Category: Just Eva
|November 10, 2013||Posted by Mabel under Just Eva, Parenthood|
I’ve been toying with the idea of enrolling Eva for dance or music lessons for a while now. I remember her being very interested in dance as a toddler and then as she got older, well, it became more obvious that she had this love for dance.
That’s one of her performances during a school concert and just yesterday, when I sat down with her teacher for a year-end conference, I decided after that to start hunting for a dance school just for her. “She loves dancing and responds very well to instructions.” This is no mean feat, especially when you consider that she joined her class in August and didn’t have a long time to prepare for the performance.
I could explore the other option which is music and buy Akai MPD26 stuff but I think we’ll give music a go first and see how that works out.
*cross-posted on the main blog*
|October 6, 2013||Posted by Mabel under Just Eva, Just Noah, Parenthood, Videos Galore|
The past couple of weeks have been peppered with activities as the kids were quarantined after Noah’s brush with HFMD. They played together most of the time with Noah trying to get in on some of Eva-only activities like reading and Playdoh work.
So just to keep him (and poor Eva) happy (otherwise, he’d been bugging her non-stop), we got him his own book and Playdoh materials.
And oh, the biggest milestone ever arrived…
But it doesn’t mean that he’s ready to ditch crawling completely! The little tyke is still contented to hold someone’s finger and waddle his way around. Despite that, he has discovered the joys of walking up and down stairs, the escalator, travelator…I reckon he’ll be zooming about pretty soon. Just needs a little bit more courage and confidence. Hehehehe.
|September 24, 2013||Posted by Mabel under Just Eva|
During Eva’s first school year back in France, we never had to deal with homework. It’s a strange concept – homework for children around Eva’s age – mainly because they have so many activities to do at school and their teaching pedagogy borders more towards Montessori. How can you give homework for things like putting on your jacket or shoes, recognising your name, etc?
When we were hunting for a school here for the kids, I wanted something that was more play-oriented than academic. My take on the matter is this – I want my children to understand that you can learn through play, that their childhood is only fleeting and more importantly, that academics isn’t to be all and all. Enjoying school, enjoying learning…that’s what’s important. I am afraid of killing any interest children have in learning so we kept this in mind when we went for school visits.
After talking to a few people, we visited two kindies. The first wasn’t our cup of tea – Eva’s and mine, to be frank. In my opinion, it was sterile and very factory-like (read: heavy emphasis on outcome and results). Kids as young as 4 yo would have homework every day. School schedule was all learning and only one session of arts & crafts or play time. What ever happened to things like exercise, music, playing? There weren’t even story books in the library!
The second, which we subsequently, settled for was far messier and older but Montessori-styled and looked more lively. There were story books, learning tools like blocks and beads, children’s work every where, play areas inside and outside and the schedule was much better. More importantly, they have a clear-cut policy – minimal homework, emphasis on soft skills and non-academic subjects too.
I allowed Eva to choose between the two and she picked the second kindy that we went to. Till today, she keeps telling me that she enjoys kindy…even wonders why there isn’t any school on Saturdays!
We started a while back and this is the first homework (if you could call this homework…kakakakak) she received – basically differentiating between sizes and discovering danger. She was proudly waving it around when I went to pick her up and agreed excitedly to working on her homework after her nap.
Lets see how it goes later then! Teheheh.
|April 4, 2013||Posted by Mabel under Just Eva, Progress Reports|
We got our first school evaluation for Eva today. Apparently, they do one in March and will have another done just before she ends her first year in June. I am happy to see that she has adjusted well and has learnt quite a few things at kindy. They adopt a concept that is similar, if not the same, to the Montessori system – open shelves, learning through play/activities/outings, teaching kids life & social skills, etc.
