Posted by: angiefm | December 10, 2010

Homeschool Partners

I wanted to take the opportunity, now that we are leaving, to introduce to you two of our homeschool partners.  They have come alongside us and enriched our journey and now that we are leaving, they have a few free slots if you want to engage them!  🙂  Both already teach a good number of homeschoolers and enjoy teaching “our kind”. 

Peter Peter, Piano Teacher

Peter Tang came highly recommended by two other homeschoolers, both with pre-school aged boys.  They described him as engaging, unconventional and fun!  🙂  At that time we had no intention of starting our children on formal piano lessons, so I simply passed his contact number to anyone else who asked me if I knew of a good piano teacher. 

Then one day Tim declared that he wanted to learn to play the piano.  Alethea agreed and Nathalie, not really knowing what she was getting herself into (haha!) said she was also keen.  So I pulled out Peter’s number and called him.  He turned out to be an old church friend!  (Small world)  Actually he was married to a church friend and they have 3 daughters. 

Anyway, we started lessons mid-year this year and the kids have LOVED it!  Peter is really fun – they sing silly songs (which are ridiculously catchy), they laugh (a lot!), they play songs they really want to play (he find pieces he thinks will engage the kids), and overall, he helps them maintain a very high motivation for wanting to practice and to do their theory homework.  And he is exceptionally calm and patient.  Which I’m NOT when it comes to helping kids with their piano pieces.  All in all, he has been terrific!

Liu Hong Lao Shi

Liu Lao Shi came to me as a recommendation from, believe it or not, our lawyer!  She has a daughter Tim’s age and was raving about this Chinese teacher of hers.  This was more than 3 years ago and though we had been looking for a Chinese teacher then, we were holding out for THE ONE.  I had spoken to a couple of teachers and had talked to various parents about the teachers they had engaged, but none of them seem to understand that we did NOT want to follow the syllabus.  In Charlotte Mason style, we wanted our teacher to read to the children.  Just read.  And talk.  Like we do with English books.  It seemed like a difficult concept to grasp!  🙂 

But in a short phone conversation, and despite my broken Chinese, Liu Lao Shi seemed to get it!  And we have not had a single regret all these years.  She is nurturing, and kind and patient.  She is positive, and encouraging and motivational.  She “gets it” about what we are trying to do with our children.  She gets that we want them to enjoy the language, to enjoy good books.  But at the same time, she has a good reputation in turning children around who have had issues with learning the language and many of her students do exceptionally well in the PSLE. 

This year, when we wanted to place more emphasis on the local curriculum with Alethea, we had her come twice a week instead of just once.  One session she does what she has always done.  She reads to them and they read to her.  The other session she goes through their assessment work with them and teaches them test-taking techniques.  How to read a comprehension passage, how to eliminate answers in a multiple choice format question, how to compose sentences etc.

Contact Numbers

We are so going to miss these two lovely people, and we recommend them highly.  If you would like to contact them, please email me at for their contact numbers.


  1. Hi angie,
    gonna miss you, even though we have never met.

    May i know does Peter teach a 3-1/2 years old kid, who has just started to learn the musical notes? Is Liu Laoshi interested to teach the same kid too? My daughter attends Chinese lesson at Berries once a week and it is obviously not enough. Her Chinese teacher said that she needs to learn to speak Mandarin more often and she tends to forget what has been taught to her. I am really at my wit’s end.

    best rgds

    • Hi Wendy. I personally wouldn’t be at my wit’s end with a 3 and a half year old. So just take it easy! She has her whole life ahead of her! *grin* Tim spoke no Chinese at all at that age. He only started learning the language at 4+ and started lessons with Laoshi at 5+. He’s doing fine now. Nathalie is only just starting to speak and she’s almost 6. We homeschool so believe there is no urgency.

      Anyway, that’s not answering your question. 🙂 Yes, I believe Peter will teach your daughter. Laoshi tries not to take in preschoolers because her forte is with primary school aged children. But you can always ask. Hope that helps!

  2. Hi Angie
    May i have Peter Tang’s contact no.?

    PS: Hope you have already settled well in Montreal.

  3. […] finally, Mandarin classes. Layla will be starting with Liu Lao Shi in a couple of weeks, a tutor recommended by Angie Maniam (previously of The Home Library). Because she was out of town and took weeks to get back to me, I’d also gotten a […]

  4. hi angie, looks like u’re really busy, with the lack of new blog posts 😉 could u give me Liu Laoshi’s contact please? tks

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