Tuesday, 21 July 2009


I have always viewed ourselves as pretty relaxed parents except for a couple of things. Some will probably view us as lazy but ultimately I would like them to enjoy their childhood hence I am not too big on all the enrichment classes and flash cards etc. Honestly I prefer for them to learn at their own pace instead of us forcing it down their throats. They can only have one childhood so I would like to make it a nice one for them.

I was having lunch with my sis yesterday and she was asking me about the pictures of Isaac in my previous post. “What was he doing with the mop?” she asked. So I went on to describe to her how he is now mimicking us when we go about our business at home. Mopping the floor and putting the laundry in the washing machine are just two examples that I managed to capture with my iPhone. Off hand I can recall another incident where he actually took a piece of the tissue and climb on the sofa which is against a glass wall and started wiping the glass. According to my sis we are training him under the Montessori Method without realizing it.

It seems the Montessori Method basically involves showing him repeatedly how things are done while he observes and then he will repeat the action later on his own. This is followed by us praising and encouraging him. He is now at the age whereby he is very observant towards the things that we do. Take another example, he is always watching very closely whenever I put him in his car seat or any high chair and buckle him down. Although I believe he has an ulterior motive for he is trying to figure out how it is done so he can free himself.

After taking those pictures and video I was discussing with the Mrs that instead of him throwing his toys and make a racket at home, we should look into playing with him using house chores. Things that will still be interesting to him and he can work on his motor skill and creativity at the same time.

I have always been a skeptic of all the classes that will turn your child into a genius with exceptional memory or a linguist or the next Mozart. I believe there is about 1 out of hundreds if not thousands that will achieve such results and I think that kid is already born gifted to begin with. These schools will naturally profile on those kids that are good and deemed a success but I always wonder if anyone asks the parents of the tens or hundreds of kids that attended the same training method but yield no amazing result. Surely we must know somebody who knows somebody that sent their kids to the Glenn Doman and the Shichida classes. Maybe you can enlighten me. Do they all achieve such fantastic result? In the event that the kids turn out normal and not exceptional, what then is their excuse? That we parents are not working hard enough on them? That we are not consistent or dedicated enough? Or maybe these kids just need that couple more semesters with them.

But please don’t get me wrong for I am not against sending the young to enrichment classes. At the end of the day such classes are there to help make them better. The Mrs and I are currently looking at sending Isaac for “fun and educational” classes too (any suggestions by the way?) but our intention is not to turn him into a genius. All I want is for him to have an hour or two of fun where he can learn to socialize and learn to do something things with his hands (maybe even feet) and imagination. What we are NOT trying to achieve is to make him that much smarter than the kid next to him so that he will finish higher in class. Whatever class we decide to attend is also to provide us with a chance to bond and do things together with Isaac.

Part of our reason for sending Isaac for such once a week class is also to prepare him for the nursery comes January. We are hoping that being in such a “classroom” environment will soften the culture shock that he will surely experience when he has to attend the nursery. Some of you might remember that I had to struggle with the idea of sending him to nursery next year. To me he is still very much a baby so surely classes and schools can wait. However the Mrs convinced me that he is not attending a class per se. Instead I should think of it as sending him to play and socialize with other kids his age rather than having stay cooped up at home and not learning much. Anyway it is only for 2 hours a day so I can live with that.

Anyway I was so excited after speaking to my sis about the Montessori Method that I went over to Borders and Books Kinokuniya after work that very same day to see if I could pick up a book or two on it. Most of them are rather dry and describes the science behind the method but I am glad I managed to find one that sounds interesting and direct enough.

I am not a speed reader and plus the fact that I am so busy with so many things you will have to be patient if you want my book review and update on Isaac's progress.


Nicole said...

Strange enough, the daddy was just telling me the other day that he hopes to bring Cleo to attend some courses, cause he feels that his little cleo is super duper smart and bright and we should do something about it. But then again, all parents will feel that about their own child. Haha...

