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Monday, March 25, 2024

Pack Perfect Lunches: A Guide to School Food Containers





Packing school lunches is a daily ongoing battle for many parents. You want to send your child to school with healthy, delicious food that will stay fresh and warm all day. But with so many lunchbox options, choosing the right containers can be overwhelming. This guide will break down the best types of food containers for your school-aged child. Let us explore the various container options to ensure your child's school lunches stay fresh, organized, and perfectly portioned.

Image Credit: The Kawaii Yellow Duck Food Container is from here: https://shope.ee/7pW0H1oUgO

Classic Containers:


Available at Shopee: https://shope.ee/2LB3eOhoaY


Lunchboxes: The tried-and-true option! Insulated lunchboxes come in various sizes and styles, keeping food cool or warm (depending on the contents). Look for leakproof options with compartments for organized packing. Some even have space for ice packs!


Available at Shopee: https://shope.ee/B6Z4Y8y3y


Bento Boxes: These compartmentalized boxes are perfect for portion control and variety. They come in fun shapes and sizes, making lunchtime exciting for younger kids.



Available at Lazada: https://s.lazada.com.my/s.8OI3z?cc

Reusable Bags: Eco-friendly and lightweight, reusable lunch bags are a great option for older kids. Pair them with leakproof containers for a sustainable and stylish lunch solution.

Leakproof Containers:


Available at Shopee: https://shope.ee/20YDHB10Hn

Mini Sauce Bottle: If you are providing your child with food that contain sauces and dips, consider getting mini sauce bottles that they can use just before eating to prevent food from getting soggy. They're the perfect size for dips, sauces, or small snacks like berries.

Silicone Pouches: These flexible, reusable pouches are leakproof wonders. They're great for packing simple snacks and fruits. They're also easy to store and space saving.


Available at Shopee: https://shope.ee/1fvMt7fP5e

Thermoses: For hot lunches that stay hot, invest in a thermos. Soups, stews, and pasta dishes stay piping hot until lunchtime, ensuring a satisfying meal.

Portion Control Containers:


Available at Shopee: https://shope.ee/7zpQR26ETr

Snack Containers: Small containers with tight-fitting lids are perfect for packing individual portions of fruits, veggies, or crunchy treats. This helps prevent over-snacking and keeps lunches organized.


Available at Shopee: https://shope.ee/30QkUL8LUY


Divided Trays: These trays with compartments are ideal for packing a variety of foods without them touching. They're great for picky eaters or kids with allergies who need to avoid certain ingredients. Do check to see if they are airtight. Do not store liquid if they're not to prevent spillage.



Available at Shopee: https://shope.ee/10fg6olWNH

Bonus Tips: 

Label everything! Use reusable name tags or write directly on containers with a permanent marker or label stickers to avoid lunchtime mix-ups.



Available at Lazada: https://s.lazada.com.my/s.8OHnN?cc


Insulated Lunch Bags: Some lunch boxes come with matching lunch bags. You can also get lunch bags separately. They are usually insulated and waterproof to keep food warm and for easy cleanups

Choosing the Right Material:

Consider the following when choosing the material of your food container. 

Glass:
Eco-friendly and non-porous, glass containers are perfect for storing leftovers and non-acidic foods. However, they can be heavy and break easily, making them less ideal for younger children.

Stainless Steel: Durable and lightweight, stainless steel containers are a great all-around option. They're leakproof, shatterproof, and resist odors and stains. However, they're not microwave-safe and can dent.

Plastic: Opt for BPA-free plastic containers. These are lightweight, affordable, and come in various shapes and sizes. However, some plastics can leach chemicals over time, so choose them for short-term storage.

Silicone: These flexible and heat-resistant containers are perfect for packing snacks and freezing leftovers. They're lightweight, leakproof, and easy to clean. However, they may not be suitable for very hot or cold foods.


Choosing the Right Container For Your Child:

Consider your child's age, preferences, and the types of food they typically eat. Opt for leakproof containers for wet foods, and insulated options for hot or cold lunches. Remember, a well-packed lunch sets your child up for a successful school day, and the right container can make all the difference!

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Stay Cool in School: Malaysia's Education Ministry Issues Heatwave Measures


The Malaysian Ministry of Education (MOE) is prioritizing the health and safety of students and staff during hot weather. They've outlined several measures for schools to implement:

Hold classes indoors: Outdoor activities will be postponed when it's too hot.

