[Learning Progress] Jae from 12 to 15 months old

Jae is still in his super-active phase, and has recently settled down a bit more for homeschooling activities.


Right Brain Education

He continues to attend Shichida weekly classes with Daddy, who has reminded me to continue doing home practice. Ok, I’m trying, just that this boy loves running about and doing his own stuff, so I end up focusing mostly on Vee who’s super-cooperative and enthusiastic. Haha…

  • Home Practice: Has been consistent unless we travelled or any of the boys were unwell, which occurred during much of January.
  • For months, he has been running around during flashcard time, which only needs about 2 minutes. So usually, he only sees some of the initial cards and join in when we play “Which one” games. Recently, he started enjoying sitting on a small chair for a short while.
  • Shichida Worksheets: I was surprised when Daddy passed me a stack of worksheets after January’s first class. I was expecting this only when he’s around 2 years old. Then I realised that he’s already in the 2-year old class, just that he’s a November baby. The worksheets are exactly the same as the ones Vee did when he was younger. Simple pre-writing activities. I let him hold a thick marker pen to do his “homework” while Vee does his. Sometimes, he enjoys it. Other times, he prefers to run away with the marker pens.


I’ve finally created a toddler area in our schoolroom!

Jae 15 months toddler area

  • Shelves (Play Time): During play-time, I’ll turn the white shelves around so that all advanced materials are out of Jae’s reach.  I say, “School is closed for now.” The boys get to access the toddler area and toys in the living room. This is much better than the previous set-up with toddler materials on the lower shelves and advanced materials on the higher shelves. Jae started climbing and reaching up fairly early, so instead of moving things higher, having separate zones works better. Expectedly, he messes up the toddler area within minutes. (More on our homeschool room tour next time.)

Jae 15 months mess

  • He wants to grab every material that Vee’s working on, so I try to keep him within the toddler area. When Vee needs my guidance, I’ll keep Jae’s hands full with some Practical Life or Sensorial materials. Otherwise, he stays in the large play yard for a short while.
  • Practical Life: He’s learning to feed himself with fork and spoon, imitates pouring a teapot over a teacup, brings his clothes to the laundry basket when requested, packs up after playing when I sing the pack-up song, and uses a cloth nappy to wipe the floor. He enjoys working with stickers, transferring small objects with his hands or tongs (assisted), turning bottle caps, putting clothes pegs into cups, and putting small objects into small containers. Overall, he loves working with his hands and often holds something wherever he goes.
  • Sensorial: He sorts big and small items, enjoys working with knobbed cylinders, stacks 4 to 5 wooden blocks,  and fits 2 Lego Duplo or Megabloks pieces together. He likes things that roll, so there’s a basket of balls and round lids on the shelf. He still sorts shapes. He also loves pressing keys and buttons on the keyboard. The remote controls and my outdated Nokia handphone with many buttons are also a hit.
  • Language: He likes holding books, and it must be the same series that Vee is being read to. He refuses to let anyone read the book that he’s holding, nor does he stay long to listen to a story. Interestingly, he enjoys running his fingers over the sandpaper letters and will imitate some sounds after me. He also likes to scribble on paper with a pencil.
  • Mouthing stage: He still puts stuff into his mouth. The latest favourite being marker pens!


  • Speech: Most of the time, Jae isn’t talkative. In the right mood, he babbles a lot, especially before falling asleep.
  • He started calling me “ma ma” repeatedly until I give him the help he needs.
  • More new words he’s saying: “ba” with hand sign for book, “ba” for ball, “da” for dog, “da” for duck, “cad” for cat, “ker” for sticker, “哥哥” (gege, brother Vee), “ba ba” for 宝宝 (baobao, himself), “pa pa” for 婆婆 (popo, grandmother), “ng ng” for poo, also “ng ng” for 姨姨 (yiyi, aunt), “拿“ (na, take), “na na” for banana, “ta” for pasta / star, “tahg” for stuck, “buh” for birthday.
  • He’s very excited to see animals such as cats and dogs. When he talks, he’s usually LOUD and repetitive. He likes pretending to make phone calls.
  • He also says “AH” to draw my attention, for instance to a LEGO piece he can’t fit into a container or to 2 hangers that got hooked to each other and he can’t undo. Oh, by the way, he loves hangers so much that he’ll chase after anyone at home holding on to one and insisting on getting THAT hanger. We seriously think he’s going to open a laundry shop some day.
  • Baby sign language: I’m introducing the signs for “please”, “sorry” and “thank you” during meal times. When he wants finger food, he’ll use his fingers to grab lightly at the table. He’s very good at stroking another person gently when we ask him to be gentle or sayang.
  • Music: He likes listening to songs and associates them with the relevant hand gestures. When we sing Shichida’s Good Morning song, he claps and bows his head. When he hears ABC song, he starts pointing down to imaginary alphabets as if he’s in Shichida class. For Sayounara song, he’ll wave bye-bye. Last weekend, he tried singing “Happy Birthday” by singing “buh buh buh” after it was played at a restaurant. And he pretends to blow candles by blowing his saliva all over the place.
  • He has a good sense of humour and can control his facial expressions very well: If he knows someone is admiring his looks, he’ll look up slightly and blink his eyes slowly with a shy smile!
  • At 12+ months, he knows and remembers what we say: Daddy scolded him for grabbing his spectacles, he cried. The following day, he grabbed my specs, I reminded him gently, and he cried!

