Skip to main content


Showing posts from July, 2014

Look! See! Explore! Discover! - A Review of I Theatre's Round the Moon, Blue the Sky

"Questions... Questions... Questions..." said Smallest Dragon. "Answers! Answers! Answers!" said Twiglet. Enter the fantastical world of Smallest Dragon and her forest friends Twiglet and Leaf. The night is young and Smallest Dragon has just begun her explorations of the world around her. She discovers that the moon is round and that the sky is blue. But that's only the beginning; she is soon sought out by her friends Twiglet and Leaf. Twiglet has recently been extremely disturbed by a new phenomenon - she cannot come to terms that leaves are not only green, but that they can also be red or brown. It is up to the wise Smallest Dragon to help set things right. Beautiful sets and dazzling costumes depict the magical forest environment. I Theatre's latest play, Round the Moon, Blue the Sky, is a distinct departure from its previous productions. Director Brian Seward told Parenting on Purpose  that he wanted to experiment with this piece, given th

An Exploration Into an Interest-Driven Curriculum and How It Helps Learning (Or How We Went Spider-Crazy)

Education is the "science of relations", says Charlotte Mason, a revolutionary British educator at the turn of the twentieth century, whose methods are perhaps more relevant than ever today. In her book Towards a Philosophy of Education, she says, "Education is the Science of Relations'; that is, a child has natural relations with a vast number of things and thoughts: so we train him upon physical exercises, nature lore, handicrafts, science and art, and upon many living books, for we know that our business is not to teach him all about anything, but to help him to make valid as many as may be of––" I have been dwelling on this idea for some time, even as I try to introduce Z to as many new ideas as possible in our homeschooling through books and new experiences. Our little boy is someone who appreciates a consistency in routine and finds comfort in the familiar. (Don't we all?) But when we have heard about the Singapore Flyer for the thirtieth tim

Round the Moon Goes Round the Region

This article was written for Little Day Out, a Singapore-based family portal. Little Day Out chats with I Theatre’s Artistic Director Brian Seward on the challenges of expansion for a local theatre company. Come July this year, the I Theatre production Round the Moon, Blue the Sky will not only be shown in Singapore, the play will also be making its rounds in Okinawa, Japan, and subsequently to Hong Kong in October. Round the Moon , which is a fast-paced production combining a unique blend of physical theatre, riveting puppetry, black light magic and lots of audience interaction, will be the first I Theatre production to tour the larger East Asian region. Speaking to Little Day Out , I Theatre’s Artistic Director Brian Seward noted that the play will involve the close collaboration of three actors - one from Singapore, one from Hong Kong and one from Japan. Working together for a short but intensive period of time, the three will first act in Singapore, and sub

Potential Artists

Quote of the Day: Children must be allowed to develop at their own pace. Our older son is attending art class now, and we are thankful to heART Studio  for providing him with the space to progress according to his own pace. I believe that when children are allowed to grow, they will then tap on the potential that they have within them; children are born creators and  innovators , endowed with the power to shape their world in a way that they can understand.  Much of education today dictates the manner through which children should act and think. I feel this somehow suppresses the inner child, depriving him of the freedom to create and innovate. For it is when the child is free to act; that's when he will eventually be able to deal with the pressures of life from a position of strength, and deal with these challenges from a fresh perspective, eventually overcoming them more effectively than those who choose to tackle them in a conventional manner.

Birthdays, Everydays

Dutch crawled up on my lap, “But Mommy, I want you to play with me. One day you’re going to wake up and wonder where all the years have gone. Someday I’ll be too big to play with you. Please?” It's not by chance that I happened to read Kari Patterson's blog post today. It's about a tired Mum who chooses nevertheless to go outdoors with her 8-year-old to watch the clouds. They tickle and laugh, and crawl around like tigers. She learns to watch the clouds, and also watch her son. He is growing up.  My younger son is on the cusp of 2-year-old hood. In our eyes, I think he turned two long ago; just because we know he thinks he's older than that, and behaves that way too. But he's still my baby, and I am a little sad that he'll never be one again.  Special spontaneous outing at the park. Our older boy turns four this week too. I already find it hard to remember how it felt to have him as a baby, a toddler. Now he is a little boy, to be reasone