Monitor student exposure: School officials will keep an eye on activities that could put students at risk in the heat.

Stay hydrated: Schools will ensure a sufficient supply of clean drinking water and encourage students to bring their own water bottles (especially for those who aren't fasting).

Drink up!: Students will be advised to drink plenty of water to stay cool.

Dormitory support:
Schools will provide drinking water to dorm students if needed.

Heatstroke watch: Schools will be vigilant and prepared to work with clinics and hospitals if any students experience heat-related complications.

The MOE encourages schools to follow these guidelines, stay informed about local weather conditions, and comply with any additional recommendations from authorities to ensure everyone's well-being. Additionally, schools can consider allowing students, teachers, and staff to wear modest sportswear during hot weather to stay comfortable.

The full statement from the Ministry of Education or Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia can be found here.




Monday, March 18, 2024

Ministry of Education's Curriculum Intervention - What You Need To Know

This morning, the Minister of Education, YB Fadhlina Sidek held a special press conference to announce a curriculum intervention initiative to deal with the issue of student dropout.z

The Ministry of Education acknowledges and addresses concerns regarding the perceived complexity of the curriculum, its suitability for the age group of students, the difficulty in understanding Classroom Assessment reporting (PBD), and the lack of access for parents to PBD reports. In response, the ministry has implemented four intervention initiatives.

1. Revision of the KSSR Alignment Document (2017 Revised) Edition 3.
2. Early Detection of Literacy and Numeracy Challenges.
3. Introduction of Parent-Friendly Classroom Assessment (PBD) Reporting.
4. Upgrading of the KSSR Alignment Document (2017 Revised) Edition 3.





 Let's delve into the details of these changes and their potential impact:

1. Revision of the KSSR Alignment Document (2017 Revised) Edition 3

What you need to know:


This is NOT a change of syllabus or curriculum. The change of syllabus will take place in 2027 starting for Std 1 and Form 1 students. KSSR is a an acronym for Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Rendah (translated to Malaysia Primary School Standard Curriculum) and has been in place since 2011. In the year 2017 after the first batch of students completed their primary school, the KSSR was reviewed and revised with new textbooks. The next change will be in 2027.

What has changed:
The ministry has introduced the latest edition of the KSSR Alignment Document, which focuses on realigning the Phase One Science and Mathematics subjects. (Phase One =  Tahap 1 or Standard 1 to Standard 3). This document provides teachers with updated guidelines for implementing the lower school curriculum, ensuring that the content remains relevant and effective.

In short, this is a tweak, update and reorganization of the existing content for the Math and Science curriculum with support materials for teachers. The KSSR Alignment Document (Semakan 2017) Edition 3 is provided as an option to teachers in implementing the lower school curriculum and may be used together with the Stage One Science and Mathematics Guidance Module. Parents need not worry about getting new textbooks.

2. Early Detection of Literacy and Numeracy Challenges

What you need to know:

A crucial aspect of the intervention involves assessing the literacy and numeracy skills of Year One students. The aim is to identify students who have not yet mastered the skills of reading, writing and calculating and provide them with early intervention

What to expect:
After 3 months of schooling, educators will conduct screenings to identify students in need of additional support in developing fundamental skills such as reading, writing, and arithmetic. (or 3M ie Membaca, Menulis dan Mengira).  This will be done through the existing  PBD (Pentaksiran Bilik Darjah or Classroom Based Assessment). 


3. Parent-Friendly PBD Reporting (PBD)

What you need to know:

KPM has introduced a more parent-friendly reporting for PBD to provide parents with better insights into their child's progress. Additionally, PBD reporting can now be accessed online through the Integrated Assessment Management System (or SPPB ie Sistem Pengurusan Pentaksiran Bersepadu), with effect from the current academic year 2024/2025. Login to the SPPB here: https://idme.moe.gov.my/login

What this means:
PBD reporting will be simplified and made available online. To enhance parent understanding of the reports, UASA results for all subjects will now be in percentages and grades format  instead of the previous TP (Tahap Penguasaan) format. UASA is short for Ujian Akhir Semester Akademik. (End of Academic Semester Examination). Read more about UASA here


4. Upgrading of the KSSR Alignment Document (2017 Revised) Edition 3

To ensure effective implementation, KPM is committed to upgrading the KSSR Alignment Document through workshops and training sessions for teachers.