Shall hear your updates again.

SO it's confirmed that Isaac will go nursery next year? My sis been suggesting(more like telling) me to send Cleo to nursery cause she's so bright and so naughty, let the teachers go and handle her so that she have a few hours peace! haha! But like you, I find the age a bit too young...cleo is really just a baby, even as she doesn't behave like one...:)

Anonymous said...

Why some people don't feel a sense of shame when they praise their kid to the extend?


alliet said...

thats the same book i read. i read an additional one besides this and basically in a nutshell, suggested exercises are all very similar between the 2 books. its really quite cool, when i read it, i am already picturing what to do and how to do it...

let me know how the trial goes... should be fun! =)

alliet said...

oh, i wanted to add, it is more for the kid's exposure than anything else. to me, there is a diff between a kid whose exposure is only limited that to home versus that when the kid is brought out for such activities where they get to be exposed to different type of sensory, auditory, visual expereiences... that plus socialising and motor skills development.

most importantly, fat fat should enjoy it and also that it provides a special mummy/daddy time with him. oh ya, take pics ok?

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Nicole,

I think it is because Isaac and Cleo are born so close to each other we are always considering the same things at about the same stage.

I will surely keep you all posted later on down the road.

In the meantime we are still undecided about nursery. We have up to end of September to cancel and get our refund so this is also why we are sending Isaac to the weekend classes to see if he enjoys it. This will hopefully give us some idea if he can handle nursery at the tender age of only 2.

I think what your sis suggests makes sense. You can really do with that few hours of break each day.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Anonymous,

From your comment I take it that you are not a parent yourself?

It is common for us parents to feel really proud of our kids. Even when they can do the smallest thing like sitting upright without aid will become a very big deal.

Wait till you sit down with a couple of parents and you will know what I mean.

Sometimes I pity those friends of mine who aren't parents yet for they have to put up with the rest of our "braggings".

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Sis,

I will take it one book at a time. But if it proves to be interesting and most importantly fun for Isaac then I will certainly go out and read a couple more.

I totally agree with your take on the different exposure that will be beneficial for our kids.

I'll find out probably as early as this weekend if he enjoys it.

happyhour said...

Hey Dylan, i second u... those not parents ah difficult to understand y parents so braggy abt their kids... or think that their kids the cutest/ smartest bb etc

anyway back to ur real topic... as u know i just started Tricia for art classes.. but tat's because she loves art and eh to be frank i very lazy to clean up after her so might as well put her in class, there she can paint all she want, dirty the table and best part is I dont have to clean up!!! hahaa

but the MR say it's time to look for SERIOUS class for her... no more playing!! faint... so now looking around... but with all the choices available in the market, the more I look for it the more blur I become… and will procrastinate and delay the whole process again…

i oso dun want to fall into the trap of being kaisu but wat to do.. Now a day everyone is inevitably comparing with each other… no matter how much u hate to admit, at one point in your kids life you will have the thought “why so and so can do this but our kid cannot?” or “wah so and so very clever le… can this and that and he/she is only xx yrs old!”

let know what weekend class you take ok.. I thinking of bring Kaelyn for weekend class too… haha damn the kiasu-ism creeping on me now :)

Aces Family said...

Hi Dylan,

My SIL used to sent my little niece to some GYM classes in Tanglin mall and i think you may want to consider that.

It's more of fun than any serious study.

Well, as for your take on those enrichment classes.

I heard of parents who sent their child to such classes that teaches advanced way of learning Math. So now when the child has to come back to basic, she was lost and unable to do the sum..: P

Now parents are panicking and looking for tuition classes that can helps the child to learn basic thinking...sigh.

Like you, i don't bring my children for any enrichment classes except chinese becos i believe it's a language they must master, not for grade but for their own root.


Wei Ling said...

Hi Dylan

I have been following your blog for quite some time. Just want to add my few cents worth.

