New Routines, New Homeschool Curriculum

We are almost reaching the end of April. I’ve missed writing to you. I hope you’ve missed hearing from me.

Sometimes I wonder what I should write with our new schedule. Would it be like what most Singaporean moms talk about…the exams, core-curricular activities, or school woes? Or would I still discuss on homeschooling? I’m straddling both schools, and deal with an identity crisis from time to time.

So what have we been really doing?

Continue reading New Routines, New Homeschool Curriculum

2017 Reflections and DRASTIC Family Decision

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Blessed Christmas everyone!

I’m on my daughter’s desk, pounding my keyboards drafting this post, with the washing machine whirling in the background. I have SO much to say but SO little time to compose.

“What lessons have you learned from God this year?”

A question in our advent devotion got me pondering. There are several moments and seasons that stood out for me. Continue reading 2017 Reflections and DRASTIC Family Decision

More DIY Activities in Minutes!

Hey all! I’m so glad to be blogging again! These several weeks have been particularly difficult to find any time to blog. I tend to blog when kids are out with Daddy, or at night after everyone is asleep.  These days, I K.O. the same time as them! And with new activities (and events) fitted into our family schedule, I’ve haven’t had me-time or even couple time. I should have this issue resolved…but in the meantime…*deep breaths*

Previously, I shared 7 easy peasy DIY activities for your children. Here are another 2 more boredom busters for the family.

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Skittles Candy Science Experiment

This Skittles candy experiment is really easy! Only 3 items needed.

Materials:

  • Skittles
  • Hot water
  • White shallow dish or bowl

Steps:

  1. Arrange skittles around the edge of the shallow dish. A white dish is the best as it allows you to see the colours beautifully.
  2. Pour hot water onto the centre of the dish.
  3. Watch the colours as the Skittles dissolve in water!

Hannah didn’t want to eat Skittles anymore after the experiment. She didn’t like the fact that all those colours go into her tummy.

Note: Don’t move the dish otherwise it won’t look as pretty. Elijah was shaking the dish so  our colours were mixed up.

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Paper Elephant Blower

I saw this cute paper Elephant blower craft on 5-Minute Crafts. Couldn’t resist trying!

Materials:

  • Paper – 2 triangles, long rectangle
  • Straw
  • Markers

Steps:

  1. Fold in the top part of the triangle slightly. Do it for both triangle pieces.
  2. Take one triangle; spread glue on entire paper.
  3. Place straw on the folded area extending to the base of the triangle piece.
  4. Stick part of the rectangular paper on the folded area (covering straw).  The rest of the rectangle should be sticking out (as the elephant’s trunk).
  5. Cover with another triangle; with folded areas matched together.
  6. Fold down the corners of the triangles to make the elephant’s ears.
  7. Draw the elephant’s eyes and trunk. You can cut smaller triangles for its tusks.
  8. Curl the elephant’s trunk by rolling the rectangular paper tightly around a marker.
  9. Pull out the marker.
  10. Blow!

Coming up…MORE DIY activities in minutes!

Review: Chinatown Trail, Singapore

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This is a backdated post of our Chinatown Trail in August – how we spent National Day 2017 before returning home to watch the evening’s National Day Parade.

Before embarking the heritage trail, you might find it useful to download the Chinatown Trail Booklet or Map from National Heritage Board. There’s a mobile application to download as well.

The Chinatown Trail Booklet includes the map and nuggets of information about each historical site. The estimated trail distance is 2.5km. Doable when bringing young children. Letting the kids scoot certainly help!

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We took a train to Outram Park. Starting from Bukit Pasoh Road, we walked through Kreta Ayer, settled lunch at Maxwell Food Centre before finishing our trail at Tanjong Pagar.

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The children got to see the different architectural style of Chinatown’s shophouses; how these styles vary because of changing economy and socio-political circumstances.  A wonderful chance to sing 童谣 (“Tong Yao”) while walking along the five-foot way!

