Kate’s “homeschool” while on LOA

People ask me why I don’t homeschool my kids. I laugh that homeschooling is not for me.

AKA I cannot imagine being at home 24/7 with 6 little kids! I take my hats off to families who do that, and do that well!

Kate is on LOA because #1 came back from the UK last Saturday. I was prepared that all my kids had to stay home alongside #1 as she was on SHN. However, checks with the school deemed otherwise, and on Monday, when my older kids went to school and informed their teachers (perhaps they should sit 1m apart), the response was “No need to tell me about your sibling being on SHN”. Okk…

2 days later, new measures kicked in, and on Tuesday night, it was announced that preschool and primary school students would be placed on LOA if a member in the same household was on SHN.

Thus began my 8 days of homeschooling with one 7-year old student. Well, it’s actually not homeschooling but merely executing the lesson plans that their teachers have done up for us. I’m using the term homeschool really loosely – Kate calls it school at home run by mummy!

Here are 7 steps to help you along as Home Based Learning kicks in next week!


We set up a gmail account for Kate and she was all excited to await her home based learning (HBL) package. She kept refreshing her inbox!

We took it nice and easy and I had time to make her a wholesome lunch. Lots of veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and tomatoes to boost her immunity, mixed with buckwheat and red quinoa grains, topped with cheese.

After lunch, still no email, so we got started by orientating her to what she calls “Mummy School”.

Step 1: Create a timetable

I asked her to list out all her subjects in school. She struck off CCE, PAL and social studies saying “these 3 no need, I will do them in school”. We added in a lunch break, snack break and fruit break.

Step 2: Set up Workspaces

Her room was the classroom, and I set up a desk next to hers so that I could do my work while supervising her. She decided to have her PE lesson in the living room with more space.

Healthy casserole

The time passed very quickly and you start to feel that nothing much has been accomplished! The HBL package had not come through. I can imagine the additional workload on their teachers and school administrators. A big thank you to all of them, working so tirelessly during this time to ensure learning goes on for those kept at home.

Her sister was back from school and I made them banana and mango smoothie with a sprinkle of chia seeds. Now is the time to ensure they get nutritious food, 8-10 hours of sleep and to stay relaxed and happy to keep their immunities strong. It’s a nice change to be home and have everyone back early from school.

Fruit break

Step 3: Teach them to google lessons independently

I checked if Kate knew how to google appropriate Art and PE lessons which she could do by herself. The more I set it right at the beginning, the less time I needed to spend to supervise her in the days to come.

She showed me a website Art for Kids Hub where she was learning how to draw cupcakes. She even motivated herself at the bottom of the page with “Awesome!! Keep up your beautiful drawing! 🙂

Her fave subject

Step 4: Silent reading buys you time

Instead of letting her play games on her IPad, I told her it was time for 30 minutes of silent reading while I prepped dinner. As they now have access to a digital device, it is all too easy to switch into game mode if parents are not watching.

Finally, after dinner, we checked her email and YAY! Her HBL package had come in. Kate was so excited! We used her ipad, but the zip files could not be opened properly.

Her teacher called me after dinner to check if we could access it as some parents were having trouble. She would resend us another link tomorrow, and also reminded us that we had to take Kate’s temperature every morning and Dojo her before 8am.

I thanked her for her assistance and was deeply appreciative of how hard they are working to keep everything going.

It was bedtime for Kate and she was disappointed we didn’t get any work done, but I told her not to worry, it can flow into Saturday. We did manage some art, PE and got a system going. That was a great start!

Day 2: Thursday

9am: Wake up mummy!

Last night, after Kate went to bed, I carried on working late into the night to handle this sudden suspension of enrichment classes.

Kate said, “Daddy has prepared breakfast. And, my lessons are supposed to start now.”

Oh right. I’m the teacher. No more luxury of working till the wee hours of the morning in the wonderful silence and waking up late, knowing that my kids are being productive in school.

Again, silent words of gratitude sent to all teachers out there.

