Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Lesson A for Ant - 18th Jun'12

As I will be on business trip for 3 days, I decided to do this lesson with IZ before I left.
He was still pretty interested in the greeting song, especially the part I pointed to him and when I sang his name.
I made a pair of feely letters A and a and guided him to trace along. He somehow uttered “a”, I wonder if it’s the letter or his “eh”. Hahaha.. anyway, it was good beginning.
Then I made him pull A items from the “improvised” bag, but the bag appeared to be too shallow that he wanted to peep into it while he pull them out. Hahaha.. Cheeky boy I have. I asked him not to peep, he could understand, he straightened his head and just reached out his hand and pulled, but not for long before he was tempted to peep again.
Added "Angry Bird"
I tried to teach him to spell ant on the white board but he was not interested, so I had to move on quickly to art & craft, his favorite.
I tried letting him colouring the smaller ants but he merely scribbled some. So I changed my strategy, I gave him the bigger ant to colour. Asked him to choose a colour, he chose dark blue and he started colouring. I was very impressed, as he managed to colour mostly on the ant instead of anywhere else!
But his concentration didn’t last long as expected, he wanted to change colour pretty often, and here’s the end result! Hahaha.. not bad for a 18 months old, I am very proud of him!

Very proud of this work of his
And I continued to colour the 3 smaller ants and put on the sticks Jann provided. IZ liked the ants on the sticks so much he didn’t want to put all of them on the wall, he held onto one and ran here and there.
Do you see his scribbling?
Obssessed with ant on the stick
I guess I’ll have to continue with this impromptu way of teaching him, and keep re-strategise during lesson to accommodate his age right now.
Putting up work for display
Additions to IZ's Corner!
PS: You may want to follow our Lernen-Reise on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/IzLernenReise

Past Lessons:
Lesson A for Apple - 14th Jun'12

Monday, 18 June 2012

3rd Phonics Class - Rescheduled

It was supposed to be my 3rd class with Jann on Sat but I was totally exhausted after MLG’s last English class. Didn’t sleep well the night before as IZ once again woke up at about 2am, couldn’t sleep again coz it was too hot, and how he refused to wake up to MLG, rushed through my breakfast, late for class and then we were on the way to Kwan Yin temple. I planned to pray, eat lunch and rush to Jann’s place, then rush to Tan Tock Seng Hospital to visit my senior who has just got his brain tumour removed. Thinking about all the plans already exhausts me.
It felt like godsend when I received a text from Jann asking if we are NOT attending class. I quickly arranged for a replacement, thank goodness I opted to pay in full when I started class, then I have the privilege for replacement. So, mummies who are interested to join can bear this in mind.

I am looking forward to Jann's class this week.

Last English Class in MLG - 16th Jun'12

We have decided to call in a quit in My Little Genius (MLG) since IZ is going to start Playgroup on 25th Jun. As the classes conducted are alternate English and Chinese, we had the last English class on Sat.
Both his father and I admit MLG did teach him a lot, although can’t say the same about Chinese class. That, I’ll touch in my future post, about IZ and Chinese.
IZ could follow through instructions in MLG class now; he doesn’t need assistance or guidance from me. He would return materials to teacher and clap his hands. Occasionally he would follow teacher’s actions in song & movement.  Bear in mind, all these are done seated on a chair, doing work on a table, with a parent companying behind them.
The one thing he couldn’t sit still was the flashcards section. The most he could concentrate was 2-3 topics and he would start to wander around the class.
The skeptical feeling on how he could sit still entire class diminished. He has been able to sit on some days and not on some. Well, he is only 18 months old afterall, I do not expect him to be seated there like a piece of stone. Then, he would really be missing his childhood.
PS: Do you realize I do not have any pictures of MLG classes since we registered? I was told no photography is allowed. Haha.. I was lucky to be able to snap some when we went for trial earlier on.

My Little Genius @ Upp Serangoon Road

I first brought IZ to MLG for trial classes when he was about 8 months old. Back then, he was learning how to crawl. The activities, at that point of time, were pretty exhausting (for me), as he was not capable of doing anything, except placing everything and anything into his mouth and there were only 2 students in a class, kind of defeated the purpose of sending him to classes for social skills. Although I should have been more appreciative coz he was not as mobile as he is now! 
MLG's 1st Trial
I liked MLG’s materials, a lot and they are all amazing. I have never seen the same materials twice.
I didn’t sign us into the program then, coz I thought he would not be able to benefit from it.
It wasn’t until almost 11 months old that I finally wanted to get him into some class, to mix with other kids to minimize “one child syndrome” again. This syndrome is always at the back of my head.
We registered with Baby Jumper Gym (BJG) in Kembangan. If you Google about it, you’ll notice they are no longer there. Anyway, experience in BJG will be something I shall share next time, this post is about MLG.
To cut story short, I finally convinced hubby to register with MLG January this year. We signed for one term, and then continued for another term as we saw positive result.
Putting everything into his mouth phase

Chinese lesson - dragon boat

Learning to crawl

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Lesson A for Apple - 14th Jun'12

