Sunday, January 7, 2018

Prep transition

So term 3 and 4 the year before prep,  there are prep transition sessions. There were 8 over these 2 terms. They were short (45mins) sessions to help introduce the idea of the primary school environment and the teachers to the kids.

There were also concurrent parent information sessions to help parents transit too. Eg. The parents association,  the uniforms requirements, the principal, the school grounds,  etc.

Another aspect of my transition that helped is talking to the kinder mums who have an older sibling at the primary school already. I asked them about uniforms, what the teachers are like,  if their child coped well,  etc. All were really helpful with the information.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

How to choose a school?

Actually I'm still not sure if I've picked the right school. It's definitely not the best school. It's a convenient school for us as it's walking distance.

So one website that is available is
It says it has an  index of community socioeducational advantage (ICSEA). No matter how I read it sounds like socioeconomic status of the school community. So I guess the higher the number the better off the students' families are.

They use the naplan testing here.  I don't really know what they test on these tests yet.  Apparently some schools are pretty relaxed about this. 
One way to see if a particular student cohort has added value is to look at this chart.  If they are about national average then the school is performing pretty average. If the school is doing better than average than that is evident on this graph.

We also did the school tours to have a look at school facilities and to meet the principal and to get a feel of the school.

Negotiating the education system in Melbourne

Because we don't have experience with the education system in Australia except for tertiary education, it's a learning process for us. And of course we'll keep comparing with what we did or had.

So far the ranking of students in Singapore is higher compared to Australia students. Whether this be in literacy, numeracy.  What are they doing right? What are we doing wrong? And how can I supplement my child's education experience to get the best of both worlds?

With 3children, we are going via the public school system. End January would be the start of prep where my 4 going on 5year old enters primary school. Into the big world. I am worried as the environment is no longer controlled and small. I am worried that she will be bullied and isn't resilient enough. She is excited to be going to big school.  She is all ready she thinks.

Hopefully we manage to provide you a description of our experiences in this country's school.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Another project

We tried out another project from the dinosaur book. The preschooler cut out her own bits with her own kid friendly scissors.

The Tea Salon at Emporium

We stumbled upon the Tea Salon at Emporium with my sister and little niece. The 2 little girls were so excited by the pretty things in the store! The pretty teacups, the pretty plates, the gorgeous wallpaper... they hopped onto the couch and started playing tea party even before we had decided to sit down to have afternoon tea. 
We selected the high tea for 2 adults and the kids just ate whatever was served. Actually they only ate the pretty cakes and left the not so pretty ones for the adults. Gosh, how they have a  eye for things.
I thought it was a great place for afternoon tea. 
Enjoying her cup of tea

dinosaur art

I think having a preschooler means that we explore alot of the world and her interests together.  It also gives me a reason to pick up my art tools again and reintroduce creativity into my life. We were exploring dinosaurs and sharp teeth!
Posing with the completed artwork
Instructions from the book

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Masada sleep school weekend residential program

I couldn't find any blogs about the weekend program, so I thought I might share our experience.

So after little steps at Monash Council, we went on an overseas holiday (major disruption to routine), had different caregivers (who prefer that babies don't cry), I went back to work... So by 10months, baby was rocked to sleep for her day naps, sleeps on a person for the second cycle, rocked to sleep at night, and needed more rocking every time she woke up, and after 12am, I succumb to giving her the breast to suck while I keep sleeping beside her. We were needing to get up about 4-6times overnight.

So the decision to go to Masada to get some help. I didn't want to take a week off work, so opted to do the 2weekend program. The aim was to get someone to break the sleep associations that the baby had.

We got admitted Saturday afternoon, talked about our goals and routine and how to adjust the routine to an age appropriate routine. We handed baby over to help with the afternoon sleep, then the nighttime sleep. I was fortunate to have a room away from the babies, so I couldn't hear them cry (which is also odd for me). There were only 8 of us so it wasn't a busy and noisy ward.

The next day was us settling the babies and the staff teaching us what to do. I must say, I didn't get to settle the baby at all because she didn't hit the time for a grizzle.

Discharge was on Monday at 0800. I had intended to go to work but decided that bad city traffic and wanting to implement the routine at home, so I took Monday off work. I should have planned it better and taken that day off anyway.

We stuck to the routine and principles and managed a week with good day and night sleeps. I was wondering if I needed to go back to that second weekend and decided that we needed to consolidate what we had learnt.

Baby performed amazingly and sailed through the second weekend.

Now is the third weekend and we are doing 7.30pm to 6.30am night sleeps with no rocking, no breastfeeding, no patting. She is relieved to be in the cot. Hopefully she keeps going well!