Reflect: May 2017

Our family spend the whole of May falling sick and trying to get back into health. What a tiring May 2017.

HFMD
The illness all started in late April, where the Littlest caught HFMD. And we didn’t realize it was a HFMD case as he didn’t complain much except for the low-grade fever and poor appetite. There was no spots on his hands or mouth. So we thought he just caught some virus. Only when the school announced HFMD cases then we realize he might have caught the HFMD. Unfortunately, by the time we realize, it was a little too late. He has spread the virus to both the Girl and their cousin.

img1497247758175
One of the best stay home activities for the kids were painting. This is the Littlest’s artwork. He says he is drawing “Purple Lion Dance, Leaves, Caterpillar and Rubbish”. Very abstract indeed.

Virus Attack
The Girl recovered from HFMD but developed a cough. It wasn’t really serious, but we could hear she has some phlegm. The Helper also came down with a bad throat and cough during the period. Soon the virus went to the Littlest and the Boy, and finally to Chubby and a little to myself. The Littlest was the worst hit as his fever shot as high as 40C. We eventually took him to the hospital for a check in case he has a chest or lung infection. Luckily all came out well. He is no longer having any fever, but the on-and-off cough is still there. Same for the Girl, while the Boy is back to drippy nose.

Weekend Play
With the kids being sick, we hardly have any chance to bring them out on weekends. The boy had to skip a birthday party as we are afraid we will be bringing the HFMD virus with us. On one of the weekends we manage to bring the elder two for a swim. It was drizzling when we were on our way to our usual pool, so Chubby decides to head further to see if we can escape the rain. So the kids visited the pool at Safra Jurong and we are delighted to have the whole children section to ourselves. Seems like no one visit the pool at that time. Or maybe no parent is crazy enough to bring their kids out for a swim when it looks like it might rain. LOL.

Cycling
The Girl has been asking for a bicycle for sometime already. However, we were pretty reluctant to get one with stabiliser as we know that does not aid in learning to ride. And we have like 2 balance bike at home. Sometime last month, I noticed the Boy could balance pretty well on his balance bike, so we decide the time has finally come for the Boy to own a “normal” bike. And in getting for the Boy, we had to get for the Girl too. Fairness, they called it. LOL.

We decide to pay Decathlon a visit since they opened a new branch in the west. And we got the Girl’s bicycle there with easy to remove stabilisers. However, there was no male design for the Boy’s height, so we decide the both of them is to share the bicycle, and its a waste of money to buy two bicycles of the same height when they will outgrow it pretty soon.

The next day after we got the bicycle, Chubby brought the elder two to cycle. And the Boy manage to ride the bicycle by himself after like 1 try. It’s not the perfect kind of cycling, but he is able to maneuver around. He just had difficulties “starting” the cycle. I must say the balance bike investment was well spent. LOL. Now is to get the Girl to ride on the balance bike more.

img1497248036062
The boy on the “girly” bicycle from Decathlon. We got their helmets and guards there too. Things were reasonably priced. And nope, we are not paid to advertise for them. Just sharing good deals. LOL.

Dino Robot Factory @ Science Centre
It’s the June holidays (though technically we are still in May), so we brought the kids to Science Centre. We decide to pay the Dino Robot Factory a visit since the boy love Dinosaurs. I must say this exhibition is a great improvement from the “Monsters of the Sea” exhibition which we visited last year. There was more interactive play this time round. However, I still find the ticket pricing expensive for such a small exhibition.

img1497247868699
One of the exhibit at the Dino Robot Factory. The kids have to “fix” some of the parts for the robot Dino.

Report Book @ P1
It’s the end of Semester 1, which means the Boy got his report book for the first time. When I first saw his results, I was kind of disappointed. He didn’t do badly, most of his scores were above his cohort mean, however, his English and Math were below his cohort median. I was disappointed he couldn’t make it pass the 50 percentile. However, Chubby reminded me not to compare him with other kids, which I have to agree. We are all unique in our way.

Parent-Teacher-Meet
We also got to meet the Teachers for all three kids last week. This is the first PTM for the Boy, so we were eager to hear what the teacher has to say about him (especially when we don’t see the teacher often unlike in Childcare). The teacher commented that he is generally ok, just that he was caught dozing off in class sometimes. I hope by pulling him out of the student care, we can help to reduce this from happening. His form teacher also commented about his work getting untidy and also some academic area for improvements.

