Monday, October 15, 2012

Gua Anak Tempurung, Gopeng Perak 29 September 2012

Direction to Gua Anak Tempurung - Gopeng Exit. Turn left. Drive straight, pass Jeram town on your right side. Take the first left turn after Jeram town. After the left turn, "Klinik Desa Jeram" is on your left. Drive straight, cross a bridge and turn to your left. You will see GB Kuari on your left. Follow the curvy road.  Pass Sg Siput Selatan. Shortly after that, turn left into the gravel road. Follow the bumpy trail. Take the left if you come to a fork road. You will see "Ma Tau" signage. Stop at where the photo shown above.

If you have a 4-wheel-drive, you can drive up here. 
The path to the entrance of Gua Anak Tempurung is on the left where the group of cavers were standing.
As this is not a commercialized place, there aren't any signages leading to this cave.

Walking to the entrance from where we parked.

The cave.

Climbed down at the beginning of the path.

Walked through the trees.

Went over the fallen tree trunk. 

Our group leader, Ryan entering the cave's entrance.

This is what we saw after we crawled through the entrance. 
Torch light is a must as the cave is in total darkness.

Some part of the cave has very low ceiling that we have to crawled. 
Helmet is a compulsory for safety. 

My older child was wearing a bicycle helmet. I borrowed a yellow construction hat from someone.

The information sharing by the MNS cavers were excellent.

Gua Anak Tempurung is a river cave with a mere length of 0.9km. 
 Be prepare to get wet.  It will takes approximately 15minutes to just walk through it. We took about 1.5hour as we stopped along the way to marvel at the cave and listened to the information shared by MNS cavers.

Spot the cricket with long legs.

Below are some excellent photos taken and shared by Jimmy Chew.

Tailess whip scorption

We were puzzled by the yellow and blue paints on the wall. 

These are straws.

Unschooler math and writing 14 October 2012

A question from L.

"I understand that you do 'school' everywhere. I followed some of your posts where the kids visits places and learnt lots of things in the process. But do they do maths, and writing? No worksheets at all? I love the hands on, real life way of learning, but somehow I can't connect where does the table work fit in, in this lifestyle. "

Yes, L, but there is no straightforward answer to your questions. They do math but not in the conventional manner. The older kid, yesterday figured out that she needs $10 note in order to buy 2 cupcakes at $4.50 each, and on the same day, she bought a $3 plain macaron instead of a $6 decorated one, so that she does not spend so much money. So that's math for the older kid. She seldom attempt worksheets, she does not like it. The children are exposed to worksheets, revision books by virtue of their relatives and friends whom are school-going children, as well as our occasional visits to bookstores. The little one, although does not do worksheet regularly, when she does, it hard to stop her. She said 'It is fun" and she wants us to buy worksheets for her. 

As for writing, today the little one just sent a SMS. The older one, wrote and posted a snail mail last Friday. They write when they want to write, is with a purpose I would say. There is no writing practice or comprehension, if that's what you are asking. 

An excerpt from an article from The Star paper about classroom learning.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Recycle plastic container lantern 30 September 2012

Our strawberry plastic container lantern with tea light candle! :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Homeschooling Centre in Malaysia 24 September 2012

I am often asked " I heard that you homeschool. Which centre do you go? or Do you operate a centre? "

In Malaysia, there is a type of learning centre that called themselves, "Homeschool Centre". It uses overseas curriculum (Sonlight, Alpha Omega etc) and parents drop their children there just like going to school.

When I explained that I homeschool my children at home, mostly looked confused and stunned. :)  hehe.
Then, some will ask "What time is your homeschool?"

I think we (myself included) are so used to the thought that learning has to happen in a school setting and with a time table, that it is so hard to understand that learning can happen anywhere and anytime.

I truly feel that children, especially the young ones should be given the freedom to learn naturally and explore freely at their own pace but not being put to a desk-bound, Monday to Friday, 9am till whatever time type of learning.  As the child progress or as they get older, should they think they need to learn that way for a reason, then structured learning will become purposeful and meaningful.
Besides, for very young children, I feel that  parental bonding and emotional and physical development of the child should come first.

The definition of "homeschool is to educate (one' children) at home instead of sending them to school/learning centre". And with that, I homeschool with the children and I don't do "centre".
I am not saying homeschooling is perfect education, after all nothing in life is perfect but I firmly believe education has to begin with unconditional love. And home is the ideal place.

