Figur8 in Review

I have been lazy, I know. I haven’t written a blog post since 2018 and I apologise for the lack of updates. It isn’t that I haven’t had anything to write about. In fact, there is so much I want to share but I’ve not had the time for it.

I used to stay up writing into the wee hours of the morning. I would bounce out of bed after a few hours of sleep to take the kids to school. If I could manage it, I might nap an hour or two in the afternoon. On a regular day, I could function on anywhere from 4 to 6 hours of sleep and I knew it went against everything I write about the importance of sleep.

Ever since I started training for Spartan, I haven’t been able to keep up the late hours. I find myself falling asleep on the computer and my brain too scrambled to string a sentence together, let alone a whole article. I am also conscious of how a late night affects my physical performance the next day. I can’t put in 100% into my training when the body has not rested adequately.

In a way, this is a good thing. From the perspective as a role model to the kids, I am finally practicing what I preach – “sleep is important, kids”. Healthwise, I’ve stopped burning the candle from both ends. DH can stop nagging me about the early grave I’ve been digging for myself (yes, prolonged sleep deprivation will kill you).

Now that I’m sleeping more, I’ve noticed that I don’t get sick as often. Even when I do, it’s usually low-grade and doesn’t last long. In fact, the times when I do get sick, it is usually during a busy period with more late nights than usual (like during Chinese New Year when we celebrate the late night festivals). When I catch the onset of malaise, I have been able to ward off the full blow of illness by sleeping more. Ignore the warnings and I pay the price.

But I digress…

The Story of Figur8

I decided to kick start my year writing about the story behind Figur8 because I have grown weary of people mistaking me for a weightloss blog. There appears to be an exercise program out there called Figure 8 which has nothing to do with me or this blog.

What is Figur8 about? It’s about child develop and education. You can click that link to read more.

How did the name Figur8 come about? Well, it goes back more than a decade ago, even before this blog came into existence – when a group called “The Rockrats” toyed with the idea of a rock climbing gym. We chose the name “figur8” because the figure eight knot is the most basic of knots in rock climbing. We felt it simultaneous represented rock climbing and going back to basics.

I liked the idea of going back to basics and I loved rock climbing, so I took the name for my blog when I started writing online. Back then, it was mostly about rock climbing, so it all fit and the name stuck.

Then I had G1 and I started writing about babies and children. Figur8 still felt appropriate because I was going “back to basics” but with children. We have gotten too complicated as a society. We think raising children has to be complicated, but it doesn’t. Many of the things that children need to grow well are normal, everyday stuff – the kinds of things we did when we were kids.

There was a book I read a long time ago – I can’t even remember what it was called. It shared this idea – not exactly in these words but something to the effect:

We don’t have to be perfect parents, we just need to be good enough because children are like sunflower weeds, they will still grow with just enough.

Top Posts from 2018

Moving on, let’s take a look at 2018 and the “most viewed” posts from the year. I wrote 25 posts and these were the top 5 most viewed posts from 2018:

  1. Reading Questions – What to Ask Your Children When You Read Together
  2. Talk for Writing – How to Support Your Child with Reading and Writing
  3. Parent Cheat Sheet: Metacognitive Questions
  4. Learner Skills for Kids in the 21st Century
  5. Raising Strong Readers
Raising Strong Readers

The most viewed posts of all time were:

  1. Self Control and the Zones of Regulation
  2. Food and Drinks that Aggravate Coughing
  3. Right Brain Education: Activities for Home Practice – Part 1
  4. The Brain Benefits of Doing Jigsaw Puzzles
  5. Maths Programs – The Glenn Doman Red Dot Method
  6. What’s Your Baby’s Personality?
  7. The Benefits of Art and Working with Clay
  8. Maths Programs – The Shichida 65 Day Method
  9. Myers-Briggs: What’s Your Child’s Personality Type?
  10. Why Playing Mah Jong is Good for Your Brain
  11. The Pokemon Trading Card Game Teaches Children Many Skills
  12. How to Help Children Develop Spatial Reasoning Skills
Benefits of Playing Mah Jong

Some of our DIY dress-up costumes have been very popular, too:

  1. DIY Costumes: Will Treaty – Ranger’s Apprentice
  2. DIY Costumes: Frodo Baggins – Hobbit from Lord of the Rings
  3. How to Make a Scorpion Costume
Will Treaty – Ranger’s Apprentice Costume

Other Stuff

2019 Projects

I’m afraid I haven’t given this very much thought. Or perhaps I have but haven’t been willing to commit it in black and white. So I guess we’ll have to see what 2019 brings…

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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