During our live radio chat with DJ Mei Xiang from 883FM on March 18 2016, Summer was asked how I was as a mom and what her childhood was like. I am glad to say I passed with flying colors as a mom! 🙂
I love kids, and its my regret that due to a late marriage pursuing the excitement of life and work, we only have our Summer. 🙂 But she is a lovable child, and has the best of both daddy and I as well as being her own (great) person. 🙂
Summer is a very enthusiastic learner. She sought knowledge from sensory exploration as well as reading from a very young age.
We indulged our daughter and kids, but not with material pleasures. 🙂 No matter what they were curious about, we tried to answer all their questions and encouraged explorations. This is how we learned and thus, growing strawberries was just another project to explore in our household! 🙂
If you see the world through the eyes of a child, nothing is too impossible. When Summer mentioned her wish to pick strawberries at home, my niece Shona’s eyes shone with excitement and images of harvest rooted in our imagination (even mommy!) , and thus the research began in earnest! 🙂
The two older girls were encouraged to read and researched on strawberries and shared their findings via YouTube videos in their own words 🙂
I am a firm believer that science should be explored outside of textbooks. In fact, I discouraged memorizing notes! Science is fun and should be applied in practical everyday ways to aid learning for young children. For example, when the subject of water pressure was taught in Summer’s class, we made our own garden ‘gadgets’ such as self watering bottles and even an automated vertical irrigation system to see how they work.
Science is not a subject we studied for grades. Both Summer and Shona did well for science not because they memorized hard but they truly understood the concepts. As part of my lessons with them, we learned about plants by planting the seeds, observations of seeds’ journey and hands on exploration from transplanting etc. 🙂
The seeds are our teacher, and every germination is the beginning of a new exploration 🙂 This is more exciting than memorizing notes, isn’t it? 🙂
Summer was encouraged to share her strawberries project with interested classmates. Our home is always open for kids wanting to learn more about growing edibles.
I think the visual impact of seeing strawberries growing on our windows in Singapore, was infectious. Classmates from Summer’s school visited, and we encouraged them to touch and pollinated the flowers. Our strawberries were not kept in protective glass jars, they were unique opportunities for kids to see and feel the results of our imagination and research! 🙂
As it was all about sharing our strawberries experience, friends from our Facebook’s group, “SG Farming in Apartments” visited our strawberries garden by the bed! 🙂 And whenever possible, we shared how they taste as well 🙂
The fruits size were not very impressive but I hope the magical moment of picking home grown strawberries in Singapore made an impression and won them with its flavor! 🙂
Our learning did not stopped, in fact it spilled out of the bedroom to the outdoors. We wanted to grow more edibles and thus, decided to recycled abandoned pots for compost bins and grew food in them. Kids helped to dig for earthworms, plant seeds and transplant seedlings to pots. Every step of the way, they had a hand in it. The reward of our outdoor garden was when we harvest and taste the fruits of our labor!
Gardening with children is not only an enjoyable endeavour for me but I truly believed that it taught us a lot about science and innovation. In fact, the more strawberries varieties we grew, the more questions arose! We have not stopped researching since we started! 🙂
Last but not least, I am glad that this experience allowed me to bond even deeper with Summer, Shona and little Kosuke, and it made us all think deeply about our environment and how to grow delicious food safely.