Thursday, April 10, 2014

Waiting for the 5th...

Time flies.... faster than we can ever realize.
After 5 years, getting pregnant again feels like first timer.. or worst.
First, most of the preggy mummy and baby stuffs are either had been given away or can no longer be used.
Second, I forgot how it feels like to be pregnant...
Third, because of the huge gap between last pregnancy and this, lots of preggy mummy and baby stuffs have change, either become more fancy, more useful, cheaper, more expensive, trendy... but things change, and I want to try them all... so it makes this pregnancy become more costly.
To add up, aging factor and 3 x CZ really made me feel like I'm actually not physically fit to do this again.
At least this should be the last attempt.

But one thing for sure, this happen everytime I changed my work place. So, all my babies are delivered when I was working at different workplace, and different portfolio.

It's already 5 months...
My feelings have changed from not wanting to talk about it, to nervous, to excited, to worried...

I just hope and pray that everything will be fine. Allah is the best planner.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ibu Hebat Anak Hebat

Musim graduasi dan anugerah kecemerlangan telah tiba, baik dari level pre-school, primary school, standard 6, hinggalah universiti. Yang bergraduasi, yang cemerlang, semuanya akan naik ke pentas menerima anugerah. Yang dibawah pentas, pastilah ibu dan ayah yang menonton kegirangan, tak kurang yang menitis air mata gembra. Saat ini terasa segala letih dan lelah mendidik anak terbayar. Ada pula suara-suara yang mengucapkan tahniah untuk si ibu dan ayah, kata.-kata "ke mana tumpahnya kuah, kalau tak ke nasi", membuatkan senyum ibu dan ayah semakin lebar. Maka kata ayah, " hebat anak kita, macam ayahnya", maka kata ibu, "hebat anak kita, hasil didikan saya"....

Anak-anak yang hebat, selain dari faktor genetik ibu dan ayah, pastinya diasuh dari persekitaran yang hebat juga. Jika kita mahu anak kita hebat, ibu dan ayah perlu juga hebat. Jika anak-anak kita dalam golongan yang kurang hebat, lihat dan renung diri kita... jawapannya ada dengan kita. Adakah kita telah berikan home education kepada anak-anak kita?

Tanya diri anda:
1. Adakah anak-anak sayangkan kita sebagaimana kita sayangkan mereka?
2. Adakah anak-anak berasa jauh hati dengan kita?
3. Bagaimana hubungan kita dengan anak-anak?
4. Gembirakah anak-anak semasa berada bersama dengan kita? atau mereka lebih suka menyendiri atau bersama kawan-kawan sebaya?
5. Adakah anak-anak sering bergaduh sesama mereka kerana masing-masing cuba menarik perhatian kita?
6. Bagaimana komunikasi kita dengan anak-anak?
7. Bagaimana reaksi anak apabila disuruh / dinasihati?

Perhatikan, renungkan, muhasabah diri.

Anak yang hebat lahir dari didikan ibu dan ayah yang hebat. Anak-anak berusia 0 - 6 tahun adalah ibarat span, mereka memerhati dan menyimpan semua apa yang mereka lihat dalam minda bawah sedar. Anak-anak berusia 7 - 14 tahun adalah ibarat rebung yang perlu dilentur, anak-anak berusia 14-21 adalah ibarat buluh muda yang sedang membesar dalam persekitarannya.

Semasa anak-anak berusia 0-6 tahun, ibu dan ayah perlu menunjukkan contoh-contoh kehidupan yang baik, percakapan yang lembut dan pebuh kasih sayang - solat didepan / bersama anak-anak, membaca untuk mereka, meluangkan masa bermain, memeluk dan mencium, menunjukkan bahawa mereka sangat penting dalam kehidupan ibu dan ayah.

