Monday, June 12, 2017

REVIEW + GIVEAWAY! Chemical Free + Hypoallergenic Certified - Pipper Standard Household Cleaning Products

My family started having a helper before Dumpling was born as we decided against an infant care centre. The good thing is that I get to spend precious time with the kiddo after work – whether it was through homeschooling or now that she is in Primary school, looking through her homework or going through revisions with her instead of having to use that time for chores. The bad thing is that there’s a certain level of reliance on the helper (on the kiddo’s part) for even the simplest thing.

Whenever my helper heads back for her home leave, I would get the kiddo involved in cleaning and packing up. However, anything regarding washing – laundry / dishes would leave her with very dry hands and she then starts to peel around her fingers. (Picture below is already after tons of moisturizer)



I come from a family with strong allergy genes – asthma, nut and egg allergy, and believe it or not, I am also sensitive to extreme weather changes as it would leave me in with hives. Sadly, even my dog – Jaime also suffers from allergies!


Hence, my skin care regime and body care products are all certified as dermatologist tested and free from paraben, sulphate, silicone, petroleum surfactant, etc. Hey, one cannot be too careful, after all, my household includes dogs and a young child.

The part that I have not quite gotten to was being able to find a cleaning range of products which is basically chemical free as exposure to petrochemicals can lead to the development of allergies, skin rashes, asthma, eczema, etc. So I am really pleased and excited to have a chance to try out and to share our review of Pipper Standard cleaning products!



Dish washing liquid

The Road Test
All of Pipper Standard products are naturally made from pineapples and have hypoallergenic certifications, non-irritation certifications, and are free of known allergens; parents do not have to worry when using Pipper Standard household cleaning products in homes with babies or young children.

For me, because of the sensitive skin my kiddo has and the allergy history from my part of the family, that was exactly the range of household cleaning products I was looking for.

Additionally, I also believe in doing my share for the environment (even the facial and body scrubs that I use do not consist of plastic microbeads which causes harm to the environment) hence anything that’s biodegradable earns an extra point from me!

In comes Pipper Standard Dish Washing detergent. Formulated with its proprietary pineapple fermentation process that yields natural organic acids, natural enzymes, natural preservatives and biosurfactants which in turn allow our product to clean as well as or better than chemical products!


When the kiddo used it, the first thing she said to me was “it smells really good!” A quick look at the label shows that the products have essential oil added to them hence the fresh and clean citrusy scent.

As the dishwashing detergent is not formulated with chemicals, both the kiddo’s and my hands were soft and not dried at all and the cups rinsed off easily.




THEN I made a startling discovery! The dishwashing liquid can also be used … TO WASH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES! YES, FRUITS AND VEGETABLES!

After thinking and reading through, it all makes sense. See, since there’s no chemicals added to this product and the range is made of natural ingredients, they are safe for washing fruits and vegetables! One of our family’s favourite fruits is grapes and if you were to google, you’d notice that grapes are often listed high up on the list of fruits with pesticides! Naturally, I have been concerned with such pesticides on our fruits but with Pipper Standard Dishwashing liquid, I now have a good way to put my mind to ease.

How do you use it to wash fruits and vegetables?

Just simply dilute one pump of dish washing liquid into a large bowl of water and soak the fruits and vegetables for 10 minutes, rub the grapes, rinse off and serve!


Laundry Detergent:
OK, now that the dishwashing liquid earned brownie points from us both, what about the other products from Pipper Standard? We decided to put Pipper Standard Laundry Detergent to the test!

For the kiddo, the most “filthy” item she has would probably be her school and sports shoes. I guess that’s to be expected as unlike school uniforms which are washed daily, her shoes are washed weekly.

 

The Road Test
For the road test, I got the kiddo to soak her sports shoes in a pail of Pipper Standard laundry detergent solution. After a quick 15 mins soak, we started scrubbing them. The dirt came out easily but what I was really surprised with was how easily it was rinsed off.

