Computer Coding and Math Courses For Kids

Lorna Whiston

Free Trial Speech And Drama Class At Lorna Whiston

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Past Year Test Papers For SK, SJKC and SJKT

Recently the parents in our FB group, The Malaysia Primary School Parents On Facebook, got together virtually to exchange test papers online.

We started the test papers exchange between parents at the end of March and 2 weeks later we had 81 members sharing 250 test papers for SK, SJKC and SJKT. (Note that the password has since been changed and is now private for contributors only).

Currently we have 116 contributors and another 107 P1 parents who have prior access who will share exam papers after exams. We have uploaded over 390 test papers as at 24 April 2017. It has been only less than a month. This is the potential of social sharing and networking 

The test papers are shared by parents for parents for personal use only. They are restricted by password for contributing members who are not to share the papers or the password to anyone outside the circle.

Currently we have SJKC papers for Std 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6, SK papers Std 1,2,3,4,5 and SJKT papers Std 1,2 & 6. We hope to include the parents in our secondary group, The Malaysia Secondary School Parents On Facebook, over time.

Caring, Connecting, Learning, Sharing to help our children in school. Join over 24,000 Malaysian parents to discuss school related issues that matter to us. Click on the banners below to join.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

One-Man Star Wars Trilogy In Kuala Lumpur

Yesterday, 8 lucky winners from our FB group, The Malaysia Primary School Parents on Facebook was entertained by Canadian actor, Charles Ross who single-handedly took an entire auditorium of Star Wars fans to a galaxy far far away.

Charles Ross is seen here with members of the Star Wars Fan Club Malaysia

One of the first things that ran through our minds before attending the play was, can one man really do that? Play 40 characters, fly ships, fight a battle in the skies and carry out light saber duels all in 75 minutes?

He did just that, portraying most of the Star Wars beloved and not so loved characters down to a pat including main characters Luke, Leia and Hans Solo and perfectly mimicking the robots C-3PO and R2D2. Yoda was just right and Jabba The Hutt came to life with comedic brilliance even without costumes or props.

Charles Ross started every segment of the 3 original Star Wars movies “A New Hope,” “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi.” with his own hilarious interpretation of the word scrolls and the familiar Star Wars music. From there on, there was no stopping his energetic performance with music, fight scenes and even kissing scenes thrown in, only stopping for a water break and a chat with the audience in between the "movies".

He is very personable and engages with the audience forming a rapport with them during breaks. At the end, he simply plops down on the stage and shares with the audience his personal story of how this play came to life which endears him to the audience that much more.

Tip for viewers: The more scenes you remember, the higher your enjoyment of the play. This show is perfect for Star Wars fans of all ages who have watched the original trilogy. Parents watching with kids should familiarize their kids by watching the original Star Wars movies with them before watching the performance.

Our Penang members will be enjoying the show tonight. Happy Watching!

Next month, we will be doing another giveaway for members with tickets to Dr Balloons Science Adventure brought to you by Milestone Entertainment, one of the region's leading show production company that provides exceptional international live entertainment to audiences in this region.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Empower Your Kids To Personalized Learning System And Self-Direct Their Computational Thinking Skills

Learning is most effective when it is personalized. One very good example of personalized learning is adaptive learning and computational learning using programming.

What is Adaptive Learning?

Adaptive learning is an educational method which uses computers as interactive teaching devices to meet each individual student's needs. In Adaptive Learning, the student participates actively in the learning process instead of being a passive receiver of information.

Adaptive Learning System And Computational Learning Using Programming At KidoCode

KidoCode has an adaptive learning system called the KPortal which provides a personalized learning path for kids & teens. With this system, education is individualized and motivates students to become a self-learner. Students have peace of mind in a totally productive learning environment with no competition or comparison from one kid to another.

Adaptive learning continuously challenges the students depending on their knowledge and has the ability to provide a bigger room for improvement. Learning is very much hands-on, practical, interactive, and experimental at the students’ own pace. If the students have prior knowledge of the topic, this is easily taken into account by providing much difficult activities. Students’ responses and ways of thinking about the problems presented are analysed and new materials are then customized and adapted to the needs of that particular student in a way that makes most sense to him/her.

Computational Thinking for Kids & Teens

Computational learning introduces kids to computational thinking which is really a creative form of thinking to solve problems. The problem solving skills and approaches a child learns during computational learning can be applied in real life. Computational thinking is now indispensable and taught in schools

This learning can be acquired in different activities like Mobile App Development, Electronics, Python Coding and Math, and Web Development. In KidoCode, kids & teens can learn the basics of programming and at the same time enhance their computational thinking skills.

Try out a class today. New trial class dates as shown below. Click on the link to sign up for a free trial class.