What this means:
This is related to Item 1 above. Item 1 will be disseminated to teachers through workshops and training sessions. By equipping educators with the necessary tools and resources, the ministry aims to enhance instructional practices and elevate learning outcomes in Phase One Science and Mathematics subjects.


These initiatives aim to streamline the curriculum, facilitate early identification of literacy and numeracy issues, enhance reporting mechanisms for parents, and ensure educators are equipped with updated guidelines for effective teaching. 

References as embedded below are from:
Facebook post from KPM (Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia)
Facebook post from Minister of Education, Fadhlina Sidek
Press Conference by Minishter of Education, Fadhlina Sidek as shown on the Astro Awani YouTube Channel





Tuesday, March 05, 2024

10 Must Haves for Back To School

It's back to school season. Are you ready? To help you prepare yourself and your child for the chaos of starting a new academic year, we've compiled a list of 10 essential back-to-school supplies for a more organized and successful academic year.

Image Credit: Mydin on Shopee


1. School Uniforms


Image Credit: Pinly Garment


There are quite a lot of school uniform brands in the market that offer school uniforms for various budgets. You can also find wrinkle free uniforms if you hate ironing.  Nowadays you can purchase school uniforms online or at physical stores.

For physical stores, check out our compilation of the back to school promotions offered by stores to compare prices easily by checking out the brochures and e-leaflets before you go to the store so you know what you are shopping for. 
https://mumsgather.blogspot.com/2024/03/back-to-school-2024-promo-compilation.html

For online stores, check out the various brands that are available online.
https://mumsgather.blogspot.com/2021/11/school-uniforms-official-stores-in.html

For wrinkle free uniforms, check this out.
https://mumsgather.blogspot.com/2021/11/wrinkle-free-school-uniforms.html

2. School Shoes


Image Credit: Pallas Flagship Store on Lazmall

Sometimes parents would buy a size bigger for school uniforms but for school shoes, it would be better to buy the correct size for the child's comfort and safety even though they may grow out of it fairly quickly. Here are the links to shop for shoes online.

Shopee: https://shope.ee/3pzLXwKFoF
Lazada: https://s.lazada.com.my/s.RYJKx?cc

When shopping online, measuring the feet correctly is very important. Here is a useful video on how to measure your child's feet when shopping for school shoes.
   

3. School Bags


Image Credit: Coala School Bag from Dolly Club Official

Parents frequently inquire, particularly those with children just embarking on their school journey or transitioning from primary to secondary school, about the ideal type of school bag: backpack or roller bag?

Other than the type of school bag, the cost is important too. Should you get a cheap bag which you can replace every year or get the more expensive ergo-comfort spine protection bags? 

Other than the regular school bag, you may also need a smaller sling or hand carry tuition bag. Sometimes kids carry both to school to even out the weight.

Shop for school bags here:
Shopee: https://shope.ee/20XhNzvkap
Lazada:  https://s.lazada.com.my/s.RYrub?cc

You may also like to read:
Guidelines for School Bags
6 Ways to Reduce the Weight of School Bags
Backpack vs Trolley Bag

4. Water Tumbler 

Image Credit: Tuppersweet

Water Tumbler is a must to keep students hydrated. What size to buy? 750ml fits most school bags nicely. However, kids who drink a lot may like 1 liter bottles. Twist cap, flip cap or straws? As long as it does not spill, whichever type of cover is good, however note that those that come with inbuilt straws may be easy to drink from but harder to wash.

Here are the links for buying water tumblers of different brands including Tupperware, BROS, Thermos and more.
Shopee: https://shope.ee/2fnOCQgRkw
Lazada: https://s.lazada.com.my/s.RYIz0?cc

5. Lunch Box or Food Containers

Image Credit: Seega on Lazada

Apart from having a short break during recess, sometimes kids are required to stay back after school. This is where an insulated lunch box that does not spill come in handy. Some of them come with matching lunch box bags or carriers too. 

When shopping for lunch boxes for kids, consider factors such as size, insulation, durability, safety, ease of cleaning, accessibility, versatility, style, portability, and budget to ensure the perfect balance of functionality, convenience, and appeal for your child's meals.

