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Friday, October 30, 2015

6 Free Halloween Apps For Young Kids

 It's almost the 2015 Halloween weekend. If you are looking for free fun Halloween apps for your kids, here are 7 Halloween Children's apps we managed to find which are cute, fun and most importantly, free!

1. Halloween Party by PlayTales is available for both Android and iOS devices. This is one of those fun interactive books that come alive with things that move and make noises and stuff. That is the fun thing about reading an interactive story book, something you can't get from real books. You can choose to read the book yourself or have the book read to you. I would choose the second because of the way its read, spooky voice, background sounds and all.

2. Donuts ABC Halloween by KooLearn is an interactive English learning site for kids. In this app, kids can brush up their vocabulary on all things Halloween by playing the various trick or treat games. You can download it here for iPhones and iPads from the iTunes store or Google Play store for Android.

3. Halloween Zombie ABC Game For Kids is a Halloween app for kids who like to play with words. It include word games like word search, find the missing letter, match the image with the word, words formation and more. The game developer is Maria Dolores Garcia Ferre. Download links for this Halloween Word Game app from iTunes and Google Play.

4. Hello Kitty Edition. Halloween Dress up is delightful for the Hello Kitty fan young and old. So may cute outfits to choose from. You can pick some accessories to go along with the outfits too. The outfits are so adorable, just like Hello Kitty. Couldn't find it on Android so this link is for iPhones and iPads only. 

5. Halloween Stories - Read along collection of interactive story books by MangoSense Pvt.Ltd. has 5 interactive stories for kids to read on their own or be read to. As with many story book apps, the stories are fully interactive with games, puzzles and more. The stories included in this app include titles like "Ghost Story", "Five Trick-Or-Treaters", "Once There Was A Monster", "When I Go Trick or Treating" and "Monster Maddie". Found on iTunes only.

6. Find The Difference Game by Cora Games is good for kids who like to play spot the difference type of games. 4 scenes are available for the free version. Each scene has 3 levels of difficulty. A simple game with nice graphics. Download links for iOS and for Android are available.

These 6 Halloween games, stories, puzzles, educational apps are fun for kids and should give them a variety of fun activities for this Halloween 2015.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

5 Easy Diwali Crafts For Kids Ideas

Henna Hands Craft
Trying out the Henna Hands Craft

Deepavali or Diwali as it is known in many parts of the world is coming soon. Time to get crafting with the kids. Here are some really easy and quick Diwali crafts for kids. In fact, these craft ideas are good for anytime and anyone, not only for Diwali.

1. Easy hand print peacock. I saw this on pinterest and immediately fell in love with it. It is so easy to make and the results are really adorable. Mine didn't look half as good as some of those on pinterest did because I took only minutes to do it for the purpose of illustrating this post. Just ask your child to draw a hand print and decorate. You can use water colours, glitters, real feathers, anything you fancy. Older kids can try with more fancy materials. Younger kids can do what I did which is using highlighter and sharpies.

Hand print peacock
Trying out the hand print peacock

2. Easy Handmade cards for Diwali for kids to make and give away or to decorate your home for Diwali. This handmade card idea is from Whatscookingmom. You can browse her blog for more easy home made card ideas. They are very good ideas and very easy for kids to make. You can do these as a last minute Deepavali craft. All you need are paper and for decoration, you can use shiny, glitter paper, glitter glue and lots of creativity.

Easy Homemade Diwali Card For Kids
Homemade Diwali Card Idea

3. Henna Hands - Here is another really easy but beautiful art for Diwali using hand print again. You can get kids to draw the outline of their hand print, then cut it out and decorate. Found this one on Thomas Elementary Art. Really amazing and so easy and quick. I love this one!

Henna Hands and easy art using hand print
Henna Hands - An easy art using hand print

4. Paper Flowers Garland Craft For Kids by A Creative Project. Get the instructions from the link. This craft for children is not only fun, it helps you save on having to buy decoration as they double up as a nice home decoration idea for Diwali too. I like how this blogger alternated between flower and leaves for her garland. Very pretty craft indeed.

Paper Flowers Garland Craft For Kids
Paper Flowers Garland Craft For Kids

4. Diwali is the festival of lights so no craft project would be complete without a lamp or two. Here is one very delightful paper plate Diwali lamp craft for kids from Urvi's World: Child Art and Imagination. This paper lamp craft idea is really easy and quick and can be done by very young children. 

Diwali Paper Lamp Craft For Kids
Diwali Paper Lamp Craft For Kids

5. Paper plate Rangoli or Kolam Craft Idea. Here are some free printable Rangoli Designs for kids to color from Best Coloring Pages For Kids. You can either print them out as they are to color or alternatively, why not get your children to draw out the design on a paper plate and decorate it in any way they like to make an instant mini kolam or rangoli.

