About Writing & Drawing

Short post for this milestone which I decided not to backdate before her birthday on 13th May.This milestone records her development from 2-3 yo and as well as going forward.

The curriculum of Yvette’s school will ensure the tots in Nursery 1 can write by the end of the school term and seriously that impress me. In fact she could hold a pencil quite well now.

At home, I did have a series of activity book that will allow me to coach Yvette to write but somehow, her interest in writing is really depressing. We hardly practice.

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But she surprised me on 13th May which was her birthday, she knew how to write.

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I didn’t force her to write. I depend on the technology now to do the job. I have already download and she been using a year to write on iPad and iPod touch and the result is satisfactory.

These are the application I used. The English apps are rather popular. I like the Chinese app – 写字, it helps to revise word and as well as teaching the tot to write in correct stroke. And Yvette likes this app a lot too.

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I hope to see some improvement at the end of the year. I will try to write with her on those activity books when she is more keen. Contradicting, she can write number very well.

When come to drawing, D can draw well. So somehow, there “might” be a chance for Yvette to be able to draw too. She drew these two pieces on 24/04/2011 by herself.

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Now the question for us is, should we start to nurture her in drawing?

Roundup Learning For Yvette(2-3yo) – Chinese (Reading)

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Chinese is the subject that I put in the most effort. The prefer language we speak to Yvette is English and the language between both of us (D & Myself) is Rojak. (We speaks English, Mandarin & Cantonese. Oh not forgetting Singish.) So, you can imagine the work hard I have invested in getting Yvette to speak and as well as reading is enormous.

Yvette doesn’t speak Mandarin often. If she does, she speak with a “singing” accent now. But still, she makes effort to use this language when she tries to speak with her grandpa at home and as well as my parents. I also did get good feedback on her learning attitude toward this subject from her Chinese Teacher in school too. Lastly, I have to admit and finally agree to it, after reading many articles and meeting people with English speaking family background, it is possible to “obtain” good result even you don’t speak the language. (Hard work pays off ultimately.)

Like English, I apply the same teaching style and approach in coaching Yvette in Chinese too.

  1. Create the right environment (Share in this post.)
  2. Find the “right” book for her.
  3. Read to her and never give up.

Since I have already shared the environment that we have created at home in previous post, let me go direct to finding the right book for Yvette.

Finding the right Chinese story book for Yvette is a uphill task.  I want book with clear stroke (nice font), no Pin Yin, no dual language printed on the book. I just want Yvette to concentrate reading and recognizing the character. This selection criteria “set a high standard” for me. Lucky I have Sam to recommend books to me and I am lucky to find a few series of book to start off when Yvette was 18 mths. So by applying the same assumption (on choosing the English storybook) on choosing the Chinese book, I manage to find a series of lift the flap book – 甜甜 (This is the only series of book I have with Han Yu Pin Yin. I brought this book because Yvette loves cat a lot when I really need something to grab her attention.). Then I found 皮皮狗. 可爱的鼠小弟 and 小猫当当 are a hit too.

I add-on Reader book such as 明明  series thru iPod Touch and as well as 我会读. These are more of the word recognition tool to me. And toward end of Year 2, I added 四五快读 as part of her learning tool

Lastly I sent her to one Chinese enrichment class on Sunday. So far, I like the curriculum and I could tell Yvette has also benefit from this program. I will revise those poems and songs she had learnt from this class with her at least once per week to reinforce what she had already learnt.

I face the same problem when I try to read Chinese book to Yvette too. She never listen, she never look at the illustration. She simply starts to do things she like, running around the room as I read. Again the golden rule is never give up.

As I read, I explain to her. I explain to her using some simpler term in Chinese and using English too. I try to make my reading more lively. It took me a longer period of time on getting her interest on reading the Chinese book with me. Same as reading English book, she also started to read aloud those words with me as I read too.  She also make effort to support her understanding when I teach her Chinese Character by making example on the word she has learnt; quoting  an example to me. She also constantly checking with me words she had came across but she has forgotten.

By doing all these, I know she is making effort to learn in her “own world”. She is constantly trying to deepen her understanding. And I love the initiative she is taking.

However, there is still some inconsistency which has explained in 四五快读.

