28 Apr 2013

Jo's Photo Album in Comic Form

Sometime last week, dear hubby pulled out some of Nel's photo albums to look through her baby photos. As they were looking Jo asked "Mum, where are my albums?"  I had to shamefully admit that while I'd diligently compiled 2 albums for Nel, I'd not done any at all for Jo.

Jo's photos are all in digital format, stuck in my hard disk. However, instead of whining about it, that lil girl dashed into her room, locked herself up and began doodling. After disappearing for a while, she came up to me and said "Look mum, my own photo album. I drew them all."  And she said it with such excitement and a big grin. I've to admit, I love her comic form album. Well, I'm bias, she's my child. :)

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  (ps. I'll be working on a real album for her soon.)

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2013


18 Apr 2013

Combining Math, Art and Handiwork

 Whenever we've extra time, we love combining art with subjects we're learning. For this week Jo's been learning about angles and how to use a protractor and compass (for drawing circles).

We played several games and went around the house measuring different angles with the protractor. That done we went on to using a compass to create circle art. This was  a little challenging for Jo at first as the compass sometimes slid about or the pencil shifted. More than once she shouted at it saying "You lousy thing!!" while Nel, was as always, cool as a cucumber (Nel joined in, as it's always fun to work on art together).

Circle art using  the protractor to measure location of new circles.One can tell the difference between children's personality just by their art work.  Nel's on the left, Jo's work on the right.

We then went on to creating parabolic curves. I found a really good website on it here -Parabolic Curve. 
 Since Jo was learning about angles, we used the protractor to measure distances and angles while marking the circumference of the circle. Then using their imagination, and experimentation, they created various patterns.

 The children worked on creating patterns using parabolic curves. Nel's the orange one, and Jo's on the right.

Once they had a rough idea, Nel and Jo  began working on their art by drawing onto a plywood board,
redoing the entire drawing and painting process. They then went on to their most favourite part, hammering  nails! Both kids worked independently, coz I'm one who doesn't believe in interfering with children's art except to provide a few comments or suggestions.

Redrawing and painting with poster colour.

 Measuring angles to mark points for nails, and hammering! They LOVED this part of it.

 Next the children used yarn to create the patterns. Below is a short video of Jo "threading" her yarn around the nails to create a parabolic pattern.

 Jo adding finishing touches to her piece of art.

 Walla, her work of art done.

Nel is a slower worker, as she likes things perfect, unlike Jo who "charges" through her work based on instinct. Nel's work isn't completed yet. But this is part of it. I'm looking forward to her end product.

 So today was a combination of Math, art and handiwork. Do try when you get time. Have fun

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2013


13 Apr 2013

Visit to UPM Milking Farm, and Museum of Anatomy

When one has the freedom to learn in a free setting, school can happen anywhere. Last Friday, we chose to have school at a farm. We awoke very early, drove an hour and arrived at the farm by 730am. Such a serene and lovely feeling to feel the early morning breeze as we watched the cows grazing on the huge huge land that seemed to roll on forever.

Jo and her backpack, walking to "school"

When we arrived at the milking station, the first batch of cows were already feeding on their food of corn and soya bean pallets.

Here they are cleaning the cow's teats, and then massaging them to stimulate the release of oxytocin which will lead to the production of milk. Info in detail found here.

An excerpt:
  "Milk let-down (ejection) is the natural process used by the cow to help remove milk from the  udder. This process is brought about by the release of the hormone oxytocin from a gland at the base of the brain, following a suitable stimulus being received by the cow.The stimulus may be visual, heard or felt and should be predictable and consistent at every milking. Most  importantly it should not induce fear in cows. It is commonly thought that genetic selection has ensured that most commercial cows will let-down freely without physical contact with the teats. Handling of the teats however, is a strong stimulus for let-down with research showing that at least 15 seconds of massage per cow is required to effect an appreciable change in milking characteristics. After release, oxytocin travels through the blood stream and has a direct effect on small muscle cells that surround the milk-producing cells in the udder. Oxytocin causes these muscle cells to contract and squeeze the milk into the milk ducts and so towards the teat. The pressure of the milk being forced into the ducts and down towards the teat causes the teat to swell with milk and become ‘plump’ with milk. It takes between 60 and 90 seconds for the teats to become plump with milk after let-down has been initiated."

