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Monday, April 30, 2012

How To Turn Your Child Into A Bookworm

Roald Dahl 15 Book Box Set (Slipcase)

Recently, we bought my boy a set of Roald Dahl Books. I haven't downloaded his birthday pictures yet, this one is from Amazon. It has 15 books in the set. The one we bought for my boy has about 5 or 6 books. It has all the favorite Roald Dahl titles like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, Charlie and The Glass Elevator, George's Marvelous Medicine, Danny, The Champion Of The World and The Twits.

I have not read Roald Dahl before as a kid but seeing how my son finished the books in a week, I think they must have been a hit with him. lol. Reading is fun and takes the child into a whole new world of fantasy and adventure. Sadly, most kids these days prefer the iPhone, iPad or tablet computer and even Facebook to books.

For more ideas on how to turn your child into a bookwork, check out my list of Popular Kids Book Series. Start them on one of the recommended list of books and who know, it may turn your reluctant reader into book fan and reader for life.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Obsessed With Homework

My daughter and her classmates are obsessed with homework. They have no choice.

  • While waiting for transport they would be doing homework in the school canteen
  • Sometimes she tries to do her homework in the car!
  • Most of the time, she tries to do her homework before and during lunch as soon as she gets home!
She tells me that her friends do homework in the classroom in school usually during 'unimportant' lessons which they all know, for example during the Science in English class. The teacher would switch off all the lights to use the multimedia for teaching. Instead of listening to her, everyone would be busy doing their homework in the dark so that they would not be so rushed when they are at home. They have all learned that it is important to try to finish off some of the 'homework' in school so that they can complete the rest of the homework for the day. Previously she used to pay attention and listen but now she has joined them.

For other 'unimportant' lessons ie those that are not 'counted' in determining positions, like Civics etc, her classmates have resorted to copying answers from the books and have a nonchalant attitude. They know they have to complete all their homework but these are competing with the time for more 'important' subjects so they no longer care. They have to do what they need to do to survive the homework craze. 

As for my own girl, sometimes, I resort to asking her to copy answers for the sake of completing the work. If she does not, she will be reprimanded in school. 

Due to this homework madness, we are raising kids with the wrong attitudes. We are teaching them that it is okay to copy. We are teaching them that it is okay not to pay attention in school. We are teaching them that they only need to do what is necessary to pass tests and get good results and no more than that. We are trapped in the homework downward spiral of madness!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mother's Day Gift

The boy slid up to me, the silently passed me something before running away.

It was a Mother's Day Craft and Gift he had made for me at school.

When I asked him why he why he behaved in such a secretive manner. Was he being shy? he said,

"No, mummy, Daddy was there and I didn't want him to see that I didn't have a gift for him."

Well, son, that's okay because daddy can wait for Father's Day for his gift. :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How To Help Your Child In The Hospital

Being in the hospital is never easy for a child or the child's family, but it is an experience that roughly half of all children will face at some point. A hospital stay is bad enough for a rational adult, but it can be especially trying for a frightened child. Not only is the child probably in considerable physical distress, but he or she is in an unfamiliar place being cared for by strangers.

If your child is ever in the hospital, chances are that you'll want to do everything in your power to help him or her. You may think to yourself that there is only so much you can do to help, but every little bit counts. Your child will be grateful that you are doing all that you can to make him or her feel safe and comfortable.

When it comes to comforting a child during a hospital stay, the best thing you can do is to just be there. As we said above, a hospital stay can be very scary for a child, especially a young one. The fact that you are there as often as you can be will help reassure your child that he or she is safe. Talk to your child about how he or she is feeling, play games, watch TV and otherwise just spend time with him or her. It will help take the child's mind off of the situation and help him or her to relax.

You should also do your best to be there for your child when he or she is most likely to worry such as in the early morning or just before bedtime. You can even help to ease your child's mind if you have any knowledge of what he or she may be going through. Perhaps you have an EMT certification and the knowledge of medicine that goes with it. You can use that knowledge to reassure your child that he or she has nothing to worry about from the doctors and nurses.

It is also important to treat your child as normally as possible. The fact that your child is in the hospital absolutely does not change who he or she is, although your child may act differently during the hospital stay. Stick to a structured schedule, bring items from home and otherwise make sure that your child feels as much like himself or herself as possible. This can be difficult, but it is essential in helping your child feel at ease.

Another important thing to remember when your child is in the hospital is to take care of yourself. It's important to spend as much time as you can with your child and be as active in his or her care as you can, but it shouldn't be at the cost of your own health. Take breaks and get plenty of sleep. It won't do your child any good to see you exhausted or stressed out.

A hospital stay can be a trying time for your child as well as yourself, but it is very important that you are there for your child as much as you can be. Remain calm, always be there to reassure your child that things will work out and make sure that you don't stress yourself out too much.

If you would like to know more about working in a hospital or in the medical field in general, you may want to consider an education in health care. There are plenty of schools and programs available that can be completed quickly such as nursing assistant programs, EMT certification programs or schools offering surgical tech programs.  You do not need to dedicate six years of your life to med school in order to work in health care, and the work itself can be very rewarding.