The Girl and the Littlest PTM were more casual as we know the teachers well. The teachers commented that the Girl has made improvement in her ability to recognise words and just need to work harder on her show-and-tell. As well as increasing her interest in reading Chinese books. The Littlest needs more reading to, especially in area which teaches correct behaviors. This make me realize that I have been neglecting on books like these as the elder two are way pass that. I need to get more books suitable for the Littlest’s age.

School Holiday
School holiday has started but I told the Boy it doesn’t mean all play and no work. I have set aside homework for him to complete everyday by himself. He has done it for 2 days already, we hope he can continue to do so in the weeks to come. He needs to revise on what he has learned and also improve on areas which the teachers mentioned.

Tasks for Next Month
Here is what I aim to achieve in June:

  • Get the family back to health
    No chilled drinks, less processed food, supplements and more outdoor time. And exercise for Chubby and me!
  • Revision with the kids
    Homework has taken a back seat since the kids were ill in May. Time to get back in action and make sure the kids have solid foundation.
  • Reading
    For the kids to read more genre and “new” books. For myself, to read at least a few pages a day.

This is our very tiring May. How was yours?

Advertisements

Reflect: April 2017

Our April doesn’t seems to be as busy as our March and yet I couldn’t find time to blog! Where has all the time gone? 时间都去哪儿了?

Primary School Life
The boy had his “holistic assessment” this month, before we even realize that it is happening. This is how not “on the ball” we are. Fortunately, he did fine in both his English and Math. He could do better without the careless mistakes. But well, kids are kids right? We all made careless mistakes when we were young.

His spelling and 听写 has some improvements after I made him write on exercise books instead of just reciting. This is because many times he know how to spell but would write his letters flipped. I realise its the way he write. He writes both “b” and “d” the straight line down first and decides which way to flip the “c”. So when he is anxious or not concentrating, his letters get flipped.

We have also decide to withdraw the boy from his student care, as we realise it is not very effective. Maybe because P1s don’t have much homework in the first place. So he spend a lot of his time at student care playing or watching TV. So instead of paying money for him to do that, we decide to keep him home. As the withdrawal requires notice period and they do not do half-monthly thing, his last day at the student care will be the end of the semester. So we have not start on the new schedule yet, but we shall see how. I intend to get him to do his homework and revise one subject every day. Wish me luck on our “remote learning”. LOL.

The boy also started learning Tae Kwan Do this month. I encouraged him to take out a sport or some enrichment that is outside of school work. The reason being when he gets very stress out academically, there is an outlet for stress relieve. He has enjoyed his class thus far. Lets wait and see how long he can last.

Preparing for P1
Not sure if it is due to the withdrawal of one of their classmate (due to difference in academic expectations), the teachers started loading the kids with more homework. There were reading every week and worksheets for weekend. Compare to many other childcare and kindergarten, I would say its not as much and definitely a good training for the girl to understand what does homework means. LOL.

So far she gets tired from writing and her words are still flying everywhere. I had tried to breakdown her work into smaller sizes and gave her more time to play in between. But this would means going back to the study table multiple times a day. For the boy, I usually tried the “one shot finish everything” stunt, as it is difficult to get him to come back to the table! Fortunately, the girl is able to do it and sometimes she will just walk back to the table herself and asked me to work with her on the rest of her homework. And she is always motivated to finish her work when she knows we are going out to have some fun later. Hope she stays this way.

Toddler Life
We finally got a small table for the Littlest, as he always like to come near us when GorGor and JieJie are studying at night. He had joined us on a few nights, sitting at his table doodling or playing with his rhymes props.

He is reading more books now. My trusty helper has been reading our Maisy collection to him when I’m working with the elder two. And surprisingly he is able to sit down and listen to them. And most of our Maisy books are the longer version and not the short board books which I read to the boy when he was this age. I’m really happy and thankful for that. Oh and he recently fell in love with “The hungry caterpillar” and made me re-read to him many times a night. Maybe he enjoys finishing the sentences when I read to him.

He also had his first Easter Egg hunt experience, thanks to the boy’s friend’s Mummy who organises it every year. He enjoyed himself so much that when he saw the photos on my phone, he was able to tell us what happened.