Venue: KidoCode (Solaris, Mont Kiara)

April 22 – April 23
April 25 – April 30
May 2 – May 7
May 9 – May 14
May 16 – May 21
May 23 – May 28
May 30 – June 4

English Language Classes For 4-6 Year Olds

Lorna Whiston Taman Tun is having an enrol and redeem promotion from now till 24th June 2017.

What Courses Qualify For This Promotion?

You will receive redemption vouchers worth RM500 when you enrol in the following courses at Lorna Whiston Taman Tun Centre.

  • English Language Development Programme for 4-6 year olds
  • Fun With Phonics Course for 4-6 year olds
  • Speech and Drama Class for 4-6 year olds
What You Will Receive

Exciting Vouchers worth RM500 from participating partners in this enrol and redeem promotion (see the poster above for supporting partners) plus another 15% discount voucher to enjoy a foot reflexology at Healing Touch Atria Shopping Gallery.

Not sure which course to pick? Read our earlier post on English Language Enrichment Classes For Kids Aged 4-18

Promotion Period

15th April 2017 to 24th June 2017

About Lorna Whiston 

Since 1997, Lorna Whiston Centres have helped many Malaysian students find their confidence and develop language skills. They offer English language, Speech & Drama and Public Speaking programmes for pre-primary to secondary students. Lessons are taught by fully certified native English speakers in cozy classes of not more than 12 per class.

How To Enrol? 

Call 7727 1909 or email to enrol or to get more details.

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

Sunday, April 16, 2017

UPSR 2017 Dates And Timetable

UPSR 2017 is scheduled from 11-14 September 2017 plus 18 September 2017 for SJKC/T.

The timetable is as follows:

11 September 2017 (Mon) - BM Pemahaman & BM Penulisan
12 September 2017 (Tue)  -  BI Pemahaman & BI Penulisan
13 September 2017 (Wed) - Maths 1 & Maths 2
14 September 2017 (Thur) - Science 1 & Science 2
18 September 2017 (Mon) - BC/BT Pemahaman & BC/BT Penulisan

BM = Bahasa Malaysia
BI = Bahasa Inggeris
BC = Bahasa Cina
BT = Bahasa 

All language papers are 1 hour 15 minutes each while the Maths and Science Papers are 1 hour each.

This is the same format as 2016. One subject per day with SK students completing in one week while SJKC/T students sit for their extra language papers in the following week.

Why Monday to Thursday with a 3 day break in between before the extra language papers? I presume this is because we have different weekends for different states so this is to make things uniform for the whole country. 

Source for above information: Portal Rasmi Lembaga Peperiksaan, Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia (Go to this link and look for "Muat Turun Jadual Waktu Peperiksaan UPSR 2017" to download a more detailed version of the timetable shown above)

Thursday, April 13, 2017

SJKC - The Untold Story

As admin of the Malaysia Primary School Parents on Facebook group, I read each and every post (well, nearly all) to make sure there are no inappropriate postings. To my dismay, I frequently come across SJKC bashing posts or posts that generate a lot of fear for parents thinking of sending their kids to SJKC. Some of these include the tonnes of homework, the overzealous and strict disciplinary methods and lots more. Things are so bad it seems, it makes you wonder why anyone would want to send their kids to SJKC just to learn 6 years of Mandarin. Apparently, many don't even survive the 6 years, quitting at 3 or 4 to go to SK or jumping ship at 5 or 6 to "greener pastures" ie private or International schools. 

At one time, I too was filled with fear of all the things that has been said about SJKCs. I've since then survived 8 years with 2 kids going through P1 to P6 in SJKC. The kids did have a fair bit of homework, yes and their palms did meet the rotan a couple of times, not enough to leave any lasting impression on us, most of the time, what I saw at the school were simply kids being kids and having fun. 

No, our kids did not get punished for speaking in English in school as we had feared. In fact the teachers understood our situation and tried to speak to us in English whenever we met them.

I saw kids running happily in school corridors after school. I saw kids eating merrily at the school canteen. If you are a Chinese who is poorly educated in your own culture, as I am, you will learn quite a bit about your own culture as cultural events are often celebrated in SJKC. What a delight to see lion dancers during Chinese New Year and children dressed in their cultural best chasing after the lions and holding out their hands for angpows and mandarin oranges in school.

If you don't know Chinese but you are willing to learn together with your child to help them with the homework that you so feared you will not be able to help out with and therefore feel so stressed up about.....You know what? By the end of 6 years, you too will have learned an extra language!

There are many competitions in school for storytelling, singing, sports, arts, calligraphy etc. No, its not ONLY academics at SJKC. Many excel in other areas as well.  My kids weren't one of those who excelled in such things but we saw many who did brilliantly.

Here kids can be seen showing off their calligraphy.

What about donations? Ah yes, donations. Donations give rise to good maintenance and improvement of the school facilities such as this track field.