"When your child goes to the hospital."  Netdoctor.co.uk 
"Helping Your Child During a Hospital Stay."  URMC.Rochester.edu

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Diary of an 8 Year Old

Today, I saw that my 8 year old boy had written this in his "diary". Well, actually it's more like a little notebook where he draws pictures and jots down things. Today he wrote...

...I have many friends. I have a sister, a mother and a father. Every time, I come back home I will have to rush until night. (followed by a drawing of his house)

....I love to play computer games because every day I won't get to play at all. (followed by a picture of a computer)

....I am always sad this (wrong spelling - Mommy notes) days so this year is not the best and it always rain so we cannot exercies (wrong spelling again.)

No wonder some people are quitting Chinese School.

Friday, April 13, 2012

How Well Does Your Child Know You?

We often read articles about How Well Do You Know Your Child? But what about the other way around. How well does your child know you? Recently my daughter told me that she had to ask me a few questions.

My Girl:  Mom, my teacher says that I have to know you. I have to know your age, what you like etc. I don't even know your name mom. What is your nickname?"

I gave her a nickname that the man of the house calls me and she said it sounded silly. We can't put that in the form. Eventually we decided to just put my name in Mandarin.

Well, I was not sure how to write one of the characters in my name (that's how poor my Chinese is), so I told her to wait while I dig for my old wedding card and gave that to her to copy from.

After going through my likes and dislikes, she came to the part on Character. Aha! That sounds like fun. So I told her to fill in whatever she thinks my character was and she said...

My Girl: Angry.

lol.  "How about kind and gentle" I suggested (Ahem!)

My Girl: Mum, you're not kind and gentle. 

lol. "Well then, how about fierce." I said.

My Girl: Can I just put anything...

I said yes and eventually found out that she had written a Chinese term. I looked up the Chinese to English dictionary and it said "affable". I looked up the English Dictionary and it said "pleasant, friendly and easy to talk to." She made it clear to me, that it was not what she thought I was but she had to write something. (The only term she could find to describe my character was "Angry". Haha.

My Girl: What is your motto mom. What IS motto?

I told her motto means what someone believes in. I told her that I believe that if you try really hard at something you will succeed. (Mom always tries to sneak in a lesson or two whenever she talks to her children). She eventually found a Chinese idiom and wrote that down. She told me that the Chinese idiom translates to "Failure is the Mother of Success." Well, that is close enough. I then had to spend another 5 minutes explaining to her how failure can suddenly become the "mother" of success.

We decided that my hobby was reading and I had interest in music.

As for daddy, daddy told her that his motto is "Make hay while the sun shines" Yup! That is him alright. He always believes in planning ahead for everything.

Though it was all very amusing, I had a wake up moment when I realised that the only word my child could use to describe me was "Angry". Hmm..... I guess I should do something about that!

Why not try this with your children at home. You can turn this into an English lesson on "Adjectives". Ask them to describe you and share what they said in the comments. Are there any more "Angry" moms out there or perhaps you are "loving" and "kind" and "gentle"? See what your child thinks about you.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tales from the kids

"Mommy, I cried today. I lost my canteen card and I didn't have any food. After recess, I went back to class, hid my face in the bag and cried."

"Mommy, teacher said I speak too softly in class, she has asked me to join the story telling competition. What story shall I tell mommy?"

"Mommy, teacher asked me whether I can do the job of class monitor but I don't know where teacher sits so how am I going to carry all the workbooks for her?"

"Mommy, we must bring old newspapers for recycling this week. We must! Or I will be scolded by teacher."

"Mommy, I got a certificate for the computer class. Teacher said we should enter the special computer class again. Can I have $40?"

"Mommy, I have a lot of homework today! Why is everyday like that?"

"Mommy, can we go to the park today, can we? If we finish all our homework, can we......"

"Mommy, my mechanical pencil broke again. Can you help me fix it?"

"Mommy, you scolded me so much for deleting the files in the electronic dictionary. You don't love me anymore is it?" 

These are just some of this week's stories from the kids. I get to listen to this everyday, every week. Being a mum is so much fun...

Thursday, April 05, 2012

MPV or Sedan?

Almost all the parents I see in my childrens' school is driving a huge MPV. It would see that the larger it is the better even though there are usually just one or two kids in them.

Although a MPV is much higher and therefore easier to see better while driving on the road, I personally prefer a sedan. A sedan like the 2012 Volkswagen Passat looks comfortable and steady to me. The MPVs look more like a bread box then a car to me, seriously. It is hard to park too! Any vw los angeles owner would agree with me on that, I am sure.

A sedan is sleek and sexy. An MPV just practical and not fun although many families are now seeking because of their extended families of maids, drivers, kids, grandparents etc. Even those who do not have such a big family seek it simply because the others are having one too. Well, I would certainly prefer the vw if I could have a choice.

It would certainly be more comfortable driving long distance plus I feel it is much safer too. Somehow the height of the MPV makes me feel less safe as compared to a Sedan like the vw.

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