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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Our Story: How Our Parenting Digital Platform Was Developed


I created this video yesterday and it got me reminiscing about how our parenting digital platform came to be.

I have been blogging a lot about enrichment centers, products, educational news and events. Today, I will take a step back and tell you about our story instead.

You are reading this because you are on my parenting blog - The Parenting Times. This blog was started way back in 2004. At the time, I started it as a personal blog. My firstborn was just a baby then and my second not born yet. At the time, I called it "Mumsgather" because I thought it would be a good place for mums to gather to chat as was popular during the old blogging days. The name stuck and I became known as MG among my online blogging friends. Many of them still call me MG to this day.

Two years into blogging, everyone told me that it was better to get a dotcom for my blog and so I did. I called my dotcom Mumsgather too for lack of a better idea, but I didn't have the heart to delete this first blog, so I changed the name to "Parenting Times" and kept it. I'm glad I did because it continues to be my favourite place to blog though I have several other blogs including my personal dotcom.

As my children grew and by the time they were ready for school, I had accumulated so many articles about my dilemma as a banana mom trying to send her kids to Chinese School. So much so, that I wrote an ebook. It's called "Banana Mom's Guide To Preparing For Chinese School"

However, that was not enough. I didn't have anyone to ask when I had problems as they started schooling. I wished I had a platform to ask other parents about how to register my child for school, where and what type of school bags to buy, co-curricular activities, school holidays, exams and even homework help. So I started a group and invited 50 of my blogger friends to join my group. The group is called the Malaysia Primary and Secondary School Parents On Facebook. The parents in the group are really helpful. Sometimes you get an answer almost instantly when you ask a question, almost faster than Google Search. You also get many view points. It is much better than picking up the phone or texting your query to 10 friends in those days before Whatsapp.

It seemed that I was not the only one that wished I had a place to go to for school and education related discussion. Soon the group grew and grew. It grew till the secondary school parents wanted to have another group to discuss their own issues. So we split the group, renamed it and created the Malaysia Secondary School Parents on Facebook group.

It grew till there were so many people selling their second hand school workbooks that we had to start another group just for trading in preloved school related items without spamming our main group. Not everyone wants to buy or sell stuff and it was getting too distracting. Our trading group is called the Malaysia Market For Children Preloved and Educational Items.

It grew till we needed another place to nurture ourselves instead of talking about school and kids all the time. We parents need a positive place to take care of ourselves so we can take care of our loved ones better. That's why Happy Mom Happy Dad was created.

When the group grew, our bigger numbers also meant that it was easier for us to get all sorts of deals, giveaways and discounts for our members. We have managed to get free parenting talks, story telling session for kids, free workshops for kids, discounts for books, free tickets to shows and events and more.

Along the way, I started Mumsgather Finds, the website to list workshops, enrichment classes, school holiday programmes etc. to make it easier for parents to find. I like to create printables like calendars, subject references etc so now I have a place to store them digitally for sharing with website members. By linking Mumsgather Finds to this blog and the Facebook pages,  we became a complete digital parenting platform. We are also on Facebook (page), Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus and Twitter including about 4000 website subscribers who subscribe to weekly updates on group happenings.

To address some of the most frequently asked questions including search for tutors, transporters, day care etc, I started the Parents Helping Parents Forum to group the topics together so they won't spam up our wall as they would from being asked almost daily by members. I do weekly updates for those on the Facebook group wall so they continue to reach out to all parents in a more organized manner. Grouping them also makes it more easily searchable for example, in our transport forum, we group topics according to schools so both parent or transporter can find each other more easily.

There were so many members searching for test papers so why not share them with each other, and that was how the test papers bank was started. It is password protected for members only and free for members to download for personal use. Currently we have over 1000 test papers shared by 400 parents.

The latest initiative is the Exchanges and Giveaways forum. I dream that it would be a place for parents to exchange stuff to save space and money and for parents to donate stuff so that parents who need them can go and search for them there. That idea is starting rather slowly. I have learned along the way that not all projects or ideas work and some may need to be shelved re looked into but it should not stop us from dreaming.

Everything starts with a dream. Dreams may not happen overnight and may require lots of hard work to realize. With a little bit of dreaming and lots of hard work, today, our group of 50 has grown to 38000 members. Our parenting platform now consist of a website, 4 Facebook groups, a forum and a parenting blog.

To our blog readers, Facebook members, website subscribers, forum participants, thank you.
Thank you for your support!

Monday, January 29, 2018

English Language Classes for Children Aged 4 -6 at Lorna Whiston Taman Tun

Why Start Learning English at a Young Age?

This is a frequently asked question by parents with young kids who are planning to send them for some form of English enrichment classes. Children who start learning languages at an early age have a greater capacity to pick up a new language and a natural ability to distinguish the sounds of various languages and adopt the grammar. Children absorb languages like a sponge so it is good to expose them to a second or even third language from a young age.

