KidoCode

Computer Coding and Math Courses For Kids

Lorna Whiston

Free Trial Speech And Drama Class At Lorna Whiston

Thursday, March 16, 2017



Reviewing Just Enough By Allie Hill

Just Enough is written and illustrated by Allie Hill
Title: Just Enough
Writer and Illustrator: Allie Hill
No of pages: 36 pages
For Whom: Toddlers and Preschoolers (Age 4-7)
Published Date: 15 December 2016
Publisher: MPH Group Publishing

The beautiful illustrations and harmony of colours are the first thing that draws you to this book for preschoolers. When it comes to children's books, I love those that have beautiful illustration, rhyming words and a moral lesson. This book has them all.


Just Enough by Allie Hill is a feel good book about love, good times, good memories and family. The illustrations are eye-catching and pleasing even for adults who may be reading this together with their little ones.

Written in prose form, the book journeys through time as seen through the eyes of a little girl with her favourite blanky made with love by grandma for her to the time when she is all  grown up. Though the blanky is now reduced to a hanky it remains in her heart forever more.


The girl has exciting adventures with her blanket and takes away with her a lifetime of skills and lessons from her grandmother.

An easy and fun read with words that rhyme and lots of pretty pictures with important lessons about love and family for little ones. That is what you can expect from this 36 page storybook for toddlers and preschoolers.

The author, Alice Hill is a graphic designer and illustrator. Just Enough is her second picture book for children. She lives in Kuala Lumpur with her husband Phill and daughter Sasha.

We are currently taking orders and doing a mini giveaway for members of our FB group and blog readers from West Malaysia only.

Fill up this form latest by 23 March 2017 to order. Payment instructions will be sent to you after closing date once a minimum of 15 orders are reached. After payment, 3 lucky winners will be selected to receive this book free. Winners bear shipping cost. ie winners will be refunded the cost of the book minus shipping cost.



Wednesday, March 15, 2017



Electronics And Coding For Kids And Teens

Have your children ever wandered what's inside a tablet computer or smartphone, what makes an alarm clock go off or how a rice cooker works? Curious and inquisitive children may wonder how many household appliances and electronics works. Some may even try to pry open some devices to study them. Understanding electronics is a good living skill to acquire as more and more gadgets become "smart" and "digital". Coding and electronics is what make these gadgets work.



Electrical Engineering and Coding makes everyday gadgets come alive. This is one fun element in the computer courses for kids and teens offered by KidoCode.

Here are what kids will learn when they join the electronic course in KidoCode:

  • They will learn how to program electronics using Arduino. Arduino is an electronics prototyping platform which you can use as creatively as you like to invent new and exciting gadgets that work in real life
  • They will create fun DIY projects using Raspberry PI. Raspberry PI is a computer in the size of a credit card. It plugs into your TV and a keyboard. Raspberry PI projects is educational and help kids learn about coding, programming and computing by allowing them to build practical and creative inventions
  • They will discover the basics of electronics while tinkering with jumper cables, buzzers, ultrasonic sensors, light sensors, and more
  • They will make simple LED circuits with Push Button or Pull Up/Down Resistors. These are helpful in understanding their Science lessons at school.
  • They will find out how a DC Motor works and its importance for many electrical and electronic devices.
All of these lessons are hands-on and incorporate STEM, the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math into the course syllabus. Besides satisfying kids natural tendency to build and invent, kids are learning essential coding and computer programming skills that is essential in 21st Century Learning.


Kids can also learn Python programming, Mobile App Development, Web Development, and Game Development depending on their own knowledge and capabilities by learning using an adaptive learning system using artificial intelligence.



Interested in introducing your child to the world of Coding, Electronics and Robotics? Sign up for a free demo class today. The 3-4 hour demo class is an eye-opener not only for kids but for parents too. 

Schedule for Demo Classes in March - April 2017:

Time Slots: 10:30 A.M. or 2:30 A.M.

March 16-March 19
March 21-March 26
March 28-April 2
April 4-April 9
April 11-April 16
April 18-April 23
April 25-April 30




March 2017 S.T.E.A.M. School Holiday Camp

Looking for a school holiday programme or two to occupy the kids this March 2017 school holidays? Look no further. The 5-day S.T.E.A.M. school holiday camp is a comprehensive fun workshop that will not only entertain bored kids during the school holidays, they will also have fun learning new skills, be exposed to the latest technology plus make new friends while doing group projects together. You won't need to find a few courses to fill in the 5 days holidays. One fully comprehensive 5-day programme is all you need.