Step 5: Fine-tune timetable & be flexible

Kate is thrown off her schedule as we are behind by 2 hours. We need to re-adjust our time table! I instructed her to shift those classes that she can do on her own to the earlier morning slots. English, Math and Chinese will commence at the later part of the day.

After breakfast, I am ready to tackle this homeschooling business with gusto! However, even with the new link, certain parts couldn’t be opened on her ipad. No choice, I tried downloading it on my laptop.

Kate decided she would make better use of her time while waiting. “Mum you figure it out. I’ll start on my Art class ok?”

“Yes, perfect plan.”

After an hour of art, I still couldn’t retrieve the Math worksheets, and I couldn’t find the instructions for her Chinese. All this was in between me answering work texts and emails.

I asked her to start on her PE lesson first, via YouTube. Halfway through, her ipad ran out of battery. So, break time it was!

PE Lesson

The tricky bit is getting all the school materials ready to teach her.

Teaching wasn’t the difficult part because I could make time to teach her for 20 minutes, and give her time to do her own work while I did mine.

Step 6: Make time to Be Prepared First

What I needed was a good 3 hours to read through what I needed to teach her, download everything that was required to go with it, before embarking on the real teaching. It couldn’t be done while working from home and trying to multi-task.

That’s the problem.

Ok, we’re not going to give up or be defeated! I didn’t want to bother her teachers just yet until I’ve exhausted all possibilities. We’ll take a lunch break and try again later.

Lunch wasn’t quite ready but we had to get online at 1pm with my team of educators at TLE to trial our virtual classroom as all enrichment centres have been suspended.

We had fun playing games and trying different activities remotely from our own homes. Learning can go on even in tough times like this! After we logged off Kate said, “Is lunch ready? I’m starving!” It was almost 3pm and the teens started coming home. I spent the rest of the day fixing them food and catching up on my work.

Hopefully, we will get some work done tomorrow!

Virtual classroom at TLE

Day 3: Friday

Finally! We managed to get access to the files and links. Kate was overjoyed! She really loves the comfort of doing work.

Yesterday, MOE announced that from next week, students will stay at home and do HBL once a week.

This gradual induction, especially for lower primary students is definitely needed to ease them into online learning. There is no way that a P1, P2 or even P3 child is able to open all the files and teach themselves the syllabus. This transition gives parents time to put a decent plan into action, in the event that full school closure is implemented.

I can’t imagine a class of 40 messaging their teachers daily to ask for help. Piloting it for 1 day a week allows teachers time to sort out the kinks and make full transition a much smoother process.

By the time the hubs came home, I was exhausted from trying to multi-task – working from home while running Mummy School.

I’ve been blessed that Kate is an easy child to work with. She listens, is self-motivated and can focus.

But still, it was tough. It requires patience, discipline and structure. Plus practical things like a printer that hasn’t run out of ink, and devices that support the systems to be downloaded. I can foresee it being quite a challenge for some families and they would need a fair bit of assistance.

The hubs made a succulent steak and Kate exclaimed, “Yay, a proper dinner!”

Homecooked steak

Step 7: Stay Positive!

We always try to find the gift in every situation, and honestly, she has gained much through this experience. Many life skills and learning to take ownership of her learning path from a young age.

I was telling my teen, I’m glad I only have 1 kid to do this with! I would have lost it with 5 kids squabbling with one another throughout the day, and pressured to finish teaching them as per the lesson plan. I’m so glad it’s for a finite time, and I can put her back in school after 2 weeks.

We can only hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst.

About MummyWee

Michelle is an Occupational Therapist by day and mum of 6 by night. Besides the already very demanding job of managing 5 teenagers and one 6-turning-16 tween, she is also Founder of The Little Executive, a nurturing centre to develop children in their 4Qs to survive today’s volatile world. She also makes time to volunteer with children and the elderly in her community.

5 things to do if your child is coming home from overseas

#1 is back home from the UK. Safe.

The figures of Covid-19 cases of returning Singaporeans, including overseas students are climbing as large numbers are returning home daily.