Whether you are sending your child to a SK (public government school), SJKC (Chinese School), SJKT (Tamil School) or private or International school, starting them young with the English language is useful and they will reap the benefits later in life.

For SK, SJKC/T, your child will be learning more languages when they start Primary 1. Letting them master English first helps to make sure that English is not neglected when they start schooling. With a good foundation in English in place, they will be less confused and can focus on learning Malay, Chinese or Tamil when entering primary school.

On the other hand, those who are sending to private or international schools may want to prepare their children for the English learning environment starting from Year 1.

What English Programmes are available for kids aged 4-6?

At Lorna Whiston, you can start off with English Language Programmes for kids aged 4-6 in a number of ways including:
  • English Language Development A - For 4-year olds
  • English Language Development B - For 5-year olds
  • English Language Development C - For 6-year olds
  • Fun with Phonics Ready! Steady! and Go! - For 4 - 6-year olds
  • Speech & Drama A - For 4-year olds
  • Speech & Drama B - For 5-year olds
  • Speech & Drama C - For 6-year olds
The English Language Development Classes are excellent starting points for English Language learning for children aged 4-6. 

At 4 years old, they learn to appreciate activities such as songs, rhymes, finger plays and stories. They are taught to follow simple instructions, to speak up with confidence, to start drawing and writing with the correct pencil grip and begin their journey in English learning with a broad vocabulary.

At 5 years old, phonics become more central in their learning. Individualized reading and group reading becomes the focus to develop strong reading and language skills. Children are now able to recognize many words, read simple books and retell stories in their own words.They work towards independent writing. Social interaction and problem-solving skills are emphasized for this age group

At 6 years old, children at Lorna Whiston have been groomed to become independent and self-motivated learners. By now, they have developed a love for reading and are able to write short stories made up of at least 3 or 4 short sentences. They can listen well and participate in group work and discussion. They are now ready for primary school.

Pre-school children are usually placed in classes according to their age, however, in line with Lorna Whiston’s individualized approach to students and learning, the teachers work closely with the parents to ensure each child is in the best class for their needs.

Call 03-7727 1909 for more details about the fees, dates and times of classes. If you have any questions about the programme or enrolment process, you can complete the form on this page.

This post was brought to you by Lorna Whiston Taman Tun Dr Ismail.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

5 Things You Should Know About PT3 BM Lisan and English Oral Tests

The PT3 Oral tests for PT3 are divided into two and are held at different times of the year. This is a good thing because students can prepare for them without the added stress of their written examinations.

Here are 5 things you should know about the PT3 BM Lisan and English Oral Tests

1. In 2018, the Speaking Tests (Ujian Bertutur) for BM (Bahasa Malaysia or Malay) and BI (Bahasa Inggeris or English) are on or within the following dates:

  • 1 - 30 April 2018 Speaking Test (Ujian Bertutur) for BM and BI
  • 13 August 2018 Listening Test (Ujian Mendengar) for BM
  • 14 August 2018 Listening Test (Ujian Mendengar) for BI
2. The BM Speaking Test is conducted in teams. Each team will be given a topic to discuss eg on "Kemasyarakatan, Keremajaan, Kekeluargaan, Alam Sekitar, Teknologi dan Kenegaraan". Total of 30 marks within 10 - 30 minutes time frame.

3. The BI Speaking Test is divided into Section A and Section B. Unlike the BM Speaking tets, the BI speaking test is an individual test. Section A requires the candidate to read aloud a given text while Section B requires the candidate to give a relevant response to the topic given. Total of 30 marks within 10 minutes suggested time frame.

4. The BM Listening Test is divided into Section A and Section B. The BM Listening Test is an individual test. Candidates are required to listen to an audio recording and provide written answers to oral questions. Section A has 10 questions after listening to a text. 5 multiple choice and 5 free response questions. Section B has 5 questions after listening to a text. The questions may be visual ie to circle items on a map or to arrange the sequence, steps or order of an item from 1 to 5.  Total of 20 marks for the Listening Test within 30 minutes time frame.

5. The BI Listening Test is divided into Section A and Section B. The BI Listening Test is an individual test. Section A requires candidates to listen to 5 recorded texts and answer 10 multiple choice questions whereas Section B requires candidates to listen to 2 recorded texts and answer 10 limited response questions. Total of 20 marks within 30 minutes time frame.

How to prepare your child for the PT3 BM Lisan and English Oral Tests

Teachers will group students in teams for their BM Speaking Test and give them time to practice in class on given topics.

If you wish to let your child practice more, you can get workbooks that come with audio or apps to let them do their practical practice at home.

Since the BM Speaking test is a team test, it would be a good idea to let them practice in a group with their friends. They can meet in school or at a friend's home to practice. The workbooks will give them more ideas on topics or the types of questions that may be asked.

Encourage your child to speak aloud clearly with confidence. For the BM Speaking test, he or she should know a few points in mind so that if a team member has already mentioned the point, he will still be able to contribute to the discussion.

Besides workbooks, you can search YouTube for the BM Lisan or English Oral Samples for ideas. Here's one.

