Teaching Tween to Revise Herself!

I just went to Bras Basah Popular and got like $80 worth of assessment books for my P5 girl. It’s about 5 weeks before her actual exam so I have told her that she will need to self-practise everyday from today onwards. I took some time last evening to explain to her what self-practice is.

1. Attempt the assessment book as per normal.
2. After completing the particular exercise, check.
3. Use a green or red pen and mark own work.
4. Do corrections – understand why she is wrong + remember the correct answer.

I also cautioned her against the temptation of just copying the answers from the answer sheet. The diligent effort she puts in now will definitely be shown in her results, likewise if she starts copying, the results will also show the lack of effort put in. I further advised, she will be stuck at home doing revision everyday during the holidays if results are not satisfactory.Hence it will be wisest to jus work hard now and play later.

I guess having the lack of time to coach our kids is very real for all working mums. Every weekday after I get home at 7pm, I gobble down my dinner by 730pm and I only have 45 minutes with the kids before they drink milk, wash up and go to bed at about 830pm. Having a 4-year-old in the house makes things no better too – she goes “Mummy Mummy” on repeat mode every single minute, asking me endless questions and providing me with many opinions about everything. Hence, weekends are quite impossible to coach the tween too – with hubby working long hours on weekends. Hence, I decided to let her do self-practice every day for 2-3 hours when the toddler is napping.To me, regular revision bit by bit every day is better than last minute cramming 2-3 days before exam.

I will still take leave during exam period to provide some support and encouragement – and also test her on her Science definitions, Oral and Listening Comprehension which she cannot do on her own. I thank God for her everyday – she is considered a mild-natured and obedient kid in my opinion, just quite distracted and lazy at times – which is common in kids generally haha. Actually I feel quite bad for not spending more time with her due to having to allocate more time (often by ‘force’) to the 4-yo, but *shrugs* that’s life isn’t it. So let’s just make the best out of what we have.

So the ‘self-practice’ will start now and let’s see if it works!

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Supplements for young children

I just thought of letting you guys know some ways that I have been using to boost children’s immunity systems. I have been doing this for the past few years and it’s not bad. Maybe via this thread, we can share our own experiences and methods too ^_^

iHerb.com is my bi-monthly supplement supplier. The goods come from USA but shipping is only $4 for a maximum weight of 6350 grams. I will simply buy enough stuff to make up the weightage and max out the shipping cost. I usually buy some cosmetics (brand E.L.F on iHerb is SO CHEAP), organic kids snacks and also my own supplements eg iron, b12, kelp, calcium etc.

Sometimes they have promotions eg free shipping for orders more than $40. So it’s very very good value. And supplements are cheaper if you buy from iHerb, especially the brands I buy i.e. Sambucol and Childlife!

1) Sambucol Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry Syrup is the main component. Sambucol is the brand name. My family and I usually take this whenever we feel weak/ tired/ sick. Once we feel like we are going to get hit with a bug, we will take this immediately 4x a day. The results are good – either we will be back to normal right away, or we will get well very quickly if we eventually succumb to the bug.

The bottle says that we can actually take this once a day for daily maintenance of the immune system, but I read somewhere that it’s better to just take it when we are going to be ill. Your call 🙂

The link I provided for this is suitable for kids 4 years and above. There is another one which is suitable for 2 years and older, found here.

2) Childlife Colostrum Powder

Both my girls LOVE this. They eat this powder right off the spoon. Colostrum powder is reputed to boost immune system (provides a full spectrum of antibodies and immune factors) – I will give this to my girls every evening (half a teaspoon to my 9yo, and 1/4 teaspoon to my 2yo). And this brand has added probiotics too – helps them with their digestion.

I think I will stick to this – love seeing their faces when they are chewing on the powder and exclaiming “Mmmm, Yummy!” 😀

3) Thieves Essential Oil

I started giving this to my 9yo since last June. I remember clearly coz she was falling sick every 2-3 months before that and June was particularly bad! So it has been about a year already till now, and I have to say that the frequency of falling sick has decreased greatly. I basically put a drop on her soles every night, then she will rub her soles together and then I will put on socks for her – then she goes sleep. But I will let her go without the oil once a week, just to give a break.

I have also recently started to give my 2 yo Thieves too, whenever she goes for her Saturday music class. The kids in her class seem to be coughing and sneezing quite a lot (rolls eyes haha). So before we head out to the class, I will rub a drop on her collar so she can inhale it. Then when we get to class about 15 minutes later, I will rub another drop. It acts as a layer of protection over her. There was once I forgot to do it, the next day she started having runny nose 😦

4) Lemon Essential Oil

This is a great oil for the home – smells great and it also helps as an immunity booster. I put this oil most often, sometimes combining it with Lavender oil as Lavender helps sooths allergies (my 9yo has sinus and 2yo has sensitive skin).

