Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Here Comes The Bus...

Here comes the bus........ ( please hum it as in "Here Comes The Bride...." ) he...he...he...

I have never been so happy to see a glimpse of a rectangular piece of machinery called the bus, hoorayyyy....

After finally drifting into a fitful sleep in the wee hours of the morning, I woke up to a splitting headache. Boy, I sure had a bad night :D

Needless to say, I was at the school by 3 o'clock after cooking his favourite vegetable soup with "fucuk" and "soohoon". Why.... my dear son would surely be hungry and tired. Afterall, they only had cheese & mushroom pasta for dinner and it was served at such an early hour of 5.30 pm !!!! (typical dutch dinner time is between 5.30 to 6.00 pm). Then, they had nothing else, no midnight snack was allowed !!! And I bet they would have only cheese sandwich for lunch, he never really like cheese sandwich except cheese tosti !!! I bet he would be hungry..... ( now I know why some mothers who have children in boarding schools, are guilty of stuffing their children with table-laden food he...he...he...)

The driver making it's final maneuver..... I can see his class teacher....

There he was in orange cap......

Smiling as he steps out of the bus, happy to see me, of course :D

After hugs and kisses, to my query of "Did you have fun?", he replied "Yes, except there is a little problem", then he drifted away to get his baggage. I wonder what "the problem" was. "Wetting his bed??", came accross my mind. But he had never done so in a looong time....

I talked to his teacher while he was queing for the baggage. She said he woke up in the middle of the night and came looking for her when he couldn't go back to sleep again. They had a little chat, then he went back to sleep. Aaargh... I had expected that :D

As it happens, he had not slept a wink when he went to see her !!!! Ha...ha...ha...

In fact, the "little problem" was he couldn't sleep !!!! Arek (his friend), who was listening to our conversation, said "Are you kidding ??? You were the first to fall asleep !!!!

Now, I'm confused !!!! After a little clarification, here is the story....

There were six boys sharing the room, three of them had already fell asleep, so that left Ilham, Arek and Alvaro who couldn't sleep. It seemed like a looongg night (none of them had a watch). Finally, Ilham decided to look for the teacher. She came to their room, and chatted a little, told him to create a name beginning with A, B and so on. It's ok if he didn't get to Z, because that means he was already asleep. It seemed to work, he was the first to be asleep among the still-awaken boys !!! I wonder what time Arek and Alvaro finally slept :D

He had a wonderful time at the museum and later, they had a 3 course dinner - vegetable soup (he had two of them !!) as starter, cheese and mushroom pasta for the main course and chocolate mousse with white chocolate sauce as dessert. After dinner they had a game of basketball, then shower followed by diary writing and bed time story. Lights out at 8.30 pm (still day-light !!! maghrib is 9.15 pm !!!). The next day, he was the first to wake up. They had breakfast of toast and cheese and herbs, it's yummy he said, but he would rather have toast and egg !!! For snack, he had a banana, sultana biscuit and orange juice. For lunch, he had peanut butter sandwich !!! (surprising! since they do not allow kids to bring peanut butter sandwich to school !!!) That's the only choice for the vegetarian, the others had ham sandwich of course. He had a wonderful time too at the zoo.

When we got home, he said "Ohhh.... I miss my house too"

Hugging the house :D

Since he seemed to be doing well, I told him that he could go and have a sleepover at Shafiq's house, to which he replied vehemently "NO !!!!"

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Miss You Soooo Much

I miss him. Time has never been so slow, I keep checking the time.... What?? Only 15 minutes?? I thought it was ages already.....

I wonder what he is doing now, it's bedtime according to the schedule. Perhaps he is now lying on the bunk bed, clutching the teddy bear (which he started hugging to bed when he knew he would be going to the overnight trip) and perhaps smelling my "smelly" nightshirt, which he wanted to bring so that he would not miss me :D He wanted to bring another hugging pillow as well but it did not fit into the bag, so it had to be left behind.

With Arek, Billy and James at the museum..

I had been wondering how he would sneak the teddy bear under his blanket without his friends knowing. He is a big boy now and doesn't want his friends to know that he still hugs the bear :D Told him to leave it at home. But as it happens, he had nothing to worry, when we reached the school this morning, two of his male friends were having and waving their soft toys. I was so relieved and he was so happy to see that.

