Archives for posts with tag: Tuesday

This morning Mr. Piggy reminded me to slow down when teaching the boys Chinese. He is so right! I am teaching them like they studied Chinese for years. Well, technically, they have, but sadly, nothing got through for the last few years. Therefore, I am starting them fresh, at least for Ah Lo. My expectations should be just at that. There were times during lessons, I get frustrated because I find myself repeating the same word after just repeating it 3 seconds ago. Hopefully by adjusting my mentality will give me more patience and eases the frustration between myself and the boys.

Today the truth is told.

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When I share with parents my boys’ development, many are very impressed followed by remarks like “you are so lucky,” or questions like “how do you do that?” or even as hideous as “your kids are naturally bright, you don’t need to do anything.” Well, my friends, I am lucky, yes, I know. However, please don’t assume bright children have it made, and so do their parents. Just like any other parents, I still need to wear the parent’s hat 24/7. I devote a considerable amount of time and energy to keep them engaged, to support their learning, and to keep the communication channel open. I have to constantly look for ways to impact their growth and development, in or outside the home environment. I work relentlessly to find ways to help build confidence, through projects, sports or extracurriculars. Parents need to put in your hours for things to happen the way you want. It just doesn’t happen overnight.

I don’t have a manual or reference book to go by, but I do know a few things. I know both parents have to be on the same page, have to be consistent and support each other. I know that from early infancy, when parents provide consistent, loving care, it strengthens the relationship between my boys and I. I don’t have any special tricks up my sleeves or magic potions to feed if you are wondering, although there were times I wished I did. I know I have to do all of the above in order to raise happy kids. Because I truly believe what Michelle Obama said, “when your children feel loved, everything falls in the right place.”

Not only am I lucky to have bright boys, I am also lucky to have my parents to guide and mold me as a person as I am today – from my dad, who always led by example; from my mom, who through constant nagging have instill good values in my life overtime without me knowing.

Today the truth is told.

Last week, Dai Bee shared with us an incident in his math class. After 7 days of school, his teacher pulled him aside and asked him if he had taken her class before. No was the reply. Do you know anyone who has the same class at different periods? Yes, his friend has the same class earlier the day. Do you and your friend share info about my class? Yes, we talked about the class. His teacher’s response: “Well, don’t. I’m here to teach, not for you and your friend to share notes from my class. That’s not nice.” Confused by the response, Dai Bee wasn’t sure what the teacher was getting at. When he told us that, I was appalled. Just because Dai Bee knew the answers to some of the more difficult questions (what fibonacci sequence is), the teacher automatically made the assumption that he was discussing her class with other students. Instead of assessing the student’s background, she denies him the chance of excelling. I just thought it was uncalled for and totally unfair to Dai Bee.

Later that week, I made an appointment with the teacher to 1) introduce myself, 2) clarify the reason why Dai Bee knew the answers to her questions and 3) to see if we can collaborate to help him advance in a higher level. 1) When I tried to clarify to her, she didn’t look like she cared. She basically told me she has many students who share notes. For Dai Bee, totally red flagged her when he knew the answers even before she asked the questions. Does it ever dawn on you that he is advanced? Yeah sure, all the 7th graders spend their precious lunch hour jotting down every single detail of what happened during your class. Does that make sense to you?! 2) She doesn’t differentiate her math students. She has a curriculum to teach and she will stick to that. Anything above and beyond is not expected of her (her exact words). If I want more, then it’s up to the parent or student to look for it. She even suggested there are free online resources that might be helpful or I can pay for those services. I understand that public school teachers have a full plate already and with minimum support, it’s difficult to cater to everyone’s needs. But really, Ms. Math teacher, I thought you might be a little jazzed up knowing you have a bright kid in your class who is eager to learn more?! I guess not. After the meeting, I walked out disappointed because obviously we weren’t on the same page.

The same day, I also met up with the Assistant Principal in charge of the curriculum. I echoed what I was told. He reassured me that all the math teachers in the school should differentiate the students and teach accordingly. I left the office with the promise that he will talk to Dai Bee’s math teacher. I also made the promise to Dai Bee that I will continue to advocate for him. I will follow up with the Assistant Principal and look for other options for him. I will keep fighting because it’s a fight worth fighting for.

Today the truth is told.

It’s a bit irritating when other people judge me as a parent who “pushes too hard” on my kids just because I constantly engage them with activities. All along I thought that is our responsibility to teach them, involve them, and to interact with them, no matter what the age is. To others, the many things that I do with my kids involve academically; therefore, I’m labeled as a “tiger mom.” Honestly, I also do other fun stuff with them as well. Sure, letting your kids roam around and explore freely might be the easier route, but as an adult, it’s the parents’ responsibility to help our kids thrive in any way possible.

Having said this, I don’t really care how others label me.  I will continue to do whatever I am doing, as long as my kids are happy, and they will tell you they are.

Today the truth is told.

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Last week Ah Lo saw Dai Bee with his new running shoes, he started complained he needed new shoes. Shoes he was wearing were a bit tight, he moaned. This past Saturday, I took him to try on some new shoes. He picked up a couple and chose the ones he thinks would make him run faster!

Not until I went home, I didn’t realize how much his feet had grown?!

The last pair of shoes I bought for him was size 11 and this one – size 13-1/2!!

