Mamapumpkin???

I love green Once upon a time, she designed buildings and interiors of corporate offices and on the rare occasion, homes. Now, she cleans poop and is student of a patience management course. From the drawing board as a London Architect to the realities of Motherhood, she has certainly learned many lessons in humility. And then others.....

To succeed in the corporate world, first succeed with your kid as the happy boss. Seriously.

I love green

This blog is about Mamapumpkin: A crazy, kick-ass Mom who works full time juggling several jobs - the full-time paid job, the raising of her 2 kids (she gets paid in kind for this) and the volunteering job for various charity organisations and parenting websites. Needless to say, she gets very little sleep (3-5 hours per day, Margaret Thatcher who used to sleep 4 hours per day during her conservative career inspires this crazy lifestyle).

Mamapumpkin intends to change the working Mom landscape in Malaysia where working women can bring their children to the corporate office of a client and not be frowned upon.

I love green

She writes anything that comes out of her head, mostly without thinking first (since she already has to think at work!), which almost ALWAYS gets her into trouble (according to her husband, whom she considers the love of her life on a good day).

Her 2 pet monkeys drive her towards challenge after challenge, 24/7.....day after day.....and interestingly, her parents are Muslim, her in-laws Buddhist, she's Catholic and her Hubs, an Atheist. She's thinking her kids should be Hindu, just to complete the rainbow religion cycle.

Gotta love it.

She'd love to hear from you : Mamapumpkin at gmail dot com


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Homeschooling in KL city

As you may already know, we are experimenting this year on Homeschooling in KL City. It seems so new and exciting yet stepping into the unknown is never a walk in the park. There are lots of new things to learn, new behaviors and habits to adapt to, and new schedules and parameters to abide by. We have had close to zero advice on how to do this and in fact, the confidence to set up our own structure comes from another homeschooler who says, just let the kids be………

Really? Really.

I can’t do that. They’d be bored out of their wits staying indoors staring at 4 walls every day!

Let them be……..

No way.

Yes, just let them be…….

OK. Let’s meet half way. I will draw up a time table so that there is at least a perceived goal to aspire to yet won’t be dogmatic about it, so if we don’t follow the time table to the T, so be it. That was my compromise and that is exactly what I did.

I wrote out a daily time table for T1 to achieve her homeschooling in KL City – 3 hours in the morning was to be spent on English, Maths and Science. The syllabus is fluid. For Science, she has to know her school Year 6 syllabus inside out by the end of the year (in case she decides to return to Year 7 next year). For Math, she does her school Math Year 6 workbook, and the same for English. Once a week, I will spend a morning with her revising or going through what she has learned for and by herself to make sure she understands everything. So far so good though I must say that we do not do these 3 subjects every single day. If we are invited out for a play date, we go. When we were in Kelantan for 7 days, we did fuck all. Zilch. But that’s OK.

In the afternoons, she is free to do anything productive for a further 2 hours. We try to make it not rigid so she doesn’t feel like she’s studying at school but to make our projects fun and interesting, and still get the valuable knowledge into our heads. There is also Geography and History to cover so we start attending a Geography and History playgroup with a bunch of homeschoolers every week for 2 hours. And in between all those afternoons, we have time to play and improve our musical instruments, watch educational videos, read story books, play games, paint, whatever…….

Another thing we have done is hire tutors for all the languages that T1 does at school so consider it the opportunity for her to brush up on her languages, her weakest subjects of all time. And fuck me, these tutors are costing two arms and two legs so much so that it is actually very good value for money to send her back to school!!! We have French, English, Bahasa and Mandarin.

So.

We have been doing this Homeschooling in KL City thing for a month and 6 days now. But we’ve also traveled to Chiang Mai and Kelantan and completely swayed away from our supposedly very serious syllabus. All in all, we’ve really stuck to the time table for maybe 3 full weeks and within that, wavered and skived some time table time here and there.

But hey, guess what?????????????????????????????

In those 3 weeks of full on Homeschooling in KL City, my darling T1 has:-

1. Made her own money

2. Improved her French and Bahasa by leaps and bounds, just in 3 weeks! I’ve already warned her that she is to be our French tour guide when we go to Paris because none of us speak French. She is very eager to learn and we have a fantastic French tutor.

