29 Oct 2016

Plant Identification

We joined MNS Flora Selangor group on a field trip entitled "Tree Observation and Identification." It was held at Bukit Cahaya Shah Alam, and the planned walk was to " focus on the observation of identification characters of trees that are currently fruiting and belonging to the family of Dipterocarpaceae (Shorea and Dipterocarpus), Fagaceae (Oak family), Anacardiaceaa (Mango Family), and Rubiaceae (Coffe family)."

The walk was headed by Dr. Jean Weber and Dr. Siti Khadijah, who are to me, walking plants encyclopedias! 
We began by looking for seeds to identify trees, then studying the structure of seeds. Then we were taught how to study leaf structures (the petiole,  shape and veins),  flowers and bark. 

This leaf  has a stipule, and is hairy, characteristic of  Keruing Bulu
Children taking notes and listening intently at the beginning. I said beginning, because about one hour later, they more interested in other stuff like birds poop. ;)

Dr Khadijah. I love how she willingly and enthusiastically answers EVERY question!! I asked if she'd conduct a walk for our Science Coop, and she immediately said YES. It is a rare to find someone who passionate about plants and so willing to share information with children. Looking forward to our  next walk.

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2016


26 Oct 2016

Some recent art

Some recent random art work\

Painting with only three colours. Yellow, Blue and Brown. The 
three shades create quite a spooky effect. Jo thinks this looks like a female
version of SLAPPY!!!

I painted this picture to accompany and inspire Jo to get back to some art work. (watercolour)

Jo's art work. Acrylic.

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2016

Workshop on SMA

We recently attended a workshop about Living with SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy). The workshop was conducted by Sook Yee, her husband Edmund and her dear son Branden. Though I've heard of ALS, I've never heard of SMA, and it was certainly an eye opening workshop worth attending. It helped us understand the challenges of living with a disability, and it gave us a glimpse of parental courage, love and hope.  I'm amazed at the courage and zeal of Branden's parents, how they continually bring awareness to the public, and how they continuously find ways to help Branden, never giving up and always hopeful.

Here children were asked to scratch their ear while pulling a tight elastic band. It was certainly difficult to bring their hands up to the ear. Understanding how difficult it is for people living with SMA to use their hands effectively.

Branden going round tickling the children who were not allowed to move, scratch or fidget. It was to help them understand how it would be, being in the "shoes"of Branden. He has such an infectious laughter and smile. Children warmed up to him immediately.

Several weeks later, we were invited by Branden's mum to help out at their Arts for Grabs booth. The sale was to raise funds for We Care Journey an organization to help bring awareness and help other people with SMA.
Jo did her part by helping to paint a bag which would then be sold to raise funds, while Nel helped to hand out leaflets containing information about SMA.

To find out more about how you could help Branden, or to understand more about what it's like, living with SMA, you can find them on their facebook page Branden -Growing up with SMA.

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2016

Nel is a Spartan SPrint finisher!

Two years ago Nel and Jo took part in the junior Spartan race.

This year suddenly she decided that she wanted to try Spartan Sprint for adults. The website estimated that the race would be about 6 km, but turns out it was 8km. She barely trained, but in the final week she managed a few monkey bars practices, one or two jogging sessions where she huffed and puffed away.

The morning of the race came, and I was a little anxious wondering if she'd be able to finish the course safely.

Here's a post I wrote on facebook :

When my first girl was younger she had some problems with coordination. She was also such a timid child that throughout kindergarten n primary one she would hide in toilets during games n sports time. 
When we began homeschooling.. I found her a kind and understanding ballet teacher, I taught her swimming, cycling and we began going for jungle hikes in hopes that all these would help her. 
Today she took part in the adult Spartan sprint.. I have to admit I was nervous for her... She took 4hours but she is a Spartan finisher!! So proud of her!!
It shows never under estimate a child.. And a child can overcome her fears and 'weaknesses' with time and space to grow.. With gentle guidance and patience... Like waiting for a tree to grow.

Anyway, she finished the race! She's a Spartan Finisher, and I'm so PROUD OF YOU NEL!

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2016

11 Oct 2016

Painting Murals

We were invited recently to help out with a green project at our community. It involved painting mural for a recycling center. We always jump at the chance to do art, any sort of art!! Most of the painting was done at night and we really had fun doing it.

Nel painting a deer

Jo's Fairy bird

Surprise surprise, I found out that hubby can paint!!!!

I thought I'd add a hornbill

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2016

Jo sews her first doll

Jo is in the process of making a doll.

Making basic shape using stockings, stuffing and string

The head of her first ever hand made. Great attempt! and a good practice at patience. To learn how
to make it, she viewed quite a few videos on doll making, mainly the Waldorf way.

Watching her make a doll inspired me to try one too. In this family Art is "infectious". When I begin an art work, my children want to do one too. And when they begin an art project, I too get inspired to begin one. Here's my version, but not a stocking version. I learnt this by watching a series of video by Anneli Võikar \

The first half of my doll's hair was sewn by Jo. I was going to do it the shortcut way, just stitch a bunch of hair together to get it done. She stopped me and said, "Strand by strand mum." To lead the way, she stitched the first half. Attaching a video below. (I realize that video attachments don't turn up on emailed link.)

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2016

7 Oct 2016

Aquatic Educational Workshop UCSI

Our kids from coop recently emailed  UCSI requesting for a workshop at their aquatic center. They thought it'd be a nice review to all the materials they've learnt about marine science in the past 4 months.

After the session I asked my kids for feedback. Their feedback was that they enjoyed the classroom environment and quizzes. They enjoyed observing the tanks there. However, the found the material taught much too simple and suitable for much younger children, though they stated that it was for older children.  The facilitators (students from the marine and biotech department) were friendly and enthusiastic. Unfortunately, they were mainly biotech students, and could not answer quite a few questions thrown at them.  So perhaps it would have been better if the workshop had been conducted by marine science students instead.

We did pre mention that the kids had already studied a marine science textbook. Perhaps they somehow forgot. After the workshop, we asked if they'd do one that would match secondary level and they said it was possible. So hoping to go back there for a better session. Overall, despite the minor setbacks, the children enjoyed themselves.

Spot the Octopus

Aquatic Junior Educational Program
Charges: Registration (Per child) = RM 10.00

Educational Aquaponic Kit (Per family) = RM60.00   (We found this expensive, and not worth the money, as the children were simply asked to connect a few parts together (two tubes, a small plastic tank and a little motor), given kangkung seeds and two fish. Explanation was very simple and short.

Jessie Lai jess_yuensie@hotmail.com

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2016
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