Reading News for Bedtime Stories

~ Posted on Monday, August 17, 2015 at 6:50 AM ~

I know, I know... it is weird. I mean, how often do you hear parents saying they read news articles instead of storybooks for their kiddos' bedtime stories right? So let me be the weird one to tell you that. Yes, I read news articles to our kiddos before their bedtime.

I can't even remember how we get to this point. I think probably one of those nights when the kiddos refused to sleep (btw, we all co-sleep on 2 huge mattresses) and I was so tired that I just turned on my iPhone and started browsing through my usual newsfeed channels searching for interesting stuff to read. And then our oldest kiddo asked me what was I reading and I explained and told him about the news I was reading. One thing lead to another, I started reading news article for their bedtime stories. I like that I don't need to turn on the room's light and hold up a book to read to all 3 kiddos LOL

So much that every night the standard statement from our 6 year old boy was 'Mummy, after this we brush teeth then get ready for sleep but before that you read news okay?' Okayyyyy...

Of course, I filter the heavy more serious type of news (politics for example), so those that I normally share with our kiddos are news like below:


I also shared the same articles on my FB page as well from time to time. I believe that knowledge is key and never harm anyone if we read up more and know more. And since I am reading out loud to our kiddos, I hope they can learn to listen the proper pronounciation apart from learning about things around them.

I was happy when I came across this article on what reading aloud to your children does to their brain. Excerpt from article below:

"When parents read to their children the difference shows in children's behavior and academic performance. And according to a new study, the difference also shows in their brain activity.

Researchers looked at children ages 3 to 5 who underwent brain scans called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while listening to a pre-recorded story. The parents answered questions about how much they read to, and communicated with, their children.

The researchers saw that, when the young children were being told a story, a number of regions in the left part of the brain became active. These are the areas involved in understanding the meaning of words and concepts and also in memory. These same brain regions have been found to be active when older children listen to stories or read. 

The brain develops rapidly from zero to six years of age, and the more exposure, the more you enrich and nurture these brain networks that are related to social and academic ability, the more the kid will gain the future."

There are benefits of parents reading to their children beyond the child's performance, too. "It's one of the most pleasurable activities that you do with your child -- there's physical closeness but it's probably the most unhurried time that children have with their parent and it is focused on them."

 

** Note: I have disabled the commenting feature on my blog engine thanks to all the spammers who happily spam my blog every day. If you wish to ask me any questions, you can find me at my Facebook page (I'm there almost everyday) or just drop me an email if you wish to maintain some anonymity.

Book Review - Enjoying Genesis: The Bible in Rhyme Workbook (Volume 2)

~ Posted on Monday, July 20, 2015 at 5:55 AM ~

I have been cutting down on doing product reviews ever since our 3rd kiddo came along in end of Sept 2013. I do still accept review pitches but only when time permits and if it is something that I can see it being useful and beneficial to our family. Also, as busy as I am with 3 kiddos, home cooking, taking care of hubby's administration site of the business and swamped up with managing my FB page and blog, I just can't say no to reviewing good books! Reading is my passion and coupled with books that are of parenting, children, family or religion or educational genre, all the more I gotta say yes!

Enjoying Genesis: The Bible in Rhyme Workbook (Volume 2)

Title: Enjoying Genesis: The Bible in Rhyme Workbook (Volume 2)
Author: Marcia Goldlist
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 13, 2014)
ISBN: 978-1499677607
Paperback: 136 pages

Description from the product page:

"Enjoying Genesis: The Bible in Rhyme Workbook uses the biblical book of Genesis as a starting point for a wide variety of activities to get the mind thinking in various directions and the student writing. This book is meant for homeschooling, youth ministries, religious schools, and anyone who is open to thinking about the Bible in different ways. The book is ideal for ages 11-15."

I'm a full-time mummy

I originally received the 1st volume "Enjoying Genesis: The Bible in Rhyme " for my review but the thick-faced me decided to request for the volume 2 instead. Why you ask? I tried reading some rhymes to our kiddos but they don't seem to be interested - I don't know why? Too young? They are 6 years old, 3.5 years old and 1.5 years old. Too advance for my kiddos to understand?

Now why I requested to review the volume 2 despite the author gently reminding me that it is more appropriate for children of ages 11-15 is because I like the book's concept!

What concept you ask? Well, the author takes some verses from the bible, throws in some questions for discussions and creative thinking and lists some activities that you can try out.

