Homeschooling - The Educational Path Less Tread

This is a monthly post on 'Homeschooling'. Every 5th week of the month I will interview parents who are homeschooling their children of age 7 up.

Jan - Homeschooling A High Ability Child
May - Homeschooling 8 Children

This is the season when parents with children who are born in 2008 are busy securing a place for their children in the primary school they desired, especially if they are the first born.

At the same time, there is another group of parents who choose to tread the path less travelled, believing that homeschooling is the better way.  There is no right or wrong way.  We, parents, exercised our discretion basing on our convictions on what we deem is the best educational path for our children.  

To help parents better understand the path to homeschooling, I have started a series on this topic every 5th week of the month this year.  Today, I have the privilege to interview Jean, who homeschool her 2 children aged 10 & 6.  She loves fabric, & she sews, crafts, bakes strawberry shortcake during pockets of free time.  She also loves taking pictures under the sunny island!  Jean is also a mom blogger who blogs at Jeanstitch.

Me:  Jean, please share with us what made you & your husband decided to homeschool your children?

Jean: The decision to homeschool is a joint decision between my husband & myself.  What convicted our hearts to homeschool is that we are convinced that our children’s education is the sole responsibility of us parents, & that the injunction from God is to bring up our children in the fear & admonition of our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ. This, we cannot do if we sent them off to school, over which we have no control (in terms of environment, educator, curriculum, peers, & other forms). Every now & then, events happening around us strengthen our resolve & encourage us that the decision made is right.  Our children are able to learn at their own pace & also learn the academic subjects from a Biblical perspective.

Me:  Could you share with us some of your struggles homeschooling your children?

Jean: 1 of the challenges we faced when we first started homeschooling is discipline.  Trying to start school on time everyday seems impossible with so many to-do things in the morning!  Setting a timetable & adhering to it & not doing everything else seem tough too.  But 1 thing about time table is that it does help us or rather, my girl to be discipline as she follows it closely.  Definitely a plus point!  

Another very real challenge is patience.  Being the main educator of my children, there are times I find it so hard to be patient.  It is, especially, frustrating when my children are not able to understand certain topic after explaining many times over respectively.  However, when they did eventually, the feeling of triumph by both teacher (me) & student (my child) is tremendously wonderful.  A sense of accomplishment shared by both mother & child.

Me:  Would you mind disclosing what are the type(s) of material you use to homeschool your children?

Jean:  We started off using Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) for Grace, my eldest, when she was about 3 year old.  We used that from the preschooler curriculum to Grade 3.   We then changed to Alpha Omega Publications (AOP) which include Language (English), Math, Science & Bible Reading as we find it more appealing to her.  Being a student who needs to sit for Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), we do supplement her with the local curriculum such as local Science, Math, Chinese & Social Studies. For every semester, she also sits for examination using past-year exam papers. 

As for our boy, who will be in Primary 1 next year, we will be using AOP for him as well.  Other than these curriculums which we are using, newspaper is 1 media to let my children see what is happening in the world as homeschooling is not about total protection of them from the world.  We are living in the world itself thus, the need to equip them with news will broaden their views.  Encyclopedia is another good tool to enrich their knowledge too.

Me: What are some advices you would give to parents who are considering homeschooling their children?

Jean:  I, personally, think that in order to homeschool your children, both husband & wife must be supporting this joint decision.  If either 1 of us disapprove, we would reconsider the decision to homeschool as it has to be 100% in order for it to be beneficial.  Pray, let God lead & guide your every step, if you are a Christian.  Try not to compare what other families do so that you don’t get too stress up thus stressing your children as a result.  Most importantly, do not compare your children to others.  No 2 families are the same so it is individual family to decide whether to homeschool or not & what curriculum to use.  Each child is wonderfully & fearfully made & they come in their own unique personalities & needs so we, as parents, need to determine how they learn best because what work for 1 child may not work for the other child.  An example: how I taught my daughter cannot be applied to my son.  He needs more time to learn certain things.  So, in homeschooling or in parenting, we have to learn to be flexible & enjoy the children as they grow up very fast.

Me:  Thanks for the great sharing, Jean.  I am wondering how long do you forsee yourself homeschooling your 2 children?