MOE and IHLs (Institutes of higher learning) made the decision to recall overseas students and for us parents, we are thankful that our government is doing all they can to bring them home quickly. The grandparents, grandaunts and elderly relatives are having sleepless nights worrying about them.

It seems like a wise decision to bring our families back as soon as possible because as the numbers escalate worldwide, the percentage of those exposed will keep multiplying.

Medical Clearance
In such an unprecedented, tumultuous time, while many things are beyond our control, we DO have a choice how we want to experience this chapter of our lives as history is being written.

Are we a people standing united? Gracious? Resilient? Or are we a complaining herd, only caring about our own needs and comfort?

We CAN make this BETTER for ourselves, our children, the people around us if we do these 5 things:

1. Be prepared for the unexpected

After stepping off the plane yesterday, all passengers on that SQ flight were subjected to a medical check. Besides having their temperature taken, they had to undergo a swab test where a long cotton bud looking stick was stuck up their nose to take a sample from their throat.

Yes, it was an uncomfortable procedure. But I’m relieved all passengers on her flight from London were tested for the virus.

With a full flight and only 1 doctor and an assisting nurse, it took almost 5 hours before she left the airport. The hubs was already at the airport waiting to pick her up, but she was the last in the queue as she was seated at the back of the plane.

There were adults complaining loudly at the inefficiency, of having to walk a long way to another medical station (perhaps the young people were venting via their phones) and I told #1 there was no point in getting frustrated but to make the most of the situation. She took out her laptop and worked on her assignments.

We can complain and get frustrated, or we can take it in our stride and deal with it in a calm and dignified manner.

Doctors, nurses and front line people have been working the hardest over the past months, and when directions come from the top, there will surely be logistics problems as systems are trying to cope with the fluidity of the changes.

Things are literally changing every moment as decisions have to be made as new information comes in.

Her friends who were not able to secure an SQ seat were put on a Swiss Air flight, and despite landing just hours after her, they did not get the swab test upon arrival.

We heard from students who had arrived today from London via SQ that the swab tests were not done on every single passenger, but on a random basis. 

Although the most prudent solution is to test EVERY SINGLE person returning from high risk countries, our resources are finite – test kits, labs, manpower, everything is stretched at the moment.

#1 was told that if she is tested positive, she will be called up within 4-6 hours.

It’s been more than 24 hours so no news is GREAT NEWS!!

Confined to her room

2. Better be safe than sorry

#1 is on Stay-Home Notice, which is one notch down from Quarantine order as she has not been in direct contact with a confirmed case. This means that she can’t leave the house for 14 days and should have limited contact with family members. However, with so many people in our household, and grandpa, we have decided to be extra cautious and to confine her in her own room which has an attached bathroom, even though her test result is negative.

We have heard that other students who were on SHN were moved to Quarantine status when a passenger on the same flight was tested positive.

Yes, it is more inconvenient for everyone, but in times like these, it is a small sacrifice to make and everyone has to step up to do their part to prevent community spread, which would be a devastating scenario with a spike in cases, inevitable deaths, streets emptying out, companies having to lay off employees and local businesses going bankrupt.

WE CANNOT LET OUR GUARD DOWN. If you are supposed to stay home, just stay home so that life can get on as normally as possible for the rest of the population.

Heathrow airport on 20 March

3. Now is the time to be SUPER KS

If there is one time our national DNA of being kiasu and kiasi should kick in, it is now. Knowing that young adults have a laissez-faire or bo chap attitude, I had to keep reminding #1 about personal hygiene.

I gave her 1 piece of advice.


Don’t touch anything you don’t need to, wash your hands constantly and before eating, tie up your hair so you don’t need to brush it off your face. Put extra pieces of kitchen towel in your pockets and use them for doorknobs of toilets and high touch surfaces.

Go to the airport extra early, about 1-2 hours before the usual 2 hour guideline as you have no idea what the queue would be like to check in. At this point in time, YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS YOUR FLIGHT.

#1 had an early morning flight and the airport was already crowded. It took her almost 2 hours to queue for check in, and it was time to walk straight through the packed airport to the departing gate.