He has never been away from both of us at the same time. He had never had a sleepover before, I am very worried and I know that he is worried too. Last night he said he didn't want to go to sleep, he said "if you sleep time will go very fast, then it's morning already....". And earlier, he said that he was worried because I would be left alone without him and his father. That was sweet of him, but I know that he was more worried for the fact that he would be away from us !!! He was very anxious when I sent him this morning. I knew, because he kept repeating "Goodbye mama, have a nice day and good luck in whatever you're doing", saying the same phrase a few times !!!

I am not the only anxious parent, I could tell. All the parents were waving their children and following the bus as it left the compound. And the children, they were waving like mad inside...

The teachers have been understanding, promising to update the parentnet with pictures of the children. They kept their promises so far, posting 4 pictures on the parentnet. He is in 3 of them.

Still, I worry and miss him so much. Is he missing me now ??? I hope not, I want him to sleep really well and have the experience of a lifetime. Ohhhh... time has never been so slow. Ya Allah, please take care of my child and protect him from all the misfortunes, amiin.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Freestyle Practice

Can this be Wordless Wednesday ???

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Scientist On The Making...

I do not seem to have time for Ilham's learning lately.... all I did was just to make sure he does his reading everyday and his mathletics once a week. His home learning ??? I totally ignored that for almost a month !!!

We are supposed to submit at least 6 home learnings in the second term. We only submitted 3 and we had only 3 weeks before the term ends !!! I received a reminder by his teacher that states something like this "Your son had only submitted 3 HL so far, he has 3 more to do and only 3 more weeks left". Ohhh dear.... I thought we could get away with not doing it !!! And yesterday, I received another reminder in his diary "1 more HL and 1 week left". One way or another, Ilham has to do the final one by next Monday. I know what he wants to do... some sort of exercise that he could show to his friends in class, unfortunately he needs a gadget to monitor his pulse and that is something that I have yet to find and have no idea where to find it !!!

He is into science nowadays, that's the reason for the pulse checking exercise.... Last week he came home wanting to do this experiment...

Requirement :-

Water, oil and salt

Instructions :-

  • Pour in water in a glass
  • Pour in oil
  • Put some salt in

      And walaaa.....

      Bubble creations....

      It's very interesting..... To be honest, I have never done it in my student days.....

      Never too late to learn :D

      Thursday, March 17, 2011

      Year 4 Residential Visit

      Ilham shall have an overnight visit to Arnhem, the Netherlands in May. The place is about one hour drive from The Hague. The residential visit is an integral part of the Year 4 curriculum and all children are expected to participate. We shall worry about the overnight stay later, but for now let us see what the children will be doing in Arnhem. On the first day, they will go to Arnhem Openluct Museum (Openair Museum). We had been there last June, it's where they have "actual old different type of houses" from all over the Netherlands. The houses were brought over and rebuilt in the museum area as part of preserving efforts on old houses/buildings. It was quite an interesting visit. We saw many small houses and stairs that explain how the Dutch used to live in the old days and why their staircase are still very steep and small even now !!

      On the second day, they will visit Burgers' Zoo where they will learn about tropical rainforest, ocean and desert biosphere. Isn't that interesting !! They learn about nature.... and I especially like it because rainforest is part of home, and I want Ilham exposed to it.

      Now I know why they have rainforest decorations at the school !!!

      Tigers and lions from boxes....

      Aren't they cute???

      When I checked on the Burgers' Zoo website (http://www.burgerszoo.nl/), I was pleasantly surprised !!! The Zoo have certain sections or biosphere (school term) such as The Desert, The Ocean, The Mangrove, The Bush (tropical rainforest) and The Safari. What surprised me was that they also have "The Rimba". Curious, I clicked on it at and what did I find?? It's a Malaysian rainforest !!! Here in the Netherlands !!! Isn't that wonderful !!!!

      A pity though Ilham will visit The Bush and not The Rimba. How I hate all "Bushes" !!!

      Wednesday, March 16, 2011

      Apa tu ??

      "Next time, I want to make an invention that really works !!!"

      That's what Ilham said when he got home from school on Monday. Hmm... what happens ?

      "Maybe something that can move.... the only thing that works in my invention is the torchlight!"

