Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Report card day

Last Saturday was report card day for Christopher. I went alone with him coz hubby is out of town.Christopher didn't want to go initially coz 'it was a Saturday!'. But when I told him I will be going in with him and only for a little while, he agreed to show me around his school.

For 2 years now, everytime we show up to get his report card, one of his buddy's parents would also show up at the same time. So, at least our 2 boys could keep each other company while we waited for the teacher to attend to us.

It was rather late by the time the teacher got to talk to me. Reckon she was tired and I was tired. Basically I learnt that Christopher is doing alright in school. Looking through his books, I realise that he is way more advanced in his learning at home. And not due to my pressure or stress.

When we go to the bookshop, Christopher picks up the books he wants to buy himself. Which includes maths, alphabet writing, numbers writing, mandarin strokes, colouring and some other acitivty books. And when he is at home, he takes out whichever book he wants to do and does them himself. Occasionally he would ask me to read out the instruction for him and tell him how to do a certain activity.

This year in school, they are just starting him on writing capital letters. He already has alot of completed books of capital letters and small letters at home.

For numbers, he will be writing and counting 11-20 in school. At home he is already counting beyond 20 and sometimes writing up till 30/50. They have not started him on addition yet or identifying which number is bigger/smaller. But he is already doing addition up till 10 at home and using the '>/<' signs.

Mandarin, he is at par coz I have requested for his mandarin books every week so that I can also learn and then reinforce up till the same level.

Colouring is of course not an issue for him. He loves to colour. Colours with different colours. Can colour minuet areas well.

As for reading....he is just completing Peter and Jane 2A. My mum says he is rather slow. But I realise it is because at home we don't continue the next page when there is a word is as not yet mastered.

Christopher used to jump to the 4 year old classes when he was 3 coz he went to school rather early and so he learnt faster than his peers. But this year, the principal decided not to do this anymore so that he would have his own classmates and move along with them.

I don't know if this is the right level for 4 year olds. To me, I feel he is ready and able to do so much more than this. Of course, there are areas where he is weaker. And thus the general level for 4 year olds are such, I guess. But my colleague told me her daughter in a chinese kindy is already doing addition. And last year itself, they were already writing capital and small letters.

Which makes me wonder.....should I send my daughter to this kindy as well. And if I do....reckon she won't need to go so early coz if the rate of learning is that slow, she would be able to catch up.

Maybe coz I have the time and interest to teach them at home that I feel the school is going a little too slowly. Although I also know that it is more important to cultivate the interest to learn than how much they have to learn at a certain level.

Anyways....can you tell me what your kiddo learns in school at 4?

Monday, June 13, 2011

The kids so far....and things to come

I have Glee playing in the background. Managed to get some videos converted from Youtube to MP4. And some others to MP3.

Decided some has happened and time to get it recorded. Unfortunately our use of the camera is limited these days. We have 2 kids struggling to grab it even before the pic is taken. Everything is thus blurry!

She's a cutie pie. Her actions are so girlish they are bordering on over poweringly sweet. When you praise her, she extends her hand down and front and smiles a shy smile. When she walks around, she swings her arms up and down like she's exercising.

That day Christopher woke up from his nap and she brought his bottle for him to drink water. Waited for him to take a drink and then took it back to the table. And now everytime she is in the room, after Christopher's bath, she will grab his clothes for him to dress up. She is quite meticulous - taking shirt, pants and even underwear. If she can't find any 1 of the 3, she will attempt to open the drawer to get it.

She learns very quickly too. She doesn't just observe and see how you do it. But she understands the concept of it and tries other ways to get it done when the usual normal way is 'closed' to her. For example, opening a tin. If you hold the handle so that she cannot hold it to open the tin, she will pry the sides open with her fingers and get it opened from the sides.

She also knows what we mean when we ask her to 'throw away'. She will walk to the rubbish bin and throw it in.

She has also learnt to do a flying kiss after 2-3 times of showing her. And gosh...she gives you such a sweet shy smile while doing so.

She is also really loud. And she chuckles when we grimace over her loud singing. She chuckles so comically that we can't help but chuckle too. And then she goes over and over again.

She still LOVES to climb. She will fall and cry but then up she goes again. She sometimes knocks her head and still laughs. She has no fear. She walks into a dark room unafraid and alone.

I am very glad that last Sunday, Christopher was good enough to sit through the entire church worship. He was a bit squirmish coz Isaac, his good buddy was around. And there were other kids as well playing in the Baby room. But this mummy made him sit quietly through worship and then some prayer before letting him off to Sunday School.

I believe kids can and should do it. Sit quietly when necesary, worship and pray with the adults. Feel the attitude of prayer, listen to things which are affecting the nation and the people. They are never too young to start praying.

