Tuesday, January 15, 2008 ;
6:50 AM

1. I am getting current and up to date on my blog. Soon, at least. And then I can tick that off my New Year Resolutions checklist.

2. Dh is back, finally! last night.

He gave updates that everything was finally discussed and settled, so it is confirmed that we are going end of March or first week of April already.

As for apartments, he only managed to view one. So we decided not to be hasty and go to Tianjin, stay in hotel first, view enough apartments then pick one. The only disadvantage about that is, when we ship all of our stuff over in Feb, we don't have a house address to ship to. Prob have to ship to the factory first.

As for schools, we were considering between the Tianjin Rego INternational School, or the International School of Tianjin. There are about 4 international schools in Tianjin, none of them Spore ones. The Spore Intl schools are in Shanghai and Suzhou, if I am not wrong.

After studying the websites of the 4 intl schools, we liked these 2 better. Rego is a UK intl school, which means they follow the British system, something like what I read from Dory's blog before. Having reception, then Year 1 and so on till Year 13. They take the GCSE O and A levels. That will make returning to Spore very easy later on.

IST is an IB school, following the Intl Baccalaureate curriculum.

Facilities-wise, both seemed the same. Rego kids looked very very smart cos their school uniform is so cool, with a navy vest and all. You know, when I watched Jay Chou's 不能说的秘密 on YouTube, seeing the students in their uniform also made me think, how pretty the girls are and how charming the boys look!
IST doesn't have a uniform.

Then I reminded myself not to be so superficial and look at such a minor point. I consulted a friend (ex colleague from hc) who is teaching at the Spore Intl School at Shanghai now. She gave me a lot of helpful advice. In the end, we decided the IB would be more suitable for our kids. We'll worry about the transition back to Spore curriculum in the future. Right now, I think our kids will do better doing more breadth than depth.

The Spore Intl School at Shanghai also follows the IB curriculum, even though they use some Spore textbooks, but they don't cover all the chapters, because they give more time for hands-on learning and project presentations.

So I'll be busy submitting applications soon, hopefully they have vacancies.

About the kids:
ds1 is having a big chess obsession now. Ever since I first bought a chess board (those flimsy foldable paper kind) and cheapo chess pieces, and taught him the basics, he has been bugging me to play it with him 5-6 times a day. The problem is, he thinks for a looooong time for each move. He is too afraid to lose or get eaten up by me. It takes up a lot of my time, and I have less time for ds2 or chores. Or blogging. :-)

So I found this great website. Sorry lah, have to ask computer to stand in for me. But this site has free online board games for kids to play, against the computer. So there are games like Battleship, checkers, Taipei mahjong, and international chess.

website: http://www.learn4good.com/games/board.htm

After that, he bugs me less, but still likes to play the real life 3D board game with me, only 1 or 2x a day. He kept losing to the computer at first, but now has got the hang of it, and sometimes win the computer. Today he won the computer in 11 moves (5 for comp, 6 for him)! Seeing his look of triumph and happiness, I cannot help but smile too.

They have now found the other games interesting too. Both also like Battleship a lot, cos the music is very "war-like" and the boys love this kind of "fighting" music. ds2 even likes the Taipei Mahjong. He likes the Chinese characters!

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

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-{dear-hubby}- dh
-{dear-son}-ds1 T
-{dear-son}-ds2 J
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