Life long sharing . . .

Archive for April 2013

As there are a lot of conflicts and happenings in my girls’ school, for the compulsory extra tuition imposed by the school,  couldn’t help but to dig out this book, which is written by a renown Taiwan educator, 牧语轩.


In this book, she is not just sharing about her view in Taiwan new education system, explaining what the new system is trying to achieve, what is the impact and also  giving advice to Taiwan parents on how to help their children benefit from this system. She also shared her own experience bringing up her two children (a daughter and a son). Both her children grow up to be a fine and knowledgeable adults, doing well in their studies. And there are also chapters where she shared some tips on tackling each subjects (she has been teaching in secondary school for 27 years)

Now, for the topic of extra tuition, no tuition, day care, I like the below explanation and guideline that she shared:


Tuition is effective when:
1. The way the tuition teacher teaches, the child can understand/comprehend.
[Agree, sometimes, different teaching method or explanation suit different children]

2. The child learns it once during tuition, and listens to the teacher teaching in school one more time, which is equivalent to ‘revision’. For those children with good enough foundation and who pay attention in class, this helps to  get good result in exam.

3. The tuition class helps to highlight those important point for exam, and teaches the exam skill, spot exam questions. During examination, those who sit in such tuition class and being hardworking, they might find the exam question very familiar and therefore easy for them to score. But if the tuition class didn’t spot the questions correctly, they are not able to score. Majority of the children taking tuition, their strength is not growing, and their interest in studies in deteriorating.  Where does the problem lie in ?
[Ya, it’s valid also especially for those big exam like UPSR. Tuition can help the children to target for the examination.]


(Yes, there are children whose result improves after tuition, but there are more whose result didn’t improve or get worse after taking tuition.)

Tuition is NOT effective when

1. Tuition class focus on teaching a subject or topic more in depth, sometimes harder than what is covered in school. Those who don’t even have the foundation, will not be able to digest what is taught and not able to cope. Therefore, tuition didn’t help to improve their result.

2. Some children might feel their tuition teacher is better than school teacher, and might not pay attention in school, developing bad attitude in learning in school, such as being ignorant to teacher and disturb the class in school. This kind of learning attitude won’t help in improving their studies.

3. Tuition works for one subject doesn’t mean all subjects have to take tuition to make it works.

A child’s freedom, own free time, and also body strength is limited. Human beings need time to think, to rest. When taking tuition, the child reach home late. And in the limited time left, the child still need to complete his/her school homework, and need to prepare for the next day school work… there is really not enough time for them. Those children who don’t bother about their studies, go to bed early being exhausted after the day long tuition class; those who care and responsible, sometimes need to study until late night, and the next morning go to school being tired. This cycle repeats every day. At the end, even those who have the will and want to do well in their studies, will be too exhausted physically and mentally to cope The tuition class won’t be able to deliver the intended result.

Another reason is some even attend tuition class just because the parents want them to. The children do not attend willingly. This kind of tuition only help to ‘sustain’ but not to ‘improve’ their studies. Sometimes, it might even make it worse.


ONLY go for tuition when needed
Whether to take tuition or not, as a parent, we need to put in serious consideration. It involves not just money, but also time, and the children health. How we make the decision demonstrates what is the parents attitude and principal towards life, and children learn from us.

The author thinks that the below scenarios are only when a tuition should be considered:
1. The child doesn’t understand what the teacher taught in school, no matter how hard the child have tried to pick up by him/herself.

2. The parents are not there for the children at home. The child is left home alone without any adults to coach and watch over them. The children are easily tempted to get addicted in computer/online games. Then joining a tuition class might help. If can take up ‘self-study’ in tuition class, better still.

Another point the author shared,when a child fails all subjects, normally tuition won’t be able to help a lot. If the child has the will and wants to go for tuition to help him/herself, two advice the author gives:

1. Go for small classroom size, best below 12 person a class, then only the child can get personal attention and coaching.

2. Don’t go for too many subjects at one time, the most is two. Let the child focus on the two, then only can make progress, and slowly build confidence from there.

Yesterday, managed to squeeze some time out to attend the SouthEast Asian HealthCare and Pharma Show at KLCC Convention Center. (It is from 24-Apr till 26 Apr 10am – 5pm).

And we couldn’t feel more lucky to be able to attend a talk by the Director of Operations of Next Generation PhotoDynamic Therapy (NGPDT) center in Guang Zhou, China, Scott Waters.

I mentioned about this cancer therapy in one of my post earlier. Yesterday, we finally got a chance to learn in more detail, what this therapy is about, and how it claims to be NON INVASIVE, NO PAIN, NO TOXIC treatment.

And how amazing to know that it all comes from the concept of photosynthesis in plant that we learn in school. In plant, the chlorophyll being supplied with sunlight, will generate food  and throw out Oxygen as waste. And those brilliant scientists figured out a way to use this similar process on cancer cell, as we all know cancer cell don’t like oxygen.

Their therapy is something like this: The patient will drink an agent, which is some sort of non toxic chlorophyll drink. And the best thing is this agent will only be picked up by the cancer cell, leaving all healthy cell in-tact, not like chemotherapy. Then wait for 24 hours, before the light is put in, via some sort of laser beam. And then,….. guess what, the cancer cell/tumour will undergo necrosis and apoptosis. Yes, the cancer cell is dying or death.

I did some google and manage to find two youtube videos by Scott Waters, giving an introduction about this technology in Malaysia Medical Expo 2009. Do spend some time watching it. It’s worth it.