And thank God when I am strict about such things - prayer, keeping quiet in church, giving tithes and being thankful, I do see fruits from Christopher.

I see him understand. I see him keeping quite for as long as the prayer is. I see him clasp his hand together and close his eyes to pray. I see him asking questions about why I raise my hands. I see him looking at me worship and praise God. I see his knowledge of the Bible slowly increase. I see him being open and responsive.

Nothing beats good character in a child.

Christopher prayed for me again last night . He has done this for me several times now. And it has never been upon request but on his own and using his own words. I feel so thankful for the person he is growing up to.

This will be hectic times. Alot of things are happening at work (espeically at work) for me and for hubby. We literally have to sit down with our calendar to see what weekends we are doing what.

Hubby will be going away the following weekend. This weekend we are full as well with inlaws stuff. When hubby comes back in July, we will have visitors from Australia. In August, my uncle from the US will be here and staying 3 weeks at my place. In September, hubby and I will be going to Bangkok for a wedding and then I will be off to US till early Oct. November I will be giving training in Bangkok (or Malaysia). And then it will be the end of the year.

Reckon the 2nd half of the year will fly pass.

Last Sunday's sermon still vibrates in my heart. It was regarding Malaysia and our need to stand in the gap for the nation. Malaysia has indeed been blessed - no natural diasasters, political crisis, religious discrimination etc. But seems we are getting too comfortable, praying only for ourselves (nothing wrong with that) and not for the nation. So the burning of churches etc. is just the tip of the ice berg of things to come when God pulls away his hand of protection over Malaysia.

And thus my increasing diligence over Christopher's prayer life.

And to end on a more exciting mode, Twillight's last saga is coming end of this year. Can't wait! :)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

On buying ceiling fans

Our ceiling fan kaput last week. I have frankly never heard of a ceiling fan ever failing on anyone. So I was aghast (terribly aghasted...if there was ever an extreme).

I actually made a mistake with the 2 ceiling fans I purchased 2 years ago for the upstairs rooms. I had a grand idea to have all the fans upstairs of similar model so that their remote controls can be interchangable. Bought a fairly priced one of RM180 advertised as Alpha. And now I know Alpha fans can never be this cheap. And if an advert for Alpha fans are this cheap, it must be their cheaper counterpart - Wings.

And Wings fans suck BIG TIME. Their motor isn't all that powerful. Silent it may be (Panasonic fan blades made with metal rust and sink and thus make noise after a while) but slow too.

So....lesson of the day. Don't buy fnas with metal blades. And don't ever get Wings.

Truth be told, our fan motor is still barely under warranty. BUT....given hubby and I don't fancy the slow wind (and thus higher usage of air con) too much, we decided to IGNORE the warranty.

So, we went fan hunting last weekend (and prepaid data plan hunting too). It didn't help that Saturday was someone's birthday and some shops decided to also celebrate. (will I be persecuted for writing this?) cut the story short, we decided to take a drvie to SS2. Now everytime we go to SS2, the big kid sees the big M and decides he wants french fries. No matter how much of carbs he already had during dinner.

We passed a store called Legend along Murni in SS2 and decided to go in. It wasn't having any promo signs displayed but hubby claims he has seen Legend send alot of electrical stuff to the houses around us (alot of us moved in at pretty much the same time).

And well.....I can understand why. At least the sales guy that was dealing with us was pretty good (unlike the other 2 shops we earlier visited). I may be a sucker for convincing talk. But when you don't know any much better (and have limited budget), we have to trust what is recommended.

His motto was "You don't like trouble, I don't like to give you trouble. So, we shall only go for fans I know won't cause either of us trouble. And if I give you trouble, who knows....your next purchase might be a BIG one and then you won't come to me anymore."

Well....that is TRUE, you got to admit. And so, we went with his recommendation. Which brings me to the point of my post. What fan did we get in the end? We got a Deka fan.

This Deka fan to be exact. What caught my attention was that it has a reverse speed. So if you have this fan in your bedroom, it circulates the air without actually blowing air down. So, the air is circulated without the kids being exposed to too much direct wind. Excellent for air con rooms, in my opinion. Coz direct wind in air con rooms tend to get a wee bit too cold especially for kids who refuse blankets.

It was listed as RM399. He originally told me that he can bring it down to RM 290 (best deal already!) I was still having second thoughts since most of the fans we have bought actually cost RM250 (2 years back!). So, that was what I told him. I told him to recommend a good fan that only cost about RM 240-250. In the end, he brought down the Deka fan to RM 260 (with credit card).

So, now....I am waiting for an electrician to be free to come put up my new ceiling fan. Can't wait to try the reverse cooling.

And another thing....anyone has a light timer? Which is better? The timer one or the censor one?