Wednesday, 6 October 2021

A first time PSLE mama

Today I celebrate the daughter's hard work for the past 6 years in primary school, I celebrate surviving this journey with her as a first time PSLE mama, and I celebrate keeping tuition out of schedule till this day. I do need to share our strategy, but will keep that for another post. On top of this celebratory mood, it's the man and my 15th wedding anniversary. How apt that it falls nicely with the daughter's last paper. 

Six primary school years may have been long, but it bolts by once your child begins primary school. Over the years, the daughter grew so much in wisdom, strength and independence. There's so much more to rejoice than just how well she conquered the exams. Just thinking of our education system, raising a kid in Singapore is no easy feat. I do deserve a pat on my shoulder on this journey done well.

PSLE is a big acronym. Every child's know. I was so filled with nervousness and worries as the exam days neared, feeling even more intense when her first paper began. It felt like I was going for the exam! But how to stay calm?! It's a nationwide exam that paves the path ahead. The better you do, the wider and brighter your options are! And of course, coming from a parent who doesn't do academic enrichment, I had our expectations very much managed, but not without the absence of worries.


PSLE is over!

First paper went well, she said it wasn't easy, but manageable. Then came Maths, my heart sank when she related that she was mentally challenged by a few questions. I felt my heart-aching for her, but I know that's how notorious our Maths has been. It's not to devastate anyone, but to distinct those who are able and unable to do, to facilitate scores differentiation when it comes to results and school selections. There's just this allocated vacancies in the popular schools, and it doesn't go to everyone. In this new scoring system, where more possible scores fall in the same Achievement Level (AL) range, there is a stronger urge to define.

The daughter related that her classmates were in tears and upset that they couldn't do some questions, or complete the paper. This is a scene not sighted only at PSLE. It happens at all other exams, be it mid year or prelims. We have every parental right to teach and guide them through those moments, growing their mindset. The comfort here is that, majority feels the same. No one is alone.

Not that questions set were out of syllabus, they were a test of learnt concepts with in-depth thinking skill. I've to say though, luck plays some part in the years they do their PSLE. Some years, we do not even get any uproar from parents and some years, we hear noise. Exams are not meant to be easy that everyone aces it the same way. It has to be distinct. No doubt, the years have not been easy with much disruptions to curriculum plans and lessons. But I wouldn't be content if the kids did an easier PSLE based on compassionate grounds. On the other hand, why aren't parents blaming their tuition centres for not preparing the kids well? The amount of fees have to justify right?! I wasn't upset, or outrage at all. It's just the way things are when we try to be rational about it. Rather than trying to find excuses or fault.

We can take the opportunity to teach resilience, not blame. Resilience is such a powerful trait that encompasses the elements of self-control, emotional awareness, positivity, reasoning, self care, patience and so many more! It's key to positive character building. In midst of teaching our child, we learn in the process too. We learn to choose our words and reactions meaningfully. Are we mindful in speaking encouragement and kindness to our dejected child? It's definitely not the time to bring forth the tiger in us. Praise should be made culture in parenting.

The last we want to exemplify is to fault find in others and on the things that won't change. Be it the course of an event or outcome. If it does, it sets an unpleasant precedence for the PSLEs ahead. Anyway, what goes behind any consideration is not something visible to us. Instead, let's focus on helping our kids take responsibility and learning into their own hands, grow in strength, resilience and most importantly kindness. Have good thoughts and speak uplifting words. The world is harsher than this math paper. Life did not promise a bed of roses.  

To our surprise, the daughter gave us softie and 'Thank You' card each. For guiding and encouraging her through the years to this day.

Thank you cards the daughter gave us
 

Let's raise a generation of strong and kind warriors! Where each trial, test and exam is a new found maturity for our child. 

What's over is unchangeable. Celebrate because both child and parents have partnered hard. While Helen and Ivan are busy weighing their coins, we shall take time to do the things we really enjoy before life starts getting busy again next year. Consider now till the release of results, what our expectations are and how will we manage them. I'm sure another nervous mama as we near that day! Let's always remember that love is unconditional, whatever the grades are. 

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

[Review + Giveaway] The Durian Bakery

Going for durian bakes isn't my usual kind of thing. That's because I'm a a 101% durian lover and I would always prefer to go for the real thing. Unprocessed durian, right from its shell. 

The Durian Bakery changed my eating experience. Durian bakes and pastries taste almost as good and satisfying, especially made with fresh durians delivered from the plantation, in Pahang, Malaysia.

We had the Dark Chocolate Musang King Durian Mille Crepe Cake which was extremely rich creamy. Made with 39 layers in total - 20 layers of thin handmade crepe skin and 19 layers of thick durian puree. The cake is layered with their signature MSW SilkyGold™ durian puree, blended through a special process to make it extra creamy, and just as tasty as the durian itself! Though creamy, it doesn't make you sick of eating as the crepe skin evens out the cream, giving you a balanced taste.

