Why I’m homeschooling

March 7, 2010

Cooking/baking will definitely be part of our homeschool activities

Next week will be Ishra’s last week of school. We are homeschooling therefater. I am very excited about it and so is Ishra for she’s been talking about the things that she wants to learn more about. She’s also looking forward to spending more time reading rather than doing homework which sometimes served as copying exercises.

I started thinking about alternatives to the 5-day week schooling system when I realised classroom environment doesn’t suit my 4-year-old son, Aditya. At about the same time Ishra started displaying more interests in rhythmic gymnastics and music. Her passions, which she won’t be able to spend much time on, if she continues going to school.

I know I can’t continue sending Ishra to school expecting the institution caters to her interests and potential. Local public schools are generally academic-oriented. The curriculum was not designed with the aim of encouraging students to think for themselves . On top of that the examination system encourages children to regurgitate what they’ve learned. Developing one’s own opinions doesn’t seems to be part of the deal.

My observation is, if a student excels in a non-academic subject like sports or arts he or she is still expected to follow the same curriculum. Let’s take the Bukit Jalil National Sports School for example, athletes are expected to learn the same subjects as their contemporary in public schools. Interestingly though, for a shorter period. Yet, they are expected to spend a huge chunk of time on sports training.

Personally I think, education is about  allowing children to excel in what they are naturally good at. I believe homeschooling allows me the freedom to  teach my kids to think for themselves, to be free from fear and judgement and not let others dictate what they can learn and be good at, not matter what age they are at.

I also think that education should not be confined within the four walls of the classroom. Furthermore, I refuse to be a victim, who complains about the education system, the school, the government or even the teacher, yet do nothing about it.

Frankly, I can’t imagine anyone else, who’d put my kids interests and growth above everything else. Plus, as a parent, I have no interest in politicising my children’s education.

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Simple volcano experiment

February 22, 2010

Today, the kids decided that they wanted to make a volcano, after watching an experiment on TV. To be honest, I was more than happy to let them do it.

After all I believe that education is about developing one’s interests and potential. It should not be confined to a rigid curriculum and within the four walls of a classroom.

This is a very simple experiment. All we needed was baking soda, vinegar (we used apple cider vinegar as that was the only option available), dishwashing liquid and red colouring.

We also used a plastic bottle and made a hole in the lid;

Bottle lid

Once the kids put on their aprons,

Ishra pours the ingredients into the plastic bottle.

This is how the “volcano” looks like when it erupted.

Caution: It’s an experiment you’d want to do outside the house as it’s quite messy.

And, off course, you can make the experiment more fun by adding props or toys. Enjoy!

For the record, we ended up washing the front porch after that, which is great cause that’s an extra activity to keep the kids occupied for the day. Plus it’s also afun way to teach them responsibilities.


Playdough

February 3, 2010

I am all for simplifying things. So when I discovered this recipe for playdough recently I gladly gave it a go. The thing that really caught my eye with this recipe is, there is no cooking involved. Unless off course you consider boiling water as one. Another plus point is, I get to knead the dough. Great stress reliever I’d say! And I absolutely love the smooth texture!

My daughter was so thrilled to see home-made playdough when she came back from school the other day. The the last time we made them was quite a while ago. So both my daughter and son moulded the dough into all sorts of shapes. Blue snowmen’s one of them.

Caution: You may want to take extra care when using this recipe with kids around though. As this was my first try, I didn’t get my kids involved in the process. The ingredients once mixed with hot boiling water turns hot. I think you get the picture.


Cheers to our happy hour!

February 1, 2010

Happy hour starts early in the Kamiso household today. Well, we’re not exactly drinking alcoholic beverages, if you are wondering. I just wanted to make it sound exciting!

This morning, Aditya who just turned four last month, said he wanted smoothie. He let me know the ingredients he wanted to put, in what he called a “shame.” I think he wanted to say shake (when I knew he meant smoothie).

It’s so easy peasy. We basically chuck the stuff below into our blender:

Some ice, milk, a banana, 2 strawberries, a bit of molases, honey and voila!

