Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Random Highlights of 2011

H started wearing glasses

R turned 5

H turned 7

H School Action Song team emerged Champion for Zone Bangsar

Girls birthday bash at Fit for 2, Bangsar Villaga

An important milestone for H - starting Primary One

H performing at KLCC


H receiving her prize during the Annual School Prize Giving

H Attended Speech and Drama classes at KLPAC

The girls attended my cousin s's wedding in October

R was Puteri Santubong at her school concert

Deepavali

Family vacation to Krabi

H first school sports where she was the flag bearer

Family getaway to Cyberview during the Hari Raya break

H starred as Judge Ant at KLPAC's production of 'A Bugs Life'
Random highlights of the girls in 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

Primary 1 completed

Phew! A huge sigh of relief as Harvynna has successfully completed Primary One. Today was the last day of school and she happily went to school to call it a year. It has been one busy, hectic, crazy year for me especially trying to combine school, all their activities and managing the household.

To expand on my previous post, I am elated that Harvynna did very well in her exam. She scored 100% for 5 out of 7 papers and came out 2nd in her class. I am so proud of her. Way to go, girl. It was tough, for me, at least as I prepared her for her exams, spent time doing revision with Rowena pleading for attention at the same time, and the laundry piled up sky high as I let laundry take a backseat to the exams. A lot of blood, sweat and tears on Harvynna's part especially for the Moral paper - which to me is a stupid paper, with the highest level of BM used. How on earth do they expect a standard one kids to understand that. She would burst into tears as she found it tough. But it paid off as was the only one who obtained 100 marks for that paper. But I must say, that I am really lucky where Harvynna is concerned, as she is a very dilligent girl. Every night, I would assign a couple of revision pages for her to complete after school while she is at the babysitters place and she would complete them on most days. She could easily not bother as I am not around to supervise, but she does it on her own initiative. It was a proud moment for me when she received her trophy on stage.

Now that her exams are over, she is busy catching up on her reading and I basically allow her to do what she wants (that was the promise I made her before her exams). She is growing up so fast to the point that I cant keep up sometimes.

Puteri Santubong and puteri Sejinjang
Rowena still has another 2 weeks of school. She had her annual concert last month, where she was puteri Santubong. She will be taking her taekwando exams next week, where she would obtain the orange belt. Rowena is clearly more of the active sort and prefers to enjoy life rather than conform to structure. One more year of kindergarten and she is off to Primary school.

Both of them started Odissi classes to instill a sense of dance and also for them to get in touch with their roots!
Puteri Santubong - captured

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Year End Exams

Today is the last day for H's exams. Phew. I can finally breath a sigh of relief. Its Art and Music today, so technically, it was over yesterday. Its so competitive these days....she is only in primary one, but the competition is so stiff. Everyone gets high 90's for all papers so, if you dont get 100, your position would drop. They shoudl do away with positions as it causes unnessary stress on everyone. With the new KSSR system in place, its suppose to move away from exam oriented structures, but sadly, despite parents opting for a more holistic environment, at the end of the day, they still look at how many As you get. In this case, it is getting 100% for all papers.

H worked hard, not crazy hard , but hard enough. So I should be happy for whatever marks she obtains. Yes, I would be dissapointed, if she does not obtain the top 3 placings, but since I opted for THAT school, I have to accept the competition. More so, most of them there go for private tuition. She does not - I am her private tutor :) I believe in the early years, its nothing like having the support of your own parents, than depending on external help. So, if she does well, I deserve a pat on my back too!!



Rowena icing a cake at Roald dahls bday party

Harvynna's turn to ice the cake

Anyway, exam week is actually a good bonding week for us as I pick her up from school (which is a treat for her), bring her out for a nice lunch (her choice), and then she gets to spend one on one time with me.... without R hogging the attention. We do some revision - and then have a nap, and I think she values that and seems very happy and relaxed to have mummy with her. That is a luxury these days for most kids as most mothers are working mothers and time is a rare commodity. For this exam, I opted for a more relaxed mode as preparations began much earlier than the last round.

Of course, during the last 1 month, R has been slightly neglected, as most of my time is spent revising with H. But that will change after today. Yesterday, I got both of them to practise their art together for Harvynna's art paper today.

