(Super Long post with no picture.)
(Learning Materials will be shared in another entr(ies).)
My baby is no longer a baby now. She is now a toddler. It is time to nurture her in more structural manner.
I know it is good to give our child a headstart in their learning. Many, started when they were expecting. Unfortunately I didn’t do as much. My career was at the lowest peak when I was expecting. I need to travel to and fro to work at the extreme East of Singapore every day. Fortunately I did not suffer from any morning sickness, if not this will add on to my burden when I travelled. I was constantly feeling unhappy over work and many had warned me it will affect my baby. Luckily Yvette turned out to be a happy baby! Naturally I quitted after I gave birth.
I did not start with any TV program or doing any flash card with her when she was a little baby. To me, “Childhood is a journey, not a race“, there is no hurry to start her off this. I just want to accompany her and let enjoy the “free-from- learning” childhood for the first 18 mth. All I did with her is only play in her first year. We played and are a lot.
The original plan was to send her to school to socialise after she was one. (I planned to send her to childcare when she is 18 mth so I can join back the work force.) We did so when she was 11 mth with GUG. However, I felt it was totally wrong to go GUG. As we only attended one hour trial class with GUG, I did not attend the Chinese session. After attending a few sessions, I started to find it is too academic for my Yvette for her age. And the allocated time for the music and movement was only 1-2 songs when they were running out of time for it. (GUG came as a first choice for us because the school is near to our house.)
Then I signed up LNT for Yvette where this school is so near to our house. After attending the first term, I was impressed the learning materials created for learning by LNT, with that, I signed Yvette up for another term. But we did not continue for the third term. Reason being, thru observation, Yvette wasn’t showing much interest in the class as she progressed with LNT. And for some invalid reasons, I was always late for the class.
In JGC, we were finally at ease. I love the program, non-academic, relax and yet fun. It’s a purely simulation program, letting our baby expressing themselves thru play.
And lastly, Yvette started her learning swimming class with Jane Marsden Swim School when she was 17 months old. I always love swimming but I am a “half a bucket full” swimmer. To be exact, I can’t swim well. Swimming is a good sport to pick up especially when the child is younger; fearless. When I shared my thoughts with one of the teacher in LNT regarding swimming she agreed with me. She told me she wasn’t a good swimmer and currently learning how to swim. Her mum told her she was fearless over water when she was younger but now she is fearful over water. She supported me my decision to do so.
As for home-learning, I have been reading (Chinese and English) books to Yvette every day. I sing rhymes and teaching her signs using rhymes. We play all sorts of toys every day too. Although I did not teach her word using flashcard, but there is no sign of delay in her milestone in term of learning.
SO What Is Next For Yvette After 18 mth?
I am very sure you reader who have been following my site reading updates about myself and Yvette will not be surprise I will continue to stay at home.
(And thanks for reading our site.)
Yes I have to continue to stay at home for Yvette’s sake. Both of us know Yvette is clingy to me and will definitely not ready for school now. Thus I have decided to send Yvette to JGC again doing the PlayClub programme. This programme allows parent to accompany the child and since we have been JGC for half a year, I am sure Yvette will continue to benefit from the programme. Her class will be schedule on Monday (Chinese), Tuesday and Thursday (English) from 11.30 am to 1.30 pm. ~ Socialisation plays an important part of early childhood.
Well, I realise that whatever enrichment courses or programs out there are only 20-30% of what is required; the balance 80% is still dependent on how I follow up at home to give my child a consistent environment of stimulation. Thus, I decide to do some home schooling with Yvette too. (Yvette could do all the hand signs while singing the rhymes in PlayNest isn’t by chance. I practice with her at least twice a day.)
Home School – As in PlayClub, Yvette will be learning Alphabet, A letter A week, so I will have to tailor my home-school programme in line with JGC. I am so happy to find out so many mummies out there blogging about A letter A week and this benefits me. I found a few good one that closer to my “teaching style” and these sites really inspire me.
There are several sites offer free learning material too.
I am adopting the Montessori Method in teaching Yvette. Simple Science and Maths will be included in my program too. For Maths, I will only be focusing in the following areas due to her age:
- Quantities of 1 to 10
- Written symbols of 1 to 10
- Sequencing of numbers 1 to 10
- Concept of zero (Hmmm, yet find any suitable material for this.)
- Patterning (Smallest to Biggest)
I have also added one session of Chinese Program when Yvette promotes to Playclub next year and again I will have to do my own “homework” at home. However, I couldn’t find any desire sites for learning yet. Thus I will be designing my own program to teach. I will be using “我会读”幼儿启蒙读物（第一辑 与 第二辑）. These two sets will be a guide for me to teach word and phrases Yvette need to know in according to her age at her own pace. However, I will modify my programme so as to inline with JGC as I move on with Yvette.
I have brought several sets of book from Popular Bookstore. I like Chinese book without Pin Yin and the word must be big enough for baby/toddler to see. These books are consider cheap to get as they are selling in bundle and only costing me less than S$10.
(P/S: I am not a qualified Teacher to design a Chinese programme for Tot but I was taught by a famous author (尤今) during my secondary school days for 3 years. She taught us to apply this philosophy when we learnt, especially in learning Chinese. – 活学活用 – mean, apply when you have learnt. So my teaching approach over Chinese will be focus on this belief.)
Computer Time – while I don’t believe in educational TV programming (because it’s not interactive), computer is different in my mind, because we play on it together. Even though, all forms of electronic entertainment combined will be limited to max of 30 min a day in our house. As I doing search on how to teach, I found out this interesting site making recommendation software for baby and toddler. I think I can work on this.
This site, Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns offer another two great sites for learning free online too
Plenty of Educational Toys – Toys will be definitely part of Yvette’s growth. I can’t imagine I can go without that. I fall in love playing some of her toys too.
Perhaps the above arrangement will be a bit too much for Yvette’s age but I do not have extravagant hope on her ability over learning. As I have said earlier, all these learning will be pace out in according to her ability. There is no rush for it. Most importantly, she must have fun doing it.
I don’t come from a home with parent nurturing me. In fact I came from an abusive home when I often see my dad beating my mum. He is a gambler in the past and he is disable now. My dad never cares how our future is, and he didn’t bother about our living condition too. We used to be well-off but due to his gambling habit, we became very poor till the extend I have to work and study after I had completed the required study set by MOE. I almost don’t have a roof over my head. My dad demanded me to give him S$300 per month based on my S$1000 salary when I was 19. Luckily I was determined. I got my ACCA and became an accountant.
I don’t wish to raise a reader or thinker. I don’t need Yvette to excel in whatever she does. I don’t wish to see Yvette has to follow my footsteps as to study and work in the same time. It’s really very tough to do so. I just want Yvette to enjoy every part of her childhood where money can’t buy the time that goes away day by day.
P/S: It’s really a long post, thanks for reading. ^_^