Friday, July 22, 2011

My little astronomer

Ask Xav about planets ! Yes ! He will name you the 8 planets or 9 if Pluto is included, in their sequence !

Just realise that he is super interested in planets after I borrowed a book from NLB on " What is the moon " and one of the science book I bought for him, "What is in the sky"

He learnt all the planets including basic facts on their characteristic of each individual planet. Or make him guess which planet is which by giving some descriptions and he will tell you which is which !

The liking in planets spurred him on ! He hardly likes to colour but this time round, not only he coloured them and he even attempted to draw the solar system !

First, I drew a sun for him then he told me he wanted to draw the orbits first !

Minus the sun, he drew the entire solar system himself and he is so proud of his work !

I even asked him hwo to draw the craters in Mercury planet. He replied "Dots dots can be the craters ! "

and certainly I didn't forget to make some kits to reinforce his learning ! Space words as well as Spelling cards

Planets sequencing cards

and his new solar system puzzle ! Its a 60 pieces giant floor puzzle ! Yes, he loves it to bits !

Natural Literacy Activities

Just to share these pointers I got from Mindchamps - Joey Parents workshop. I must say what makes Xav almost an independant reader by the age of 3 and being able to read up to Level 12 of the graded books from Mindchamps reading assessment, is from the activities I did with him. Infact right now, he can actually read out some unfamiliar words which I did not show him before. Not sure if he uses sight word reading or his phonics. But surely am sure he combined both method.

As per the handout given to us :

Here are some natural literacy activities that create the best readers and writers :

1. Read to your children everyday - This exposes them to multiple language structures, a wide vocabulary and the sheer joy of language.

As far as I can, I try to read to Xav twice a day, before his nap and at bedtime.

2. Engage in conversation with your child frequently - This expands their spoken vocabulary. Research shows that strong verbal skills are linked to strong reading skills.

I'm still trying to improve on this though. Right now I try to get Xav relate what did he do in school to me daily.

3. Point out written language in your environment - For example, point out writing on things such as street and traffic signs, packaging and posters. This connects the written word with useful and important information.

What Xav normally did was, he always get me to read out to him the signs on the train cabins. No durians, no smoking etc. On the lift, he loves to read the numbers and level indicators. Even on the lrt platform, he will ask me what's reflected on the screen and I will guide him into reading " There is no train service on this platform ... etc "

4. Arrange play dates with friends - This encourages interaction and will expand your child's vocabulary through negotiation, discussion and role play.

erm .. This only happens during school holidays perhaps or PH when the kids meet up for playdates.

5. Play letter, sound or word games - Games such as scrabble, Memory or Snap increase exposure to letters, sounds and common words in a fun and playful way.

6. Ensure your child observes you reading - when you read infront of your children you are being a strong role model., communicating that you value reading.

7. Make your home a "literacy rich environment" - Ensure plenty of reading materials available at home such as a bookshelf of age appropriate books, in addition to other forms of reading materials such as magazines, newspapers and brochures.

8. Engage in activities with your child that involve reading - For example, read and make recipes together and create shopping lists.

I will get Xavier to try and read out the recipe I wrote on the easel.

9. Have a set of magnetic letters on your fridge - This encourages your child to spontaneously manipulate letters and begin forming words.

10. Take your child to the library - Make trips to the library a regular exciting outing with your child.

Parents who engage in natural literacy acivities find that their children spontaneously recognise letters, sounds and words, and sometimes report that their child seemed to start reading independently !

So if you have yet to start reading to your children. Start now !

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Cheesy Frittata Cups

I would recommend this easy and fuss free savoury treat for the afternoon teabreak !
Came across this from one of the magazines and hence, I decided to give a try !

Ingredients as follows:
6 eggs
1 cup of mixed vegetables
1/2 cup of grated cheese (I used cheddar)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Just mixed the above together and fill the cups to 2/3 full.
Heat up the oven at 170 deg and bake for 20 mins.

The mixture in the cups should be firm and not wobbly when ready !

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Lion King Musical !

We brought Xavier for his first ever musical - The Lion King @ MBS Sands Theatre, as well as to celebrate dear's birthday.

The Lion King musical won over 70 major international theatre awards, explodes with glorious clours, stunning effects and enchanting music including Elton John and Tim Rice's Academy Award-winning "Can you feel the love tonight".

Both Xav and Dana were fantastic as they sat through the whole show. The only time Xav got emotional and cried was when the King Muffasa passed away.

All of us including dear, enjoyed the musical thoroughly ! A musical worth watching ! Get your tickets if you have yet to !

Monday, July 4, 2011

Xav @ 39 months !

This young lad here started his music lessons with Seimpi M.S in early April this year and he has been making good progress.

Thankful to porpor for getting him the keyboard, such that he could practise on it every morning.

He is able to play his first piece of melody without looking at the scores and my help. His encore piece was "The Muffin Man". Keep up the good job Xav ! We're definately proud of you !

and of cos not forgetting to thank the Sims for helping us around to get the keyboard and Yan for helping to deliver the keyboard to us. Really blessed and thankful to have this group of helpful friends around. =)
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