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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 : )

 

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2

How We Learn

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Recently I have had an awakening. That Meimei is no longer that small a baby, and I really should get my a** back to doing MORE with the boys. Drew up a new schedule and the first step is to start (resume?) a daily morning reading session.

This morning I didn’t really have a clear idea what I wanted to do during the reading session. Read which books? Just read? Do I choose the books or let them choose? Never mind, just try first.

Decided to start off with 弟子规。I plan to go through the whole book, one page at a time, and explain the teachings thoroughly to the boys.

弟子规 圣人训

首孝弟 次谨信

泛爱众 而亲仁

有余力 则学文

While explaining “信” (be trustworthy), I told the boys that they should keep their word, for example, if they promise to keep their toys after playing, they have to do it. (Haha.) So they started asking, what if we don’t? I replied that I would then give their toys away, and that there were many less fortunate children who did not have any toys.

Ah-ha moment. I got out our book Material World, and showed them photos of families in other countries. That in turn led to a geography lesson with the globe (Ethopia vs South Africa).

Good chance to teach the boys some Singapore history – that our country didn’t use to be as prosperous as it is now. Out came the Social Studies textbook.

And that’s how we spent the 30-plus minutes of reading session. Just read… chat… follow the flow! No concrete plan, didn’t do much other than talk, but I am sure the boys have benefited and know more than before the session. I am looking forward to tomorrow morning! : )