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Showing posts from January, 2015

KidStartNow: The Story of Our First Few Weeks in Chinese Class

As a homeschooling mother, I am most worried about teaching my children Maths and Mother Tongue, precisely because I fared so poorly in these two subjects when I was in school. I sometimes wonder how I will help them navigate through the challenges that these two subjects bring, when I seem to have developed innate phobias myself in these subjects over the years. Growing up in a purely English-speaking family, learning Chinese was (and still is!) a huge struggle for me. Let it be said that in our predominantly ACS/MGS family - local schools not known for having students who are proficient in Mandarin - anyone who even passed the subject got a huge pat on the back! I have stories to tell of how I called my teacher "mouse" instead of "teacher" for several months, because the Chinese words for both are similar, and how I wrote my Chinese name as "Uncle Cloud" for the whole of Primary One until someone realised I had written in wrongly!      Learning

Australia 2014: A Wild Time in Bunbury

A Date with the Dolphins It was a nice and sunny morning on the day of our date with the dolphins of Bunbury. Thanks to the lovely people at the Bunbury Dolphin Discovery Centre, we had complimentary tickets to visit these majestic creatures. The Centre describes how feeding the dolphins became a local tradition: During the mid 1960’s, Mrs Evelyn Smith, a local resident, began feeding the dolphins from a small jetty near her home on the Leschenault Inlet (directly south of the Discovery Centre). Unfortunately, she passed away in the early 70′s ceasing any regular feeding of the dolphins she befriended. Some dolphins continued to be fed by the public from areas nearby. However it wasn’t until 1989 that a dolphin specialist was hired by the newly established Bunbury Dolphin Trust to continue this tradition and begin feeding and studying the local dolphins of Koombana Bay. From this work came the establishment of the Interaction Zone in 1990 and the Dolphin Discovery Centre in 1

Pushing the Reset Button: Parenting In The Year of Jubilee

It's the 8th of January 2015, eighth day of the new year. I find myself lying in bed with the flu, not a particularly good start after having had our boys home with us for almost a week now since Mark and I celebrated our 7th anniversary in Kunming in the last week of December. It was a good Christmas break with lots of time spent as a family. Now it's time to settle down into a new routine, new homeschool year, new projects for our company, new roads to take and new opportunities for faith to be grown and deepened.  I wonder if anyone reading this has started the year feeling tired? Anyone worried about what lies ahead, uncertain about family health or finances, or whether that child with special needs will be able to overcome further obstacles in the year ahead? Or if the one who struggled academically will be able to make it through another difficult year? Some of the friends we know went through more losses in 2014 than some people do in a lifetime. I thought of th

Seven Years & Counting

"You travel more than I do," remarked a friend who works in the airline industry. "Yes, that's true." I replied with a smile. "The difference is that you get paid and I don't!" Sue and I love to travel. We travelled rather frequently before the kids came; and continue to do so even after their arrival. Our philosophy is that Daddy and Mummy love to travel; and by bringing our kids wherever we go, that they will be able to imbibe from the myriad of experiences that comes with travelling.  Once a year, however, we make the conscious decision to leave the children with our parents, and to make a special trip on our own overseas. This holiday trip during our anniversary has been precious to us, and we decided that we would do this way before we even had children.  Honeymoon @ Fraser's Hill, Malaysia. December 2007. So much in love! Dalat, Vietnam. December 2008. First Year Anniversary Photoshoot. Away in the hills. Bali, Indon

Giveaway: A Pair of Tickets to I Theatre's "Aesop's Fables"

One of our favourite local theatre production companies, I Theatre , is gearing up for another year of quality children's theatre! We are looking forward to their unique take on Aesop's Fables from 26 February to 21 March 2015, as well as The Gingerbread Man from 20 May to 7 June 2015. We have loved their combination of silly yet endearing characters and enchanting songs in their past productions, always with a plot and script which serve to entertain not just the littlies, but the parents as well, and are looking forward to what they have to offer in Aesop's Fables , previously produced in 2009 to a sell-out audience. I Theatre has also been experimenting with some black light theatre and puppetry in their 2014 productions, and this  production promises more of these new techniques as it showcases the more popular fables like The Lion and the Mouse , as well as the lesser known stories like The Jay and the Peacock . Aesop's Fables  promises to entert

Australia 2014: Geographe Bay - Above & Below

The Ngilgi Cave Early the next morning, we headed west from our lovely resort, to the spectacular Ngilgi Cave, which is located just next to the charming town of Yallingup. We had previously communicated via email with the Geographe Bay Tourism Association, and they had kindly offered us free entry to this spectacular site.  The gorgeous rock formations of the Ngilgi Cave. Our little 4yo Z all excited to explore the cave. The Margaret River Caves Guide presents this remarkable account of the place: Underneath the limestone ridge that forms Cape Naturaliste lies  Ngilgi Cave Dunsborough  (formerly called Yallingup Cave) offering a fascinating combination of nature and Aboriginal legend.  Situated off the famous Caves Road, the cave is a short drive north of the town of Yallingup. Ngilgi Cave Dunsborough was given this name due to its connection to an impressive Aboriginal legend illustrating the clash between Wolgine (an evil spirit) and Ngilgi (a good spirit) who