Does Your Child Doodle?

AJ does, a lot.

Sometimes he writes poetry, sometimes he draws (properly) & sometimes he simply doodles.  So what do you do as parents when your child loves to doodle?

We do not stop him from doodling, instead, we provide quite a few avenues for him to do so.

(1) The Full-length Carousel Paper




ikea drawing paper roll $9.90 per 30 m

We got the drawing paper roll from ikea & wrap it round the cabinet door so that it works like a carousel.  We just need to rotate the paper & replace the entire belt once the whole sheet is being used up.  Usually he uses this to doodle on things he needs to be reminded of.

(2) The Medium-size Hanging Whiteboard



We hanged this medium-size whiteboard on the door.  He loves to use this to write Chinese words.

(3) The Standing Whiteboard Easel



This used to be a whiteboard easel but we have transformed it to a flip chart after we have gotten him the medium-size whiteboard.  He loves to use this to doodle nonsense (literally). 

(4) The Portable Writing Boards




He has 2 of these. 1 has been with him for many many years, the other is newer.  He uses them usually to play guessing games or such as they can be wiped off easily.

(5) The Conventional Notebook



We will carry a notebook with us whenever we go out.  Each time he sits down, he would want to doodle.  We have 1 level of shelving filled with empty notebooks standby for him. No, we did not buy them, they are collections from those door gifts & giveaway you will get when you attend seminars or workshops.

My good friends C is more extreme.  She goes to the extend of designating a piece of wall for her 3 children to doodle.  When the wall gets too cluttered, she & her husband will just apply a fresh coat of paint.  She also sticks the ikea drawing paper roll on the floor (imagine laying a red carpet) with masking tape & her 3 children will then be allowed to doodle on the floor too.

Do you encourage your child to doodle?


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[Rise & Shine] The TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) Way to Your Child's Health

The Rise & Shine Expo is just around the corner, have you registered yet?  It is happening on 27-29 Sep 2013 at Suntec Convention Hall 401 from 11am to 8pm.  Early birds get to receive goodies bags worth $100 each!



As am ambassador of Rise & Shine, I am glad to let you know that I am giving away tickets to Eu Yan Sang's TCM talks.  This will be my final giveaway.



5 tickets to Eu Yan Sang's talk on Tackling Your Child's Respiratory Problems worth $20 each.

Should you prefer to attend the talk below on Tackling Your Child's Digestive Problems instead, fret not!  You can also opt for it.  The arrangement is quite flexible.



All you have to do is to drop me an email at lilbookworm1234@gmail.com or leave your comment in my blog indicating your email address & either of the talks you want to attend before 26 Sep 2013 (Thurs).  See you there!







Murderous Maths Series

I was awed by what this series has done to AJ.  I read briefly about this series in Monica's blog that gave a good review.  I decided to try it out & see how AJ would receive it.  The 1st book I borrowed from the public library was this:



I could see that this boy was literally glued to the book.  The book engaged him completely.  When finished reading, I asked if he would like to borrow more.  It was an affirmative YES.  & so it went on.  He reads this series once a month (because there are still other books to read).  So far, he has read these 5.


One day, as we finished our home learning Math programme, I reiterated to him what equilateral, isosceles & scalene triangles were.  I went on to explain to him that beside having all sides equal in length in an equilateral triangle, all the 3 angles inside the triangle are also the same.  Guess what?  He told me he knew that the angles inside the equilateral triangle is 60 degree each & all the angles inside an equilateral triangle add up to 180 degree.  Wow!  My mind was blown!  How did he know that in the 1st place?  You've got the answer!  It was from Murderous Maths (MM)!  He told me he read it in MM.  

Ok, I must confess.  I was curious about this series.  What could be so interesting that intrigued the boy.  I tried reading it, but it sent my head to spin.  & so I also reckoned that it is not suitable for all children.  If you are keen to try, borrow 1 from the public library first before you invest in buying 1.  Many of the mathematical concepts were complicated though they were presented in a funny way.   But if your child likes it, you will be sure he/she will be hooked on.  I am just too happy that he loves it, it does make Math coaching a lot easier.



The Pursuit of HappYness

I do not usually watch DVD simply because there are better things to do.  But this one caught my attention because it is based on the inspirational true story of Chris Gardner, a legendary figure in Wall Street.  Being a stockbroker previously, I could not help but to cast my eye on him.


Source

Will Smith starred a San Francisco salesman who was struggling to make ends meet.  When his girlfriend walked out, Chris was left to raise their 5-year-old son, Christopher, on his own.  Chris' determination finally paid off when he landed an unpaid internship in a brutally competitive stockbrokering-training programme for 6 months, where only 1 in 20 interns would make the cut.

Without any salary, Chris & his son were evicted from their apartment & were forced to sleep on the streets, in homeless shelters & even behind locked doors of a metro station bathroom.