In fact, on 28th March 2011, they have presented this Next Generation PDT to the Minister of Health of Malaysia, including YB Dato Sri Liow Tiong Lai and a team of experts.( But the sad thing is, the machine is still sitting there unattended in HUKM Malaysia, until now, April year 2013. Sigh…

And here is the website for Next Generation PDT:

Please share with any friends who are in need of this information.

When doing her revision for Std 2 BM textbook, Unit 13, Ling asked about how each of the following birds look like.

Burung Undan, Burung Merpati, Burung Enggang, Burung Tempua and Burung Jelatik.

Spent some time gather the below information for her. Just sharing here, in case you find it useful for your children. (click the below image to get the pdf version)


This time, they show how they made a pork ramen soup, well, as usual, without using pork. I guess that is the reason why instant noodle is not good – those magic powder we add.

After waking up from their nap, I made a glass of cactus juice for  my girls, explaining to them that this juice is good to boost their ‘immune system’. Then Ling started to ask about what is ‘immune system’, and this excited Mummy started to tell story about the fighters in our body that help fight the bacteria, to make us stay healthy…bla .. bla.. bla..

Then Ying asked, ‘Mummy, how did they get the juice out of the cactus? Won’t they get hurt?’

“No, dear. They have a way, may be use some machine. When you grow up, you can learn more.’ Ai ya, another not so easy question from them.

“Ya, I wish when I grow up, I can go to Science tuition. I got so many thing to learn about, like inside of our body,” Ying added.

Ya, I am grateful that my girls are back like normal again, curious about things surrounding them again. No more zombie..

p.s. Before that, Ying came to me, bringing a magazine with a cartoon snail on the cover, asking me, whether it’s the tentacle of a snail or the eyes of snail. She is confused. She told me her teacher pointed to the tentacle and said it’s ‘触角’, but to her, there are eyes on it, and should be consider ‘eyes’.

So we sat down together and did some google search, and read our findings together.

Snails have one or two pairs of tentacles, depending on the species. The eyes may be at the base or on the tips of one pair of tentacles; a few species have no eyes.

 A land snail has two pairs of tentacles that stick out from its head. On the tip of the two longer tentacles are its eyes. A land snail can move its tentacles up and down and from side to side to help it get the best view. But a sea snail’s eyes are located at the base of its tentacles. And they always stay in one place.

Today Ying came home sad, telling me that “Teacher said, I cannot memorize my nursery rhyme and my voice is too soft, so I cannot take part in the Nursery Rhyme contest.”

Well, I know Ying well. She always becomes super-the-duple shy on stage, since her Yamaha JMC time. She can perform well, just that during the self introduction part, her voice will turn to as soft as mouse squeak.

“Teacher has chosen another boy and girl for the contest,” Ying continued.

“It’s ok. So next time you must remember to prepare and memorize your nursery rhyme. And also, must speak louder. Mummy has taught you before right ? ”

“But it’s because no one ask me to practise. 姐姐didn’t ask me to practise…”

“No, you should ask yourself to practise. You can ask people to help, but cannot blame other for not asking you to practise. When you show me the nursery rhyme your teacher chose for you, I have reminded you to practise, right?”

Sorry dear, Mummy might sound a bit ‘cold hearted’, but Mummy really don’t wants you to have the habit of blaming others when things went wrong. You must be brave to face your mistake.

And sorry again, these few weeks Mummy was so occupied with the extra tuition and AGM thingy, Mummy also forgot to remind you again.

After lunch, seeing Ling practising her nursery rhyme, Ying also wanted to join. I let her recite together with her sister.

“It’s good also, you practise now so that next year you can try again,” I told her.

“Ya, and if any of your classmates cannot do it, you can tell teacher that you want to try again.” Ling gave her advice.

“Ya, you must be brave enough to tell your teacher, and also, this time, must read out loud in front oo… ” I added.

“And girls, remember, to Mummy, as long as you step out and present your nursery rhyme on stage, you already win. Whether at the end you win a prize or not, it’s not important to Mummy.”

“No no, there is no stage. Just a flat place, where all the students sit on the floor, and we stand in front to read our nursery rhyme.” Ling quickly corrected me.

I smiled 😀 Mummy just hopes you two get my message.

When recuperating at home after surgery, on medical leaves, I was so bored that I ‘gobbled’ up almost all the books I could get hold of, including this one: ‘Common Errors in Pupils’ English’. And guess what, I learnt a lot. They are not just errors in pupils’ English, I made those mistake also. Ya, Chinese saying, “活到老,学到老”。



Below is the content/topics covered in this book.



I like some of the topics covered a lot. For example, Unit 4 Redundancies: Not right to say ‘In actual fact’ and ‘Free gift’ (ya, the latter one is classic. You can hear it everywhere.)





And the chapter “Unit 5 : One word or Two words” is also very interesting. And I like the way they explain it in picture. Ling flipped through some of the pages and she said she like it too. Her comment: Easy to understand.






And then, in “Unit 9 Nouns – Singular or Plural”, I believe these two are quite common being used wrongly:





And also one topic in “Unit 10 Punctuation”, one error which I always made, is when writing about speech:



Lastly, the below two are also something very common, even in adults, definitely in my English. I like to use ‘and’ a lot to continue talking and talking and talking.. pai sei pai sei…





At the end of each unit, there are some revision exercises, and Ling is very tempted to try it.

IMHO, this book is a good read for Upper Primary students.


April 2013

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