Since the Speaking test is in April and the Listening test is in August, you can practice just the speaking part first and keep the workbooks till August for the Listening practice.

All the best to all PT3 2018 candidates.

You may also like to read: When Is PT3 2018

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Secondary School Options For SJKC Students

After SJKC what next? 

Many parents send their kids to SJKC because they want them to learn at least 6 years of Mandarin but after that what next?

Here are some secondary school options for SJKC students. There's more but let's talk about the most common ones.


A student can advance to a SMK either a normal public school or a cluster school. However, with elite classes being phased off, who knows, cluster school may be next to go. There are certain entrance requirements for cluster school and different application procedure whereas for normal SMK, you can advance to a feeder school for your SJKC. (You will be given a form to state your choice of feeder school).

For normal SMK, you can choose one which runs a DLP programme if you wish to study Maths and Science in English. However, do note that in some schools, the DLP programme is not school wide but rather for a few select classes only and they are quite likely to be filled up by the students who had been taking the DLP in the SK feeder school they came from.

So, if SMK is your choice and just in case you can't get into a DLP programme, you will need to make sure that your BM is not neglected during the SJKC schooling years so that there is a smooth transition to secondary school with no trouble catching up when subjects switch from fully Chinese to fully BM.

Related Article: Tips For Choosing A Secondary School In Malaysia
                        : Secondary School Application Process For SMK


Before you proceed, do read our earlier post on Information on SMJK in Malaysia and also this one on What parents need to know about DLP.

None of the SJKCs in Malaysia are running the DLP programme because the SJKC is against the DLP programme. However, if you want your child to do Math and Science in English under the DLP programme in secondary school, you can consider SMJK as an option because with effect 2017, all 76 SMJK received the green light to run the DLP programme. (you will need to check with the SMJK you are considering to confirm whether they are actually running the programme school wide or for specific classes)

This means your child can switch from doing Math and Science in Chinese to doing Math and Science in English instead of Math and Science in BM.

If you are planning this route, make sure that you do not neglect their English and BM because all other subjects will still be in BM same as in SMK. Another thing to take note of is the fact that some SMJK may require students to sit for Mandarin as a compulsory subject in SPM. Some SMJK are cluster schools and therefore have certain entry requirements as well.


Before you proceed, read this Malay Mail news on What You Should Know About Chinese Schools In Malaysia. It talks about SJKC, SMJK and CIS and will give you a good understanding of how the total system works.

The CIS are actually private Chinese secondary schools. The fees are not as high as normal private schools. Students in CIS sit for the UEC (Unified Examination Certificate) and SPM.  Interestingly, a couple of CIS currently in Penang and Ipoh also offers UEC and IGCSE as an added option for students. 

If this is your choice, you must make sure you are good not only in Chinese but in English and BM too for secondary school because lessons are in all these languages.


You may opt to go to a private school doing the national syllabus or to and international school with international curriculum such as the IGCSE, IB, American curriculum and more. Since these schools are privately run, you will probably need to do a survey to find one that fits your budget and your plan for future tertiary studies. You may be interested to know what are the 10 Most Expensive International Schools in the Klang Valley.

Some International schools start their academic year in September. You will find many students who opt for International schools jumping ship (from SJKC to International school) in September during their P5 or P6 years. If switching in P5, then you skip the UPSR and it is possible to advance straight to secondary school equivalent level. If switching in P6, you will sit for UPSR (which is held usually in September) and immediately after that start school in International school with no break in between.

Those who are going to private school doing national syllabus will not have to do the switch in September but in January since the term dates are the same as those in public schools.

If you are planning this route, make sure that you are prepared not only in English but also in the different style and approach used as compared to SJKC to ensure a smooth transition.  Make sure you research all the curriculum carefully and decide on the one which is the best pathway to your higher education.


Alternative learning center is sometimes called a homeschool center which may be a little bit confusing. Some centers conduct the national syllabus while others prepare students for IGCSE and other examinations. They are like private schools but cheaper with little or no facilities. For sports and recreation, students may sometimes use public fields near the center. Classes are usually small unlike SMK. Here's what to expect from a homeschooling center.


There is quite a vibrant homeschooling community. If you choose to do homeschooling, it would be good for you to network with other homeschoolers through Facebook groups etc. You can also read blogs and do lots of research online. Here are some Homeschooling Malaysia Parents Blogs to read.

Whatever your choice may be, you need to think and plan ahead. Before deciding on your secondary school choice, think of where you will send your child for further education, then work backwards. 

Friday, January 19, 2018

When is PT3 2018

The examination dates for PT3 2018 is out.

Here are 3 things you should know about the PT3 exams.

1 The dates are spread out throughout the year. The written examination is on 8 - 11 October 2018. The written exams are on papers like Bahasa Malaysia, Bahsasa Inggeris, Mathematics, Science, Kemahiran Hidup and other language papers including Bahasa Cina, Bahasa Tamil, Bahasa Arab etc.