The cake weighs about 1 to 1.1kg and is sized at about 8 inches, making a good birthday cake option for any durian lover.

Dark Chocolate Musang King Durian Mille Crepe Cake

 

Along with the cake, we also had their Mao Shan Wang Pastries Taster Bundle, which is highly recommended on their website. This bundle consists of:

The choux puffs are filled with a luscious and decadent durian filling of D24. Their signature mochi with a soft core are filled with purely just D24 Durians, making a tiny and easy in between the fingers snack. We like savouring them semi-frozen.  

 

Cake and taster bundle

The savory dark chocolate mousse is made with fresh musang king durian pureed, whipped into a thick creamy texture. We specially love the crunchy crust base, giving each mouthful a nice durian crunch. With every mouth, you could also taste the natural bitter-sweetness of their signature SilkyGold™ Durian Puree. Topped with sinfully rich dark chocolate, it gives an extremely creamy texture and is wonderfully delicious.

Dark chocolate mousse
 

The bakes and pastries are made with high quality, carefully selected ingredients and unique blend of flour ratio - standardized 11.7 % of protein content with highest wheat germ level. Wheat germ is high in vitamin E, an essential nutrient with antioxidant properties. And most essentially, the bakes and pastries are all freshly baked without preservatives. They do have eggless cake options too.

Burp! It's been a while since we had some nice durian cake and pastries. Which have all earned a thumbs up from us. 

Recommended by: best in Singapore

Giving away!

[GIVEAWAY] Hop over to our Instagram post to join our giveaway of one Dark Chocolate Musang King Durian Mille Crepe Cake worth $108!

 

Disclaimer: Sponsored post


Monday, 27 September 2021

PSLE Fuel pack

This is the week, the week where PSLE begins. The year that our eldest is taking this major exam, after 6 years of completing primary school. How did time fly?!

The final 2 years leading up to national exams had been rough. Our school going children were navigating in and out of uncertainties, toggling between physical school and home based learning. We thought 2020 was trying enough for them, then came 2021 which didn't look any prominent. 

Pandemic is truly full of surprises.

Now that we are days away from the first paper, I've to say I'm even more anxious. Not about the daughter's readiness of knowledge in battling the papers, but about keeping her and everyone in the family safe and healthy, away from covid. It's highly important that she gets to sit for the papers, the final lap and wrap after all these primary years. No doubt, the challenge is tough with the unseen virus, in an uncontrollable situation. You won't know when the virus hits, or when a quarantine order or leave of absence will be issued. 

It has been a year of twists and turns for them. Adding on to the many changes, these kids are the pioneer batch of students to the new AL scoring system, as well as the youngest within the community qualified for vaccination. I can imagine the chaos that their minds have been going through.

I declare our P-Sixers as warriors! Warriors who adapted, who stood strong through changes and showed resilience in the times of uncertainties. And like some previous years, where I made fuel packs for our PSLE friends, I made one for the daughter and some of our friends this year. It was so much more specially made because it's the daughter turn.  

I hunted down for relevant items and ideas to complement exam tips. This is one that can be easily assembled for any child who's conquering exams ahead.

PSLE Fuel pack

Here are our 15 exam tips for battling the upcoming exam: 

Tip 1: Stickers are lovely for decorating revision notes (Item: Stickers)

Tip 2: Sticky notes are great ways to set visible reminders (Item: Sticky note pad)

Tip 3: Add colours to revision (Item: Colourful washi tape. Skittles candy is great too)

Tips 1 to 3

Tip 4: Music helps relax the mind (Item: Mini musical box)

Tip 5: Erase the 't' in can't. You can do it! (Item: Eraser)

Tip 6: Run the day with a schedule. Balance study and play (Item: Schedule pad)

Tips 4 to 6

Tip 7: Make notes to capture important learning points (Item: Ring cards)

Tip 8: Keep break time in mind (Item: Kit Kat)

Tip 9: A nutritious breakfast starts the day well (Item: Cereal. I used granola bar for some boxes too)

Tips 7 to 9

Tip 10: Energy is everything that keeps you going (Item: Milo)

Tip 11: Vitamin C boosts immunity (Items: Yummy earth pops and Ribena gummies)

Tip 12: Bookmark revision pages (Item: Sticker markers)

Tips 10 to 12

Tip 13: Study hard, study smart (Item: Smarties)

Tip 14: Highlight important key points (Item: Highlighter)

Tip 15: Do a twist dance after every hard work (Item: Twisties)

Tips 13 to 15

 

A little cheer amidst the gloom. I hope our little warriors will conquer their papers in good health and in good confidence. As always, best effort counts. 

All the best to all our PSLE children nationwide!