Pada usia 7 - 14 tahun, mereka memerlukan role model, ibarat rebung, ikatkan diri kita pada anak-anak. Solat jemaah, membaca al-quran bersama-sama, membaca buku bersama-sama, belajar atau mengajar, melakukan kerja-kerja rumah bersama, menunjukkan kasih sayang dengan jelas melalui kata-kata dan action. Apakah kita mengharapkan anak bersolat hanya dengan "menyuruhnya" tanpa dia melihat kita juga turut solat? Apakah kita mengharapkan anak-anak membaca hanya dengan ."menyuruhnya" tanpa kita memantau? Pada usia ini, anak-anak perlu diajar dengan jelas tentang tanggungjawab mereka. Maksud jelas, adalah mengajar melalui kata-kata dan secara hands-on. Seperti mengajar solat - mengajar dengan kata-kata, menunjukkan cara, dan bersama-sama melakukannya. Atau mengajar anak-anak didapur - dengan kata-kata, menunjukkan cara dan bersama-sama melakukannya. Konsepnya tetap sama walau apapun yang hendak kita ajar atau terapkan. Jika ia tidak dilakukan dengan jelas atau nyata ata conciously, maka akan berlaku unconcious learning - anak-anak belajar bahawa solat tidak penting, anak-anak belajar menonton TV lebih seronok dari membantu ibu di dapur, anak-anak belajar percakapan yang kasar yang sering digunakan olah ibu dan ayah ketika memarahinya kerana ini yang mereka lihat dan dengar setiap hari lebih daripada perkara-perkara yang kita ingin mereka belajar.

Pada usia 14 - 21 tahun, anak-anak ibarat buluh  muda, mereka telah ada suatu sikap yang ditanam dalam diri sejak kecil, oleh ibu dan ayah, dan akan membesar dengannya. Bergantung pada sikap, minat yang mereka ada, mereka akan memilih persekitaran yang sesuai dengan sikap ini. Jadi jangan salahkan persekitaran sekiranya mereka memilih persekitaran yang salah, kerana sikap dan minat mereka yang kita telah semai dan tanam sejak kecil sesuai dengan persekitaran tersebut. Adakah kita mengharapkan anak-anak akan berkawan dengan rakan-rakan yang bijak akademik sekiranya dia tidak berminat untuk belajar? Adakah kita mengharapkan anak-anak akan solat berjemaah di surau sekiranya dia tidak berminat untuk solat? Adakah kita mengharapkan anak-anak untuk mendengar nasihat kita sekiranya dia tidak pernah mendengar nasihat yang baik sejak kecil, selain dari dimarahi?
Sebelum kita berharap anak-anak untuk menjadi hebat, ubah dan latih diri untuk menjadi hebat terlebih dahulu. Sekiranya kita berharap anak akan menjadi soleh dan solehah, jadikan diri kita seorang yang soleh dan solehah terlebih dahulu. Insya-Allah anak-anak akan mengikutinya.

Jadilah ibu dan ayah yang hebat, insya-Allah kita akan melahirkan anak-anak yang hebat.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Teaching Vs Nurturing

I find that when I start to "teach", the kids will run away from me... So I have to change my approach. The first step is to get their attention. Yes, it is not easy when there is TV, toys, video games in the house. Getting their attention by talking about things that would interest them and make them pause from whatever they are doing and respond to my questions, either by answering me, showing me, demostrating (action).

Some good questions to ask:
1. Remember what we did yesterday?
2. Where is that drawing that you made yesterday?

Once I get their attention, the nurturing process can start. Nurturing is to instill interest to learn. It is not easy but it is less painful than trying to teach a kid that don't want to sit and do their lesson. It is time consuming but it's worth all your time. Sooner or later, once the interest starts growing, they can teach themselves many things on their own.

"Education is about teaching a person so that he can learn and teach himself"     

I like to relate yesterday's activities with what I want him to do today, such as...
1. Do you want to do it again today?
2. Let me show you something different today.

Kids also love to write or draw something that is very close to them. Instead of writing a blunt ABC, make them learn the letters by their name. My Lil' Prince likes to feel "big" and do difficult stuffs like getting a worksheet printed from mummy's computer. My Lil' Princess wants to do her big brother's Math workbook rather than 6 years old stuff.

Nurturing MUST start as early as possible. I'd say not more than 3 years old. 1 hr a day is all that it needs. The activities varies according the age and kid's personal interest. Once the interest to learn is there, it will help when they go to primary school, where they need to spend 1 to 2 hrs a day to do homework or workbook or study for exam.

I think I have done nurturing well on  Lil Princess. The result is she's more independent when it comes to study. Whereas I'm still struggling with her Big Sista and Big Bro as I failed to start this in their early age. Trying to make up for the time lost in the past is very painful. So teh key word for today is start early, start nurturing not teaching. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Home Education

I started to know homeschool about 4 or 5 years ago. I followed and learnt a lot from Mama Fiza, who was promoting homeschooling in Malaysia. As a working mother, I do not have a luxury to do homeschooling 100% for my 4 kids.

