Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Studying Math And Science In Chinese

Respiration terms in Chinese and English
Image Source: http://www.med66.com

I am sad that my son does not get to study Math and Science in English as he is in the first batch since the abolishment of Math and Science in English in Malaysian schools. It is such a pity.

Since I don't understand any Mandarin myself, to help him with his homework, first I have to teach him Math and Science in English and then I will teach him the terms in Chinese while learning them myself at the same time. We use electronic dictionaries, apps and the internet to help us.

I find that Math is not so much of a problem for us. Once you have learned some simple math terms in the early primary school years, they continue to be more or less the same in upper primary. The math questions and difficulty gets harder and harder but the terms are more or less the same.

For Math, all you need to do is to master a few basic terms like addition, subtraction, division, multiplication and later on decimals and percentages and money and telling the time. At the most, your child will need to practice some subjective type of questions but they are mostly in ordinary language so once you know the basics you are fine.

However, with Science, if your child does not have a good grasp of the Chinese language and even if they do have a good knowledge of Mandarin Chinese, they will still have to learn and memorize difficult scientific terms in Chinese. It is most challenging because each topic brings with it new terms and words to learn unlike the Math terms which mostly stays the same.

For example, I was going through the Science topic on Respiration with my son recently. With the help of a great video on respiration which we found on the internet, I was able to explain and go through the topic with him very quickly. However, in the next step we had to learn the terms for respiration, respiratory rate, trachea, bronchial tube, diaphragm, oxygen, carbon dioxide etc all in Chinese. This was double our effort and triple our time.

I didn't have such a problem with my girl because she was naturally good in languages so she did most of her studying herself. So, if you have a child in Chinese school, on hindsight, my advise is to make sure they are really good in the Chinese language during the lower primary years so that by the time they have to study more difficult terms and words in the upper primary years, they will face less of a struggle learning.

Visiting London

I have a niece studying in London. Whenever any member of the family visit, it would be most convenient to stay in London Apartments run by people who have vast experience in London sites and location. So, I am pleased to learn of one run by a family who has been doing this for 22 years, offering not only a place to stay but a personal service to help people see the most of London sights in a relaxed hassle and worry free manner.

I am not sure when or if we will be able to pay a visit to my niece but it would be wonderful to be able to do so before she completes her studies. Recently another brother in law of mine went to London on an all expense paid business trip. How marvelous. Not all of us will have an opportunity to have a paid trip like that.

So for the rest of us who will have to find our own accomodation, I find that London Apartments are much more economical especially when you have many people in your travel group. It is also more roomy and flexible.  This is also true when you have to stay for a longer period of time, not just one or two days but perhaps one, two or more weeks. A London Apartment will be much more convenient then.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

What Is Suku Kata Terbuka And Suku Kata Tertutup

Recently a parent from my facebook parent's group asked this question "What is suku kata terbuka and suku kata tertutup?" It is sometimes hard for us parents to guide the children in their Bahasa Malaysia because they are now teaching things we did not learn in the past. Not that it is a bad thing, it is just harder for us to teach, that is all. Back then, we didn't have to learn to differentiate between suku kata terbuka and suku kata tertutup. We just learned suku kata. End of story.

We also didn't learn about diftong, digraf, vokal berganding and konsonan bergabung.

Anyway, this post is about suku kata terbuka and suku kata tertutup and how to differentiate them. The difference is suku kata terbuka ends with the vocals "a, e, i, o or u" whereas suku kata tertutup ends with a consonant. Easy?

The video below sums it up very well and gives some examples of suku kata terbuka and suku kata tertutup.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Primary School Workbooks For SJKC Giveaway Contest

If you are a parent of a SJKC student in a primary school in Malaysia you would be familiar with SJKC Workbooks. Many parents buy workbooks for their children to practice when guiding them at home. I find the workbooks very useful since they come with answers especially the Chinese ones since I do not know a lot of Chinese. What I know is what I learned from my children's books. I usually look for those that come with very comprehensive answers for example in a multiple choice question, the answer sheet would explain all the multiple choices, the correct one as well as why the others are not the answer of choice. Those are great for teaching.