Where to buy:
Shopee: https://shope.ee/4AcC00tjT9
Lazada: https://s.lazada.com.my/s.RYsLR?cc

6. Personalized Name Labels

Personalized name labels are useful for back to school because they help children easily identify their belongings, prevent loss, and promote organization.

Image Credit: Lucky Sticker Printing on Shopee


Additionally, personalized name labels can foster a sense of ownership and responsibility in children by encouraging them to take care of their belongings. Not to mention, it will give us parents less headache searching for their items. Most schools have a lost and found shelf or cupboard. With name labels you can easily spot your child's lost or forgotten item. It would be a good idea to get shoe name labels to stick on shoes too because they do remove them to go to the library or surau etc and you may find them coming home with a different pair!

These days the name labels can be personalized in multi languages, is waterproof and can be used on many surfaces.

Where to buy:
Shopee: https://shope.ee/6ANGOOCspu
Lazada: https://s.lazada.com.my/s.RYHWv?cc

7. Stationery Essentials

Image Credit: Super Stationery on Shopee

Prepare for a successful school year by stocking up on essential stationery items. From pens and pencils to notebooks and highlighters, having the right tools at hand can enhance productivity and organization. With these stationery essentials, students can tackle assignments, take notes, and unleash their creativity with confidence.

Stationery Checklist for Back to School.
  • Pencils and Erasers
  • Pens in different colours
  • Highlighters in various colours
  • Coloured pencils
  • Crayons
  • Glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Notebooks
  • Lose leaf papers in white and various colours
  • Binders and folders
  • Sticky notes
  • Book wrappers
  • Pencil case or pouch
  • Correction tape or fluid
  • Stapler and staples
  • Calculator
  • Protractor
  • Celophane tape
  • Pencil sharperner
Buying in bulk may not be a bad idea as it is cheaper. Younger kids tend to lose them quite often so you don't want to run to the store every time they do but no worries, they do grow out of the losing stationery stage.

Where to buy:
Shopee: https://shope.ee/8zhRoo5AWZ
Lazada: https://s.lazada.com.my/s.RYGMk?cc

8. Workbooks

Image Credit: Our blog

In Malaysia, students receive textbooks on loan for free. However, some parents buy their own so they can keep a set at home or at the day care. Some parents split their own books into separate chapters to reduce the bag load. 

You may find the following posts useful:

Where to buy school textbooks and activity books on shoppee
Where to buy Malaysian School Textbooks and Workbooks

9. Storage and desk or study room organizers

Image Credit: Storage Haven on Lazada

A desk or home storage organizer is invaluable for back to school because it helps students keep their study space tidy and clutter-free. By providing designated compartments for books, stationery, and other essentials, it promotes organization and efficiency, making it easier for students to find what they need when they need it. Additionally, a well-organized study area can enhance focus and productivity, creating an optimal environment for learning and academic success. This is essential to keep you sane if you have a few kids.

Where to buy:
Shopee: https://shope.ee/40IlswhweW
Lazada: https://s.lazada.com.my/s.RYuNT?cc

10. Others

Umbrella, kids raincoat, hand sanitizer, tissues, wipes, craft supplies, family calendar or planner are some of the other back to school supplies you may need. 

Can you think of anything more?


Transitioning to the New School Year


Getting back to school after a long school break can be a tedious routine for children every year. This means another transition from one grade to another. New syllabus, new class, new seatings and perhaps even new friends. The need for transition becomes bigger if your child is moving from preschool to primary school or from primary school to secondary school. There could be some level of nervousness and anxiety amongst our children.

Adapting to the new syllabus can be easy for some or tough for some. Sometimes, their academic performance was high with flying colors but dropped in a freefall fashion in the middle of the year when tackling tougher concepts. Sometimes, they struggle early in the year and this rings true when students are making a jump from preschool or primary school.

Why do these learning struggles happen for children advancing into a new grade?
 
The shift can get overwhelming. All the concepts and new things they will learn can sound alien to their ears. New books and new words need to be learned. Demands can also be higher for these students to perform in their final exams. 

Often it is due to having a weak learning foundation, not understanding the concepts or not developing the correct skills. It's not always down to students failing to learn or catch up to the syllabus, it could be due to external factors as well.

Environment plays an important role in learning. Students may not learn well in school due to many distractions in the classroom. That is why learning at home or doing homework is considered an essential part. These days, many households have two working parents which leads to them suffering from the lack of time to provide that environment to their children.

