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There Is A Potato In My Home

One fine day, Kor Kor declared that he disliked Chinese! I have noticed he often speaks English to everybody, even when he is engaging in pretend play with his toys. Didn’t expect such a firm and direct answer though. 

I am really flabbergasted. Both Hubby and I have consciously spoken Mandarin to all our children since they were born. Because we think Chinese is a much more difficult language than English, and hey, we have always been speaking Mandarin to each other, why change? We read Chinese books to them and we speak Mandarin among ourselves too, including my siblings, and the maternal and paternal grandparents. Yes we do read English books to the kids and they do watch DVDs in English. But they only get two hours of DVD a week, and the split between English and Chinese books/DVDs is about half-half…. So what happened??

My guess is, firstly English is really an easier language to grasp. Secondly, I have been rather lazy in speaking proper Mandarin recently, e.g. “我们去science centre” instead of “我们去科学馆”……

SIGH.

So now, I shall try to rectify the situation. There are so many English books on my to-read list for the children, such as the classics like Oliver Twist and Moby Dick (the Classic Starts versions, not the originals ok, not gonna kill myself), and favorites by Enid Blyton and E. B. White. But I am going to stop reading those to the kids. Stop buying them. Instead, I shall concentrate my time and effort on reading Chinese books. 

What I borrowed from library during my first visit after my new resolution


 

The boys are loving this – a good stepping stone. They have learnt a new 成语 “三头六臂”!


 

If I do come across good English books, I shall just leave them on Kor Kor’s desk and hope for the best.

  
OK, definitely not buying any English books for the children. Not for the rest of the year at least. Deep breath. 

 

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Learning About Our History

While reading a book on Mr Lee Kuan Yew with the kids, Kor Kor was surprised to learn that Singapore was involved in World War 2. And that started our quest to learn more about our history.

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There are three books in this series. The third is Harry Builds A Nation.

I decided to start with a simple introduction to both the world wars.

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We also read the book on WWI. I like that the books are simple yet detailed enough for my five-year-old.

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This is good too, to answer Kor Kor’s relentless questioning 😛

Then we moved on to focus on Singapore.

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My absolute favorite among all the books we plowed through for this topic! Exactly what I was searching for, and I was SO HAPPY when I saw it at the library!

This book and the DVDs covered Singapore’s history from the arrival of Sir Stamford Raffles.

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We watched this 3-episode series by the Discovery Channel.

Bought two books which are not targetted at preschoolers, because I want to have books around which the kids can refer to as they grow. They include many photos and are interestingly presented, in other words, I won’t fall asleep while reading them 😛

Since this learning journey has brought us back a few decades, we also read some books related to that period.

And what’s a war without our very own hero?

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In the form of comic strips! Well received by Kor Kor, hee hee

Finally, we are done with the books, and it’s time for a field trip!

It is an easy walk from the Esplanade Park, where both the Lim Bo Seng Memorial and The Cenotaph are located, to the War Memorial Park at Beach Road. But due to numerous tentages set up for NDP in Esplanade Park and construction and road works in the area, it was no stroll in the park. We had to do a few diversions and it was dusty.. and smelly.. (many portaloos!)… If you are planning to visit these memorials, you might want to consider waiting till after National Day. We also visited the Raffles Landing Site at Singapore River. But the statue was covered up, also because of nearby construction.

Now that we have laid the foundation to learn more about our country’s history, it will be easier for us to read relevant books as and when we discover them, with more knowledge of the context. I am also hooked on children’s books by local authors! There is so much more to discover about Singapore, and I look forward to exploring them with my children : )