Before wash


After wash


What I found out was this: most detergents in the market add harmful chemicals to create a foaming effect due to the common misconception that more foam=better cleaning. But most fail to realize that what it equates to is that more water is used to rinse your items out! With the upcoming 30% increase in our water prices from July 2017, anything that helps to conserve water is good news for us!

As I use a front load machine, one of the concerns that I have is to find low suds detergent. Now, with Pipper’s Laundry Detergent having none of the foaming chemicals, this means that it is easy for front load machine users like me! 

And yes, if you are wondering, Pipper’s laundry detergents are hypoallergenic, non-irritant and biodegradable certified by 3rd parties.

I am pleased to share that I have 2 x Dishwashing Liquid to give away


Terms and Conditions
  1. The products are kindly sponsored by Pipper Standard and the giveaway is not endorsed, or associated with Facebook.
  2. The products cannot be exchanged and are not exchangeable for cash
  3. Please answer this question in the comments section below: “Why are Pipper Standard products safe for the family?”
  4. This giveaway is opened only to Singapore Residents. GOOD LUCK! 
Looking for further chances to win more? Read on!

Stand a chance to win a $200 SGD gift voucher to BOVE- world’s largest baby superstore in Suntec City! Simply take a photo with your kids doing fun cleaning activities with any Pipper Standard product.
  1. Take a photo with your child cleaning with any Pipper Standard products
  2. Upload to your Facebook (Tag Pipper Standard Singapore and hashtag #PipperWithKids) don’t forget to make your photo public!
  3. Get your friends to like and share
  4. Post with the most likes wins the gift voucher; second place receives a gift basket of all Pipper Standard products!
About Pipper Standard
From a wife’s care and concern for her husband’s allergies came a line of natural, non-toxic household cleaning products which clean without adding harmful chemicals.Made from the fermentation of pineapple, PiPPER STANDARD is the result of years of dedicated research and development to invent a line of natural household care products that are both safe and as powerful in cleaning as chemical products. PiPPER STANDARD products are free of known allergens, hypoallergenic certified, and are readily biodegradable. We believe the skyrocketing rates of allergies and similar maladies worldwide are caused by excessive exposure to chemicals. By providing consumers a full line of natural household care products to use in lieu of traditional chemical-based products, we can decrease our exposure to harmful chemicals and help care for others by fulfilling our vision to decrease allergy rates and to decrease contamination of our environments.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored conversation by Pipper Standard. All opinions expressed are entirely our own.

If you have enjoyed this post, please follow me on my Facebook Page where I share my parenting thoughts, food photos (be prepared for tons of them!), early shout outs for giveaways and interact with you, my readers! You can also follow me on Pinterest and Instagram 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Giveaway: Singapore Repertory Theatre's Little Red Riding Hood 《小红帽》

After successfully staging it in English, SRT’s The Little Company now presents Red Riding Hood in Mandarin. Dumpling and I caught the English production some years ago and we loved the songs.

Red Riding Hood is an uplifting story about a brave girl named Red who must journey through the forest to reunite her family and save Mother’s bakery from closing down.

Like the original story, Big Bad Wolf spotted Red midway… Will she reach Grandma’s house in time? Or will the charming Big Bad Wolf distract her from her quest? Join Red on her adventure into the woods, where no one is what they seem!

Red Riding Hood

Having watched all of SRT's previous Chinese productions, I’d expect this to be filled with humour, packed with original music and exposing children to a good vocabulary bank! This is a fantastic show to be enjoyed by children and adults of all ages and I am pleased to share that I have a family set of 4 tickets to give away!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

: Terms and Conditions
1.                   These tickets will be to the 29 July, 11.00am show
2.                   The winner is to collect the tickets at the box office, minimally                           30mins before showtime.
3.                   Tickets are not exchangeable for cash or for other dates.
4.                   Please remember to leave a comment below on "Which fairy                           tale would you like to watch in Mandarin and why?"
5.                   The giveaway is not endorsed, associated with administrated                           by Facebook.                  
6.                   As the play takes place in Singapore, this giveaway is opened                         only to Singapore Residents. GOOD LUCK! 


