Thursday, 31 March 2011

Reception's Assembly

An assembly was held for the Reception classes at Qistina's school yesterday, and parents were invited to see. I've been looking forward to see this after her performance for Christmas last time.

Anyway, this assembly will be only for her class and the other Reception class (there are 2 classes for year 0) which will allow the parents to see what their children have learnt for the past 6 and a half months or so (4 months for Qistina as she only joined in mid November '10).

Hope you'll enjoy the snapshots :D

Qistina and some of her classmates

Smiling excitedly when she saw Rayyan and I

Listening to what her Head teacher is saying

Playing the recorder (this so reminds me of my primary school years :P)

Last day of March

History was made on this date last year.
It changed everything.

Praying for a better future insyaAllah.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Cup aikim!!

We (QnR and mommy) had vanilla ice cream for dessert today, since it's already spring and not too cold. When I've finished mine, I started asking the kids if they've finished.

Adik : No. (But his bowl was already empty except for some leftover melted ice cream)
Mama : There, your bowl is empty, right?
Adik : No, I still have this cup aikim (soup ice cream)!

He then immediately handed me his spoon and started 'drinking' from his bowl.
After about 10 seconds (with gulping sound effects) he stopped and gave the biggest smile.


Owh Rayyan... :D

'chanting, charming Cotswolds

Friday, 25 March 2011

One hour less..

This weekend we will have 1 less hour.
That means 47 hours only.
Last October we had a weekend with 49 hours!
So it all balanced out :)

And then it will only be 7 hours difference with homeland.
Syuru' will be at almost 7am instead of 6am (yes, it is so bright at 5.45am nowadays!)

So this is daylight saving time.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011


Rayyan is so into trains and trucks and police cars and ambulances and fire trucks nowadays. But most boys do right?

So while browsing the youtube videos, we found this clip, and Rayyan seems to love it!

Catchy song indeed!

Anyway, Qistina was listening to it the other day and last night during dinner I heard her humming the song, and then sing, but with her own words.

Original lyrics :-
Choo choo train
Fruit fruit

Choo choo train
Fruit fruit

Now it's time to stop
And see what fruit we've got
They are blueberries (raspberries)
Put them on the train
They are blueberries (raspberries)
Let's sent off again

Choo choo train
Fruit fruit
Choo choo train
Fruity toot toot!

Qistina's version :-
Choo choo train
Crunch crunch

Choo choo train
Crunch crunch

Now it's time to stop
And see what crunch we've got
They are keropoks
Put them on the train
They are keropoks
Let's sent off again

Choo choo train
Crunch crunch
Choo choo train
Crunchy keropoks!


Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Let's go to China

This conversation just happened between Q and me:-

"Mommy, I want to go to China."
"Owh? China? Why?"
"I want to look for my friend."
"Who lives in China?"
"Kai Lan."
Mama is dumbstruck.

And in another scene :-

"I want to go back to Grandma's house."
"Who is your Grandma?"
"Erm?" Mama answered with a little surprised tone.
So Mama asked, "And then who is Tok Mama? And Maktok?"
"They are my Grannies."
"Aaah......." (read : fiuhhhhh....)

Thursday, 10 March 2011

The day a mother's dream came true...

.. my dream at least!

"Mommy, can you make my hair into bunches?"

My princess asked me to tie her hair.
For the first time.
Boy was I elated!

Will put up the pix later.

pix update

Monday, 7 March 2011

Part 2 - What we spied..

Well, the following are other things that we like, and this post is mostly about the school (the one that Qistina and Rayyan attends currently) :-

1. School hours for Q is between 8.55 a.m. and ends at 3.30 p.m. The class teachers will wait for the students at the special entrance each morning, and will send off the children each afternoon after school. They will make sure that these kids are dropped off/picked up by only authorised person(s), or these kids will be kept inside the classroom (and 'love letters' will come to the guardians).

The fact that the parents can meet the teachers during these times is quite good because we can catch up on the mini progresses of our kids, and not just wait till Parent-Teacher meetings.

2. School milk and mid morning snacks
All the children are given free milk until they reach the age of 5, and then the parents can opt to continue by buying the milk or stop altogether. It's quite affordable, and since children copy other children, we have opted to continue the milk supply after Q turned 5 last month.

