Archive for September, 2018

Jump Rope

September 26, 2018

Hoo, Calvin managed to do 4 jumps by himself. We were all very proud. It’s not like we practiced it at home though. I think they teach it in school during PE, but it didn’t really happen in the past 2 years. When he started, he was jumping the moment he swings his arm, which obviously wouldn’t work. Then we tried the trick of swinging and catching it with the feet, no jumping. And I told him that time when he catches with his feet is when he should jump. He tried and it worked. Not sure if I could credit myself for giving excellent advice, I’m just happy and proud to see him make progress in various things.

Buying a Home?

September 20, 2018

We have been rethinking whether we should buy a home recently. The property market here isn’t quite as crazy recently and we are on our way to getting permanent residence. as our life here stabilizes, our thoughts turned to well….settling down.

There are just so many factors to consider, not wanting to change schools yet again, commute, neighbourhood vibe (quiet will be great as long as I don’t see sketchy people…) and of course price. At least I’m now more certain that we won’t be moving back to Asia anytime soon because job prospects and pay would be much worse. It is a big commitment and I’ve been reluctant to do all the work/research required to make sure we make a good decision. Horror stories of houses that need a lot of repairs have been haunting me. We are not handy either…. I didn’t even know how to change the ceiling light bulbs. That adds a lot more uncertainty to home ownership especially since the houses around here are usually pretty old.

So I guess we’ll keep an eye out for something that suits us but right now, I still don’t feel like I’m aching to own something.

More on Practice

September 13, 2018

Calvin’s karate practices have been going well recently. We do targeted practice the moves that we notice are imperfect, and the practices actually have objectives before we start. I find that it does require more work from me. We are going to go through more of the basics as well as his belt test materials. The good thing is that he looks more focused and not so floppy when doing karate.

I liked the idea that we should be focusing on the most important 20% of the skills at the moment. For karate, that would be his basic moves and for math, the multiplication table until we reach automaticity for both. For Chinese, we’ll work on more vocabulary, which means I need to read our book first and pick out words to highlight. I should also teach him proper pinyin sounds for the ones he has trouble with like the x and z sounds.

For myself, I probably need practice with keeping calm when he makes mistakes. Maybe I should write some scenarios for myself to role play 😂


September 11, 2018

We have been talking about deliberate practice recently – practice where you work on improving one skill instead of mindlessly repeating what you have always done. This started because of his inefficient karate practices at home, where he would go through the motions but don’t really improve. So I started reading this book called Practice Perfect, which I think was written with teachers in mind, and I really liked one of the lines they repeatedly use “Practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes permanent”. I shared that with him and we’ve been working on tighter goals for shorter practice sessions, so we can celebrate hitting mini milestones. At the end of the day, we hope he will gain satisfaction from the hard work of learning.

In the book, it also talked about teachers not having the time to get deliberate practice and I think the same goes for me too. I’m so involved in teaching and experiencing that I need to reflect more and practice how to stay calm in the face of his resistance, though I’m not sure how exactly I would do that. Maybe we would have do-overs for me when I lose my temper.

For now, I think I’d really want to work on having a good routine at home and start planning my day more.