3. Baked several times to the point of baking sell-able chocolate brownies and scones. Seriously!

4. Had her photo featured in the media and interviewed on TV too, although she was so shy that she spoke VERY LITTLE. These things take practice.

5. Practised her piano more times than she ever did in the entire year last year and has actually made progress.

6. Completed 20% of her school Science syllabus leaving many months to do so much more!

7. Done a UK Key Stage 2 Maths Assessment for 11 year olds (she is 9) and attained a Level 4, which is the required standard for 11 year olds. Just so I know she is keeping up with her classmates at school in case she wants to go back.

8. Got all her aliens from iPad Squeebles Multiplication and Division within half a DAY because I told her she’d make RM5 if she released all the aliens. Half way, she complained….Mom, I have to do 40 tests before that alien gets released and the figure keeps increasing! You see? If I want that other alien, I have to do 100 multiplication tests!!¬†I offered her a blank look and told her that it is what it is, honey. Money don’t come easy. See? Money motivates her.

9. ¬†Performed research on some places that she’d like to visit whilst on our Europe Trip, such as the Harry Potter City and the Eiffel Tower and the Theme Park in Amsterdam and Helicopter Ride through the Swiss Alps and other kiddy things……..my God Sister just told me that we have to spend up to RM5,000 to rent a car in Amsterdam for 5 days as we need a 7 seater and need to pay for rental, gas and some fee per km shit. I was like WTF……let’s just walk, or we won’t make it past our first country; even if we sold both kids.

10. Attended Take Kwon Do classes, Yoga classes, Book Club at Sun Yoga, Money Tree classes……..during the school year, we hardly have time to do all this.

11. Read a few books including the start of the White Giraffe, her Literature book for this year. She is not allowed to read the entire book because Mommy has to keep pace with her, and ahem…..Mommy has not picked the book up yet.

12. Watched a lot of Brainpop and other educational videos online and learnt lots such as all about pirates, temperatures, meta-changing states of particles, Franklin Roosevelt, etc. Brainpop is great. If you don’t already have it, get it and watch it. Even YOU will learn quite a bit and then Homeschooling in KL City might suddenly become an option for you too!

10. Written 4 essays of which one was a letter to the Malaysian Government of which I intend to hand deliver to Najib’s post box.

11. Studied some of the History of Aztecs (past of her school syllabus again).

12. Continuously become T2′s tutor in teaching her her phonic blends because the little girl so much wants to read but can’t.

13. Helped around the home a lot more by keeping tidy, washing dishes, clearing stuff away, entertaining T2 when Mommy is busy (which is almost always), as she earns Brownie Points for all her good deeds and these accumulate Brownie Points get changed for cold hard cash. Bad behaviour causes a deduction and a reduction *smile* It’s such a great plan and I am so proud of it.

14. Her projects include drawing up a large atlas and sticking animals and plants all to do with the various continents. She has suggested taking it a step further to add in currencies, flags, famous landmarks etc. Ambitious, I’d say…..but I let her be and we shall see if it materialises to plan. She also has plans to build a toy car dream workshop and has worked on paintings to be traded at a barter market. She has also been asked if she wanted to do a baking class at Sun Yoga.

15. She has been lucky enough to witness craters on the moon with her new telescope!!! So bloody awesome.

So as you can see, in a mere 3 weeks (OK, call it 5 if you want!!), T1 has achieved one helluva lot of a varied life, something she would never have been able to achieve in a typical school year. Our 1st month of Homeschooling in KL City has been very successful by our standards (both T1 and mine) and we love it! That doesn’t mean to say she would never go back to school. The downfall of it is that she truly misses her friends but only because we haven’t yet begun our playgroups a plenty. I’m sure if she saw a group of friends regularly, she’d be fine. For me, I am so turned on by the fact that I don’t have to do school fucking runs, that I hate so much doing. Rush, drive, wait, walk, drive, drive, drive. I am so done with driving. I so want a driver…….if she ever goes back to school.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is our first month of Homeschooling in KL City. It has only taken me half a day every week to get things organised and/or marked for T1, so not so taxing……but only because I’m so lazy and relaxed about it all.

Homeschooling in KL City – We love it.

Although I must qualify, it defers from the homeschooling definition of many others. This is just OUR definition of Homeschooling in KL City. Following on the month of January, for homeschooling adventures, click here.

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