Our kids were fortunate to be greeted with a KL view that some pay a lot of money to stay in high rise condos for...

Parents work together to make back of the classroom lockers (sans the locks) a reality while kids decorate it to make it "theirs".

School shoes are often lost when kids take them off to go to the library. This school has cleverly come up with a cheap and functional shoe rack made of Mandarin Oranges carton boxes.

Chinese culture is celebrated in a fun way at school.

This picture looks calm and quiet but quite often it is filled with the hustle and bustle of happy kids running around the corridor.

This is but a small sharing of the memories that SJKC has left us. They are good ones and judging from the smiling faces of many kids that we see daily at school, they too would leave school with happy memories and look back with nostalgia. Only, this is the untold story. The silent story that seldom gets heard because they get drowned out by unhappiness, complaints, fear and hearsay.

So, if you are a parent contemplating SJKC, give your kid and yourself a chance. Don't enter with a negative heart. Instead, why not leave on a positive note?

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:
Venue: KidoCode (Solaris, Mont Kiara)
Click on the Sign Up link above to book your free demo class

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
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.


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.


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.


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?


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?


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.


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.


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?


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!

Join Our Facebook Groups:

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

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 ( but hopefully I will when I have more time once my kids are back in school.

- Readers can join 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)

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Kemahiran Hidup Bersepadu Tingkatan Tiga Bab 1 Reka Cipta

There are a lot of resources for secondary school kids online. They are mostly from teachers and schools who post some of their material online in blogs, slide sharing sites or power point sharing sites. Unfortunately, many kids do not have the time nor interest to look for these materials.

Take for example chapter 1 of the Kemahiran Hidup for Form 3 students, the topic is on Reka Cipta. I'm going to curate some of the materials I've found just to show you an example of the kind of good resources we can get for free online.

1. The slides below give a good explanation of the chapter as a whole. It is a 43 page slide.

KHB TING 3 - Bab 1 Reka Cipta from Zasni @ Zaxx

2. The following 40 page slides also explains the chapter as a whole. In addition it has many photographic examples that may be useful for students.

Reka cipta 1 from Hana Mazauddin

3. If you are looking for examples of the various "jenis bahan" (type of material) or "alatan" (tools) used in "reka cipta" (design), then check out the following 12 page slides.

Bab 1 reka bentuk dan penghasilan projek from diancz

4. This 47 page slides has useful pictures of the process and materials used. Useful for students to see the items they are learning about.

5. Here's a comprehensive 61 page slides on the first chapter of the Kemahiran Hidup for Form 3 on Reka Cipta. It has examples and useful photos.


6. Finally, here is a teacher's blog showcasing the "projek rekacipta 2016". These kids have done an amazing job in their projects.

Share this page with your Form 3 kid who is doing self-study for the Kemahiran Hidup Bersepadu subject. 

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Coding For Kids And Teens – Adaptive Learning System

Teachers stress on 21st century learning and the importance for kids to learn how to code in schools. Yet, we as parents may have little knowledge about coding ourselves. So, how do you plan your child's learning path for coding or computer programming classes?

Parents keen on planning a learning path for their kids, can check out KidoCode's adaptive learning system for their students.

KidoCode provides computer programming classes for kids and teens. Their foundation programme is very useful for anybody who would like to learn computer programming and learn depending on their own level of knowledge and abilities. Kids & Teens will receive wide exposure to Python programming and math, web development, electronics, mobile app development, and more.

Not only that, realizing that computer programming is not only about sitting behind the computer and coming up with programmes that work, the course also helps students to become better speakers and presenters. Students also learn to work in teams for certain projects that require team work.

Once your child has completed the foundation course, he can then move on to more advanced languages and specialized areas of interest to him or her. This could be web development, mobile development, electronics & robotics, or game development.

The courses are well structured and planned by experts in the field with input from practitioners. When you send your child to a coding enrichment class, go for courses that include a well planned and structured learning path so that your child does not learn computer lessons in an ad hoc and unplanned manner. When it comes to coding, there should be continuity and progression just like any other lesson or subject.

Computer courses at KidoCode are designed to introduce computer programming concepts to kids from ages 6 to 18. Students can learn at their own pace in a relaxed and cozy environment. All kids should be exposed to computer programming skills in today's app reliant digital world. Let your child experience a class at KidoCode today. Within 3 hours, your child should be able to develop his first mobile app!