Rangoli Design For Kids
Rangoli Design For Kids
I hope you like this selection of craft ideas which took us a lot of time to find and compile. These craft ideas are great for anyone, not only those who are celebrating it. In fact, it can be used as a lesson plan to teach children about culture and the Diwali celebrations. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

6 Best Free Sites On Aesop's Fables For Kids To Listen, Read And Watch Online

Aesop's Fables are excellent stories to tell little ones as they are usually short, contain a moral about life and involves animals. Here are 6 best free online sites where you can find Aesop's Fables For Kids To Listen, Read And Watch. You will find famous stories like the Lion and the Mouse, The Ant and the Grasshopper, The Town Mouse and The Country Mouse as well as other not so common ones which are a gem to find and read.

1. Watch this Youtube Playlist. It is by HooplaKidz and it contains 46 Aesop's Fables in the playlist. Here's the first.

2. Aesop's Fables By Aesop on Project Gutenberg. On project Gutenberg, you will find over 50,000 ebooks free of charge. The original Aesop's Fables by Aesop is one of them. You can choose to read this on your desktop by clicking on the html version or download an epub version for your smart phones or tablet pcs or get the kindle version for those in the US.

3. If you like audio stories, then your child can have Aesop's fables read to them at Storynory. You won't find a long list of Aesop's fables here. However, you should take note that Storynory is an excellent site for audio stories, you can browse through the site for 100s of audio stories.

4. What I like about Aesopfables.com is the way they list the Aesop's Fables. You can easily go down the list and read the story with the moral that  you want to highlight to your child because the moral of the story is listed right next to the title. You will find a total of 640 fables to choose from in all.

5. For those who wish to add a lesson after reading the fables, here is a site that includes a fables glossary as well as quizzes for the Aesop's Fables featured on the site. This is good for improving vocabulary and testing comprehension so besides teaching kids about good morals, you can turn it into a mini English lesson. You can make it more educational by asking them questions after they have read the moral stories. Here is the url to the site. http://www.mcwdn.org/fables/fabindex.html

6. Tales With Morals tells kids about the famed story teller Aesop himself on its page including facts about Aesop like "When was Aesop born?", "Who is Aesop and what did he look like?"The fables listed there comes with images and each page is printable. You can print them out to read or make them into a book for your child.

Monday, October 26, 2015

School Parties Food Ideas

This post is for Malaysian moms with school going kids who would probably have to plan what types of food to make for their kids to bring to school for their year-end school parties around this time of the year.

Home made individually wrapped choc and almond muffins
posted with permission of one of the moms in  my FB group

School Parties Food Ideas For Malaysian Mothers

  1. Fried Rice
  2. Fried Mee/ Mee Hoon
  3. Fried Koay Teow
  4. Sandwiches
  5. Cake
  6. Muffins
  7. Cupcake
  8. Curry Puff
  9. Fried Chicken
  10. Cookies
  11. Nuggets
  12. Sausages
  13. Doughnuts
  14. Fruits
  15. Jelly
  16. French Fries
  17. Hash Browns
  18. Meat Ball/Fish Ball
  19. Snacks
  20. Packet Drinks eg Ribena/Chrysanthemum with straw

In other words lots of finger food, individually wrapped and home-made if you are up to it just like the one you see in the picture, made with so much love and makes things so much easier for the kids. If you can get your child to help in preparing the food, even better! As the mummy who made the red eggs packages below said, "these takeaways form memories besides filling their tummies and yes, never forget the teacher and the general helpers too."

In my list you will notice some unhealthy food but then hey, its a kid's party and it is only once a year. So, I'm inclined to close one eye to that just once. 

Another example of party food prepared by a member of my FB group shared with permission.
Red eggs for her child, who was celebrating her birthday on school party day with her classmates.

How Much Food To Make

Many Malaysian classes have around 40 students plus and minus depending on the school or area. So do you make one for each child? 

Let's see. If your child's class has 45 students and all 45 sets of parents make 45 of everything for the child to bring to school, there would be a lot of excess and wastage. 

So as a general guide, for things like fried noodles, fried rice etc, make 1/2 or quarter. For smaller finger foods, it is okay to make one each for everyone but no issue if you were to half the portions because you know what, you may have many kids bringing in the same food stuff so everyone will get their share. So in a class of 45, you can bring 20 or even a dozen and you do not have to worry that your food isn't enough to go round.

Some teachers will plan ahead and draw up a food list, then get a show of hands to see who will bring what and request your child to bring foods that has  been "assigned" for him to bring. That certainly makes things a lot easier. If not, just remember the rule, half the big portions and it is ok to bring one each for small items. 

