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Showing posts from July, 2015

STEM Series: Exploding SG50 Fireworks and Wobbly Jellyfish

STEM activities are all the rage now. Stemming (excuse the pun) from an interagency meeting at the National Science Foundation, the term has implications for how the subjects which the acronym stands for (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) are taught in school and what this means for technological advancement and the jobs of the future. We've been dabbling in some Science activities on the homeschool front. First of all, because it adds a good mix to the daily Literacy and Numeracy activities that we do. Secondly, because I have two Science-loving boys who love to see the cause and effect that happens in a Science experiment - they are always asking "why" and seeking to understand the reasons for how things work. And lastly, because we all think that they're super fun! Our jellyfish in an ocean! Oh, yes, how we love Science experiments! Today, we tried out some exploding fireworks in a jar . Singapore's 50th Jubilee celebration is hap

Where the River Meets the Ocean

I recall my Geography lessons when I learnt all about the hydrological cycle - that water flows from its source up high in the mountains all the way down luscious valleys; first via streams and then rivers. Then there is the climatic moment when the water bursts through its river mouth and enters the sea. All of that came alive to us during our recent trip to Perth, Australia. (This is the reflective post. The travelogue will come later.)  On one of the final days of the trip, we went on a short trek along the famed Cape to Cape Walk, guided by the capable Saul Cresswell from Cape to Cape Tours. The walk was truly memorable and we learnt much from Saul, who not only took us by canoe across the Margaret River, but also shared with us much of the history and geography of the area. For instance, we learnt that for most of the year, a small sandbar separates the Margaret River from its end point, the Indian Ocean, and that you can literally walk across the river at its mouth. However,

The Value of Unstructured Play in Learning

We have just returned from a glorious trip to Western Australia. Wide open spaces. So much to do and explore. Our boys' endless supply of energy channelled to good use with fresh air and plenty of exercise.  I remember a particularly languid wintry afternoon at the Yallingup Maze. The two of them had already done their playground rounds a few times, played their excellent range of Smart Games (yes, we now have an online store Sensational Play selling these too - do check it out !) in the cafe over crispy bacon and egg sandwiches, and spent some time rolling down the slope to the wooded area where there is a most amazing play area consisting mostly of tree stumps and an old fallen elevated tree with regrowth. Playing at the lovely Yallingup Maze You'd think they'd had enough and been tired by then. Just as we were making plans to leave, our older son ran towards an open field, saying, "Mummy, may I just run all the way to the end and back again?&