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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Which school to choose

School No 1 (School in which we got placed)
  • Famed Chinese School
  • Brand New
  • Many Facilities (almost like private school I'd say)
  • Horrible Traffic
  • Far from home

School No 2

  • Moderate Chinese School (Not so famous but established)
  • Facilities ok too
  • Near home

School No 3

  • Kebangsaan School (Established as well)
  • Facilities not as good as School No.2 but not bad at all
  • Moderately near home
  • Impressed by what the head has done for the school
  • Its one of the few schools which conducts a 5 period Chinese class ie 30 minutes each day. There is an in-house Chinese teacher for this purpose, lessons are incorporated into the daily time table with school tests conducted each year

Which school would you choose? We have ruled out School 1 which we have been placed by the Ministry so we will need to make an appeal. We can't decide whether to appeal to School 2 or School 3.

BTW, when appealing, if we state transportation as a reason, we're not sure whether we would be successful in the appeal. Its crazy anyway, they should have considered that in the first place and placed us in the school nearest to our home instead of one that is far.

We've met up with both heads of schools 2 and 3. Was impressed by what the head of the kebangsaan school has done for the school, his visions and missions but am worried that if the head leaves, the school will slide. In this case the captain of the ship really is very important. The ship may sink with a bad captain.

I have visited another kebangsaan school near my house before and that one gave me a scare. The facilities were poor, during recess there was not enought seats for the pupils and some of them ran and sat on the canteen floor after buying their food etc. Now if I had to choose between a Chinese school and that lepak looking kebangsaan school, it'll be easier to make a decision.

However, this other kebangsaan school that I visited which is a bit further from my home is not bad at all. It is clean and well kept and it leaves me with a good impression and feeling overall. So the choice is harder now.

Oh, btw, does anyone know whether remove class is still compulsory for Chinese and Tamil school students or has remove class been abolished?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Where to stay and what to do in Genting Highlands?

We're thinking of taking the kids to Genting Highlands for the first time later on this year. They're 4 and 6 and we haven't taken them there before. In fact, we haven't been there ourselves in ages so we're quite lost now.

I have a few questions for those who have been there with young children.

  • Where's the best place to stay. Must be affordable cos we have to bring our new maid along. We'd probably need a big family type room or two adjoining rooms. Don't know what is the best arrangement that would be the most economical as well. Some people tell me that First World Hotel is best because it is closest to the theme parks.
  • What sort of activities is suitable for kids age 4 and 6. There are so many kiddy rides etc so we don't want to waste time wondering around or miss out something interesting for them. Just want to zoom in on the best. Hehe.
  • For young kids, is the indoor theme park more suitable compared to the outdoor theme park? What can we do at both?
  • Apart from the rides, are the shows or the snow place or whatever you call it recommended?
  • What is the best time to go? We're thinking of just one night. Is it very packed during weekends? Would we have to queue up like mad just to get ticket to rides?
  • How to purchase tickets to the rides? Is it different tickets for different rides or one covering all? Do we have to expect long queues that tire the children? (See, told you I was really blur about this. ;))
  • Is there anything else I haven't thought of?

I hope that those who have been there can answer my questions or share their experience. If you have already written about it on your blog, could you please share your links? Thank you very much. :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Keputusan Permohonan Penempatan Kanak-Kanak Ke Tahun Satu Sesi Persekolahan Tahun 2009 Di Sekolah Rendah

Parents whose children are entering Primary School for the first time next year may have received the letter from The Ministry informing them of the school that their child have been placed. I received mine today.

When I registered around last year ie when my girl was 5 years old, I selected 3 school choices. Well, I got none of them. Instead she's been placed at a different school (not among our 3 choices) that is further away from our home. Sigh. I don't even know where it is or how it looks like since it wasn't among my choice in the first place and I do not wish for her to be in that school for various private reasons. (I visited more than half a dozen schools before making my decision).

Parents have one month from 25th July to 25th August 2008 to confirm the school of their choice or make an appeal.

Since I'm still ding dong ding dong between Chinese and National Schools, I now have just one more month to make my decision.

If your child is entering Standard One next year, did you get a school of your choice?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mummy I don't want to eat fish

Last night at dinner my boy said this.. (I cooked steamed fish for dinner by the way)

"Mummy, I don't want to eat the fish. I want to see the fish swimming. I don't want to see it like this on the plate. Mummy, please don't eat the bones. I want to see the whole fish! Mummy, I want the fish swimming! Can you give me a fish so I can see it swimming and put it on my bed on my blanket? Can I have a whale?"

When I told him that a whale was too big, he then said...

"Can I have the whale on a big plate then.... but I want to see it swimming."

His sister added...

"You will need a big bowl then because fish needs water. Mummy, can we have a fish to put in a bowl in the middle of our bed between us?"

And what did mummy MG say?

"Can we all stop talking about fish so we can finish our dinner? Here eat this pork instead."

Fortunately they didn't start the conversation about the pig being killed and I manage to finish the rest of my meal feeling a bit guilty about the dead fish on my plate. KIDS!

Another food related tale:

After lunch my boy said, "Mummy, when I eat, all the food go down my body to my feet and then it will push and push and make me grow taller." (probably in response to our always telling him to eat up his food so that he will grow tall and strong). Looks like another science lesson is in order. Lol.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Unconditional Love

The kids give me unconditional love and it is the best thing in the world. They do not hold back their love. They like to be close to me. They like to hug and kiss me and they like me to cuddle and kiss them.

