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Archive for August 2010

After so many posts on Global Maths Mental Arithmetics, I feel like I need to clarify that, it doesn’t mean that Global Maths is the best of all in Maths and a must go. There are a lot of Maths classes like Kumon, Enopi, Math Monkey, etc out there.

We visited some, and we like some other class as much as we like Global Maths. Just that after all the survey, we choose this one as it is the best fit.

We actually like Enopi a lot. Just that the center most convenient to us, we don’t quite like the environment and the teachers there. My husband even commented, “If only we can sign up to get the worksheets they are using, you can teach them yourself at home.” …

Ya, if I have not spent my money on the previous Reading center, I might consider taking up this Franchise… after all I like teaching, I like beautiful pictures and I love Maths. If you compare Enopi worksheets and Kumon one, they are more lively for younger children, as there are colourful drawings used in the questions.

But but, that doesn’t mean Kumon is not good. I witness a boy having trouble with Maths when he was 6 years old, after a year in Kumon, now he is doing fraction, already passes those +, -, x, ÷.  I remember a comment from a Kumon center’s Principal, the program really required discipline and determination. She sees a lot of children make it through but also has students, already standard 5 still not able to do the +, -, x, ÷ properly. And similarly, Kumon is solving on the formula questions, not on 应用题。

If you are interested in Maths, the next thing you can check it out is the Maths Olympiad.

Some more BM picture flash cards: (please click the link to download).

It’s in A4 size, to be printed double sided and cut according to the blue line.

BM Picture Flash Cards example 7 (A4)

Was talking to the girls’ dad about perfectionism. He also think that I have high expectation on myself, that he sakit hati seeing me taking up so many thing so seriously (… very sweet dear, I told myself, I will try to change, except when I am working …) ..

Then suddenly it flashed to my mind that can it be I have become a bad mother, bad role model, to Ling especially, that making her also putting very high goal to herself? Everything have to be perfect like mummy.

I know Ling told me before, she wants to grow up to be just like me. And there are times I heard she said to her father, mummy is smarter, mummy knows everything..  .. Oh dear, I have been setting too high a goal for her without me knowing it.


…. ….. ….

surfing nets to seek help … found this article Perfectionism in Children by Leah Davies, M.Ed.:

The more I read the article, the more I sweat… especially this one:

Gifted children, who are accustomed to excelling, are often perfectionists.

oh dear oh dear…  I should have read this way way earlier.. … oh may be should be more positive, … luckily I read the article now. .. still have time to fix …

While reading this book by 何权峰, I suddenly realize I am a perfectionist,who always make life though not impossible but complicated.

The book mentioned: life is actually perfect, but we don’t think it’s perfect, because we have our own basic concept about “perfect”, when the reality doesn’t fit into what we think, then we conclude that life is not perfect.

I like this one from the book,  “you come out with definition that must have small waist and long legs then only consider perfect. But you are not born that way, so you start to think you are not perfect. You dislike your body. … ”

… how true ..

These few days thinking and writing about Art classes, makes me think of this old Taiwan movie《鲁冰花》which I watched when I was in my secondary school, in a movie appreciation session organized by Chinese Society 华文学会 if I am not mistaken. Couldn’t control my tears every time I watched it.

The story is roughly like this: it’s about a talented kampung boy 古阿明 whom mother passed away when he was very young. He had talent in drawing and this talent was recognized by his Art teacher. His Art teacher wanted to nominate him to represent school for an inter school drawing competition, but, the rest of the teachers and headmaster gave the chance to a rich man’s child. The teacher was disappointed and left the village after put on a good fight with the headmaster. He brought along a drawing from this boy when he left. The boy, on the other hand, was heart broken. And what made thing worse, he fell sick, very sick. And due to poverty, he was not treated in time and passed away. But not long after the boy’s death, the news came: The Art teacher submitted this boy’s drawing which he took when he left the village to an international drawing competition, and he won the world first prize.  …

Yes, it might not sound so nice from what I’ve written above. But you must watch the movie, listen to their lines, it’s really really good, trust me.

There are a lot of scenes in this movie that was so touching, 太多经典. Some of the lines I like the most are:

When the teacher asked the boy, why he coloured the sun blue, the boy said,「這樣才不會把爸爸曬得口渴。」 

“That way, the sun won’t make my father thirsty when he works under it”  

Note: The poor boy’s father was a tea farmer. They were poor and have no money to buy pesticide, so have to catch the tea worms (茶虫)which eat the tea leaves manually.

And the thing his teacher said when fighting for him to be the representative for the competition:


“Children are usually very genuine. But after being taught by adults, they dare not draw this, dare not draw that. But 古阿明 is different. He knows what he wants to draw and he uses his own special way to express his feeling and experience in his drawing. Only this can be considered creativity.”

Another one is the scene where his sister went on stage to give a speech on behalf of him, for winning the world 1st prize, after his death, I really couldn’t help and cried again.