Jean:  We are still praying for God’s direction as regard to this but we do discuss between ourselves.  God willing, we intend to let Grace go out to the world after Primary 6.  When I mentioned “go out to the world”, this doesn’t mean we don’t socialise with other people.  We do, in church, & with other children they meet along the way, at the playground, library & other places.  For now, we hope to teach them God’s way at home.

This is the 2nd last post on homeschooling.  On my final post in October, I will be sharing with you the process of applying for homeschooling.  Please pop by if you are keen on this topic.  See ya! 

Literary Trail: In Search of the Missing Heirloom in Katong

This is a monthly post on 'Educational Places'. Every 4th week of the month I will post on local educational places we have brought AJ to.

Jan - The Coins & Notes Museum
Feb - The NEWater Plant
Mar - Gardens By The Bay - The Cloud Forest
Apr - Gardens By The Bay - The Flower Dome
May - The Changi Museum
Jun - Human Body Experience & Nature's Design Exhibition @ Singapore Science Centre

I believe learning is reinforced by practical, after theory.  So when National Library Board (NLB) organised this trail, I quickly clicked on the registration button.

AJ loves the series of story on Sherlock Sam, & when he was reading 'Missing Heirloom in Katong' (the 1st book), we did make an effort to bring him to Chin Mee Chin Confectionery in Katong to help him associate with the story better.

We went for the trail on 12 July.  The 2nd one is in Sep & is already fully booked.

So on 12 July, the enthusiastic boy went to Marine Parade Public Library to meet up with his idol author - Adan Jimenez.

Father, son & Adan

Former Renaissance Grand Hotel

The 1st stop of the trail was Renaissance Grand Hotel

The legendary Renaissance Grand Hotel was originally the Karikal Mahal, a large mansion that wealthy cattle merchant Moona Kader Sultan built in 1920.  It was a complex of 4 houses with luxurious gardens, fountains & beautiful angel sculptures by an artificial lake & by the actual sea (now reclaimed land).

In 1947, the estate was sold to Lee Rubber Company, who renovated the mansions into a 20-room hotel called the Renaissance Grand Hotel.  It is now a temporary warehouse for unwanted furniture. :( 

Nonya Laksa Stalls

Visiting 328 Katong Laksa, which ranked no. 1 on a list of things to do in Singapore by Lonely Planet Travellers

Nonya laksa, also called laksa lemak, is the Peranakan version of the dish.  It is unique in Singapore.  Most of the famous nonya laksa stalls are found in Katong, where the Katong Laksa War still rages.

Katong Antique House

Mr Peter Wee inherited this shophouse from his grandfather in the early 1980s & began filling it with the Peranakan furnishing immediately.  It now houses 1 of the largest collections of Peranakan artefacts in Singapore.

Chin Mee Chin Confectionery

Always crowded, as usual

This old-school coffee shop has been around since 1925, & is famous for having some of the best-tasting breakfast food.  It is both a mini-restaurant & a bakery where hot buns, cream cones, cupcakes, & egg tarts are freshly baked every day.  It is 1 of the last remaining Hainanese coffee shops of old, & still retains an authentic 1950s ambience, with ceiling fans, marble-top tables, wooden chairs & floor tiles.

It is still so popular that by 12 noon, there's very little left.  It closes at 4pm & is closed on Monday.

Conserved Terrace Houses off East Coast Road

These single-storey terrace houses used to stand beside a sea wall where the beach used to be before all that land was reclaimed.  Because they were next to the sea wall, this are often flooded, so the living areas of the houses had to be built on raised ground to protect against rising tides.

Rumah (House of) Kim Choo

Kim Choo serves 1 of the BEST Nonya rice dumplings I have ever tasted.  I am honest about it.

House of Kim Choo was originally opened by Madam Lee Kim Choo in the 1940s.  She made & sold her traditional Nonya rice dumplings & they became a hit.  The business is now taken over by her daughter-in-law, Helen Lim.  House of Kim Choo also showcases Peranakan museum of sorts, full of Peranakan antiques, music, clothings & 1 of the largest Peranakan porcelain plate collections in Singapore.

AJ & I were there when we were filming with Rediffusion just last month.  You may read more about it here.

Not forgetting a group photo!

Haven't read the book yet?  Please do.  The series even got me hooked.  I only get my chance to read after the boy has finished reading each book.  Here's the boy's book review on 'The Missing Heirloom in Katong' & 'The Vanished Robot in Penang'. 