I was a little anxious to start our lesson, thinking if he is to learn an alphabet every 2 weeks; it would take him a year to learn A to Z!
So I started the lesson, half expecting him to run away the moment I ask him to sit down.
Surprisingly, when I started to sing our greeting song, he was mesmerized, especially by the actions I did! Jann’s right! He watched me till finished, and gave me a round of applause. **beaming**
Then I guided his hand to trace the upper case A and lower case a just like in My Little Genius’ class. I have not prepared any feely card to be honest. I hope this could be covered in CS Mont when he starts there end of the month. **wink wink** 
Tracing the letter
Then I asked him to take out items from the reusable bag. A little unfortunate the bag is a little too deep for his little hands to reach (I made a mental note to change the bag for next lesson), he took out items I placed inside and was all excited! And he had no problem when I asked him to put the items back into the bag. He was playing along with the lesson! **happy** Happier as he could say APPLE.
A for apple (green & red), asparagus & aeroplane
As he got a little tired (woke up from nap since 2.30pm), I had to quickly end the lesson.
I introduced the apple craft Jann prepared for us. He liked the craft, but insisted on using the glue stick himself. He had difficulty pasting the red on the apple initially as the reds sticked on his little fingers, but he got the hang of it in the end. I finished up pasting for him, coloured the stem and leaf, taught him how to spell APPLE while I wrote it at the back. I gave him a STAR stamp on his work as compliment and asked him to paste on the wall together with me, reciting APPLE. **beaming again**
His APPLE craft

STAR reward and APPLE on the back

APPLE craft pasted on the wall with his past MLG work

Then, to end today’s lesson, I showed him The Ants Go Marching video and did the actions (without the ants) but he was only interested in the ants on the screen. **sulking**

I reckoned today’s lesson as merely passed, but hey, that was a brand new lernen-reise for both of us!

Mommy's Lernen-Reise

I came across a BP thread in Motherhood forum, on phonics class conducted by a SAHM (stay at home mom) some time end of last year when he just turned one year old. Jann told me the class she conducted is more appropriate for 2+ and above, but some portion of the teaching can still be learnt by younger ones.
I was not exactly sure when I developed this eager-to-home-teach feeling, but the desire got stronger and stronger that I finally enquired on slot availability somewhere March this year. The earliest Jann was available was in Jun.
For the past 2 Saturdays, I have been a very hardworking student. I came home with saturated brain, full of inspirations and ideas on how to guide him better in learning. I can’t wait to complete all the 6 classes.
The lesson plan in Jann shares is basically pretty standard, for all the lessons from A to Z:
Greeting Song
Introduce Letter (show feely card, trace and say)
Introduce Phonics (listen and do action)
Introduce Letter items (pull out from a bag)
Show words that start with the letter
Prompt and spell the word
Song & Movement
Craft 1
Craft 2
Closing Song
It was shared that different kids have different concentration span, and I honestly do not expect him to be able to sit throughout all the activities.
He could learn phonics only after he learnt all his ABCs anyway, thus I decided to change Jann’s lesson plan a little to cater to this 18 months old.
Secret: I was assured that Jann has got recognition from a blog Learn the Fun Way. The mother shared how she conducted her classes, and I was more inspired!

The start of his lernen-reise..

In case you are wondering, "lernen-reise" is "learning journey" in German. This blog is specially created to pen down his learning journey.

I’ve always remember the saying about newborns are like a piece of white cloth, and it’s really important the parents to take on the role to paint on them, as colourful, as beautiful, as meaningful it could be. Such heavy responsibility falls on us.

Being brought up in a conservative family, my mother has always taught us that education is important, and that we should go to university to secure good jobs etc. She is not wrong, but perhaps this mentality doesn’t work well nowadays.

The first word he uttered when he was 7 months old, was “bear”. We thought he has the ability to speak early.

Second word was “ma” when he was 8 months old, his grandmother was very happy.

Third word was “pa” when he was 9 months old, his father was very happy.

He finally meant calling me “mama” when he was 13 months old, I was very happy.

And then he stopped saying anything new. Everything else was “pa pa pa pa” or “ma ma ma ma”. His father got worried. While some of the kids his age could already recite ABC, he was still limited to the few words.

He has just turned 18 months barely 2 weeks ago. Turning 18 months marks a remarkable milestone in his life; he’ll be going to a playgroup soon.

Just a month ago, after his father’s numerous rounds of worried remarks, suddenly he was on what my friend joked “words spurt”.

He could say bird, dog, cat, and even more than one syllable word like circle, butterfly, rabbit, nana (for banana). His father is now beaming; at last, our dear son has did it.

Yesterday evening, I brought him down for a stroll in his tricycle. On the way back, we saw a dead snail. I took the opportunity to show him how a real snail looks like. He was very excited, almost got out of the tricycle himself. He touched the snail and uttered snail, repeating after me. I am thankful of this opportunity.


Back home, we had durian, and he had fun playing with the thorns on the shell and learned the word “durian” again.

Ouch! But it's fun!

I am thankful for being given a chance to paint this piece of little white cloth, hopefully his learning journey will be filled with wonderful, beautiful and meaningful experience.

Let’s walk with me, in this beautiful learning journey.