4. Support your child and try to find the bright side

Kate was disappointed that she couldn’t go to the airport to pick her sister up as big jie jie had to sit in the back seat by herself.

She brightened up and said, “I’m going to make the best welcome home card I’ve ever made in my life!”

She wrote:

“I have been looking forward to see you! And now I can finally see you again! But the sad thing is, you will have to stay home for 14 days! But look at the bright side! You still will be home.”

It’s not easy for the students returning, as they have had their plans thwarted, dreams dashed, new friendships separated and opportunities vanished, all in an instant.

Provide a listening ear, be empathetic, give them leeway with things we parents may find hard to put up with, like their sleeping patterns, not packing up their luggage, having assignments due yet not getting on with it. They need some time to get over their jetlag, to adjust and process everything that has happened. Some of them are still feeling angry at their studies being cut short and having the “worse internships or exchange experience” they could have, as compared to their peers. Some are disappointed that this opportunity they have saved so long for, planned so thoroughly for has suddenly been taken away and their future plans look uncertain.

5. Monitor your child’s whereabouts

Our young adults have tasted full independence living abroad, and may not welcome their parents nosing around their lives. However, while the authorities are doing what they can by checking in on them via video call a few times a day, we should be vigilant as well. 

As parents, we need to do our part to ensure they do not leave the house, friends do not come over as no visitors are allowed, or worse, they should definitely not be out partying at night.

We are only as good as our weakest link.

Now is the time to be socially responsible. If everyone plays their part, we can get through this as best as possible.

Let’s stand united in solidarity, looking out for one another, being gracious and patient, lending a hand to those who are in need, showing kindness, uplifting one another. In past eras, during tough times, communities banded together.

What are we writing on the blank pages of our history books?

We can get through this. Together.

About MummyWee

Michelle is an Occupational Therapist by day and mum of 6 by night. Besides the already very demanding job of managing 5 teenagers and one 6-turning-16 tween, she is also Founder of The Little Executive, a nurturing centre to develop children in their 4Qs to survive today’s volatile world. She also makes time to volunteer with children and the elderly in her community.

Does your child need help with Handwriting?

Handwriting is a crucial skill that is often overlooked. We are seeing poor handwriting in quite a lot of children. It doesn’t mean they are lazy or cannot be bothered. Like any other skill, it can be taught.

Why is handwriting important?

  1. It makes their work legible for their teachers, parents and friends.
  2. Children with poor handwriting may avoid writing and this sets up a negative cycle, which hinders learning.
  3. Some kids are not using the right grip to hold the pencil properly, which results in muscle fatigue.
  4. Teachers say that neat handwriting is usually a good predictor of a diligent student and it has a positive impact on grades.
  5. Practicing handwriting activates the brain more than using the keyboard.
Kate’s work

Once they enter P1, they are expected to write neatly and legibly. They have penmanship booklets at P1, but usually the writing habits which have been formed in preschool are harder to change compared to starting them off well.

If they don’t have an adequate foundation with proper spacing, keeping the words on the line, consistent letter size, it gets harder when they have to write without lines, or do work for long periods of time. Kate tells me that they have a lot of group work in school, and some classmates with untidy handwriting will ask others to do the writing. This sets up a negative cycle and may affect their self-esteem.

What is contributing to their poor handwriting?

1. Handwriting is not given much attention in a lot of preschools today as there are other things competing for time. Many children do not use the correct strokes for the formation of letters. In the absence of instruction, they simply look at the letters and try to copy it by making up their own strokes. A small “a” may be a circle with a line connected to the side.

Letter formation

2. Weak fine motor and gross motor skills
Handwriting requires the use of both fine motor and gross motor skills. As children are spending less time in physical activities, as well as being put in restraining chairs and strollers at a younger age, their overall muscles have less opportunities to be developed. Playground time is great for strengthening these muscles, by climbing, swinging from bars, and pushing their friends on the swing.