2. History and Geography papers are 100 % project based. They are not included in the written examinations in October. The dates for the History and Geography projects are as follows:

(i) History: 2 - 25 May 2018
(ii) Geography: 8 - 27 July 2018)

3. The oral language examinations are split into two. They are the spoken test (Ujian Bertutur) and the listening test (Ujian Mendengar). The dates for the UPSR Oral assessments are as follows:

(i) Oral Test (Ujian Bertutur) for BI, BM and LAM (KBD) is from 1 - 30 April 2018
(ii) Listening Test (Ujian Mendengar) for BM is on 13 August 2018
(iii) Listening Test (Ujian Mendengar) for BI is on 14 August 2018
(iv) Listening Test (Ujian Mendengar) for LAM KBD is on 15 August 2018

(LAM KBD stands for Kurikulum Bersepadu Duni Al-lughah-Al-Arabiah-Al-muasirah) and is relevant only for those taking this subject

Similarly, Tilawah & Hafazan (KBT) from 18 - 28 September 2018 is not applicable to all students.

If your child is sitting for the PT3, you can get them to mark these important dates down on their calendar so they can set a goal for revision.

Source of Info for the PT3 2018 exam dates: MOE website - Tarikh Peperiksaan dan Pentaksiran 2018


In PT3, you sit for 9-10 subjects. They are 4-5 language subjects ie

1. BM Written,
2. BM Lisan,
3 English Written
4. English Oral,
5. Chinese/Pendidikan Islam/or other language papers

and there are 5 other papers. They are

6. Maths
7. Science
8. Kemahiran Hidup
9. History (100% project based)
10. Geography (100% Project Based)

Next: 5 Things You Should Know About PT3 BM Lisan and English Oral Tests

When Is UPSR 2018

According to the Takwim Peperiksaan dan Petaksiran 2018 (Examination and Assessments Calendar) as listed out on the Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia or Minsitry of Education Malaysia's official website, the dates for UPSR 2018 are as follows:

UPSR 2018 is on 20, 24 - 27 September 2018.

Here are some other dates near the UPSR dates which you may be interested in.
  • School Holidays is from 18 -  26 August 2018 (School holidays for schools in Kedah, Johor, Kelantan and Terengganu start and end a day earlier)
  • Hari Raya Haji is on 22 August 2018 (subject to confirmation) or 23 August for Kelantan and Terengganu. These dates fall within the mid term school holidays as stated above.
  • Public holidays near the UPSR 2018 dates include the National Day on 31st August, 2018, Awal Muharam on 11 September 2018 and Malaysia Day on 16 September 2018
Some of these dates can be extra time for revision but do note that schools often have extra classes during the mid-term holidays for the UPSR students. 

Source for the takwim peperiksaan as soon below is the Ministry of Education website. You can go to the MOE website to download the pdf copy of the UPSR 2018 dates from this page. Go to the link which says Tarikh Peperiksaan dan Pentaksiran 2018 and hit the "Muat Turun" link.

There is one new item we noticed regarding the exam dates as follows:

Pentaksiran Alternative Sekolah Rendah (PSAR)

  • Pro Khas 1 (17 July - 17 September 2018)
  • Pro Khas 2 (12 Sept - 12 October 2018)

We will update once we have more information about the above.

Introduce Coding to Solve Gaming Addiction in Kids

Ask a kid or teen why games are fun and they may give you several reasons including
  • Games allows you to level up
  • Games allows you to collect items
  • Games allows you to talk to your friends and play together
  • Games gives you diamonds and gold coins and many other rewards
In order to level up and collect more and more items or receive rewards, you need to play more in terms of hours spent playing and keep on playing to improve your game so you can advance to the next level. In multiplayer games, some games in virtual worlds never end.

All of these are reasons why gaming can become so addictive. 

So how do you get a child away from his games to something more productive and educational? You Level Up into Coding! Introduce coding to solve gaming addiction.

Kids who play games often have an affinity towards coding especially writing code for games. 

When children code their own games, they will learn logical thinking, mathematics and computational thinking in order to solve problems during the game design. They will 'level up' because during the course of coding they will begin to understand the logic and algorithm behind a game. Knowing how a game works instead of merely being a passive player can be very exciting and challenging to a gamer.

The reward of having designed a successful game that works is even more rewarding than game play.  Testing out a simple game they have coded themselves is much more rewarding than playing the most complicated online game. It is also a confidence booster. 

Coding allows them to get 'behind the scenes' of the game to understand each and every part and component that make up a game. They will feel a sense of pride in their achievement and be happy to show it to their parents, siblings and friends, drawing them out and away from the virtual gaming world. 

Introduce your child who loves to play games to coding today by signing them up for a free 3-hour trial class offered by KidoCode @ Solaris. KidoCode is a Computer programming and mathematic school for primary, secondary and high school students, from ages 6 to 18 at Kuala Lumpur.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Parenting Workshop On How To Guide, Coach and Communicate With Your Children To Be Held On 27 January 2018

In December we posted on the series of Parenting Workshops that will be conducted by Fun Learning Seeds in 2018. Here are further details on the first Parenting Talk to be held this year. The topic is on How to guide, coach and communicate with your children more effectively to promote bonding and without having to resort to scolding or beating.

