Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Chinese Mooncake Festival Activities For Kids

Happy Mid Autumn Festival. The mooncake festival falls on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunar calendar. That means in 2014, the mooncake festival or Mid Autumn Festival is on 8th September, 2014. Too bad this year, my girl will be having school examinations the very next year, so we won't be staying up playing with lanterns till late in the night.

Anyway, for those of you with  younger kids, here are some excellent resources for some fun filled Moon Festival activities for children.

1. From British Council Schools Online check out the Chinese Mid Autumn Festival Resources and Education Pack. I particularly like the Design and Make A Mooncake activity for kids who like baking and the free Mooncake Box Template for kids who like designing.

2. From Childbook.com, check out the Chinese Moon Festival coloring pages. Plenty of cute designs to choose from here including mooncakes and teapot, family enjoying mooncakes together and Hou Yi & Chang Er and the Jade Rabbit. When you are on this link, do note that the Mid Autumn Festival Coloring pages is not the only activity you can find. Make sure you check out the Chinese Moon Festival Powerpoint Slideshow For Teachers. You can find the link to that just right after the Moon Festival coloring images. I recommend that you download it and watch it together with your child. The Mid Autumn Festival story featured in the slideshow utilizes the coloring images. After you watch the slides and learn more about Mid Autumn Festival, your child can color the Chinese Moon Festival graphics she sees in the slideshow.

That's it. I'm just going to review two sites this year because I think they are incredible and worth visiting. You may also like to check out my hub on HubPages: Teaching Kids About The Mid Autumn Festival.

Happy Mid Autumn Festival 2014 everyone!

Happy Mooncake Festival 2014 Greeting Card
Image Source: The greeting card shown was illustrated by the author for her Facebook Parenting Group

Quick Tips For Parents With Kids Just Entering Standard One

I have made several tips to share with parents who have kids who are just entering Standard One for the first time. I have shared them either on my Facebook page for my ebook Banana Mom's Guide To Preparing For Chinese School or I shared them on my Facebook Group, Malaysian Primary And Secondary School Parents On Facebook or sometimes I shared it on one of my several blogs. They are scattered all over the place and I can't find them when someone asks for the tips. So I decided to write this post to put the ones that I created so far on a single page for easy reference.

So here are my Quick Tips For Parents With Kids Just Entering Standard One, in pictorial form.

1. Tips For Buying School Bags - Parents with kids who are entering formal schooling or 'big school' for the first time ask this question over and over again. This is one of the very first few tips you will need when your child enters primary school.
Tips For Buying School Bags
2. Tips For Buying School Uniforms - This is another Frequently Asked Question by parents. So here are my quick tips on buying school uniforms. Just like buying school bags, you will need tips for buying school uniforms just before your child enters primary school.

Tips For Buying School Uniforms

3. Ten Tips For Talking To Teachers - You'll be doing a lot of talking to teachers during the first few days and after that less frequently during parents teachers day or whenever there are any issues to deal with. So here are my quick tips for talking to teachers, said in a poster.

Ten Tips For Talking To Teachers

4. Tips For Teaching Young Kids To Study - You'll find that your child who has just entered school will have difficulty understanding the concept of "studying", so here are "7 Tips To Teach Your Kids To Study" to help you along.

Tips For Teaching Young Kids To Study

These illustrations and images are free for your private use only. Commercial use not allowed. You may print them or put them on your site for private use but please remember to give credit by linking to this page. Thank you.

If you are interested in any more tips, please feel free to comment here or on Facebook and I will illustrate them for you. 

Good Luck UPSR Candidates 2014

Good Luck UPSR Candidates 2014

It is exactly one week away from UPSR 2014 which starts on September 9 and ends on September 11.

I am surprised that the teachers are still giving the kids a lot of homework. Compulsory after school tuition is still on too. Seems like the school will be pushing the kids all the way right to the exams. They have been organizing seminars for the children. The kids have also done a lot of UPSR model papers. I think the idea is to get them to do it till it is almost like second nature. Besides the numerous workbooks they had been doing since the beginning of the year, my girl's school bag is filled with photostatted and printed sheets of UPSR model papers.

Many online sites have uploaded the UPSR trial papers of every state. There are also many tips circulating around and some videos on last minute UPSR tips as well as the "soalan ramalan UPSR" (UPSR forecast papers). I wonder whether everyone really takes note of all these? Some of the videos look interesting too but I think a bit late in the day. If I were to let my girl watch all these or try all the papers, it will only make her confused. The teacher teaches one thing, the video another. Besides, she still has loads of homework and has to stay back after school.

I am really glad we had the long weekend where she could catch up with a little bit of sleep and rest.

This year the mid autumn festival or mooncake festival falls on 8th September 2014 one day before the UPSR exam. This means no playing candles or lanterns for us till late in the night.

Anyway, here's wishing all the UPSR candidates for 2014 good luck.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Sejarah Tahun 4 - History For Standard 4 KSSR -

This is my son's history text book. He is in standard 4 in year 2014 doing the KSSR syllabus in a SJKC (Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina). Under the KSSR syllabus, History was included as a subject for Primary School.

It is a challenge to me to teach my son History in Chinese. However, I am able to do so with the help of a Chinese to English dictionary, painstakingly translating word for word as we go along. Besides using his Standard 4 History Textbook, I also bought a couple of History in Malay textbooks meant for the Kebangsaan Schools. This is to help me understand so that I could explain to him in a story like manner before translating the Chinese words to English when reading the History textbook.

I also use the internet a lot by searching for images and videos to help my son understand better. We have found some great sites and pictures for the earlier chapters which helped him a lot. Unfortunately, at the time I didn't have time to share them here on my blog.

Recently he was studying a chapter on "Kerajaan Melayu Awal". I find this video very useful for an overall understanding of the topic that is discussed on the second half of the Sejarah Tahun 4 textbook and would like to share it with readers.

This video shows a brief history about the founding of Melaka and Sultanate of Melaka that led to the formation of Malaya & Malaysia. So here it is the video on

MALAYSIA: Melaka Early History (15th century to 1957)

I find the ending of this video very fitting to share today on the National Day of Malaysia. :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What Is The Ujian Aptitude UPSR For Std 6

Some of the parents in my FB group has been asking this question "What Is The Ujian Aptitud UPSR or the UPSR Aptitude Test for Std 6 pupils? I remember the very same question was asked last year as well. This is because most parents do not know or are not informed about this test. The first time they hear about this test is when they see the Ujian Aptitud in the UPSR timetable on the afternoon session of the last day of the test. My child's teacher has not mentioned it to her as well before we saw the timetable.

One member pointed us to this archived news from the Star newspaper from this article dated Aug 2, 2009 titled "Pupils To Sit For Aptitude Test On The Last Day Of UPSR". This was to have taken effect in  2009 so it is certainly not a new thing at all. According to the article "The Aptitude Test grade will be listed in the UPSR slip but will not count towards the final result." It also mentioned that "pupils in national schools would sit for the test in Bahasa Malaysia while those in vernacular schools would have theirs in Chinese and Tamil respectively."

The 1 11/2 hour paper consists of 60 objective questions and will test students in the area of thinking skills, problem solving and decision making and interests. It has some IQ style tests as well as asks students to list out their areas of interests and what motivates them.

If you are interested to find out more about this paper, you can visit this teacher's blog. He has uploaded some sample papers for the Ujian Aptitud UPSR Tahun 6.

This link leads you to the UPSR 2014 examination timetable. If your child is sitting for the UPSR in subsequent years, you can still view the timetable to have an idea of the schedule.
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