Photos from Popo’s place!

June 21, 2007 at 10:56 pm | Posted in All about little boy, Visual treats | 1 Comment

p6140036web.jpg Enjoying his Yakult (little boy’s “good” is an index finger up instead of the usual thumbs up)

p6150053web.jpg Ah Seng look, styled by my sis

p6150069web.jpg p6150070web.jpg Close and put on the table!

p6150120web.jpg The industrious sweeper

And last but not least… when little boy was PISSED cos I refused to give him the camera!


Home sweet home

June 21, 2007 at 9:54 pm | Posted in All about little boy, Rantings and ravings | Leave a comment

Alas, i forgot to bring the camera to the airport so my plans of capturing some reunion shots went down the drain. Anyway little boy had fun walking around the airport, with me following behind him like a shadow. I got so tired of shadowing his steps like some kind of defence player that i decided to just make sure that he doesn’t get further than 10 feet away from me and won’t bother to move closer unless he seems to be getting into some kind of trouble. At one point he was walking in a circle with radius of a few feet away from me, so i just needed to turn myself 360 degrees – which was a lot easier!

When Mr Gua Gua finally came out and was waiting for the luggage, we pointed him out to little boy. He was pretty far away so i didn’t think that little boy would be able to pick him out, but surprisingly he did, and was pointing and smiling. Guess little boy has pretty keen eyesight. And when Mr Gua Gua came walking towards us, little boy had such a huge beam on his face, though after Mr Gua Gua carried him, he looked anywhere but at him, acting “cool” as usual.

So we are finally back home and little boy is giving me trouble at sleeping times again. Guess home kinda puts him in the “misbehaving” mood. It also could be that there is less space and furniture for him to run and climb as much as he could compared to at my mum’s place, so he doesn’t tire out so easily. Oh well, nothing much we could do abt that, except to bring him out more often and just let him run amok!

Update abt my jook cooked using Tiger Food Jar. It was a success! The rice did turn into porridge, though i added too much water so it was like teo chew mooy. This morning i mixed equal portions of the grains i bought for making the amazing ten-grain porridge (though i only have 8), with little boy’s help. I was glad when little boy came into the kitchen as i was measuring out cups of grains and pouring them into a large container, cos i thought it wld be fun for him to watch, though i was also hoping he wldn’t cause me to spill the grains all over the floor. Which he didn’t! Of cos he wanted to touch the grains, but when i moved them away from his reach, he didn’t persist and just continued watching.

Then i decided to let him help me hold the cup while i was pouring the grains into it, and transfer the grains from the cup to the container. It was quite a huge “risk” to me cos there is a possibility of him playing with the cup instead and spilling the grains all over the floor which would be a waste of food and money. But surprisingly, little boy was very cooperative, and after the first time of me holding the cup firmly on the floor for him when i poured the grains into it, he obediently held the cup for the following rounds and didn’t try to topple it over. Of cos when he poured the grains into the container, i had to help to make sure it doesn’t spill outside, but i could also see that he was doing a pretty good job and perhaps with more practice, he would be able to do it without any help. Somehow i felt he was pretty happy about being able to help me and he tried his best to be helpful. I’m so proud of him!

Well, there was a little spillage, some of which was my own fault, so i took the broom and dustpan to sweep it. Since he was so coorperative and helpful, and had some “brooming” experience (refer photos on next entry!), i decided to get him to help hold the dustpan. Then he watched me sweep the grains inside. He refused to let go of the dustpan so i ended up getting him to walk towards the dustbin so i could pour the contents inside. After tt he allowed me to keep the dustpan. Then he wanted to have a go at the broom too! Hehe… it was a bit tricky for me to maneuver the broom so he could pretend to sweep the floor… maybe when he’s a little older, i’ll buy a mini broom and dustpan and he will be in charge of sweeping a small corner of the house daily. I do look forward to having him help me out with some chores! Not that he would be a real help of cos. In fact, it takes more of my time and energy to coach and supervise him. But i like the idea of kids learning to be helpful and responsible though being involved in household chores. Then he wldn’t be like me… haha… who practically had my mum doing everything for me which is prob why i’m kinda lazy now in terms of housekeeping. 😛

I’m now reading this book How Children Learn by John Holt, the supposed founder of the homeschooling movement. I chanced upon it in the library, and since i have heard much about this guy, i decided to check it out. It turned out to be an extremely engaging and insightful read, with his very astute observations of the young children he comes in contact with in his personal life and teaching career as well as his own reflections abt the learning process. Thanks to this book, now i understand better the quote by someone about how everytime you teach a child something, that child loses the satisfaction of discovering it for him/herself. I thought that was meaningful, but i cldn’t bring myself to have faith in it – and every now and then, i still can’t resist the urge to teach him how to play with a toy, how something works, etc. (Though when i recall such moments, i wonder if those explanations were too frivolous and simple… that is, if little boy was even listening to me at all, wld he be like, duh… what’s Mummy’s talking abt!)

But in the book, it describes through real-life observations, how children learn so easily when they do it at their own pace and when the subject matter is of interest to them, and how explanations, far from helping them understand, may even end up befuddling them more, if not make them reject the subject matter. This book prob pushed me into the direction of homeschooling far more than any other readings i have come across. It makes so much sense that children can learn so much more if they are given free rein in what, how, and when to learn, with good access to learning resources. Indeed, how can we compartmentalise life into subjects when everything is inter-related… and yet school does that, and no wonder most of us find it boring and seemingly irrevelant to life.

No offence to my teacher friends though… John Holt himself was a school teacher and found many innovative ways to create a learning environment for his students, especially through modelling and providing fairly unstructured exploration time. So it’s especially recommended if you are a teacher and you really want to help your kids learn.

Hehe.. Mr Gua Gua just commented that little boy seems to have grown bigger in the past week. I realised that too this morning when little boy was having his nap. I looked at him and he seemed to be taking up more space on the bed than 1 week before! And he’s developing in so many other ways too. His babbling has taken on new sounds. He is able to follow instructions like “put cup on table”, even when the table is not next to him. Mr Gua Gua just told me that today, he was hitting the singing bowl on the altar with the wooden stick in a rhythmic manner – and i didn’t even know that he could reach it! He also unhinged the door lock in front of Mr Gua Gua, and that amazes me too cos even i need to put in effort to unhinge it cos the lock is quite stiff. Not only that, he even pushed the little stool to the gate and stepped on it in his attempt to reach the lock. Gosh…

Today Mr Gua Gua’s parents took little boy to check out AlantisCity, the indoor playground that i have taken little boy to many times. They haven’t been there before and were given wrong directions. Little boy actually pointed them the way and they managed to find the place thanks to his directions. Hahaha….

But nah, i really shldn’t be amazed. We prob give children too little credit for their intelligence and thinking processes. Then we end up ordering them around or forcing them to do stuff against their will, simply cos we are bigger, older and *think* we are wiser.

Then again, perhaps it’s cos we give children so little credit, that they amaze and delight us so with their new antics and tricks. That’s what make them so fun to watch! And i hope that i will always make effort to watch more, like John Holt, to understand what little boy is really like, and to do less that may undermine his potential in any way.

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