16 June 2009

A Taste of Homeschooling

Not counting Saturday and Sunday, it is now Day 3 of no-school on account of the forced closure of all kindergartens and primary schools here in Hong Kong. It hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be.

But first, a shout-out to Josh's school --

Let me just say that I really appreciated the promptness with which Josh's school alerted us about the forced closure. I think the government came out with the announcement at around 12:30pm last Thursday and at exactly 2:00pm, I'd already received an email from the school about this. When I met up with other parents at Josh's Socatots class later that afternoon, some of them hadn't even heard from their children's schools yet.

The following day, I'd received yet another email from his school with a link to the school website where the teachers had prepared activity sheets that we could download for the children to do over the coming two weeks. These are not "homework" but rather suggested activities that could help keep the children occupied. I really appreciated that they thought to do this.

I'd printed out all 19 pages for Josh's level and without me asking, he's taken it upon himself to go through the sheets and do what he could, --independently, -- and would only ask me for help when he doesn't know what he's supposed to do.

What I'm really happy about:
(1) He's doing this totally without my asking and he seems to really enjoy these.
(2) When I went through the sheets that he had finished, I realized that he could really read!

There was an activity where there were 3-letter words (pan, hat, bat, bag, cat, fan) in boxes. He was supposed to cut out pictures from the next sheet and stick them in the correct box. He did the whole thing by himself and I was just super surprised that he got every single one correctly!

Then there's a similar activity in Chinese with --

木 (wood)
車 (car)
魚 (fish)
花 (flower)
牛 (cow)

...and again, he matched all of them correctly --all on his own. I didn't even know that he'd moved on to that sheet.

What I'd noticed, though, is that he'd gladly dive into any and all activities relating to math (addition / subtraction), patterns, etc.

Anything but practicing his letters and Chinese characters. So far, this is the only sheet that he has finished with regard to writing practice... and there are six sheets for English letters and two sheets for Chinese characters.

I really can't complain. Josh has been really great and I know he will re-visit these writing sheets and do a little bit every now and then. I hope he will eventually get to the Chinese character writing sheets. It takes a bit more encouragement to get him to practice his Chinese writing. He did do this, though:

Like I said, it hasn't been bad at all, these no-school days. In fact, I'm really enjoying the extra time with Josh. Josh's being home has been great for Zoë, too. Yes, they'd sometimes fight over toys, but most of the time, we'd hear them laughing and giggling as they get into all sorts of mischief play together. And this morning? Amidst the laughter, I heard Zoë saying in a rather indulgent tone, "Silly, KoKo! Silly." Then both of them laughed. That made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.


Sweet Serendipity said...

So sweet. What a little hard worker. I love the kid writing. Adorable :D

Lindy said...

He does really well with his writing already!

I love that the school took the initiative to help the parents out - what a great group of people you have there!

Wanda said...

Isn't it amazing how they can surprise you with what they've learnt without our even knowing? It just happens so suddenly.

Josh's work is really well done. And good for him (your life just got easier) that he can self-motivate and really enjoy learning.

When does school let you for the summer in Hong Kong normally?

Have fun with your kiddos.

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I'm proud of how you dove into making sure that Josh had academics to keep him busy too. The school is great to do that.

I also love that that Zoe and Josh are living the time together. How sweet they are!

Tess said...

You should feel lucky that he is motivated to do school work. Mine is like pulling eye teeth!

Jennifer said...

I love his writing and that he is having trouble drawing the diamond! ;-) These are adorable. It's cool to see his thought process on paper!

Penguin said...

Making of a genius. :D I thought he meant to write 5 + 1 = 26 but upon closer inspection it turns out he got it right the first time around...only that his 6 was the wrong way! Mensa in a couple of years. :D

Flying Giggles and Lollipops said...

Wow, that is great that you have the support of the school to help you out. you can tell they truly care about the students.

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