After a week’s break, we resumed our homeschooling playgroup, and hosted it for the first time this year. I wasn’t sure if it would be a good idea for us to host it, since Noah usually naps in the car before playgroup, but thought it wouldn’t hurt to try. I managed to get him to nap at home, instead of in the car, but I had trouble waking him up for playgroup! He was really whiny initially, but settled down when we started.
After we sang the Welcome song, Mummy T showed the children a fruits and vegetables chart for the introduction, and asked them to pick their favourites. Noah picked the strawberry, obviously, since he has been obsessed with them since we were in Adelaide.
Mummy C then taught the children a simple Chinese song, based on the different types of fruits. Noah was pretty lost, and kept insisting on using the English names of the fruits, instead of the Chinese ones.
For story-time, I read “Mmm… Let’s Eat!” to the children. I found it in the library, and thought it was pretty suitable for our current theme. I’ve read it to Noah a few times before our playgroup session, and he always cheekily picks the inedible items instead, like the frog and butterfly, rather than the grapes and berries.
Mummy L prepared a simple craft for the children, and got them to practise using the glue sticks. They pasted oranges and a slice of watermelon on sheets of paper, and I was impressed that she even made “seeds” for the watermelon. The seeds were really tiny, and Noah couldn’t manage to peel the double-sided tape off properly, so I gave up after two seeds.
Why is it so hard to get a proper group shot?
I set up seven different stations for Practical Life, and tried to make them as similar to the previous stations as possible, so that the children get to practise their skills every week. This week, we had stacking blocks, lacing, scooping, sweeping, chopsticks/tongs, cutting with scissors, and a magnetic game board, which works on their pre-writing skills.
For stacking blocks, although there were only five blocks, there were four different designs that the children could work on.
For lacing, I used this tree with four different insects, which we got from Adelaide. Noah isn’t very patient with this, and prefers to lace the insects in a haphazard manner.
The scooping station had some black beans with a small spade and bucket from Daiso. Noah really liked this one, though his aim needs to be improved still, as he kept spilling the beans onto the floor.
Ever since we had the sweeping station some weeks back, Noah has been asking to sweep at home as well. He gets distracted very easily, and usually ends up playing with the broom instead. This time, I gave the children some small pom-poms to sweep.
Noah still prefers using the tongs to the chopsticks, and I will have to continue encouraging him to use the chopsticks instead.
Mastering the scissors is quite a challenge, and since I have plenty of scrap paper of different textures, I thought I would let the children choose the paper that they want to cut, and cut them any way they like. I’m still very nervous about letting him use the scissors, but he has surprised me by doing relatively well, and hasn’t hurt himself thus far (touch wood!).
Cutting with scissors
I’ve been thinking of helping Noah with his pre-writing skills, and remembered that I bought this magnetic game board from Taobao some time back. I think this helps, as it requires him to hold the magnetic stick, and use it to bring the magnet balls around the maze.
Magnetic Game Board
The children were all very hungry by the time we finished all the stations, and quickly rushed to wash their hands, before sitting down to wait for me to bring out their snacks.
Where are the snacks?
Time to eat!
While the children ate, the mums had a short discussion, and agreed that the children are really a lot more restless in the afternoons, compared to our morning sessions last year. The timing is also not very good for Noah, since he finishes school late, and doesn’t get enough rest before playgroup begins. We decided to make this session our last one, and to have ad-hoc gatherings just for the children to play together, instead of having structured “lessons”. I’m quite sad about it, but I know that it doesn’t really make much sense for us to struggle on like that, especially since the children are all in school now. Noah will miss his friends for sure, and hopefully, we will still be able to have playdates with them next time.
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