How Much To Spend On The Food

It really depends on your budget. Some parents will go all out and order a happy meal for each and every child. As a general guideline, some parents feel that RM1/child is fine. This decision is personal and depends on you.

Advice For Your Child

Usually there will be excess food and teacher will advice your child to bring some food containers to bring home some food. 
  • Teach your child to separate the foods properly so they won't spoil. This will avoid food from going bad when they mix all the foods in one container, fruits, cake, rice, jelly, all mixed together!
  • Teach your child to avoid drinking yogurt drinks that have been left un-refrigerated for hours.
  • If you are concerned about unhealthy food, then teach your child to choose healthy foods.
  • When it comes to snacks or junk food, teach your child to check the expiry dates before eating.
Have a great party!

For your child, school parties will be something he looks forward to after all the time spent studying and getting his results so a little effort will make your little one happy.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Free Printable 2016 Calendar For Kids

Free Printable 2016 Calendar For Kids
Collage of 2016 Calendar For Kids

Here are 3 free printable 2016 Calendar For Kids. This year, I decided to go pastel or light. All the 2016 calendar for children are in neutral shades and in designs that are suitable for both boys and girls.

As before, all of the calendars do not have school holidays or public holidays added since my blog readers come from all over the world. Blank ones will be able to be used by everyone.

However, for Malaysian parents, I have prepared the first calendar design in several formats that include Malaysian school holidays for Group A and Group B states. You may download them from our site. They are for our site members only.

Members login here to download:

  1. Free 2016 Calendar for Kids For Group A - Kedah, Johor, Kelantan and Terengganu or
  2. Free 2016 Calendar For Kids For Group B - Perlis, Penang, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Pahang, Sabah, Sarawak, WP Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya

Free Printable 2016 Calendar For Kids
2016 Calendar With Malaysia School Holidays For Group A
(Group B is also available for download for our website members)

The rest are free to download by everyone else accept for Design 1. Here are the download links.

2016 Calendar For Kids Download Design 1 with school stationery, on light yellow background with green complements. Download the pdf for this 2016 Kids Calendar from here. Please note that this design is for members only.

Free Printable 2016 Calendar For Kids
2016 Calendar For Kids 
Printable Kids Calendar For 2016 Design 2 with pencils, on pastel green or teal background and with colorful pencils. Free for everyone Download the 2016 Calendar For Kids in pdf format from this link.

Free Printable 2016 Calendar For Kids
2016 Kids Calendar For Download

Free Printable Calendar For Kids - Design 3 with cute children and rainbow plus a quote that says "I Choose To Be Happy Today" in pink and blue on white background. Free for everyone Download link for this 2016 calendar in pdf format.
Free Printable 2016 Calendar For Kids
Kids Calendar For 2016 - I Choose To Be Happy Today

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Phonics Class For 3 Year Olds At Hobby Hop In Bangsar

Not long ago we shared an inspiring story for mothers who wish to start their own child centered business. The mother in that story is from Hobby Hop In, Bangsar.

Hobby Hob In was started because of a mother's love for her young children. She couldn't find the programs she wanted to nurture her sons, so Hobby Hop In was started for her sons and for children of friends. It continues with that culture today. Classes are small and cozy. Their speech and drama classes are small with a maximum of 10-12 kids while they accept a maximum of 2-3 kids for their tuition classes.

New Phonics Class Starting In Bangsar

At the moment, they are starting a fun an interactive phonics programme for 3 year old children. The class will be on Thursdays 4.15 pm to 5.15pm.

The class will use Jolly Phonics. Children will be introduced to a sound each class. They will also be taught blending of sounds. Each sound has a song, an action, a story and some practices to enhance the sound they learnt.

Jolly Phonics is a fun and child centred approach to teaching literacy through synthetic phonics. With actions for each and every of the 42 letter sounds, the multi-sensory method. It is very fun and fulfilling to watch what the children can achieve.The letter sounds are split into seven groups and blending is introduced.

Hobby Hop In strives to set a strong foundation for kids.

If you are a parent in Bangsar looking for an interactive way for your child to learn phonics, here's how you can contact Hobby Hob In

Facebook: Hobby Hop In
Contact: Ms Valerie 016-635 6469
               Ms Phek San 016-309 0092
               email hobbyhopin@gmail.com

Note: The class will be started with a minimum of 3 kids. So if you can gather a few of your friends together, it will be like attending a guided cozy playgroup for your child to learn and play together.