Decluttering

  • Health
    • I have been consistent at brining my own lunch to work for most days in April. And I usually include a serving of fruits in my lunch. So yay!
    • We were consistent in our Tabata until I fell ill on the 2nd last week of April and couldn’t work out. We need to get back to our routine again!
    • Junk food and ice drinks are still frequently seen in my diet. With the hot weather its really hard to cut down on the ice drinks. As for junk food, they are mainly consumed in office when its near to knock-off time as I would be hungry. I need to buy more healthy snacks for office and really switch myself to hot drinks at Starbucks.
  • Kids
    • Decluttering their weekend and holidays are a tough one. This is because the girl prefers to be out. She would asked us where we are going every weekend. While the boy prefers to stay home on some days to rest. So we got to balance between the two.
    • Miraculously, the boy read 2 very simple chapter books by himself. According to him, its a P2 chapter book that he saw in school and requested me to get it for him. We read with him for the 1st book and he read the 2nd book all by himself. He is now waiting for his 3rd book in the series to arrive. So now I have to get the girl interested in chapter books and start both on Chinese chapter books.
    • 1-to-1 date happened in a different way. As the girl has ballet classes every Thursday, we always bring the boy along. I usually go through his spelling with him at a cafe while waiting for MeiMei class to end and he will share with me his day or other things when we are done with work. For the girl, she always join us for breakfast on weekends. Some days the brother is too tired to join us, so it will become our 2-to-1 date. But 1-to-1 date for the littlest is still nil and difficult to manage. Maybe when he is older, we can try it.
  • Couple
    • Date nights has been consistent for us. Every Friday while both the kids attend their Chinese enrichment classes, we will go for our date night. Sometime its just dinner, other times it can be movies.
  • Self
    • I finally finish reading the first book of 2017! So slow, but I finally did it. Now its time to move on to the next book. But currently, I’m a little distracted with some drama series. LOL. When I’m done with that, its back to reading again. The TV kid in me, never left.
    • Decluttering my stuff never happened this month. I was busy shopping again! More like “decluttering” my wallet. LOL. Need to curb and really clean out the things I do not need anymore.

Our April just zoomed pass again. We are looking forward to May, which is the end of Semester 1!

Thoughts: It’s okay to be a kaypoh (sometimes)

A few days ago I read about this Triple Murder in Malaysia, it caught my attention because kids were murdered and the mother is the prime suspect. How sad that is. Then a few days later, more details were revealed and a sadder truth was told.

It appears that the father (who was also found dead at the scene) was violent and had killed the baby 3 months ago when he slammed a chair at the baby who was doing what every baby was doing, crying. And the mother seems to be lost in her own world unsure of what is happening around her. They found out the truth from the two elder sons who were also abused and traumatised.

Everytime I read about child abuse and (in broader terms) family violence, my heartaches. What has these little children done to deserve this kind of treatment. And in the past, I couldn’t comprehen why the victim or the other parent if it is young kids never stand up for themselves. What has make them give up their paternal instincts? Is it because of the love for the other party? Because of financial dependence? Or thinking this is just a one-off incident? Or that they will change?

Now that I’m older, I still couldn’t understand but I am more accepting that there must be some kind of compelling reasons for someone to suffer in silence. I just hope that whatever it is, they will seek help before its too late.

As for the rest of us, I hope we can all look out for those who seems to be suffering. If you hear constant quarelling or slamming of furnitures, we should help watch out for the family. You might be called a “kaypoh” and yest its very demeaning, but if it help save a life I think it is worth it. So be more vigilant and stretch out a real helping hand for those in need. Here is an article that explains how we can help those in need. And for the numbers to call, you can refer to the this website.

If my writing is not powerful enough to convince you to act, how about a real life case to show you the impact. It’s really okay to be a “kaypoh” sometimes.

stop-being-a-bystander
Img source from Google.

 

Thoughts: Reflecting 3rd Quarter 2016

Did the 3rd quarter of 2016 just pass by? How time moves when there is so much on your plate. We are into the last leg of 2016, yet I don’t see myself fulfilling much of the goals I set out since the beginning of 2016! Still we shouldn’t just quit, but continue to reflect and remind ourselves to keep to it.

