Posted by: angiefm | May 7, 2009

Still Waiting & Some Stories

Hi all, just a quick update, since all you kind people seem to be keeping tabs on whether baby has arrived … the answer is STILL WAITING!  😀

Am due in 6 days … but who’s counting, right?

While I’m sitting here and blogging, here are a couple of stories …

Tim & Time

Tim has had a really tough time understanding time.  🙂  Tee Chiou keeps saying he has a poor sense of time and the guy gets teased about it a lot.  He thinks that when you say 10 minutes, he has time to have a bath, maybe a meal, play at the playground, etc. 

So a couple of months ago, when was offering a free Math Mammoth ebook on telling time, I decided we would do it.  He spent a few (3 I think) weeks just working on that one topic.  It seems to have worked, because last week this happened …

He was working on his Shaping Maths Math Builder 1B workbook on the “challenging problems” section on the topic of time.  It was called “The Case of the Missing Diamond Ring”. 

Question: When was the diamond ring stolen?  Fill in the blanks using the time shown on the clock faces.  (His answers are underlined.)

Countess Angeline came home at    9:00     after having dinner at the palace.


She took off her diamond ring and placed it in the drawer.  She then went to bed at    11:30   .  (You’ll have to imagine a clock-face here.  I couldn’t find a clip art for 11:30.)

The countess was woken up at midnight by a loud noise.  She found the drawer opened and the ring was gone!  (There is no clock face for this question.)

The ring was stolen at    11:59   .

Now, the model answer, needless to say, was 12:00.  So I asked Tim why he put down 11:59 and he explained that well, the Countess heard a loud sound at midnight, and that was the sound of the robber slamming the door as he left the house, because it took him one minute to get out of the house.  🙂  I re-read the question (as you probably are doing right now) and realised he was right!  The question said that she was woken up by a loud noise, but didn’t say what caused the noise! 

Of course Alethea had to help out by saying perhaps he stole the ring at 11:59 then tried to climb out the window and the loud sound at midnight was caused by him falling out the second-storey window and hitting the ground!  Ha ha ha.

Monitor Chosen

The Domus Academy School Board has deliberated and made a decision to appoint Nathalie Ng as Monitor of our school.  In her classmate Timothy’s own words: “Of the three of us, Mei Mei (Chinese for little sister) has the most sense.”  😀  She is the one who reminds them to have their baths, not to waste water while doing so, to please stop talking and go to sleep (they all sleep in the same bed), then she counts down from 10 for silence.  She refers to them as “hey guys” and tells them to finish their work, to read their Chinese books louder because SHE can’t hear them, etc, etc and so forth. 

Of course there were loud protests from her fellow schoolmates when the announcement was made.  Alethea in particular was visibly upset, explaining that Nathlalie wasn’t a good monitor.  She was just bossy and naggy. 

Hmmmm … from what I remember about the monitors in my time … that makes her the prime candidate!  We have chosen well.

Chinese … Sigh …

During Tim’s Chinese lesson, our Chinese teacher Liu Lao Shi said that if lunch in Chinese was 午餐 (“wu can”), what was Chinese for dinner?  Tim thought for a while then said 六餐 (“liu can”), and breakfast would be 四餐 (si can).  😀

Okay.  If I have to explain it, it loses its humour, but for those who don’t read/speak Chinese, here goes … 午 means “noon”, so 午餐 means mid-day meal or lunch.  But 午 also sounds like 五 or five.  So Tim said that if lunch was “five meal”, then dinner would be “six meal” and breakfast “four meal”!

One Saturday we were having lunch before heading to a cousin’s birthday party.  The kids were stalling over their food (as usual) so I looked at the clock and said, “时间快要到了”, which means “it’s almost time”.  But “时” sounds like “十” which means ten.  So Tim looked up from his food and said, “Er … we have to leave in ten minutes?”

So now I’m putting pressure on the Domus Academy Chinese Teacher (aka Daddy) to converse more with them.  One of the things he started this week was to have them watch the 9 pm Chinese show 书包太重 (My School Daze) and pick out the 成语 (Chinese 4-word idioms) used.  (And there are LOADS, if you’re interested to do the same!) 

Every 成语 they pick out entitles them to extra storytime before bedtime.  Here are some they have attempted to pass off as idioms.  可以吃了,再来一次,打得不错,跑到哪里,天气很热,他发高烧,过好日子,怎么样地, 我太喜欢。 *faint*  And believe it or not they actually take them down in an exercise book!

Either their Chinese is really bad, or they are trying hard to get extra storytime!  😀  Either way, it’s making them terribly attentive during the show, which I think is our Chinese teacher’s devious plan.  *grin*  😀


  1. Angie, my kids love My School Daze too! But the script sounds suspiciously familiar – older sister who got into GEP, younger brother who’s academically challenged but loves badminton… hmmm… someone’s been borrowing from my life story? Except I don’t run a tuition centre, haha!

    Hilarious what your kids try to pass off as 成语! I suspect mine wouldn’t do much better LOL

    All the best with baby no.4!

  2. I know it probably isn’t too funny for you as parents, but I just had to laugh at the 午餐 thing. 🙂

    I think your children are absolutely logical in putting 11:59pm. Great that they are homeschooled. Otherwise they would definitely be marked wrong by the teacher!

  3. Really enjoyed this blog. Your kids are such gems:). Their sense of unintended humour is really endearing! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Hi Angie

    Your kids are really very matured as compared to other children of their age!

    Have you delivered yet? My younger niece is arriving today. Take care and see you soon.

  5. Thanks for the really good laugh n humor this post contributed…. so ingenious to have those words pass off as chinese idioms. who would have thought of it? makes us wonder how they come to that conclusion. all bcos we kept saying its 4 word phrases, forgetting to add that the 4 words must have special meaning….

  6. Hi Angie,

    Your children are just so wonderful – so intelligent and so hilarious at the same time! I love reading your blog and told my husband that I think you make a great role model for what a mother should be!

    Hmm, I’ve never seen an episode of School Daze but am thinking it could be very challenging catching idioms from a tv series. My own experience with Chinese idioms was learning from these thin books printed in China – where each idiom was explained with an illustration and a story. I loved the stories (possibly has to do with how I learn) and remembered (and understood) the idioms better because of them. Just sharing my own experience. ;p

  7. Hi, really feel good reading your blog . I have a girl whom will be going P1 next yr. but she has anxiety disorder so I am thinking of homeschool her . But I have no idea how to go about. Can u pls help me out? You can email me TIA

    • Hi Joanna. I have sent you a private email. Looking forward to connecting that way. Take care!

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