When I am mad at them, they get very upset and even when I am in the midst of my anger, they wish to rush up to me to be held. When they are mad at me, they may fold their arms and turn away from me in anger (when they don't get their way) but it usually lasts for just a little while before they rush back to hold my hands and smile at me. Its even faster if I smile at them first.

When I am not well, they will come and sayang me and look at me with concern on their little faces. If my back hurts, they will try to give me a back massage and if I cut my hand they will come and touch it gently.

They listen to me and likewise they want me to be interested in them and listen to them all the time. :)

Give love away and you shall receive it too in manifold. How true it is with children. How good it is to give and receive unconditional love. :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

How do you explain "Dreams" and "Dreaming" to your child?

I had this funny conversation with my boy last night?

My Boy: Mummy, can you see the round round thing and the bubble on top of my head when I dream?

MG: Haha. No I can't see it.

My Boy: But where is it. Is the bubble up up up so very high?

MG: Your dream is in your head so we can't see it. Thats why they draw those bubbles in the cartoon to show us that they are dreaming. Otherwise we won't know that they are dreaming.

Not a very fantastic explanation but it'll do for the time being. Haha. How do you explain dreams or the concept of dreaming to your child?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Home schooling requires great commitment, patience and planning

I can't believe that my one year online subscription with BetterChinese.com (this is a site that promotes Learning Chinese through stories) is almost coming to an end. What have I done? Almost nothing, accept look at it with my girl or let her explore on her own in a non-structured way.

This Teaching Kids Chinese site is very structured with lessons that are well planned out. Its got accompanying books and CD-ROMS, audio CDs, DVDs and games etc as supplementary materials to aid teaching. They all have the same theme as the online version so it aids memory and provide fun for the learner. I haven't got those, although I would love to have the whole set!

All, I've got is the online subscription. And thats coming to an end now. And I'm sad to say that I did not have the commitment and patience to sit and go through all the lessons step by step with the girl. We skipped steps and looked at the lessons in a non-structured manner. Of course it has helped even then but it would have been much much better if I had been more commited. :(

Anyway, I shall come back to look at all the products again (probably the supplementary materials instead of the online one this time) if I send my girl to Chinese School. And this time, hopefully, I will be more committed and have more patience.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Adults Should Learn From Kids

I love to watch the kids at the kindy. When I take my girl to school, she would skip merrily to her friends when she sees them, they would call out to her, sometimes even hug her in delight, obviously and genuinely happy to see each other. They would run around playing hide and seek and various other games that kids play happily.

Its certainly much better than watching the adults. Much better than watching the dad who parks his car right in front of the school gates daily and smokes while waiting for his kid. Or that fashionable mum yakking on the handphone while her little two year old boy toddles around with his bolster and pampers. (Whatever is he doing in school anyway?) Or that lady who stops her car in the middle of the road blocking all traffic while she cooly walks her kid to the gates, kisses her goodbye and sloooowly strolls back to her car.

I think the adults should observe the kids behaviour and learn a thing or two from them!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Sometimes having kids around makes you feel like becoming a vegan

The kids have a really simple view of life and are just learning about things around them. I read to them little science books about "living things" and "non living things". They learn about plants and animals, etc.

Then during meals, they discuss about how the chicken "die already" before you can eat it. (Overheard my girl telling my boy).

I was working in the kitchen when my boy saw some utensils with pictures of cows on them. "Mummy, this one can cook cow." Yes, I said. "Cow's meat is called beef. We can buy it in the supermarket." "But how do you buy it from the supermarket? The cow is so big. Do you have to walk slowly?"

Errrmmm how do I explain to him that the cow has to be slaughtered first?

The children sometimes makes me feel really cruel eating meat.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Starting Piano Class at age 6

I wasn't sure what is a good age to start a kid on piano classes but since there is a piano in the house and she shows keen interest, we've started my girl on piano classes. Before this I heard from some people that its no good to start them off too young because their fingers may still be developing. So of course I started worrying about damaging young fingers etc. Hehe.

I asked my piano teacher to have a look at her fingers and her verdict was she is ready. And so that is why we're starting her now at age 6. My girl was very excited and happy about her class. After her first class she had this to say....

"Mummy, now that I have 2 classes (she means kindy and piano), I don't know if I can manage it."

I asked her what she meant and she said....

"Because now I don't have time to play at all. The whole day already I still don't have time to play!"

Hahaha. I was surprised on her usage of the word "manage" but she is absolutely right of course and that is why both hubby and I have agreed from the start that we will not be sending our kids to all the extra curriculum classes like swimming, taekwando, ballet, art, gym, speech and drama etc etc. At the most, piano. That is all. Where will they have the time to fit it all in? Oh and not forgetting tuition. We will only send for tuition if it is absolutely necessary for example if she can't catch up on the Chinese classes (that is if we are sending her to Chinese school which we still have not decided).

My piano classes is at music as well as a tuition center. I cringe everytime I see the little kids lugging their big heavy "luggages" up and down the stairs for their tuition at about 7.00pm. Most of them are still in their school uniforms. What? I'm thinking to myself? Don't they at least get to go home to have a bath, a proper meal and a rest? Their parents will come to pick them up from the tuition center after work in the evening. And the poor kids are still in their uniforms and carrying their heavy school bags. Gosh. Thats awful! So, no. No extra curriculum or tuition unless absolutely necessary for my kids. Maybe my kids won't be all rounded individuals who are good in the arts and crafts and physical activities like gym and swimming etc but at least they'll have some time to play.

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