幼儿学习的最大特点是记忆快,忘记也快。

For some words, no matter how many times I have taught her, she just couldn’t remember.

Like English, I never quantify how many Chinese characters Yvette could recognise. I never set a target for her too. But I do take note the progress so that I can move on with much difficult book if I see she has attained certain level, hence here are her progress:-

She could recognise 100% of words in this materials.

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90% for these:-

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This is the set of card that I keep spending effort but the result is always at 70%. There are some difficult words in this set of card that she just couldn’t remember.

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This is the reader book I use now.

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I am still working on it and we have gone thru one round of Set 2 of 我会读.

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Lastly, I will also give credit to D. He has definitely read as much to Yvette.

Roundup Learning For Yvette(2-3yo) – English (Reading)

I always stress to my friends, readers of this blog and stranger I met who pick up conversation with me on how we could help our child to learn that the importance of getting our child to read. And we only realised after Yvette turned one. As since both of us are not really a bookworm, we have put in effort and covered so much for the past one year to ensure Yvette does love reading. And yeah, we do see the benefit after putting in effort and witness the outcome on Yvette.

From a toddler who struggles and shows no interest in book to someone who reads at least more than 10 books per day (and for some books we have to at least twice to her) or sometimes we can read together for an hour and more.

Unlike most blogs I have read, many started since their child was a baby. In fact many started to read to the child when the child was still in the tummy of the mother. We started to read to Yvette when she was one and she finally like to “read” with us when she was two. As such, there is certainly a gap for me to help Yvette to “catch up”. However, as I didn’t set a target for Yvette to meet, so it does make my job a little easier. My goal is to ensure she does love reading, and that got to be her part of her life as she grows.

We don’t have smooth journey. When I started to read to Yvette when she was 1, she didn’t show much interest. When she was more able to move around, she will run around the house when I read to her. She will never pay attention to the book nor looking at the illustration. The situation became better after she turned 2.

There is no secret on how I coach Yvette to read. I just laid down three golden rules for us to follow and the approach and my coaching are:

  1. Create the right environment
  2. Find the “right” book for her.
  3. Read to her and never give up.

Besides creating a “play” environment for Yvette, we also created a home that look like a school. I ensure books and learning material are everywhere so that Yvette could access easily – Here the bookshelves near the door

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Here’s the learning material on the TV console.

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Here’s the bookshelf in our bedroom.

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And she loves to read on her bed (btw, her bed are for books) she only love to sleep on our bed.

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And finally these are our collection!

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What are on the shelves?

05_May 2011 English (2)

05_May 2011 English

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I tried to introduce book from Emily Gravett to her but it has never enter her world.

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Reading is an enjoyment to her right now. And surprisingly her habit changed too. Now, she will go to books then to her toys. Nevertheless, I know she still can’t go without toys. These two are her sweetheart!

Book is not only the tool that help her in recognising words, it also a tool that impart her knowledge. She always want to find out more from the books she was reading.

Eating the Alphabet – Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z by Lois Ehlert is a book that she learnt: “Does this fruit has seed or not?” and she really can remember and apply them consistently.

We love Eric Carle book. She had really learnt a lot from his book. Her current fave are Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me & Draw Me a Star. (Planning to teach her solar system soon.)

Together with lapbooking, it is another tool that I help her in obtaining more knowledge.

I never quantify how many common sight words Yvette could recognise. One reason is, most of the time, she still prefer me to read to her although sometimes she will read together with me. No target is set too. But I do take note of her progress so that I can move on with much difficult book if she has attainted certain level, for this reason, here are her (reading) progress:

  1. We have covered all the ABC.
  2. She could spell 1-10 and a handful of common sight words.
  3. She has learnt Singular and Plural from this set of cards. She is really very good in this set of learning card.
  4. Completed one set of reader book. She has no problem reading them to me whenever I pick up any from the shelves.
  5. Could read Dr Seuss’ beginner book (with min help from me.)
  6. Week before she turn 3, I passed the two sheets below and asked her to read. She read all by herself without my guidance at all. Not a single mistake. (Got to know this from here.)

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It’s a two years journey for us and finally we achieved great improvement. I feel encourage and definitely want to do more.

