Counting Time

I don’t have much recordings of exciting moments 40 years ago, but I drew to self-entertained during boring moments and produced these precious drawings that I did of my family when I was 10.

There was only one thing that Christian scripture tells us to count.  It wasn’t money.  Neither was it blessings.

“Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

God is fair when it comes to time.  He allocates  to each one of us the same number of hours each day, and the same number of days each week.  What we make of it is up to us.

When our little children protest that we waste their time, are they justified?  Perhaps not when we require them to pick up their toys, clean up a mess they created, walk a distance to the market or visit an unlikeable relative.  But when we place our demand on their time above their own priorities by making them do more assessment papers or attend unnecessary enrichment classes, is it fair to them?

Now, let’s list some things our little children prefer to do with their time:

  1. Play with their friends.
  2. Play by themselves.
  3. Day-dream and watch the clouds.
  4. Read things that interest them.
  5. Dig a hole, build a house.
  6. Sew a dress for a doll.
  7. Draw and colour.
  8. Make music.

Can you name the skills and values that your children will acquire by engaging in these activities?

Some activities are age appropriate and cannot be delayed.  It is common to see 10 year olds playing “hide and seek” or “police and thief” with each other, but it will be odd to have 20 year olds making such play dates for themselves. 

A clinical psychologist taught me that unsocialised children often grow into awkard adults who have limited ability to navigate society.  Here are 2 examples of how children socialise each other during play in groups:

  1. If I behave badly, the others won’t want to play with me.
  2. I behaved badly yesterday.  If I humble myself, apologise and promise not to behave like I did yesterday, they might play with me today.

When we fill our children’s time with our priorities and insecurities in the name of their future’s sake, we rob them of time for THEIR personal discoveries.  Have you met grown-up high-achievers who refuse to work after graduation because they’ve waited all their lives to finish school so that they have permission to play?  Or those who do work and have resources to play, what sort of games do they engage in, what are the stakes?  What are your observations of these people?

Let’s be mindful that we are only stewards of children’s time, and grant them their god-given time to have a childhood they deserve.


Learning For All Ages

Math is a language

Ever wonder what goes through the mind of your child? Follow Wendy Koh on her journey of teaching Boy in this captivating book, which is filled with personal recounts. One thing that was prominent in this story was the fact that learning starts from the moment of birth and will never stop! Life is a process of constant growth and self improvement and we at Fun-Filled Conversations advocate learning for all ages. Be sure to join us on this trip of making PSLE Math both fun to teach, and fun to learn. 

Workshops

An old Englishman once told me that the family of Joe Baker were bakers, and that of Joe Carpenter were carpenters, and that’s how their family names came about. Parents imparted their family trade, wisdom and values to their children. 

That is my wish for you, that you can be empowered with confidence to impart to your own children. I believe that learning and family life can be lived out in tandem, and is within the reach of most families that desire to enjoy their own children, especially during their early years. In this session, I want to share with you some math conversations that I had with my son in our PSLE journey that led him to ace PSLE Math with an A*, and how we did so with little drills. I want to shock you with how simple, enjoyable and cheap our journey was. 

If you have a child between ages 1 and 11, do come and learn together.

What would you get out of it? 

You will learn simple tips and tweaks that will make a big difference in your child’s journey in the world of Math. I will show you how you can convert fragmented bits of family time such as bus journeys and hawker centres visits into engaging math conversations with your child, and in doing so, save money on expensive long-term external math tuition.

Who is Wendy Koh? 

Wendy Koh homeschooled her son through PSLE to the IGCSE exams.  She is passionate about helping other parents conduct short, productive and fun-filled conversations on math topics with their children that can help them through school.

WORKSHOP #1
Basic Numeracy
(Chapters 1 to 9 of Fun-filled Math Conversations With Your Child)

Studies have shown that children learn the most before age 6, thus making this period the best time for them to acquire basic numeracy skills.  Given their very short attention span, I will share on how you can engage them with 3 minute lessons.  We will cover math language, quantities, basic operations and symbols. 

Suitable for parents with children aged 1 to 10.

WORKSHOP #2 – Measurement 
(Chapters 10 to 17 of Fun-filled Math Conversations With Your Child)

What’s there to measure? How to make a tool out of everyday objects? How to continue the conversation after they learn to read the measurement?

Suitable for parents with children aged 5 and above.

WORKSHOP #3
Geometry
(Chapters 1 to 9 of Fun-filled Math Conversations With Your Child)

I will show you how you can condition your child to see patterns and shapes, and share simple strategies to re-organise and simplify complex diagrams.

Suitable for parents with children aged 7 and above.

WORKSHOP #4 – Algebra, Heuristics, Challenging Questions(Chapters 25 to 30 of Fun-filled Math Conversations With Your Child)

How to teach algebra? What is heuristics? What are the elements of a challenging question?  I will touch on these questions, and share on how you can help you child be nimble in his thinking skills.

Suitable for parents with children aged 7 and above.

WORKSHOP #5
An Overview of PSLE Math

In this workshop, I will share my view on what MOE is testing for based on their syllabus for the Primary 1 cohort of 2013 (PSLE year 2018), and how we can generally prepare our children for PSLE Math.



Useful or Trash?

What do you do with used plastic egg cartons?

I collect mine for a friend who sells eggs in loose quantities at a wet market.  She packs eggs into these recycled cartons for her customers who are mostly low-income and elderly, enabling them to carry the eggs home without breaking them.

At my home, collecting plastic egg cartons is troublesome and messy.  In addition to being bulky, they vary in shape and size, making them hard to stack.  No wonder why people rather dispose than recycle them.

Like these plastic cartons, what do you do with the experiences you have acquired after this season of your life?  Not everyone will value them and those who will won’t know where to find you, which means you’ll need to find them.

I’m collecting mine for those who have use for them.  An elderly friend taught me to never expire before my expiry date.

By the way,  if I ate 2 eggs each day, how many eggs did I eat in 2018?  If I always bought them in cartons of 15, how many cartons did I  accumulate in 2018?

Happy New Year, Everyone🌿🌿

Talking Rubbish!

That’s our favourite subject to talk about.  When we are in that space, there is no pressure to be politically correct.  There is no agenda and no planned outcome.  Thoughts and ideas don’t have to be congruent. Grammar can be challenged.  We are allowed to speak Chinese in English!

In order to talk rubbish productively, we have to be ready to laugh and be offended.  It helps to be relaxed.

The best jokes and most creative content come out of us when we talk rubbish:  my son told me that his favourite number in the alphabet was red;  my husband told us weather forecast predicted tandoori showers that afternoon, so we waited patiently for Indians to fall from the sky.  If 10 Indians fell from the sky each second, how many Indians will fall from the sky in an hour?

If we loosen up and occasionally indulge in our children’s “rubbish” talk, I’m sure you won’t need to work too hard to find fun-filled content to talk about.