  • Eat Healthily and Exercise More
    I cannot believe I actually put on 2 kg in the past one month. So much to eating healthily. I guess I have been snacking a little too much in office. I started on a no rice diet (there are still some carbs here and there) for lunch 3 times a week. And I told myself no more snacking in office and to bring fruits for tea break. Let see how it goes.
    As for exercising, my chronic back pain was back due to too much “sleeping” while I was nursing a stomach flu. As a result I couldn’t really go for jogging, it hurts after the “run”. However, I did manage to go for a swim, participate in a Captain’s Ball game in office, went ice skating with the kids once and cycle at West Coast Park. I’m thinking of 5 minutes Pilates on weekday and 15 minutes on weekend morning to strengthen my back muscle. And adding swimming to my exercise list as they will have less impact on my back. The boy’s classmates’ Mummies are also asking me to join them in the GE 5Km run. I’m still deliberating.

    wp-1475047447553.jpg
    The ice-skating session we had with the kids. I can’t skate but I’m sure my muscles had a good work out that day.
  • More Communication and Patience
    I guess this is coming along rather well. I’m making a conscious effort to stop myself before I lash out. Today I just learn a phrase that is to add in “think” before you act. So “Feel – Think – Act“. I’m going to apply it not only to the kids but also to everything I do.

    wp-1475047439226.jpg
    What I found written on my drinks after a little incident happened and I decide to “let it go”. So think before act not only make your day but also someone else’s.
  • Spend More Time with The Littlest
    Indeed with the new job I have more time with the littlest. Especially on days where I reach home earlier and the elder two are not back yet. I can really have a good one-to-one time with him. However, there is still have a lot I want to. With three kids, it’s really tough. I’m going to define it further by trying 1 activity and 1 reading everyday with him.
  • More One-To-One Time with the Elder Two
    Totally fail in this. We didn’t have any one-to-one time this quarter. How sad. I need to make this more achievable. Any ideas?
  • More Consistent Teaching
    A month back, we attended a seminar by Pamela Lim, talking about raising a child gifted. Although there was nothing new about the concepts that she shared, but I walked away with something very clear in my mind. Academic result is only one aspect of learning and life. And the two most basic skill a child need for learning is in reading and numerals. The rest are built on them.
    With that, I changed our curriculum a little. I halved the pages of “assessment books” they need to do and focus more on reading. Be it them reading to me (recognizing words for the girl case) or me reading to them. The reading here are not fiction reading but more on facts and knowledge. I have subscribed to the NatGeo kids for this purpose. However, parent-teacher-meet and the kids Chinese class feedback shows that they still need to read more Chinese books. So I am adding more reading in Chinese for the coming months.

    wp-1475047443279.jpg
    The boy saw this seed at the playground one day. He asked me what kind of “nut” that is. I told him is a seed but not sure from what tree. He explored ways and means to crack it open and finally did it. He was disappointed to see just “black stuff” inside. But we proceed to continue searching on Mr Google and we finally know its the seed of a Pong Pong fruit (Mummy is poor at science ). And we learned about “Pong Pong” fruit that day and also the boy learned how to crack open a “nut”. Learning can take place anywhere and in any form.

For personal reading wise, I completed “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”. It’s so nice to be reading about Harry Potter again. I really like this book and still thinking whether I should do a blog post about it. LOL. But reading with the kids have slowed down, we need to pick up speed on that.

As for the blog, thoughts of closing it down for the past month has been popping up in my head again.Last month I have a post that generated some interest but it didn’t translate to more consistent readership. I guess also partly because I have been lazy in blogging. I happen to talk to fellow Mummy blogger Christy this morning. She suggest I rethink and find a focus on my blog. Find something I love to write about. Well, I may give it a try but it is not easy for me. Maybe I just have too many things I wanted to do. I need to remind myself I set to FOCUS in 2016.

Linking up to:
new button

Thoughts: Reflecting 2nd Quarter 2016

This quarter, there was a big change in our life. I quit from my job of 10 years and embarked on another journey. With a nearer office, earlier and shorter working hours, I manage to spend more time with my family. I miss my ex-colleagues but is still happy that I made that jump, though where this new work will lead me to is still an unknown.

