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School Holiday Programmes Nov to Dec 2017

Lorna Whiston

Lorna Whiston Taman Tun

Enhance Academy

English Language Courses For Young Learners

British Council Malaysia

School Holiday Programme December 2017


Computer Coding and Math Courses For Kids

Friday, November 17, 2017

Family Room At Gurney Drive Hotel Penang

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Note that rates may differ during peak season.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sites mentioned in this review:

Monday, November 13, 2017

2017 Year End School Holiday Activities At Lara's Place

One of the things that is uniquely "Lara's Place" is the sheer number and type of programmes offered by the center. There is something for every child of every age, even accompanying adults! Whether it is public speaking, arts and crafts, cooking, science or chess, you will be able to find it at Lara's Place.

In addition, you will also find not so common classes like Magician's Workshop, Entrepreneurship Training, 3-D Modelling and Students Empowerment programmes at Lara's Place. It is truly a one-stop center for enrichment courses and other family friendly activities.

Check out the full holiday programmes schedule by Lara's Place in the November to December 2017 programmes calendar below.

Another type of activity organized by Lara's Place are the family trips. This year there will be a Family Outdoor Trip on 10th December 2017. Priced at a money for value RM95/person, you can have a fun family outing which includes a picnic lunch minus the headache of organizing one yourself. 

To enquire on any of the above 2017 year end school holiday activities and programmes, contact:

LARA’s PLACE: Activity & Learning Center
Rix Management Services Sdn Bhd (11073-V) 3A, Jalan 17/45, 46400, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia (on top of Organic Leaf Restaurant and same row as Kanna Curry House)
Tel/Fax: 03 79568768

Lara's Place Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/larasplace.my/
Lara's Place Website: http://larasplace.my/

Friday, November 10, 2017

KL December 2017 Holiday Programmes At Lorna Whiston TTDI

Lorna Whiston Taman Tun Dr Ismail has released information on its school holiday programmes for this year end December 2017. They are targeted for kids from age 4 up to 18 years old.

You can select from their English Language Holiday Programme or if it is specific areas you wish to target, go for the Speech and Drama or Public Speaking Courses.

Below are the courses available for different ages.

4 years old

English Language Holiday Programme (Story Time Bears)
Speech and Drama Programme

5-6 years old

English Language Holiday Programme (Eating The Alphabet)
Speech and Drama Programme

7-8 years old

English Language Holiday Programme (Nickety Nackety NooNoo Noo and Other Stories)
Speech and Drama Programme

9-10 years old

English Language Holiday Programme (English Alive)
Speech and Drama Programme
Public Speaking Programme

11-12 years old

English Language Holiday Programme (Writing Workshop: Dragon Academy)
Public Speaking Programme

13-18 years old

English Language Holiday Programme (Young Journalists)
Public Speaking Programme


Dates: 4-8 December 2017
Venue: Lorna Whiston Taman Tun Dr Ismail
Event: December 2017 School Holiday Programmes

Ages: 4-18 Years Old
Call 03- 7727 1909 or visit the following link for more details on the above 

Space Themed Holiday Camp For Kids December 2017

Hi Parents,

Our kids are certainly spoiled for choice these days with many interesting school holiday programmes to choose from. After working hard all year round attending classes, tuition, revision classes and more tuition, it is that time of the year for kids (and parents!) to let down their hair and learn in a fun, no-stress environment. Let the kids be kids again as they play and learn at the same time.

Check out this Interstellar Warrior Camp For Kids from 5-14. This holidays, XSpace @ 1 Mont Kiara is running two 5-day holiday camps for kids. These camps can be attended as a stand alone or as a total programme. It is up to you to pick according to your schedule. You get savings for attending both.

More about the Interstellar Warrior Holiday Camp. The camps are run one week after another with the first camp (Episode 1) running from 4-8 December 2017 and the second camp (Episode 2) running from 11-15 December 2017.

What Kids Will Learn In The Interstellar Warrior Holiday Camp

  • Space Games - there will be plenty of fun and space themed games for kids to take part in. This is the training ground for aspiring Space Warriors
  • Space Quiz- kids will be challenged on their knowledge on the Universe. This is great for their Science and General knowledge.
  • Space Drama- Camp participants will learn to Rewrite, Act, Direct and Produce an alternate universe to kids favorite Space Fantasy learning important speech, drama, presentation and communication skills while doing so.
  • Space Kitchen- your Space Crew depends on you for survival! prepare space food to ensure their endurance. Whenever kids are in the kitchen, they learn Math and Science while preparing yummy food!
Contact organizer for any enquiry and sign up latest before 27th November 2017.