5) Bi-weekly homemade chrysanthemum/ barley drink
This one – my mum will brew. Singapore weather so hot, body gets heaty and dehydrated easily. So this helps to ‘cool down’ the body and it’s a sweet treat for the family too.

These are simple ways to help our children fight germs and bugs better. I rather have them take these than to take medicine. Of course, having good nutrition is very important too!

School Examinations in Singapore – Common Sense Tips for Survival

  • Words in Bold – Tips
  • Words in Italic – Outcome

The heat is officially on. Primary 1 and 2 were easy peasy as my girl’s primary school had hardly any proper examinations – mostly were formative assessments and mini tests. The school principal is also one kind man, he initiated Wednesdays as no-homework days and there are also no homework during school holidays!

My girl is in P3 this year and with the new subject Science introduced, suddenly there were many things to study. Maths problem sums take on a totally new level in Primary 3 and even I was stumped while solving a couple of them. I don’t remember my mum having to coach me in my Maths when I was in Primary 3 so problem sums were definitely easier then in my days (nearly 2 decades ago). Sadly, the education system in Singapore is as such – it goes by merit and you have to put in a lot of hard work. I can’t say that it’s the most ideal way to educate a kid as it really takes up too much of their precious childhood playtime but at the same time I am grateful for the fact that education is compulsory in Singapore and it is made very very affordable and equal to all. I don’t expect my children to be scholars but I think that being adequately educated will make life so much more easier and convenient for them in the future.

So, Term 1 has passed and now it’s Term 2 with the mid-year exams drawing near. In fact, Oral exam starts in 2 weeks *gulps*. So being the kiasu mummy, I started to revise with my girl since maybe 2 weeks ago, starting with her timestable which she is very very weak in. I am grateful to my mum and husband who takes care of the toddler while I coach my P3 girl in her room daily.

With consistency and daily drilling, she now can rattle all the timestables off like a nursery rhyme and that makes things so much easier coz your speed and accuracy of your multiplication and division working fully depends on the timestable! And, from 2 weeks ago, I also started to sit down with her nearly every night to go through her school homework, tuition homework and revise extra material with her. (Previously I only sat down with her when she had problems doing her school homework. If there wasn’t any homework, she is free to play that night).

At first it was tough, she was resistant to so much work suddenly and she kept getting distracted and wanting to go and play instead. I had a hard time, sometimes I had to scold her a bit (she would tear a bit) and talk some sense into her so she can understand where I was coming from. In the end, I had to tell her to JUST DO WHAT I SAY.

That happened 2 weekends ago. Just last weekend, things took on a 180 degree change. She was much more compliant and ready to do her work. After 2 weeks of consistent work, she became more focused and in turn she did her work quite well. I added a rare nice snack (vanilla cream Collon biscuits which I usually will not give her) after her work to reward her and she was so happy.

She also witnessed that when she herself put in hard work, she could see how much she had improved and that really encouraged her a lot.

I also noticed that after daily sessions of doing work together with her, she has become very chatty and would tell me so many happenings when I get home from work. Yesterday once I stepped into the house after work, she immediately went “Mummy, I cannot find the worksheets you asked me to do, maybe Auntie (our weekly cleaner auntie) had thrown it away”.. “Mummy, today my classmate passed me a pinafore and then after that I realised it wasn’t mine”.. All in the midst of my toddler also asking for attention with “Mummy! Aeroplane! See!”.

I find it really nice that she became so chatty – I will always listen eagerly and respond with some more questions. When your kids withdraw from you, then that’s a problem isn’t it?

In my case, my girl has always been a laid back person who does the minimum, and I allowed it coz there weren’t any examinations in P1 and 2. So now that this is considered her first major exam, it’s like I need to start a very very cold engine. From doing nothing, to daily consistent revising and doing work. I really thank God that things are starting to fall into place nicely!

This process is still ongoing for me – I will continue to go through her work daily with her (except Fridays – to give both of us a break, and I can go for my fitness class) and I have also taken 9 afternoons off this month and next month to coach her intensively on her subjects.

I tell my girl all the time – you will have all the time to play during June holidays, it’s time to work hard now!

Socially Responsible Ettiquette when You or Your Child is Sick

I was feeling quite unwell since yesterday as the toddler passed her bug to me these few days.

And how did the toddler get her bug? Coz some parents brought their sick toddlers to music class last Saturday. And as that’s the only ‘outside influence’ the toddler is exposed to, I had to assume that the bug came from there.

I am actually okay with the toddler getting the bug – it’s nothing super serious (thankfully. Maybe if it’s serious, I will not be okay…) and it helps to build her immunity system (as doctors will always say) BUT I had to sacrifice 3-4 days of sleep monitoring her temperature every 1.5 hours through the night. THAT, is quite a lot of inconvenience to me, to my work and to my immunity system.