Mid morning snacks are given at 10.30 a.m. or so and consists of fruits which are given free. At least the kids have something halfway between breakfast and lunch, which happens at 12 noon.

3. School lunches can be a choice between school provided food, or bring your own. The menu of these lunches are rotated on a 3-weekly basis, and you (the kids) have a choice of vegetarian meals as well. All at the same price.

The good thing about this arrangement :-

a. there is no necessity for the children to bring any money to buy food as parents will pay via online in advance
b. there's main meal, dessert, veggies and water included - hot and fresh
c. the canteen/kitchen did not have to prepare more than the required amount of food, so wastage is reduced
d. no chance of cheating by the canteen staff (I have heard horror stories about canteen operators giving wrong changes to unsuspecting school children, but I hope this is not true)

Lunch wardens are there to check if the children have eaten enough and they get a sticker if they finished/eat most of their food.

4. Reading assignments - with the parents
On a regular basis, Q is given a set of 10-words to learn at home. Then she is tested before being given a new set. Since mid-Nov'10 (i.e. 11 weeks of school), she's already learned 70 words, and lately she has been getting new words to learn on a weekly basis.

And parents will have to write the progress of the children in a reading diary, which also serves as a communication tool between parents/teachers.

Then the learnt words will be pasted in a book so it can be read again. There will also be stories with pictures that uses these words given in separate handouts.

5. Loaned clothing, for those kids who have 'accidents'. And the teachers don't even punish them.

Q had a few 'accidents' during her first 5 weeks at school and came back with borrowed uniform etc. Her teachers just shared with me and it was up to me how to handle this.

No standing outside the class, with your poo/pee still in the pants, until the guardians come to pick the kids up.
No lowering the child's self-esteem.
Just soiled clothes for guardians to wash, and borrowed clothes to be returned soonest.

1. Each week they learn new letters, so parents are encouraged to bring items which starts with that letter so the teachers can share it with the class. Last week for example, it was the letter 'g' and R decorated a gingerbread cookie which he brought back and shared with Q.

2. Stay and play - where parents are allowed to stay with the children during the whole 3-hour session at a very low price. The child gets to adapt with the environment, make friends and the parents get to be acquainted with the carers before leaving the kids there permanently.

3. 15-hour funding for those kids age 3 and above.
The younger your children are, the more expensive the payment for childcare. But kids who 3 and above are given a 15-hour funding which means they can go to the nursery for free! 15 hours at least, and any request for more hours the guardian will pay accordingly.

R has been requesting to go to 'school' on a daily basis, whereas now his schedules are on alternate days. He turned 3 in Jan but the funding will only start the next semester i.e. after this coming Easter break. So I have requested that his sessions be increased this summer, so he can go everyday.

4. Progress diaries, or scrapbook, written by the carer themselves, with pictures and arts done by the children.

I love this, just like what is done here. At least the parents get to see some of the activities done by the kids.

5. Item 5 is the same as Q's item 5.

Maybe the above are nothing special for some, but I am impressed with all these things. Made my kids love going to school.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

We spy with our little eyes..

Living in this foreign land we can't help but notice a few things that is, well.. noticeable. Ok here is what we observed :-

1. These people love yellow coloured bulbs
Why oh why??
Back home we use fluorescent lights which are really bright. When we came here, it is not easy to find 'lampu kalimantang'. We resolved by looking it up on the net and 'Amazon'ed it. Bulk purchases of course! So I learnt about 'kelvins', 'dirty yellow', SAD, natural/white/warm light bla bla bla... before committing to that purchase :D

2. Very courteous and patient drivers
No matter how long the queue is, they will wait for their turn.
No honking, no cutting queues.
We likey...

3. Toilets are dry and clean.
I think the standard of our toilets back in homeland have improved a lot. Keep it up!
However, I keep on hearing horror stories about the toilets of schools, especially primary schools. Yes it was horrifying back when I was in Yr 1 but why does it have to be kept that way?

4. "Are you all right?"
This is the phrase used when starting a conversation. At least by the people around where we are located currently. They don't say hello or how are you, so it was quite strange for me at first.

Ok the above list may be continued. For now that'll be all!