Organized by:​ 
XSpace, Level 3, 1 Mont Kiara Mall,1, Jalan Kiara, 
Mont Kiara 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Contact: 03-28560312 
Dates: 4-8 December 2017 & 11-15 December 2017
Time: 3.30 pm - 6.30pm daily
Age Group: 5-14 year olds
Fee: RM580/camp or RM950 for both

New by XSpace! Free Trial Class is now available for the latest Music Arts Drama and Dance Performing Arts Programme For Kids (MADD) which is available as a weekend programme or an after school weekday programme.  Read more about MADD here.

Monday, November 06, 2017

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

Dear SPM candidate, 

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

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

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

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

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



Suggested answer

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


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

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

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

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

November and December 2017 School Holiday Programme At Enhance Academy Klang

This November to December 2017, Enhance Academy have designed an exciting school holiday programmes for kids from preschool age 4 onward to primary and secondary school level.

Below are the course details for all levels.

Programme For Age 4-6
Title: Commotion in the OceanOcean is the theme and fun is what kids can expect as they are introduced to sharks, whales, mermaids and pirates during 20 hours of story-telling and activities like crafts, drama, songs and games designed to teach kids speaking, listening, reading and early writing.

Programme for Age 7-8 (Standard 1-2)
Title: Fairground FunKids will have to work in teams to design their own theme park while learning English. At the end of the programme, parents can visit the park run by their kids. Kids will have to converse in English with all their fairground customers to gain confidence in speaking and communicating in English. They also learn writing skills while planning the fairground games with their peers and teachers.

Programme for Age 9-10 (Standard 3-4)
Title: Globetrotters
Travelling is the theme. Kids will get to broaden their general knowledge and be exposed to different cultures around the world as they embark on the journey during this school holidays. They will learn through research about the food, landmarks, fashion and movies from other parts of the world in this exciting school holiday programme. For example, students in a group will have to design the Eiffel Tower and then write about it....

Programme for Age 11-12 (Standard 5-6)
Title: Junior Journalists!
The older primary school kids will learn interviewing, writing and presentation skills as they work together to prepare articles on the local news, the environment and the hottest news on heroes for their paper at the Enhance newsroom.

Programme for Teens Age 13-18 (Forms 1-6)
Title: Create, Communicate, Collaborate
Kids will be exported to a mysterious island where they will meet characters with sensational superpowers and abilities. Can they work together to overcome obstacles and save the island to build a Utopian society. Can they survive a zombie apocalypse?

Parents can choose one of two sessions:
Session 1: 27 Nov - 1 Dec 2017
Session 2: 4 Dec - 8 Dec 2017
Time: 8.30 am to 12.30 pm daily from Mon-Fri
Fee: RM498/student. * Early Bird/Promotional price of RM398/student for registration before 13th November 2017. Book now to get this price.
Venue: Enhance Academy Klang
Address: The Landmark, TB-2-2 MTBBT 2, Jalan Batu Nilam 16, Bandar Bukit Tinggi 2, 41200 Klang, Selangor
Contact: Call 603-3318 8806 or email info@enhance-education.com

Thursday, October 26, 2017

After School Music, Art, Dance and Drama Programme For Kids Aged 4 to 14

Hey there parents,

We are excited to share with you about the new MADD Performing Arts Programme For Kids that is launching soon.

What is MADD? MADD is an after school programme designed to develop the creative side of kids in programmes involving Music, Arts, Dance and Drama. Parents can choose from the daily after school MADD programme which runs on weekdays from 3.30 pm till 6.30 pm or the Saturday classes from 10 am till 3.00 pm.

These afternoon enrichment programmes include Music, Arts, Dance and Drama in its core programme with Drum, Piano, Ukelele, Guitar, Taekwando and Chaikwando available as elective options.

This afternoon enrichment performing arts programme is an option to after school child care especially for working parents who are looking for after school day care solutions for their children to occupy those odd hours between after school till after working hours when you are available to pick them up.

The MADD programme will give creative kids the chance for some after school fun while honing their musical, dance and drama skills.  

Want to learn more about the MADD Performing Arts Programme For Kids? Come to the Open Day to get a better insight on the MADD programme and how it can benefit your kids. Happening this coming Saturday, October 28, 2017. Those who sign up for the introductory MADD class during the Open Day will receive a 50% discount!