With love & trust of his son, Chris Gardner rose above his obstacles to become a Wall Street legend.


Source
Source

"The future was uncertain, absolutely, and there were many hurdles, twists, & turns to come, but as long as I kept moving forward, 1 foot in front of the other, the voices of fear & shame, the messages from those who wanted me to believe that I wasn't good enough, would be stilled." - Chris Gardner


It is a very touching movie.  I watched this movie with AJ & he seems to enjoy it too. 

Will Smith, who starred Chris Gardner, had probably performed 1 of his most touching performances in this movie.  & with his son Jaden Smith who starred as Christopher, there is little doubt about the chemistry that both had.

The life story was first told through this book, then made into movie.  For his son, this man will reach for the impossible.  There was only 1 thing that held him through - his commitment to his son.  If you have the time, you could read his book too.

I am moved, I am really moved.  The love of the father in times of poverty struck me real hard.  There was no giving up, there was no venting of anger.  In difficult time like this, this father took all upon himself.  Such was his love for him.


Source

What makes up a good parent?  Ultimately, it is what your child acknowledged ~
Christopher: "You're a good papa."

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A Juggling Mom Motiviational Monday






An Uphill Bible Witness Camp

Our family had just returned from the 7th Bible Witness Camp that was held in Le Grandeur Palm Resort in Johor Bahru Malaysia.  The topic was 'Divine Conquest of a Defiant Heart', on the entire book of Jonah. 



This is not our 1st Bible Witness (BW) Camp, but it has got to be the most memorable one.



It is difficult to remain silent, not giving thanks for the possibility of attending this BW camp. 

2 days before the camp, I brought AJ to the stadium. We jogged a short distance & did monkey bars. Then he saw the markings on the floor & asked me what they were for. They were markings of distance for standing broad jump & I thought, what a golden opportunity to teach the boy the technique of doing it (the athlete blood is still very much in me)! 

And so I did. I demonstrated thrice & he finally mastered it.  Little did i realise, i might have strained my brittle joints.

Some 10 months ago, i had continuous attacks of joint swelling on my feet, knees, fingers, wrists, elbows & hips. At times they were so severe that they had not only affected my mobility, without pain killer I could not even sleep. (You can read more about it here)

A series of uric acid & blood tests confirmed that I do not have Gout, Rheumatoid Arthritis & Lupus.  It puzzled everyone & the Rheumatologist whom I have seen could only conclude that this autoimmune disease might be Reactive Arthritis. This could be caused by a severe gastrointestinal viral attack that I had more than a year ago & this attack had caused my immune system to go haywire. The body now recognises all sorts of strains to be foreign bodies & would start attacking them.        

Thankfully, it is likely a passing phase, according to the Rheumatologist, & that the body should be able to heal by itself.

For the last 1-2 months, i had no such attack.  Maybe because of that, I got a little too optimistic about my recovery (or like what my Pastor said in the BW camp, like Jonah, I was quietly impatient), so my attempt of demonstrating to my boy had hurt my left foot.     
                            
That Monday night, my left foot swelled with unbearable pain. I popped 3 pain killer pills consecutively yet the pain did not subside. I could not sleep the whole night because of the pain.


The pain & swell did not subside on Tuesday either. I began to doubt the possibility of attending the BW camp on Wednesday.

Wednesday morning came, my right foot started to experience slight pain & swell.  Not a good sign. I hurt my left foot, then I had to use my right foot to move myself around (including hopping at times). Now I strained my right foot as well. Nonetheless, there was no choice but to go ahead with the camp.



2 Cor 12:7-10 (KJV)
        ... ... there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, ... ... For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

The Lord is good & has always been. Throughout the bus journey, I was able to sit on the coach while clearing the customs both to & fro.  In the resort, I was given a wheelchair to ease my mobility (& to let AJ had some fun pushing me around).

Because of this infirmity, I had the opportunity to talk to new comers whom I might not have spoken to if I was well.  Many also shared with me the various infirmities that they had.  Because of this 'common ground', we got to connect to each other better. We could pray for each other more effectively.

Truly, the Lord did not just speak to me through the messages preached by Pastor during the camp, but also the testimonies of some people who shared with me their infirmities.  I am also grateful for the BW team who had laboured late into the nights to prepare the materials & to co-ordinate the logistic matters to make this camp possible.


I had a fruitful camp & AJ had enjoyed it too. Praise be to the Lord!