Further Reading: For those who want to know more about Jolly Phonics, here is a Parent/Teacher Guide on Jolly Phonics

Monday, October 19, 2015

Malaysia School Holidays 2016

The Official Malaysia School Holidays 2016 list is out! Many parents have been looking forward to this for some time now to plan ahead for the holidays, book cheap air tickets ahead of time etc. You can download a pdf copy of the Malaysia School Holiday 2016 list from the Malaysia Ministry Of Education website (Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia) here: Malaysia MOE Takwim Sekolah 2016

Let's look at some important dates.
  1. School starts on 3 Jan 2016 (Group A) or 4 Jan 2016 (Group B) - Group A = Kedah, Kelantan, Johor & Terengganu. Group B = All the rest.
  2. The year-end holidays has been reduced from 6 weeks to 5 weeks in 2016.
  3. As before, school is split into 2 terms with a 2 week break in between. There are also short 1 week breaks during mid-term. The first term is the same with 20 weeks of school. However, there is a change in the schooling days during the second term or second half of the year as follows:
In 2015, second term begins on 14 June with 14 weeks of schooling followed by 1 week mid term break and another 8 weeks of schooling before the year-end holidays. Total weeks of school for second term is 22 weeks.

In 2016, second term begins on 12 June 2016 with 12 weeks of schooling followed by 1 week mid term break and another 11 weeks of schooling before the shortened 5 week break. Total weeks of school for second term is 23 weeks.

In summary, the 2016 School Holidays are on the following dates:

  • Mid Term/Semester 1 Break = 11 March to 19 March 2016 (1 week)
  • Mid Year Break = 27 May to 11 June 2016 (2 weeks)
  • Mid Term/Semester 2 Break = 9 Sept - 17 Sept 2016 (1 week)
  • Year-end Break = 25 Nov - 31 Dec 2016 (5 weeks)

If you are looking for Malaysia School Holiday Programs For Nov/Dec 2015, remember to check our website for the list of programs.

For those planning to do some home studies to prepare for the year 2016, you can buy workbooks online from Peekabook.

Turn Your Smartphone Or Tablet PC Into An edict With The AppleTree Dictionary App

Hi parents,

Today we would like to take some time to tell you how you can turn your smartphone or tablet PC into an electronic dictionary. Why carry so many devices around when you can make do with one? Realizing that, AppleTree has now come up with a dictionary app that has been tailor made for local Malaysian students. The AppleTree Dictionary app includes 20 dictionaries in 3 languages. When you install this app on your phone, you will be a walking dictionary, literally!

Who Is The Apple Tree Dictionary App For?

All Malaysian students both primary and secondary, college students and university students including, parents and educators both school teachers and tutors will find this app useful.

What You Will Get From The AppleTree Dictionary App

  • 8 Malay Dictionaries including the Kamus Dewan from Dewan Bahasa Dan Pustaka
  • 5 English Dictionaries including Pearson Longman Dictionary
  • 5 Chinese Mandarin Dictionaries
  • 1 Maths Dictionary (English)
  • 1 Science Dictionary (English)
Below is a screenshot of the 20 dictionaries. The dictionaries have cross search function and  example sentences are given for the words and definitions. Chinese dictionary input includes both pinyin and handwriting.

The dictionary list is a comprehensive one including dictionaries for Simpulan Bahasa, Peribahasa, Synonyms and Antonyms, Bilingual Malay-English, Bilingual Malay-Chinese, Bilingual English-Malay and Trilingual Malay-Chinese-English Dictionaries or Chinese-Malay-English so you can search any which way you like depending on which language you are more comfortable in.

What Are The System Requirements

At the moment the app supports Android devices with OS Version 4.2 and above, at least 1GB of free space and internet connection for installation and updates. However, most of the content can be used offline.

How Much Does It Cost?

The AppleTree Dictionary app is RM398. For this year-end, parents can purchase the app at a promo price of RM198. Members of our website get another RM30 off at RM168. Members Login to our website to find out how to claim your discount.

What Is Different About This App
  • When compared with free dictionary apps - Free dictionary apps offer you one free dictionary per app. The AppleTree Dictionary app gives you 20 dictionaries. 
  • When compared with an electronic dictionary - By doing away with the hardware and selling the dictionary app, now you can own a good electronic dictionary with 20 dictionaries at just a fraction of the cost it used to be. In addition, you do not need to own 2 devices. For example, you do not need to get your child a smartphone and an edict. You can get them a smartphone with e-dictionary capability or you can use a tablet computer in more ways now with the inclusion of the e-dictionary app. 
  • When compared with real book dictionaries - 20 bulky dictionaries have been compressed into an app so you save on shelf space and cost.

Who To Contact

Contact 03 928 51262/012-283 7154 or Whatsapp 012-3838860/012-396 6710 for more details and enquiries.