She started with: ”

「為了一個死去的小孩子,讓大家站在這裡曬太陽,真不好意思,謝謝大家!我弟弟古阿明如果知道,也會很不好意思,也會很謝謝大家!」”Because of a small kid who has passed away, making all of you standing here under the hot sun, I am very sorry about that, and thank you everyone! If my brother 古阿明 knows about this, he will feel very sorry, and thanks to you all too.”



“My brother used to be healthy, and he loves to draw. His drawings are very weird and different, but all to me are very beautiful.

Today everyone say he is a drawing genius. Before he won the world 1st prize, only 郭雲天teacher said he is a genius.

He wants to draw a picture, on a very very big paper, with a lot of crayons, he wants to draw a picture that everyone in this world can see, but now, we cannot see it any more, we cannot see it forever.”

…ya, it’s a sad story and well, never should have gone into my watch list… but, definitely is one of the movie I wish to watch and cry together with the girls.


more about 《鲁冰花》 and you can watch it here:


Just an update, Ying was doing fine today. They separated the girls and put them into different classes, so that bigger kids in one class, younger kids like Ying in another. More manageable I guess.

Ying was ok.

When I picked her up. She even told me “Do you know, my teacher is called Teacher Pinkie.”

And as usual, I asked, “Girls, do you enjoy the class?”

I got a loud “Yes.”

Ying complaint tummy pain when taking her lunch. It was a slight one, cause after that she was still able to play with her sister, no crying.

I just double confirmed the position of the pain is not down right (which can be appendicitis), and monitored her from time to time, no severe pain, and she was able to run around after going to toilet, and no diarrhea. I guess must have eaten dirty food.

Check out this website:

Quite informative. Things like tummy ache, sometimes quite hard, no medicine can be given.

Was reading a short article by 曾子曰:你还爱国吗?(Are you still patriotic?) in today星洲日报.

He equate “Do you love your country? ” to ==>  “Do you love your mother?”

And “If you love your country, why didn’t you hang the national flag to show your patriotic? ” to ==>

“If you love your mother, do you need to hold her photo in hand the whole day to show your love?”

Hahaha.. what a precise equation and good answer. …

Brought the girls to Jusco Bukit Tinggi, spent the afternoon in Popular there. I was trying to look for inspiration, and found this book by 何权峰.

In a brief, it is sharing thoughts on how make big matters become smaller and make small matters become none.. (大事化小,小事化无)hahaha .. The word: 化 can be translated as “turn into”, “become”, or “melted”. Let me share this from the book preface:

对一个心胸“开阔”,有“大器量”的人来说, 他就像一个大湖,不管你丢进任何毒素,它都可以包容,净化,冷却。 。。

For a person with “Big Heart”, he/she is just like a big lake. No matter what poisonous thing you throw in, it will be absorbed, cleansed and cooled down.
If you throw a bag of salt into the lake, it will be dissolved, and leave no impact to the lake.
But, if you throw a big amount of salt to a cup of water, can that cup of water be drunk?

… ya … I must confess, I am the cup of salty water.

… Read through a few more pages, more shameful I am, and realize a lot things I did wrongly to myself, treated myself so badly, really need to change and get it corrected, at the very least, for the sake to live longer. .. (the book mentioned people who are 小器 and get frustrated very fast like me normally die younger, with unhappy life … hahaha)

… It’s not something very fun to read at some points. Though most of the time, the author will share short stories to bring up the point (and I love stories), still it’s a bit dry for me. But I must finish it, I told myself.

I did check out on Global Art to understand their program for young children.

They have very organized and systematic  syllabus. The entry point is a foundation level, which consists of 4 books. All these 4 books focus on teaching coloring, toning, color blending. When completed this level, the children can tone using up to 6 colors. Only then the child can proceed to Level 1 and so on, which is teaching serious drawing. They start with drawing object like fruits cause basically drawing fruits is like drawing shapes, slowing amend and change to become the shape of the fruit. Then they proceed on drawing farm animals, etc. (sigh, old already. Cannot remember well now). But for sure, drawing human beings will be the last to teach.

No doubt it’s a very good programme.

Just that it’s a bit hard for me to accept that at such a young age, we input to the child: oh, this color, you must match with this color; and this is the set of colors to use for toning. Like when coloring a banana, use the dark yellow, medium yellow, then light yellow to do toning. I don’t feel comfortable inputing this idea to them. I personally feel, should let the child embrace the fun of putting the color, dare to express. It makes me feel like we are telling the child you need to color this way then only it’s consider beautiful. No, that is not what I want. I want them to be able to say, you see, this part of the banana I color a bit green cause it’s only half 熟 (Ying likes to say that), and this part got worm, so you can see black black things.

On and off, I also keep on 反省 whether all these programmes (including non-art class), will it kill their creativity more. Everything they just have to try to recall and follow what is taught. I tried to think back my old school days and my experience during drawing class. I was ok with drawing the things out, just that I was not sure how to apply the color water to make the drawing looks what I wanted. That was the time when I wished I could attend Art class. Only at that time, but not when I was 5 or 6 years old. Then, my world was just play and play, and story books.

But then, next time, will they feel inferior when they see all their friends color similarly, their friends all color using similar tones, and they might feel they are in different? Will they? …. will see…. until they tell me.




August 2010

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