3. Gadgets are more prevalent in their lives
Before gadgets, children spent time colouring, doodling or writing. Now, much of their free hours are spent swiping screens. Practice makes perfect, given the right instructions on forming their letters properly.

Among my kids, there are great differences in their handwriting. I was too busy focusing on survival that I completely overlooked their handwriting. I left it to their preschools to teach them how to read and write.

My son has very untidy handwriting, and I received a text from his teacher recently. She informed me that his handwriting is getting worse because now they are expected to write long essays in Sec 2. Sometimes, his scrawls are hard to decipher and she’s concerned about his exam papers.

I had a talk with him, and he said he will try his best. Handwriting is much easier to correct when they are younger as the wrong letter patterns may become a strongly ingrained motor habit.

In our education system, having fast and legible handwriting is crucial as many tests and exams are based on written work.

My daughter has tiny slanted handwriting which was not corrected, and it gets tedious to read when she produces pages and pages of an essay argument. Despite being a straight A student, she always fails written interview essays.

In JC, she sat for the admission test for Linguistics which is via a written assessment. She failed that, but subsequently, topped her class in GP and Literature and her teacher said that if she had known of her calibre back then, she would have admitted her.

Truth is, the first impressions of your written work counts. Examiners have to pore through hundreds of exam papers, and although the content may be good, they have to decipher what is written.

Handwriting is something we should not neglect in our children. Some kids tell us “I don’t like to write” or “I don’t want to write”. Many parents lament that their kids have messy handwriting, but don’t know where to get help. Our children should not have to feel bad about their handwriting. All they need is proper instruction and lots of practice.

Let your preschool child join us this March holidays for a 2-day Handwriting Camp at The Little Executive where our educators will guide them patiently to improve their handwriting skills, in a fun and enjoyable setting.

Here’s the link for more information and to sign up. Don’t worry parents, help is at hand 🙂

About MummyWee

Michelle is an Occupational Therapist by day and mum of 6 by night. Besides the already very demanding job of managing 5 teenagers and one 6-turning-16 tween, she is also Founder of The Little Executive, a nurturing centre to develop children in their 4Qs to survive today’s volatile world. She also makes time to volunteer with children and the elderly in her community.

A SURPRISE note from my 7 year old

What a brilliant start to my day!

I woke up to find a note which Kate wrote at 6am before going up the school bus.

Dear Mum,

I know for at least 20 years you have been stressed.

But now that I’m alive, I’m here to help you.

So if you excuse me.

I have to leave.

Love Katie

WOW wow WOW.

So much in this tiny square of a message!

At the young age of 7, she has such great empathy. To be able to understand that it is tough to raise so many kids, and to want to do something about it to make things easier for me.

Well, I’m not sure how exactly she is planning to help, but that is besides the point.

Her willingness to want to help in whatever way she can, warms my heart.

Such brimming confidence, and feeling empowered that she CAN do something about it. You go girl!

Now that I’m alive, I’m here to help you.

That cracked me up.


This girl would certainly be living life with a purpose.

And she ended with 

So if you excuse me. I have to leave.

I was just imagining my tiny little girl, throwing her heavy backpack over her shoulders, boarding the bus with her mates, getting through her school day, and coming home to work on saving the day.

More than anything a mum could ask for.

I am indeed blessed.

About MummyWee

Michelle is an Occupational Therapist by day and mum of 6 by night. Besides the already very demanding job of managing 5 teenagers and one 6-turning-16 tween, she is also Founder of The Little Executive, a nurturing centre to develop children in their 4Qs to survive today’s volatile world. She also makes time to volunteer with children and the elderly in her community.

Paul Immigrations Reviews: Singapore PR Experts

There is no doubt that I am proud to be a Singaporean, and having lived abroad for several years, I have come to appreciate my home country even more. The Little Red Dot is a world-class city to work, live and play in, and becoming a Permanent Resident (PR) is a clear choice for those looking to make Singapore their long-term home. More importantly, most families I have spoken to say that the biggest push for them to come to Singapore is the assurance of a safe environment to raise their family in.