Korea 2013: Busan Chapter 5

Dalmaji Hill We awoke the next morning with a sadness in our hearts. This was our second last day in Korea, a land that we had come to enjoy. However, we resolved to make the most of the day and to end our holiday with a bang. The first stop of the day - Dalmaji Hill. The Life in Korea  website has an interesting description of this place: Dalmaji Hill  is a bluff cliff, located just southeast of  Haeundae Beach . Along Dalmaji-gil, near the entrance to the hill, a cafe town caters to lovers and young couples who come to enjoy a cup of coffee and the nice view of Haeundae Beach, the sea, and the moon. Special vista areas include  P'algakjeong  and  Jeonmangdae . The area has also become famous for watching the moon rising on the lunar year's first full moon day. (The name comes from this ritual-  dal  means moon and maji  means rising.) Each year 200,000 to 300,000 moon watchers pray for their wishes, watching the full moon rise over Haeundae Beach. On the year'

Five-Minute Fillers: Masking Tape Car Park

We are starting a new section of our blog called "Five-Minute Fillers", because we have realised that a lot of our readers are busy parents who wish to spend quality time with their children but are tired after a long day at work. Or you may be looking for ideas as to how to keep your little "preschooler hurricanes" occupied before they destroy the house!  Anyway, these are either our own ideas or modified from other blogs; they are completely easy to execute in terms of materials and time needed, but hopefully high in returns in terms of the amount of play and learning your children will get out of these simple activities. Five minutes of prep but hours of fun!  This one is self-explanatory.  Materials needed: - Electrical duct tape/ masking tape - Scissors - An assortment of toy cars Steps: Arrange the tape in a car park design.  Demonstrate the idea once. Let the kids take it from there!  Possible Learning Explorations: - Fine motor skills: &qu

Nurturing Ambition

Quote of the Day: When you ask a child what he wants to be when he grows up, you get a myriad of answers, ranging from being a doctor or a fireman or a chef. These desired childhood occupations are a result of the child's exposure to the different occupations and reflect his or her interests at the time of questioning. However no child really knows what he or she wants; nor are children expected to make difficult decisions at an early age.  Our role as parents is therefore to provide as much exposure for our children so that they can have a greater understanding of what interests them, pursuing avenues that bring them greater satisfaction and therefore greater meaning in what they do. W e then need to nurture our children's ambitions, guiding them and encouraging them when things don't seem to go right. But ultimately we need to allow our children the freedom to  make their own decisions.  For if we have been guiding and nurturing them from an early age, we can b

How to Cook with One Hand

It all started one morning when my almost-2-year-old son was crying uncontrollably outside our bedroom door.  Interrupting the little one in mid-cry, I tried unconvincingly to distract him.  “E. Enough crying. Come play blocks with Daddy.”  The young boy ignored me and persisted with his screaming. “E. How about if you come cooking with Daddy?” “Umm.“  The boy suddenly stopped his crying. Without the further shedding of a single teardrop, he turned silently, and purposefully marched to the kitchen.  “Cook with Daddy, “ he grunted. Early indications of our younger son's interest in cooking. All this happened about a month ago, and I recorded the events in a Facebook update: I should publish a book entitled "How to Cook with One Hand", a compilation of recipes on how to cook with your almost-2-year-old child; ranging from simple recipes on how to get your son to beat eggs for an omelette dish to the "dos" and "don'ts&

Growing Young Minds

Quote of the Day: What is the true purpose of education? Today we went to a homeschooling fair organised by the homeschooling community in Singapore. I was honestly surprised and wowed by the number of people who were present - from parents who were sharing their homeschooling ideas to children who were playing happily in the fields.  It was a heartening experience for me, to listen to the various parents sharing passionately about their individual educational journey. One mother, for instance, shared how her 11-year-old son was learning about nanotechnology and black holes while her 13-year-old daughter was more keen to study about the human body and possible medical applications. Another parent excitedly shared her children's nature study and art journals, and we were blown away that her children were studying and drawing insect and plant parts from the age of 3! Yet another mother shared how her children had learnt writing simply by reading aloud and summarising class

Korea 2013: Busan Chapter 4

Jagalchi Market Korea's largest seafood market was one of our top priority stops in Busan. We were planning to get there early the next day, but the kids were very tired and we decided to sleep in, heading for the market only in the afternoon. Due to heavy traffic and the long travel timing, we only reached there just as the sun was making its way towards the horizon. "Jagalchi" is actually a combination of two Korean words meaning "small rocks" and "villages". Due to modernisation and the construction of a wharf, no traces of either remain. View from the city in the late afternoon. The boys enjoying a rare pensive moment. Wandering in the live seafood section. The practice is for you to choose your dinner at one of the numerous seafood stalls and allow the chef to cook up the meal of your dreams. Our sons were quite interested by all the fascinating sea creatures. We didn't expect both boys to enjoy looking at t