Motor Skills

Jae seems to be an athlete-in-the-making.

  • He has been walking for some time. When we chase him around, he’ll walk really quickly and keep giggling.
  • He’s really into climbing onto every chair and table in sight. Often, I turn around for a few seconds, and turn back to see him standing with a smug look on the dining chair. He even climbs onto the classroom table so that he can reach the iPod Touch on top of the shelf.
  • He also loves climbing onto the sofa and running across it, completely unafraid of flying off, giving me heart attacks.
  • He stands in an inverted “V” to attempt rolling forward, and usually ends up rolling off to his side. He just started jumping up from the inverted “V” position.
  • When he’s on the bed or when we’re carrying him, he tries to fall backwards, again completely unafraid of banging his head. It can be so physically exhausting taking care of this boy. Even Vee says that Jae behaves like a little monkey, and no one taught him to say that!

Behaviour & Social Skills

  • Jae’s getting more patient when I’m getting meals ready, so I rarely have to babywear him at home.
  • He didn’t warm up much to my parents during our 1-week Singapore trip. And he was absolutely resistant to my youngest sister. I wore her home clothes and put on her spectacles frame, and he became wary of me. Oops!
  • Nevertheless, hubby and I took the plunge, left the 2 boys with my mum and sister, and sneaked out for brunch. (First date in nearly 4 years!) Poor Jae cried for half an hour, gave up and wanted my mum carry him till we were back 1+ hour later. When he saw us, he was all smiles! 🙂
  • He throws the occasional tantrum when things can’t go his way. Nothing too major. Recently, I’m more firm on him staying in the car seat until we reach the destination and the car stops. Thankfully, he responds to such firmness by frowning (no crying) and obliging.

With Jae doing more Montessori activities, we’d have a fun and busy year. The rest of his updates on feeding, pre-potty training and sleeping are posted at Mummy’s Reviews here.

P.S. You’re invited to “Like” Mummy’s Homeschool Facebook page here.


4 thoughts on “[Learning Progress] Jae from 12 to 15 months old”

  1. hi mv,

    may i ask, where did u get the brown shelves? with adjustable heights? it looks similar to the shelves with the sliding-bucket. ikea has them?

    thanks. gong xi fatt chai 🙂


    1. mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com

      Hi Shia, thank you for the greetings! 🙂 The brown shelves is the part of the Ikea TROFAST system you’re referring to. I use the boxes to store toys / flashcards / materials, mostly meant to be out of reach. I bought several TROFAST wooden planks to convert part of it to shelves. This means I can re-configure the shelving position when necessary. E.g. super-high shelves to store some books / supplies. Low shelves for toddler.

      The medium-sized boxes are good for groups of nitty-bitty pieces. E.g. we’ve 1 for cooking set, 1 for art/craft, 1 for Lego, 1 for small musical instruments. It’s light enough for a child to carry, play, pack and return. During non-Montessori free play sessions, I mainly use these boxes.

      I bought these shelves before I learnt about the Montessori system. If I were to start again, I may get less TROFAST, more huge cabinets with shelves and closed doors for storage. And only the wide Montessori shelves for displaying materials. These TROFAST shelves are too narrow for many materials needed when the child is older.

      Also, they’re nailed against the wall (to prevent toppling), so the shelves become stuck. I like the Montessori shelves with wheels, because I can turn them around when school-time’s over, so no one messes with them.

      Hope this helps!

  2. Hi,

    May I ask where you buy the toy you show in the picture, which let babies to match shapes? it is better to be available somewhere in Singapore, if you know.

    Thanks a lot

    1. mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com

      Hi Jean, this is from Melissa and Doug. More details at the Amazon affiliate link here: Melissa & Doug Stack and Sort Board*

      I bought this toy before learning about Montessori. On hindsight, I find Montessori materials much more well-designed because they separate the learning objectives instead of trying to bundle them all together, as in this toy. For e.g. geometric cabinet for shapes, math materials for numbers, colour tablets for colour, knobbed cylinders for size.

      Now, Jae plays a lot more meaningfully with the knobbed cylinders and shape sorters because he can self-correct his errors. This Melissa & Doug toy has no self-correction. And I can’t teach him shapes effectively because there’s a hole in each piece.

      For shapes, colours and quantity, older Vee learnt them from flashcards, shape sorters, peg puzzles and real-life objects when he was about 1 year old.

      I have several Melissa and Doug peg puzzles and these are useful. Check this Amazon affiliate link out: Melissa & Doug Deluxe Classic Peg Puzzle Bundle*

      In Singapore you may try Toy’R Us and Mothercare / ELC or Melissa and Doug products. I’m guessing because these are where I find them in KL.

      Hope this helps! 🙂

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