Note to new readers: This article is part of Vee’s developmental milestones update series. It summarises my parenting approach, Vee’s progress, challenges we face and how we overcome them.
Inspiration this month:
A child can grow up so much within a few months. I’m glad to have jotted down our journey through this blog.
Vee and I just recovered from high fever due to some viral infection after a relaxing Penang trip. This time, Vee had 2 episodes of febrile fits and we’d to sponge him diligently to keep his temperature down. Thankfully, hubby was around to help. Vee threw 2 weeks of mega tantrums due to the illness and I’m relieved he’s back to his chirpy self again.
Anyway, the boy turned 2.5 years and here’s his progess update:
Learning & Communication
In case you’re new to reading this series, Vee is homeschooled using mainly The Shichida Method. Other than 1-hour a week Shichida class, we don’t follow a specific curriculum. I’ve a set of broad learning goals for his preschool years and I let him guide me in what to cover.
On a typical weekday, we spend 1/2 to 1+ hour on guided activities — play games to develop senses, memory, speed reading and logic skills, do puzzles, practise writing, do simple art & craft, sing and go through a few minutes of flashcards. The flashcards cover a wide range of topics.
Before nap and bed-time, he chooses English and Chinese books for reading time. It can range from 3 to 10+ books at one sitting, depending on how much time and enthusiasm we have.
During his free play time, he gets to… PLAY, of course! While he’s playing, I often play different forms of music or audio recordings in the background. This lets him appreciate music and subconsciously absorb information, which is very powerful in strengthening his audio learning skills.
- Speech: Over the past months, his speech blossomed and he talks like a mini-adult. He has started adding “Why”s before and after almost every little thing, including, “Why is Daddy home? Why?” Instead of answering his every question, I sometimes ask, “What do you think?”
- It’s heartwarming when he blurted out, “I want to grow up, go to work with Daddy, and be a useful person.” I’ve been instilling this idea to him (according to Shichida’s teachings) since he was a young toddler and I’m amazed that he gets it at this age.
- Singing: One of his favourite activities now is to replace song lyrics to make them sound really funny. Then everyone gets a good laugh. He showed a keen interest on the piano when a sales person demonstrated it to us. We’d see if he’s really that interested in a few years.
- Drawing: Vee can control the pencil quite well and has started to draw simple pictures instead of random doodling. He loves to draw Daddy — in a very abstract form though (see below)!
- Puzzles: He can manage 12-piece puzzles with no or minimal help. I just bought more challenging ones to keep up with his pace.
- Math: After 1+ year, we’ve completed the 4th and final round of Shichida’s 63-Day Lightning Rapid Calculation Programme. Now, we’ve progressed to doing dots practice with recycled bottle caps and Shichida workbooks (1 page of 5 questions a day). He’s able to recognise quantity by sight.
Based on the right brain education method, I don’t teach him to count items 1-2-3-4-5, etc. For example, I show him 23 bottle caps and say “23”. I’m the one who has to do the counting first.
- Favourite books over the past few months:
- The Very Quiet Cricket* by Eric Carle: This book is beautifully illustrated as per Eric Carle’s usual standards. I like that it introduces a wide range of interesting insects such as the cicada. At the end of the battery-operated book, the cricket finally makes a sound, which is Vee’s favourite part. (The battery is replaceable.) Bought at RM30.
- Dr. Seuss’s Beginner Book Collections* This set consists of 5 hardcover books stored in a box — Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish, Green Eggs and Ham, Hop on Pop, and Fox in Socks. Vee’s favourite so far is Hop on Pop, which has short, simple rhymes. Bought it at Amazon at USD26+ after discount. Quite a steal for 5 good books.
- What Baby Needs* by William Sears, Martha Sears and Christie Watts Kelly: I got this book to prepare Vee for baby #2’s arrival. After scouring many books at Amazon, I settled on this because it’s in line with our family’s attachment parenting practices — breastfeeding, co-sleeping and babywearing. Bought at Amazon at USD10+ after discount.
- Night-Night, Spot* by Eric Hill: This is actually part of our first series of the popular Spot books. I got the Chinese-translated set of 8 books (小玻系列图画故事书). This series is for older toddlers and doesn’t have any lift-the-flap. Vee loves dogs, so is naturally attracted to this series. Bought the 8 books at http://shop.ibaby.my/ at only RM63.38 after 33% discount.
- He’s very proficient at climbing up and down the stairs, with alternating feet on the way up. But the stairs is a highly hazardous zone, so I watch him closely.
- On his second visit to the beach, he still dislikes the sand. Once on the beach, he becomes rooted and says he can’t move. Then he refuses to sit on the sand and insists on sitting on Daddy’s lap instead!
- Finally, he got interested in a balance bike, so we bought him one to learn balancing and eventually cycling.
Behaviour & Social Skills
- With his speech development, he shows his emotional sensitivity. Often, he’d ask, “Mummy, are you angry / happy?” Or “Mummy, can you smile?” I’m glad to see this progress because having a high EQ is very important for a person’s success.
He’s probably modelling my behaviour because I often acknowledge his emotions by asking questions like, “Are you upset because you can’t get what you want?” We also play games to recognise various facial expressions to raise his awareness of others’ feelings.
- During Shichida classes and a recent music trial class, I realised that Vee is more of an observer than active participant. He hardly moves when the teacher starts singing and dancing, even with my encouragement.
Diet & Feeding
- He has begun to recognise the foods that he can’t eat due to allergy — soy, mushrooms and strawberries being top of the list. Because of his eczema, I need to be very vigilant in screening his diet and teach him to politely reject food offered by relatives and strangers. In a way, homeschooling helps to keep this in check until he’s old enough to really know what he can’t eat. Of course, I hope he’d outgrow these allergies in future.