Sometimes I wonder, if the girls are too busy with all kinds of activities. They dont complain, so I take it as ok. I always offer the option to stop, but they dont want to. (except for R - who wants to stop Enopi coz its too much work!!) But i would like to give them the opportunity to try various things, as good academic results alone is not enough today. I have interviewed dozens of people at work, and many with good academic results are just bores, speak horribly and do not have the guts to do a presentation. That's why I hope by exposing them to various other non academic programmes, they will grow to be more confident and not for anything else.

The girls are starting classical Indian dance next week. Let's see how that goes.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Rowena's updates


Just looking through some previous postings and it seems like its all about Harvynna. Not that I am biased - just that there is a lot to update since she started Primary school. Rowena is still the happy go lucky girl with a mind of her own. There is no way I am able to control her as she does what she wants and does not care about the consequences. She is a survivor - this one.

videoStarted her on Enopi classes since July as she needs someone to sit down with her and practice with her. She climbs all over my head so I cant do it with her. She is progressing slowly but surely. I dont push her, but it irritates me that she refuses to do her homework and ends up bullying the teachers in class. Now, i can see that she responds well with praise - when she gets the answers right, her face lights up and feels very proud of herself. So I guess I have to praise her all the time.

As for swimming, she is progressing not as fast as Harvynna as she still has a fear of water when it is a pool she is not familiar with. But she totally enjoys her swimming lessons.

In school, I am very happy with her reading progress. She is catching up fast and can read quite a few words. She tries to read books, the titles of movies on TV and feels very proud that she is doing well. Bravo.
video
So, I guess, I need not worry too much about her, if she wants to do something, she can - so I will just let her progress at her own pace. Its different with Harvynna where she naturally wants to excel at everything and is very competitive in nature. Rowena just wants to smell the roses and take things one step at a time. The 2 videos here describe her best!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Term Break & updates on the girls

Its the short term break in conjunction with Hari Raya. Was so looking forward to this break.... i look forward to any break as I dont have to wake up at unearthly hours to get Harvynna ready. Its' such a blessing that we live 5 minutes from her school, or we would have to wake up much earlier. That's why, as much as the school has not lived up to my expectations, she is still there!!

I can't believe that its almost September. 3 more months and its the holidays. Harvynna will be in Primary 2 and Rowena will be a senior at her kindergarten!

Let's see...... what has been happenning so far?
 - Harvynna completed her mid term exams and did fairly well. She scored high 90s for all her papers (including Mandarin!)But, the competition at her school is so great. Everyone did well - almost everyone goes for private tuition, some of them were even asked to change their answers during the exam, but not Harvynna. - no private tuition (I am her tutor), no help at all... so i think she did very well. It was a good eye opener for her - she was the best student in her kindergarten, so she became quite complacent. Now, she knows that this is the real world, so you have to work hard. There is no shortcut.

It was quite slow in terms of other activities at school. Since the school team emerged runner up at the State Action Song competition, they did not proceed to the National level. She has started practising again as they will be performing for the Hari Malaysia celebrations in September.

She did complete Semester 2 at KLPAC - the students put up 'musical magic' where the 7-9 year olds put up the nighmare before Christmas. I am sure Amy Chua would have shook her head as the performance took 3 hour practises on Sundays for 10 weeks, and she was one of the 20 performers!! Well, she enjoyed it, and does provide good exposure for her, besides making new friends.

She took part in her school sports day. Being the tallest, she was the flag bearer. However, her team did not do too well, but she enjoyed the experience. Her class was Team New zealand. Next year, we will win it :)

In terms of swimming, Harvynna has progressed very well. She is swimming quite confidently and is not afraid of going to the deep end. Rowena on the other hand, is still quite scared, and has only just started letting go of the ladder!!! I hope to stop their lessons by the end of this year. Its quite a costly affair for the 2 of them.

