Coaching Albany

It turned out that I didn't teach Albany how to spell her first word. Her mother claimed the honour the night my post on my method was published. She insisted that Albany learnt how to spell her name way before I taught her how to spell "Green." Ok I'll give credit to Jenny, reluctantly, considering how Albany's progress remain stagnant since. My method though, deserves a little mention. Since I using this little motivational trick, Albany learnt how to spell words like Biscuit and colours such as Yellow and Orange. She was already better than her dumb dad, who couldn't spell the word "Bicycle" at twice her age in the past. Angie tried doing the same thing to her son and told me she was surprised it worked. However, she told me it was impossible to apply that every time. For instance, what if her son wanted to eat cranberries? Surely, spelling the word "cranberries" will be a little difficult for a young toddler? 

Well, that's where we get creative. I'll ask little Albany how many pieces she wanted instead. She would count with her fingers slowly, "Oneeee, Twoooo, Threeeee, Four!" Thus my next challenge to her would be: Spell "Four" or she'll have nothing. By now, Albany knew where to search for her answers. After she consulted her charts, she would come back in no time to pass her spelling test. When that was done often enough, she would rely on the charts no more, just like how she mastered spelling her colours. This method will work for awhile but will inevitably stop serving us later as Albany grows up. By then I'll have to think of other ideas. Meanwhile, I am wondering how I can interest her to learn how to write. That'll be hard. Maybe she should learn how to write first. I need a new guest blogger here, Albany will be terrific.

I would like to share with other parents with young children about our experiences of giving toddlers responsibilities as we find it fulfilling to see how Albany carries out her tasks with pride. She seems to enjoy her work and it brings a smile to us watching her. Although she could barely reach the top of the dinner table, Albany would lay the table with utensils before dinner, paring up a fork and spoon for each of us at our respective seats. On alternate afternoon during my watch, she would help me water the plants. From my observations, young toddlers are very keen to learn and very pleased to serve if parents are willing to guide them. I plan to teach Albany how to cook sometime this year, starting with something safer and easier to execute, such as making a waffle, sandwich or making a honey lemon drink. 

These seem to be made possible because I knock off from work at 2.30 pm. Even so, I feel I hardly have enough time to do what I want. I dread to imagine how differently my fatherhood experience will turn out had I stay in Singapore with my previous job. For some reason, my memories of Singapore seem to be permanently locked in the unpleasant final years. I cannot help but feel a bolt of shiver whenever someone suggest the option of returning to Singapore. Call me a quitter, loser, weakling, whatever you want. I know this isn't anything to do with survival or being able to "take it". After what I gone through in my journey here, I can take on anything in Singapore just to make a living. That includes things I would "never" do back in the Singapore days such as being a salesman or hawker or getting my hands dirty any day. When the time comes (ailing parents), I may have to spend a few years back in Singapore so we shall see.

1 comment:

  1. Check out "TouchThinkLearn: Numbers" by Xavier Deneux. Quote from Amazon webpage: "Experience the number "2" both by counting a pair of raised car wheels on one side, and feeling its shape [of the number] on the other."

    I saw it at a bookshop here, it is very well-made. I bought 1 to give away, am planning to buy one for my own kiddo. :)