Make, Create And Build 

The course cleverly incorporates fun and games into the programme. Kids will learn to build bridges, make boats, flying rockets, 3-D key chains and more using the latest digital technology.

As kids get bored sitting down all day, the course integrates movement games like rope jumping, treasure hunt and dances into the learning modules. Living skills like making sandwiches and cupcake decorating are included too.

Teamwork is encouraged. Kids will work together on group projects throughout the camp culminating in an award for the best group project. Lunch and tea breaks are provided for all the 5 days.

S.T.E.A.M. = Science (S), Technology (T), Engineering (E), Arts (A) and Mathematics (M) 

Kids will have so much fun they won't even realize that they are learning Science (S), Technology (T), Engineering (E), Arts (A) and Mathematics (M) during this 5-day S.T.E.A.M school holiday camp.

Date: 20-24 March 2017
Time: 10am to 5pm daily
Age: 7-12 years old
Fees: RM400 per person
Venue: 
Crafty Minds @ 11-2, Jalan Radin Bagus, 
Bandar Baru Sri Petaling, 57000 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: 03-9054 2033 to book a place
Schedule: As shown below

Tuesday, March 07, 2017



English Language Enrichment Classes For Kids Aged 4 To 18

There is no denying that learning is essential at any age. Many parents want to send their kids for English Language Enrichment Classes but they are not sure where to start  or how to go about it? How many times a week is enough? Should you send for phonics, reading or writing, speech and drama or public speaking? Which is better?

We were able to catch up with Lorna Whiston during their recent Open Day at Taman Tun on 25th February 2017 to write this mini guide. We hope this will help you to understand what type of courses are available so you can pick the right one for your child.

Lorna Whiston Open Day

At Which Age Should You Start Your Child On English Lessons?

Lorna Whiston Taman Tun accepts children starting from 4 years old. This is because they are a government registered institution and this is in compliance with requirement. 4 years old would therefore be a good age for you to start thinking of English Enrichment Classes.

How Many Times A Week Should My Child Attend English Enrichment Lessons?

Lorna Whiston Taman Tun runs several types of English Language Programmes. Once a week, intensive daily or specific focus programmes.

You can sign your kids up for English Enrichment Classes for once a week classes for kids on weekdays (2 hours) or weekends (2 1/2 hours). Parents have a choice to select between weekday or weekend classes. The syllabus for both is the same. Weekend classes are 30 minutes longer and therefore may include a little bit more practice for an extra fee.

Classes are available for kids of all ages, Language Development Classes for kids age 4-6, Language Extension for Primary Students and Advanced Language for Secondary students.  All areas of English language are covered in these programmes. (Who is this for? We feel this is suitable for parents with kids in public schools who wish to give their children extra exposure and help in English language to supplement school lessons or existing preschool. The native English speaking teachers and different style and approach will widen kids horizons from their current school based learning especially for SK and SJKC/T school going kids. These classes also provide valuable support for children at International Schools as they help improve grammatical knowledge.)


Language Development Class 
They also have an intensive daily English class from Mondays to Fridays for 3-4 hours each day for kids from 4-6. (Who is this for? We feel this is suitable for those who are planning to send their children to International Schools. This will give children the early preparation they need in a fully immersed English speaking environment for kindy or preschool years with Math, Science, Art etc taught in English by native English speaking teachers. These classes also provide a solid grounding in all areas of the curriculum for children who proceed to National Schools. However, they will need extra tuition in BM and Mandarin before primary school.)

In addition if you prefer a specific focus, you can go for the Phonics, Creative Writing, Speech and Drama or Public Speaking or you can mix and match your programmes. (Who is this for? We feel this is suitable for everyone who wish to train their kids in these particular areas specifically)


Speech And Drama Class

What Do They Teach My Child In English Enrichment Classes?

Lorna Whiston uses their own syllabus and materials in their English Language Programmes which cover vocabulary, speaking, writing, grammar, comprehension, composition and all other aspects of English Language development. In addition they encourage all their students to read a lot with their extensive student library. Parental involvement is very much promoted as well.

What Is The Classroom Size Like?