I don't know about other mummies, but as a young working mum, my job was my priority. Living 25km away from office forced me and Mr.Hubby to leave the house as early as 7am and we only reached home at 7pm or more. Weekends are the only time that we could really spend "Quality" time with the kids. And our definition of "Quality" time is to take the kids to shopping mall for grocery shopping and eating at fast food restaurant. These happened for many years before I encountered the concept of homeschooling the kids. I started to realize how wrong it was my way of educating the kids - they spent most of their time at home in front of TV, watching ASTRO. They even hardly played toys because of lack of creativity to do so. I didn't realize that creativity is something that has to be taught and inspired. I hate to say that I was a bad mum before I attended Mama Fiza's homeschool chat session. Just 1 session, I began to see where did I go wrong and I was determined to make it right.
4 years later...

I was still no where in homeschooling. It's easier said than done.
It was fun to do homeschool when your kids are young - just teach them basic stuffs - ABC, 123, basic maths and science, art and craft, creative play, so on and so on. But once they are in standard 3, you know homeschooling is not about fun anymore. This is a serious matter.

So, the concept of homeschool no longer interest me and I began to develop a new concept of "home education". The concept is a bit different than homeschool as my kids are all going to normal school. At the same time, their time at home is not about watching ASTRO. I'm still a working mum, but my priority has changed. I found a job that allowed me to work from home, so I have more time to spend with the kids than on the road and traffic jam.

My home education means a holistic approach in personal development. On top of school subjects, my kids will have their mum and dad to teach, coach and mentor them about other stuffs that they probably do not learn in school or they probably learnt but get it emphasized at home.

My kids only spend 6 hrs at normal school. At home, they will continue with my home education. Daily activities include learning / reciting al-Quran, solat jemaah, finishing homework if any, and complete worksheet on various subject. Weekly activity includes reading, martial art, art & craft, cleaning the house, cooking, and creative play. Sometimes they sell some of the things they made at school in an attempt to develop entrepreneurship. It sounds simple, but it has to be done conciously and with effort from me, as their mum.

Again, I'm not a big dreamer. I am ok if my kids do not score 100% in their exam, but they can do house chores suitable with their age, and able to develop other life skills. I'm still learning, still struggling to divide my time among my 4 kids that are learning at different stage and level. This is a journey of our home education.   

Thursday, October 10, 2013

New beginning...

It has been a long time that this space has been neglected by yours truly. A lot of things happened, my life has completely change - new job, new employer, new house....

Most probably I am not the same person I used to be. I was living a busy life, pusuing my dream that I forgot about this little corner, until I finally sit down, found myself lost, and I think I need a space to think out loud. That reminds me of this little corner. I have a new commitment to make, and I need to be inspired. I hope to share my life journey to achieve this new commitment and inspire others.

I'm not a big dreamer, I'm always grateful for what I have. For that, to have a lot of money and to be rich is not my ultimate desire. I'm ok with my job as long as I don't have to sacrifice my family in order to be seen as a successful career woman. For that, to be in Top Management is also not my ultimate desire. In fact I already accomplished my "material" dream which was aiming at 35 yo - a comfortable house for 6 + 2 + 1 people, a good car that can ferry all of us comfortably, got myself a Master degree, a job with a decent salary to take care my simple needs and desire.

My next destination is to celebrate my 40th birthday without regret. Nothing material. My eldest daughther will be 15 yo, and the youngest son will be 10 yo. My parents, if panjang umur (Insya Allah), will be closed to 70. I hope it would not be too late for me to be a stay-at-home mum at that time, though deep inside my heart I wish I could do that right now right here. For that, paying off my debt and to have some savings are my ultimate desire.

My activities for the next 5 years would be:
1- educate my kids in the best possible way that I can to prepare them for their teenage years.
2- hold on to my current job
3- get my self an IR title
4- no family travelling aka long distance vacation (need to increase my savings!)

What no# 1, 2 & 3 mean is I do not have time to do extra job to increase my income. The only thing that I can do financilaly is to work around my fixed salary.

No# 1, 2 & 3 also mean that I have to manage my daily activities efficiently. I'm grateful to have a stay-at-home maid which will help me in my routine home chores - laundry, basic cooking, basic house cleaning, plus drive my kids to and from school. So, this little corner of world wide web space will be a place for me to track my progress, inspire myself and possibly inspire others who have the same desire as me.