Facebook: AppleTree Malaysia
Website: http://www.appletree.com.my/

* You can also leave a comment below for the developer if you have any questions about the app.

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Story Of Peter Pan In The Latest Adaptation For The Silver Screen

The Movie "Pan" is currently showing in the cinemas right now. Timely too. If you are planning a little outing for the kids after their hard work preparing for the year-end tests.

Pan 2015 bombed big time and received poor reviews everywhere. I find it kid friendly enough. Lots of adventure and stuff.

Adults may notice other things that kids couldn't care about like how Hugh Jackman didn't make a good Blackbeard (pirate). He did much better playing the tortured Wolverine and no one can quite come up to the class of Johnny Depp playing a pirate.

The other casts who played Captain Hook and Tiger Lily had second rate acting. Fortunately, Levi Miller, the boy who played Peter saved the day with his acting.

That's my only comment. The other is. Don't bother about what the negative critics say if you're planning to bring the kids but feel put off by the bad reviews. Kids will enjoy the adventure. The Story of Peter Pan or the boy who wouldn't grow up is not often played on the silver screen so they may not be that familiar with it which is a good thing when you go to the movies.

Poor Pan. The reviews are really rotten. If you are concerned about  how family friendly is Pan the movie, you can read the rotten tomatoes review but like I said, if you read that review and the many others that you can find online, you'd probably not watch it. It is not great but not all that bad as they say, really.


Monday, October 12, 2015

Nov and December 2015 School Holiday Programmes Malaysia

Nov Dec 2015 School Holiday Programs Malaysia

Hello there parents, 

This year, we have put together a school holiday program page on our website for parents looking around for activities for their children in particularly the Nov-Dec 2015 School Holiday Programs in Malaysia. We hope this will make it easier for you to find the course you want for your kids.

Click the button below to go to directly to the November and December 2015 School Holidays Malaysia page. Everything will be put in one single page for your easy reference. 

The November and December 2015 Calendar For School Holiday Programs Listed On The Page Right Now Include The Following.

November & December 2015 School Holiday Program Calendar

  • 31 Oct - 1 Nov 2015 Cad Design House Design Your Own Remote Control Aeroplane program
  • 23-27 Nov 2015 Cozy Kidz House Nov/Dec Activities
  • 30 Nov - 2 Dec 2015 Bricks4Kidz Year End Holiday Program
  • 7-9 Dec 2015 Blubricks December Holiday Program
  • 7-9 Dec 2015 Bricks4Kidz Year End Holiday Camp
  • 7-9 Dec 2015 S.T.A.R. Camp December Holiday Camp
  • 7-11 Dec 2015 - JazzitupKids December Holiday Camp
Go to our School Holiday Program page to get details for the above programs. Click here to visit the Nov/Dec 2015 School Holiday Program List

Nov Dec 2015 School Holiday Programs Malaysia

We will be adding more programs soon. So remember to bookmark the school holiday program page or this post and come back to it when you need.

5 Best Kamus Simpulan Bahasa Directory Listing

If your child is studying simpulan bahasa then you need a simpulan bahasa directory listing or dictionary. If you do not have one as yet, you can check some of these resources online. Bookmark this page so you can search for the meaning of the simpulan bahasa or Malay Idioms when you need it.

1. Malay Idiom Dictionary from Bahasa Malaysia Simple Fun dot com - Living in Malaysia, you have to know some Bahasa Malaysia. However, if your BM is not as good as it should be, this site will be very useful for you to help you explain simpulan bahasa to your child because it is explained in English. However, the list appears to be stopped at K. Also, this site is more for adult learners of BM so the list tends to be geared that way. Still it is a very good resource because it is not easy to find a bilingual one.

2. Simpulan Bahasa from Peribahasa SPM blogspot - I like this one because it is comprehensive. I could find most of the simpulan bahasa definition I was looking for. Maybe because my kids are in primary school but this one is for SPM so I could easily find most of those that I was looking for, even the not so common ones. This is fully Malay. If your Malay is not so good, you can always use Google translate to help you with the meaning.

3. Wiktionary: Simpulan Bahasa - Since this is an open dictionary (A Wikikamus or Kamus Bebas), you will naturally be able to find a good simpulan bahasa list given in alphabetical order. If you ever need to look up the meaning of a simpulan bahasa you do not know, try this wiktionary of simpulan bahasa.

4. Kamus Simpulan Bahasa from Slideshare - a slideshare user has downloaded an entire kamus simpulan bahasa for sharing. You can check it out here. More suitable for primary school usage.