What can parents do to help ease their transition?

There is no surefire way but a lot of things that may seem small can help be it in the short term or the long term. The most common practices are about establishing a study routine or timetabling. Yet, not all children can handle this sort of practice.

Extra classes during holidays to learn new syllabi also prove to be useful, however, it does take away from the aim of a school break. Experience is the best teacher as they say, therefore, the most optimal way probably is to observe their mood and performance when learning after reentering the school three months in.

This post was brought to you by Eye Level Malaysia.


Eye Level Malaysia is an education center that is equipped with programs to address any learning transitions or gaps for your children. Enroll to Eye Level before school commences to give your children a headstart in a short and compact class and lessons. We are announcing a Back-to-School promo where you have a registration fee waiver and get a FREE Faber-Castell stationery set when you enroll. Enroll for 2 subjects and you can enter our lucky draw to win an amazing prize!

Friday, March 01, 2024

Back to School 2024 Promo Compilation: Your Easy Reference Guide

It's almost time for Back to School 2024 for the new academic year 2024/2025. The new school term will start on 10 or 11 March 2024 depending on which state in Malaysia you are in. Here is a compilation of Back to School promotions so you can make price comparisons for your back to school shopping.

There are so many back to school options available for uniforms, shoes, bags, tumblers, food containers, stationery and more. As the back-to-school season approaches, we understand the importance of making your shopping experience as convenient and enjoyable as possible. That's why we've compiled a comprehensive reference point to all the exciting promotions and deals available, ensuring you have everything you need at your fingertips.

1.   AEON Ready, Steady, School Early School Preparation Essentials
Date: 12 Feb to 17 Mar 2024
School Uniform brands sold include Canggih, Dexwin, K-Primary, U-Cemerlang and Outpost
View full brochure here

View full brochure here

2. Parkson Back to School Promo 
Date: 7 Feb to 13 Mar 2024
Uniform Brands sold include Canggih and Parkson School Shop
View Mailer here

View Mailer here




























3. Aeon Big Back To School Special 
Date: 16 Feb to 15 Mar 2024 
Uniform Brands sold include WHH School, MNK and Canggih
Download brochure here

Download brochure here

























4. Jom Ke Sekolah Bersama Mydin

Date: 15 February to 18 March 2024
Uniform Brands sold include Disiplin
Browse Catalogue here

Browse Catalogue here

























5. Kembali Ke Sekolah dengan Nilai OhSem
Date: 15 Feb to 10 Mar 2024
Uniform Brands sold include Astar, U-Cemerlang, WHH School and Canggih
Flip through brochure here


Flip through brochure here

























6. Put Your Fresh Foot Forward with Bata’s back-to-school antimicrobial shoes
Date: 13 Feb to 26 Mar 2024
For its back to school promo, Bata is offering discounts for buying 2 pairs combo which you can mix and match
View shoes here


View shoes here





























7. Sogo Back To School Sales 
Date: 13 Feb to 10 Mar 2024
Uniform Brands include Anak Malaysia, Outpost, K-Secondary and Canggih
See e-leaflet here


See e-leaflet here

























8. Giant Back to School Special
Date: 15 Feb - 13 Mar 2024
Uniform Brands include Canggih
View more here


View more here























9. Shopee Back To School Deals
If shopping online is your preference, than check out these deals from Shoppee. 
View Deals here: https://shope.ee/7UsXpMwaCP


View Deals here: https://shope.ee/7UsXpMwaCP























10. Back to School Promotion from Lazada
Shopping for Stationery, Name Tags, School bags online is convenient for busy parents
Lazada Back to School Promo - Shop Now: https://s.lazada.com.my/s.izRz3?cc



Lazada Back to School Promo - Shop Now: https://s.lazada.com.my/s.izRz3?cc





















Useful Tips:


Compare Prices: Before making a purchase, compare prices across different retailers to ensure you're getting the best deal.

Shop Online: Many retailers offer additional discounts and promotions for online purchases.

Consider Used Items: Look for pre-loved textbooks, uniforms, and other school supplies in good condition. This can be a sustainable and budget-friendly option. Join our FB group to trade in preloved goods: Malaysia Market for Children Preloved and Educational Items on Facebook

With a little planning and these helpful tips, you can find excellent back-to-school deals in Malaysia and send your child off to the new year feeling prepared and excited!

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