Young Scientists Reader - Integrated Thematic Science Series

This is a monthly post on 'Book or Web/Mobile Application for Children'. Every 3rd week of the month I will post on a review on books that AJ has read or web/mobile application that he has tried on.

Jan - Sherlock Sam & the Missing Heirloom in Katong
Feb - UpToTen (Boowa & Koala) Online Educational Website for Pre-Schoolers
Mar - Sherlock Sam & the Vanished Robot in Penang
Apr - How To Think Like A Scientist
May - The Rock & The Bird
June - 君伟上小学

2 weeks ago, when I shopped in Popular book store with my friend from down South (because books & stationery are cheaper here), I saw this series from Young Scientists Reader.  Young Scientists Reader has magazines which we subscribed to, & recently the Collection Set.  Now it is this.  They just got me more confused. So what is what?  If we have already subscribed to the magazines, do we still need to get these 2 others (collection set & thematic books)?  If we get this, do we need to get that? 

I later realised from its website that the stories are best titles on the theme of Systems that are picked from 2012 & 2013 editions; Issue#112 to Issue#132.  

Since AJ only started reading the magazine last year (level 1),  it makes more sense for me to get these thematic book series.  Besides, they are now selling at promotional price of $6.90 over usual price of $9.50.

AJ looked through the books & gave a nob.  So we bought the entire 5 books in level 1.  It is a high chance that I will grab the other 5 in level 2 too, to take advantage of this discount.  If you are going Popular book store soon, do check out these titles. 

Singapore Science Festival 2014 - X-periment!

The 14th instalment of the Singapore Science Festival (SSF) opens today with the theme, “You can be a rock star with Science”.   It is an annual celebration of the latest scientific innovations, new technologies, and cutting-edge research, & engineering, making them relatable & relevant to everyday life. There will be a range of exciting hands-on activities, events, workshops, and guest performances lined up all over Singapore from 18 July to 3 August.  You can download the Festival Guide here.

Today we went to X-periment! at Marina Square Central Atrium.   X-periment! is a 3-day science carnival which celebrates the developments & research work in the field of science and technology in Singapore. Universities, research institutions, & companies are there to demonstrate some of their innovations to the general public.  There are many interactive, hands-on experiments for both kids & families at the booths manned by local researchers & scientists. 

At the Institute of Molecular & Cell Biology booth,
AJ checked out the fruit fly & the zebrafish through microscope.

He was extracting DNA from the strawberry!

Seeing the spectrum of light with a telescope.

Even the S.E.A Aquarium was there to offer life sciences
learning experience on some marine animals!

Learning about sound wave

AJ got to see the micro chips at the Data Storage Institute booth.

The booth of Singapore Immunology Network

There are also performances by internationally renowned science entertainer ‘The Dancing Scientist’ Jeffrey Vinokur from the US.  This 23 YO presented scientific experiments in a high-paced, energetic performance with hip hop music & dancing.  It is a show not to be missed!

Youtube link here

With Jeffrey Vinokur

“Dancing Scientist” show times at X-periment! @ Marina Square Central Atrium (30 mins per show):
19 July: 12:00nn; 2.30pm; 5.00pm & 7.30pm
20 July: 12:00nn; 2.30pm; 5.00pm & 6.30pm

X-periment! is truly an educational exhibition not to be missed.  We enjoyed our visit last year so we didn't want to miss it this year.  Do bring your children, I'm sure they will enjoy it!

Discovering The Joy of Teaching Your Baby (Seminar)

Wanna discover the joy of teaching your baby?  Glenn Doman Singapore has a three-hour seminar by Janet Doman based on the book on 'How To Multiply Your Baby Intelligence' in Singapore! 

Janet Doman & her team from The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential (IAHP), Philadelphia  will be coming to Singapore to conduct the seminar for parents who are searching for essential information to create an enriched home environment for their children to grow and learn.

Building a solid foundation in the early years of your child’s life will not only help them to achieve their fullest potential but also give them a powerful advantage that will last a lifetime. The seminar gives mothers & fathers the opportunity to step back & understand the basis & rationale of multiplying the baby's intelligence in a joyful way.

New parents who are unprepared & untrained in teaching & learning with their babies will discover new ways to understand & bond with their children.  By the end of the seminar, parents will be filled with the confidence & enthusiasm to giving their children the best start in life.

