Friday, March 18, 2011

Teaching a child to read

Hello, everyone.

I know that it has been a long time since I lasted posted on my blog. Life has just been so hectic lately, and I haven’t really had a chance to balance everything. My goal every day is to write, and that has been taking up most of my time lately, even if the day is hectic. I savor the moments I have writing. And, I savor this one. There’s something enjoyable about writing a story, and writing here. Something about expressing yourself, and creating something out of nothing, I suppose. (c) iSMAIL de' Lucia.....!~

LEARNING TO READ IS A milestone for every child. Naturally,it's also a cause of celebration for parents who are only to aware of the importance of literacy.

Teaching a child to read, though, is an enormous task. Parents have to provide a conducive environments for the learning process to take place and the tools to perpetuate the habit.

Numerous ways have been adopted to expedite this process; some people start even when their young are still in diapers, from flashing cards containing isolated words to getting them familiar with alphabet book early in their childhood.

What is sometimes forgotten is the stress involved on the part of the child. When the ability to read is obtained at a slower rate than anticipated or hoped for, parents tend to push their child, sometimes to the edge, and this can lead to problems later on.

"The best way to motivate a child is to give them a sense of achievement." Children are by nature success-oriented and the easiest way to help them learn a skill is to make sure that they succeed step by step before aiming for greater heights.
"Learning to read, for instance, should be done in the most natural way, though the child's experiences which is later translated into words and meaning."
Another example is speaking. A child learns the verb 'drink' for example, through demonstrations, and when they have seen enough models to make the appropriate association with the words, they will be ready to use it. Parents should then provide ample opportunities for the child to practice saying the word and not reprimand them if they get the pronunciation incorrect which may cause negative reperesentions

The tools applied to learn reading in any language should utilise a similar approach-sentences or words used in books should be both repetitive and predictable with illustrations to provide clues for the child to make the required association through experience with the subject matter.

Learning progressively is the key here and a lot of patience is required because children learn at different rates and no single method suits every child.

It does not matter if your child starts of with a book that contains few words but lots of illustration. They will feel motivated to learn more once they had gotten over that stage of learning and ready to proceed further.
Learning words through association with experiences will help a child read in context, which is what learning words through flash cards cannot do.
That is why occasionally come across a child who can read an entire page without understanding what they has just read. When a child has learn to read in context, they can then develop their own reading strategies similar to an adult's technique of reading. They will then begin to discover the meaning of unfamiliar words.

This approach of reading , but one which is sadly overlooked perhaps due to the lack of materials or time constraint among them.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Why wait for THAT particular day to say “I LOVE YOU” when you can have 365 to choose from?
Blacky finds out how........

MOST PEOPLE THINK IT is really cool to be married on Valentiine’s Day. Well personally, I’d say it’s a mistake. I mean not the marriage but the date..

My beloved late wife and I forgot what it would cost us to celebrate our wedding anniversary on the day when thousand of others lovers are also celebrating their love ones, fuelling the demand for flowers, gifts and fancy dinners.

Sudddenly, a rose costs a bomb, the price of chocolate sky rockets and the simplest dinner in a decent hotel that is usually less than RM100 now leaves a big hole in your pocket.
It can really put a damper on your spirits, all this business about romance with a price tag. If you look closely, little Cupid with his innocent face is not really aiming at your heart. Rather try your wallet for a start.

If your love is really true, what’s wrong with dining an the normal reataurant instead of a five-star hotel? And why wait for THAT particular day to say “I LOVE YOU” when you can have 365 to choose from?
It’s all part of the ploy by businesses you see, all this hype about Valentine’s Day being a day of lovers.

If you generate enough bull about Feb 14 being associated with romance and passion to make people to pay RM18 for a rose, getting them to pay RM200 for dinner is a easy as drinking water.

Have you noticed how many different accounts there are of the origins of Valentine’s Day? Enough said, just ask yourself whether you can do your loved ones a bigger favour by being less grumpy, less of a slob and by spending more time with the kids instead of spending all that money on flowers that will eventually willing and die, food that might give you indigestion and a gift that may not even be appreciated.