5. Kamus Simpulan Bahasa & Peribahasa App from  Google Play Store - If you have an android device, then you can make use of this simpulan bahasa dictionary. Just install it on your device and use it to search for the simpulan bahasa you want.

Friday, October 09, 2015

Tips On Choosing A Tuition Teacher You Have Never Met

The process of looking for a a 1 to 1 private home tutor or tuition teacher for your child is not easy at all.

Firstly, where do you start your search for a tuition teacher? The song "Where Do I Begin? comes to mind because that is exactly it "Where and how to find a tutor?" The focus of this post is on 1 to 1 home tutoring. We'll talk about other forms of tuition in a later post.

Where And How To Find A Tuition Teacher For Your Child
  • Talk to the parents in your child's school
  • Ask your child's teacher
  • Post in parents groups on FB (remember to be careful about what information you post online)
  • Post on forums (as above, be mindful about what you  post in public)
  • Ask a tutor agent
Of course the best way is to ask for word of mouth recommendations from parents in your child's class or school. You may also ask your child's class or subject teacher but do it discreetly. Some teachers may not like being approached in this manner while some others may know someone even if he or she is not offering tuition services and will be happy to share that information with you.

Who Can You Get To Teach Your Child At Home?
  1. Students or those from higher educational institutions who are awaiting their results
  2. Part Timers
  3. Full Timers
  4. Current or Ex-school teachers
Naturally the rate goes up with each of the above mentioned as you go down the list.

What Is The Market Rate For 1 to 1 Home Tuition Classes?

The current market price is around RM35-RM40/hour. This differs according to your location and also the type of teacher and their qualification as mentioned above and your child's level. Some of the more experienced may charge higher while students may give you a lower rate. 

Tip: If your child is in lower primary, you may not need a highly experienced one so you can consider a lower rate teacher with less experience and qualifications if that is more within your budget.

How To Choose A Tuition Teacher You Have Never Met?
  • Interview them over the phone
  • Request for a trial class if possible before you commit
  • Check their qualifications (ask to view the paper qualifications)
  • Check their rates against your budget
What Questions Should You Ask The Tuition Teacher When You Interview Them?
  1. Ask about their qualifications and whether they are a part-timer or full timer and how long they have been tutoring
  2. Ask about their experience, specialty and availability
  3. Ask about their rates and compare by checking with other parents in your location and at your child's level
  4. Do not be afraid to ask personal questions. This may give you a better idea about the tutor and whether he is suitable to teach your child. Personal questions include age, whether the tutor has any siblings, is married with kids etc.
  5. Ask about their teaching style, strategies and believes. Are they strict? Do they believe in giving a lot of homework? What methods will they use to teach? 
  6. Find out how well they know the syllabus. (Make sure you know the syllabus too so you can evaluate this better)
  7. Find out their cancellation policy. Can you cancel classes. Will you be charged? etc.

Seems like a lot of questions to ask? We believe it is important because talking to a person will give you a much better idea of their suitability so make sure you talk and ask questions. Don't worry if you can't ask them all at once. At least ask the basic which is qualifications, experience and fees.

The Most Important Tip!

If the tuition teacher is someone whom you have not met at all but one that you got through a tutor agent or online through a forum or public group, please exercise the same care and caution you would when dealing with someone you have never met before online before allowing them into your house and alone with your child. Be mindful of that! We can't stress this enough. This is the most important tip of all!

Lastly, we have a Parents/Tutors Forum on our website. We provided this platform to fulfill a need for the parents in our Facebook group. It is a free platform for parents and tutors to post. We are not a tutor agent and do not collect any fees from parent or tutor. We do not know the tutors who post there personally, neither do we vet them since we are not an agent. So we recommend that parents pay attention to the most important tip when using the forum. 

Life In A Before Or After School Care Center Of A SK Student

Image Credit:
School Bus Clipart From Classroomclipart.com
Many parents have no choice but to send their school going children to a before school or after school care center. Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the closed doors of these centers? We ask one such after school care center Little Oxford Daycare Center to get a better idea of the daily activities of the children who are sent to such centers. This post is for SK students. The schedule for a SJKC student is different so we will write a different post for that. Parents with kids in SJKC can watch out for our post next month.

"Many kids from SKTM come to our center. They are all from morning session school and their dismissal time differs everyday for different levels. the As soon as the kids come back from school, they will take turns to shower and have lunch. 

After lunch and shower, they will have a 30 minute session to play with their friends before homework session starts. On days when they need to go back to school for activities like robotic classes, they will be sent back to school after lunch. 

Otherwise, they will have a homework guidance session until 3:00 pm followed by tuition for one subject which takes about 1 hour. After that there will be a tea break for 15 minutes followed by tuition for another subject. 