Can't wait for the giveaway results? You can purchase tickets here

And here's a trailer to share:


:: Venue

Disclaimer: The giveaway is kindly sponsored by Singapore Repertory Theatre. We are not compensated for the post. All opinions expressed are entirely ours.

If you have enjoyed this post, please follow me on my Facebook Page where I share my parenting thoughts, food photos (be prepared for tons of them!), early shout outs for giveaways and interact with you, my readers! You can also follow me on Pinterest and Instagram 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Review: Poultry Tales by i Theatre

Dumpling and I took a much needed break from the SA revisions and caught Poultry Tales by I Theatre. To commemorate the year of Rooster, this play features the 3 famous feathered friends from well-known classics that I Theatre has put up before: Little Red Hen, The Goose that laid Golden Eggs and Chicken-Licken. 

More interestingly, the play weaves in how it is like, in a theatre with “behind the scenes” as part of the story. The story (stories?!?) comes to life with these 4 actors – Isabella Chiam, Elizabeth Toh, Daphne Ong and Darren Guo. Isabella played the role of a stage manager with Elizabeth and Darren as interns who tries to learn what goes on backstage. 



Stage terms like “Legs”, “Fly Bar”, “Cyclorama” and how the backstage crew support the plays were explained to the interns (and “in turn”, us the audience). Along the way, the interns convinced Isabelle and Daphne to act out the famous tales…


The usage of props like masks was elaborated through the story of Chicken-Licken. Though there were only 4 actors, they took 6 roles in total, where the actors slip into the various roles comfortably with just by using different accent and masks. :) Audience who have watched Chicken Licken previously will find the "re-enacted" scene familiar; the scene also had the younger audience giggling merrily when Chicken Licken shook his tail. :D

In the story of The Goose that Laid Golden Eggs, the lesson on "greed" was well explained. For parents who worry that it may be a tad "dark", you will be happy to know that the goose demise was acted out with some "physical comedy" where ribbons were used to depict the "insides" of the goose.


With just a change of props, the popular Little Red Hen came to "live". The theme song from the play was performed by the cast "little red hen, little red heeeen, little red hen, little red hen" and as we have the CD at home, Dumpling and I joined in the singing and sang along to it too. Of course the importance of friendship and keeping promises were highlighted in this story. Isabella played the role of Little Red Hen well as she was both engaging and likeable, making her very popular with the young audiences.

Comparatively, this story is also the most interactive as the various characters sought out advice and comments from the audience.


For me, I personally also like that the Little Red Hen did not share the bread with the rest of her friends. To me, I feel that she's justified in not wanting to share as the friends did not help in any way, despite having many opportunities to do so. I like that the story respected her choice. :p




With the end of this play, it also sadly marks the end of I Theatre's 2017 season as there has been a cut in funding for a few organisations. I am a tad wistful thinking about this as Dumpling basically grew up on I Theatre's play which includes Rainbow Fish (showcasing the beautiful black light theatre) to The Ant and the Grasshopper where it gave me a chance to talk to her about the value of hard work. 

In an poignant way, this play also serves to remind us that when we support the local arts scene, we do not just support the actors we see on stage but also the cost of the production of props, rental of venue and the hiring of backstage crew, etc; of which any theatrical production could not have happen without these unsung heroes, as clearly depicted by this play. 

Poultry Tales is a clever, informative and engaging play, weaving in 3 stories yet serves to educate us on what goes on backstage. It is suitable for preschoolers and even for Primary school children. Dumpling enjoyed the songs and appreciated the backstage scenes. Poultry Tales into its last week of performances. Do catch these last few performances before we bid them farewell for the rest of the year!