That ‘s why over the past years ,(before my wife pass away) I have developed an allergy for flowers whenever Valentine’s Day comes around. And the telly never fails to offer something worthwhile which compensates for not going out to join the rest of the lovebirds in town.
We’ve decided we’ll share a pizza and watch our wedding video yet again. Sounds very romantic, right, but romance is a very subjective matter.

Well, I find the way my wife makes me laugh very romantic. And she does make me laugh often, which explains why I don’t consider romance a missing ingredient in my life.
Besides, we don’t have to declare our love for each other extravagantly on Val
entine’s day only, right? We can always do it tomorrow.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all.


Friday, January 30, 2009

Memories, march 1995

Life Goes On…..
What do you do when your spouse passes away.
How do you handle the kids? blacky has the story to share with..

Our wedding was rather romantic, we got married on Valentine’s Day in 1991. My wife was a journalist with a local English daily. For three years life was hectic but fun. Then in 1994 my life changed when we had a beautiful baby boy. Somehow it didn't feel like a family until my son came along. He made our life seem perfect. I enjoyed being a dad. We went everywhere together, my wife, my son and I. It was a new experience.”

But nine months later without any warning whatsoever, life turned topsy-turvy. Out of the blue my wife collapsed. I knew she was asthmatic but that was not the problem. I rushed her to the hospital and she was immediately admitted to the emergency wad. She was in coma for three days

“The doctor explained to me that there was internal bleeding caused by her second pregnancy but they couldn’t operate until her blood pressure had stabilised. They tried to stabilised it but it just went down, and down until it reached zero. She passed away at the age 29.

It was devastated. My mind went blank. I couldn’t believe she was gone. I felt that she was still around. When I was in our house, I felt as though she was there, I felt that if I called out she would respond. I thought I saw her in the living room, in the kitchen, everywhere.

“I couldn’t do anything and I couldn’t think of anything except my son. I felt restless and I quit my job. I lived just for my son. He was always with me. Wherever I went, I took him with me. He was a gift from my wife. It was my responsibility to look after him. I felt that I should always be with my son.

“A month later, I was finally able to bring myself to sort out my wife’s thing. I found her diary and there was a note for me. What she had written surprised me. If she were to leave this world first, she wanted me to promise that I would look after our son until he was an adult. If I were to go first, she promised to do the same. Did she know what was going to happen? Maybe, I think she couldn’t bear telling me or her parents.

I am lucky to have very understanding and caring in-laws. They treat me like their own family members even though Azlina is no longer around. My concerned in-law wanted me to live with them, as my own both parents has passed away since I was kid, and I agreed as I felt sorry for my mother-in-law. Now, she takes care of my son. I am thankful that she is around to help me and I believe she is happy to be able to spend time with my son as he is the only link she has left to her daughter.

“My father-in-law advised me starting work again and try not to think of Azlina all the time. After much thought I took his advice and started to do my job back. At first I was thinking to join back the Airline Industry which I have an experience in the Avionics, and when I figure out the jobs, its hard for me to continue coz it takes more link to outbound jobs,

Because I need to be close with my son. Then I decided to set a publishing company which is to far from my experience. I’ve met few good friends and I ask them to assist me and they agreed to help me. Then I took up photography interest which part of my favorite line and there we managed to published a local English magazine.

It’s been nine months since she has passed away and I still think of her. But I am stronger now. I know I cannot just think of her all the time. Each time I look at my son, I feel stronger. If I don’t have him. I would have gone away somewhere outside KL, maybe to a kampong or overseas. My life would be totally different.

Right now my son is the centre of my life. I take him to all the places I used to go with my wife and I keep a book of my wife’s momentos-her writing, her photos, etc. I intend to show it to my son when he grows up and tell him all about his mother.

“I spend every single spare second I have with my son. After work, no matter what, I have to go back home to him. Even if there are meetings or friends invite me to a football match with them. I still say no. I must go back home. Everyone is getting used to this, so now they tell me to bring my son along. Even for meetings!