To be honest, I think 2 yrs old is a bit too early to go for nursery. I have a girl who is now 2 and I have asked a lot of playgroups/ nurseries and teachers have told me at this age, its not advisable to put them in 'school' everyday. So I have only decided to put her to nursery next year when she is 3 :)

However, it is good to expose them to enrichment classes now. Not academically, but more of exposure, social skills, etc. My gal is now so much more open to strangers. She used to cry at the sight of unfamiliar faces! She is currently attending Shichida now. She's also with Gymboree for a term. And she throughly enjoyed them.

Some suggestions:
- Kindermusik
- Growing up Gifted (GUG)
- Julia Gabriel
- Josiah Montessori

I have personally done trial lessons with Kindermusik and GUG and I think they are not too bad.

Sorry for the long post.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Cecilia,

Hahahaha Good idea about sending Tricia for art classes and save yourself the hassle of having to clean up after her. I would have done that myself too. If I have to pick a type of class then it will probably be Music cause Isaac likes music and songs a lot. Many a time he will drop whatever he is doing if his favourite jingle is on TV.

Wah serious class sia! Sounds so SERIOUS indeed! Hahaha There are many in the market so I guess we will just have to read up on some forums and see what are the feedback from some of the other parents.

I agree that people will tend to compare but I have told myself to try my best to refrain from doing that. I may make small comparisons here and there now and then but I will always remind myself to let them grow and develop at their own pace.

I will keep you all posted once the Mrs has made some comparisons between a couple of the classes that we are looking at. Stay tuned!

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Astee,

The gym class that you mentioned should be Gymboree. We are actually members but Isaac is not attending any classes there. We bring him to the Vivo branch over the weekends for him to play around and mingle with some of the other children. So it is more like a free and easy package.

Wah this is the first time that I am hearing of the reverse. A child that is trained to think complex ends up needing tuition to think like a child again. Sounds scary.

One of the classes that we are seriously considering offers a small segment of Mandarin “learning” too which is a major draw for us.

Well, do come back to see how Isaac fair in his classes.



A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Wei Ling,

Thanks for following and also for finally leaving your comment here.

Actually we are also thinking that it is too young but problem with Isaac is that he is a December baby so in physical terms he is only 2 years old come January but by Government standard he is 3 so he can go nursery already.

Anyway my plan is to bring him to the nursery one of the days and talk to the teachers there. I’ll then explain to them whether is Isaac in terms of his motor skills and speech development and let them access if he is indeed too young to attend.

One thing about Isaac is he is not afraid of strangers. However he does have his mood so sometimes strangers will not be able to carry him. Most of the time he is fine.

Isaac is also a member of Gymboree but on a free and easy package. I prefer for him to go in and do his own things at his own pace and mingle with the other kids rather than following what they have planned.

Thanks for your suggestions. In fact we are keen and currently finding out more on Kindermusik and Julia Gabriel.

See you around ya?!

bebe said...

hi, i sent my daughter, who is a few years younger than Issac to the schichida methods, and yes it is kicked off by that kiasuism in me to want to give her an edge over the rest, although deep in my heart, i know the chances of her gaining that photographic memory, or ESP power is bleak. Haha.

But im hanging on, cos i enjoy (perhaps I enjoy more than she enjoys cos she's still running around in class and not really focuing) the "us" time during that 1 hr and the routine of "Us going to class together every Sunday"

Perhap my indulgence is pardonable cos i only have 1 kid now.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Bebe,

I think you meant your daughter being a few months younger than Isaac because he is only about 19mths old. Hahaha

So is the Shichida method working? I’m curious to know if the optimum result is not achieved then what is the school’s response. Basically what is their disclaimer?

It is good to know that both of you are enjoying yourself even though not necessarily doing the same thing together. Hee hee Soon we will be like you going for Sunday classes with Isaac.

Having 3 kids we have to be a little more selective with the courses that we sign up. Cost is definitely a factor.

bebe said...

hi, i think we already know how the school will respond to our pester, if we really want to pursue that ... ie parents not committed, takes a longer time to see results etc etc.

