In the home country, the kids' cousins started their schooling term for this year last week. For the kids here, this is summer holiday. Their school term will start by February. Farhan will go to 1st grade. Ammar will start his kindergarten. Farhan got used to school system since his age of 3 equipped with written exam system - even I still doubt its validity. But Ammar will start at age of 5 by 2011. Since he was bornt in November, he is regarded as 4 years old by the system which 30 April is the cut of date.
As Farhan has finished his preparatory class, we think he was doing great throughout the year. His teachers also viewed the same. By end of the year, his language improves a lot. He is able to deal with basic numeracy. He can read orange level of books, that he is proud of when the teachers said to him that it is of high level for his grade. He also can construct simple essay narrating every day's activities. I can also see that his self esteem and confidence improve. He really enjoyed the school. He said the school was fun in the first day when he came home. That was also his view when he reached house in the last day. He also loves his teachers very much, Danni and Lauren. We think the fact that 2 teachers allocated for a class just consists of 15 pupils is a great benefit to the kids. The teachers seem to know their pupils very well and able to identify and improve aspects that require attention. As to the curriculum, there are only 3 basic subjects; literacy, numeracy and integrated curriculum which combines various themes such as healthy food, the farm and fairy tales. This is very minimal compared to our school system back home. By this aspect, their cousins back home must have more knowledge than them. But from another aspect, there is ample time for them to build up good foundations of basic skills. As to his religious school, he got the best progress award for iqra', even though he sometimes told us that he didn't like the school for unknown reason. I once found he wrote in a paper: 'I went to sunday school today but I don't like sunday school'. He never told us the reason and we never insist to ask for fear he might not confide to us anymore.
As to Ammar, we see that he was quite resistant to the new language in the beginning we were here. He refused to learn or to even listen if we spoke to him in the language. But lately, almosts suddenly he develops interest in the language and learning by reading. He now likes us to read him book every night before going to bed. His most favourite book is the kids encyclopedia that we bought in a garage sale. His favourite subject is about space and the planets. I think for this reason too he likes Little Einstein very much. Hopefully that would be sufficient preparation for his kinder.
In last November, there was an orientation for him. It was only for about 45 minutes for the kids to see and feel what it is like. Ammar seemed to enjoy the class and couldn't wait for school to start.
Our little Ainaa has also grown up. By end of this month she will reach 1 year and 5 months old. We see she is growing up faster than her brothers. For this I think the theory that female matures faster than male is correct. She could walk/properly before her first birthday. She uttered her first words around that time too. She is now able to say mak, bapak, nak, air and there. The first sentence was uttered yesterday 'nak air' (want drink). She can sit properly for her meal and able to eat by herself. We are also always amazed that she understood more than what we expected.
Seeing kids growing up fast, we feel we get older fast too. As if it was only yesterday we met, befriended and decided to build future together. We pray to Allah for the best in life and in the hereafter. Always we do not know what Allah meant for us. Always we feel that this is a serendipity. Allah knows best what is best for us.