During the seminar, Janet Doman will offer practical know-how with parents & there will be ample opportunities to field questions. 

If you know of new parents who have difficulties in understanding & communicating with their babies, do spread this piece of good news to them. The seminar is not just instructional but also a beacon of hope & support for all parents who struggle with their babies' performance. 

Fee of the seminar is going at only S$45 per person or S$70 per couple with refreshments.  Participants will also receive specially packed goodie bags from Abbott & vouchers for Glenn Doman Baby Program's products & classes! 

That's not the end!  A lucky winner will stand a chance to walk away with $327 worth of prizes from Glenn Doman Baby Program & Abbott!

If you are interested, please register with Glenn Doman Singapore by calling or SMS them at +65 6456 3526 or +65 9386 3786 respectively.  You may also email to

Do join the event at to receive more updates!

Wings of Time in Sentosa

I cannot remember when was the last time I watched laser light water mist show in Sentosa.  I think it could be decades ago, when it was still free, yay, the Musical Fountain era.  The most recent laser light show I have watched was at Marina Bay Sand.

I heard about the the new Wings of Time that has replaced Songs of Sea but it still didn't move me to go & watch it.  However, since I have close friends coming up from the South to visit their friends in this hot & humid island, I thought this could be 1 of the things they could do in Sentosa.  So, we went.  Fortunately, they enjoyed the show!  And here's some shots I have taken from my moisten android phone.  Oh, & remember, do read about the story of Wings of Time first to better appreciate the laser light show.

The night view at 8.40pm show was not as fantastic as 7.40pm.
If you can, watch the 7.40pm show when it is not that dark &
when daylight is longer, you may even catch the glorious sunset.

The premium seats are located at the back rows in the centre, they are priced at $23.  They guarantee you the best view & the least chance of getting wet.  Yes, you will get wet, be prepared for that.  The water mist is powerful & those people sitting in the front row should literally wear a raincoat, & keep all their electronic gadgets away.  As the water they used was seawater, be prepared to taste salty (on yr lips) & do try to plan this activity as the last activity of the night so that you could head off for a shower at home (salt residue will rest on your skin & clothes).

The standard tickets are $18 for non-residents & $15 for residents (S'poreans & PRs). You may buy tickets online via Sentosa website ($1 booking fee for each category regardless of the no. of tickets purchased).  BUT I bought mine via Qoo10 (huge savings!) at $12.50 (non-residents category).

The Wings of Time is walking distance from the Sentosa Beach station.

Top-tier Remiser & Stock Trainer, Collin Seow

This is a monthly post on 'Inspiring Individual'. Every 2nd week of the month I will post on individual who has crossed our path & how we were inspired by him/her.

Jan - The Music Conductor, Adrian Tan
Feb - Investor, Entrepreneur, Author, Success Coach - Ismail Gafoor
Mar - 儿子的华文老师 - 颜清碹老师
Apr - Man of God - Rev. (Dr.) Prabhudas Koshy
May - 新加坡教育界的杰出华人 - 张美香校长
Jun - Trading Master, My Mentor - Robin Ho

I knew Collin when I was working in the same company as him.  He has been the Top 10 Phillip CFD Achievers for the last 4 consecutive years, naturally, it is hard not to notice him.

Beside that, he has flashy credential which includes being a qualified Chartered Portfolio Manager (CPM) & a Certified Financial Technician (CFTe) qualification.  He is also a member of MENSA Singapore & Technical Analyst Society Institute (TASS). Not only is he a Remiser with Phillip Securities, he is also a trainer with CyberQuote (a member of PhillipCapital), an inventor of a stock trading software known as CSI Trading System, which he teaches in 1 of the CyberQuote courses.  Needless to say, he is also a regular speaker in many conferences & seminars.  Oh, & he is featured in the book “Secrets of Highly Profitable Traders”, ah yes, I have this book.

Photo Credit

Though a successful businessman, Collin is absolutely unassuming & always willing to share (really, the latter is difficult to find unless you are willing to pay thousands of money to attend their courses).  He is very approachable & friendly.  

Like many down-to-earth Remisers/Investors, Collin also has a history of 'failure'.  He was once put to bear the default of a client which came up to $300,000. For those who think that Remisers earn big bucks, you have to know that Remisers bear huge risk too!  Fortunately for him, he managed to repay the sum progressively.  The lesson taught him to start educating his clients on stock trading, & thereby minimising his risk.