Now its time to pause and take stock again on the goals I setup to achieve:

  • Eat Healthily and Exercise More
    Well, with the change of job, eating healthily is more achievable. There are no Starbucks or Koi temptation here. Plus, I got Chubby to help me prepare lunch for 3 times a week, as food option here is limited. Hence, I think I’m slowly moving towards the healthy eating path.
    As for exercise more, there is no progression. There were a few weekend nights where Chubby and I went for a jog, but they were not regular enough. I hope we can do this every weekend. This shall be the goal for the 3rd quarter.

    wp-1467008302861.jpg
    Look at how new my shoes are. They need to be worn out!
  • More Communication and Patience
    With more time on hand, I think I am progressing well on this. Though sometimes the dilly-dalliness of the kids still get into me and I lost it and scream at them to act faster. Sigh.
  • Spend More Time With the Littlest
    There were 2 nights this month that the littlest woke up crying for “A-ti”. It breaks my heart. It shows how little love he have felt from me.
    With my new job, I am able to spend more time with the littlest now. However, apparently it is still not enough. Aim for 3rd quarter is to have at least 1/2 hour with him every weeknight, but not at the expense of me getting inpatient with the elder two on their homework. I hope I can do it.
  • More One-to-One Time with the Elder Two
    I went on a one-to-one date twice and a few one-to-one grocery shopping trip with the girl in this quarter. However, I haven’t got a chance to do that with the boy. In the 3rd quarter, I hope I can do one-to-one dates once a month with them individually.

    wp-1467008310246.jpg
    One of the rare occasion where I brought the girl out alone. But on theory this doesn’t count as one-to-one date as I was meeting a friend that day.
  • More Consistent Teaching
    “Night classes” with Mummy are more consistent these days. But because June is a holiday month, I also took some Fridays off and gave the kids a break from the night classes. LOL.

On other aspects, I’m still on the 2nd book of the year. In between I tried reading a book “Appreciating your child” but didn’t manage to finish it as it was from the library and I had to return it on the due date. So now I’m still on the official 2nd book. Hope I can progress slowly and steadily on this.

I remember at the beginning of the year I told myself that this blog is going to be a lower priority. A month back, I don’t know what got into me, I went to set up the FB page for thelittlemom.com. And I went into an obsession of trying to update it regularly with articles I read, posts that I blogged, etc. It is in complete contrast of what I had set out to do. Because of this obsession, I spent more time on the social media then I should.

“Luckily” an incident “knocked” me out of it. In wanting to promote my blog and FB page, I shared info in a FB group which links the community back to my blog. But it backfired and I got kicked out of the group without any warning as it is stated that members are not allowed to advertise about their blog. And this is my 2nd offense. The first time was a year ago, and I forgot the exact rules and thought I didn’t flout it. But the fact was I did. I was really upset by the incident but it was a good wake up call.

In my pursue to bring this blog and its page to another level, I got my priorities wrong and forgot why I started this blog. I think it’s a good time to pause and remind myself that I set to FOCUS in 2016.

wp-1467008323428.jpg
Second half of 2016 is approaching. Not too late to refocus and have a new beginning.

So how was your Q2 for 2016?

Linking up to:
new button

Reflect: 1st Quarter 2016

I have been doing quarterly review since the start of last year. And I find it really good to help me keep focus and in check. Base on my 2016 new year checklist, here is what I have done in the first quarter and aim to do in the next quarter.

  • Eat Healthily and Exercise More
    Alas, the first item on my checklist and I fail badly. I’m still induldging on my three to four times a week of icy drinks from Starbucks and Koi. Well, no excuse. I simply succumb to temptations. I need more determination to keep this in check.
    As for exercising, I was on a routine of going for jogs or walk every Tuesday when the elder two are at their enrichment classes. But somewhere in March, I started on a course and wasn’t able to do it anymore. And this morning I was suppose to wake up early to go jogging with Chubby. But TT didn’t sleep well the night before and I was exhausted taking care of him. So we didn’t wake up for our exercise. Night time I reserved for coaching the kids so it’s hard to find time there.
    Maybe for a start we will do a twice a week exercise in the morning. Once in the weekday, once on weekends. In this way we only need to wake up early once. Let’s see how this goes.
  • More Communication and Patience
    Ah~ This area I think I’m doing pretty well. There were times where I just felt irritated that things are not happening as it should be, but I think I have learn to let go and not be so uptight. It certainly wasn’t easy for me and there was once that I threw a really bad temper at Chubby but I am trying hard and I have kept the occurrences down.
    Recently I read somewhere that if you have many things to do, write them all down and try to see if they are all necessary and set a timeline to those things that you want to do. It helps to clear your mind and let you stay focus. I’m going to try that out as one of the reason I’m so inpatient and short tempered is because I have lots of thing in my mind and I get upset when people are affecting my time to complete my things. So by doing these hopefully it will help me become a better person.
  • Spend More Time With the Littlest
    I’m making a conscious effort to spend more time with the littlest, especially on weekends. I will try to play and read with him while leaving the elder two to their own device. Unfortunately for weekdays it is still hard. By the time the elder two finishes their work, it’s the littlest bedtime. I need to get the elder two to work faster!
    In the coming months, I will continue to spend more time with him on weekend. Do more reading and activities with him. I have come across some really good toddler activities, so it’s time to start working on them with TT. 
    The craft materials I got to make a silent book for TT. But is 0% completed…
     
