Thursday, October 7, 2010

School Days in Malaysia!

Ok! School started a month ago - I know! We are settling in so nicely here! I tell Brent on a regular basis that he needs to dread the day he takes me off this island. There are lots of reasons why I love this place so much, and Craig's school is one of them! We are really lucky to have gotten Craig into a great school here in Penang. He is going to St. Christopher's International Primary School, or SCIPS, for short. It follows the British school system, and really allows Craig to get a truly international experience. There are 25 children in his class from all around the world. Malaysia, China, Belgium, Australia, England, Denmark, France, Germany and Uzbekistan - just to name a few. He is the only American in his class, but there are a few others scattered around the school! Here's a picture of Craig on the first day of school. This is the uniform that the children wear. The shirt is a batik shirt and the print is exclusively for the school and is made right here in Malaysia! Another reason we are so lucky is Craig's teacher! Miss Parker is from England and is so great for Craig! I won't lie and tell you he took to school straight away, but Miss Parker worked wonders on him. She's such a fun teacher and I don't know how she gets her energy!
Now this is a British school, and we do thing in proper style. The school's pupils are divided into 4 houses (like in Harry Potter). The houses are mainly used for sports, so on PE days you go to school in your house color. Craig is in the yellow house. There wasn't a talking hat that put him into the yellow house, but Craig is happy to be there. He said that gryffindor is maroon and gold and yellow is close to gold, so he's in gryffindor. Whatever it takes! Here he is as I send him off on PE day. Don't ask my why he wears white shorts to PE. Luckily Uncle David has a trick for getting stains out of white! We use cascade dishwashing detergent and tide on a weekly basis - thanks so much Uncle David! Don't you love the little cap?
Now, as I said before we do things properly here! The children tend to get a little sweaty after PE so they change into a different school shirt after PE. This is how he comes home:
As I mentioned, Craig had a bit of a rough go at first. It took a couple weeks to calm his nerves (and mine!) and I got to be in the classroom with him quite a bit and meet him for lunch. There was a lot of pleading to go back to the nurturing environment of Miss Becky's preschool and at a certain point he was determined to walk there if he had to. He also considered Jupiter and the South Pole as places to relocate. Primarily because he believed that neither location had a school. But a wonderful little angel in his class named Sophia really took him under her wing. I don't know what we would have done without her! She's from right here in Penang and has been going to SCIPS for a few years now (nursey and reception - which is preschool). They try to share lunches, but she doesn't like the "junk" that Craig eats and he's not so sure about her lunches either (I don't send junk, by the way, that's just what Sophia calls it!) Lunches aside, I think they're the cutest little friends!
Another thing that made the transition to this school finally click was that this school has pets, just like his last school! SCIPS might not have a big black dog, but it does have a turtle pond! These are just steps out his classroom door!
SCIPS is currently building a new school house on it's property and Craig's class will move into the new building after the Christmas Holiday. Here is the front of the school.
One benefit of being in Craig's class so much the first few weeks is that I got picked to be the Class Mum! And yes, I spelled that correctly - this is a British school, remember? I am so excited that I get to be in the classroom so much - it's always the highlight of my day! It's also helped Craig realize that since I'm always in and out of the class, that I must be close by. And one more thing that I love - boy does this school love to party! They are learning about the local culture here through the local celebrations. We've celebrated Hari Raya and we're headed into Depavali! Hari Raya is Muslim and Depavali is Hindu. We'll do Christmas for the Christians in December and then Chinese New Year for Buddists in January. We'll even get to tour a Mosque, Hindu temple, Buddist temple and Christian church! But here was the last celebration, the class bear, Henry Bear, just had a birthday party!


  1. I love your posts. Thank you for sharing your adventure. Think of you often, especailly when Sammy is here with Buzz Lightyear.

  2. I'm thinking about putting in a turtle pond :) what do you think Craig good idea? I think it would have to go in our living room since it would be too cold outside.

  3. I love being able to see what you and your family are up to! We miss you here in Laveen! No Halloween party!! Boo!!!
    I'm so happy you're having such a wonderful experience.