Details of the Workshop

Date: 27 January 2018
Time: 2 pm to 5 pm
Venue: International Youth Center, Cheras
Fee: RM50/couple (includes complimentary profiling analysis)

Course Details

Two experts with over 20 years experience in children education will share with you the following topics on 27 January 2018 , Saturday afternoon from 12 pm to 5 pm.

1. How To Guide Your Children Without Scolding And Beating
-Effective parenting methods
-Great bonding between parents and children
( Speaker: Mr Choong Kee Pin, Parenting Coach, Master of Psychology & Counselling, Former Headmaster)

2. Effective Communication & Coaching
-Understand you and your child's inborn character
-Effective communication ways with different characters
(Speaker: Mr Jacky Cheng, Performance Coach, Master Trainer in Dermatoglyphics Profiling)

Fun Learning Seeds believes that parenting is a partnership between two parents. Therefore both parents are encouraged to attend the talk together. Note that the talk is for parents only. It is not advisable for children to be around during the event so please make child care arrangements for the afternoon.

This post was brought to you by Fun Learning Seeds

How To Make Chinese New Year Angpow Lanterns

Chinese New Year is coming to town... You know because when you go to the malls, you will hear Chinese New Year music and you will see red everywhere, red decorations that is.

Nowadays, you can buy many Chinese New Year decorations from the supermarkets, "kedai runcit" (grocery store) and "pasar malam" (night market) too. They're not cheap though and nothing beats the satisfaction of making your own. So why not give it a try?

It is easy to make your own Chinese New Year decorations from angpow paper, so easy that even kids can make them as you can see from the videos below. They range from easy to intermediate. However, kids can make them if they follow the step by step video tutorial. It will be a fun activity for the whole family. The reward? Nice bonding and memorable moments for the whole family and a beautifully decorated house for Chinese New Year!

These videos are from the Merryn Tan YouTube Channel. Check them out below.

1. How To Make DIY Angpow Ancient Coin Lantern Tutorial. (You need 16 pieces of Angpow packets)

2. How To Make DIY Angpow Flower Tutorial (You need 60 piecces of square Angpow packets)

3. How To Make DIY 3D Angpow Koi Fish (You need colourful angpow packets. The number of packets depend on how many koi fish decoration you wish to make)

4. How To Make A Simple Chinese New Year Angpow Lantern (You Need 12 pieces of Angpow Packets)

You will find more videos like this when you Subscribe to this video channel. Merryn frequently updates her channel with kids crafting, kids cooking videos and interesting reviews on places of interest and activities for parents with young kids.

Besides Crafting Tutorials, you will also find kids cooking and baking videos on this YouTube Channel.

Here's one of her kids cooking videos.

How to bake Cute Doggy Cookies for Chinese New Year 2018 Year of the Dog. There are plenty more videos on simple bakes and crafts done by kids for kids. Check out the full list of videos here. There are more Chinese New Year cookies baking with kids ideas in the list including Happy Nut cookies, Cranberry Cornflakes cookies and Almond Cookies baking tutorials. All videos are kid friendly. Kids can even cook Peranakan dishes.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Where To Buy Malaysian School Text Books And Workbooks

This is a frequently asked question on our group the Malaysia Primary School Parents on Facebook.

That is why we are writing this list for easy reference by parents. School text books are given out on loan to all students under the Skim Pinjaman Buku Teks (SPBT). Why do parents still buy textbooks when they loaned to students? You can read our previous post on this topic.

Here are the list of places both online and at physical stores where you can buy school textbooks. Some bookstores may carry more SK or SMK books then SJKC or SJKT so it is advisable to call up to check before visiting the stores. This list is not exhaustive. They are mostly recommended places by our members. If you would like to recommend a store, just drop us a comment on this post. Feel free to recommend bookstores outside of the Klang Valley too.

Where to buy school text books - Physical Stores

Where available, website or Facebook page links are included in the list so that you have more ways to contact the stores.  Opening Hours and Phone Numbers are obtained from Google Search and may or may not have changed after listing.

Tip: Always call up before going to check stocks to save you a trip.

