Saturday, June 27, 2015

Half-Year School Report 2015

receiving the school report cards nowadays are not such a stressful affair anymore. everything is available online so going to the school is actually a follow up rather than receiving news for the first time (and all the shock horror reaction after).

the first report card we received for the year was for akmal. the school had its parents-teacher day on the first weekend of the mid-year school holidays. this report card i was anxious to get. anxious because i want to be able to smile at least once while holding the boys' report books. alhamdulillah smile i did. he aced every single aspect that the school 'test'ed him on, all except one, bahasa arab. his class teacher asked us to speak to akmal's ustazah to enquire about his arab but we thought, never mind…its just 1 B.

akmal's teacher had only praises for him, alhamdulillah. he's performing extremely well, he gets along with his teacher and with all his classmates, he's very active in class, always shouting out answers, never afraid to speak and to ask, always participating. all in all, a very good year for akmal, to complete an excellent time in kindy. his teacher have 'booked' him for either the year-end concert or the graduation and we could not ask for anything more.

next came the other 6 reports in one go, all on the same day. 3 classes for 3 boys in agama school and 3 classes for 3 boys in sk. it was basically a 'meet the class teacher' session as we've received the sk results online a couple of weeks prior to the school open day and we've received the agama school test papers so they are not a big surprise, really.

i guess, i'm ok with their performances in both schools. they can of course, do better, you can't just be satisfied and not push, but i guess its ok.

amir's going up, his tuition helps. he's getting good results for all his agama subjects (because of agama school). he got surprisingly good results for arts (which we both did not expect at all) and for sejarah. his weak subjects are both the languages, bm and english. he needs to improve tremendously. the other subjects, maths, science, kesihatan, are ok, somewhat average and not something to be tremendously proud of.

as for agama school, he's not doing too well. he failed tajwid, again. he's been failing tajwid since last year and now he's added sirah to the list. nothing much he can do but read and read and read. he's doing good in agama school, he participates in a lot of activities - singing, nasyid, gotong royong, kem - but he needs to up his studies, if not all his participation won't be any good.

asyraf is quite extreme. when he performs, he really performs. he's doing really well in english, kesihatan/jasmani and the agama papers but performed really badly for bm and science. arts is not his forte at all, so we'll just ignore that subject totally. he obtained a lot of Bs this semester and needs to push those subjects to As instead.

for his agama school, he's been quite disappointing. at least last year he came home with a trophy for best student for arab, this year he's almost failing his arab. the rest are borderline Bs and Cs. he's too playful in school and it shows in his results. he's not as active as amir and not a prefect so he needs to rely on his results, which unfortunately is not the case at the moment.

ariff is, well, ariff. he's doing good, considering. he still can't keep his momentum for a long period of time and it shows by looking at his test papers. he would perform very well in the first part of each paper but starts to decline halfway through. that shows he's not paying attention anymore and is starting to get bored. its really unfortunate for students like him, who is not so keen on classroom learning, who wants to be outside and learns more from doing things with his hands than absorbing things that the teachers and text books give. alhamdulillah, we realise this about ariff and is not pushing for marks, rather we look at his performances from term to term, year to year. however, having said that, his maths is a great concern to us. he's been going for extra classes for bm and maths and maybe he needs more classes and more revision. while we know he's not keen on classroom learning, we don't want him to fall behind so we need to give him help and support.

ariff's results in agama school is not too bad. he's getting the average Bs, Cs and Ds and is reading well. his good at memorising all the ayat that his ustaz have given him, which is more than we ask of him. he's already moved on from iqra' to quran although not at such a fast pace but its ok, he's there. he's reading and he's learning. he would probably need an ustaz to come to the house to help him to read the quran if he were to qhatam when he reaches year 6.

off studies, the boys are pretty well-known in both schools. amir is active in sports and other school activities, so the teachers recognise him. asyraf is slightly drowned because there are just so many good students in his year (i've heard that asyraf's year is somewhat of an exceptional year where students are all high performers), hopefully he'll be able to push himself to be recognised and acknowledged. ariff is well-known for being helpful, sometimes he helps without being asked. that's not necessarily a good thing because it can seem like he wants to do things that he's not supposed to. he likes to volunteer to send books or items from class to class or to the office or to a teacher, that's just him being a non-classroom student who likes walking around outside the class.