:: Event Date
Sat, 29 Apr - Sun, 14 May 2017
10.30am & 2pm

:: TICKET PRICES (Not including SISTIC Fees):                                                      

Standard Ticket
Adult/Child
$32.00
Family Package (4 Persons)
$121.60
Big Family Package (5 Persons)
$144.00
Corporate Groups (min 20 persons)
25.60

:: Venue
Disclaimer: We were invited to watch the play I Theatre so that we can give our opinions of it.We are not compensated for the post. All opinions expressed are entirely ours.

If you have enjoyed this post, please follow me on my Facebook Page where I share my parenting thoughts, food photos (be prepared for tons of them!), early shout outs for giveaways and interact with you, my readers! You can also follow me on Pinterest and Instagram 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Giveaway! ITheatre's Poultry Tales!

Comes end of April, it will be a farmyard tale of the best (poultry) kind!

I Theatre

A brand new and interactive musical performance incorporating three famous feathered friends – the stars of three classic tales:

~ The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs, and her greedy owner;
~ The Little Red Hen, with bread to bake, but lazy friends;
~ and Chicken-Licken - with that scary acorn!

This talkative trio of feathered friends will sing, dance, show and tell you their tales and give you a peek into the world of Theatre Stage from the inside out.  

The wild and wacky characters and well-known folk tales are presented in fun ways that help us to understand both the themes and morals, but along the way also reveal valuable secrets of how a Musical is made!

The play will explore key themes of: 
  • Cooperation,
  • Rewards for hard work,
  • Knowing who to trust,
  • Disbelieving rumours,
  • The Dangers of Avarice
  • The dangers of judging others
  • How a theatre play is staged and the roles of backstage crew

I am pleased to share that I have 2 x family set of tickets to give away!


:: Terms and Conditions
1.                   These tickets will be to the 30 April 10.30am show
2.                   Winner is to collect the tickets directly from I Theatre office @ 27 Kerbau Road by 27 April (no onsite collection is allowed) during office hours.
3.                   Tickets are not exchangeable for cash or for other dates.
4.                   Please remember to leave a comment below on "Which Poultry character you like best and why?"
5.                  The giveaway is not endorsed, associated with administrated by Facebook.                  
6.          As the play takes place in Singapore, this giveaway is opened only to Singapore Residents. GOOD LUCK! 

Can't wait for the giveaway results? You can purchase tickets here!

:: Event Date
Sat, 29 Apr - Sun, 14 May 2017
10.30am & 2pm

:: TICKET PRICES (Not including SISTIC Fees):                                                     

Standard Ticket
Adult/Child
$32.00
Family Package (4 Persons)
$121.60
Big Family Package (5 Persons)
$144.00
Corporate Groups (min 20 persons)
25.60

:: Venue
Disclaimer: The giveaway is kindly sponsored by I Theatre. We are not compensated for the post. All opinions expressed are entirely ours.

If you have enjoyed this post, please follow me on my Facebook Page where I share my parenting thoughts, food photos (be prepared for tons of them!), early shout outs for giveaways and interact with you, my readers! You can also follow me on Pinterest and Instagram 


Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Art of Creative Writing

The art of creative writing in Primary school is totally different from what I expected when Dumpling was in Primary 1. Most of my friends’ children, like Dumpling, started on creative writing / composition in school in Term 3 of Primary 1.

Being a voracious reader from a young age, I had the expectations that writing would come easily to Dumpling. Though the flow was easy for her, I later realized that there is a difference in writing for pleasure versus writing for exams. The latter can get very technical in how (teachers / schools) they grade the children and what they look out for.

The kiddo previously trialed on online writing class which I have shared here. This course is great for parents who are stretched for time (no need to worry about transportation and parking) as the composition elements are watched online and the child (P3 onwards) attempts the homework piece and scans it over for the Teacher Hui Ing to mark.

If, however, you are looking at initial assistance for your child, here are some quick tips to share:

:: Time management and planning
This, for me, is one of the most important elements in taking any exams / tests. If the piece is not completed, it usually does not warrant a passing grade.

So sit down and work on time planning with your child. If your child is given for e.g 45 mins, then you can recommend 5 mins to read and plan, and the remaining 30 -35 minutes to write before the last few minutes to read through and check.