1. Mehraj Book Distributors
Add: 10, Jalan Pandan 8/8, 55100, Pandan Jaya, Kuala Lumpur, 55100
Hours:  9AM–7PM
Phone: 03-9287 8786
Website: https://mehrajbooks.com.my/

2. Kedai Buku DPB

Address: 21, Jalan AU 3/1, Taman Keramat, 54200 Kuala Lumpur, Selangor
Hours: 9AM–5PM
Phone: 03-4101 0028

3. Pustaka Rakyat
Pustaka Rakyat has outlets in Ampang, Cheras, Bangi, Gombak, Setapak and more
Go to their Facebook About page as shown below for the full list of stores and contact numbers

4. Minerva Bookstores Sdn Bhd
Address: 114, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, City Centre, 50100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Hours: 9AM–6:45PM
Phone: 03-2692 4416
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/minervabookstore104/

5. The Book Garden
Address: Atria Shopping Mall, Jalan SS 22/23, Damansara Jaya, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Hours: 10:30AM–10:30PM
Phone: 03-7733 0060

6. Sri Tanjung Bookstore Sdn Bhd
Address: Mayang Plaza, 1G - 1 , 1H - 1, Jalan SS 26/9, Taman Mayang Jaya, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Hours:  9AM–10PM
Phone: 03-7803 1362 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sri-Tanjong-Bookstore-Sdn-Bhd-220520707967680/

7. Ilmiah SBL Sdn Bhd
Address: 15, Jalan SS 2/55, SS 2, 47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Hours: 10AM–7PM
Phone: 03-7874 3528

8. Popular Bookstore
Not all Popular carries school text books. Only the bigger stores like IPC, IOI, Cheras Leisure Mall, Sunway Pyramid or Paradigm does. Even then, you are advised to call up to confirm this as well as to check stock availability before going to the store. Go to the Popular Store Locator link below for the address  and phone numbers of the stores.
Popular Store Locator: https://www.popular.com.my/store.php

9. Pustaka Gemilang
Address: Kepong, 52100 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur
Hours:  9AM–7PM
Phone: 03-6276 7125 

10. Casamac Enterprise
Address: No. 30, Jalan SS 19/6, Subang Jaya, 47500, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, 47500
Hours: 10AM–6PM
Phone: 03-5621 1906 

11. MRKB Agency
Address: 22 & 24, Jalan Nelayan 19/B, Seksyen 19, 40300 Shah Alam, Selangor
Hours: 10AM–9:30PM
Phone: 03-5542 5835

12. Hai Soon Books And Stationery Supplies
Address: No. 5, Ground Floor, Lorong Gopeng Kawasan 18, Dataran Ocean, Klang, 41400, Klang, Selangor, 41400
Phone: 03-3342 0390

13. Jasema Enterprise
Address: 159, 161, & 163, Jalan Aminuddin Baki, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Hours: 7AM–11PM
Phone: 03-7727 5341
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jasema-Enterprise-ttdi-644724175566019/

14. Cziplee Malaysia
Address: Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Hours: 10AM–8PM
Phone: 03-2287 0699

15. Pustaka Shiny Jaya
Address: 11 Jalan Sysyen, 41000 Klang, 41000, Klang, Selangor, 41000
Hours: 9AM–8PM
Phone: 03-3381 9666

16. Ma Tu Book
Address: 16, Jalan PJU 5/20D, Kota Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Where to buy school text books online 

1. Mehrajbooks Online
2. Peekabook.com
3. igemilang.com
4. bukudpp.com
5. Koopdbp.com (Can get books at a discount)

Where to find online versions of school text books

If you are desperately in need of referring to a school textbook because of a homework due the next day for example, here are a few places you can find online Malaysian school textbooks. You won't be able to find everything. Just try your luck.

Where to buy or sell second hand text books

Finally, if you want to buy or sell second hand school text books or workbooks, you can always browse or post on our other group: The Malaysia Market For Children Preloved And Educational Items On Facebook


Friday, January 12, 2018

Where To Buy Extra Co-Curricular Activity Uniforms

Image Credit: Image is from Uni1One Website
Listed under Number 7 below
Now that we know when compulsory school extra co-curricular activities start in schools, the next thing we need to know is where to buy these uniforms. 

We asked members of our Facebook group the Malaysia Primary School Parents group where they buy their koko uniforms and compiled the following list here for easy reference in the future based on their answers. 

Here are some stores, shops and locations where parents can buy extra co-curricular uniforms for Kadet Bomba, Pandu Puteri (Girl Guides), Pengakap (Scouts), PBSM (Persatuan Bulan Sabit Merah or Red Crescent) Taekwando, and more.

1. Uniform Koko Enterprise  
Lot S03, 2nd Floor, Ioi Mall, Lebuhraya Damansara - Puchong, Bandar Puchong Jaya, 47100 Puchong, Selangor

2. Outpost Uniform
Outpost has many outlets. Here is the link for you to check whether there is an Outpost Uniform store near you including 1-Utama, Banting, Bukit Tinggi, Ipoh, Batu Pahat, Kajang, Kampar, Klang, Penang, Petaling Jaya, Shah Alam, Subang Jaya, Taiping and more
Full List of Outlets here: http://outpostuniform.com/outlets

3. Professor
HQ Address: 21, Jalan SS 2/64, SS 2, 47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Link to more outlets eg SS2, Mid Valley, Ampang, Klang, Shah Alam, Mutiara Damansara and more
Full List of Outlets here: https://www.professoruniforms.com/locations

