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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

10 Klang Valley Malls To Bring Your Kids To This Christmas 2017

Its the most wonderful time of the year, at the malls. Around this time of the year, all the malls will be fully decked out in Christmas decorations and there will be plenty of things to see and do. Lots of photo opportunities too. Here are 10 Klang Valley malls to bring your kids to this Christmas 2017 with plenty of activities and delightful sights for kids this school holidays.

1. Christmas is in the air at Pavilion KL 2017.

Christmas decorations at Pavilion KL is breathtaking as always. Check their schedule for things to do this Christmas period starting 15 December 2017 to 1 January 2018 at Pavilion KL Christmas 2017 including The Christmas Band, The Magnificent Elvescapade, Christmas Caroling, Spritzer Sparkling Fairies and more. or just drop by to soak up the holiday atmosphere.

2. Home For Christmas at Mid Valley Megamall 2017

From 24th November 2017 to 1st January 2018, you will be transported back to a festive Christmas atmosphere in a countryside train station. There are plenty of giant bears waiting for trains at the many benches set up at the mall giving visitors plenty of fuzzy and nice photo opportunities. What about the activities lined up for this Christmas? You can expect Ho Ho Ho Santa is in Town!, Balloon Bonanza, Character Walkabouts, Singing Performances, Christmas Caroling, Jazzy performances and more. Click here to check out the Christmas 2017 Activities at Mid Valley Megamall.

3. Come home to BSC's warmth and well wishes this Christmas

Here are some activities and Christmas treats lined up at Bangsar Shopping Complex (BSC) from 24 Nov - 24 Dec 2017. From Brass Bands to Choirs, Strolling Pied Pipers to String Quartets and not forgetting Christmas Caroling and Kid's Dance, there will be Kids Fun Activities too including Christmas Arts and Crafts and Kids' Personalized Gifts including key chains and bracelets (limited to the first 80 kids). 

4. Enjoy A Magical Tudor Christmas at Sunway Pyramid 

Sunway Pyramid will take you back in time to an English royal dynasty period as you stroll down the cobbled street, line with towering Christmas trees and vintage store houses this Christmas from 24 November 2017 to 1 January 2018.  Strike a post at the interactive photo booth for a personalized postcard. Santa makes an appearance every weekend at 1 pm and 3 pm from 2 - 31 December 2017. You can redeem Parenthood Playland tickets when you spend RM400 (RM300 for HSBC Credit Cardholders) in the mall. *T&C Apply 

5. Have an Ice-cellent Christmas at Atria Shopping Gallery

There is something on for Christmas almost daily at the Atria Shopping Gallery starting from 25 November 2017 as you can see from the time table above. Plenty of activities for kids including Christmas workshops, tea party, colouring contests, character appearances and walkabouts and not forgetting Christmas performances too. Christmas workshops fill up fast so you have to book early in advance.

6.  Experience an Enthralling Christmas at Berjaya Times Square

From 25 November to 2 January 2018, you can experience an Enthralling Christmas with Santa and his crew on their new Supersonic Odyssey mechanical sleigh at Berjaya Times Square. Be part of the crew and help Santa deliver all the gifts before Christmas day! You also stand a chance to win exclusive Limited Edition Christmas themed BTS Pixel Block and child tickets for the Berjaya Theme Park. *T & C Applies. More details here.

7. Celebrate an UnBullieavable Christmas at Quill City Mall

Quill City Mall becomes a spanish village this Christmas with their Ferdinand themed Christmas. With Ferdinand set to show in the cinemas starting 14 December, 2017, it is timely to redeem limited edition Ferdinand Christmas premiums. Ferdinand is a 3-D computer animated story of a giant but gentle bull and his adventure of breaking free from his captors to find his way back home to his family. Check out the performance schedule shown above if you are bringing kids.

8. Enter the Mythical Land of Wonders at IOI City Mall

Its a magical Christmas literally at IOI City Mall this year with magic shows, clown appearances, a rib eating challenge with special appearances by Pikachu, a pokemon colouring contest, a petting zoo and more. You can't get any more wonderous than that! There will also be plenty of music and merry making as seen from the schedule above.

9. Delight In The Glittering Christmas Escapade at Avenue K

Feel the joy of the festive season beneath the sparkling musical Christmas tree at an iconic English Park. The Glittering Christmas Escapade at Avenue K is on from 24 November to 27 December 2017. Check out the Gilttering Light Show schedule above and when you can meet and greet Santa. Other interesting activities include the winter sax ensemble show, Santa's Magical Fun  Time, Olaf Adventure Christmas Dance and Colourful Trolls Christmas Dance. Stand a chance to win a trip to LONDON and other exciting destinations as well as attractive prizes when you shop at Avenue K this holidays.