Another workbook which I find really useful are the Resource Books or Buku Sumber by Hup Lick Publishing (M) Sdn Bhd. These resource books are reference books for the vocabulary used in the children's text books for the language subjects, Chinese, English and Bahasa Malaysia. They follow the subject text books closely chapter by chapter. Learning and expanding vocabulary is one of the most important things when learning a language.

Here, let me show you the inside of these books so you have some idea.

 Here is the Buku Sumber Bahasa Cina. It shows the words used in the text books, the meaning of the words, the pinyin, the Chinese radicals, stroke order, synonyms, antonyms, sentence construction and more.

 This is the Buku Sumber Bahasa Malaysia. It includes the definition, the English and Chinese equivalents, the "suku kata", "kata seerti", "kata lawan" and "ayat".

In the English Resource Book you will find the Chinese and Malay equivalents, the plural and singular forms, antonyms, synonyms and sentence examples.

They are excellent for SJKC kids since they are trilingual.

Please note that I am not doing a book review here. However, I do believe that a good thing is meant to be shared. That is why I am really pleased that KSSR Online bookstore Peekabook.com.my has kindly agreed to this giveaway contest on this blog to giveaway these Resource Books to ONE lucky winner.

ONE lucky winner will win a set of the Buku Sumber Workbooks of their choice. For Std 1 to Std 4, the set is the Resource Workbook which I just mentioned. Std 5 will get a set of UPSR based exercises while Std 6 will get a set of UPSR model questions workbooks. The winner gets to choose which set he/she wants. Shipping is free.

Now for the rules of the contest. Please read this carefully and follow the instructions. Here is what you will need to do for a chance to win.

1. Leave a comment in the comment box below. In your comment, please...
    a. State which set you would like to win
    b. Share what you think about shopping for SJKC Workbooks online with an Online Book Retailer like Peekabook.com.my

2. Like Peekabook on Facebook.

That is all. ONE winner will be picked by random. The contest is open to all Malaysians (from East and West Malaysia) from 21 January 2014 and will be closed at  7 am, 24 January 2014.


Sneak peak at the prize. If you win, you can choose from ANY ONE SET from the following sets of SJKC workbooks. Please note that these workbooks are tailored for SJKC kids, however you are free to enter this contest even if your child is not from SJKC if you would like to win a copy of these books.

 Set 1 for Std 1

Set 2 for Standard 2

Set 3 for Standard 3

Set 4 for Standard 4

Set 5 for Standard 5

Set 6 for Standard 6

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Kids Project - How To Make Your Own Recycled Paper At Home

My children wanted to make their own recycled paper at home during the school holidays. So we got to work. We got the instructions from my daughter's text book. 

Here's what you need to make your own recycled paper:

1. Newspaper or any other recyclable paper
2. A container
3. A fork
4. A sieve
5. A rolling pin or bottle
6. A piece of cloth
7. An iron

Here are the steps on how to make your own recycled paper at home. It is very easy. Kids can do it with some supervision.

Step 1: Tear your newspaper into strips and soak it for several days. 

If you are wondering what the other spare container in the picture is for. We used it for pouring water into the container filled with paper.

Step 2: After a few days, use the fork to mash the paper into tiny bits.

Step 3: Use the strainer to get rid of access water from the mashed up paper. Note that you are not supposed to push the paper through the strainer. It is only for separating water from the paper or drying your mashed up paper.

Step 4: Use a rolling pin or glass bottle to roll out the mashed paper into a flat piece. We didn't have a rolling pin or bottle so we tried to improvise with an empty cylinder shaped biscuit can. It didn't work. In the end, we found it a lot easier to just shape the paper with our hands. After this you should put the paper away to dry for a day.

Step 5: Put another cloth over the recyled paper and iron it to flatten it nicely.

Step 6: Tadaaa... you've got yourself a homemade recycled paper. My daughter cut hers into four pieces. She wanted to make a card with it and decorate it.

This homemade project for kids on How To Make Your Own Recycled Paper At Home is an excellent way to teach kids that waste products can be recycled and reused. 
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