      Well... that's good, we have to improve ourselves right. We will see how you are going to do that next year, afterall your mama and abah are not science genius !!!

      But... that's the spirit boy, always try to do better next time !!!

      Now let us see the invention that does not work....

      Apa tu ???

      Totally different from the rough design !!!

      Trans-O-Magic, a teleporter....


      A machine that will transport human to another place, faster and hassle free, no queueing, no jams, go green and eco friendly !!!

      Not a GPS, not an alien detecting machine, not a poffertje detector or feline detector for that matter.....

      From the inside,

      The torch is the sucker gadget supposed to turn you into mini pixels and transport you to another place !!!

      Let's just hope that you will get back into normal form !!!

      The solar panel, saves the planet

      The reserve solar battery and the satellite signal

      I wait for the day of such machine....

      Friday, March 11, 2011

      I Wonder What He Is Doing...

      Ever since he brought home the science competition booklet last week, Ilham wanted to do this invention, "something" machine....
      The term he used to describe it was unfamiliar to me.... I had to check whether such word actually exist :D
      When I said he should invent something practical...
      He INSISTED on the machine.
      Since he had already fully recovered from the fever that made him sent home from school on Monday,
      I INSISTED that he starts his invention project immediately
      And this....
      was what he made yesterday....

      A rough design of his invention

      Anybody knows what he wants to do ?

      Thursday, March 10, 2011

      Science Day

      The school shall have their Science Day on the 17th March next week. In conjuction with that, there is a Magic Science Competition held for the students. We were given out this booklet detailing the competition on the 4th March and we have 10 days to submit an invention. According to dear son Ilham we MUST do something !!! In my opinion, since it's a competition, only those who are interested shall do it right?

      Anyway, now let us see what is the requirement of this competition :

      Requirements :-

      • Invent a device that will solve a problem

      • Details of the problem it solves

      • A drawing of the invention

      • Labels of different parts

      • How it works

      • Make a poster and/or build the model

      Very challenging and we have 10 days to complete. When I checked with Ilham what kind of inventions he learned in class, he said none. Further queries reveal that they did not even read/study about inventions in the class. That surprises me. The students do not learn anything in class and yet they are expected to come up with an invention in less than 2 weeks, with the help of parents of course. This is where Home Learning comes in I suppose.

      As I understand it, on Science Day there will be displays of these inventions among other things, for the parents to see. I was looking forward to see what my child is learning or making in Science, but now I feel disillusioned. I do not want to see something that the kids do at home, I would like to see what the kids are doing in school !!! Afterall, we pay a lot of money for it, it's not free !!! Am I too demanding and not rational ?? Why am I feeling this way?

      When we were at the ISA, when Ilham was in Grade 2 last year, he learned about invention in one of the unit of inquiries. It took them 7 weeks to complete their study. They learned about Leornado Da Vinci, the Wright brothers and so on. They learned how certain inventions had and are still having impacts on the world and how some of them solve our daily problems. They guided the kids in completing their inventions and at the end of it, they had a convention where parents were invited to come (see Invention here and here). Most important of all, they teached and nurtured these kids on how to think like inventors. But what does British School teaches my child about this?

      Lucky for us we have the previous work at ISA to guide us, and Ilham have some ideas of what he wants to do. I wonder how other students are doing... or am I the only one complaining ???

      Wednesday, March 9, 2011

      Ik Heb Mijn B Diploma !!!!


      Alhamdulillah, Ilham received his Diploma B swimming certificate on Saturday 5th March 2011. I (read this I, and not Ilham yea :D) was not nervous and worried as I was when he received his A Diploma last year. Now I know that if you are invited for the diploma, then you know that you WILL get the diploma so long as you ATTEND the test on the specified date. The test is only a formality :D

      The event took place at the Driesprong Zwembad (swimming pool Driesprong), Zoetermeer. There were about 16 kids being tested. Among the test are :-

      • Jump in fully-clothed from a one meter board, float for 30 seconds, swim breast-stroke and dive under a five-foot mat (raft), resurface and continue swimming for 25 meter and swim back-stroke 25 meter.

      • Dive and swim underwater for 6 meter and go through the underwater hole, resurface, continue breast-stroke for 75 meter, in between do a "candle sink" once. A candle sink is sinking into the water with body and legs straight and your hands upright.