10. Christmas Is Here. Its Time To Party at One Utama 

A joyous Christmas is on at One Utama from 28 November to 26 December 2017. Expect a lot of music with brass band performances, string quartet, bag pipers, choir and carolers. There will be a Christmas party for ONECARD kids and members plus crafting activities for kids. Pre-registration and terms and conditions apply. Don't miss the 6ft tall snow slide for kids complete with a snowball pool at GF Centre Court.

Photo Credit: All photos in this post are sourced from the website or Facebook pages of the respective malls.

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Monday, November 27, 2017

British Council Malaysia Open Day December 2017

Dear Parents,

British Council Malaysia is opening its doors to parents and kids in December 2017 on the following dates and times.

British Council Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur) @ Wisma Selangor Dredging

10am - 4pm on 2,3,9,10,16 & 17 December 2017

British Council Malaysia (The Curve) 2nd Floor
10am - 4pm from 12-14 December 2017

This is the perfect opportunity for you to drop by the center to have a tour of the premise and ask questions about how British Council can help improve your child's English, whether spoken or written. 

British Council programmes are suitable for kids in SK, SJKC or SJKT who wish to prepare themselves for private or international education. It is aslo useful for private or international school students as a supplementary lesson and helpful for anyone who wish to improve their English communication skills. 

New term for the programmes begins on January 2018. Parents are encouraged to bring their children along during the Open Day to do an immediate placement test.

Special event for members of our Parenting Platform:

Event Hightlight: Parents with kids from 5 to 17 years old can register for a free Parents Workshop. The Parents Workshop comprise of a taster lesson for parents and introduction about the teaching methodology of the British Council. While you are enjoying the workshop, your kids will be entertained to a free story telling session in another classroom. Each parent will receive a goodie bag

Event Details:

1. 11am Saturday 2 Dec @ British Council (KL) - RSVP by 20 November 2017
2. 11am Tuesday 12 Dec @ British Council (Mutiara Damansara) - RSVP by 30 November 2017

Click on the dates above to register. Registration is on a first come first serve basis and limited to 20 persons only.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Cute Labels For Kids

"Help! My child has lost his stationery again!"

If you have a child in school, you will know this all too well. One day, they'll come home without their pencil case, next day its the tumbler, or their gym shirt or a book or two or the whole bag. Other lost things include spectacles and even shoes!

So how do you keep yourself sane if your child keeps losing things? The answer is to label everything. That way, there's a fighting chance for you to find them, especially if their pencil cases, tumblers and other stuff look exactly like those carried by their classmates.

You should also know where the school's lost and found cupboard or shelf is. Many things turn up there a day or two after losing the items, sometimes even up to a week. Labelling your child's stuff helps you find them more easily.

How to label? You can use a marker pen for quick emergency jobs or sharpies if you like to add some creativity to it but apart from these old fashioned methods, you can try out cute labels for kids. These labels come in many forms. There are bag tags, shoe labels, iron-on labels for clothing and caps or sticker labels for tumblers, food containers, pencil cases and more. You can get these labels separately or as a set if you don't know which to get. The set covers all types.  Many of these labels can be personalized with your child's name and or favourite cartoon characters or design.

Previously we could only get these kinds of cute labels shipped from overseas. Not anymore, now we can order them online and get them shipped from Malaysia making these personalized labels a lot more affordable.

Check out Fun Printz for these types of cute labels for kids. From 20 November to 31 December 2017, Free shipping applies for orders above RM90. In addition, members of our FB group and readers of our blog post can claim a free bag tag worth RM14 for orders above RM90! Key in promo code MALAYSIAFREETAG select large tag/large tag design, at the end of the check out, there is a discount of RM14. or call 012-213 2821 for more info. Click here to order. Enjoy!

Starting school is an exciting time for parent and child. Make it sweeter with fun labels. 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Cuti Perayaan 2018

It's out! The official Cuti Perayaan or Festive Holidays for 2018. Earlier on there were some sharings on social media and everyone was wondering whether it was real or fake. When in doubt, always refer to the official sources.

Here's the official source for this announcement: Dato' Seri Mahdzir bin Khalid's post on Facebook

This is the Lampiran C, the part that was missing when the Takwim Persekolahan 2018 or 2018 School Calendar was announced recently.

With these officially out, parents can now start planning for the first cuti perayaan in the horizon which is the Chinese New Year one on 15 February 2018 to 19 February 2018 for all schools.

How does this compare with the Cuti Perayaan from 2017? Well, let's take a look at this year's Cuti Perayaan 2017 below. Looks like we will have shorter festive holidays overall for most and Hari Raya holidays is within the second term holidays. 