Tuition will be over at 5:15 pm and the kids will have time to play games with friends, they have board games to play with, or some prefer to read story books from the library corner. 

Usually parents pick the children up from 5.30 pm on wards. However, there will be some kids who go back later because of their parents' schedule. At times, these kids will have time to go out for exercises or do some gardening work while waiting for their parents."

We would like to thank Little Oxford Daycare Center for this valuable insight. These centers fulfill a very important service and need for families where both parents are working and there is only the maid or older parents at home. They make sure kids are guided with school work while providing leisure activities for them at the same time. It is like a home away from home for some of these children. Some parents feel guilty about leaving their children at after school or before school care centers but if you choose your center carefully, your child may actually benefit and enjoy his time at the center. Don't forget to read our earlier post on "What To Look For In A Before Or After School Care Center" to get tips on how to choose a center.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

What Is The Difference Between The Old UPSR And The New UPSR Formats

We have done an analysis of some of the UPSR 2016 new so this is just a summary of what we have done before but it is interesting to note nevertheless. Do note that not all of the papers are covered eg SJKT papers are not included in this comparison. We make our comparison largely based on the SJKC papers but overall more or less it is the same.

Differences between the old UPSR and the new UPSR formats

Here's what we noticed.

  1. BI (English) will now be counted as 2 different subjects. In actual fact, students used to sit for 2 papers previously too. Only now, the time allocated for the paper 1 has been increased from 50 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes. Time allocated for paper 2 remains the same at 1 hour 15 minutes. However, it will be counted as a separate paper. (overall time increased 25 minutes)
  2. BM (Malay) no change in the number of papers required to sit for. Used to be 2 papers counted separately. However, the time for Paper 1 has also increase from 50 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes. Paper 2 remains unchanged at 1 hour 15 minutes. (overall time increased 25 minutes)
  3. BC (Chinese) same observation as BM. Paper 1 has increased from 50 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes (overall time increased 25 minutes)
  4. Math Candidates sat for 2 papers. Math 1 = 1 hour. Math 2=40 minute. In the new UPSR, Math 1=1 hour, Math 2=1 hour (overall time increased 20 minutes)
  5. Science Candidates sat for only ONE paper previously. Time allocated was 1 hour 15 minutes. In the new UPSR format, candidates will now sit for TWO papers but it will still be considered as one subject. Time allocated is 1 hour for each paper. (overall time increased 45 minutes)
Time increased overall is 2 hours 20 minutes due to the increased number of subjective questions.

Major difference between the old UPSR and new UPSR format is
  • more subjective questions
  • more time overall
  • English considered as 2 subjects
  • Science will now have 2 papers instead of 1 but still considered as 1 subject
  • one paper for all for BM and English papers (Only 1 sample is given for SK/SJKC and SJKT suggests this but no confirmation on this yet. Previously the SK school and SJKC/T schools sat for different sets of papers.

10 Fill In The Blanks Story Makers For Kids

10 Fill In The Blanks Story Makers For Kids
We've been writing a number of exam oriented posts. Time to do a turnaround and write something fun instead.

Today, we'd like to share 6 fill in the blank type of story makers for very young kids. These are great for young kids who love to write but need some help in the form of prompts. There are many other creative story writing sites for older kids. The ones here are for younger kids. All they have to do is fill in the blanks with a word when prompted such as a noun, adjective, name etc and then click create and see their story unfold. It is fun and easy.

I think what most kids would do is fill in the blanks with ridiculous ideas and words just to see what silly story they can come up with but that's fine too. That is all part of the fun!

Here are 10 fill in the blank story makers where all kids have to do is to fill in the blank with words when prompted and then with one click, they can see their story unfold. It will help to improve their vocabulary and increase their interest in stories and reading.

These story makers will help your child create adventure stories, fairy stories, science fiction stories, sports stories, space stories. Some of them are text while others are a game with pictures, sounds and backgrounds you can pick.

1. Story Maker from British Council is excellent for this. Kids can make a fairy story, a horror story or a science fiction story with the story maker.

2. The Seuss Ville Story Maker is fun too with background and characters from Horton Hears A Who. Your story comes with music too.

3. PBS Kids helps you create a sports story with word prompts, 27 prompts to be exact.

4. Readthon has a 30 second story maker to help you make a short story in 30 seconds using their Story Maker Game.

5. Using Madlibs from Kids Spirit dot com, you can make your own funny story by filling in the blanks.

6. From Space Place, you can write your own zany space story. This one has better prompts and won't allow you to enter if you have the adjective or noun etc. wrong. Not only will you have the fun to become the author of your very own adventure story, you will learn a thing or two about meteorites, black holes and more.