:: Format
As a general rule of thumb, I told Dumpling when she was younger that if there are 3 pictures in the composition, then write 3 paragraphs. If there are 4, then it will be 4. Unless your child is able to write quickly and plans his / her flow well, I would encourage such a format so as not to “underwrite”.

Additionally, it is not uncommon for children to only write perhaps 1 – 2 sentences per picture so this is where you can also give clear guidelines. E.g. Picture 1 ~ introduction: to write 2 sentences.

If it were to be a 4 picture composition, then the body needs to be longer to build up the story and this is where it will be for e.g. 3 sentences for each picture with conclusion back to 2 sentences. With such a format, it usually will fall within the minimum word count required.

Usually for P1 and P2, schools will use picture compositions and this can be 1, 3 or 4 pictures. Depending on level and schools, the word count can differ.


:: Technique
This is where it gets a bit more technical. Compositions are usually graded based on Content and Language at the lower level. Hence besides having a strong logical story flow, students need to be able to display their pen welding prowess and showcase a variety of skill sets.

Story starter
Instead of the usual “One afternoon” / "One day", work with your child to start a story differently. I personally prefer to start with a sound effect or dialogue but I do know many start with description of settings. 

I am wary of the last option because I have come across many compositions where the child starts with superfluous descriptions such as “fluffy white clouds dotted across the cerulean blue sky” and how “dragonflies with their iridescent wings were darting around the pond” only to realize that the story is about a trip to the Science Centre where it is not even related to the story. (I have shared my thoughts on this in a previous post.)

Sentence starter
Children have a tendency to start sentences in a similar manner.

Start with a continuous verb
Instead of always starting with “I” – e.g. I ran after the bus as it looked like it was about to pour”, consider starting with a continuous verb “Looking up, I saw dark clouds gather and realized that it was about to pour.”

Start with an adverb
Other sentence starters can start with an adverb (-ly).
E.g. Angrily, I stuffed my book into my school bag and stormed off.
Hungrily, I stared at the mouth-watering spread in front of me. 

Metaphors and Similes
Besides being mindful of technique, I have also learnt that teachers look out for strong vocabulary and good descriptive phrases. So you can remind your child to be more intentional.

Here’s a good poster to make reference to – words to replace “said”.


Additionally, you can also introduce similes or metaphors to your child so that they can describe the “moments” better.

So what are metaphors and similes and how are they different from each other? 


Here are some more examples of Metaphors


And some simple Similes here

 

You do not necessarily need to stick to these similes or metaphors; you can also encourage your child to create their own. I have to add on to say that it is not necessary to pepper the composition throughout with these similes and metaphors, otherwise it can be an "overkill". 

 :: Practise practise practise
Above and beyond all these tips, do note that regular practice matters. It matters because even in the "strongest" of children (in this area), regular practice allows them to hone this craft. They learn to plan better and write faster with more intentional use of such techniques.

What we also do regularly is to listen to audio CDs and when I hear good phrases, I'd usually pause and highlight that to the kiddo. :) 

If you like to consider reference guides, Susan from A Juggling Mom has shared some resources in this post

If you have enjoyed this post, please follow me on my Facebook Page where I share my parenting thoughts, food photos (be prepared for tons of them!), early shout outs for giveaways and interact with you, my readers! You can also follow me on Pinterest and Instagram 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Review: Singapore Repertory Theatre's Peter Rabbit

Being a bookworm, the kiddo grew up with lots of wonderful classic titles. It is from these wonderful tales that she was carried away to different places on different adventures. Beatrix Potter's  Peter Rabbit was one of the stories that she grew up with where she progressed on to read the rest of the stories in the series on her own.

Perhaps it is because of Peter's cheekiness or that rabbits are just plain cute, the kiddo was very taken with this story from young (our late bunny was named Flopsy!) and was really excited to catch this play in action, presented by Singapore Repertory Theatre.