But I guess pursuing an education is not like buying a gadget whereby there is a warranty. Even getting a good degree may not guarantee you a high-paying job and we cant go back and complain to the shool. Schichida did disclaim that results may not be in the form of academic ... they emphasize a lot on the change of the parents' attitude towards their kids, and the improved relationship ... to them a hug or kiss from the child is also a result. Haha, see, whatever they say, they sure win one lar! And results or no results, they are the big winner now, just look at their class attendances!!

Lionel n Rachel said...

hi dylan,

some suggestions:
Growing Up Gifted (GUG) @ United Sq / Suntec
Baby Jumper Gym (BJG) @ Bukit Batok; NS Home Team
Kindermusik @ Tanglin Mall

i tried all their trial class & ended up enrolling L into BJG & R into GUG. But L lasted no longer than 2 terms cos they are always changing teachers & giving crap excuses. A child will nvr adapt if they keep on changing schedules & teaching methods ( diff teachers teach differently)

For R, she lasted from Babes class to Toddlers class. I hv pulled her out since the end of last term, hoping to give her a break b4 she starts nursery next yr.

Go thru all the trial class, if possible & see for urself. What's good for others may not be suitable for you. Happy searching! :)

KoLe said...

similiarly, I put my kid in twice weekly enrichment class (gug with mandarin) before she attended nursery so the transition is smoother. one of the objective of putting her into nursery then was for her social development and to occupy her time more constructively as we had to work.
I finally decided on a montessori education for her after reading more indepth into it. In spore, think there are very few schools who prescribed to the philosophy very closely. I only know of 2: MFC and ECCH.

from someone with 'bragging' rights and darn proud and shameless abt it.

Michelle Ng said...

Hey Dylan,

Great book you've got. I ever had the idea of taking up a degree on Montessori Method Teaching but the course fee is just sky high @ $8k if i only wanna teach my own kids at home. haha... Maybe i shld consider getting the book you've got. Thks for sharing ya. :)

Anonymous said...

hmmm somehow I came upon this blog when I typed enrichment...

For prenursery or even the nursery level, if one adopts the 'just for fun, social skills' attitude, then choosing a school shouldn't be a difficult task. However, if one's concerned about having a good foundation(which would normally set in from end Nursery/K1), then one should always go alot more indepth in his/her research. With that, I meant - really go find out what exactly each school's curriculum encoils. Even the peers group can play an important part(if you do not wish for your child to pick up bad/lousy language or bad behaviour). As for Montessori's teachings, I seriously find that it's been over-sold here as it doesn't quite apply to our local educational system and we're not talking about just the non-integrated form of learning/educating. I had my doubts earlier and had them cleared by local primary school teachers and even foreigner friends deemed it so.

GUG, JG/Chiltern are popular but their fees can be quite hefty, esp. if u're talking about daily schooling with them(else, a 1 wkend a wk class would be quite helpless to build a child's social skills). N some of their teachers can be quite 'selective' towards the children.

So do your research before you decide... Good Luck, ;).

Just sharing, :)
Another mommy

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Bebe,

Wah from the way you put it they are indeed in a win-win situation.

Seriously I do not need to send Isaac to them and already he is hugging and kissing me as well as his siblings. While I understand that they cannot guarantee result I guess I am just not comfortable with their way of promoting because it certainly gives you (at least me) the impression that all kids attending their class with achieve excellent results.

I feel they owe their success largely to their marketing campaign instead of the results achieved by their students over the years. Then again what do I know?!

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Yvonne,

Thanks for your suggestions. Kindermusik is one of those that the Mrs is keen to try out. We will attend a few other trial classes before finally deciding.

I agree with you constant changes to the teachers cannot be good for the child.

So in your opinion did the classes at GUG benefit Rachel? I understand GUG is very popular and also not exactly cheap.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi KoLe,

Seems like what you have in mind is similar to our idea except that we are bringing Isaac to those classes once a week instead of twice.

