Ryan has impressed a number of people on many occasions in terms of academic ability and I have been asked a number of times what we do with Ryan when we are at home, in particular, what we do to encourage his academic learning. I usually just toss off a casual answer, "Oh, a bit of this, a bit of that...". In truth, I'm always a little embarrassed to answer this question because I don't know what people's reactions will be if they knew the full extent of what goes on. 

My hesitation has had an effect on the blog - I usually try to steer away from this topic, preferring to record instead what we do on weekends, our outings, etc. However, there's no hiding the fact that Ryan is doing very well in many areas and I've found myself, more and more, posting about his academic progress simply because it's happening - fast and furious. Still, so far, I've tried to limit these sort of posts to what I feel are very significant areas - like reading.

A few conversations over the past week persuaded me to put aside my concern about what other people may think and do a post on this. First, my dear hubby pointed out to me that the blog is primarily a memory and a record for Ryan and our extended family members, so it is very important to include all this, especially because it is a huge part of how we bond with each other and how we spend our time when we are together. Second, I had a conversation with a colleague (who asked me about what we do at home). I tried to describe what we do and awkwardly played it down, and my colleague gently scolded me saying, "There's no need to be embarrassed. Your son is advanced, that's the fact of it." I felt pretty silly after that.

So, ok. Let me post the photos of what we did on Tuesday night. I'll keep the descriptions fairly brief here and perhaps I'll do a detailed post on some of the activities separately. These photos were taken continuously between 8.30 pm to 1.30 am. Yes, you read that right - we played non-stop for 5 hours. Is this a typical night? Yes, in terms of the intensity and no, in terms of the actual activities. We do different things every night, but it is pretty much non-stop action from after-dinner till we collapse into bed.

1) Painting

2) Stickers and painting with do-a-dot markers

3) Numbers 1-12 in Chinese

4) Mazes

5) Learning to tell the time

6) Learning what the phrase "not the same" means

7) Addition equations (this material was given to us by Shann)

8) Finger-training/Fine motor skills

9) Colouring (this was homework from last week's Shichida class)

10) Mandala - we are using movable foam pieces (instead of the colouring pages)

11) Reading practice

12) Chess and checkers - Ryan does not know how to play the game proper. The two of them make up their own games instead.

13) Some fooling around is always good

14 and 15) Photographic memory training (this material was given to us by Alicia)

16) Reinforcing the alphabet

17) Basketball

18) Shichida eye-training - trace the lines with your finger

19) Dot-to-dot (with numbers or letters)

 20) Pasting (learning to work with glue)

21) Introduction to pastels

22) Shichida flashcards (the photo shows me flashing the cards from the math dot programme)

23) Shichida linking memory practice

24 and 25) Addition using manipulatives

26) Patterning (Ryan is drinking milk here, but he doesn't slow down. He also got his diaper changed around this time, hence the absence of his shorts in the subsequent photos - he didn't want to keep still long enough for us to put his shorts on.)

27) Scissors skills (the sheet was part of a set given to us by Shann)

28 and 29) More photographic memory training (this material was also given to us by Alicia)

30) As the bottle runs down, we have to grab Ryan and get him to lie down to drink his milk otherwise he will carry on with the activities and give up the bottle (because at a certain point when the level of milk falls, the tilt of the bottle blocks his vision).

31) More fooling around. Always encouraged.

32) Music and rhythm

33) Rhyming

34) More reading practice

35) Exploring noisemakers, in this case whistles

36 to 41) Dancing, of course.

42) Reading English books

43) We normally read about 20-30 English books, which takes us more than an hour. Some books are read more than once. Some books are read by us to Ryan and some are read by Ryan to us.

44) No photo but we usually end the night with reading Chinese books in bed (I keep a small selection on my bedside table).

[Edit: We adopted this routine for only a short while. We no longer do things this way. We have changed our homelearning approach and continue to do so to suit the children's needs and our changing circumstances. Click here for the update after this one, which was in May 2012.]


Shann said...

This is preschool at it's BEST!! I'm sure you do much more than this!! Way to go! Superb effort there from everyone ; )

Anonymous said...

Impressive efforts done by both of you. Keep up the good work Leona and Richard!


Anonymous said...

Hi, may i know where did u get the materials for activities 24 & 25?

Btw , good job!

Pinkie Pirate said...

Hi, I bough the set from Popular Bookstore at their sale quite a while back.

Anonymous said...

want to say, it really is quite encouraging for me to see my materials being used and enjoyed by Ryan. :-)

Ryan is going to get lots of learning aid goodies from Aunty Alicia.


Pinkie Pirate said...

Alicia, as much as Ryan enjoys your materials, so do Richard and I!

Anonymous said...

That's a lot of activity...u guys have gr8 energy...keep it up! May I know where did u get the basketball net in photo 17.

Pinkie Pirate said...

Hi, we got the basketball net from a Toys "R" Us sale. Thanks for dropping by!

terri said...

Ryan's got an insatiable appetite to learn! Incredible energy - I'm exhausted just imagining the level of participation :)

Anonymous said...

hi i came across your blog wen i googled for julia holiday program reiew last dec.

I am really amazed and have been a closet fan of your blog.. reading wen i wonder what can i do to play with my child or even for leisure reading.

Thanks for sharing and it is a joy to share ryan' ssuccess even though i am a complete stranger.
It is motivational so who cares what others thnk :)

Thank you.

Pinkie Pirate said...

Hi Anonymous - thanks so much for your kind comments, it's always wonderful to hear motivational comments from another parent!

Anonymous said...

Hi, may i know where did you get the do-a-dot marker?

Pinkie Pirate said...

Hi Anonymous, do-a-dot markers are sold at a few places. You can try Nurture Craft at Forum Galleria or any Paper Market outlet (scrap booking store).

========Ugly Loy======== said...


which shichida would u recommend?

Pinkie Pirate said...

Hi "Ugly Loy", Ryan attends the Shichida branch at Springleaf Tower. We have not attended any classes at the other branch so I am not able to compare. :)

appleofHiseye said...

hi can I check where did you buy the English flash card?

Pinkie Pirate said...

appleofHiseye - you can buy them from a few places, eg. ELC outlets, Nurture Craft at Forum basement, and bookstores with children's sections.

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