Bring your kids along to this Open Day because there will be lots of activities lined up for them including colouring contest, talent time contest, fancy dress contest, face painting, hair braiding, and lots more including musical performances all day long.

Event: Open Day for The MADD Performing Arts Programme brought to you by XSpace
Date: Saturday, 28 October 2017
Time: 10 am till 3 pm
Venue: Level 3, 1 Mont Kiara Mall,1, Jalan Kiara, Mont Kiara 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Website: http://www.xspace.my/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/myXspace/

Open Day activities will be held at the Upper Learning Center and Will You Cafe @ 1 Mont Kiara. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

School Holiday Motivation And Learning Camp For Kids 2017

This is a sponsored post. The post was written based on content and material provided by the sponsor.

Are you and your kids caught in the vicious circle of homework - tuition - exam - homework - tuition -exam? Do your kids know how to learn and study on their own or are they being pushed by the school and you to do endless practice on workbooks and past year papers? Want to get out of the cycle and teach your children to be self motivated learners? Instead of another round of tuition during the school holidays, you can send them to an inspiring learning and studying skills camp. 

School Holiday Motivation And Learning Camp For Kids 2017

You can select from the day camp or the residential one. Both camps are available for primary as well as secondary school kids. 

During the camp, kids will be taught ways to improve their memory skill and concentration powers through the use of fun acronyms, stories, mind mapping and more. They will be taught creative ways to study and motivated to set and achieve their own study goals with creative new strategies to learn. 

Parental support and guidance is essential so you are invited to attend the last hour of the training on the final day to find out how you can continue to help your child at home after the camp.

Holiday Camp for primary school kids (9-12 years)

Day Camp: Score A Mastery (SAM)
Dates: 27-28 November 2017
Time: 9am - 6pm * The camp includes a parents briefing session from 7pm - 8pm on Day 2
Venue: International Youth Center, Cheras
Fee: RM397

Residential Camp: Mastery In Action (MIA)
Dates: 3 days 2 nights 1- 3 December 2017
Time: Starts at 9 am daily  * The camp includes a parents briefing session from 6pm - 7pm on Day 3
Venue: International Youth Center, Cheras
Fee: RM797

Holiday Camp for secondary school kids (13-18 years)

Day Camp: Score A Mastery (SAM)
Dates: 29-30 November 2017
Time: 9am - 6pm * The camp includes a parents briefing session from 7pm - 8pm on Day 2
Venue: International Youth Center, Cheras
Fee: RM397

Residential Camp: Mastery In Action (MIA)
Dates: 3 days 2 nights 1- 3 December 2017
Time: Starts at 9 am daily  * The camp includes a parents briefing session from 6pm - 7pm on Day 3
Venue: International Youth Center, Cheras
Fee: RM797

Register Here for all camps listed above or call 6018 298 0020 for more info.

Organized by: Fun Learning Seeds Sdn Bhd
Website: http://www.funlearningseeds.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/funlearningseeds/

Day Camp Details

Residential Camp Details

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Encouraging Kids To Switch From Playing Games To Creating Games And Apps

Have you ever been worried that your child is spending too much of his or her time starring passively at their handheld gadgets or mobiles playing "mindless" games over and over again? Innocent game playing can lead to game addiction which is indeed a worry for many parents.

One way to guide rather than restrict your child's screen time is to channel their creativity and energy for playing games into game designing and building apps instead.

Children as young as 6 can design games, build apps, and create incredible projects

"Mom, I want to be a game designer!"

Have you ever had your child say this? This is not something to laugh over and dismissed. Your child's desire to learn how to make games or to find out how games are made can be a catalyst for you to introduce coding and computational thinking skills through computer science to him or her. Instead of letting your child play games, you can help your child to become the creator of games. You can use this as an opportunity to switch screen time from game playing to game designing and app building. This is both educational and beneficial for your child, especially in this age of digitized learning.

What is Computational Thinking Skills?

Computational Thinking Skills is the ability to use a structured way to solve problems. It is the ability to look at a complex problem using abstract thinking, breaking down the problem and eventually developing possible step by step solutions to that problem. It is having the flair  to look at both the big picture and the little details when solving problems. This is a very useful life skill for children. Read our previous post on How Computational Thinking Helps Kids and Teens In Solving Problems for more information on computational thinking skills.

