Thursday, October 29, 2009

little idea corner - simply yogurt snack!

I want to start this new section called "Little Idea Corner" because I happened to, well I should say I accidentally found this little idea....which becoming quite a favourite to my girl now.

Every time she has one of them, she would like both to come together!

The story was like this. One afternoon, both me and my girl were feeling a bit hungry. It was snack time! So, my daugther was after her favourite cheese biscuits. But, I was having a bit of sore throat,  I wasn't keen to take any biscuit. So, I opted for yogurt instead. 

As my girl was happily opening up the cheese biscuits package, she saw more crumbs than biscuits in there. Oooouuhhh,.... how are we going to eat that? So, we had an idea. We sprinkled the crumbs into the yogurt and started to eat them. 

Yu..yummy... The taste was fanstastic! The biscuit crumbs made the yogurt "crunchy" yet adding a bit of sweet taste to the yogurt. If you were not sure if your kids would love this, you could probably sprinkled a little bit first and let them have a try. 

We tried also with cereal and butter biscuits, it worked as tasty as well. As long as these biscuits / crackers are creamfree and not too sweet, it goes very well with yogurt.

From now on, other than mixing milk or milo to cereal for breakfast, we add yogurt instead. 

One of the superb combination was using the Pepperridge Farm Goldfish Colors cheddar cheese crackers plus any plain colour fruit yogurt.  The salty taste of the crackers adds flavour to the yogurt. In addition, because of the colourful crackers, it looks so tempting like ice cream with rainbow sprinkles toppings. We call this "Simply Yogurt Snack"!

Try it! 


小朋友在学华语时,部首与偏旁是必学与必知的东西。在小学校里学习,往往就是要“死背”、要 "死记"。很多时候孩子们都不懂学这个用意何在!


我常常用这个 “寻部首”游戏 给孩子学习与认识部首 -- 一边玩、一边学、一边记。

a. 汉语字典 - 先教孩子怎么从部首找几个简单的字 (鱼、姐、妹、 等等)


c. 颜色笔 (两种颜色 一浅一深)

1。 我会用浅色的颜色笔在白字上写下三个新认识的字。

2。 让孩子自己猜猜看部首在那里,然后往字典里找。

3。 找到了以后,用深色的颜色笔把部首填在我先前所写的字上。

我通常在挑选字时下点功夫, 例如:两个“明显部首”的字如 “花”、“话” 和一个“不明显部首”的字 如: “画”。因为,第一猜就找到能让孩子开心,也帮助建立自信心。楼次找不到,孩子会灰心、会放弃。

那个 “不明显部首” 的字是挑战字,孩子需要花多一点点时间。如果找得到,表示他们 “挑战成功”!


Unit 5 Bahasa Melayu Lesson -- Bercuti di Kampung

I designed these worksheets because one of the comprehensions in her Grade 1 text book required her to read a paragraph and answer some questions.

The trouble she faced was most of the keywords in the comprehension were aliens. Hence, it was basically beyond impossible for her to even guess the answers.

So, I started off by breaking down the paragraphs into simple sentences and spread them out over like 8 - 10 worksheets. We probably spent like 2 lessons before we moved on to the comprehension in the text book.

It was a slow process but it was a guaranteed learning because when she went through the step by step worksheets, every piece of information was absorbed.

Unlike if I did it the conventional way ie. read through the comprehension and explained the meaning as we read, the child could also answer all the questions correctly no doubt but whatever taught to the child would be like passing traffic - once the lesson's over, everything's out of sight and out of mind!!

These are some of the worksheets I did:

This was the comprehension in the text book: 

The purpose of this exercise is to reinforce what they have learned.

For children who do not have good basic of Malay to start off Grade 1 (like my girl...), it is very difficult for them to appreciate what is taught at school.

This step by step method is good to build up their confidence and narrow the gap between what they can understand and what the teacher expects.                                               
Any comprehension in your children's text books, you can always use the same methodology - breakdown the key messages into sections / small sentences and build the understanding from there.