So did attending these classes really smoothen the transition into nursery? Was there crying during the first few days? Since we have a few more months we might even let Isaac attend some of the drop-off classes later this year.

I have not looked into which schools adopt the Montessori Method of education but I believe there are a number. For me it is really to just let him learn while playing at home so I’m not on the lookout for such classes.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Michelle,

Spending 8k to get a degree just to teach your kid is a little extreme. Not to mention by the time you’ve obtained the degree your kids will be older already. Unless you are planning to have a number 3 or even 4?!?!?! Hahahaha

Or you can open up your own Montessori school here. Who knows a few of us from here may want to be a partner. I know I will be interested.

Let’s all take baby steps and start with books that we can get our hands on first. You can find the book that I got at Books Kinokuniya and I am quite sure certain national libraries.

Nicole said...

I believe that 'going to school and cry' phase is really very common and nothing to fret about. It really also depend on the child's character.

I have always find Claire very timid and will probably cry when she go to school. She didn't. In both schools we send her to.

The teachers, the school environment, the price all plays a major part.

School is indeed a very 'headache' issue I guess. My gf have asked me which primary school I'll be sending claire to ...and she's only 4 years old now..

You will know what I meant..in time to come...haha

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Another Mommy,

First of all welcome to my humble blog and I am truly sorry for the late reply. Come to think of it you may not even be back reading this reply so I’ll keep it short.

I am in agreement with your take about the school selection and the environment as well as the kids that will shape your child. This is also why so many parents are so concerned about which school to send their young too.

I don’t think you are aware since you are new to this blog but we have already enrolled Isaac in the nursery and he will be starting next January although we have our reservation about send him when he is only 2 years and a few days old (officially he is 3 accordance to the year he was born).

I agree that our education system is a little too structured but I think the Ministry is trying to do something about it. Maybe the way to go about it is to impart what we can at home so that when they’re in school they will learn to think out of the box. I’m new at this so I may not exactly what I’m talking about. It is all just an idea.

We are not talking about everyday class but once a week only. I have to disagree with you that attending once a week will not do anything to improve their social skills because it does. It may take the child a few lessons to get accustomed to having other kids and adults around but generally they will improve over time. Naturally it will require a longer period of time but they will get there. This is certainly better than having them stay at home everyday of the week.

We will go for a few trial lessons just to understand a little better what is available before signing him up for anything.

So much for a short reply huh?!

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Nicole,

I agree it is the norm to have kids kicking and screaming when they first attend class but if there is something that I can do now to cut out all the drama then I am all for trying it out.

Besides being traumatic for the child, it is probably worse for me, the parent. I’m sure Isaac will forget in no time but that memory will forever be implemented in my mind and not to mention I have to go through it 2 more times! Hahaha

Actually I think you are right. Our kids may jolly well surprise us. Maybe (more like hopefully) Isaac will not cry during his 1st day of school although right now I do not see it happening.

I know the primary school selection is a major headache and I can already appreciate it now. At least Claire is 4. We are already thinking where to send Isaac when it is his turn because where he goes, Luke will follow also. And if this school is no where near where we live now then we may have to move to within a kilometer of it. Your typical kiasu parents huh?! Hahahaha

Lionel n Rachel said...

i find that rachel more or less benefits from the lessons conducted at GUG. At least, she can adapt easily to a classroom environment which is a great help when she attends nursery next year. She ie willing to sit still ( except for the 1st few lessons), being inquisitive, she tends to explore.

She learns fast too. Once or twice, i sang her the songs we learn at GUG & she can remember the actions well though she cannot pronounce. I find one good thing abt GUG is that they incoporate physical and mental skills very well. Zoophonics is one good enrichment & dat's how she learn her ABCs. And also particularly the hands on ( art & craft) class.
She can get herself all messy & i dun hv to clean up :)

Fees are abt $300 plus per term; 8-10 lessons per term, minus the initial deposit & registration fees of cos. Dat costs a bomb!