The history of these pre-war buildings come alive as we learn how they were used during World War II. For instance, the Chin Kang Huay Kuan was used by the Overseas Chinese General Mobilisation Council to help the British in supplying labourers and volunteers for the defence of Singapore during the war.

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We discovered how early immigrants contributed to early Singapore. Like Tong Ah Eating House (above) which occupied this triangular plot for over 70 years. Started in 1939, the great-grandfather of Mr Tang Chew Fue who originated from Fuzhou, China started his coffee shop here.

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The Sri Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple was built in 1925 by Nattukkottai Chettiars, a noted money lending community from Tamil Nadu. The temple was given the name Layan Sithi as it was originally located at the old Sepoy Lines where Indian soldiers , known as Sepoys, used to be housed.

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Keen to start walking? We found these things came in handy:

  • Umbrellas/raincoats (not much shelter to hide from occasional showers)
  • Sunblock and hats
  • Water
  • Snacks (all the walking can get the kids really hungry!)
  • Heritage Trail Booklet

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Lastly, we ended the Chinatown Heritage Trail at URA Centre. It was a treat for the children as they found pianos to play! As part of the Play It Forward movement,  pianos are placed in open spaces in various parts of Singapore for anyone to tickle the ivories. Sweet!

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Review: Yukon Sled Dog and Elizabeth’s Constellation Quilt

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Though we’ve been home for over 2 months, a piece of our heart is in New Zealand. And so, this week’s book review are of the things that remind us of the beautiful country. Continue reading Review: Yukon Sled Dog and Elizabeth’s Constellation Quilt

Guest Post: Homemade Beads in 3 Ways

This week, we learn how to make beads. Hannah loves dressing up. The girly girl in her enjoys wearing necklaces and bracelets. So when Jessica from Education.com shared this idea with me, I just had to try them with my girl! 

Education.com provides parents,homeschoolers and teachers with fun learning resources e.g. worksheets, lesson plans, digital games, an online guided learning platform, and more. Over to Jessica:

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Stringing beads is a fun way to give boredom the boot. And most preschoolers, both girls and boys, enjoy taking a crack at it.

Beyond fueling creativity, beading also has another trick up its sleeve: it helps young kids practice patterning, or sequencing, which lays the groundwork for math, reading, and science. You can buy a sack of beads at any craft store. But here are 3 inexpensive ways for kids to make their own beads, from scratch.

Continue reading Guest Post: Homemade Beads in 3 Ways

Re-adjusting…we’re back!

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Hello!! Did you miss us?

It’s good to reclaim some normalcy in my life. We’ve had an adventure in the land of the long white cloud…6 weeks in New Zealand…in a camper van! Continue reading Re-adjusting…we’re back!

DIY Activities in Minutes!

The weather has been so unpredictable these days. One minute, it pours. The next, it’s bright and cheery. So while you wait for the weather to clear, here are seven DIY activities you can dish out to your kids in minutes!

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Continue reading DIY Activities in Minutes!

What We Do on a Rainy Day

It’s wet, wet, WET throughout this week (and more to come). Here are some things that keep us occupied while staying dry. 😉

Create a story box

Story boxes are a great tool to allow children be their own storyteller. They encourage creativity, imaginative play and literacy development. It can be a scene from your child’s favourite story book, a show, or anything they imagine!

Things needed: any empty boxes, paint, crepe paper, paint and any craft materials you find at home.

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Continue reading What We Do on a Rainy Day

Teacher’s Day 2016: Paper Doily Lollipop Flowers

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Mark Van Doren, a poet and writer once said, “The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery”.

Teachers play such an important role in our children’s lives.  Whether we homeschool our children or not, we inevitably have teachers some point in time.

For Hannah, these are the inspiring teachers in Sunday School, in swimming and dance classes.  They make classes enjoyable and learning fun.

As we celebrated Teacher’s Day on 2 September in Singapore, we kept our gift simple and doable by the child.  After all, it’s the child’s appreciation to her teacher right? Continue reading Teacher’s Day 2016: Paper Doily Lollipop Flowers