I have left feedback to the music school and the principal said she would make sure the teacher reminds all parents this Saturday in class.

Sure, the music classes aren’t cheap and no one wants to miss any class. When the parents came last week with severely congested-sounding children, some coughing and some sneezing, I just kept quiet and prayed that my toddler would be strong enough to not catch any of the bacteria. But come on lah –

  1. If your kid is the healthy one,
  2. I bring my sick child to class,
  3. Your kid gets the bug and you spend $100 at the clinic plus 2 days childcare leave
  4. –> you will be happy about it meh?

It’s simple manners – do unto others what you want others to do unto you. If you do not understand this simple principle, then don’t kaopei if I confront you and ask “I’m sorry, is your child feeling okay?”.

Tsk tsk.

It’s the same for childcare – I know that there are parents who will bring their sick children to childcare, claim that they are already recovering i.e. no more fever but still sneezing and coughing away aka bacteria and viruses still spreading through saliva and mucus. I can totally understand that the parent had taken childcare leave to tend to the children in the initial beginning when there was fever and now the parents have to go back to work – it’s a no-choice situation sometimes. Can’t blame anyone really.

That is why I will never send my kids to childcare.

~

Adults who are sick and still go to work are also socially being very irresponsible. I see SO MANY adults coughing and sneezing on the train. You know what I will do? I will immediately cover my nose with my hand. And I do it right in their face.

If you are sick and you are coughing or sneezing uncontrollably and HAVE TO GO TO WORK BECAUSE OTHER PEOPLES’ LIVES OR YOUR OWN LIFE IS AT STAKE IF YOU DON’T GO WORK, put on a mask lah.

Put on a mask – WILL DIE MEH?

The best action will be, please do everyone a favor, see a doctor, get a medical certificate and stay home rest. If you have no more medical leave to take, please take unpaid leave.

IF you have no more medical leave to take, it really means that you are not being responsible to yourself and all the more it serves you right to take unpaid leave to rest, repent and think about what you should do to become more healthy.

No one appreciates getting a bug, especially mothers with young children. I don’t mind getting sick myself, but I mind very much if my kids fall sick.

Just need to get it off my chest.

Using RIE Way (as much as I know how!) to Soothe a Nightmare

I am on my 3rd cup of coffee now. It has been a physically challenging 2 weeks for me as the elder girl was down with bacteria infection and I had to monitor her temperature for a good 3 days. And just as we thought she was well, she suddenly had mild fever again yesterday afternoon after coming back from school.

I started oiling her with lemon and lavender essential oil which act as fever reducers, from 7pm until 9pm which was her bedtime. Throughout the night her fever was gone and this morning she went to school.

So last night I slept at about 1130pm. Woke up at 1am, 230am and 4am to check on elder girl’s temperature. She slept with me so I just had to reach my hand to her forehead.

At 4am after checking her forehead, I popped over to my mum’s bedroom and slept with my toddler as my mum woke up to do the usual chores. I thought – yes it’s time for me to have a good 3 hour sleep until 7am!

But at 4am, my toddler started crying. It was a loud steady cry, and it started when her eyes were still closed. I think it was a bad dream. I remained in my sleeping position and watched her at first. Her cry became louder and I started soothing her with my hand coupled with a few murmurs just to assure her that I was with her.

I think it was quite bad, she got up and sat there crying. So I got up too and asked “Do you want me to give you a hug?” and I opened up my arms and extended them to her. She immediately responded and I picked her up and sat her down on my lap. She leaned on me while I gave her soothing rubs on her back and saying “I am here with you, not to worry.”

After a while, she seems to have quietened down a bit. I told her “After a while, I will put you down back to your bed. Lie on your pillow and go back to sleep. I will be here with you.”

I repeated this twice.

Then I said “Okay, I will put you down now. Go back to sleep, I will be here.”

I put her down on her bed and she rolled to her side and started hugging her pillow to sleep. There was a bit of tossing and turning as she tried to self soothe to sleep. I did help a little by patting her. Within 10 minutes she was in dreamland.

I was quite impressed at her cooperation.. as sometimes she would just cling onto me and refuse to lie down in bed.

Believe it or not, toddlers do understand even if we talk normally without trying to simplify with baby language!! It’s amazing coz I am quite sure she hasn’t learned many words but yet she still could seem to understand when I said I was going to put her back to bed!

I am still very new to RIE, so I am just focusing a lot on talking to her normally for now.. which is already showing really positive results 🙂

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Starting to Really Talk to my 2-year-old Toddler (RIE Philosophy – Mindful Parenting)

I have been reading up on the RIE parenting philosophy and especially on www.janetlansbury.com. From what I have absorbed so far, it’s about treating babies and toddlers with respect and trust, as though they are unique human beings capable of understanding and reciprocating. RIE philosophy involves talking to babies/ toddlers (in everyday normal language) to help them understand what has happened and what is going to happen to them/ around them, and to help babies/ toddlers explore the world on their own (in their own speed) without using directed play, gadgets or sophisticated toys.