Can my child really learn to make games and build apps?

Yes, they can. According to KidoCode, a Computer programming and mathematic school for primary, secondary and high school students, from ages 6 to 18 in Kuala Lumpur, kids can learn to make their first mobile apps within 4 hours during their free trial demo classes for kids and teens.

Try out a demo class today. Apply here for 4 hours of free trial class on coding, game design and app building for kids.

A Taste of International Education at Lorna Whiston

A Taste of International Education at Lorna Whiston: 

Where Learning English Is About so Much More than Just Language

Every parent wants the best for their child, especially when it comes to education. However with so many options available these days, choosing a school can be nothing short of over-whelming! Not only do you have to decide on the medium of instruction, there is also the style of teaching and price range to consider before you even start to narrow down your choices. It is fair to say that a driving factor for most parents is the desire to have well-rounded children who will be able to cope with our ever-changing world in more than one language. Many families who speak their mother tongue at home and whose children attend Chinese or government schools, worry about their child’s level of English. Some parents lack confidence in their own English abilities, so additional lessons are really important.

At Lorna Whiston, we believe that learning English is about more than just the language: we know that a balanced approach to education is best, and in this way we have been successfully supplementing Malaysian families’ education choices for twenty years. As well as providing full-time classes for pre-schoolers, we offer support for Malaysian children in the international school system, who despite sounding fluent in English may need additional classes because English is their second language. We also provide an international experience for learners who follow the Malaysian syllabus at school. A survey by Mumsgather Finds shows increasing numbers of families are choosing a Chinese education at primary level and moving across to an international school for the secondary years and this is where Lorna Whiston can provide excellent preparation in the preschool and primary years, as well as additional support during secondary school.

At Lorna Whiston our approach has always relied on a high level of interaction for students both with their teacher and with each other. Students regularly work in collaboration with their classmates and are taught there is frequently more than one right answer to a question. Creativity is valued, along with forming and being able to defend an opinion. At Lorna Whiston, students are listened to. 

At Lorna Whiston we understand that positive early educational experiences are important for children to fall in love with learning from a young age. We have kind, dedicated teachers who see their students as individuals and allow their personalities to develop naturally, celebrating achievements big and small. In this way our children feel nourished and responsive to learning. Not only is our age-appropriate learning environment important in terms of the classroom setting, it is also the atmosphere which sets the tone. Children need firm boundaries within which to discover the world and these are provided with clear guidelines, high yet achievable expectations and support where needed. 

For the best start to their education, children aged four can join the daily intensive Language Development programme, which is a three year pre-school programme, derived from the British Curriculum and covering all aspects of education. Based on a strong understanding of how children develop and their early educational needs, these classes encourage independence and boost confidence whilst providing a strong foundation in literacy and numeracy along with other subjects. Lorna Whiston’s well-qualified, native English speaking teachers build children’s belief in their own ability to learn through exploratory experiences. Class discussions promote accurate language use and help children relate their own lives to the world around them.

Learners aged 4-17 can also attend classes once a week, either to follow the core English programme, or to enhance skills in other areas such as speech and drama, phonics, public speaking or writing. All programmes encompass the Lorna Whiston philosophy of how children learn best and place a strong emphasis on enjoyment, as well as having high expectations regarding the standard of work produced. Over the years, Lorna Whiston has helped countless students grow into avid readers, strong writers and confident communicators with a wide vocabulary and the skills to meet the big wide world head on!

At Lorna Whiston we keep our class sizes small (no more than twelve) and our teachers are recruited internationally not only for their qualifications and experience, but also for their warmth and genuine passion for seeing each learner develop as an individual. The current teaching team of eleven hails from the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States and South Africa and has a combined total of:

· 12 Bachelor’s degrees

· 4 Master’s degrees

· 19 teaching qualifications and postgraduate certificates

· 103 years of teaching experience with over 11,000 students aged two to seventy-three in 22 different countries

To maintain consistency and high standards, our curriculum has been designed by our CEO and Director of Studies Mrs Helen Marjan, who has been an educator for close to thirty years. As well as her leading role at Lorna Whiston, Helen tutored on one of the world’s most prestigious Masters programmes for Teaching English to Young Learners at the University of York in England. Therefore our curriculum is backed up by the latest research into what is needed in a programme for excellent teaching and learning to take place.