~~ Learning requires a bit of patience ~~

~~ Teaching requires a bit of creativity ~~ 

To download the entire Unit 5 Bercuti di Kampung in PDF format : Click Here

To download other UNITS in PDF format : go to Quick Downloads


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

FORTH Bahasa Melayu Lesson - KATA NAMA AM dan KATA NAMA KHAS

Hi, it has been quite sometime I haven't have the time to put these lessons together. I am now busy preparing for shipping list and ready to come back to Malaysia for good, anytime!

Thank god I did all these lessons for my daughter and hopefully she will be able to adapt to the local school when we come back to Malaysia next year.

So, this lesson No. 4 is about Kata Nama Am and Kata Nama Khas. This is quite easy to understand. It's just that at this age, I don't really emphasize children to remember the term "Kata Nama Am" and "Kata Nama Khas". What I will and have been doing is keep repeating the term as I come across with examples of them. Slowly, they will be able to relate the term "Kata Nama Am" and "Kata Nama Khas" and have a full understanding what they are all about. 

I started off listing down many examples of "Kata Nama Am" and "Kata Nama Khas". Something they already know or some places they have been would be much useful and easy to understand. We as parents understand our children best. My worksheets are tailored to what my daughter knows. The following are examples of simple worksheets which I believe is not difficult for any beginners to pick up:

By the end of these exercise, children will have a better understanding of the concept and able to identify examples around them easily.

To download the entire Unit 4 Kata Nama Am dan Kata Nama Khas in PDF format : Click Here

To download other UNITS in PDF format : go to Quick Downloads

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The benefits of learning cooking at young age

I teach my girl cooking (including reading recipes) when she was 6. I saw improvements in many ways including arithmatics, logical sense and most importantly becoming less "clumsy" - I mean able to control cutlery better, less spilling, breakages etc.

The significant benefits I observed are :-

  • First and foremost, improvement in arithmatics. They can understand easily what is a teaspoon and a tablespoon without a blink of an eye. They have better understanding over fractions. They also get to learn how to weigh and understanding the value of like 100g is lesser than 300g; g is smaller unit than kg; measuring water we use ml and l etc. All these enhance their learning ability in school.

  • Learn to follow instructions - They know what comes before or after. They will understand the reason why. For example, when we stir-fry, garlic and shallots will go first because we need the fragrance. Meat will be before vegetables because meat takes longer time to cook etc.

  • Improve vocabulary - by reading recipes, they learn about various ingredients, the method of cooking - stir-fry, baking, deep-fry, steaming etc. They will not be confused between salt and sugar. They can differenciate a plain flour and a corn flour easily by touching its texture.

  • Better logical and conceptual sense - They learn about function of each ingredient like shallot is for its fragrance, bread crumb is for its crunciness, corn flour is for its glueness etc. They know why the oil must go in first before we pour in eggs.  

  • The final and most important of all, they can be your best helper when you need them. I experienced this a few occasions. When I fell sick (I was quite lucky that I always fell sick on the weekends...), by telling my daughter what to eat for dinner, she would roughly know what needed to be prepared. By the time she completed the preparation, I would have gotten sufficient rest by then and able to help her to cook, and still in time for dinner!  

Friday, October 9, 2009

How to make our kids do chores without a fuss?

I posted photographs in my facebook  - my daughter was preparing a meal on the eve of our wedding anniversary for me and my husband. My friends were amazed and couldn't believe she could do that at the age of 7.

This was my secret.....

I started off by involving her in my cooking.....

She probably did chores like plugged vegetables and rinsed them. After a few occasions, she started to feel bored at the tasks assigned to her. Well, they are just kids! So, I knew it was time she needed an upgrade!

I let her peeled garlic and shallots instead. She helped a bit in the frying as well - just general low-risk stir-fry.

After a few occasions, she asked for a bit of upgrade! So, I started to teach her how to use a knife.

Start them with something easy to cut like green beans, potatoes. Medium size short knife would be easier to handle for their age. Small knife might be tougher for them. As a safety precaution, I reminded her to put down her knife whenever she wanted to do other things in between cutting.

