Friday, January 14, 2011

Thinking Thursdays: Learning in 2011

All packed and ready to face the year!
(The boy actually stuffed his bear in the bag, asked me to help him to wear it,
put on his hat and went running around the house one day!)

Ok, we're already in the middle of Jan, and I must admit that I've yet to firm up my goals/resolutions for the year!  After spending some time reflecting and thinking through the past year, I've decided that 2011 would be the year to work towards being able to:

:: Savour and slow down:  I have a bad habit of piling on lots of stuff and find myself getting stressed about all the things I have to do... so this year I am aiming to try to slow down.  And make more time for the things that matter.  Like God.  And my family.  And friends.  And making sure I do my job as a SAHM well, and ensuring that my family eats well, and healthily too...

:: Simplify: In terms of what we have.  I think we have way too much stuff, and we're still spring-cleaning. Hopefully I'll be able to work through years of accumulated possessions of two pack rats (one sentimental rat, the hubby, and one practical rat, me, who would keep everything just in case I'd need it next time.  Which includes all sorts of bits and bobs that I think will be useful for artwork with the boy!)... and perhaps having less will make cleaning and running a household simpler in the future.

He wanted to say cheese during this photo of him cutting his fruits!

So on the learning front this year, I'm hoping to introduce more structured lessons for the little boy on top of the usual unstructured play he gets.  I admit that for the past 2 years, I've been pretty impromptu when it comes to activities, so I think more structure would help (more for me than the boy I guess!).  Right now, Junior J has been showing more propensity to imaginative play and dramatic play (or role-playing):

Left the boy to play while I washed the dishes and found this!

... Which I'm hoping to bank upon to increase the variety of activities he gets (hopefully if all goes well, I'll update the stuff we've been doing!).  And while I probably will start working on more reading/writing/learning the alphabet related activities, I realize I must start being more diligent on teaching him Bible stories.  I mean, we pray with the little boy, and we tell him about God, but I think I can do more (perhaps craft-related stuff and reading verses), instead of banking on just Sunday School class!  After all, Junior J will eventually get his ABCs and stuff sorted out by the education system, but learning about God, I think we gotta do, and start early for that matter...

Whole pile of activity books and story books, bought from a spree
(introduced by a fellow blogger mum) and from Popular

And another big area I'm hoping to tackle would be to help the little boy to learn Chinese.  We hardly speak Chinese at home (unless we want to discuss something and ensure the boy doesn't understand haha), and I'm worried that he'll struggle with the language later (especially since we'll be away in Germany next year with little exposure to the language)... So sometime back I bought a whole bunch of Chinese story/activity books, and am hoping to make learning the language fun!  Its going to be tough for me though (I ensured the books I bought had hanyu piyin, so that I can read them properly to him!)...

So all in all, I'm looking forward to the rest of the year!  How about you?  What are your resolutions/goals for 2011?

PS: New activities added for our "Art Adventures"! :)


  1. Hey gal,
    Being a minimalist helps when it comes to spring cleaning. I am also a hoarder of stuff and am always the last one in fam to finish spring cleaning!
    My resolutions this year are very simple and basic:
    1. Cut down on expenses and sugar intake.(means less shopping and less Koi!)
    2. Make healthy eating a habit.
    3. Engage in fun exercises; gonna try hip hop! hahahahaha

  2. Germany! How exciting! Is it for long? Will look forward to your posts from there.

    We've the same play yard :)

  3. it's gonna be exciting year for you as SAHM and also going to germany next year :)

  4. E: Yay for the healthy eating and exercise! I'm sure P will be more than happy to teach you hip-hop?

    Corsage: Its going to be for 1 year (for now)... I'm torn between feeling excited, and scared like crazy from thinking about the packing, and the major changes etcetc! (Cool about the playpen... we love it since its really sturdy and doesn't look like a cage unlike some others!)

    Pooi: Oh yes it is! I think 2011 will be really exciting for you too!

  5. Go slow with the go with Jude's indication of interest.

    I tried starting home-learning with Kyle when he was 2 but it was very challenging when he had limited verbal skills and extremely short attention spans. So I had to drop it then, focused on more motor skills activities, free play and then re-visited again when he was 2.5 years old. I started with literature based learning first, then letter sounds and numbers did not come till he was 3+, and it was a breeze, I only had to teach once.

    I think it really came down to propensity to learn at that point.
    Every child is different, just rem don't stress yourself.

    Even till today, at almost 4, he can't to road signs only..haha..but there is really no need for hurry. Like what u mentioned, our educational system will get that sorted out.

    I agree with you, what matters is that he needs to know God first then expose him to lots of books for GK learning.

  6. Ohhh... it's great to encourage Junior J to learn Chinese! I think he won;t have much problem since he has a good foundation of learning, he will definitely pick up new language faster than you could imagine!

  7. I like the way you occupied your boy with arts and craft, love especially the gingerbread men collage!

  8. Rachel: Thanks for sharing! Yes, I agree each child is different, and thanks for the reminder to go slow... I'm so tempted to draw up ambitious lessons plans when looking at what some mums do with their kids at home! Yup, his attention span is still quite short wrt activities, and I think literature-based learning sounds like a good way to start since he loves being read to...

    Alice: Thanks! I've been liking your art and craft activities too, like those chinese paintings you do with your girl...

  9. strange...i thought i left a comment here..where did it go?

    anyway- i said i am looking forward to your biblical lessons! I need ideas in that department, hope you can fill that up for me! Muahahaha! Do blog about it hor! :)

    And ooo germany! Get excited!!

  10. I've realised that speaking mandarin at home really helps my kids build up their foundation for the language, because in school, the focus is very much still in English. Nonetheless, kids are like sponges - They learn so very fast! I'm sure in no time at all, your boy will be good in Mandarin. :)

  11. Homeschool@SG: Hmmm, that's odd! Blogger probably ate it up, sometimes it happens! And thanks, I will probably put up a separate page (like the art adventures one) to "chronicle" those lessons!

  12. Klessis: You have a point there... just that my mandarin is pretty bad... Am worried that me speaking it will just teach him the wrong things! :p But I guess I'll try anyway!



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