For more information about how Lorna Whiston can help your child, please call 03-7727 1909 or check out the website: www.lornawhiston.com.my

By Marianne Dark 

Marianne Dark (MA, BA, PGCE) joined Lorna Whiston TTDI in 2002 and has been Head Teacher since 2010. She has a strong understanding of the educational needs of Malaysian children and through her work at Lorna Whiston she has been involved in teacher training for local and international teachers and presenting at education conferences in Malaysia and Singapore.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Challenges Of Parenting In The Digital Age

In the past parents worried over excessive telephone use by teenagers chatting over the phone but that is the least of parents worries in the digital age that we now live in. Kids with cellphones going online is like a bomb waiting to explode. To make sure this "bomb" does not explode, as parents living in the digital age, we have to make sure that we EDUCATE, EDUCATE, EDUCATE our children.

This infographic from the Family Orbit blog recommends that parents do the following with our comments in blue
  • Monitor text messages and multimedia messages (Agreed and that includes whatsapp messages FB private messages etc. While it is good to give your teen some privacy, it is no advisable to let them have free reign)
  • Blog your teen from using apps you disapprove of (Agreed. Again, this comes down to monitoring and making sure you know what your child is doing on his cellphone on the internet online)
  • Regularly review pictures and movies (Agreed. Review those music videos too and YouTube videos that kids are so fond of watching)
  • Keep computer usage in a common area in the house and set time limits on usage (Agreed. Set reasonable time limits on usage and this includes when your kid should stop using the phone for the night. Usage after a certain agreed upon hour should not be allowed and getting up to use the phone in the middle of the night is a no-no! Have a family meeting and set AGREED UPON time limits and what to do if your teen breaks those rules)
  • Consider an occasional screen free day or week for the whole family to participate in (Agreed. Most importantly, make sure you keep up to your side of the bargain too!)
Do your kids have a smart phone? Do they go online using their smart phone? Do they chat online with their friends? How much time do they spend online? Do they use the phone till late in the night? What sites do they go on? Are they on social media? Do they have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media accounts? What do they post online? Do you know? These are some of the questions you as a parent must ask yourself as a parent in the digital age.

Infographic: Parenting in the Digital Age - An Infographic from Family Orbit Blog
Embedded from Family Orbit Blog

Lorna Whiston Taman Tun Dr Ismail Open Day October 2017

Goody bags, lucky dips, discount vouchers... Parents can get all these when they drop by Lorna Whiston TTDI on their Open Day on Saturday 28th October 2017 anytime from 9.30 am to 5 pm. Not only that, this is the perfect opportunity for you to talk to teachers, tour the premise and ask questions to help you understand and decide which is the best English Enrichment course or programme for your child.

Without a doubt English enrichment is becoming more popular these days. The reason is manifold including
  • Many parents are opting for schools running the DLP (Dual Language Programme) teaching Math and Science in English. A good command of English will help students understand these subjects better. 
  • More and more parents from SK/SJKC/SJKT are sending their kids to English Enrichment classes to supplement their school learning. When your child has to learn 2 or 3 languages in school, the focus is diverted and therefore extra learning hours may be helpful. 
  • A different learning environment like the one provided by Lorna Whiston with fully native English speaking teachers help to improve speaking, reading, listening and thinking skills for their students. This is useful in today's greater focus on team work, project presentations and need to think on their feet in higher order thinking questioning in both public and private schools.
  • Parents with intention to switch their children from public to private or International schools with a fully English environment find it useful to prepare their children to be ready for the switch in languages used in school
Are you looking for an English Enrichment Programme that will help you achieve the above objectives? Find out how you can help your child speak up with confidence and write more creatively at Lorna Whiston Taman Tun. Lorna Whiston TTDI has programmes for age 4 (in 2018) up to age 18.

Mark your calendar on 28 October 2017. Whether it is Public Speaking, Speech and Drama, English Language Development or Advanced English Language courses, you will find what you are looking for at Lorna Whiston TTDI. Drop by to ask for schedules, fees and recommended courses for your child.

During the Open Day you will receive.
  • Door Gifts
  • Vouchers for Parents Workshops
  • Lucky Dips
On top of that, members of our parenting platform get a 15% discount for December 2017 school holiday programmes conducted by Lorna Whiston TTDI. Members can proceed here to leave your name to claim this discount on Open Day.

Tip: Before you visit Lorna Whiston TTDI, view all their English Language Programmes here so you can prepare yourself with the right questions to ask. 

