Archives for February 2011

Life and learning

The CNY holidays went by like a blur for me. Although there wasn't much visiting to do (thank goodness) and since I am not really a fan of the festivities, I was quite glad that it was over and done with so quickly. On the household front, I have been maidless the last 2.5 weeks, due to the transition of the previous maid moving on to new employment after 4 years with us and awaiting the new helper to arrive. The daily routine was taxing; having to wash, iron, clean, trying to manage some craft orders, administrative matters for, as well as care and cleaning after the 2 boys in the house.

After this maidless experience, I realised that it is still manageable without a full time maid at home, as long I am willing to survive with less than 5 hours of sleep daily, less time for crafting and I have to be willing to close an eye to the mess in the house.

Home-learning took a back seat for the time being, but with literature based learning methods, I still managed to do quite a bit of read-alouds daily and some lapbooks with K. We are still taking it easy on the academic front, no rush on learning to read, writing or math. His school has been quite pro-active in developing these skills, as K has been bringing home Rigby readers and Chinese readers from school and homework for handwriting practice weekly.

Just a couple a months back, I told K that we will be doing more hand-writing activities at home but he exclaimed that he will not do it at home, but only in school. Somehow, thanks to 'homework' from school, it has managed to change his attitude towards hand-writing practice at home. He told me earlier this evening, "I like homework," and asked for more tracing activities to do. I actually had to get him to stop after a while and told him to go and play instead 😉


For one that tends to fancy rainbow shades in his colouring, he has finally decided that he will colour things in their appropriate shades, i.e., apples will be red. I am not sure if this can be considered a milestone, since he is always given lots of freedom in his 'artistic expression.' Maybe the teachers in school have something to do with that…hmm…


I am still not fully an advocate of Susan Striker's theory of being totally anti about colouring books. An interesting quote that I have came across from her site about colouring books and kids.

"Coloring books take away the opportunity for the children to show their interpretation of the world. To create a coloring book picture is to conform to the adult version of the way the world is. Thus, coloring books are obstacles to artistic development. They prevent children from expressing themselves creatively, deny parents the opportunity to delve into the psyche of their children, and stifle the creation of original art." (Jeff Passe "Throw Away Those Coloring Books" Mothering, Winter 1986)

So true, but at the same time, I think colouring has got its benefits. I never buy colouring books for K ever, but he does get to do a fair bit of colouring from school and sunday school. Colouring, to a certain extent, helps develop discipline and a respect for rules and some conformity. And since I plan to put K through the local school system, some conformity needs to be taught.

Too much of colouring books will not develop an imaginative artist and it definitely should not be the only 'art' experience that a child has. Kids should be given more time to freely express themselves open-endedly with different mediums of art, and spend less time on colouring books.

Anyhow, K is still allowed the colour anyway he wishes to and I still will get Susan Striker's anti colouring book when he turns 5+, despite the fact that he is not turning out to be much of an artist.

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CNY @ Grandpa’s



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