostly covered all the syllabus so we can relax a bit. This afternoon she wants to make a card for grandad for his birthday tomorrow and we will be having a day out with grandad and all her aunts, uncles and cousins tomorrow. I will explain to her that when you have worked hard at something, then you can have some time to enjoy and relax.

I am always telling her that there is a time for everything. A time to work hard, time to play hard, a time to eat, a time to rest, a time to sleep. So I must show her with actual examples and this is a good opportunity as any.

Good luck sweetie pie! Muaks. Mummy loves you.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008



Teaching Young Kids

I read somewhere that the best thing you can do to teach your young child is to read, read, read to them or something along those lines. I can't remember it exactly. I would like to add to that. I think that when teaching young kids, the best method is to....
  1. read, read, read and read to them
  2. talk, talk, talk and talk to them
  3. listen, listen, listen and listen to them
  4. play, play, play and play with them
  5. laugh, laugh, laugh and laugh with them
  6. sing, sing, sing and sing with them

Its not just about getting out the books and making them write their ABCs or solve problems in their activity books. When you read, talk, listen, play, laugh and sing with them, they learn too.

I think, I'm ok in the reading, talking, laughing and singing part but I am poor in the playing and listening part. I know this because I constantly get these....

"Mummy, play with us."

"Mummy, you long time never play with us already."

"Mummy, you said you will play with us yesterday, and today, you say you will play with us tomorrow!"

"Mummy, are you listening?!"

"Mummy, are you listening or are you just pretending to listen?" (lol.)

Yes, I am poor in those areas and need to improve on them. However, its really hard as my ears sort of tune off when the kids talk non-stop. I find that the kids talk in a rather descriptive manner. In order to get their point across, they can really beat around the bush! Halfway through I often tune off.

Playing is another area I need to improve on. I can't concentrate on play when my mind is always thinking of things I need to do etc. I should set aside time to sit and just play. During the time I set for playing my "job" for that moment should be to play and nothing else. The kids really love it when someone just sits there and plays with them without being distracted.

Monday, October 20, 2008



Kids Activities - Keeping A Song Book

My girl loves to sing. Whenever they teach a new song at the kindy, she would come home and tell me the title of the song and ask me for the lyrics. The kindergarten which she attends has kids ranging from age 3 to 6. So normally, when they teach the kids a new song, they would not provide them with the lyrics. They would just sing the songs over and over again till the kids memorise them by heart.

So normally when my girl comes back with a song title, we would do a search for the song lyrics, then we would search YouTube for the song. Then we would copy the lyrics down into her song book and listen to the song on YouTube to learn it.

After learning the song thoroughly, my girl will walk around the house with her song book and sing from it. She enjoys this activity very much.

This activity encourages kids to appreciate music. It also improves their reading and writing skills if you allow them to copy the words or song lyrics themselves. We don't have a printer at home so we do it the hard way, copy manually. However, I must admit that sometimes I get a little impatient and I end up copying the lyrics for her. :P

Friday, October 17, 2008



How To Help A Child Overcome The Fear Of Failure

"Mummy, what if everyone laughs at me."

My girl has been practising very hard for an upcoming performance. I try to help her as much as I can by providing the props that she needs etc.

However, most important of them all, I am trying to help her build her confidence. I like this Parenting Tip on How to help Children Overcome the Fear of Failure. An excerpt from the article goes like this....

How do you teach your children to overcome fear of failure? The first step is to redefine the definition of failure. It is important to teach your kids that they fail when they are not trying. If they try to do something and fail, you should never belittle them for their failures. In fact, you should encourage and praise them, if they are really working hard. Children need to learn that they should never look for the easy way out. Redefining failure can take away the fear. You children will learn to take risks and pursue their dreams. Overcoming fear of failure will be one of the most important skills in their life.

I like the part where it says "It is important to teach your kids that they fail when they are not trying." It is also true that "Overcoming fear of failure will be one of the most important skills in their life."

So even though this is just a kindy performance, I am working very hard together with my girl to build her confidence. I believe it is a stepping stone on how she will be able to handle other things in life later on. Hubby also gives her little prep talks whenever he can.

I tell her that everyone is a little afraid of speaking in public but as long as she tries very hard she will have succeeded and I tell her that she has my unconditional love no matter what. I praise her for trying but I do not overdo my praise. I tell her that this part is good but perhaps she should try harder in that area etc.

We playfully sing Julie Andrew's "I have Confidence" song from The Sound of Music and she laughs when I tell her even Maria (Julie Andrews) is afraid. She especially likes the part when Maria says "Oh Help!"

Hopefully she can overcome her fear of failure, do well in her performance and this will give a boost to her confidence level.

As a parent, I teach my child ABCs and 123s but this is another area which I believe should not be overlooked. I believe that positive thinking is a skill that can be built and should be instilled from young. And this performance is a good opportunity for me to teach my girl.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008



My Affectionate Boy

My boy is a very affectionate little feller. He expresses his love physically by hugging and kissing those whom he loves. Sometimes I am too tired to play with him but he would come and put his arms around me, touch my face gently and say "Never mind mummy, rest rest first." He is like a small cuddly huggy bear.

Whenever my relatives come to visit and they request a hug or a kiss, he is always very generous with it. He likes to come close to people and touch their face and hug them.

I have been bringing him to his sister's kindy to watch the kids rehearse for their concert. Theres this little Indian girl whom he likes to play with whenever we are at the kindy. They always smile at each other in a friendly manner. This morning they smiled and ran around as usual. Then he went and hugged her! I think the little girl got a surprise. Haha.

Later on, I had to tell him not to simply go round hugging people. "But why mummy, she is my friend." he said. I was at a loss for words on what to reply to him. I simply told him to reserve his hugs for his family members.

Monday, October 13, 2008



Money boxes or Piggy Banks for the kids


Recently my boy ran up excitedly to me and told me.....

"Mummy, mummy, we don't need to ask daddy for money anymore. You can just knock this thing and money will come out."

His sister had been reading a book to him about some bunnies knocking open their piggy banks to buy some stuff. Haha. If only it were that simple. I had to explain to him that "this thing" is called a piggy bank and you have to put your own money in there to save. When you have saved enough or when your piggy bank is full, then you can knock it open to buy the things that you need.

To illustrate my point, I got each of them a money box with keys. Then I gave them some coins to put in their money box. (or pinky bank as my boy calls it since he can't pronounce piggy). After that they couldn't stop bugging me with more questions...

"Mummy, why can't I open the money box?"
"Mummy, I want more coins."
"Mummy, can I look inside?"
"Mummy, when can I have more coins?"
"Mummy, I want to take my coins out."

Haha. Looks like we have a long way to go in our lessons on saving money.

Have you ever wondered why a savings container is called a piggy bank and is in the shape of a pig? Well, apparently, it has got nothing to do with pigs but rather in the type of material, a type of clay jars called pygg used to keep the money in during days of old. Check this link out if you are interested in the origin of the piggy bank.

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