:: The plot
Peter Rabbit is the only boy in the family to a pair of sisters. Being the only boy (and to the sisters' chagrin) he hardly helped out with the chores at home and the sisters were forever picking up after him.


One afternoon, after their mother left home, the siblings got into an argument and in a fit of anger, Peter decided that he would be better looking for another home.

Or so he thought...

The Little Company

Straight from the "get-go", Peter's adventure seems to have had a bumpy start when he bumped into his cousin Benjamin rabbit. They were both caught stealing from Mr McGregor's garden. (At this juncture, I must say that Mr McGregor had the most outrageous "mask" ever which had the kiddo laughing hysterically when he entered onto the stage).

Peter managed to have a narrow escape and wondered off into the woods where he bumped into his first friends - Squirrels. The Squirrels were friendly and all but he soon learnt that they are too different especially with his near "mis-adventure" with the forest Owl!

The Little Company

The Little Company

So off Peter Rabbit went, hippity hop where the Mice family who sews for a living.  Unfortunately Peter lacks the sewing skills and (without revealing too much) met a furry roadblock, ending his stay with the Mice family earlier than expected.

The Little Company

The Little Company

The third animal he met was the Hedgehog, who was also my favorite. The actress totally "rock" the persona and her song performance was impressive. The kiddo and I were both clapping and cheering her on! (Just check out the photo below! LOL)

The Little Company

More than that (and with her rock star image aside), she was quite the voice of conscience who dished out motherly advice to Peter who came to realise that there's no place quite like home, and reflected upon his relationship with his sisters.

The Little Company

A lively and fun play which brings across the message of the importance of family (and forgiveness too!) suitable for even preschoolers. Though Dumpling is in Primary 3 now, I too found myself, riding on this opportunity, whispering to her that all of us do make mistakes and that as a family, we will always love her despite any bad decisions. Because, that's what families are for. 

The Little Company

:: Event Dates
Friday, 24th Feb to Fri, 14 April
Weekends & Public Holidays: 11am and 2pm 
Weekdays: 10am 

Click here to book your tickets! 

:: Venue

Disclaimer: We were invited by Singapore Repertory Theatre to watch the play and share our opinions and thoughts about it. We are not compensated for the post. All opinions expressed are entirely ours.

If you have enjoyed this post, please follow me on my Facebook Page where I share my parenting thoughts, food photos (be prepared for tons of them!), early shout outs for giveaways and interact with you, my readers! You can also follow me on Pinterest and Instagram 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Parenting with Love: Enrichment Classes, are they necessary?

As part of my day job, I liaise with parents of pre-schoolers almost daily. One question which comes up inevitably is always on "primary school readiness". From a strictly "local" sense of the word - almost 95% of the parents that I meet are worried if their children will be able to cope with Primary School.

:: So what does Primary School readiness mean?
From a holistic standpoint, there are of course many facets which include social-emotional readiness and skills. While most of the parents that I have met are concerned about academic readiness, there are some who do look beyond that and value skills and traits such as collaboration/teamwork, independence, resilience, etc.

But academic readiness is almost always at the top of their minds when it comes to these parents who will be enrolling their children into the local primary school system. They worry if their kids can cope with the rigorous local primary school system, if the foundation laid is enough for their children and if they should send their children for extra classes - i.e. enrichment classes / after school care programme.
Image result for enrichment class clipart

Incidentally, I recently had a chat with an "ang mo" colleague and being in the education industry, it is not uncommon for us to delve into the latest trends, hot buzzwords, our kids, classes, etc. He was quite shocked to learn that Dumpling attends quite a number of classes and even ended his views with "does she even get a chance to play?"

That's pretty strong words and comment for someone who does not know my kid I'd say. LOL! The kiddo fortunately/unfortunately (depending on which "camp" you are in), likes activities and to keep herself busy. This was evident even when she was in Primary 1 and 2; where she'd spent her unstructured time in the afternoon doing what she likes which primarily would either be crafting, reading or doing some online learning stuff.