Baby Boss - Taipei 16-22 Aug 2013 Part 3

When you do bring your child to Taipei, this should be 1 of the places you must visit.  Baby Boss is Taipei biggest role play stimulation made for children.  With more than 50 stations spread over 2300sqm, one can imagine that even when a child stays on for the whole day, he/she would not be able to take part in all the stations.  Yes, I would be more inclined to think that 2 full days is what you need, but then again, it depends very much on the age of your child too.  As a rule of thumb, if your child is between 5-10, there will be more activities that he/she can participate in.  The activities in Baby Boss suit children of age 3-12 in general, some activities are meant for 5 up, some for 7 up, so if your child is a toddler, there would certainly be lesser activities that he/she could participate in.  If your child is above 10, some activities might be too kiddo for him/her.

Technically, your child is not a boss in Baby Boss though the name is.  He/she is an employee who has to work in each vocation to earn some money (called Baby Bucks).  With these money, he/she can then treat him/herself to ice-cream (real one) or buy some ingredients to make pasta or bread (poor kid!).  In some sense, the child gets to understand that money do not drop from heaven, they have to labour for it?!

When I brought AJ to Baby Boss, it coincided with their school summer holiday.  It was not ideal because we had to pay a premium for a half-day fun.  It was also a little crowded (not very though) for a weekday visit, to my dismay.  Nonetheless, the boy had a blast! 

This is the Baby Boss brochure.  Do take time to read before you adjourn on.




The floor plan of the different stations is here.  You would note that there are different time slots for different activities, so proper planning to max out your time there is essential.



We spent about 5 hours in Baby Boss (10am to 3pm).  Including lunch, AJ only managed to cover 5 stations (sad huh) due to the different activity timing & time spent on queuing.  Once the head count is meant for that activity, you would have to wait for the next time slot.  Thus, there is a need to queue earlier for hot stations.  And this is time consuming.


We target at those for 7 up 1st because they are less kiddo :)

The Cartoon Dubbing Station
Prep Work
Now the Voice-over

The News Agency that AJ worked in
Life of a Reporter
AJ's new reporting as a reporter

A 'Day' as a Dentist

This is the way we brush our teeth
Checking on a patient

Getting ready to get to the space


He landed safely!

It was a fun learning experience for AJ, he had a slight idea of what each vocation was about. More of such role play would be good for a child to establish some ideas what he/she would like to do as he/she grows up.


Read other parts of my Taipei trip here:
(1) Our Stay in iTaipei Service Apartment
(2) The Bronze Winner
(3) Eslite Bookstore
(4) Pingxi


The Make-Up of a Wise Lady Seminar


This is a seminar especially for ladies of all ages where Rev (Dr.) Prabhudas Koshy will share the essence of wisdom in us ladies.  If you are interested to attend, kindly contact me at lilbookworm1234@gmail.com.  There will be a pick up at Labrador Mrt Station at 1pm. 

The Best Teachers' Day Gift

When we were in Taipei, we also bought these souvenirs from Taiwan Handicraft Promotion Center for the 2 teachers in AJ's primary school.  They come in timely as Teachers' Day Gifts.


Compact mirrors for the female teachers

As for his piano teacher, I bought a lightweight musical notes umbrella for her through ebay as she is all into anything about music.  While we were in Taipei, we also saw this Nano Bricks which I thought was apt for her as well since she has built piano nano bricks.  It may be timely to build a series on musical instruments?



This year, beside the usual celebration that the school has for the teachers, AJ had a special dedication for 1 of his teachers too!  In my opinion, she is 1 of the most dedicated teachers I have come across in this school.  I think she deserves it all.

Yes, he participated in the South East Community Development Council - I Love My Teacher Competition.  There were 1649 individual & group entries this year, 10 individual category & 3 group category won.  Basically, the children nominated their teachers & justified with a write-up on why they nominate these teachers.  This is the 6th run but this is the 1st time AJ participated.

We attended the ceremony today held at Golden Village Gold Class (Katong).  



These is just a portion of the entries
This is the Chinese teacher that AJ nominated

This is AJ's entry. I helped a little, particularly on the rhyming words

A time of prize & certificate presentation

The winners & Dr. Mohd Maliki Osman

The certificate that I hope will set in his heart to treasure good teachers

Some of the entries of the winners were very heart warming & touching.  Indeed, i think this is 1 great avenue for us to recognise teachers who laboured with their souls & hearts.  What a great way to express thanks to them!

Great teachers touch lives!  Never let them go unrecognised!

The Asia Piano Competition 2013 - Taipei 16-22 Aug 2013 Part 2

This is AJ with his trophy.  He won a Bronze in this competition (read about the background here) which was held in National Taiwan Normal University.



We were not too proud of it.  No, no, not because it is a Bronze.  There were a few things highlighted by the piano teacher which he did not do.  This is what we were disappointed with.  If he had done those, even if he got consolation prize, we would still be very happy.

Read other parts of my Taipei Trip here:
(1) Our Stay in iTaipei Service Apartment
(2) Baby Boss
(3) Eslite Bookstore
(4) Pingxi


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