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Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States

Sep 4, 2009

Kid photography and Home school journal

Photos by Elliot.
You start to appreciate how a 3 foot person views the world. 
 These photos take me back to when I was kid. I can remember being too small do the things I wanted to do. Frustrated because I couldn't communicate my thoughts in away as to be understood by adults. Reprimanded when I was sincerely trying to be funny and do good and mad when I was laughed at instead of taking seriously.   Our kids are blessed they have an"easy" life without too much worry and responsibility, but growing up is not devoid of trials.
 I pray that everyday I will take the opportunity to connect with my children and see life through their eyes so as to have compassion and understanding.  We have a perfect parent in God who comes to our level when we are unsophisticated,childish, and even sinful. Although I can't be perfect, I can learn from God to be slow to anger and wrath and quick to listen and just remember what it was like to not be a grown up.
No wonder he gets so bored, the kid probably can't even see out the windows!
The MTR turnstile
Elliot has walked underneath a few times, I think just because it is easier. He technically was short enough to be free a few months ago, but after age three they expect you to pay.
This is the spot where we catch the shuttle bus and where we get dropped off.  I love it when Icome down the escalator and see the shuttle just about to pull in and I hate it when I see the shuttle leaving, knowing I have a 15 minute wait. Of course we live only about a 15 minute walk from home so the option to walk is often what we choose.

The PARK-N-SHOP Grocery store
Walking home in the mild 70˚ weather is an option, not in the 90 degree, if I have frozen groceries and want them not to defrost.  It is then the time to pay the minimum taxi fee and have them take me to Parc Versailles, I have to say it Cantonese- it sounds like this
Die Yon Yoon. 

Upon day one of our arrival in Hong Kong the fight between the kids is who gets to push the buttons. I really thought this would stop be exciting after a week. It began when we lived on the 16th floor in Horizon Suites and has continued now that we are on the 4th floor in PV. The system which the kids worked out is Elliot pushes the button to call the elevator or lift as they are called here. Jane gets to push all the rest of the buttons. I think this is okay with him because he can't really reach all the rest of the buttons yet. The time is approaching for this system to change.

It doesn't seem like it should be back to school and be fall time. It is still in the high 80's here with no signs of it slowing down. The leaves aren't turning colors and there is no crisp fall air to be felt.

Jane asked if it was fall time and I almost hesitated to say yes, our ABEKA curriculum is decorated with pumpkins and apples for the worksheets this term, but the reality of our life is palm trees and lychee fruit.

Jane's primary question during the school day- are we done yet?  There is something to be said for the classroom setting that is ruled by a clock. The kids know when they are done, they don't ask a teacher after they had lunch- are we done with school yet? I should just set up a time during the day that I know we will be done and make it the official end of the day.

A display a New Town Plaza
Homescholing is a very foreign concept to a majority of the Chinese. When I tell them we do school at home, they usually respond "oh you must be a teacher"  I don't know if it is legal for a local to homeschool their kids. There is a community of homeschoolers here but a majority are expats.

Elliot is adjusting to the more formal program I have put him on as a Pre-K student.

Teaching Robots- how nice.  I was reflecting on frustrating teaching moments and thought how nice it would be for the kids to have a switch for when I am teaching, that turns off all their emotions, rebelliousness, laziness, will-fullness,  so they simply listen and do what I say..  
Of course not really, I am not opening up the Stepford Academy anytime soon,  but sometimes the reality of being the parent and the teacher to a child can be overwhelming.
Some days it feels like a little bump in the road and we get over it and go on, other days that bump is a steep hill that we spiral down at a rapid pace.

All parents are teachers. Some might not be actually teaching their kids math concepts or doing the science experiments with them, but our kids will model what they see us do.
We teach them with our attitude toward learning, we teach them how to treat others, how to respond to hurt and failure,  Do we respect authority, obey the laws. Do we act one way in church and another outside of it? They observe and learn.
They would have to learn this from me even if they are in school all day, the fact that I teach them their grammar and about George Washington is just something a little extra I am choosing to do.

I do think I will put Jane in school next year, her personality would thrive in the social setting and I know she would be motivated to get good grades and please the teacher.  We will see what happens, but those are my thoughts.

We have  a membership to a place called Playscope.   My friend Denise who is a Hong Kong native, and my neighbor introduced me to it.
 I describe it as a mini- children's museum.  The fact it is here in Tai Po is a blessing!  The philosophy of the people who designed it is, to let kids have creative play. Give them tools and toys that let them use their imagination. The workers are great and really interact with the kids. They can play dress up and do crafts or jump on the rope web. We have really enjoyed the toy and game lending library. They even have full size play kitchens you can "check out" if you want. We enjoy getting new board games and toys. It is cheaper then spending money on games that either you find you don't like or you quickly get bored playing.
 They have a book library too.  It is an air conditioned haven in the summer. 

Playscope from outypants on Vimeo.

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