Below is the official letter on the announcement of the cuti perayaan 2018.

Below is the Lampiran A and B which was released before the Cuti Perayaan 2018. You can refer to these for the school term holidays for the academic year 2018.

Back To School 2018 Shopping Deals

We're coming towards the end of the school year now and already parents are planning and looking forward towards the new academic year 2018. Retailers have all started their back to school 2018 promotions so now is the time to go shopping!

As with previous years, we do a compilation of the back to school 2018 shopping deals from various supermarkets for your convenience. Check it out. We will be updating this page as more deals become apparent so bookmark this page so you can easily compare the various shopping deals and discounts for back to school 2018.

Aeon Big Great Deals for Back To School 2018 is from 17 November to 2 January 2018. Uniforms are currently going at 20% off with brands like Canggih, Unggul, U-Cemerlang and WHH School. Prices start from RM22.90 to RM44.90 for primary school uniforms and from RM25.90 to RM52.90 for secondary school uniforms.

Go to the website to download the full 16 page Aeon Big Back To School brochure filled with deals on school uniforms, bags, shoes, stationery, tumblers, food containers and including book shelves and other home organization items to get your home ready for school. 

Parkson's Back To School 2018 Promotion starts from 15 November 2017 to 1st January 2018. Uniform Brands sold include Parkson School Shop and Canggih. Shoe brands include Kiki Lala, Justice Leaque and Thomas and Friends for primary or Bata, Pronic and Rhummel for Secondary school shoes. There is a 10% discount for primary school uniforms.  Click here to download the 12 page Back To School Promotion 2018 Brochure from Parkson.

Giant's Bajet Cun Balik Sekolah Lagi Cun Promotion from 16 November 2017 to 9 January 2018. Ending on 9 January, you know where to go for late deals after school has started. Giant sells brands like Canggih, Unggul, WHH School and JT by Jolly Tots. Download the full 24 page Back To School 2018 Brochure From Giant here.

Tesco's Bijak Segak Kembali Ke Sekolah Promo is on from 16 November to 6 December 2017 so you have to hurry on this one. Tesco sells Aplus and Canggih school uniforms. You can view and download the full 20 page Tesco Back To School Catalogue here

Friday, November 17, 2017

Family Room At Gurney Drive Hotel Penang

I was on an overnight trip recently together with my family of four, two adults and two teens. When you have teens who are considered adults, then you can no longer book rooms for 2 adults and 2 kids. You have to book rooms for 4 adults and that raises your cost and reduce your selections tremendously. You may have to book two rooms, and sometimes adjoining rooms may not be possible making it rather inconvenient and costly. If you put your kids together, you also worry about their safety so we usually split our rooms with one parent and one child sharing one room. Sometimes we go for suite rooms which are larger but cost a lot too.

Recently we were in Penang for an overnight trip and we booked The Gurney Resort Hotel and Residences. We had never stayed there before even though it has been around for a long time. The hotel has seen better days but more importantly, it is reasonably clean and roomy. Great for families in whatever configuration, whether it is parents with teens or parents with maid and baby and toddler, or parents with grandparents and active school going kids. To us, that is certainly a bonus. The family room has plenty of space and if you book an adjoining studio room, you will have even more space to run around in.

Here's a video of the room and some photos below it.

We booked a family room from booking.com at RM370* including 4 breakfast. After including GST etc, it came up to RM395. The room had a nice view. It was quiet, maybe at this time of the year, not sure about during peak season.

The family room has two bedrooms, one with a king bed and the other with two twin beds. It comes with a living and dining area, kitchenette with microwave oven and fridge plus sink complete with four sets of plates and cutlery. No washing detergent.

There are two bathrooms, one just outside the twin bedroom and the other is attached with the bedroom with the king bed. The bathrooms have shower stalls and the main one has twin sinks and a Jacuzzi bath in addition to the shower stall. The bath has no dark curtains though! Ironing board was also available.

We also had the adjoining Studio Room at RM198* for two adults without breakfast. The studio room had a king bed, plus dining and living area, no kitchenette only coffee/tea making facilities.

Together, there was room enough for a big family to run around comfortably in.

* Note that rates may differ during peak season.

The rooms have seen better days though so be prepared to see stains and holes on sofa, curtains mended by hand, loose shower hose and old sockets. The basement car park is free with no barrier (you can just drive in) or you can park on the upper floor car parks at RM6 and claim from the hotel.

The hotel is about 17 minutes walk to the Gurney Plaza. There are no shuttle bus to and fro though I wish there were. 

However, you can try out the Link Bike where you can ride and dock at the next Link Bike station. There are two link bike stations at Gurney Drive. They are Link Bike Station 9 at Evergreen Hotel (just next to Gurney Hotel) and Link Bike Station 22 at Paragon, Gurney.

