Each child is unique and has a different learning style. Here are simple things that work for Shauna:
Treasure Hunt – Inspired by Julia Gabriel lessons, I adopted a similar stunt of hiding the lessons (e.g. Chinese characters) around the house. Shauna enjoys this lots and will hide them for mummy to find, then it’ll be mummy’s turn again to hide the words. Encourages recognition of character as she has to verbalise the word when found or to look for the particular character I ask for.
Matching – We also play a game of matching the pictures to the words… Here’s Shauna looking at all the pictures of various body parts and deciding where to put the matching Chinese character:
Racing – For counting, I hold hands with Shauna and count to a certain number before we race to see who reaches a target object first. I started with ’1,2,3 GO’, then slowly increased it to “Let’s count to 10 and we see who reaches there first“. Did this in both English and Mandarin. Shauna loves it!!
One day, I was busy and heard her counting, followed by ‘GO’! She ran by herself to touch the sofa! Then went back to her imaginary starting line to count again :P
Horsie – Another counting game I play is to ride on the similar concept as above. For a galloping time on mummy’s legs, she has to count to a certain number then we go riding! :)
Lift – Everytime we take the lift, we point at and verbalise the numbers displayed as the lift goes up/ down. This was for number recognition. We did this before she turned 1.
Household Items – When planning lessons, it was more effective to make reference to things that is featured in books/ things at home. I showed Shauna a picture of a Bald Eagle to teach her ‘wings/ 翅 膀 ‘. Then she ran to her room, rummaged through her books and showed me this! I totally forgot that there is a Bald Eagle in her Eric Carle book! :P
Here is another picture of Shauna, this time with a pig craft she made at Julia Gabriel, which she placed on the picture of a pig that I was teaching on ‘snouts’.
Box – Again adopted from JG, I hide the lesson in a box. Rattle and shake the box. Shauna gets really intrigued to find out what is inside!
Shauna enjoys and remembers better with actions.. like the oxygen tank is on the back of the fireman, and he puts out the fire by holding the hose (two hands outstretched swinging left and right). Or how the eagle glides (hands horizontal) unlike the dove who flaps wings (arms up and down).
Shauna loves music.. she will take out her Chinese book to ‘sing along’ with the CD.. unfortunately mummy is quite bad at coming up with songs to reinforce lessons!
All kids LOVE and will stay attentive for a long time colouring, pasting, painting etc etc They also take pride in the things they made!! Shauna will point at her work and say ‘Na Na make!;
If possible, practical examples are great!! For example, we are planning a trip to the Civil Defence museum to see the fire engine trucks. The bean sprout growing for the lesson on conditions for plant growth/ parts of a plant was useful too :P
There you go! Super simple ideas, which I’m sure many parents out there already know :P My MOE-trained friends, can to share more tips, esp for this mummy who doesn’t even know what pedagogy is!!