Really?! How did that happen? Did his feet grow overnight? His new shoes didn’t seem loose. He was zooming with those new sneakers. And all along I thought he was just jealous about Dai Bee’s new shoes. Guess not. Today the truth is told.

Today I am thankful for an understanding boss…”

So we recently discovered Ah Lo is back sucking his thumb again to fall asleep (which I thought he was free of it a long time ago). We tried all sorts of way to get rid of this bad habit because it was damaging to his teeth. Nothing seemed to work. The problem was he didn’t even know he was sucking his thumb.

Two weeks ago, the boys had a dentist appointment. We brought our concern to his dentist with his thumb sucking habit. The dentist suggested this product for us to use. It’s almost like nail polish except it’ harmlesss yet effective. Basically, it’s a product that helps adults and children break the nail biting habit. You apply it on his nail (2 to 3 times a week). When he sucks on his thumb, it gives a distinct bad taste in the mouth. The thumb sucking (or nail biting) habit is supposed to stop in 10 days. The dentist suggested that we let him know in advance what we were doing. My bad. I didn’t. One night when he was asleep, I just applied one coat of Mavala Stop. In the middle of the night, he came over and said there was a weird taste in his mouth. I told him to rinse his mouth. This happened for a couple of days. Today is the 10th day, and for the last few days or so, I didn’t hear any complaints. Hopefully this product will get him to stop by putting that thumb in his mouth ever again.

I told him sucking his thumb was the reason for the bad taste in his mouth. Actually, my love, it’s this product. You’ll thank me later. Today the truth is told.

Today I am thankful for the sun...”

After meeting the avid reader, Ah Lo, meet the person who has been influencing him to read.

This guy would finish this stack of books in half an hour (if we let him). He’s worse than Ah Lo when it comes to reading. Books rarely leave his hands once he gets a hold them. He can read the same book 4 times and still stay focus on it. He likes to read all kinds of books, from mysteries to nonfiction, from children’s atlas to science topics. When Ah Lo sees his brother drown in his books, he, often times, picks up a book and starts reading. Today the truth is told.

Today I am thankful for our library…”

Every night after dinner, both Ah Lo and Dai Bee have their own chore. Dai Bee wipes the table and Ah Lo sweeps the floor. Today, we switched because Dai Bee was in a shower. While I was doing the dishes, I asked Ah Lo to wipe the table.

I was taken aback at what this kid can do. Not only was he able to do it, but he went way beyond without asking. With a glass table, I was impressed to see that he not only wiped the top, but also the bottom (oily fingerprints). He asked to have the cloth rinsed again so he can wipe it more. When he was done, I shamefully admitted that he did a better job than me. Today the truth is told.

p.s. When I praised him for a job well done, he turned around and said, “of course, remember the poster on our bedroom wall? ‘Whatever you do, you do it with all your heart‘.”  WOW.

Today I am thankful for my sweet little helper…”

When people find out how smart Dai Bee is, the first thing they ask, “what did you do?” Well, nothing much more than any parent, I guess.  There are a few things along the way that might give them a boost here and there:

1) I remembered when he first started to walk, I’d always hold his hands up and down the stairs. While holding his hands, I often count the numbers as we were going up or down anywhere we went. Soon, he was counting with me. And yes, Dai Bee knew how to count before he was 2.

2) When the boys asked for snacks (at a very young age – 2 or 3), I always asked them how many they wanted. They would give me a number. Usually a number between 1-10 because that’s all they knew at that age. When they asked for 6, I would just give them 4 and asked how many more I am missing. This started our basic arithmetic lesson, at age 2.

3) Between 12 or 18 months, I stopped using goo goo gaa gaas to communicate with them. I use real (but simple) words. I don’t make up words for big items such as refrigerator or blow dryer.

4) When they first learned their alphabets, we would play “I spy” games in the car (while I was driving). We would look for letters from signs or colors. When they were older, we always played “rhyming” games.

5) Always read read and read to them. When a child comes to you to read a book, always drop whatever you’re doing (to a certain extent) and sit down to read with him or her. Try your very best to read with exaggerated expressions. Be animated. Kids love it! That’s how Ah Lo knew the words “excavators, dump truck, cement mixer, transporter” when he was barely over 3.

6) When the boys do their homework, I make them do more than what was required. For example, last night, Ah Lo brought home a worksheet that asked the child to find something in the house that’s rectangular and draw it down. The teacher only asked for one item, but we went on with more than one. Not only so, I helped him spell out the words for each drawing (i.e. “refrigerator, mirror, window, etc.” When Dai Bee was in preschool, he had a reading log. He basically read a book and colored the number of books in a chart given by the teacher. I did more. I suggested that he copied down the title of each book he read.

7) I checked Dai Bee’s homework every night. For that, I NEVER point out which ones were wrong, if any. I only let him know there was one (or more) incorrect on this page (or this section depends on how many problems are on that page). He needed to check out himself which one he did incorrectly. I didn’t want him to think that he could be careless with his work because there’s always someone to correct it. This also teaches him to double check his homework/tests.

You’ll realize that there’s really no special tricks. Today the truth is told.

Today I am thankful for making to work on time…”

Ah Lo has been negotiating with us that when he gets to certain level (obtaining his purple ribbon), he’ll quit. Dai Bee wants to continue until he reaches all levels. He tells Ah Lo “you can’t just quit in the middle.” Today the truth is told.

Today I am thankful for a slow day at work...”