Yesterday, I happened to read http://www.janetlansbury.com/2014/11/the-evolution-of-a-diaper-change-2/ and decided to do start to preempt my toddler in EVERYTHING I do, especially before and during her bedtime diaper change.

Bedtime diaper changes have been really annoying recently – my toddler will get really resistant and start kicking at me. It is a literal battle every night and I would end up so frustrated and angry after that. So last night, I decided to start telling her what I would be doing with her, before it actually happens.

So basically I started to get very talkative last night. While she was tinkering with her toy, I told her that we would need to change her wet diaper very soon, and that during the diaper change, she would need to lie down on the bed while I clean her nicely.

When it was time, I told her that her diaper was wet and it was time to change. I told her to follow me into the room. So I stood up and started walking. Without another word, she followed me into the room with her toy. Hmm, this is rare, I thought. She would usually not cooperate and I would have to end up picking her up and carrying her into the room.

Once we got into the room, I told her that I would pick up her up and lie down on the bed. So I picked her up and laid her on the bed. Again, no resistance at all! She just allowed me to pick her up while she went on tinkering with her toy. Amazing!!

The amazement continued while I continued to tell her what I would be doing. I took out her wet diaper and wiped her clean with wet wipes. NO KICKING AT ALL. Apply cream – NO KICKING. Apply tummy oil – NO KICKING.

Once everything was done, it was time for her to get down to the floor to get into her diaper pants. She immediately responded as usual and got down from the bed. Getting into her diaper pants was another challenge as she would start to turn around, do other things and just not put her legs through the diaper pants. But last night, she immediately lifted her legs and put them through the diaper pant really nicely and smoothly. I was just totally awed and went “Yes that’s right, that’s really nice work!”.

The last part STILL did not go smoothly though i.e. the part where I had to pull out the inner gathers of the diaper pants to make sure the pee won’t leak. I had to lie her back down again to do that and she did not want that at all. Maybe tonight I will try to lie her down even when wearing the pants for her using the guide here – lesser movement involved on her part..

After we are done with the diaper change, she stood there while I told her about bedtime. She has been very restless during bedtime and she would take nearly 2 hours to fall asleep. I told her firmly that when it’s time to sleep, it’s time to sleep, and she has to put her head on the pillow and close her eyes, not talk and play. And during this whole time, she has this very seriously burdened look, as if to say “Sigh, mom this is going to be hard, but I’m listening.” I was so amused by it! (but last night she still took nearly 2 hours to sleep…=_=)

But overall I was still very enlightened by this experience. Telling babies beforehand we will be doing with them, really helps in preparing them and ensuring a smooth day! I will do this every night and see how much more things will improve 🙂

 

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Every prayer, every cry, You alone satisfy!

Lord of all the earth and all of heaven
I come and seek Your face
Worship You with all I have within me
Humbled by Your grace

Every heart, every nation
Every tribe, all creation
Will bow before Your presence and sing

You are high and lifted up
You are high and lifted up
And my soul sings hallelujah
To the Lamb, the Lamb of God
Hallelujah to the lamb

Lord of righteousness, You come in glory
Bright and morning star
And all my days I’ll worship and adore You
Healer of my heart

And every prayer, every cry
You alone satisfy
We will lift Your praise again and again

You are high and lifted up
You are high and lifted up
And my soul sings hallelujah
To the Lamb, the Lamb of God

Majesty, majesty
Jesus Lamb of God
Majesty, majesty
Holy are You Lord

It has been a tiring weekend as usual.. and the fact that today’s a public holiday has probably only prolonged the tiring weekend. But God is still good, I give thanks for His providence, protection and favour in my life 🙂 I am someone who is very prone to dwelling in my own small tiny troubled world and getting caught up in the little hiccups in life, which is no good. I have to look up and realise the big God who loves me!

Like today, i planned to start doing some brisk walking at my gym but it didn’t happen coz it got too late and i gotta tuck my girl in bed/ pray with her etc. by the time i am done it was past 1030pm. I was annoyed, and very tired.

Then I decided to just on the laptop and start listening to some worship songs. ha, it was a great decision. As i listened and meditated on the above song, i was drawn to worshipping God as usual and was just enjoying praising Him and giving Him all the glory. I slowly realised that I was just trying to do too many things with the 24 hours I have. Hence the burn out. Hence the frustration.

Eventually I came to a decision – I shall continue to tuck my girl in bed, chat with her and pray with her before she sleeps. I shall continue to impart godly principles in my childrens’ lives whenever I am with them. I shall continue to worship the Lord with all my heart. I shall continue to serve Him in this lifetime. That’s quite enough for 24 hours a day!