4. Honmark Enterprise Sdn Bhd
No.9, Jalan USJ 9/5P, UEP Subang Jaya, 47620 Subang Jaya, Selangor

5. Active Uniforms At @ Giant Kota Damansara
Lot F28, Giant Hypermarket Kota Damansara, Jalan PJU 5/1, Kota Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

6.Uniform Gallery Sungai Buloh
Second Floor, No 2, Kompleks Sungai Buloh, Bandar Baru Sungai Buloh, 47000 , Selangor

7. Uni1One
47810,, 29, Jalan PJU 5/18, Dataran Sunway, 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Uni1One is also at Georgetown and Bayan Lepas, Penang, Johor and Kota Damansara
Website: http://www.unione.com.my/index.php/contact-us

8. Others
Sogo and Pudu Plaza was also named as places to search for co-curricular uniforms.

Feel free to drop us a comment if you know of any more outlets selling extra co-curricular activities uniforms, shoes and accessories like badges, scarves, bandages and more.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

What Parents Should Know About Compulsory Extra Co-curricular Activities In Primary School

One of the things that we were not prepared for when our kids were in primary school were the compulsory extra co-curricular activities.

We did a lot of research on school and starting school but this aspect totally slipped our minds, possibly because we were so focused on getting things right for starting school. So when the time came for us to select co-curricular activities, we were totally lost.

Although we overlooked it, with hindsight we realize that the selection of extra co-curricular activities, buying of co-curricular activities uniforms as well as the rescheduling of your own home activities so that they don't clash with the school ones is a bit task. Older children from Std 4-6 may also have extra after school classes to attend so you have to do quite a bit of juggling of your time and transport arrangements.

Optional Paying Co-curricular Activities 

In primary school, especially SJKC, you may find yourself having to make a decision on the extra co-curricular activities very early on in their schooling  years. This is because SJKC offers a lot of paying extra co-curricular activities that may be outsourced to third parties but conducted at the school. These activities are offered to kids from as young as P1.

As soon as your child starts P1, you will start receiving many forms for various activities. You will be spoilt for choice because there are so many to choose from. There is no wrong or right. Some parents may feel that it is not necessary to rush into activities. Rest and a period of adjustment is more important to them.

On the other hand, there may be some kids who enjoy these activities and parents find it convenient and cheaper to let them join these activities. All you need to do is pick them up later or send them earlier whichever the case may be instead of ferrying them from one place to another.

At other times, it is for logistics reasons. For example, there may be an older sibling in school, so the younger one may join an activity so that they can both go home at the same time.

Compulsory Free Extra Co-curricular Activities 

Usually compulsory extra co-curricular activities or Koko (in short for the word Kokurikulum in Bahasa Malaysia) takes place in upper primary school starting from Std 4 or Std 3 in some schools. Here are some things you should know about compulsory extra co-curricular activities:

  • Your child will have to take part in 3 co-curricular activities including  (i) uniform unit (badan beruniform), (ii) club or society (Kelab/Persatuan) and (iii) sports and games (Sukan/Permainan). They must choose one from each category
  • Usually forms will be handed out for the children to complete by selecting activities of their choice or preference (they may return home and ask you to sign the form for returning to the school in a few short days so be prepared especially parents with kids moving on to upper primary when it becomes compulsory)
  • Your child may be asked to fill in a few choices but at the end of the day, he or she may not get their choice of activity as it may be subject to availability 
  • Activities may be carried out once or twice a week (usually Wednesdays), or a weekday and a Saturday. (so be aware that you may have some rescheduling to do if your child has home tuition or ballet or piano lessons outside of school)
  • Students are required to wear co-curricular uniform to school (either half-U or full uniform) on Wednesdays or koko days
  • Some schools conduct their activities on alternate weekdays eg. Sports one week and uniform unit on the subsequent week and so on
  • Selection and allocation of activities is usually done during the first school term in a year
  • If your paying activity clashes with the compulsory one, you still have to mark your attendance for the compulsory one before going for your paid activity
Note that the above are generalized and there may be some differences for different schools.

Uniform Unit

Examples of uniform unit (in Bahasa Malaysia as it is normally referred to in school) include
  • Pandu Puteri
  • Pengakap
  • Persatuan Bulan Sabit Merah (PBSM)
Club or Society

Examples of club or society (in Bahasa Malaysia) include
  • Persatuan Bahasa Inggeris
  • Persatuan Sains
  • Persatuan Matematik
  • Kelab Seni Kreatif
  • Kelab Muzik

Sports of course refers to various sports and games including badminton, ping pong, chess, hockey, basketball etc.

All of the above activities are offered free in schools. Paying activities are optional and may supplement the free activities.

The slide below is from some years ago and is meant for teachers. However, it does give some idea of how the compulsory extra co-curricular activities in schools are carried out with more examples of the 3 compulsory categories of activities.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Buying Your Own School Text Books

Textbook image are author's own used for illustration only and does not represent the latest

All students in public primary schools and secondary schools receive school text books on loan each year  under the The Textbook Loan Scheme (TBLS) or Skim Pinjaman Buku Teks (SPBT) as it is more popularly known in Bahasa Malaysia.