Here is an example page from the book. What I do is I read the paragraphs and then asked the questions listed. I used the opportunity to discuss with our 6 year old boy and then hear what he had to say. It is really interesting to approach topics like blame, responsibilities, need to improve, understanding of weaknesses and strengths and much much more with our kiddos. I did however skip the questions that I feel are too advanced for him but in general, I try to go through the items listed and make it as easy to understand as possible for his age.

Enjoying Genesis: The Bible in Rhyme Workbook (Volume 2)

Here is another sample page from the book:

Enjoying Genesis: The Bible in Rhyme Workbook (Volume 2)

I love that I am able to approach more about our religion with our kiddos while at the same time being able to teach and nurture our kiddos while finding out their point of view.

I'm a full-time mummy

You can get the book from Amazon.

I'm a full-time mummy

I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with a PDF copy of the book in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine. And if you'd like to read my previous book reviews, you can do so by reading this post of mine called "My Book Reviews"

Book Review - The Adventures of Squirky the Alien #1: Why Am I Blue?

~ Posted on Thursday, May 28, 2015 at 4:58 AM ~

I have been cutting down on doing product reviews ever since our 3rd kiddo came along in end of Sept 2013. I do still accept review pitches but only when time permits and if it is something that I can see it being useful and beneficial to our family. Also, as busy as I am with 3 kiddos, home cooking, taking care of hubby's administration site of the business and swamped up with managing my FB page and blog, I just can't say no to reviewing good books! Reading is my passion and coupled with books that are of parenting, children, family or religion or educational genre, all the more I gotta say yes!

The Adventures of Squirky the Alien #1: Why Am I Blue?

Title: The Adventures of Squirky the Alien #1: Why Am I Blue?
Author: Melanie Lee    Illustrated by David Liew
Publisher: MPH Group Publishing Sdn Bhd (15-Aug-2014)
ISBN: 9789674152062
Paperback: 40 pages

Description from the product page:

"On his fifth birthday, Squirky realises that he's different from his sister Emily. For one, Squirky is blue in colour. His parents reveal that he's an alien from Planet Q, who was sent to Earth when his homeworld was endangered. They also show him the UFO he’d arrived in, which they had been keeping. Though he is assured of his adoptive family's love and acceptance, Squirky still has questions about his origins. His quest for answers begins when the UFO activates...

Currently, many children's books on the subject of adoption are from Western countries. However none of them deal with issues of adoptees' identity, such as questions over their origins and why they were adopted. Also, adoption is still a relatively taboo subject in Singapore and
Malaysia.

The Adventures of Squirky the Alien is actually a series of six (6) storybooks altogether. Currently, three (3) books are already released and available for purchase now at bookstores while the fourth (4th) book is in progress. If you wish to know more about the series, you can find out more at the FB page started by the author, Melanie Lee. The author, Melanie Lee, a writer based in Singapore, is also an adoptive parent herself. She adopted her son, Christian, who is now a healthy and happy 2-year-old boy living with her and her husband, Darren. Inspired by her son, Melanie then began working together with her friend, David Liew, who is the illustrator of these books, to produce the series."

I'm a full-time mummy

Firstly, I am very glad to be able to review this book as I have never talked about the topic of adoption with our kiddos. We don't have any family members who are adopted or adopting so there have been no reasons to approach on this topic until this book came along.

The illustrations in this book are very nice. I love the details drawn and reading this book together with our 6 years old boy, 3.5 years old girl and 1.5 years old girl is just a wonderful delight! The pictures are on the left hand side while the text is on the right side. I tried to encourage our boy to read the book but there are some letters that he finds it difficult to read, for example, the letter 'i' and 't' as it sort of looks similar. The words used in this book are easy to understand for young children, no complicated words so I do appreciate that.

This book captured the attention of our kiddos especially our boy as he is into things like aliens, spaceships so he was asking for continuation when we reached the end of the book. I can see he also gained a new understanding on what adoption means after going through this book.

I like that there are notes at the back of the book that guides you on how to discuss about the topic of adoption with children like why should it be discussed and how to comfort the child, at what age is it appropriate to do so, how to respond if a child wants to search for their  birth parents, what to do if a child  disregard their adoptive parents as their 'real' parents after finding out about their birth parents and how to reassure a child that they are still loved no matter what.

In summary, it is an eye-opening book with good parenting points to take note and applied to if you want to approach or be approached on the topic of adoption in a family. 

I'm a full-time mummy

The book is available at all major bookstores in Malaysia. You could also buy it online from mphonline bookstore.

I'm a full-time mummy

I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with a copy of the book in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine. And if you'd like to read my previous book reviews, you can do so by reading this post of mine called "My Book Reviews"