At Lorna Whiston Taman Tun, classes are small and cozy with no more than 12 students to a class for individualized attention.

Lorna Whiston Classroom

So Where Do I Start?

This depends on the age of your child.

For example a 7 year old child may be required to sit for an assessment to decide whether it is more suitable for him/her to join the Language Development Classes for kids aged 4-6 or the Language Extension Classes for primary students. (Note: Parents can call up for an appointment for their children to do a free assessment which is conducted on Thursday afternoons or all of Saturday)

After assessment, secondary school students go to the Advanced Language Programme. Teenage students will benefit from classes with native English speakers to prepare them for tertiary studies overseas in later years.

Your child can join starting from age 4 and continue right up to age 18 progressing steadily as he or she goes along. The programmes runs over 4 terms in a year. Each term is 11 weeks long.

We wish to thank Lorna Whiston Centre Taman Tun Dr Ismail for providing the information for this post.


Lorna Whiston English Language Centre

Units 8-10, Jalan Wan Kadir 1
Taman Tun Dr Ismail
60000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 7727 1909




Thursday, February 23, 2017



Challenges And Solutions For Packing To School

Many parents realize the Importance Of Packing To School but they often face many challenges when packing food for their children. Here are some real problems moms face when packing to school and what to do about it.

CHALLENGE #1: HEALTHY AND NUTRITIOUS FOOD IS BORING

There is a misconception that healthy and nutritious food is usually boring. Wrong! - That's what the kids may think, but as a parent, you can easily change that mindset. Start by cultivating a healthier mindset. Healthy and nutritious foods, especially natural foods like fruits and vegetables, can be made more exciting when you get creative!

Take a look at this picture of a recent Milo® UHT Pack in the Energy for Champions Bento Workshop. During the workshop participants used all of these healthy and nutritious foods to pack school lunches for kids that were easy to make, and far from boring.

SOLUTION:

Involve your kids in your planning. Take them to the supermarket to select healthy foods and fruits they would like to include in their lunch boxes. Get creative. Create interesting, and fun-looking foods that kids will have trouble resisting. If you are worried that your kids will prefer his friend's greasy unhealthy snacks to your healthy packed lunch, make an effort to create exciting lunch boxes that will make your child the envy of his friends. Make sure you include a variety of food in different colours. Not only will this make your lunch box look more attractive, you are also actually packing more nutrients with them. Try out this creative Tortilla Roll for your next lunch box.



CHALLENGE #2: MY KID IS A PICKY EATER

Picky eaters make preparing school lunch boxes a real challenge. He will not eat broccoli or tomato, and will only eat rice when it is fried. No apples, bread, or bananas. How then do you prepare a healthy lunch box for a kid who is likely to leave everything untouched?

SOLUTION

Watch what your child eats at home. Make a list of items that they like. Include at least two items from that list, and one from another, which you think they will not touch. You may be pleasantly surprised. Children can develop an acquired taste for a lot of food. When you involve your child in the selection and preparation of their lunch boxes, as in solution one above, they are more likely to eat them and the more that they eat them, the less likely they are to reject future food items. So, introduce new healthy foods to them slowly... one at a time.

Another method is to prepare familiar foods that you normally would at home. There is no need to prepare anything fancy. If your child likes fried rice, why not include fried rice in their lunch box - together with a variety of other healthy food?



CHALLENGE #3: FOOD SAFETY

The big question that most moms have, however, is how do I make sure the food I prepare now is safe to eat hours later? How do I make sure that the mayonnaise I use is still safe to consume at lunch? These are common questions asked by moms who often pack school lunches for their kids.

SOLUTION 

Make sure you wash your hands, knives, and cutting board before you use them. Make sure all surfaces are clean and dry, including your lunch box!

Food should always be kept in the correct temperature. Invest in a good lunch box that can keep things cool or warm, depending on the type of food you are planning to pack. When packing sandwiches, use cling wrap. This will also ensure that they do not become soggy, or have liquids leaking onto other food items.

CHALLENGE #4: IT IS TOO TIME CONSUMING

Time is always a concern, whether you are a full-time working mum or a stay-at-home mother. Parents are at their wits end to beat the morning rush and get everyone ready and off to school on time. How then will you find the time to pack school lunches as part of your morning routine?

