Wednesday, March 30, 2016

School Holiday Bits

If you had put me in a music trivia 15 years ago, I'd probably get a good score. I knew exactly who sang what in which album. But for more than a decade, I've become clueless of whatever happened in the world of Mandarin music. In my music following prime years, I had only bought limited numbers of cassettes and CDs (yes, I am from the cassettes' era.). The original copies were expensive for my students' budget. I packed two CDs in my suitcase when I moved to Cape Town and they've been in my car ever since. There's this one song from the CD by the singer Leehom Wang that I hum all the time. It actually has become C's favorite lullaby, even though the lyrics have nothing to do with putting kids to sleep.

Before this school holiday started, I made a list. An often useless holiday to-do list, much like a new-year resolution. One of the things is to teach my 6-year-old this Mandarin song called A Simple Song. Mostly just to memorize the lyrics, as she knows the melody by heart. Have we done it yet now that we are almost at the end of the holiday? Nope.
Actually I'm going to share what I wrote on the list:
  • grow wheat grass
  • design and carving stamps
  • learn to use chopsticks
  • take at least one picture a day
  • go for a daily walk
  • cook something together -- we are big fans of Master Chef Junior here
  • do crafty projects
  • teach C some basic knitting skills
  • learn A Simple Song, as mentioned above
So, yes we went for a walk on the promenade once, tried knitting for 5 minutes and gave up and never had the time to cook something together (How is that even possible?). As for the rest of the things, we did zero. Our days are mostly unplanned yet full. I aim to haul C out as much as I can before the wintery weather hits us. She could stay inside the house for days, building Legos and playing pretend games. I have to pay her (yes, reward for doing outdoor exercises) to get her out, and luckily it still works.
I'm going against my Asian biology and shedding more and more of that drill-your-kids-to-death philosophy. The goal is to have an organically grown, free-range child. Who's with me?


  1. Free range sounds pretty good to me.

  2. You have inspired me to learn "The Simple Song" to share with my grandchildren. It's a beautiful tune and will be a challenge to learn in a new language but it's so gorgeous and it will be wonderful to share with my little 3 1/2 year old twin grand babies.

  3. Kids pick up so quickly it's amazing. Just play the song, or any song, in the background and you will be in for a surprise.