- Surprisingly, he started having dry diapers quite consistently during nap and night over the past week. We didn’t do anything special. He’s still on the same cloth diaper when sleeping. Then I ensure he pees before sleeping and remind him to keep his diaper dry when asleep.
- Well… he refuses to let Daddy put him to bed nowadays and only wants me before bedtime. The best I can do is slip away after he’s asleep. During the night, he’s fine to snuggle with Daddy. I wonder what’d happen when baby #2 arrives in November!
As we learn along the way, I’d be sharing more with you. Catch up again!
Help Needed: I need to learn Bahasa Melayu with Vee. Can anyone recommend a good children’s BM reading series with translation in English? Please drop your suggestion in the comments box. Thank you very much!
P.S. View more developmental milestones (from 8 months old onwards).
P.P.S. Our latest homeschooling updates are posted at MummysHomeschool.com HERE,
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7 thoughts on “[Learning] Vee Turns 2.5 Years Old”
Impressive, such a detail record of your boy’s milestone! Kudos! Your boy is growing up s well, give a pat on your back mommy!^^
Thank you for the encouragement, Alice. We try to enjoy our time learning new things at home and a lot is up to him. And I wished I’ve that much patience with baking pastries like you. *Yummy*
my 28 month old started shichida at 20 months old..i did try to give him flash card at home..but he wouldnt sit thru the flash card session at home..
how did you do it?
and his linking memory and memory games are quite poor, but i am unable to practise at homebecuase he want to play it his way…
i saw you were buying some 12 piece puzzle for your son..where can i buy them from? becuase i did have some cheap puzzle from his bday presents..he finish playing with them already. so i though i should get some new cheap ones for him to play
Hi jaime, great to find another Shichida mummy here! 🙂
When Vee was younger (before 18 months), it was quite easy for him to sit through flashcards.
Then when he got more active, he’d want to run away or grab my cards, etc.
Some ways that helped:
– clear room of clutter buy keeping away toys, minimise posters on the walls, etc. Less distraction means better focus during home practice.
– relaxation exercise (breathing, listening to relaxing music, singing) before flashcards
– let him choose a “special” chair to sit on, e.g. favourite chair, or I even let Vee sit on the kid-sized table for a period, just for the novelty of it.
– tell him I’ve NEW cards as surprises for him. He loves surprises and will be curious. Of course, need to include interesting new cards very often to keep him interested. Can do a few sets of favourite cartoon characters to rotate, flash as the first set of cards to keep him interested.
– break down the flashcard sessions to short sessions through the day. If he’s restless in the morning, then I’d do it in the evening. If he has enough, then I simply stop and we move on to other activities. Even 10-20 cards at one session is good. As his attention span grows, then include more cards.
– involve him when I’m making new flashcards, help to glue, press the printer, watch the pictures being printed, etc. He inspires me with new topics, so I often make new cards based on his new interest. E.g. He was fascinated by a picture of corals in a book, so we made a set of cards on beautiful corals. This way, he enjoys the new flashcards a lot and wants me to flash them to him straight after they’re done. It’s also part of our casual craftwork time when he’s given markers, glue, etc. to do his own doodling while I’m making the cards.
– We started with 6 cards per time, with cards (up to 2-year old) bought at Shichida. I simply followed sinsei’s method and he’s quite co-operative. Now, we’re at 10 cards per time. Sometimes he wants new cards, so I show him a new set of 10 images. Depending on his preference, we may cover the cards and point to the correct one OR shuffle the cards and re-arrange them OR simply try to cover everything with a paper and try to read out the sequence of the items. I let him take the lead which works better. Sometimes, I let him be sinsei and ask me questions. He’s quite happy to do this.
– Simple and fun ones can be done whenever you get an inspiration. E.g. for photographic memory, I make 2 sets of similar interesting cartoon cards, laminate and cut them. Then just show 3 cards for a few seconds, and cover up. He gets the 3 cards of the same pictures to re-arrange. Vee loves holding on to small game cards, so I follow his preference in designing his games.
Generally, make sure you’re in a very relaxed mood too. Go with the child’s flow while guiding him. Be as fun as possible. And he’d grow to love home practices.
– I like the wooden ones from ELC but they’re pricey, so we only have a few.
– Cardboard ones are cheaper, can try Popular bookstore (I just got a new 16-piece at RM5+)
– There’re some at jigsaw puzzle shops such as My Puzzle House (Tropicana City). A variety of quality and prices.
– I’ve also made jigsaw puzzles by printing the picture and sticking it on very thick cardboard, then cut into desired jigsaw puzzle pattern. Cheapest way!
(I’ve also tried cutting pictures and laminating them into jigsaws, but the pieces don’t interlock well, so don’t try this method.)
Have fun! 🙂
Try the shop in summit (upper floor) and few doors next bookxcess Amcorp mall, you’ll find some cheaper price of replica versions of the educational puzzles/memory games for kids. Sometimes you may find it at Daisho as well. Go to MPH/Popular/Kinokuniya to do your survey first (if you have time).
Popular book store does have some wooden puzzle, beselective of it as some of it have not educational value. You may get the basic ones for the little one to grasp the concept. Then wait for the Popular bookfest (if you can) to grab the items for puzzles, stringing games/iq/right brain/left brain games and worksheets etc.
Bookfest is indeed a great event. Unfortunately, I was unwell and felt giddy within 10 minutes of entering the recent one. Wasted the tickets and didn’t get to buy anything. Ha…
I’d check out the stores you mentioned. Thank you! 🙂