SOLUTION

Plan ahead. Iron and prepare school uniforms the night before. Place school bags near the entrance. No fuss school lunches can be prepared the night before. Leave only fresh perishable items for preparation in the morning. Have a plan, shop for ingredients during the weekend, then prepare what you can the night before and keep it in the refrigerator. Wash fruits, and place them in little containers that you can slot into a larger one ahead of time. Include fuss-free school lunch items like quick bread rolls which you can bake over the weekend, cheese sticks, or a pack of Milo UHT, which provides efficient release of energy from food to help kids take on a full day’s challenge in school.



Keeping these all in mind, packing to school should be a breeze! Try out some of the recipe ideas on this page to prepare healthy, creative, and nutritious lunch boxes for your kids. Happy Packing!

Friday, February 17, 2017



Learning Chinese Radicals For Parents Helping Kids With Chinese Homework

Chinese Radicals
In a Chinese Dictionary, words may also be indexed according to Chinese Radicals
This post is for the members of our Facebook Group - The Malaysia Primary School Parents especially for non-Chinese speaking families who are helping their kids with Chinese homework.

Learning Chinese is very different from learning English or Bahasa Malaysia. In BM or English, you first learn alphabets, then you form words from those alphabets. Learning those alphabets is the building blocks for forming many words and from there you progress on to sentences.

On the other hand, you have to memorize Chinese Mandarin characters in order to master the language. How many Chinese characters are there? Over 50000 according to this article from BBC. However, you only need to know about 2000-3000 in order to read the Chinese newspaper.

Where alphabets are the building blocks for words, perhaps you could say that Chinese Radicals are the building blocks for Chinese characters. So, it would help for you to teach your child this well. Here are some useful resources from the internet that will help you learn Chinese Radicals.

  1. Chinese Mandarin Radicals from Wikibooks - Learn the Chinese name of the radicals from this page
  2. Chinese Character Radicals From Arch Chinese - Click on the pinyin to hear the pronunciation for each radical. Click on the radical and fetch details from the radical page to see the meaning as well as examples of words using the radical and their meanings.
  3. List Of Chinese Radicals from Yellow Bridge - Here's a quick glance at 214 radicals together with pinyin and English names.
  4. Chinese Characters and Radicals Index - This page has an explanation of how to learn Chinese characters and what are the advantages of learning Chinese Radicals
  5. Simplified Chinese Radical List Free Printable from Mandarin Poster - You can print out a list of Chinese Radicals all on one page for easy reference
Learning Chinese Radicals is a lot of fun. Once you learn the radicals, you will understand how and why certain Chinese characters are formed and be able to recognize a lot of other words/Chinese Character or guess the word simply by knowing the radicals. Here is a very good visual example of how the "ice" radical is used to form Chinese characters while here is another one which shows how the "mouth" radical is used in Chinese Characters . (Visit this link to have a good understanding of how radical works). Happy Learning!

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Thursday, February 16, 2017



Learning English As A Second Language In Malaysia Public Schools

Malaysian kids have to be multi-lingual in school. They learn 2 or 3 languages in school. In Public National schools or Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK), the main medium of instruction is Bahasa Malaysia with English as a second language. In National type school or Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (SJK) Tamil, or Chinese the main medium of instruction is Tamil or Chinese with English as a second language while Bahasa Malaysia is compulsory.

According to the KSSR Review for 2017, the number of hours allocated for languages are shown below.
KSSR stands for Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Rendah. It is the new curriculum for primary schools in Malaysia which was introduced in the year 2011. A review was done for 2017.

Number of hours allocated for English as compared to other languages 
(minimum per year)

For SK
Std 1-3
192 hours for BM
160 hours for English

Std 4-6
160 hours for BM
160 hours for English

For SJK
Std 1-3
192 hours for Tamil/Chinese
160 hours for BM
80 hours for English

Std 4-6
160 hours for Tamil/Chinese
128 hours for BM
96 hours for English

Source of above information is Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia website, (Malaysia Ministry of Education website). Look for the pdf file download with the following title:
"Surat Pekeliling Iktisas KPM Bil. 8 Tahun 2016 - Pelaksanaan Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Rendah (Semakan 2017) Secara Berperingkat-Peringkat Mulai Tahun 2017"
Students from SJKC/T are required to learn 3 languages. Therefore the number of hours allocated for English is less. Inevitably, the level of English is also slightly lower.  