I used to think education means going to school (and recently homeschool centres), sit for examinations and get your certificates.
I used to think everyone goes through the same education pathway, the one and only way, the only choice.  Without it, life will be in jeopardy and bleak future. It has been programmed into my mind, good grades=good job=good life. Is this what education is all about? I thought, absolutely not.

Wake up and Be Awesome! 23 September 2012

My children wake up each day and are awesome. They look forward to the day.

 Each morning, I will be woken up by a very soothing voice "Look mommy, look" repeatedly. Each time I open my eyes, a wide grin on my child's face will greet me. This naturally jumpstart me to being awesome.
My older one used to do that when she was little and now, she will wait until I wake up, knowing that I sleep late.

  Before I became a mother, I can't remember being awesome except on days when I was about to go on a vacation and also on weekends where I did not have to work!

I wish my children will "Wake up and Be awesome" for the rest of their life.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Camping at Hutan Lipur Sg Congkak 15 September 2012

We set our tents at the end of Zone 4, the last three campsites. I like this area as it has lots of shaded trees and the volumes of water gushing over and around the rocks is soothing. 
One campsite is RM10 per night. Besides that, there is a facilitiy charge at 50cent per adult per day. 
Tel: 03 5513  2000. Batu 20, Kg Padang, 43100 Hulu Langat, Selangor.

The children had fun in the river within sight.

Setting up the camp bed needs much physical strength and I couldn't have done it without my hubby. 

The changing room is just across our tents and the nearest toilet is within a minute walk away.

Popcorn for snack.

Homemade pasta by aunt F and reheated in a foil, on a bed of charcoal.

More food.

Lighting up candles. The kids were supplied with 5 boxes of candles by aunt M.

It rained at 7am and a flysheet was erected.

It was cooling, camping under these magnificent trees.

The water is much cleaner on the upper stream where we camped.

Stomata and Photosynthesis in Plants at National Science Centre 12 September 2012

A simple experiment to show plant's photosynthesis. 
 Bromothymol blue(BTB) was used as an indicator. By using a straw, blow CO2 into BTB solution, to make it more acidic. BTB will change to yellow colour. Then, by putting waterweed into the chemical solution, the plant will utilize the CO2 in the process of photosynthesis, making BTB solution less acidic and the colour will return to blue.   

And this is a stomata specimen on a slide.
It was taken by applying a thin layer of clear nail polish on the back of a leaf. Peel it off when it has dried. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sunway Lagoon Theme Park, Sunway PJ 8 September 2012

Lockers are available. RM5 per use or RM15 per day. 
Alternatively, you can bring a trolley bag with padlock and park it anywhere in the park= free. 

Park your vehicle at Sunway Pyramid, following Sunway Lagoon signage.
Originally, the kids were supposed to go BASF 2012 for some chemistry experiments. Then this Sunway Lagoon offer of RM40 per adult and RM30 per kid for wildlife park, water park and amusement park came to light. 
Needless say, the kids went for the latter and ditched the former one. I feel the same way. hehe. 

We were told to arrive at 7am but nay, you can arrive before 830am. 
Bring a trolley as each person will receive a huge goodie bag of products, toothpaste, toothbrush, lotion, contact lens solution, mosturizer, wet tissues, facial tissues, female essence, 100 plus, etc etc etc. It is definitely worth more than what I have paid for the ticket. We were also given a free breakfast of ice lemon tea, a bottle of water, some pastry and sandwiches.

After the walkathon finished, the kids jumped into the water.

The zumba instructor was good. I have to restraint myself from dancing and went straight to the water slide to beat the crowd.

As there wasn't any crowd, the kids went up the water slide for countless of times. 
The yellow tubing is free.

The kids had crazy fun. 
I like both the slides, open and tunnel ones, my older kid said.

The younger one bellowed " I like the tunnel slide more as it is longer, twisty and DARK!" 

You didn't see me on the slide as I chicken out. Yeah probably not the first time. 

My younger kid just met the minimum height requirement. 

 This pool is good during sunny afternoon. 

The kid stepped in when the huge bucket of water was about to collapse. 

Blue tubing is available for rental. 
RM10 for a one seater. RM20 for a two seaters.
We didn't want to pay, and so we waded the water with hands and legs.

We watched a group of women taking the plunge at the suspension bridge.

Why do they tie the legs? asked my little one. 

The amusement park is so much more fun than the Genting Highland's one. 

Only two riders! 


She ain't afraid of height @ Ferris Wheel.

They love super fast ride.