7. In Vocabulary.co you will find story blanks,a making stories game  that allows you to create a story by filling in the blanks. There are plenty of other language and word games there too.

8. Pinky Dinky Doo helps the young child to pick on a picture to add it to their story and the read aloud button helps reinforce learning. The story comes with audio and visuals making it more interesting for the very young child.

9 Carnegie Library gives you items, backgrounds and prompts in the forms of questions to help you along. This is slightly more than just fill in the blanks as kids will have to type out the story based on what they select.

10 Smokey Bear gives you fill in the blank prompts for your child to create a forest story.

Getting your child to go through these will not only be fun, it might just create a new interest in him or her in reading or writing. Have fun!

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Weekend Class On How To Make And Fly Your Own Remote Control Aeroplane

Hi parents, we wish to highlight an exciting weekend event that is currently on our website. The course is on 31 October 2015 - 1 November 2015

Title of Program: 

How To Make And Fly Your Own Remote Control Aeroplane

Who Is This Course For?

This course is for anyone who loves remote control gadgetry. It is for ages 13 to adult. A great weekend activity for father and son or father and daughter.

What You Will Learn

Not only will you get to have fun playing with a remote control aeroplane, you will get the chance to actually build it! When designing, your teens will learn about aerodynamics and electronics as they cut,  put together and adjust the plane before flying it.

How Much Is The Program

The course is over 2 days from 1 pm to 6 pm. The normal fee is RM900 + Cost of Materials RM300. Currently there is a promotion of RM690 for 1 Pax or RM590 each for father and child + (cost of materials RM300)

Where Will It Be Held

The program is run by CAD Design School. This program will be held at their Puchong Training Venue
Address: 3rd Floor, No 27 Jalan Puteri 4/6, Bandar Puteri 47100 Puchong, Selangor

How To Sign Up?

There's still time to register. Three ways to sign up:
  1. Call 012-2737190
  2. email info@CadDesignSchool.com
  3. Contact CAD Design School on Facebook
Mothers take note. This is great for father and child to bond while you sneak off for some me time or you can just join in the fun too!

Here is a sneak peek at the course on How To Make And Fly Your Own Remote Control Aeroplane

English Idioms Infographics, Slides, Videos and Printables For Kids And Other English Learners

One of the most fun ways to learn English or any other language for that matter is learning through idioms. In this post, we will share with you several resources online for English Idioms and other learners of English young and old.

What is the best way to learn idioms? Through pictures of course. So in this post, we will share with you the best English Idioms Infographics, slides, videos and printables for kids learning English.

1. Everyday Idioms - made easy a YouTube video from the APPU series. Watch this 14 minute video on Everyday Idioms for a quick and fun way to learn English Idioms for kids

2. If it is Idiom printables you are looking for, then head on over to eslprintables.com. You will find plenty of idioms worksheets to download and print. (UPDATED: Sadly this site seems to be no longer printable. The download links leads to adds, however you can still view the sheets online.)

3. English Idioms Infographics with fun cartoons can be found at Kaplan International including Time Idioms, Weather Idioms, Food Idioms, Body Idioms, Color Idioms, Music Idioms, Happiness Idioms, Money Idioms and more. For your easy reference, we will take you straight to the idioms search page from Kaplan International blog on this link. You can have fun looking at the cartoons together with your child and explain the meaning of the idioms to them. Each idiom page shows you how to use the idioms with example sentences. Great stuff!

4. iSL Collective has some idiom slides uploaded by members. You can find some fun and colorful idioms shared by the members including this one, a five page slides on people idioms from klfissia. This member also has a 4 page anger idioms.

5. Here is another English Idioms infographic. This one on Animal Idioms is from Grammar.net. They also have great Infographics for Idioms including Love Idioms, Christmas Idioms, Idioms about life, relationships and friends, musical idioms, springtime idioms, idioms about money, idioms about time and idioms about home. The themes here are more adult but some are still good for kids like this one on Animals. Like before, we'll take you straight to the search for idioms on Grammar.net so you can get to these fun infographics easily. The posters are downloadable and each Idioms page comes with explanation of the idioms and examples on how to use them.

[Infographic provided by Grammar.net]

6. From iSL Collective again, this time, are slides from user Robby. Besides these weather idioms, Robby also shared body idioms and animal idioms. iSL Collective also has over 300 free idiom worksheets.

A big thank you to all those who provided these wonderful infographics which must have taken a lot of effort to create. Thank you!

After going through all these infographics, posters, slides, videos and printables, are you now convinced that learning English through English idioms is indeed a fun thing? Remember to bookmark this page so you can find the links to these wonderful resources easily all in one page.

Share this page with your friend if you like this post.

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