Taken in July at my birthday dinner


Completed Semester 2 at KLPAC


Flag bearer for School sports day



KLPAC performance


I feel kind of bad, that I am not able to provide the same support to Rowena. First, of all, I dont send her to school anymore, so I dont get to meet with her teachers that often. But I am very pleased, that she has improved tremendously in her reading. I think she is progressing well in this department. As for her Maths, she has started Enopi - she actually sits with the teacher,but I have yet to see much progress. The teacher says that she is good, but gets bored easily. She enjoys ballet, and she does show me from time to time, what she learns at ballet. Oh yes, she just passed her Taekwando exams and is now a yellow belt. She was so proud to have acomplished this and earned a certificate - she so wants to be like her sister; bagging prizes and awards.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Harvynna's progress at school


Its' almost the end of the 1st term and H is now sitting for her 1st mid term exams or know as PKSR. This is the most stressful time for me, trying to ensure that she is prepared for the exams. It has been a terribly hectic 2 months as she was part of her school's action song team. The school was all out to win and they had practises every afternoon till 5 and on certain weekends and public holidays. They had to be at school by 5.30am on competition days and had to miss quite a number of school for practices.The hard work paid off as they emerged Champion for the Zone Championships and Runner up for the State level. Although everyone was disappointed that they did not win the State level, but it was a great experience for her and she knows that victory does not come without hard work.

The State level Championship was last week (the week before her exams) - so the last 2 months, I have been rushing to pick her up from school after work and bringing her home to ensure homework is completed and some revision is done. I know at times, she comes back totally drained, thats why I started the preparations early. Immediately after the competition on Thursday, it was work, work, work, practice, practice, practice. I know she is only in Primary one but the competition is so great. Besides, I know she is a smart girl, thats why I push her to reach her maximum potential. The problem is the language coz everything is now in BM. She finds difficulty understanding some of the instructions and a lot of time was spent on it.

I prepared a note book for her where i wrote down the frequently used words  and their translation. THen the book expanded to include short notes and topics and areas to remember.

I told her that she has done her best, and done the revisions, so now just do her best. Its ok to make mistakes it she does not know the answer, as she will learn, but it is not ok to make careless mistakes. She knows that she must check and check again once she has finished each paper.

Wish her all the best. Today she has her Maths and Science paper, which I feel are the most important papers. Another 2 days more and she can be free to do what she wants. She has insisted that she wants to now go for dance classes, on top of her speech and drama, takwando, musical theatre and swimming. The life as a  child growing in KL is definitely not easy.........


Wednesday, February 09, 2011

2011

My first post for the year!! With the convenience of Facebook, blogging is such an effort.

2011 began as a new and exciting year. Harvynna started Primary One and Rowena is now a semi-senior at kindergarten.

Let's start with Harvynna:

Its been more than a month and she has settled in well at her school. Well, the first 3 weeks was more of an orientation programme. It was only after that that they started with lessons proper - of which, she is bored to tears. She wonders why she does the same work that Rowena does at kindergarten. Poor gal! She said that ' I know you sent me here because its the best government school, but it is still lousy'. Told her to keep that opinion to herself or she will be blacklisted!!
The only consolation is that they have watered down the BM syllabus, so its not as difficult as the KBSR syllabus. To overcome her boredom, Harvynna has increased her appetite for reading. Her favourites are Amelia Jane and Mr Meddle  series by Enid Blyton, The Magic Ballerina Series and Roahl Dahl books. She thinks Roahl Dahl's books are the greatest!
To maintain her sanity, she continues with her Taekwando classes at her previous kindergarten (together with Rowena), and also goes for Musical Theatre, Speech and Drama and will start swimming lessons this weekend. Hopefully, all these activities will tire her out and she will complain less!

Most of her front milk teeth have dropped and have been replaced by permanent teeth. Its quite funny to see that the permanent teeth are much bigger than the milk teeth.

As for Rowena, she is now in the 5 year old class. She still can't read and refuses to learn. I tried many tactics, but she still does not want to learn - so I decided not to push it. Eventually, she will learn. After all, her ambition is to be a 'tol counter'   - the person who collects toll money at the toll booth.
But her Maths skills is slowing improving.  I guess she is keen on picking up the necessary skills for that job!
She goes for Taekwando, Ballet and Speech & Drama and will also start swimming. She loves anything that has nothing to do with academic learning.(except for Taekwando as she gets lots of scolding from the teacher)

The year has only just begun and it is already madness. From waking up at 6am to prepare her breakfast and lunch, send her to school and head off to work myself and rushing around on weekends for enrichment classes. To think, there's just another 13 years more to go!!!