Day 4: Chalk it up

Truth be told, this staying home all day thing is new to us too. In a typical week, we are out 3-4 weekdays at least, so we are also having to get used to this time of social distancing and not meeting up with our friends.

” The kids get their dose of Vitamin D and fresh air to keep their immunity up, while we still practise #socialdistancing. “

But we do stay home more than the average family, I imagine, so we are used to making do with what we have at home. Instead of using our chalk board at home, we sometimes take it a few steps outside. We have an outdoor spot downstairs that even though it was the school holidays, no one was there. So we did some chalk drawing and spelling there. The kids get their dose of Vitamin D and fresh air to keep their immunity up, while we still practise #socialdistancing.

We bring a carton of water to wash our chalk markings away when we are done. On this day, we also jumped into the resulting puddles and talked about the different footprints and bicycle track marks that we made. It was a hot day so within 30 min, the ground was dry, prompting questions about evaporation, and the factors that influence its rate.

You can use chalk to write or draw at the corridor right outside your flat, as we often do. Another idea is to use a wet paintbrush – just use water – to “paint” on the floor or pavement. Bathroom walls are our canvas too – we use watercolours and the kids each have a sponge to wash them off after. They get to paint and play, and I have a sparkling new shower area after.

Have fun with your children!

Meiling

Where you can find me:

@laughingcowcheese


Day 3: Play Away!

I try to play a game or two with my children daily. Board games and card games are a great way to reset a rough morning when everyone is feeling cranky. Children also learn organically through games.

When news of the Covid-19 virus broke out, I struggled with how to tell my children about the situation without traumatising them. I want to reassure them and help them see hope in the midst of all the bad news. This card game is created with this aim in mind. Improvised from a game by Logicmills, it’s easy to learn, fun and empowering. You just need a pack of Poker or UNO cards to play. Play away!

“Children learn organically through games.”

Bust the Virus

Scientists all over the world are racing to contain the Covid-19 pandemic by developing a vaccine. But first, we need to unlock the secrets of the virus. Join this team of brave men and women in their fight. Be the first player to decode the genes of the virus. Keep your wits about you! The virus is mutating…again.

Material needed:

1.) Ace, 2-10 cards from the spade and heart suits. (20 cards in all)

Or

2.) 0-9 UNO cards from the red and green suits (20 cards in all)

Preparation:

1.) Shuffle deck of 20 cards. Deal: 4 cards each for 2 players, 3 cards each for 3 players, 2 cards each for 4 players.

2.) Place remaining cards face down in the middle as the draw pile.

3.) Players will look at their cards and place them face down in front of them in ascending order (smallest to largest value), from the left to the right. If they have 2 cards of the same value, a spade will go before a heart. (If UNO cards are used, red will go before green.)

Playing the game:

The oldest player begins.

1.) Draw a card

On his turn, a player will draw a card and place it face up in ascending order with his own cards.

2.) Decode the virus

The player will guess the value and suit of any of the other players’ cards by pointing at it and calling out his guess. E.g “ 2 spade!” If his guess is correct, the other player will turn that card face up and he can continue making another guess. If his guess is wrong, his turn is over.

Game end:

The game ends when a player has guessed all the cards in front of any other player. He has successfully decoded the genes of the virus!

The game can also end when a player takes the last card from the draw pile and is unable to guess all the cards in front of another player. The virus has gained an upper hand this time but the scientists will never give up!

Here is a video showing the game play:

Have fun!

Wan Ling

Day 2: Connecting and Creating beautiful memories

Over the past few weeks, we learnt that change is the only constant. Our meetups, playdates and co-ops have been cancelled or postponed, while we practise social responsibility and social distancing. We found ourselves suddenly endowed with plenty of time to dwell into what we love and enjoy doing. 

There were some changes to our daily rhythm, and these are written out so my child knows what to expect or anticipate. However,  we don’t run on a colour coded schedule and not every hour is planned out. There is a certain free flow to our day, and my kid’s imagination takes flight through the Amazon and Redmart delivery boxes that come into the house. Best toys, ever!

Some days, we just read. We enjoy reading, and books are usually placed within reach from the sofa. When energies seem to be bursting through the seams of the walls, we head down to the park and unleash those energies by blowing bubbles. Often, kids will come back to us with something they have spotted and observed: a bird chirping, a flower blooming, shapes of the clouds. Let the children reclaim their wonder of this world. I always treasure times like this, for it will be soon that they will fly the nests.

“What’s pivotal in our daily rhythm is the one hour block of quiet time.”

Being homebound also translates to more culinary experiments with my child: washing, cutting, measuring, baking, reading recipes and gathering what we need for a meal. What seems mundane to us, adults, is an opportunity for the child to dwell in meaningful work – the ability to complete a task of interest (in this case, meal preparation) and serve the needs of his/her family. Positive moments like this help reinforce a child’s esteem and gives the child confidence in undertaking future tasks.

What’s pivotal in our daily rhythm is the one hour block of quiet time. During this time, adults and kids have an hour to themselves to do anything they like, but quietly. It can be reading a book, drawing, writing or even taking a nap. Take it like a reset in the day. This is also the time I claim back some sanity and top up on coffee. I need to fill my cup so I can pour out of it.

Not all days go according to plan. There will be resistance, there will be arguments, and there will be character issues to work on. When tensions are high, take a breather and know it is ok to turn on the TV and watch an episode of Paw Patrol. 

You’ve got this. You are enough.

Valerie 

Where you can find me:

@lttt.creativestudio @lttt.naturestudio

Day 1: What to set up at home?

“Food makes everyone less grouchy. And I need my coffee. “

I often go out, but this COVID-19 thing is making me stay put! When I want to feel comfortable staying in, I fortify my…kitchen. There is nothing like a well stocked fridge, larder and beverage bar when you stay in. Food makes everyone less grouchy. And I need my coffee. (My homeschooling neighbour across the road grinds fresh coffee for my stock. #lovethyneighbour)

Then, build your home library. This is based on what resources your family enjoys. My home library isn’t really books. It is a mix of what we like having around most. My girls are on an online program with Galileo. They read their favourite books again and again. And they prefer borrowing books from friends. We enjoy Netflix. So our home learning is bound by food, gadgets, comfort reads and shows. It makes us happy.

A great set up is always customised to your family’s routines and personality. We don’t follow timetables. One kid likes to do her work only when she is bored. Another kid prefers doing her homework in the morning. But children learn, as do adults, that what makes you happy can build your confidence. Happy home learning!

Tips:
1. What keeps your family intellectually and emotionally filled?
2. How would you design a home library according to your needs?

Dawn

Where you can find me:

@dawnfung


Homeschool Convention 2020 is going ONLINE for ticket holders!

Dear all,

The Homeschool Convention IS happening. We are counting down to April 16 and 17 for our 4th edition! Behind the scenes are 9 teams working hard to make it happen. One of the teams is our official blog partner, The Homeschool Gazette, helmed by homeschool teens! You might have seen their write ups on the convention already in our FB event page. (Early bird tickets are sold out for both days.)

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

In light of the COVID-19 situation, we will be offering ticket holders the option to access the convention ONLINE. If you wish to still come in person, we will still need you to complete the form. Pls read the details in the form for ticket holders.

Because of logistics, limited time and resources, we can only offer EITHER online or in person attendance, not a mix of both. Whatever you choose, pls make the best of it.

Once a year, we come together to refresh our hearts. Looking forward to meeting you all.

Pls rest well,

Dawn Fung
Homeschool Convention 2020 Organiser
Homeschool Singapore