Dun get me wrong; i'm nt promoting for GUG. Just my 2 cents worth. Rachel DOES/DID benefit. Serious!

Happy FamiLEE said...

Hi Dylan

May I know which agency did you go to for your present maid?

Don't mind can you pls email me the agency contact number too :)


A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Yvonne,

I am glad to learn that Rachel has benefited from the GUG classes. We’re looking at maybe attending a trial there just to compare. She is willing to still huh…… I wonder if they can teach Isaac to do that when we have our dinner because currently it is impossible to enjoy a decent night out with friends with him along. Hahahaha

I see most mothers like to outsource this arts & crafts classes for they do not want to clean up. There should be a huge market for this.

At $300 plus per term the fee is not much. I heard that the fee is more like $500 - $600 per term. I’m sure the Mrs will find out more on this.

Thanks for sharing!

Stay tuned to see how Isaac progress with his classes ya?!

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Judy,

Please check your email for I have provided you with the required information.

Good luck with your maid hunting.


olivia said...

I feel that sending little kids to "school" is to get them to socialise with kids of their age and learn about teamwork and sharing rather than academic work. My 4 year old will only be attending "formal school" end of this August. He's been with me since birth and after the birth of his twin brothers, he goes to a home daycare for half a day. He learns about sharing and playing with the kids there (about 2 other kids). His language skills have developed a lot since then.
This caregiver also reads to him regularly (sometimes he's the only kid there) and he loves to read a lot and is always excited about reading.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Olivia,

I couldn't agree more on your take about sending them to "school" at a young and tender age.

Isaac has only just started so we are waiting for his development. Currently he is still shy whenever he first stepped into the class but will naturally warm up after that.

I'll keep you all posted once I have more to say and of course pictures too.

Eelyn said...


Came across your blog while surfing. My son has been attending GUG since he was 10 months old. I sent him there as he is the only child.

He is 2 years old now and still attends GUG. He overcame his dislike for getting his fingers dirty and now enjoys finger painting. He could recite and mimic all the zoo phonic actions and sounds when he was 20 months. (We found him practicing on his own one early morning!) He can now match some letters of the alphabets. Now they are teaching him how to do word blending.

I thought that since he has attended GUG, he will be able to adapt in a daily playgroup program easily. It took him more than 1 month to finally settle in his daily playgroup. But now he looks forward going to "school" for 3 hours in the morning. He is attending Little Skool House at Orchid Country Club. It has great facilities for outdoor and sports related activities.

I have continued him in GUG once a week because he enjoys the session there. However I am planning to take him out because he has settle down in his daily playgroup which covers similar activities except the zoo phonics. This is because he started to show obvious signs of interest in music and so we will be be sending him to Mandeville music school as they conduct concerts to give kids a chance to perform.

Many may think that I am a kiasu parent. But I feel that as long as it is within our means, we should give our child as much exposure and let them decide what they like and enjoy eventually.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Eelyn,

Thank you for chancing upon my blog and actually leaving a comment. I do apologise for the late response though.

Thanks for sharing your son’s progress at GUG. Isaac has just completed his first term at his weekly enrichment and he can mimic almost 80% of the actions for the Zoo-Phonics. I really enjoy seeing him do it. What’s more is he also enjoys the rhyme that was taught during class. I was pleasantly surprised to see him mimicking the action after only heard it twice and at weeks apart.

Isaac will only start his nursery 1 classes in January and honestly I am still not convinced that he is fully prepared to be left on his own. Although I learned from the other readers here that children are very quick at adapting but I still feel a little uneasy.

We’re still on the fence on whether or not to let him continue his Sunday enrichment class. It really depends on whether he still enjoys it and also what other area we would like to let him explore.

I agree with you on trying to expose them to as many things as possible to try and find that single area that they can excel in. However with 3 kids altogether it will not be so easy for us.

I do look forward to hearing from you again.