These days many parents switch their kids to private or international schools starting from P4 onwards. Sometimes this switch is unplanned, and they are unprepared for the jump in the level of English.  Parents who have the intention to send their children to International schools for upper primary school onward including for their secondary education must ask themselves. "Will my child be able to cope with the transition to English as the main medium of instruction given the amount of time allocated for English at school currently?"

Plan Ahead For Your Child's English Language Education

Planning ahead is essential. There are many cases of parents looking for short cut or fast track language learning before switching their kids to International schools. When it comes to language learning, there are no short cuts so start them young. This will benefit them in the long run. 

English is a critical success factor whether you are going to International schools or otherwise. Even if your child continues to study in public secondary schools with BM as the main medium of instruction and English as a second language, eventually they will need to have a good command of English for college, private universities and beyond when they enter the job market. 

Lorna Whiston, Taman Tun Dr Ismail is having their Open Day on 25th February 2017. Drop by to see how they can help your children find their voice and confidence in the English language.


Monday, February 13, 2017



Interview With Alice Foo Author Of Bento Fun


Today, I am very lucky to be interviewing Alice Foo. Alice Foo uses the pseudonym Angeleyes in the Bento community. She is a stay-at-home mother of two girls and a boy. Her book “Bento Fun” is a culmination of all her years of experience preparing Bento with love for her childrens’ lunch boxes.

Hello Alice,

Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

1. What inspired you to write Bento Fun?

- Ever since I started packing bento and getting better at it I hoped I will have a chance to publish my own book to share my ideas and journey.

2. Where do your ideas come from?

- I always love to look at beautiful and cute things and when I see something I really like I will have this little thoughts running in my head on how to turn them into a kyraben (character bento). I also browse some really creative Japanese mommies’ Instagram to get new inspiration every now and then.

3. Who do you think will benefit from your book?
- I strongly believe this book is a great start for parents whom want to pack healthy lunch boxes for their school going kids or those who have little fussy eaters to entice them to try new food.

4. What should readers expect from your book?
- I have designed the book in a way to help beginners to start their bento journey. There is a general introduction of what is bento, the tools of the trade as well as simple recipes and some step-by-step guides to start off. There are 3 categories in the book which readers get to learn the basics before moving on to more complicated kyaraben work.

5. When did your passion for preparing Bento boxes begin?

- It was in mid 2007 when I first saw some mommy friends started making cute bento for their kids and thought that was a cool idea. Though my son was only 2 years old and he do not have any problem with his meals I decided to pretty up his meals. He loves it! I was so obsessed with all the cute bento gears that I can’t help myself from collecting those that strike my fancy.

6. How do you find time to write?
- I was thrilled when my editor, Mr Oon Yeoh from MPH left me a message on my messenger and asked if I am keen to write MPH’s first bento book. As discussion went on, I was a little hesitant as there were so much work involved since I am not residing in Malaysia. That means I will have to do everything from planning to food styling and photography. It was certainly not an easy feat as I have to juggle house work, minding the kids as well as cooking for the family. Here in Australia, we do not have the luxury of live in helpers to help with house work hence, I have to be really discipline to complete the book. I have almost given up many times as there was just too much on my plate but my editor cheered me on and I was glad I made it to the end.

7. Are you working on another book? Can you share a little of your current work with us?

- There are certainly plans for next book but nothing is firm yet at the moment. We are looking at adult bento and some other recipe books.

8. There are many interesting recipes in the book. Which is your favourite or the one you prepared most often?
- All the recipes in the book are our favourites and I make them all the time. My kids enjoyed all of them so to keep myself less headache and the kids happy, I rotate the recipes frequently. They are easy to prepare and yummy to eat.

9. What advice can you give for someone preparing or thinking of preparing Bento for the first time?

- Do not be overly ambitious. Start with something that is achievable and after doing it a few times, you will get better and better and attempt the more complicated designs.

10. How can readers discover more about you or your work?

- Currently I do not have much updates on my blog (www.bentofun.wordpress.com) but hopefully I will when I have more time once my kids are back in school.

- Readers can join https://www.facebook.com/bentofunbookclub for updates on my book and other activities planned for the future.

Thank you very much for taking time from your busy schedule to answer our questions.

Bento Fun is now on offer for the members of our parents platform. Read our review of the book here:
Bento Fun By Alice Foo

Bento Fun Book Order Form (Currently taking orders from 13 February 2017 to 19 February 2017)



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