Free trial classes are being held from Tuesday-Sunday in two time slots, 11am and 3pm. Here is the upcoming schedule for their MIT & Google Programming for Kids & Teens:

February 08 – February 12
February 14 – February 19
February 21 – February 26
February 28 – March 05
March 07 – March 12
March 14 – March 19
March 21 – March 26
March 28 – March 31

Register now at

KidoCode is located at L-2-3A Solaris Mont Kiara, Jalan Solaris Off Jalan Duta Kiara, 50480 Kuala Lumpur. Contact them at 03-6411 0968.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Latest Attractions In Penang For Families

It has only been a year since we went back for Chinese New Year but there are a lot of new attractions for families in Penang now. Penang has remade itself for tourists. Besides the wonderful food, there are so many things to see and do. So many museums popping up like mushrooms all over the town. Besides that, there are some new attractions for families to visit too.

In this post, I will write about 3 of the latest attractions in Penang for families although we only managed to visit two because of time limitations. Got to visit those relatives too you know.


We hadn't been to Penang Hill for some years so we decided to go just for fun. The rail is much faster now compared to the older one but not the queue. It was a peak period after all. I don't mind queueing but I do mind that they now have a fast track lane for those who are willing to pay 3 times the price. I thought that was a bad idea by management. It's discriminating between those who can afford and those who can't. It is allowing people to pay to jump queue. We had senior citizens in our queue and we watched as our queue got longer due to the fast track lane. It is okay for a fast track lane to be open for senior citizens or the disabled but not to others in my opinion.

Anyway, we went up and were pleasantly surprised to discover The Habitat. The Habitat is set on the fringes of a 130 million year old rainforest. Some of the eco-friendly attractions at The Habitat include a 1.6km nature trail, Giant Swings, Canopy Walks and The Tree Top Walk.

The nature walk was an easy stroll and there are many friendly park rangers along the way.

The Canopy Walks are not ready yet but we managed to experience The Tree Top Walk which was open specially for visitors during the Chinese New Year period (see the instagram posting by The Habitat embedded below). After that it will be closed for further works till they launch. You can catch amazing views and marvel at the trees that have been around since the English colonial days.

We enjoyed the giant swings. Four of us fitted into it nicely and it was nice and windy to swing in them. You can opt for guided tours by the friendly rangers or walk the nature trail free and easy. We had to miss the guided tours as we were in a hurry. My boy was disappointed because he loves nature and plants and wanted to learn all about the plants that he sees along the way.

To go up Penang Hill, we paid RM10 for adults and RM5 for students for a return train ticket. To enter The Habitat, we paid RM20 for adults and RM10 for kids plus RM10 each for The Tree Top Walk. Since we were in a rush, we also took a buggy back at RM15 for the 1 km plus way back after exiting The Habitat nature trail.

Remember to wear proper clothing and shoes. I had to tiptoe my way all around the tree tops on the grill like flooring of the tree top walk in high heels because our visit was an impromptu one before visiting relatives. The park rangers said they would consider loaning slippers or proper shoes to crazy ladies in heels in future. ;)

Below is the picture taken by us from the other side of the Tree Top Walk.

Below is the Instagram posting by The Habitat.


With the addition of The Top, Komtar is no longer the same. It has been totally revamped. There are many family friendly attractions at The Top. Some of the attractions include DanceOki, Magic Mirror Maze, 7D Discovery Motion Theater, Tongkat Ali King, Jurassic Research Center, Musical Carousel, Ocean Explorer & Dragon Regatta (for children only).  MyKad holders can enjoy these attractions at RM98 (adults) and RM50 (children).

Alternatively, you can go up to the Observatory Deck and Rainbow Skywalk at THE TOP@Komtar, Penang (Levels 65 and 68) for RM88 (adults) or RM58 (kids). You can also dine there should you choose to do so.

Tickets are pricey (it may cost you up to a night's stay at a hotel if you go as a family of four with parents and two tall kids as they charge according to height for adults/kids) maybe that's why we had an enjoyable relaxing walk without having to wait long queues or squeeze with lots of people.

We skipped the theme park and went straight for the higher levels as we had mostly adults with us. My boy took the following panorama pics at the Observatory Deck and Rainbow Skywalk below. You can experience a glass floor walking experience at both. Other mini attractions include the luckiest chair in the world made of golden horse shoes, the double rainbow & pot of gold plus the upside down orchestra of dreams.

Credit for panorama pictures below: My boy trying to take panorama pictures for the first time.

You can walk around on level 68 and try out the Rainbow Skywalk as shown below. Before you go on the skywalk, you will be asked to don a plastic covering for your shoes.

Credit for picture below is from the The Top

While you are in Komtar and within walking distance away, don't forget to stop by this "attraction": The Penang Road Famous TeoChew Chendul stall.


Finally, there is the Entopia which is the newly revamped Butterfly Farm. We didn't have time for this and my son just visited it during the December holidays so we will save this for another time.

You can read more about this rebranding of the Butterfly Farm into the Entopia of today in this article:
The Man Who Gave Us The Butterfly Farm. That's our next stop for next year.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...