Archives for August 2011

A new milestone

Was contemplating whether to share this on my blog. But after thinking it through and after a chat with Pauline, she was right to say that we keep our blogs like our online diary to record our memories of parenting, kid's milestones, our challenges and interests at specific points in our life.

Ok then, it's my space and I can share whatever I like, really doesn't matter even if I get labelled.

So the latest milestone is that Kyle can read.

I discovered it about 4 months ago and it pleasantly surprised me. When he turned 2 and a half years old, I started teaching him letter sounds phonetically and we spent about 18 months learning all the letter sounds at his own pace. Thereafter, I introduced word families end of last year to get him started on blending, but he was not responsive to that method, so I thought that it will be best to take a break from all reading activities for a while.

We took a break for about 4-5 months and did not do any reading activities, except for bedtime stories that I would usually read aloud to him. I spent that time evaluating if his slow progress was due to a lack of interest or just simply non-readiness. Then in April this year, I decided to give it another shot, pulled out the phonic readers from my bookshelves, and started reading it aloud to him by sounding out the sounds and blending the letters together. I did this consistently for about 2-3 times in 2 weeks and he was able to pick up the blending method through the modelling method. During the last parent-teacher meeting prior to the June holidays, his teacher remarked in a surprised tone, "he can read!"

So at 4, is it still considered early to reach this milestone? In my perspective, the exact age or timing is of little consequence. What matters is that I picked up on the indicators that showed that he had a propensity to learn to read at a specific time. And I am quite certain that I would not have the same ability to be so sensitive to his unique time table if I were a full time working mom.

I hear alot about moms posting on the local parenting forum, enquiring how they can help their child to read at 2. Seriously, why would you need your child to read at 2? Unless, the mom can say with a resounding "Yes!", when asked if she thinks that the child is ready to learn to read at that age, then by all means go ahead. But please do the research on the various methods that will be best suited to your child. The problem with most who participate actively in forums is that they will go what seems popular amongst other parents and follow the advice shared, which may not be a suitable method for their child's learning style.

What worked for Kyle was that since he is a kinesthetic and auditory learner, he learned letter sounds through games and songs, and could grasp the concept of decoding when I use the modelling method. Coupled with lots of good quality phonics books which he enjoys and plenty of read alouds on a daily basis, which I think encouraged his reading development. Half the battle is won when the parent encourages their child's interest for books. When the child enjoys being read aloud to, they will eventually be motivated enough to want to read books by themselves.

He is undoubtedly a lazy reader. He will initiate picking up the phonics readers these days, but he will ask me to sound out all the letters individually for him, while he blends it together. So this may not the most ideal kind of reading development, but I am thrilled nonetheless. I can now take my time and let his reading development 'take-off' naturally the next two years. And he can start to use his new found skill to entertain his grand-parents to bits by reading environment print out loud in their presence.

As for chinese language development, that's a different story altogether. It's an uphill task and we are progressing at super snail's pace.

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Teachers’ Day handmade

Last year we made an 'avant garde' paper floral arrangement for the teachers, this year I decided to spare Kyle's teachers the torture by presenting them with something simplier.

Felt 'Bird cage' key holders

A simple craft that took only about 3 hours and looks presentable enough for a handmade gift. Drop me a note here or in FB if you want the pattern for this.

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For the longest time that I can remember, I always found that showing affection does not come naturally to me. I can't say that this is an issue of nurturance, since my sister and I brought up by the same set of parents, and she is a very affectionate person (at least a lot more than I am). So maybe I may simply be “wired” to be the less affectionate sort.

I think God has a fabulous sense of humour and a great sense of irony. He paired me up with an affectionate hb, and we have a sticky and a very loving little boy. I think this is all in His plan for me to mould me into a more loving person.

The little boy is extremely generous with his random hugs and his "I love you mummy," Often clings onto my left arm during nights when he bunks in our bed and sleeps in between hb and I. One some snappy days, I will bark, "Don't cling on me tonight, sleep by yourself and leave me alone." And hb will gently remind me that I should not never turn Kyle's affections away in case of negative consequences. Needless to say, I end up with not too good quality of sleep whenever he bunks over.

Kyle makes it up the next morning by planting a kiss on my cheek before he crawls out of our bed. As for the other times, he will always ensure that there will be some light body contact when we sit together on the couch to watch TV, either his shoulder will be leaning on my arm or he will put his little chubby leg on my lap. He is extremely fond of stroking my hair when I carry him, despite me having to constantly remind him that he needs to stop touching my hair as it will start to feel quite creepy when he gets older.

As for how affectionate he is towards his dad? He has done this everytime when hb falls asleep in front of the tv in our bedroom. All without any one prompting him to do so. When he notices that hb is asleep, he quietly enters the room, turns off the tv for him, reaches out for the air con remote control and turns on the air con. Afterwards, he pulls his little blue chair below the light switch, turns off the lights in the room and closes the door behind him. Then he quietly comes to me to announce, "Daddy is sleeping."

I can't help but feeling all soppy when I think about how enduring Kyle can get. So I guess God's plan is working pretty well, motherhood can really change a person indeed.

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