Our home learning routine is constantly evolving, so what may have been the case a few months or weeks ago, may no longer be the case today. This is an update on our present routine.

As you would have read from past posts, we did quite a lot of travelling in April, and during that time, we took a break from home learning activities. In fact, we went on a break even before that, because of various reasons. Nevertheless, when I say that we took a break from home learning, I don't mean that we did nothing. It's not possible to do nothing - Ryan is constantly on the go, looking for something to do.

So what has he been up to? Well, Ryan has been spending a lot of time perfecting his reading, spelling, writing, alphabet recognition and phonetic skills. He even picked up the ASL (American Sign Language) for the alphabet after watching a Youtube video a couple of times. In fact, he loves surfing Youtube for videos on phonics. (We monitor his surfing quite closely, he is usually on our laps or right next to us when he is on the iPad.)

We play spelling games all the time. For example, when we're talking to each other - I might tell him the food is hot - and he will spell out the word HOT. When we're at home and he has his mobile letters with him, I will call out words for him to spell, like "Happy Birthday" or "Shining Star" or "Great Job" and he'll use his mobile letters to spell them out. We also use various types of spelling "toys", like the one which I shared on the blog in February (we've since finished all the cards). Here's a new video of him using it.

Apart from the activities related to reading, we are generally doing less of the left brain stuff and focusing on the right brain stuff instead. So we do ESP games, eye training, dots programme, memory games, etc. That actually takes up very little time -  maybe about 15 minutes per day.

We still do a lot of art-related activities, which can be as simple as playing with stickers or more elaborate painting on the easel. There're still a lot of musical activities going on - dancing, singing and playing with toy instruments.

Ryan enjoys a lot of free and unstructured play - eg. pretend play with play dough, free play with blocks, pretend play with toy cars and soft toys, building with Lego, etc. Ryan loves to construct intricate and elaborate structures like the one on the left in the photo below. You can also see in the photo that Ryan has moved on to the blocks on the right - this was immediately after he put in the last piece in the massive structure.:

Ryan makes a new track design EVERY night, without fail.

Here he is playing with stickers, after finishing the construction of the little structure on the table.

I don't know if you noticed the difference but there IS a difference from our last update - we've reverted to our initial approach of "not teaching". This was always our philosophy, right from the start and it worked amazingly well. Only this year, I came up with a small list of things I wanted to teach Ryan because I felt that he was getting bored and that he was ready for more structured teaching. So we spent February and March teaching him various things. He soaked it all up.

In April, as I mentioned above, we took a break and I took the time to review our routine. Ryan was doing really well but I was not really happy with the routine. I wasn't comfortable with it. I knew without a doubt that we needed to revert to our initial philosophy of "not teaching". And so we did. And that's where we are now. Still as busy as ever, but with a different mindset. I'll elaborate in a separate post what I mean by our philosophy of "not teaching", although you can probably guess already.

One thing never changed though, which is that we always let Ryan decide whether to do the activity or not. This was true even when we were "teaching" Ryan stuff in February and March, and it will always be our mantra.


Anonymous said...

wow.. you guys have amazing energy! however, just curious as from all your posts ryan seems like the perfect child! no tantrums, no challenges, and so well adjusted and smart! do you ever face any challenges with him, esp when teaching him stuff? how do you get him to concentrate so well? his focus on any task is really wonderful for someone his age. and did he build that whole train track on his own? that's pretty amazing! anyway great job that you're doing and congrats on the new bub :) take care!

Rachel Teoh said...

Such an enriching experience! Where do you buy the spelling toy in the video?

Pinkie Pirate said...

Hi Rachel, we got it from Popular Bookstore for S$10. It's called Verbal Steps to Reasoning. There are many similar products available, like Boggle Jr which Ryan plays when he is with his nanny.

Shann said...

Babe, "not teaching" is pretty impossible to achieve when Ryan constantly wants to learn! You know, ee fann and myself always admires Ryan of being very "easy". Yes we are kinda comparing Ryan with ern during their "worst" time a.k.a temtrums. To us, Ryan hardly throws tantrum and even if he did it's soooo "easy" to handle. He didn't even go through the terrible 2's stage. To us, he is a very confident and assured child and that is why he is "easy". Credit goes to you and Richard. There are many things I have to learn from you guys in terms of child upbringing so do continue to post more on your thoughts on parenting as it really benefits many people like myself.

And as for Ryan's late nights, (with 101% energy) I always feel that it's a good arrangement so that you guys can spend quality time together after work. ; )

thank you for sharing unselfishly. It's really appreciated ; )

Rachel Teoh said...

Thanks for your prompt reply! I've not seen this spelling game in the Popular. Which Popular branch did you buy this from? Sorry for bothering again.

Pinkie Pirate said...

Hi Rachel, we got it from the branch at Bras Basah Complex.

Anonymous said...

Hi Leona,

The train set is so neat. Do you still remember where did you get that?

-- Kamy

Grace said...

Hello! I was wondering what's the name of the colorful toys to build that structure in the first picture. Thank you!

Pinkie Pirate said...

Hi Grace, you can see the toy close-up in this post: http://bubble-belly.blogspot.sg/2011/10/recent-creations_29.html

Grace said...

Thank you! :) I'm from malaysia, do you remember which shop you got it from?

Pinkie Pirate said...

Hi Grace, we bought it from a toy store at The Mines. Sorry I didn't take note of the name of the shop. It was a small unit at a corner.

Grace said...

Thank you! :)

Pinkie Pirate said...

Kamy, the train set is a mixture of a few Thomas the Train sets, which we got from the Better Toy Store. Sorry for this late response!

Anonymous said...

Hi Pinkie

I can not begin to thankyou enough for being so generous with your ideas on shichida.
You have inspired me so much.
I am from India and there is no support whatsoever of right brain education. I have seen the kind of material Alicia has been making, I tried a lot but failed at it.

I would be more than happy to even pay for her material or any detailed help i could get here as i have no source whatsoever.


Pinkie Pirate said...

Hi Megha, would you like to email me? I can put you in touch with some contacts for materials, including Alicia. My email is pinkiepirate@live.com

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