Kate went to an international preschool for a year as I wanted to expose her to the diversity of different cultures from a young age. She mixed with friends from more than 40 different nationalities and both the kids and parents tell me how much they love it here!
There are so many family-friendly options for entertainment, from beautiful parks and playgrounds to a myriad of exciting events and a wide variety of cuisines from unbelievably cheap prices at our hawker centres to top-notch celebrity chefs to keep the entire family happy (and well-fed). They are appreciative of how safe Singapore is to raise their young ones, as compared to many other parts of the world.

After living in Singapore for a while, they start to consider the option of applying to be PRs as there are many benefits:

  • hospital subsidies
  • higher chances to gain access into our well-sought after local schools
  • higher priority to borrow various loans such as housing loans
  • eligibility to buy second-hand units of government HDB flats
  • freedom to travel to most countries in the world without the need for a visa
  • eligibility to apply for full Singapore Citizenship, with which you enjoy the same rights as locally-born citizens
Unfortunately, the process is rather complicated and applying for your PR status involves completing and preparing various forms and documents to be submitted online to be approved by the ICA authorities.
To begin with, the e-Service can be difficult to navigate, especially as a first-time applicant unfamiliar with the process. You may miss out submitting documents vital to your application. Such a mistake can potentially be costly to your prospect of gaining approval.
The ICA receives thousands of applications per year and approves less than half of them. It can be difficult to make yourself stand out from everyone else trying to make Singapore their permanent home. Besides the time and effort spent crafting your application, there is also a S$100 non-refundable processing fee payable at the point of submission. Further fees are also required upon new applications.
It is indeed a tedious process with an ever-decreasing rate of success to gain the coveted Permanent Residency status in Singapore. The number of documents required and the explanatory notes to be sieved through can be daunting especially if English is not your first language, and you may be unsure if you even fulfill the criteria to be a PR.

Paul Immigrations Reviews: Your One-Stop Immigrations Consultancy Firm
Thankfully, there are consultants such as Paul Immigrations who you can turn to for professional advice.

Paul Immigrations
Paul Immigrations is a one-stop immigrations consultancy firm that guides you, step-by-step, through your entire PR application process. With a strong record of helping over 15000+ customers, the firm has comprehensive knowledge and expertise of the entire application process.
The team is on hand to address all your uncertainties and concerns, helping you to condolidate the necessary decuments and forms which improves your profile and chances of a successful application towards becoming a PR. They make what is a tedious and complicated process more straightforward and stress-free with these 6 steps:
STEP1 To start off the process, a consultant will help you to assess your chances of approval. As a foreigner, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residency if you are a/an:

  • Spouse of a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident (PR)
  • Unmarried child aged below 21, either legally adopted by or born within the context of a legal marriage to a Singapore PR or Citizen
  • Aged parent of a Singapore Citizen
  • Holder of an Employment Pass or S Pass
  • Student studying in Singapore
  • Foreign investor in Singapore
Your consultant will offer a meticulous eligibility assessment to ensure you meet the requirements meted out by the ICA. This is done via a telephone call.

STEP 2 If all sounds good, this will be followed by an in-person appointment. They are conveniently located at Suntec Tower 2. A sales representative will review your profile to assess the likelihood of your application to be approved. At this juncture, you can decide if you would like the team’s help to improve your chances of a successful application.
STEP 3 Thereafter, your consultant will guide you through the process of submitting your documents. This is the difficult part. The various types of documents that are required to be presented can make the whole process tiresome and frustrating, and just one mistake can invalidate your entire submission. The experienced team takes this off your hands and ensures you do not miss any important documents or other pertinent information.

STEP 4 A crucial aspect of their service is the actual completion of the PR application form. This is a long document that takes hours to fill. The team helps to ease this burden by completing the form based on the information extracted from your documents. Paperwork aside, it can be difficult to craft an application that stands out. The team works with you to draw out the best, garnered through years of expertise and insight into the stringent process. Furthermore, they make the effort to go the extra mile by including personalised cover letters that highlight your strengths to help you stand out in the best way, all written and prepared by their team of professional writers.