28 OCTOBER 2017
9.30 AM TO 5 PM
Units 8 & 10
Jalan Wan Kadir 1
Taman Tun Dr Ismail
60000 Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 03-7727 1909
Email: ttdi@lornawhiston.com.my

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Nationwide Open Day At Cambridge English For Life

Cambridge English For Life (CEFL) is having their very first Nationwide Open Day at all of its 60 centres throughout Malaysia on Sunday 29 October 2017. Children can sit for a free placement test and participate in language activities during the Open Day. In addition, eligible students who confirm a seat for the Term 1, 2018 class will receive a Free "Write It Right!" writing course. (Terms and Conditions Apply)

Cambridge English For Life has been providing English language courses to over 10,000 students nationwide for over 16 years, preparing students to sit for the internationally recognized Cambridge English exams.

This year, CEFL collaborates with National Geographic Learning to bring the latest teaching method to all of its centres in Malaysia. At CEFL, learners are grouped according to their proficiency, rather than their age. Students who are ahead of their schoolmates in English can move ahead in a class that challenges them; while students who are struggling to keep up in their English classes at school will have the advantage to learn at the level they are more comfortable in, with a teacher who cares about helping them progress to higher levels.

Looking for a center near you? Click Here or call 03-7883- 0912 for more information on the Nationwide Open Day.

Monday, October 16, 2017

December 2017 Holiday Programmes At British Council Malaysia

For the end of 2017 school holidays, British Council Malaysia has lined up a range of holiday programmes designed to build confidence and encourage creativity in kids from ages 5 to 17. This is timely as our schools have been working towards the goal of nurturing kids to become more well-rounded individuals who are able to speak confidently and write well.

Over the last couple of years, we have seen schools encouraging creativity and self-confidence through class projects that require greater teamwork. Kids are being encouraged to think out of the box with more Higher Order Thinking Skills questioning in UPSR, PT3 and SPM. In PT3, some subjects are now fully project-based culminating in a presentation by the students. The PT3 exam tests speaking and listening skills in English.

There is also a move towards more open questions in exams which require kids to be good at expressing themselves in writing. In UPSR, the English writing paper is now considered as a separate subject paper with its own grading.

Children will benefit from these enrichment courses that help develop their speaking and writing skills. The school holidays is a good time to prepare them so that they can start their next academic year in 2018 with confidence.

Check out the 5-day programmes at British Council Malaysia which have been specifically tailored, targeting children from different age groups (ages 5 to 17).
  1. World Games For Children (focusing on life skills)
  2. Confident Writing and Speaking (focusing on design, creativity and presentation skills)
  3. Creative Writing (developing skills in planning, organising and editing writing)
  4. Confident Speaking (improving public speaking and debating skills)
Click here for more detailed information on the December 2017 holiday programmes at  British Council Malaysia KL, Mutiara Damansara and Penang.

Mistakes To Avoid When Making Or Renewing Passport For Children 18 Years Old and Below

It is the peak season for making or renewing passport now with the year-end school holidays just around the corner. This post is a reminder to parents on the mistakes to avoid when making or renewing passport for children 18 years old and below. If you avoid these mistakes, you can have a  renewed or new passport in your hands in a few hours. No stress of running around or extra waiting required.

Mistake No. 1

Not bringing your child's birth certificate. You will need to bring your child's birth certificate. This is required EVEN IF your child has an identification card. This is a common mistake many parents make.

Your child is over 12  years old and is an IC holder. You think that the IC is good enough as an identification document. However, you will also need their birth certificate IN ADDITION to the IC. Possible reason is as a parent, you need to sign their application forms and the only proof that you are the parent is the birth certificate. That makes sense right?

Note that the birth certificate is required EVEN IF you are making RENEWAL of your child's passport if they are 18 years and below. Again, this is a very common mistake. You may be thinking that after all this is a simple renewal so you may not need the birth certificate. Again, the birth certificate is the document of proof of your parent child relationship. You will need it.

This mistake will save you a lot of time going home to fetch your child's birth certificate or having to return another day to queue up to make or renew your child's passport.

Mistake No. 2 

Not making photocopies of the documents required ahead of time. When making or renewing passport for your children 18 years old and below, make sure you photocopy and bring along with you

  1. Your child's birth certificate
  2. Your child's IC (if any)
  3. Your own IC 
Note: Check the link at the end of this article for documents required in special situations eg. divorced, deceased parent, children who are married, foreign spouse etc.

