Mummy’s Homeschool is still alive, just that I barely have time to update. My dear Jae is already 1 year old!
Right Brain Education
He’s still attending Shichida weekly classes, accompanied by Daddy (while I accompany Vee during the same time slot). He usually gets 5 out of the 6 senses and memory games correct.
Apparently, Daddy just learnt from Mrs. Khoo (the centre’s principal) that the same parent should accompany the child. This means preferably no regular swopping of parents.
- Home Practice: Earlier on, Vee was ill and hubby was hospitalised due to dengue fever, so I barely had energy left to do home practice. When he was 11 months old, he dropped to only 1 nap, so we resumed momentum with some senses and memory games.
- During flashcard session, he starts to be very mobile, so I place him in our large play-yard, with all toys removed. This cheeky boy will walk round and round the play yard (laughing!), so I simply follow him from the outside. Then once, I flashed a new set of multiplication x5 and x6 cards, he actually sat down and clapped his hands!
I’m starting to get the hang of creating a Montessori environment at home to cater to Jae’s learning and develppmental needs.
- Shelves: He loves to explore the learning shelves, and has started dumping things around, giving me heart attacks! There were some empty square shelves at the dining area, so I place a toy / material in each square. For instance, 1 shape sorter, 1 box of small Tupperware containers with lids, 1 small Ikea metal pot with a scoop.
- Practical Life: He mimicks our actions such as tearing envelopes, preferring paperbacks over board / fabric books, wiping his mouth with a cloth wipe, and putting an object on his head after I did so. Definitely a very teachable stage.
- Sensorial: He enjoys playing with objects that rattle, Lego Duplo and the big Megabloks and seems to prefer blue over other colours. Through the day, I’ll show him different colours, shapes, quantity, sounds, smells, textures, etc.
- Language (Listening): He likes holding on to books but won’t stay long to listen to a story. So I usually read aloud to Vee, with Jae crawling near us. I’m sure he’s absorbing somehow. We use a variety of languages at home — Mandarin Chinese, English, Cantonese and also read in Bahasa Malaysia. I believe 0-3 years old is the best time to learn languages with ease.
- Mouthing stage: From 11 months, he’s exploring less with his mouth but still does so occasionally, so I still have to keep small objects away from him.
- Speech: Jae isn’t a talkative baby. When I observe closely, he does say quite a number of words. He tends to babble a lot when I’m rocking him to sleep.
- Just before 10 months old, he held a bunch of my hair, said “hair”, tried to brush it onto my face and kept laughing. Exactly how I play with him sometimes!
- He says “ba ba” for Daddy more often than “ma ma” for Mummy.
- From 11 months old, he started saying many obvious words or even phrases. “Dirty” or a loud “NG!!!” when he poos, “kay” or “lie kay” for his favourite rice cake, “给” meaning give in Chinese, “还要” with hand sign for “more”, “哎呀“ (aiyah) when he drops things, “ba ba” for 宝宝 (his nickname in Chinese), a loud “EH!!!” when I ask him to burp.
- He likes to echo after Vee. The older one screams or makes weird sounds, the baby follows too. So I get double the earache!
- Baby sign language: I didn’t introduce many hand signs, only for more common situations. So far, he does the signs / gestures for stop, fan, hi, bye bye, hi five, all with his left hand. He also claps, does 恭喜恭喜 (gongxi gongxi), no more and all done. When he wants more finger food, he prefers to bang the table and shout than sign. I’ve to encourage him to be more patient and use the “more” sign.
- Music: He enjoys music. When we sing “If You’re Happy”, he’ll start clapping his hands. When we were shopping, he heard pop music with a fast beat and started clapping his hands too. Guess he associates clapping hands with songs.
- In Shichida class or when Vee sings, he’ll try to sing too with “ah ah ah…” Very cute!
- Since Vee has started a new music course, we play the CD at home and practise solfege singing together.
Jae continues to be very agile.
- Walking: At 10+ months old, he finally took his first step. Then stopped attempting. 2 days before 11 months old, he tried walking. Within 1 week, he was walking 2 to 3 steps independently. At 1 year old, a maximum of 18 steps!
- He also crawls up a whole flight of stairs easily. We don’t have a gate for the stairs. If I see that he wants to climb up while I need to stay downstairs, I’ll block the entrance with 2 dining chairs.
- Otherwise, his favourite playing spot is at a short flight of 2 steps at home, near the dining area. He has only rolled down once, and is now very skilful at climbing up and down. He likes to watch his toys roll down the steps.
- Pincer grasp: I’ve previously shared this anecdote on Facebook. Once, Jae was exploring the dining area while I was washing dishes. He pinched something, then looked at me with his big round eyes, probably wondering if he should eat it. I went over to take a closer look, expecting to see some leftover food. OMG, it was a SPIDER with eight long legs! Well done, son. A+++ for your pincer grasp at 10+ months old. Catching a spider with my bare fingers is something I’ll never ever attempt.
- Sorting shapes: At 10+ months old, he started attempting to fit shapes into shape sorters and gets some correct. He enjoys fitting lids to various containers.
- Stacking blocks: At 11+ months old, he started fitting 1 Megabloks block onto another big block. Guess he has caught the Lego bug from Vee and I!
Behaviour & Social Skills
- During the earlier months, he was impatient when I was getting food ready, so I’d to backcarry him.
- When hubby was hospitalised for a week, I’d to backcarry him while taking care of Vee (bathing, brushing teeth, putting on night diaper, etc). He refused to be alone in the play yard in the evenings, yet I couldn’t let him explore alone freely yet. Fortunately, after he started walking, he’s back to being more independent.
- Jae’s generally sociable with others, as long as the new person doesn’t carry him. Else, he’ll freeze for 10 seconds, then cry.
- Tantrums: Yes, this has started, much earlier than I expected! If he’s holding on to something he likes (even if its unsafe for him), he’ll refuse to let anyone take it away by screaming.
- Another example: When he was 10+ months old, he wanted to explore the tangram materials on a higher shelf. I held on to the box, trying to direct him to the lower shelf. He couldn’t get what he wanted, SHRIEKED, sat on the floor, and kicked his legs! OMG… I can foresee a challenging time ahead with this determined toddler.
It’s amazing how fast the first year has already gone by. I look forward to engaging Jae in many more homeschooling activities from now on.
The rest of his updates on feeding, pre-potty training and sleeping is posted at Mummy’s Reviews here.
P.S. I’ve created a Mummy’s Homeschool Facebook page to share interesting info / links / etc. on homeschooling. You’re invited to “Like” our Facebook page here.