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The World Is Your Oyster

Ever since I saw this wallpaper at Mum in the Making, I have loved it. But it was way too expensive. Then one fine day, I saw that it was on offer at Amazon! $56+ (USD) instead of $149+, 62% off! 

Actually, I ordered it before thinking properly about how to put it up. Then I heard that it would cost $80 (SGD) to get people to come put it up, so I happily waited for my wallpaper to arrive. But when I called the contact, he said it would cost $250! What?!? That would mean more than $300 just for this wallpaper!! No way! So, I put it up myself!

Ta-ta!

Urmm, I didn’t do it the proper way… Didn’t use the paste that came along with it… Didn’t prime the wall…. Didn’t didn’t didn’t… Didn’t put it all the way up to the ceiling (no New Zealand, oops)… Didn’t cut holes for the socket (there’s only one, which happens to be behind the bed). I only used double-sided tape 😛

For two hours of effort, and zero cost installation, I am mighty pleased with the result! Luckily I am not perfectionist, haha!

And the boys are really impressed! And a perfect coincidence that Kor Kor has been interested in the World Wars recently, so the boys are saying they will look at the map to decide which country to attack next haha.

Sometimes things happen in strange ways. Because of the misinformation about the installation costs, I was able to relax and not worry about putting up the wallpaper. By the time I found out the actual cost, it was too late to worry, so Just Do It! : )

 

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Our Tinkering Table

We have had our tinkering space since six months ago, and I first blogged about it here. The table used to be hubby’s and my work table in the study room, and we moved it to the common area when the study room became Didi’s bedroom after he was born. Then the study table became more like a storage area, where we dumped everything and anything and the pile kept getting higher. But I really couldn’t find another space for tinkering, so I cleared everything on the table, yay! Somehow, once we put our mind to something, it usually happens : )

So, other than the the boys’ tinkering boxes, what else are there on the table?

 

Boxes of various sizes & shapes, egg cartons, etc

  

Toilet rolls, bamboo skewers, smaller egg cartons, cork pieces

  

Smaller boxes, yogurt containers, plastic cups, yakult bottles, straws, cardboard, this n that

  

Ice cream sticks etc, wooden blocks, bottle caps

 

Scissors, tape, hot glue gun, batteries, various stationery

 

Related books!

 I’m also doing up the boys’ bedroom! Still a work in progress though, so can’t make it for this blog train. Here’s a sneak preview 😛

 

Reading nook! Meimei often hangs out in the boys’ room with the brothers.

Big cushions at the foot of their beds

  

This post is part of the Small Spaces blog train, which is hosted by Mum in the Making. Click on the button for a look at more small spaces. 

 

  Next up on the train is Growing Hearts. Angie is an educator at heart and by profession. She blogs mainly on how she engages her three kids with hands on activities especially the Visual Arts. Take a peek at the Art station, spaces to Create and Learn for her 3 lil growing hearts tomorrow.

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Unschooling… Coming Full Circle Again

The main gist of unschooling is, learning is child-led and there is little or no structured curriculum used in the homeschooling. I think we have adhered to this principle quite well. But occasionally I have bouts of wanting to teach the kids certain things…. The precious time it was Chinese history, now it’s urmm, earth history leading to human history and err, eventually Chinese history again. Haha, don’t ask me why the obsession, no idea!

Actually, I didn’t have any high expectations not was I very ambitious. Was thinking roughly along the lines of 30 minutes every morning for me to teach whatever I want, 30 minutes with each boy to read whatever he chooses plus do a few puzzles. My plans for my 30-minute slot would be mostly reading. 

That gave me my first warning. My boys have always loved readalouds. But when I was ‘teaching’ them, I could see the resistance in Kor Kor. He didn’t want to listen to the ‘lesson’, though he still wanted me to read his books, or even the books chosen by Didi. 

But hey, I thought, 30 minutes a day isn’t a lot, is it. I still wanted to push on… often poring over our routine in order to free up more time, cos no matter what, free time for the kids is still very important! 

This went on for a couple of weeks… Until one day, I came across this in a book.

若能陪着孩子阅读,把动机引发起来,他自己就会去找答案

(Just read with the child, ignite his motivation, he will search for the answers himself.)

Of course it isn’t just this one sentence, it’s the book 《科学教养与学习》by 洪兰。I was newly inspired and reminded of all the John Holt I have read before. 

There is too much knowledge in this world and one can never finish learning everything. I definitely haven’t forgotten that I should not force academic subjects on my kids. The choice to teach history is purely based on my interests… I cannot foresee what will be useful to my children as they make their way in the world. 

So now, we are back to our mornings of nothingness. But even better! As a result of me moving our routine around and trying to find time for ME to be free together with the kids ON TOP of lesson time, we now have a long long stretch of mummy-kids time every morning! OK, just two hours or so la, since we still have our afternoon commitments, and a housewife gotta cook you know. 

The boys requested for messy play, and i could readily agree due to our free morning! I read to them as they played : )

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Why Not Go Supermarket Together?

Last night, just as I was about to leave the house for the weekly supermarket shopping after the kids went to bed, Hubby asked me this question. Gosh, I could think of so many reasons but it would take too long to answer on the spot.

1. Hubby does offer to do the grocery trip instead. But since he is not the one cooking, nor does he urmm, really know how to cook, it is difficult for him to know exactly what I want to buy. Sometimes I myself do not know despite having prepared the shopping list in advance. Gotta go to the shelves and stare.

2. Furthermore, he can only go to the supermarket on his way home from work, since many items require refrigeration. But if he’s free to leave work earlier, I would rather he pick us up to go home together! Saves me the taxi fare or the hassle of the bus/train journey and time spent and we get to enjoy our outing longer.

3. Needless to say, it is far more relaxing to do the supermarket run alone. As compared to lugging three kids along. Or shall I say, far less stressful. My kids don’t do too badly at the supermarket, but you know, there is always this worry hanging over me… when will they lose patience/throw a tantrum/or need to go to the toilet… etc etc. There was once when Didi had a seizure while we were queuing to pay. (Didi had a few episodes of febrile seizures when he was younger. Thankfully none for the past two years. Since Meimei was born actually. Meimei must be his lucky star!)

4. Dear Hubby, I know you know I am not exactly thrifty. Yes, often I don’t really compare prices before buying something. But when I am sans kids, I DO compare the prices of the different brands. (No guarantee I will go for the cheapest brand though :P) It is tougher to have the luxury of time comparing prices when I am with the kids… better not test their patience, right?

5. I have discovered new and interesting things at the supermarket! A new sauce to try… a new juice that looks so healthy (and turns out yummy!)… Just last night, I had a revelation.. the packets of sauces/marinade by LKK etc? Black bean chicken.. Honey garlic ribs… I can cook all those dishes without the premix!

6. And finally, the most important and un-frivolous reason. I want to protect the kids’ time. I don’t want to waste their time. From the start of the day at 7.30am to their bedtime at 8pm (for the brothers), we only have 12.5 hours including mealtimes and other daily necessities. MY time with them is even more precious – other than cooking and cleaning which I have to do anyway regardless of the number of children, I have to split my free time among the three of them. So, if I am free during the day to go to the supermarket with them, I would rather spend that time reading or playing with them. Time is very, very tight around here.

So now, Hubby, you understand, right? 😛