Off course we get to choose our own glasses. Mine in a martini glass and Aditya’s, a milk glass!

He loved it so much we had to make some more!


Our Treehouse

January 15, 2010

My husband been working so hard at building this tree house. He had a friend helped him build the structure and did the rest himself. I might start working from here soon.


Consciously working on my top 2010 goal

January 7, 2010

I spent half of my day today, struggling to get things done. This is my first day at work since 2010 began. I took a few days’ break to take care of my daughter as school reopened on Monday.

Even though I am a work-at-home mum, I found that getting back into the swing of this thing called work, a little challenging. It wasn’t until noon that I realise, that my struggle had to do with me not being present. I had work, at the back of my mind from the moment I woke up.

Today was not the first time I caught myself distracted. I had the same experience last week. It is so energy sapping to let my body be controlled by the voices in my head, as opposed to be operating from my consciousness. I find that when I am aware, I tend to be organised and focused and whatever I do brings me joy.

So, my main goal this year is to operate from my consciousness in every little thing I do. If you have any experience that you think can be useful towards me reaching this goal, please share your story with me. I’d be very grateful.


WWW, an employer that doesn’t judge

January 2, 2010

I found this fascinating quote today:

Finally, an employer that doesn’t wonder whether we’ll take maternity leave or quit after two years to get married.  The world wide web doesn’t look down its nose at us ‘Mommy Bloggers’ in our spit-up stained sweatshirts and unpainted faces or raise on eyebrow at the BlogHers who may or may not be burning their brassieres.  Equal opportunity employer has a new meaning when it comes to those of us employed by the web, or facets thereof.socialmediamom.com, WWW: Woman’s World Web, Dec 2009

You should read the whole article.


With a fax machine, just about anyone can tweet

December 17, 2009

Now, this is one service which truly bridges the technology gaps between generations. Celery allows non-computer users to send email, update their twitter and Facebook status as well as receive blog posts without having to go online. All they need is a fax machine.

The service is available in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico.


14 years experience & skills aren’t going to waste after all

December 8, 2009

When I quit my job more than 2 years ago, I did not have a job waiting in line. In fact my decision to leave was more emotional than practical. I just didn’t see the point of working under a boss who had refused to promote me over someone who had been in the department longer (than me). And it wasn’t because I was any less capable.

I was miserable after I left as I felt useless about not earning. For some time, I did not enjoy being a stay-at-home mum (SAHM). I did not know how to not have a job after being in a workforce for almost 14 years.

I also went through a phase where I hated accompanying my husband to official dinner, or events as I felt people were judging me. Some would even cut off their conversation with me the moment they heard that I am a SAHM.

Less than a year later and after some freelance work I decided to go back to a full time job. The reason being, I wanted to make more money. It didn’t take me long to realise that juggling a full time job and two children turned me into a monster mum. What more when my husband clocked in long hours and we did not have extra help at home.

I called it quits less than three months into the job. This time around it wasn’t an emotional decision. Though I did more often than not, wonder whether all the skills that I picked up along the way would ever found a place? Or just become rusty.

You see, I worked as reporter for nine years and as a multimedia journalist for more than 4 years. I have video editing, producing and script writing skills. I also have experience in PR and Media, from my last job. But when I decided to resume freelance work, my focus was just on writing.

Today it dawned on me that the skills that I picked up during the 14 years that I was in the workforce, have now become relevant! Thanks to blogs and social media.

I began to see how I can use the skills I already have, on my blog. How did I discover this? Through the news/stories I read on other sites which had provided me with information and hopes. I am also thankful to MyAlltop, my source of news. Having access to it has changed the way I derive information.


Toy that Tweets

December 4, 2009

I know, two of my recent posts had been about social media but Twoddler is just far too interesting for me to ignore. And thanks to MyAlltop, I am now able to be up to date with news that interest me.

Twoddler is a prototype device which hooks up a Fisher Price toy to a Twitter account. Watch the video to see how it works.

I am now wondering though, if Twoddler makes it to market will the device be able to keep up with the changes that are happening in social media and be flexible enough to stay current?

I love technology especially those that can be integrated with human touch and improve quality of lives.