Starting 2008, the MOE made a provision to give free textbooks to every student regardless of socioeconomic status under the SPBT.

In the year 2017, the ongoing KSSR and KSSM syllabus was reviewed. Therefore students who started Standard 1 or Form 1 in 2017 will receive new text books on loan while the rest will continue to receive the older used or recycled text books.

Unfortunately some of the older textbooks have not been well looked after by the recipient students. Some of them are torn, tattered, dog earred and have been defaced with writings and drawings.

Did you know that if your child receives a book in very poor state, they can request to return and have a replacement. Sometimes they may be turned down because there is no stock. At other times, they may get a better replacement.

4 Reasons Why Parents Buy Their Own Text Books Even Though They Get Loaned Text Books

1. Sometimes you may be required to buy your own textbooks. During the year or at the end of the year when books are required to be returned, we sometimes find parents frantically searching for places to buy replacement textbooks for returning if the child has lost the textbooks.

2. At other times, parents may prefer to buy a better book because the textbook on loan is in poor condition and there is no replacement so their child can write or scribble on the books more freely.

3. Some parents buy new textbooks to keep as a set at home so that the child can leave the other set in school. This is to reduce the bag load.

4. Some parents buy a second set, so they can pull out relevant chapters for bringing to school instead of bringing the whole book, at another attempt to lighten the load too.

In any case, if you are a parent who needs to buy a text book for your child, you can check the MOE master list of textbooks for the year 2018 from the following link. The list shows the titles, the publisher and the price of the textbooks.

Katalog Senarai Buku Teks Baharu 2018

Next Up: Where To Buy Malaysian School Text Books And Workbooks

Monday, January 08, 2018

Coding As A Language For Younger Kids

As more and more gadgets run by software and computer becomes a part of our kids daily life, it has become increasingly important for children to understand how these technology work rather than to be mere consumers of new technology. It is much more beneficial for kids to learn how to create games rather than to play the games on their gadgets passively.

How Can Young Kids Learn To Code

Coding is no longer a complicated course for computer science or engineering students. Nowadays, there are many ways to teach a young child to code, ways that are suitable for their developmental stage and age. For example, a child can start by playing a game, learning to modify the game according to their preference and eventually learn to code an entire game according to their own imagination and creativity. 

Many kids these days know their way around a computer, ipad or smart phone easily. However, in the new economy where almost every industry rely on computer programmes, it is no longer enough to know how a computer programme works. One must know how to write a programme to be a valuable employee in the new digitized world we now live in.

All over the world, school curriculums have been expanded to include coding for young kids because by exposing kids to programming in early life, it plants a seed for later on in life.

Kids Learn Better And Faster When They Are Younger

Childhood and adolescence are the best age for children to learn anything and that includes coding and computer programming because their brains are still developing and learning rapidly. They are also more curious, flexible and imaginative and less affected by their peers or the outside world. 

Teaching kids to code is not about teaching them to write lines of codes. You have to start off by teaching kids all about logical thinking and how to break things down one step at a time. You also teach them persistence and determination in the process. Coding builds confidence because it gives kids the tools to build their own solutions. It is very empowering and beneficial to learn how to think in this manner from a young age.

Kid From As Young As 6 Year Olds Can Learn Coding And Computer Programming At KidoCode

Are you ready to introduce your preschooler or lower primary school child to coding? Click on the link to register for a free coding class for your child at KidoCode. KidoCode is a Computer Programming and Math School for kids and teens located at Solaris, Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur. The center accepts kids from as young as 6. No prior coding knowledge is required.

Chinese New Year School Holidays 2018

When is the Chinese New Year school holidays 2018 is a frequently asked question by parents with school going kids, not only by parents who are celebrating the Chinese New Year but by everyone so they can plan their off days, take time off from work or arrange day care, balik kampung etc.

A couple of years ago, Malaysian schools started having a new set of holidays called "Cuti Perayaan" (Festive Holidays) in addition to the "Cuti Sekolah" (School Holidays). You can read our earlier post on Cuti Perayaan 2018 for the full set of Festive Holidays in 2018.

This post focus on the Cuti Perayaan Tahun Baru Cina 2018 or Chinese New Year Festive Holidays 2018.

This time both Kumpulan A and Kumpulan B schools have holidays on the exact same dates for Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year Festive School Holidays 2018 is from 15 Feb 2018 (Thursday) to 19 Feb 2018 (Monday). Chinese New Year 1st and Second Day falls on 16 - 17 February 2018 (Friday and Saturday)

This means kids go back to school on Tuesday 20 February 2018 or 5th Day of Chinese New Year.

Some schools can and may apply to the ministry for an additional off day but this is school specific so you have to check with your child for the announcement from their school on the Chinese New Year School Holidays 2018.

Have you bought your air tickets and booked your accommodation for Chinese New Year? It's only about 1 1/2 months away.
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