Archive for May, 2014

Calvin At School

May 23, 2014

We had an end of year conference with Calvin’s teachers last week.

Calvin has been playing better with the other children recently. He is able to listen and respond meaningfully so he can have actual conversations with them. He has taken to following T and G in school, trying to annoy them as a means of getting their attention. I liken it to the little boy who likes to tease/ annoy the girl that he likes because he doesn’t know how else to get her attention. The teachers have been working on getting them to play together. Calvin came home telling us about how he was ‘helping’ them during outdoor time. I don’t know how much ‘help’ that was. The very day we had a conference, he was telling us about how he was trying to play cannonball with the pile they made together and Heather told him to build another pile if he wants to wreck it since the other boys didn’t want to destroy their masterpiece.

Today, we saw him playing with his best pal, Cy. Cy was spinning around and asked Calvin to spin with him, Calvin just decided to run circles around him. They started chasing each other trying to push/ chop each other. What is it with boys and rough housing.

His teachers also commented on how he is better able to internalize what he remembers (from books etc) and later extrapolate the concept to other things later. For example, they were looking at a painting of a bird with cloud feathers and discussing why the artist painted it that way. Calvin remembered a book they read a few days/week ago about a bunny that was made out of a cloud and started this whole story about how it might be the same. They said he is definitely ready academically for kindergarten though he would certainly benefit from being able to develop socially in preschool. I agree though looking at the Chinese syllabus in Singapore, I tend to worry if I should be doing more to teach him.

They also asked us to encourage him to run about, kick a ball, ride a bike so he can play better with the other kids. He is still a timid boy who doesn’t like to go down tall slides but I understand because even at this age, I have a fear of going down some of them too. Maybe it’s the sense of uncontrolled falling that makes us insecure.

Goals for the Mama – 4/25

May 11, 2014

Looks like with my current schedule, I can probably be updating this once every 2 weeks instead of weekly. I need to put something on the sidelines so I can get other higher priority things done.

Goal 1: Confidence/ Character Building
– Coached him to use the right words in different social contexts. We’ve been trying to teach him conversational skills. So far, we’ve been successful in weaning him from saying “Saying?” when he doesn’t know what we are talking about. He is asking better questions like “What did you say about xyz?”. Or teaching him to make requests nicely instead of saying “We are going to do this” or “Mama you are going to clean up my mess” as a matter of fact. We definitely need more work on conversation skills….
– Tried to teach him how to initiate and join in play with other children. Hopefully when we move to family housing, he’ll have more practice socializing.
– Learned to control his upset feelings by thinking up alternatives, even if his voice sounded like he was going to cry. What a brave little man!
– Played basketball by throwing the ball into a Lego container held by daddy
– Target practice by shooting a water gun at floating, big ‘sock’ bubbles
– Tried to teach him to be truthful and tell us about his ‘accidents’. I’ve managed to be very matter of fact the one time he told me he peed on the floor while playing. Unfortunately not so calm when he did it the third time in a row that day.


Goal 2: Chinese
– Understood my conversation with J about how he woke up at night and about how much donut (甜甜圈)he should get before lunch.
– Listened to audio books. Occasionally, I sit and explain the story to him.
Goal 3: Math

– Made playdough together. He helped to count out the number of 1/4 cups needed.
– Counted number of tanks on J’s shirt.
Goal 4: Reading
– Sounded out words for his space project. I might start teaching him sight words so he can start to read.
– Read a emergent reader that reinforces letter sounds and teaches sight words. Sight word of the week is “the“. I’ve been pointing it out in books that we read sometimes.
– ‘Read’ Dinotrux to me mostly by memory but it was probably good for his confidence.
Goal 5: Fine motor skills
– Wrote his own name when following the dotted lines
– Made playdough cactus by making a shape and poking spaghetti in it. We then painted it after I zapped it in the microwave to dry it out.