Being an only child, she has learnt to channel her energy into what amuses her in the afternoon until I am back from work where we will do some activities which she likes such as science and card games. For as long as I can remember, the kiddo has always been the one who asked me for classes (all except Swimming and Chinese class I must add) and feeding her voracious appetite for whatever she's keen on. From writing workshops to ice skating, and from STEM to Chinese Speech and Drama, with God's grace we have been blessed to have been able to support her interests.

:: So are enrichment classes a bad thing? And are we doing the wrong thing if we were to sign our children up for classes? I'd say no.

It really depends on your family dynamics, objectives and your child's personality and interest. I truly dislike sweeping statements like "oh, why are we doing this to the children" or "why can't we let them enjoy their childhood". Why is it that "classes" are perceived as always bad? True, there are KS parents whose objectives are to pepper their kids' schedules daily with classes but there are also other families with different dynamics and concerns.

Take for instance a mum that I know who has a child from her first marriage. As it was an inter-racial marriage, her daughter took Mandarin as my girlfriend thought that she would be able to assist her daughter in it. Though she had the best intentions, as environment and circumstance play an important part, the support was not as strong as intended. Her child's standard started dropping from Primary 2 to an alarming low in Primary 3 before she started failing in Primary 4. All that while, my friend was still adamant about not sending her child for tuition classes because she does not wish to give her child any pressure and wants her child to enjoy school. When she eventually agreed to employ a tutor, the tutor shared openly that the gap by then is really quite big and they have a lot of work for they have a lot of catching up to do; resulting in further pressure. The child has also displayed resistance to the language by then as it is just "too hard" for her.

To me "letting my child enjoy school / her childhood" also means supporting her interests and empowering her with the skills / concepts / knowledge to succeed at her tasks. As human beings, we often are spurred on and motivated to do more and to do better, with each taste of success. Similarly, for children, if he/she were to struggle with a subject and does not have access to the help / support which he / she may need, the child would most likely lose interest and motivation. It then becomes a vicious cycle of doing badly because of disinterest and a lack of knowledge and confidence.

(Dumpling with her cousins attending a STEM workshop)

So doing the right thing for the child will mean different thing to different families because of dynamics. For some, like my girlfriend's experience shared above, that help is necessary since the environment does not provide the Chinese exposure for her child. Now, for my case, Dumpling has been asking for classes out of interest as she wanted to learn a bit more than what the school teachers are able to teach, within the hours in school. Though she has CCA before her enrichment class, she still looks very much forward to them and I can see it in the effort she takes when applying new techniques learnt during the enrichment classes, to her homework.

It is a delicate balance of providing support versus maintaining / encouraging interest. Personally, I feel that when assistance is needed, it is better to start earlier than later, so that the gaps to be bridged are smaller and before the child has shown resistance to that subject. Different centres also have different pedagogical approaches and there likely will be some who are able to engage your child in an enjoyable manner whilst building up the level of competence. Good luck!

Monday, February 27, 2017

All in a day's work... (or not!)

So I have been dead quiet recently on the blogging front besides some giveaways. The main reason is that P3 has taken a toll on both me and the kiddo where I sort of lost my blogging mojo with the larger scheme of things.

In January this year, I attended a Parent Teacher Briefing with the hubs where we saw the kiddo’s new form teacher for the first time as she was with the same teachers and classmates for the past 2 years. The new form teacher shared on what they will be doing for each of the subjects and *dang dang dang dang* the amount of daily homework.

The homework load was something which I have heard about from well meaning friends but experiencing it, trying to manage the kiddo’s schedule and encouraging her to attempt the work properly is an entirely different matter.

We were told that MOE’s guideline is that the kids’ homework (at this level) does not exceed 1.5 hours at this stage. On the average, if the kiddo has homework for 2 subjects daily, it will come up to 1.5 hours as she’s still learning to focus on the task at hand (read: taking longer than usual to clear!). Added to the fact that I am anal about vision breaks, the work sometimes can take more than 2 hours for her, with 3 subjects. Plus, our engines were a tad cold when we started the year; everything has been slow to start. It has been trying and I have been doing remote control parenting – calling to ensure that she’s started on her work. This is because if the work is not completed before I get home, it will be a mindless mad rush when I get home!  