  • More One to One Time with the Elder Two
    Total failure in this area. We haven’t go for any one-to-one date at all. We usually spend weekend time together and weekday nights are just so busy. I really must make a special effort on this.
    I think for a start I will have Friday night out with them individually. Maybe on the first and third Friday of each month. Let’s see how this will work out.
  • More Consistent Teaching
    Finally something that I have done well. I have consistently work with them on weekday nights. Loi has certainly improved on her alphabets and is more receptive at writing in Chinese. Zai has also improved in his writing and can write longer sentences now. However, I think the credits go to their teachers, I didn’t really “teach” much.
    In the coming months, I’m thinking of how to include more play into our learning.I probably dedicate Friday for learn through play. For maths it’s easy with card games, cash register and weighing skills. Difficulty will be in English and Chinese. I have tried Bingo for a while, but that is not enough. I think it’s time I go find out more in this area. If you have any good ideas please leave us a comment. 
    Loi dislike writing but loves doodling on whiteboard as it makes her feel like her teacher. So to encourage her to write, we got her to write on the whiteboard instead of the book. Well whatever to encourage them right?
     

On a side note, I also manage to get back to reading. I just completed “Leaving Time” by Jodi Picoult. 3 months for a book is really slow, but I’m happy at least I am making progress. I was reminded how much I enjoy reading and particularly Jodi Picoult books which always come with a good twist. I’m currently into my 2nd book for the year, a parenting book. I’m trying to juggle between novels and self help, I really hope this can continue. 

The kindle really help in reading as I can read in the “dark” while the littlest sleeps at night.
 
Looks like I still have a lot on my plate. But I like that I have somewhat come up with a plan for them. So hopefully I will really put that into action!

Review: 赏识教育 and 魏建惠老师

I have been contemplating whether to write this post, cause I’m afraid it will lead to some controversy. But I need a place to sort out my thoughts and that is one of the reason I’m blogging right? Anyway, I’m not some famous blogger, this blog post may go unnoticed, however, for some reason you manage to stumble on this post and is curious enough about whether you should spend a decent amount of money to listen to Wei Jian Hui (魏建惠)laoshi talk, then u can read on to find out more.

Last August (2015), Chubby and I attended a parenting workshop at Suntec. One of the speakers that day was Wei Jian Hui laoshi. During the workshop, he share with us some very interesting view points about parenting. He emphasize on teaching less and let the kids explore more. This is because in our modern world, information is just a click away. So by just forcing the kids to learn information, we are restricting their creativity and the ability to innovate. And many parents “came forward” to share how they have benefited from his talks and how 赏识教育 (appreciating your child) is good. Unfortunately, the workshop is a short 1 hour sharing so he wasn’t able to share more. And the organizers encourage us to sign up for his seminar that is held in Mar 2016.

So after some deliberation we finally sign up for the two day seminar at SGD1800 for two pax. Fast forward to March and I was actually quite excited that I’m finally going. Unfortunately, things didn’t turn out as what I expect. I left the seminar after half a day and didn’t return the following day. Read on to find out why. but to be fair, I will first share the positive things I take away from the short half day there.