  1. I have brought a few reader books from Learning Resource and definitely want to set a stronger foundation for her.
  2. I want to work on expanding her vocabulary, ensure she picks up the right grammar too.
  3. Ensure she reads her book correctly (especially dealing with the tone and the “s”.) And the punctuation.

The above are three immediate tasks for myself and definitely not limit to that.

I hope my sharing on how I nurture Yvette to reach this level of literacy will help readers in achieving the common goal too. And lastly, I want to tell everyone I am someone that is not strong in English but I am a strong believer, as long as we put in effort, we should not be far away from what we want to achieve!

Stay Tuned for more post about Yvette’s milestones coming up.

More Art @ Home

I find some way to make our “Art” Lesson at home more fun, less preparation work from me. I order all these art material from this spree. Now I even can tell Yvette, we can have sand art at home. (Eg. Sand art cost S$5.50 to S$6.50 at the shop. From spree, it only cost me S$1.50.)

Sand Art – I brought those boxes from shop to keep those sand neatly. These boxes only cost me S$2.30 for 10. When we do the sand art, I will need to take out the tray to place below those box to avoid accident.

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Foam Art Kit – Yvette loves this. This only cost me S$2.50 per set. It is just like her sticker book except in 3D form.

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The last one we haven’t tried. This is $S1.70. We have on sticker book teaching the same concept and Yvette doesn’t really like it.

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We Work On Forming the Letters!

We are not surprised to receive negative updates from teachers on Yvette. I don’t aim to raise a perfect child and Yvette CERTAINLY is not prefect!

On Wednesday, everyone in the class were happily making the Letter C but Yvette, no matter how teacher coaxed her, she simply refused to do it.

On Friday, Yvette went forward to tell the teacher: “Ms Lei, Letter C is like a circle. You don’t close the circle, if not it look like a Letter O!” And the teacher was really impressed how Yvette could relate a Letter C to her. This is what she told D about it.

Both of us was equally impressed too. We have never taught Yvette this at all. I have never related C as a circle to Yvette but she could gather all the facts she had learnt, and came out a concept for Letter C.

However, I am not going to let Yvette go just like that.

I spoken to Yvette not once but twice on this.

First I told her she got to co-operate with the teacher even she already understand. Second I also tried to understand why she didn’t want to make letter C. She told me she wanted to make Letter L for leaf. (Yes, she did a small letter L instead.) But I told her, she can make L later at home and in school she got to obey the teachers.

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Yesterday we worked on forming the letters using palydoh with her at home to ensure even she didn’t do it in school, she does know her letters well. Although my worry for her ability to form the letters was uncalled for. But then again she needs to be pushed and reminded and coaxed.

Arrrgh…. Really not easy to coach toddler!

Books Yvette Read in March 2011

We finally finished reading the last book of the early reader book I brought months back. As such, it is again time for me to sit down to decide which series of book I should take her on. I know she is still reading ahead of her peers but it still boils down to my expectation.

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She doesn’t really like to read by her own. She prefers me reading to her. I know she could read better and she does try to read those words using phonics rule but the still she prefer revising her Maths more than reading. Hmmm…

We touched on these two books too. It had been neglected. It is good once in awhile brushing her phonics although I work toward on whole language method for reading.

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I pulled out this book to make her read aloud to me. Counting as she read makes her really looking forward to flip the pages again and again. (Thanks Sam.)

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We are at lesson 9 for Book 1 of 四五块读. I hope to finish this by April and move on to Book 2.

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皮皮狗 series were still her favourite. She could feel a lot for this book – 妈妈不见了。 She will always hold me tight as I read this book to her. So I constantly making use this book to remind her; she got to stay close to us when we are out if not one day she will lose me. 😀

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Oh This is Soooo Addictive!

Due to Yvette is coughing and she also didn’t want to go Zoo with Stella’s family, I have to “fly Stella aeroplane”!

Haha… not really…

Anyway, this is her first piece of Sand Art together with the Paint Art that we did on 05th Mar.

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In less than a month, this is what Yvette wanted to do today again. And this is the third time.

She can control the paint better.

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The little toothpick is doing magic.

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Tata, I really love this car. 90% is her own effort.

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And here the Sand Art.

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