My friend and relative keep suggesting that I remarry. They have even tried to fix me up with a few girls, If it is fated, then it will happen. But right now, I don’t plan to remarry. Maybe later, much later when my son has grown up. All that is on my mind is his and my future.

Now I am very happy, all my pass life have made me a true life of being a single parent. Till now I'm just as I am now. I manage to run a publishing company and also a consultants for a corporates management firm which is far from my professional career. I have the only son which can share together as a father, son and like a friend. Now he is 15 years old and I have my own business and it will be a step forward not backward

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I grew up in a small town, which I started up my life. I found myself completely cut off from my village, both culturally and geographically. Around that time my grandparents died and my mother was getting sick of her diabetes. The legends and traditions and folklore of my village were being lost. Meanwhile, here in 21st Century, imaging and trying to remember those things. The act of trying to remember those things, the act of trying to remember and the act of creating began overlap. And that is the reason, our childhood times will not be forgotten.

At those years I remember, how peacefully if we walks, jogging with a fresh air as the buzzing of bees’s wings and bird’s singing. Perhaps now we can see people rushing as early in the morning to their destination.

Most of us when we grow older and older we become more mature in life. I can say that our childhood time is the most interesting days. Imagine if someone who invent a time machine. We can go back to our childhood times. But, for today’s generations there are lucky. With the new tech of technology such as computers, internet, digital cams and sophisticated handphone access they can record their past with just a second,. How lucky there are now.

I can see a beautiful trees, coconut trees all kind of wooden houses those days when we go to other village. The breezing of the air, the beauty of the waterfall and river. Compared with now is so much different. With all the hugh buildings, high raise condos, highways, with the cars lorries and basses on the road, racing each other without thinking of safety for others people. Well anyway, year after years is the development for our country, as long as they keep the natural beauty and part of our historic places, awareness about the natural environment, if we were not careful, would be lost as they were in many in developed nations of today.

The most interesting and exciting places, which I play football, were the Selangor Padang.(now is Dataran Merdeka). Most of the people will go there after works and watch football game or Cricket. If there is a cricket tournament, the field will be crowded with peoples who loved to watch the game, and with every game, even football and tennis. I really missed that, now the places has been more like a commercial place, too many entertainment then sports activity nowdays.

During the sixties, when I was 13 years old then, I remember my teacher organise a camping trip to Port Dickson. There we can see the beauty of the beach, experiencing to be independent and self-motivation. I was chosen to be the leader of the groups, there we organized all kind of activities and water sports, and of course while some of the students enjoy their swimming and our teachers will observe for our safety. I still remember the mak chik carrying a “Bakul” and shouted “Goreng pisang, Goreng pisang”, and all kind of “Kuih muih”. And also the ice cream men, which one of my favourite ice cream , I call it the “Mangkok Tingkat double with a durian flavour. Later in the evening, all the students have to come back to the camps and everyone will relax while waiting for dinner at nights. After dinner some of us reading storybook, playing chess and board games, wile others debate among themselves, while me writing a poems whatever cross in my mind.

Early in the morning, we prepare to pack our camping gears and everyone tidy up the camping area, to make sure that we don’t leave any rubbish, which being thought by our disciplinary teacher. (On the way back by bus), we stop at the town to have a quick lunch and there I still remember the old town of Port Dickson and the remote wooden valley which now the village become a modern town. At that time it was so beautiful and nice scenery, and now we can see to many hotels & resorts. I could never forget and really enjoyed the trip and thanks to my teachers, and now I felt I was able to satisfy my act of going into the mountain forest at night and sleeping among the trees with sense of security which I could never find indoors.

“Times stop when all this dream is over, no more filtering moments..gone,
The real world has no need for stars go..
Only me..for going farther on..
The heart comes to believing..
As far goes...and words, never said...
Farther out-Farther in-Farther out”

(lyrics from the Album "Kazu Matsui")!!ing