This is Dr. Baljut, who provided us with lots of great information about cows and the milking process. He was very patient, answering questions by the children, such as "How many stomachs does a cow have?" "How long can a cow produce milk, and from how old?"  to other very important questions such as "Why does the cow have a bump on his head?" :)

Milk being collected in these containers
We then went on to watch this farmer feeding the calves. The calves do not feed direct from their mother, as the farmers do not want the milk cows to get used to having their calves as stimulus for milk let down.

Milk all drunk up. Yummm....

Our children having a go at feeding the calves milk from a huge bottle. They found the bottle really heavy! :) but they were all so happy just being able to feed these babies.

We  then went on to the Museum of Human Anatomy located at the Medical Faculty. I will say, this was a REALLY fascinating and awesome museum. We were not allowed to take photos, as there were many many specimens there of all sorts of body parts, including fetuses and still born babies. Our children were naturally very attracted to the specimens of fetus and placenta, wanting to learn of how they were formed. Going through the museum, they saw in detail the human skeleton, learnt some about the voice box, digestion system and etc.  

I guess, the great thing about this visit was that we had 3 doctors who accompanied our children, explaining to them in detail how our body functions, and answering all their questions.

The only photo I managed to take before they announced, NO cameras.

Another great place to visit at UPM is the Museum of Animal Anatomy at the Veterinarian Faculty.
Kids loved this place too. It's a really small museum, but has a rather good collection of skeletons and skulls. Again, they sent two doctors who answered all sorts of quirky questions by the children, such as "Why did you remove the hair from the horse's tail when you collected its skeleton." Or "Why is the horse's penis so HUGE!"  :)

This is why the question of penis was asked. ;)

A very long python

Skeleton of an Orang Utan

And can you guess which animal is this?

I highly recommend this tour. If you're keen on organizing one for yourself, you may email
 kamarol_ab@putra.upm.edu.my  and

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2013


4 Apr 2013

Poems (inspired by Dr. Seuss)

Both Nel and Jo attended a Dr. Seuss event organized by Learning Beyond Schooling.  For this event, children had to recite a passage from any Dr. Seuss book, create a skit, sing a song or anything related. Both my girls decided to write their own whacky poems and read it to the group. In the end, Jo read hers out, while Nel (being the introvert that she is), decided to just share it online rather than read it out. Here are their poems.

Stomp! Stomp! Stomp! Stomp!
I wonder now, who could that be?
It's Stompy Romp, 
the greatest beast ....you'll ever see!

Stompy Romp can hardly see
Cause that's the way he's meant to be.
Stompy Romp likes drinking romp,
and  gobbling swamps in one big CHOMP!

Once some children teased him bad,
"Ooh you big fat ugly monster
You'll never get to eat me for dinner!
And may you never be glad."

Then Stompy Romp began to puff,
His furry chest began a rumbling,
His big round nose began a twitching 

And out of his mouth
came a tornado sneeze!


The children flew across the sky and

They all landed in a big fat heap.

Then Stomp! Stomp! Stomp!
He squashed them dead.

So now you know what's a Stompy Romp,
It's a big fat giant who likes to stomp,
Especially on rude little children.


I think he's just squashed me
cause he doesn't like my story about him.
(But I'm not rude.)

  Hear me! Hear me!
We've found a Wiggi Wagg
that has a wompy lompy tail.

And all she likes to do is to
Brag! Brag! Brag!

She loves drinking zomp from a pail,
and she wails like a mad little Zail.

I think I should kick her out of the house
to keep her quiet as a mouse
for I'm sick of all her wailing
and all her bragging.

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2013


1 Apr 2013

Putrajaya 5th Hot Air Balloon Show

Woke up super duper early to queue up by 7am in order  to purchase balloon ride tickets. Well, not really a ride, but to go up several meters and down again.

A Balloon race

Our favourite balloon

Nel's favourite balloon, photo captured by her

Waiting to go up in the balloon
A friend helped capture this. Here we are going up in the balloon! Weee.....
After the ride, kids went on several other rides before we called it a day. A great day indeed.

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2013
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