Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Little Development (Jan to Mar 15)

This year, Little One is attending morning session at her Kindergarten. I made that arrangement last year, I thought she would probably need to get used to waking up earlier in the morning since majority of Singapore's Primary School operates in a single (morning) session. I thought we would probably have more time in the afternoon for some home schooling or outdoor trips. But alas, she is getting grumpy especially when I ask her to sit and study. I realised she is not getting enough sleep and most of the time, she spends the whole afternoon napping away. Hence, for the whole quarter, I had not done any homeschooling except during the school holidays which we recapped and reinforced on what she had learnt in school.

Nevertheless, here are some of her academic milestones. Mostly are skills development for entering Primary One next year.

The school alternates English and Chinese spelling. Most of the words are relatively simple but some I do find bombastic for her age.

Show and Tell
She did only once last term. Teacher informed parents via communication books to prepare her for the big day. We prompted her with questions and asked her to remember her answers. According to her teacher, she did rather well.

Articulation and reporting
Little One is talking more about her school, sharing what she has been doing in school. She talks about her friends too. I am surprised at this age they already have cliques of friends which they would hang out during playtime. She even told me about her friends disputes which sort of upset her because she wanted to be friends with all of them. She definitely start earlier than me as I only had my own cliques during Primary One.

More responsibility
The school is engaging her with more responsibility like keeping her readers in the cubby hole. She is also to bring her stationery to school and is held responsible for all her belongings.

On my part, I made her checked her bag each night prior the school day to ensure she bring everything (which is just a pencil case with stationery and a communication book) she needs to school. I also made her read her spelling list and note when is the spelling date so that she could learn her spelling on time. Most of the time, I have to remind her over and over again because she tends to forget about them. I am also entrusting her to purchase items and teaching her to count her coins.
This term I shall see how she fare. This week, I have not seen much improvement. Probably due to the one week holiday break about a fortnight ago, she had.forgotten her routine.

Next year, she will be in Primary One. I am pretty nervous at the rate she is going. I wonder whether she would fare well when the time comes.

Health issues
Little One had hearing problem earlier this year. Yes, she had hearing problem. We brought her to see doctor twice and now finally solved. I hope to share this on my blog when I find time to draft it out.

Other activities

Speech and drama 
Little One attended a 5 day speech and drama class over a period of 5 weeks. It was a workshop conducted by the library. I had signed her up to test whether she likes such classes. It turned out that she does not really like drama classes although she does enjoy watching.

Frying egg
Little One learnt to fry an egg despite not having a schedule for her to work around the kitchen this quarter.

Street Smart skills -Memorising numbers
I made Little One memorise phone numbers so that she would know what numbers to call when there is a need to. This is, I think, an important survival skill.  I started with hubby's number. However, I remind her that she is not to call daddy when it is not required. In near future, I would teach her where to seek help from when she needs it.


Despite the "lack of time" to do anything together with Little One, we managed to visit quite a number of places last quarter. Most are done during the weekends and school holidays. Others are done when we managed to squeeze some time out. Many of these are her "first" trips.

Walking trails
We went for Tiong Bahru Heritage Trail. It was her first guided neighbourhood heritage walk this year. Last year, we signed up for Balestier walk. It has much interesting stories and sites to visit. I particularly like the air raid shelter and stories of it. The air raid shelter is not opened to public. I think the only way to visit it is to sign up for its heritage trail.
Tan Tock Seng's grave. One of the must see in Tiong Bahru

We made our rounds in Emerald Hill. It is a neighbourhood located near Orchard Road. It was former homes of wealthy Peranakans. Hence, if you are in Orchard Road, you can take a walk down this lane to have a look at the pretty Peranakan houses.
I think it is pretty cool to have such lovely house number plate!

This quarter, we also took a walk in Wessex Estate. This area is very peaceful and quiet. You will find lots of black and white colonial bungalows here. Besides these, you would find the Colbar Eating House (Cafe Colbar) which has a history as early is 1953.

Black and white bungalow

Heritage and Cultural Exposure
We attended Amezaiku talk and demostration whereby we were exposed to the Japanese Art and learn more of it. I am trying to expose Little One different cultures.

Thanks to a library program, we went to Sri Warisan Studio to learn about Malay cultures, dance and musical instruments. Little One truly enjoys this, especially playing with the Angklong.

We were taught how to dress in sarong

While we were touring around Chinatown for Chinese New Year goodies, we spent some time in Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. A glimpse of Chinese culture.

Buddha in Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
We exposed her to Peranakan culture at Kim Choo. Little One is not adventurous enough to try Peranakan food, besides Otah. Seriously, she does not know what she is missing out.
Her first attempt to make Nonya Bak Chang (Nonya rice dumpling)

We visited Toa Payoh heritage playground. Such old, sandy playground which holds many nostalgic memories are fast disappearing from Singapore. Only a few of such playgrounds are left. The animal theme playgrounds are the pioneer batch of playgrounds in Singapore.

Nature walks
We visited  Sungei Buloh and Labrador Park for nature trail organised by NParks. On both occasions, we studied mangroves.

Sungei Buloh, is the first wetlands reserve to be gazetted in Singapore , has its global importance as a stop-over point for migratory birds. If you are interested in both mudflats and birds, this is a heaven for you!

Low tide in Sungei Buloh's What's in my Mud Trial

Labrador Park contains many historical relics from World War II and earlier, left behind by the British. Fort Pasir Panjang is located here. It contains the only rocky sea-cliff on the mainland that is accessible to the public. You will find 2 playgrounds in this park. One of which is rather old school located next to the machine gun pillbox. If you are into history and nature, probably this is one place for you.

Fascinating Forest of Labrador trail

These 3 months, we went to several exhibitions, more notable is that of the Earlier Mona Lisa exhibition , Land of Gold and Spices: Early Maps of Southeast Asia and Singapore, Island of Stories: Singapore Maps and some of those in Gillman Barracks. 

The Earlier Mona Lisa Exhibition had ended in Singapore but the other two map exhibitions are held in National Library building located in Bugis. There are even guided  tours and curators tour. Click here for more details. Gillman Barracks has several galleries that holds exhibitions all year round. There is also guided tours available.

I visited Ngee Ann Kongsi with Little One to collect red packets envelopes prior Chinese New Year. Bet you do not know they have their own museum and art gallery as well!

Teochew Building- Ngee Ann Kongsi

Fun for Free
We dropped by Singapore Sports Hub ,during the March holiday, solely to have some fun in the water playground and Lazy River.

A period of Mourning
This March ended with a heavy heart. We visited with Little One the new Parliament House to pay our last respect to the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew. The news of his demise had sadden many Singaporeans. Our pregnant neighbour saw us but did not call out to us outside the Parliament House. She said everyone looked so solemn and hence, she chose to tell me only when we met another day.

It was heart warming to watch and read the news of how Singaporeans help each other at the Padang. Many even lined up in the rain to send Mr Lee off his last journey from the Parliament House to UCC and to Mandai.

Queuing to pay our last respect

Now Singapore has entered a new era. We shall embrace now and strive for the future.

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