Then, as she became more "expert", I gave her further upgrade!. She would be given a chance to cook the entire dish from pouring in oil, checked the temperature, stir-fry, set the oven, all the way until the finished product.

The whole idea is to give
them chores that fit their capability as they learned, the tasks should get more and more difficult as they mastered the skills.

Children being children, they were picky over the chores assigned to them. It's absolutely alright to let them choose the chores they wanted to do because:

Choices encourage responsibilities.

When they feel responsibility over something, they tend to do best.

Next very important element - TRUST.

We need to trust our children. Children are sensitive. Even from our body language, they could sensed the "trust" or "no trust" gestures. Like my daughter, she didn't like to help in the kitchen when she was at grandmother's house. She said grandmother won't let her do some of the work; grandmother did the task for her at the end; grandmother would do the work again after she finished.... So, these were the "no trust" gestures I meant. We didn't say it in words but from our body language, the children could sense these gestures easily. Remember, as soon as we are ready to hand over the task to our children, we must be ready to trust them at the same time.

Some of the DON'T:

Don't redo their work. You could probably highlight to your children those done correctly and reminded them to do it correctly the next time. Avoid saying things like: "Not like that. Let me do it for you."

Don't interrupt or as they were doing the chores. Try to let your children did the chores their way unless due to safety hazard.

Don't nag them if they took too long to complete a task. It simply meant that the task was tough for them to handle at their capability. Therefore, they needed more time.

Don't expect them to perform the task up to our standard. Let them do it their own way, at their own pace for start. Sometimes it would be much easier to do it for them instead but we must control and avoid the urge of doing so.

Some of the DO:

Do praise them for their hard work. Children felt good when we appreciated what they did.

Do appreciate their help, even very little. Tell them that if without their help, it would be tougher for mummy.

These same rules apply to getting our children do other chores.

- feed them with step-by-step chores;

- allow choices;

- be generous in trust;

- and finally, observe the DOs and DON'Ts

With these guidelines from young, I am sure your children will be full of surprises too. Wish you all good luck!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Our 10th Wedding Anniversary Gift

Yes, it is our 10th wedding anniversary!

Me and my husband have walked this far and we are still very much in love with each other. Thanks honey!

I recalled the day we decided to get married. I wasn't sure if I was ready for it.

I recalled the day we decided "Let's have a baby!". I wasn't sure if I was ready for it.

But, receiving such a gesture from our daughter, we knew the choice was never wrong....


It was the eve of our 10th wedding anniversary and we were discussing how to celebrate this big day. I wanted to spend an evening in the best restaurant in town. I wanted to have all the feast I could have under one roof.

"where do we go?" I was running through in my mind the list of nice restaurants in town.

"I don't know, you decide." that has been the usual reply from my beloved husband.

"what about I cook tonight?" my girl said.

"you what?" her daddy asked.

"Sure, if you think you can handle." I said to her.

That was how we bought the idea of eating at home, being simple. No flowers, no luxury restaurant, no gifts, nothing. Just a simple meal prepared by our beloved daughter on our 10th wedding anniversary.

"Mummy, I will do everything myself." She told me.

Well, Lv enjoys cooking. The only part she dislike is the smell of the raw meat. So, this part would be taken care by me. "The rest will be done by me." she told me.

Fine, I will just be the watchdog then. So, we agreed. It took her four hours to prepare the feast. She made us a Marmite chicken, Miso soup and stir-fry vegetables. There were yummy of course.

This is the best gift we ever had. Thanks a lot darling!

I am a total computer dummy but I just could not resist but wanting to document this special moments in a special way. I started to surf the net looking for devices, programs I could use to make a slide show, a video.

To my greatest surprise (as I've said, I am a total computer dummy...), it turned out to be so easy. I can't believe it. In fact, the movie making program has been lying in my computer all these while!

This video clip is for our beloved daughter....

We love you always and forever :)

p/s 1: there were some animated text in it but I wasn't sure why it didn't come out as I made it (as I said, I am a computer dummy... anyway, will find out soon...)

p/s 2: to those computer dummies like me, in case you want to make one like this, check out this site