so that's my boys…pretty average, nothing to shout about. hopefully they'll do better in the coming exams, the coming months and term and years, insyaAllah.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Week 20 - Half-way Mark

alhamdulillah, i've crossed the half-way mark of my pregnancy. this visit was shorter than the previous visits. i thought that the last name drop was at 2pm so i picked up amir from school first. it was at 1pm actually so i was an hour late to drop my name. need to adjust my timing for the upcoming check ups then.

i was the last to be called in, not having to wait a long time. i apologized to my gynae, i really got the timing mixed up this time. she asked me about my health, mainly about the breathing difficulties i had a month ago. with sere tide nightly, its become more manageable. i used to wake up at night, gasping for breath. but now i take a puff before going to sleep and its worked wonders.

unfortunately for amir, who came wondering if his new sibling was a boy, the baby was facing downwards the whole time, he would not budge. so gender could not be determined. my gynae asked us to prepare for a girl much to amir's dismay. he did get some consolation in seeing the baby moved and jerk the entire time. very active, just like asyraf.

alhamdulillah, everything looks in order, the due date ranges from 29 october to 3 november from the scans done during all the check ups. i much prefer october and somewhere between akmal's concert and graduation would be perfect, so that i can attend both.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Preparation for Ramadhan 2015

i sat down to discuss the upcoming Ramadhan with the boys recently. i want to instill good, calm values within them since young. i want them to not go overboard with food but go overboard with their good deeds. that's the basic of Ramadhan. i know its not what i or hubby grew up with but that's what i want the boys to bring into their lives. but we'll see if what we discussed actually materialize after the holy month.
for starters, niat is important therefore everyone must aim to fast the whole month. whether we can or we cannot, there are things that are beyond our control - our health, for example, sometimes do not permit us to fast in Ramadhan. we should not push ourselves if we face health issues but at the starting point to aim for the whole month is enough and should be applauded. the boys were very good last year, ariff fasted 20 days for on his first try. amir missed 2 days while asyraf missed 1. asyraf missed on a day that i did not wake up for sahur while amir misses were most disappointing as he broke his fast in school without telling us.

i am not against pasar Ramadhan but i do realize over the years, the pasar Ramadhan have been terrible. food quality have dropped, prices were exorbitant, choices limited, sellers open and close their stalls according to their own schedule. while i do have some pasar Ramadhan favourites, i would like the boys to not have to depend on them. we may go for the occasional kuihs just to make the table look nicer and to have sweets to break fast with but no meals from the pasar. unless of course i am so tired and can't think of anything to have for iftar.

i don't want the boys to postpone Maghrib prayers. unlike normal dinner, one tend to break fast slower and with more food, making oneself tired and lethargic to perform the prayers. therefore i have suggested to take our wudhu before iftar, have a light kuih after the call for prayers, a glass of plain water and then perform Maghrib prayers. we'll have our full meal after prayers. i am hoping to keep this throughout the month but i am putting much hope, maybe since the boys are still very young and can't control their stomach.

while i don't want to splurge at the pasar Ramadhan, i know this is probably the only time we see all sorts of kuihs up for offer. we're pretty 'safe' in our choices and we don't but extravagantly when it comes to kuihs, so for this, i'm ok with the pasar Ramadhan. we usually have about 2 types and they will either be karipap, ketayap, seri muka or onde once. those are our normal kuihs and we don't venture away from that list. however, i'm going to try to keep most of the kuihs for dessert, after Isyak. i don't ant the boys to spoil their iftar with all the kuihs out there and miss out on their main meal.

one item i really, really can't see, can't have much of during the fasting month is rice. i just can't and i get bored easily with rice. we have made a decision to have rice only once a day, either for sahur or for iftar, but never both times. there will be some days when rice can't even make it to the dining table.

alhamdulillah the boys are excited to face the holy month of Ramadhan. they are scared and anxious, of course, mostly scared if they get hungry and thirsty and tired but they are excited. insyaAllah, we'll make it a good full month this year.


the value of marriage is not that adults produce children but that children produce adults - peter de vries

grown-ups never understand anything for themselves and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explainning things to them - antoine de saint-exupery
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