It is not really a big deal if you forget, you can still make photocopies on the spot at the photocopy station at 60 cents per copy. This is quite convenient for forgetful folks but if you would like to save a little bit of money, make sure you get your documents ready beforehand. (this is experienced at the time of writing this post at the Jabatan Imigresen Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Kompleks Kementerian Dalam Negeri (KDN), No 69, Jalan Sri Hartamas 1, Off Jalan Duta, 50550, Kuala Lumpur)

Mistake No. 3

Not  bringing enough cash. You can always pay by credit card but it is always a good idea to bring enough cash just in case of system down time. This mistake can save you from having to run around looking for an ATM machine. The ATM machine of your bank may not be at the offices. Of course, it is okay if your card has MEPS, you just have to pay a little bit more but then ATM machines can also run out of cash. So be prepared, just in case.

Fee - RM200 if your child is 13-18 years old or RM100 for children 12 years old and below

Mistake No. 4

Arriving late. It is always good practice to arrive early for things like this. The earlier the better. You don't have to queue up at 4 am. Just arrive at opening hours is fine. Operational hours for Passport Office = Monday-Friday : 7.30 am - 5.30 pm / Friday Closed On : 12.15pm - 2.45pm (Visit the link at the end of this post for the full operational hours for all states in Malaysia. Some states open on weekends while states observing Friday and Saturday as weekend have different operating hours as well.)

Other Things You Should Know About

Clothing - You need to dress your child in dark coloured clothing for the photograph but this is not really an issue. A cute poncho to cover your kids clothing is available for young kids or jackets for older kids.

Hair - There is no need to tie  your child's hair. Just tuck long hair in behind the ears when taking photos. The officer will guide you on what to do.

Photo taking - Your child can smile while taking the photo, smile with mouth closed without teeth showing. According to the immigration website, children under 4 years old are encouraged to bring along two (2) pieces of photograph with white background measuring 35mm x 50mm

Forms - These days, you are not required to fill up any forms. All you need to do is affix your  thumb print and signature on pre prepared forms. Easy right?

Time - Making passport is a lot more painless and efficient these days. During a peak season, we managed to arrive at 7.30 am and leave with passport in hand by 11.30 am.


  1. Queue to get a number. You will be required to submit documents both photocopy AND original at this stage.
  2. When your number is called, proceed to the counter to get your photo taken and affix thumb print and signature on pre prepared forms. No form filling required.
  3. Your number will be called a second time to make payments
  4. After paying, you may go for a meal and return to the immigration office an hour later to collect your passport. Proceed directly to collection counter to collect your passport.
Useful Links from the Malaysian Immigration Office Official Website
  1. Applying for Malaysian International Passport - Fees and Documents Required
  2. Operational Hours of Immigration Office at various states in Malaysia
  3. List of Branches Address and Location
We hope this post helps parents apply for their child's passport in a painless and efficient manner with reduced waiting time. Enjoy your vacation!

Location Map for Jabatan Imigresen Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, No 69, Jalan Sri Hartamas 1, Off Jalan Duta, 50550, Kuala Lumpur

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Educational News Round Up October 2017

There has been a lot of interesting news for parents with school going kids so far this month of October 2017. Here's a quick look at some of them.

Starting next year, imported English textbooks will be used instead of local ones. (Star Oct 5, 2017). According to the Star article, preschoolers, Standard 1 and 2 including Form 1 and 2 students will start using the new CEFR-alligned curriculum. CEFR stands for Common European Frame­work of Reference for Languages. Parents on our Facebook group reported that their Standard 1 and Form 1 kids have received these textbooks this year but they have yet to start using them. Priced between RM78 and RM135, the books are given free on loan to students under the Skim Pinjaman Buku Teks

While on the subject of books, starting next year, work books not approved by the Ministry of Education will no longer be allowed in schools. (NST Oct 11, 2017). Perhaps this will mean the reduction in bag load. Did you know that History and Moral were not even supposed to have workbooks? That's according to this news report on the Ministry moving to end the heavy bag ordeal for pupils (Star Oct 12, 2017).

In another news, it was reported that the Education Ministry is introducing an Internet safety, online ethics, and time management module, for Years One and Two students next year. (Star Oct 8, 2017). The modules are developed by the CyberSecurity Malaysia (CSM) in collaboration with the ministry and will be introduced as a pilot project to a few selected schools once ready.

That's quite a lot of interesting news for the new academic year in 2018 don't you think?

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