Collin joined Phillip Capital in 2005, converting from a full-time trader to a remiser.  His sole rationale was simply to earn some commission from clients' trading transactions.  He is doing less of this now as his capable assistant (who is also a Remiser as required by MAS) is helping him to service his clients.  Collin now channels most of his time in researching into SMEs, doing company visits, educating his clients & the public, & building his trading community. 

His typical workday includes doing research, journalling, having quiet time & going to gym.  By 12 noon he will be out for lunch appointment & meeting people in the business.  If he has no training to conduct in the evening, he would be home by 5pm to spend time with his wife & 3 boys (aged 10, 7 & 5).

Collin considers himself to have achieved financial freedom & is currently enjoying pursuit of his passion.  His advices to young, aspiring traders:  invest in education & get a mentor.  To be successful in trading/investing, one needs to know your personality, your psychology & your paradigm very well, only then would one know if he/she suits the market.

If you have not read the book “Secrets of Highly Profitable Traders”, it is available in the public library.  Alternatively buy 1 so that you could revisit it any time.  Collin's next book will be available soon.  I am looking forward to reading it!

[Media Invite] Klarity CC Miracle White Lotion

Mothers need to stay youthful & beautiful.  I believe a mother should learn to take good care of her well-being so that she would be healthy enough to take care of her family & presentable enough to make her husband proud.  While 1 should not neglect these, there is no need to spend too much money & time on these too.

I was so fortunate to be invited to Klarity product launch recently, which otherwise I may not have known of Klarity Lastertox CC Miracle White Lotion, a skincare product which is inexpensive, yet effective.

The  CC  Miracle  White  Lotion  boasts  of whitening  effects,
allowing  one  to become at least one tone lighter.
Enriched with diamond powder and wild rosehip  extract,
the  lotion  gives  one  an  instant  glow  after  application & helps to prolong skin youthfulness.

I use BB cream occasionally, especially during formal occasions when I want a more polished look.  But the texture of BB cream is a little too thick for our humid weather.  When I got to try Klarity Lastertox CC Miracle White Lotion, I was quite surprised by the light texture & the instant glow I have achieved.  As it comes with SPF30, I happily skipped the sunscreen!  It is parafen free too, which is important to me.

Ever since I have started using Klarity Lasertox CC Miracle White Lotion, I have ditched my BB cream & am not looking back.

My neckline has obvious shades difference.  After applying Klarity Lasertox Miracle CC Whitening Lotion, you can see that the skin on the neck is more even out.

Klarity products are available at online store Secretive.  Please do go check them out!

More photos are available at mylilbookworm facebook fanpage.

Appreciation Education

This is a monthly post on 'Book Review for Parents'. Every 1st week of the month I will post review of the books that I have read with regards to raising our children. My previous posts were:

Jan - Raising Musical Kids
Feb - Lynn's Money Adventures
Mar - Appreciating Your Child
Apr - How To Teach Your Baby To Be Physically Superb
May - How To Teach Your Baby To Read
Jun - How To Teach Your Baby To Swim

I was invited to attend this talk on Appreciation Education organised by 360 Congress over the weekend which explains the lateness of this post.  This post is not about parenting book review but a follow-up review on the book 'Appreciating Your Child'.

Appreciation Education is initiated by Professor Zhou Hong (周弘), I had previously written a book review on it.  You may read it here.  If you have not read this book, I would urge you to.  It is available in the public libraries, major bookstores & online.  360 Congress brought the movement here to Singapore, with the hope that more parents will get to understand Appreciation Education better & thereby fostering a better parent-child relationship.

My interest for Appreciation Education deepens after the talk.  Yes, I do want to learn more.  I want to know how I may foster a better relationship with AJ.  He is growing up fast by the days, very soon he would be a tween/teen, a stage where many parents lament that their relationship with their children drift.  I hope I can minimise that, better still, may it not happen at all.  I have little time left before AJ reached that age, I feel that I need to learn a lot more from these experts.

I'm not sure if you feel the same as me.  There are some workshops organised by 360 Congress which I am interested in.  You may like their Facebook fanpage to get update on these too.

I would like to share this video with you to end my sharing.  Please do watch it, it is only 2.5mins long.  Please standby a pack of tissue.  This is the exhibition of the power of a father's love.

The video link uploaded by Olympic is here.