Thursday, 19 December 2019

Can 2019 last forever, Mama?

Salam my lovelies,

Girl and Bean both love 2019 so much they have asked me to make it last forever. Alhamdulillah for the ups (and downs that delivered many life lessons) of 2019.

My silence here is largely due to the fact that I have been devoting more time to their school lives by volunteering as a PTA Secretary. There is a fair amount of compliance work to be done as well as weekly (Friday Coffee Mornings) activities. It certainly feels very much like a full-time job. Since it is a registered association, standard of good governance applies. I cannot resist the due diligence work either, teehee!

Monthly meetings were pre-scheduled since Term 3 of last academic year so it helps to be regulated. Fortnightly working meetings are for work-in-progress matters to get things done on time correctly the first time. Then there are protem committee meetings for the big tasks such as constitution reforms and governance matters. Sometimes, I can understand why my children's previous school REFUSED to form a PTA. No doubt a long list of benefits but to expect such high level of compliance from has to be very lucky to have reliable volunteers who are also customers aka paying parents. I am sure things are different in a government school.

After some initial hiccups (long story!), Alhamdulillah things are in motion now. Parents from China, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Australia and Malaysia working with British Patron and Teacher in a Committee brings a whole new lease of life to the PTA.

PTA work produces both short and long tem results so if your school has one, please maximise its benefits for your children.

It has been hectic with weekly workshops that range from Pink October Breast Cancer Awareness talk by a guest speaker/general surgeon from Ramsey Ara Damansara Hospital , Eating Disorder Support Talk by the School Counsellor, Odd Socks Day and anti-bullying workshop by Datin Azrene Ahmad and Ms. Angeline Yee, Junior Entrepreneurship Program during School Open Day, up-cycling and zero-waste crafting every Friday leading up to Christmas, and to an upcoming Christmas Fair/Lunch/Assembly. We were chuffed to bits that a volunteer from GreenPeace was able to volunteer in out zero-waste workshop.

Girl set up a pom-pom accessories shop for both Junior Entrepreneurs' Bazaar during Open Day last 16 November 2019 and Christmas Fair last 19 December 2019. She crafted some of the cutest and fluffiest pom-poms for handbags, hair slides, hair ties and stress balls. All proceeds were donated to 2 shelter homes nominated by The Big School. A total of 14 families took part in November, and another 5 enlisted themselves after some persuasion in December. I pray Allah swt accepts their kind deeds and charity. Aamiin.

There was also a Christmas community choir by parents and staff in which I sang in. We sang non-worship songs, please do not worry. "Holly Jolly" by Michael Buble and "Do You Hear What I Hear?" So glad to find I am still in alto vocal range after all these years. I have relearnt my low vowels, breathing, posture, enunciation, time stamp and harmony. The last time I had sung in a choir was 1993 so please pardon my excitement.

Before taking up this PTA post, one of the class mums had asked me to be a class rep for Girl's class. I said I would have only agreed if she took up the position as my co-class rep. Luckily she agreed because we have a good population of South Koreans in Girl's class and at generally at school requiring her great assistance! Thank goodness this age group of 9-10 year old mean the children are independent which translates to less work for us. The meetings are monthly and not as intensive as PTA meetings. In fair exchange, she is serving as a Committee Member in the PTA, as a parent ambassador. Invaluable!

Exams and academic-wise, my children have had their Parent Teacher Evening reports returned with marked improvements, Alhamdulillah. They both performed at 2 consecutive Peri Soiree. Girl sang Starlight (Vocal) and Bean sang Perfect by Ed Sheeran (he played the ukelele too!). Such evenings were lovely as the School served all those who attended chocolate chip cookies with milk as apres-performances snacks. Hot coffee and tea were available to exhausted grandparents and parents too. Consistently wonderful Sodexo hospitality! The Principal personally attended to give his support (he himself is an accomplished singer, guitarist, drama, author and leader extraordinaire - may he "teach" by inspiring all his students using his skills and talents).

SENCO-wise, we have had fortnightly observations and monthly meetings with Supervisor from EAP Malaysia and SENCO from School. I cannot stress enough how important these meetings are in setting new targets to achieve and reviewing the social skills Bean have learnt. It all translates to a safe and happy kid who then learns to be successful in School and life (not just academically).

Externally, Bean's Yamaha 1:1 piano lessons are on track too and we are happy to see him enjoy making music. In fact, his performance at the concert and choir was no easy feat but he nailed it. Alhamdulillah, a good fit.

Girl has also caught up with all of her Yamaha lessons and embarked on artistic gymnastics at Sri KL with Total Gymnastics. She enjoys all her CCA options at School 4 days a week and is kept engaged at School with ample rest time at home. Alhamdulillah, another good fit. 

We feel immensely grateful when we look back and realise how far both Girl and Bean have come in 2019.

To answer the question my children asked me: "I wish I can. May Allah swt  bring us even better lives ahead in 2020 and beyond. Aamiin."

To all my readers (mostly school-hunting parents), have a great Christmas and Happy New Year 2020!