The evaluation is split into a number of different sections – language, comprehension (reading & writing), student life, self-awareness, world knowledge and craft/creativity. Each objective is graded accordingly – (loosely translated) A – Acquired, CN – Correction Needed, IP – In Progress, NA – Not Acquired
Able to relate and include adults and peers – A
Able to speak in front of a group – NA
Pronounces & articulates correctly – CN
Explains an activity after it has ended – A
Understands and executes an instruction – A
French language development
Able to produce a correct sentence/phase – A
Comprehension (reading and writing)
Familiarisation with tools
Shows an interest in tools – books, drawings, graphs, etc – A
Able to pick the correct tools, use, arrange and keep them – A
Listens during storytelling sessions – A
Identifies main characters in the story – A
Able to identify the letters in one’s name – A
Able to identify the letters in other people’s names – NA
Lyric-music listening skills
Able to listen and repeat simple songs with a range of sounds/tones – A
Able to hold a pencil properly – A
Able to write/colour in the designated space – A
Able to trace shapes – A
Able to trace different movements – A
Has respect for others, the rules and community life – A
Able to perform simple tasks – answer when spoken to, dress oneself, put away things, etc – A
Identifies adults and their positions – A
Can remain attention for long periods of time when necessary – A
Able to complete tasks on their own – A
Adapts to changes in the environment – A
Adjusts to group/community rules – A
Able to co-operate with partners – A
Able to express herself through rhythm or sound – A
Roleplays with materials – scarf, small sacs of grains, etc – A
Learns to use every day tools – scissors – A
Learns to work with every day materials – modelling clay, paper, boxes, etc – A
Discovering the body
Able to name the parts of the human body – A
Knows and applies hygiene practices – A
Form & size discovery
Able to recognise and classify the following: form, size and colour – A for form and colour
Able to name simple shapes – square, round, triangle – A
Numbers and counting
Able to compare quantities – A
Memorises numbers up to… – A (11)
Able to count up to 3 – IP
Able to associate the number with its written form – IP
Able to recognize and predict different hours of daily life (morning, afternoon, etc) and days – A
Able to perform activities within a page – A
Able to adapt to different materials and techniques – painting with various tools & materials, tearing, gluework, assembling, etc – A
Plays with one’s voice in terms of tone and volume – A
Able to repeat and reproduce simply tunes – A
Sings along with familiar songs – A
To summarize the evaluation, the teacher’s comment section states that she is attentive, not disruptive and participates quietly in classroom activities. She is good with crafts, can colour/draw/work with pen/pencil and is progressing well with other skills (singing, dance, life skills, hygiene, social interaction, etc).
It would appear that she’s still shy when it comes public speaking (yes, they check that at her age), needs some correction with her articulation and pronunciation, and learning her classmates’ names. She’s also still learning how to count (but can memorise numbers up to 11) and associating the number with its written form.
|March 12, 2013||Posted by Mabel under Just Eva|
Of lately, we have been talking about exposing the kids to music. Eva loves singing and dancing to just about anything…from nursery rhymes to Disney movies and songs. So for Christmas, my mother-in-law surprised her with a little gift…
Move aside princesses coz the rock star is here to stay!
I reckon she’s too young for the best guitars around but hey, it’s a start. At the moment, she just aimlessly plucks the strings as her hand is still too small to grip the entire neck. It sits in storage on most days; I should really get started on regular music exposure “lessons” – maybe make every Wednesday a music appreciation day.
Any ideas or suggestions?
|November 21, 2012||Posted by Mabel under Just Eva, Parenthood, Playtime Learning|
A couple of weeks back, I decided to go back to seriously considering homeschooling Eva outside of her school’s formal hours. While the kindy is great and all, there is one serious flaw with it – everything is in French. It’s great for her French but does absolutely nothing for her English skills or learning. Plus I would also like to focus on her actually learning concrete skills than just random playing or roleplaying.
The current plan is to take about 30 minutes in the afternoon – after the kid’s nap and snacktime – to focus on learning. While I go through the curriculum with Eva, Noah will have his little exploration thing going on in the form of treasure chests, sensory bins, etc.
So far, the curriculum is (based on Get Ready Pre-K, Kumon and Jolly Phonics):
- Tracing & Mazes
- Basic concepts
- Alphabets, numbers and counting
- Shapes & colours
I plan to cycle through these at least once a week with the exception of phonics, colouring and tracing & mazes which I think I’ll do on a daily basis to help her with her language and writing skills as well as to incorporate some aspect of fun. I’d like to include things like history and music as well as culture into the picture but I think she’s a little young for that plus I need time to source for materials and find alternatives. To break the monotony, we’ll have one day where we’ll head out in the evening like to the park or to run errands.
So far, we’ve been working on tracing, colouring, colours and basic concepts. She gets distracted easily with Noah around so it helps to keep him busy with his toy so that she can focus on her work. I reckon for now, 30 minutes is enough as any longer and she’d want to join Noah in playing and so forth.
One thing I must admit tho – it’s not easy having to “teach” a preschooler things with a toddler around. Gosh, I can’t believe that Noah is a toddler now!