Now that we are into week 9 with last week being a tad mad with all the CAs (for all 4 subjects), I think we both have finally settled into our new routine (without me having to nag much. Phew!)

Here’s sharing some tips which work for us:
  • Have an hour break after school for some R&R plus lunch time before attempting to clear any work
  • Getting the kid to list down all the items she needs to complete and then crossing them out when she’s done (it gives her immense satisfaction to cross them off the list too)
  • On this note, my earlier challenge is that she does not have a habit of listing down the homework in her daily journal. *sweat* So there were instances where she completely forgotten about some. So I started some reward programme for her to record her homework and being a stationery lover, here's what I bought as some of the "rewards":
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  • For the kiddo, her focus and energy wane a bit after some time so I always get her to work on the “harder” stuff first
  • Get your kiddo to place a clock / watch on the table so that he/she is able to manage his/her time better. This is also where I have been getting her to set targets for herself to finish by a certain time. This is our clock LOL 
Image result for stormtrooper lego clock
  • Vision breaks after 45 mins for at least 15 mins. During this time, she’d make / take a drink, call me, head for bath room breaks, etc. before she starts the next task.
Having said that, with some new classes she has decided to take on, this also means that we needed to work out a new weekend schedule but it has been a good balance of sports versus interest versus work so far.

How’s your kiddo coping with the new academic year? 

Monday, February 6, 2017

A Family Package "Giveaway" to Singapore Repertory Theatre's Peter Rabbit!

"Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were—
Flopsy,
     Mopsy,
          Cotton-tail,
               and Peter.
They lived with their Mother in a sand-bank, underneath the root of a very big fir-tree.

“Now, my dears,” said old Mrs. Rabbit one morning, “you may go into the fields or down the lane, but don’t go into Mr. McGregor’s garden: your Father had an accident there; he was put in a pie by Mrs. McGregor.”"

:: Synopsis 
Singapore Repertory Theatre brings us on this wonderful journey as we laugh and cruise along with Peter Rabbit. Peter is tired of doing the chores and dealing with his goody two-shoes twin sisters. Peter Rabbit breaks the rules and steals from Mr. McGregor's garden.


Knowing that he has gone too far and afraid of what his mother might say, the only option for this little fugitive is to leave his warm rabbit hole and run away into the big world – somewhere he can do whatever he wants and be free of responsibility. But as Peter struggles to live with other animals, from feisty squirrels to sewing mice, he begins to realise his life at home might not have been so bad after all.

A Peter Rabbit Tale is based on the beloved children’s classic by Beatrix Potter and beautifully reimagined by Sarah Bundt and teaches us to treasure our family and loved ones. 

Let your "hare" down this March holidays as I am pleased to share that I have a set of family package worth almost $150 (of 4 tickets for 18 March, Saturday, 11am show) to give away!



:: Terms and Conditions
  1. These tickets will be to the 11am show on Saturday, 18 March
  2. Winner is to collect the tickets at least 30 mins before the show time.
  3. Tickets are not exchangeable for cash or for other dates, and are not transferable.
  4. Please remember to leave a comment below as an answer to "Why do you wish to watch this production?"
  5. The giveaway is not endorsed, associated with administrated by Facebook.
  6. As the play takes place in Singapore, this giveaway is opened only to Singapore Residents. GOOD LUCK! 
Can't wait for the giveaway results? You can purchase tickets here!

:: Event Date
Friday, 24th Feb to Fri, 14 April
Weekends & Public Holidays: 11am and 2pm 
Weekdays: 10am 
:: Venue

Disclaimer: The giveaway is kindly sponsored by Singapore Repertory Theatre. We are not compensated for the post. All opinions expressed are entirely ours.

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