Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Perth Oct 2012: Whale watching

Mother and calf whale spotted!

Of the entire trip, I enjoyed the Whale-watching most. This was my first time on a chartered boat to look for whales and we were lucky it was a good day with perfect weather and lots of whale sightings.

Adam was enthusiastic about it and he told me he saw whales too. I asked them whether they were huge or tiny, he said they were small. His reason? Because they were far away and appeared small haha.

We spotted mother and calf humpbacks and they were very friendly and did not mind us at all.
One of them even swam right next to our boat and was quite an experience!

Did you know? A calf stays with its Mummy whale for 1.5 years and the Mummy whale breastfeeds her calf for 1 full year.

Perth Oct 2012: Leeuwin vineyard and Chocolate factory

Took a drive down to Leeuwin estate for vineyard tour and have a lovely lunch with wine and good food.

Chocolate Factory at Margaret River

Free chocolate tasting

Perth October 2012: Farmstay

We stayed at Sunflowers Farm for this entire trip. There was no wifi, no internet.
It was a great place to rest your tired mind and be away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Thw owner of the farm, Debbie, was a great host. Thumbs up for the hospitality and being so accomodating to us.

Lily and Chilli are the resident Border Collies on the farm. Adam got chummy with them until....

Chilli decided to jump on him and plant him a kiss! Scared the crap out of Adam. Hah!

Despite not travelling for close to a year, Adam is still very well-behaved on the flight. He either slept or watched the in-flight cartoons and I am most proud of him.

From this trip, I learned a lot more about my son. I now know that he is fearless and lives his life to the max. Whether it is going on a pony ride solo for the first time, or feeding horses and alpacas taller than him, or going on a boat whale-watching, this boy is just a little dynamite of energy.

To Adam, nothing is done in half measures.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Some stuff Adam has been up to.

We're back from Perth and all the laundry is just horrendous!
We stayed on a farm with no internet, no wifi, nothing! Adam enjoyed himself loads going on pony rides and bottle-feeding the baby lambs.
We even went whale-watching with the kids and spotted several hump-backs.

Will get to work on those photos. Soon. Promise.

By the way, here's what Adam has been doing at home with my "home-schooling" material.
Concept of time: Adam made a clock in school and I proudly pinned it up on his bedroom wall. He knows the concept of time, like Mornings are for going to school, Evenings are time with Mummy, Daddy & Ah-ma etc.
I point to him the number on the hour-hand and tell him now it is 9 O'Clock at night, time to read a book then go to bed.

Workbook time: he can draw lines to match objects / animals.

Problem solving skills: He can also do simple maze puzzles.

He's getting better at the Maze puzzles. I printed them free from Google Images so he can do them over and over.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bye Singapore, see you in Perth!

Andy & I are bringing Adam to Perth. He has been to Melbourne already and we thought it would be fun doing farm-stays and road-trips along Margaret River with the kids (we are going with Paul, A and Morgan).

Things to pack for me:
- Jeans x 2
- Cardigan
- Tops x few
- Scarves x 2
- Toiletries

Things to pack for Adam:
- T-shirts
- Backup T-shirts in case of throw-ups / spillage / dung from farm-stay
- Long sleeve shirts
- Jackets
- Bermudas
- Jeans
- Backup jackets in case of throw-ups / spillage / dirt
- Night diapers
- Diapers, in case he wants to pee when we are on the plane / in the middle of the ocean whale-watching
- Milk powder
- Bottles (this is embarrassing but he won't wean from the bottle)
- Socks
- Leggings
- Pyjamas
- Extra shoes, in case they get stolen by kangeroos or eaten by whales.

Clearly, my son needs 200% more luggage space than me.
I'm having mixed feelings about this trip. Actually, I can't bear to leave my Ashton behind but if we bring him, it will be too much work.
That's why I have concluded that our next vacation will be when both kids are big, which by then I will be almost 100 years old and they won't want me vacationing with them.
That's the whole point.

Ok. Hope you have a great long weekend and see you in Perth!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Learning with my Pre-schooler

Adam is about the least scholarly Pre-schooler I know. Instead of filling his weekends with Enrichment classes - Music, phonics, math genius, science club etc - we bring him out and about, exploring new places, revisiting old ones, or simply going to my parents'.

If I had all the time in the world, I would even want to homeschool him. But of course that is not possible otherwise we would live like church mice.
So the next best thing to do is to spend as much free time I can with him.
I try to spend my evenings alone with him, giving him one-to-one attention. It's still do-able now that Ashton spends most his time sleeping and feeding and my helper is very good with him.

Remember I made some color magnets here to teach Adam colors?
Well, he has mastered the basic colors of the Color Wheel now and I've upped the stakes by making Color Boxes, filling plastic containers with different objects found around the house, to let him explore his sensory and motor skills.
The boxes come in a variety of sizes and cost $2 for 3 at Daiso.
The items to fill up the boxes cost practically nothing because I find whatever I can use in the house.
I only made these today. I will get down to making more Color Boxes over the next few days depending on what I can find.

School after school - I poured out the objects from the boxes and got Adam to sort them according to color into their respective boxes.

The red dots on the floor are actually stickers which we use to teach Math and counting by pasting them on unwanted cardboard from previous toy purchases. For a start, we did 1-4.
It is tempting to slide into my lazy mode and just put on the iPad so I can get on the internet or iPhone so I need ALOT of discipline and patience when doing these stuff with Adam.
Endure Veron, you can do it!

I'm not sure at 3.5 years old how "advanced" should a pre-schooler be but I've realized I googled the topic on Child developmental milestones and every child develop at different paces so I shall refrain from being a kiasu parent (easier said than done!).

Obviously I'm not a trained early childhood teacher so if anyone has any great ideas how to "homeschool" your children do share with me! Much appreciated! :)