聞.思.修 (Know, Think, Act)
Wei Jian Hui laoshi is advocating 聞,思,修。聞 is knowing aka knowledge. 思 is to think and digest the knowledge. And lastly 修 is applying these knowledge after thinking thru. Sounds very logical to me. He explains how education system in America and Japan is very different to that of China. For example in Japan when they learn a out World War II, unlike China the kids are not tested about when and where, what happened. But rather using the WWII as a case study to do forward thinking like if China and Japan is to go to war again, what will be the main causing factor. And who will win. So seeking knowledge is not the end means, it’s the process to help in analytical thinking.

孩子是什麼 (What is a child)?
In order for us to guide the child, we must first know what is a child. For example, in planting, we will just sow the seeds and water it. There is no need to pull it to make it grow. Similar with children we must understand what is a child so we do not take unnecessary step which burden us and is not appreciated. So to him, a child is an individual person with their own mind. An interesting point but not really helpful as there is no clear elaboration. Or maybe I left too early to know the answer.

不要要求孩子考100分 (Do not request your kid to score 100 marks).
He advocates that there is no need for the kids to score full marks in an exam with “correct” answer. Cause getting full marks only means that your kids memorize well, it does not show an understanding of the knowledge gain. So it is more important to look at the answers and know how or why your kid answer in that way.

So indeed in the short morning of about 3 hours he brought up some interesting points. Unfortunately (for us), there were stronger factors that make us walk out.

Overbearing Facilitator
Before Wei Jian Hui laoshi came up to teach, the beginning of class was conducted by a facilitator named 亚南 from China. She wanted the class to appear on time and not let the phone ring during the class. These are reasonable request, but the way she put across was just overbearing. And then came the unreasonable request of no walking about during “lesson” time. Not even to toilet. You are only to leave your seat during break time. And using her overbearing tone, she makes it sounds like we are small children. Besides, this totally contradict with what they are advocating of allowing kids to explore on their own. We thought we were the only ones who felt that way, but apparently a few other couples also went up to the facilitator to express their displeasure. Maybe it’s her first time in SG, she fail to understand that we are adults who pay money to attend the course. It may sounds like we are obnoxious or arrogant but please at least give us some respect. We are not kids.

Too long winded
Maybe because I’m a typical Singaporean. Time is very precious. Especially weekend time with my family. Having to sacrifice the time to attend the seminar, I hope for more concise information and examples. Unfortunately, Wei Jian Hui laoshi goes around in bushes and sometime lost the focus. An example was on the not seeking for full marks. He gave examples after examples of how the teacher “correct answer” may not be the only correct one. His example was very effective in highlighting, I think most people if not all in the class understood. However, he went on to give more other examples. I thought more time could be save if he knows when to stop and control his examples.

Need to attend more other seminar
Half way through the morning session, he not so subtly mention that we should motivate our child and we can learn more in his seminar to be conducted in May. It makes me wonder how many more seminar I need to attend in order to really understand this 賞識教育. Well, I’m not saying I expect myself to know it well with just two days, but the least is to convince me that this is worth pursuing before you mention more.

Not preaching what they teach
Before the class started, the facilitator collected a list of questions we have so as to let us empty our thoughts and we can then listen to what Wei laoshi have to say. She also mention to put aside our differences in view and listen. Unfortunately they didn’t do the same themselves. Wei laoshi was asking what do we think is the basis of education. It’s actually a very broad question which I don’t really know what he is asking. The reply that Chubby gave was that the end of education is to allow kids to be able to decide what is right and wrong independently. On hearing “right and wrong”, he put chubby down and mention that our kids will suffer. And he went on to solicit his “correct” answer of “love”. First he told us there was no perfect answer, yet he is seeking for one. Second, he told us to put down our differences but he didn’t. Upon hearing “right and wrong”, he jumped into conclusion. And during the question of what is a child, he also went around and solicit answers, but proceed to put them down. Yes maybe I’m egoistic, but I thought it could be more properly handled. If he ask us not to put down a child answer, then why is he putting us down?

Information are available in the Internet
This is what he told us before the lesson start. And I think it’s very true. And maybe this is the reason why I walked away from the seminar. The points he is trying to bring across is not new, and certainly available on the Internet. If he is unable to give us a more personalize info, I could read up more by myself and choose what is relevant. So instead of spending my precious weekend time with them, I rather spend it with my kids. So to cut my lost (time), we decide to leave during lunch break.

I’m not writing this in spite. I just want to share my point of view on this seminar. I think Appreciating your child concept has a lot of potential, but is whether you want to part with your time and money to attend the course.