The hotel has a nice looking pool for children and adults from the website. Unfortunately, I was not able to check it out personally.

In short, this is a value for money stay in a large room for families at Gurney Drive if you are not fussy about it being somewhat dated and not getting the finer details found in 5 star accommodation.

Places of interest nearby include the Reclining Buddha Temple (Reclining Buddha Wat Chaiyamangalaram) an 11 minute walk and Northam Beach Cafe a 7-9 minute walk from the Gurney Hotel

Sites mentioned in this review:

Monday, November 06, 2017

Sample Question And Answer For Novel Essay Section In SPM English Paper

Dear SPM candidate, 

Below is a sample question and answer for the Novel Essay Section in SPM English Paper. Hope you find this useful. This sample was brought to you by a guest writer on our blog, Yogeswari Wigneshwaran.

Yogeswari Wigneshwaran is a stay-at-home mom and a freelance tutor with 15 years of experience.  A graduate from Universiti Utara Malaysia, she works with children of different levels and abilities and conducts consistent research in helping students to excel in education. Besides tutoring, she also conducts workshops for KSSR and KSSM students on answering techniques for school exams and central exams. Yogeswari believes that learning is a long life journey.  "Let’s take one step at a time."

Through my teaching experience, I noted that quite a number of students struggle with literature.  The most common issue is the lack of interest in reading the texts.  Literature is a boring subject for most.  In my opinion, the literature segment in PT3 and SPM examinations are a bonus.  Regular reading and practice in answering the questions could provide the needed marks to achieve the A grade.  Everything said, literature also requires an in-depth perspective and critical evaluation. 

A student equipped with the right attitude towards literature could productively utilize this segment.  Furthermore, a proper answering technique is also vital in order to achieve the highest marks for the literature segment.  Students are encouraged to evaluate and deduce the meaning, plot, content, literary devices, values, themes and the characters.  Using your own words is most welcomed.  

I would like to share a sample question and answer with a brief description of the writing method for the novel question in the SPM examination.  Parents too can benefit from the sample given.  Though its quite last minute, I hope this sample answer helps the children for their English examination tomorrow. The sample below is based on the Form 5 novel titled Dear Mr. Kilmer (Selangor/KL/Negeri Sembilan zone). My best wishes to all the SPM candidates.



Suggested answer

Name the title of the novel and author.
There are few characters in the novel that have portrayed the act of bravery in their actions.  The characters that I choose are Richard, Hannah and Mr. Kilmer.


Richard is the bravest of all the characters in this story.  Richard grew up as a lonely and quiet boy.  He pens down his thoughts as poem which he keeps to himself.  His brave action could be seen when he was the only one who signed the sympathy card for the Schermers, even though the entire class protested against Mrs. Hansen’s kind gesture. Later he handed the card to Hannah himself.  Richard was not worried about his reputation or popularity. Furthermore, Richard came forward with his secret about his passion for writing poetry and he was writing letters to a poet named Mr. Kilmer.  Although, his family hesitated and did not believe him but he kept on writing.  Based on Richard’s brave actions, I believe that we should be bold and courageous in whatever we do.  It instills confidence and motivates us to be a better person and work hard towards achieving success.

Hannah, a German girl portrayed as fearless in the novel.  She was an “unwanted” or an outcast in school for being a German.  Soon after, America declared war upon Germany during the on-going war.  Situation got worse for Hannah and her family.  Someone vandalised their family’s  tavern and wrote “Dirty Huns” on the wall. The people in Turtle Lake were being unfair to the Schermers and calling them unpatriotic for following German traditions.  Her brave act was shown while dealing with some of her school-mates.  She did not give up or run away from school even though most of the kids in school disliked and refused to be her friends.  I salute Hannah’s bravery for dealing with her problems and standing up for what she believed in.

Next, it was interesting to know that Mr. Kilmer is a famous poet  and  also a soldier enlisted for war in the story. His brave values is seen as a soldier who wants to make the world a better place to live in.  He made a courageous decision to fight for his country.  Moreover, Mr. Kilmer also advised Richard to be open with his secrets and build confidence in him through his letters.  Soon after, Mr. Kilmer was transferred to France and he was killed while in action.  In my opinion, the act of bravery makes us strong and to face our fears just like Mr. Kilmer.  We should not be afraid to pursue our dreams and passion.

CONCLUSION – write your own opinion on overall discussion.
In conclusion, the characters in the story showed that bravery should be emulated in our actions and decisions. We should be bold enough to take risk in life and face uncertainties.  In turn, we could learn to deal with our fears and dislikes.

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