      • Dive and swim underwater for 6 meter and go through the underwater hole, resurface on the back, swim back-stroke for 75 meter, in between do a crocodile turn once. A crocodile turn is turning 360 degree horizontally with your body and hands straight above the head.

      • Swim free-style for 25 meter.

      • Swim back-style for 25 meter.

      • Float face down for 10 seconds, swim 3 strokes and float again for 7 seconds.

      • Float face up for 15 seconds, swim 3 strokes and float again for 10 seconds.

      Here are some photos and videos at the pool. The photos are a bit blurred for some reason. I almost given up on the uploading of the videos, it took ages !!!! The other videos just had to wait until later....

      Waiting for the test to begin. There were 2 groups, one on each side of the pool.

      Receiving last minute instructions.

      Getting ready to jump from the board for the 30 second float and swim under the mat (raft)

      Counting to 30 seconds in Dutch... anybody understand? :D

      It took a while for me to realise that Ilham's name was mentioned here in the video above. Even then I was not so sure whether I heard right. The whole thing was conducted in Dutch and we didn't understand a thing except the counting he...he...he...When the audience clapped their hands, we just joined in :D


      Getting ready for the back-style

      Swim back-style for 25 meters.

      Floating face up

      Dancing and going around the pool after the swim

      On the other side of the pool

      The last test of the diploma, treading in water for 30 seconds. Parents can join in at this stage.

      In the last treading in water, parents joined their kid in the pool. Some parents even jumped in fully clothed !!! Ilham was the only child without a parent joining in he..he..he.. Well... had his father jump in, he would need saving because he couldn't swim at all !!!! Saving him and his son the embarassment, we let Ilham tread alone :D

      Another view of parents joining their kids.

      Waiting patiently for the certificate ceremony to begin...

      Receiving a medal and a big cylinder of Smarties...

      Receiving the certificate. The lady was Ilham's trainer Alianna, she is very nice...

      The covetted B Diploma certificate.

      Smarties and the gold medal... (ohh everybody received gold :D)

      Testing the gold.... :D

      With another trainer (he was not Ilham's trainer though, he is teaching C Diploma)

      It was a fun and exciting day and a good experience for Ilham. He has agreed to proceed for C diploma, a wise decision because it would give him some target to achieve and a good exercise too. Hope he will be able to do it because he needs to wear a jacket when swimming for C and to swim underwater for about 12 meter.

      Wednesday, March 2, 2011

      Sunday, February 20, 2011

      Shaun the Sheep

      As I mentioned in my earlier post "Pirates of The Caribbean", there was this wonderful display of farms and farm equipments and animals made by children of a particular year group at the school. The next day I checked again and found that they had finished arranging the whole thing complete with the title and all. It was a surprise to find that the wonderful works were actually done by Foundation 1 children. Now had it been done by Year 2 or maybe Year 1 group, I would not be so surprised. I'm of the opinion that Foundation 1 children are a bit too young to be creating this wonderful artworks. The works were much, much too neat !!! Could it be that I have underestimated these 3/4 year olds motoring skill? I know that in creating these works, teachers and volunteer mums do assist the children... but to what extend is the assistance given? I remember last year at the ISA, Grade 2 (7/8 year olds) were making and creating their own inventions. The quality of the works were lower, perhaps because they did it themselves. The teachers guided them through the process of course. Unfortunately I did not take many photographs on that day, but you may view some of the invention works including dear Ilham's by clicking at "Invention".

      Anyway, regardless of how much assistance were given to complete the tasks, I still marvel at the ideas that they came up with. They were so creative!!! Now to be honest if it were left up to me, it would never occurred to me to do it that way !!! So let us see these wonderfully created farms, equipments and animals. If we look closely, the materials used were ordinary stuff like boxes, aluminium and paper cupcake cases, coloured papers, cotton, the hard paper inside the toilet rolls, shredded papers and others.

      A pigsty

      Chicken barn. Sticking pink papers on the roof makes it so lively...

      Another pigsty

      Sheep barn. Those sheep are so cute, reminds me of Shaun the Sheep :D

      A tractor

      I'm not sure what kind of barn this one is :D

      Another sheep barn - the paint was definitely applied by the kid :D

      I truly enjoyed taking the photos and uploading them here on the blog. Who knows it might come in handy in the future :D


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