STEP 5  Finally, the application form and your documents are ready for submission. You may opt to submit them on your own remotely, with guidance over the phone, or choose to schedule an in-person appointment with them after ensuring that everything is done properly. The entire process takes about one to two months.
STEP 6 The waiting time for ICA to assess each PR application is about four to six months. Some submissions take even longer, depending on the strength and validity of the submitted documents. To expedite this, the team ensures you submit only the necessary documents. Depending on whether the application is approved or not, your consultant will guide you on the next best course of action to take.
All in all, they offer a comprehensive service to simplify the arduous process of attaining the coveted PR status in Singapore. The team undertakes the brunt of the work to ensure your stress-free experience in building the strongest possible case for approval. They provide expert advice for all your doubts and they go above and beyond to ensure you stand out from the rest of the candidates.

These testimonies attest to their professionalism and success rate:
“So glad that I finally got my approval in 5 months! Thanks to the consultant and team of Paul Immigrations, the troublesome applying process is so much less stressful for me! Kudos to the team!” – Yap Khai Wei, 32
“The consultants at Paul Immigrations were very patient. They provided detailed explanations to my queries too. I’m so happy to have them handle my submission & even more so now that it is approved!” – Priya Darshini, 27
“Booked a consultation with Paul Immigrations after knowing about them from a friend who engaged their professional service. The process was so much easier than trying to do it on my own!” – Sandra Liu Hua, 35
It can be nothing short of a challenge to start a new life in a new country. However, you need not do this alone. Enjoy an effortless experience with Paul Immigrations and tap on their expertise to increase your prospects of approval.
Take the first step by assessing your eligibility now!
Paul Immigrations
Suntec Tower Two
9 Temasek Boulevard#13-01/02/03
Singapore 038989
Tel: +65 62066390
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
www.mummyweeblog: A blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore

My best and worst Valentine’s presents

Surviving over 20 years of marriage is quite a feat, especially in this day and age.

We’ve definitely moved past the stage of wrecking our brains for that perfect gift and now it’s usually just a dinner date or a sort-of celebrated early meal for practicality, with the entire family.

We’ve been through so many ups and downs, and many years, when we were mired in difficulties and fighting for survival, this day passed just like any other ordinary day.

Somehow, we pulled through the worse, the poorer and the sickness and there were some lovely better, richer and healthy times we shared.

The best present from the hubs?

This wasn’t during Valentine’s but it was the sweetest gift ever.

About a decade ago, the hubs booked a trip to Milan and he thought why not visit Venice as well. I’ve been to Italy a couple of times and wasn’t particularly excited to go back to Milan and Venice. I was a huge Angelina Jolie fan then (no judgement please) and loved The tourist. I saw a confirmation slip on my table and couldn’t believe he had booked Hotel Danieli, the hotel where Angelina Jolie stayed in the show!

That was surely my highlight of the entire trip, not only walking the same carpets and stairs but discovering that the hotel was once home to a wealthy noble family. The 14th century palace has been beautifully preserved, and roaming around the halls, I could imagine the lavish parties and the little princesses running along the corridors. (one tiny disappointing reality was, that BOAT ENTRANCE in the movie was not real!)

The hubs is no Angelina Jolie fan, and he would much prefer a newer, modern hotel which would cost way less, so that was really sweet of him.

And the worst present? Or should I say, the present with the most mis-matched expectations?

This was many years back, long before we had apps on our phones. The hubs was all excited and he said, “Come! Come outside! See what present I got for you!”

Wah, from his earnestness, I thought it must be something really nice.

He led me to the car, opened the door and tada!

I was baffled. “Er, where’s the present?”

“There. The navigator! Isn’t it great?”

The navigator??! Why would I want the navigator for a present? I mean, c’mon! How could a GPS even count as a present!!

He saw my OH expression, and went on. “It’s not just any old GPS. It’s the authentic navigation system that I got fitted. You are always getting lost. Isn’t this most useful for you?

At that point in time, I wished he had spent his money on something else. Anything else. A good book would have been greatly appreciated.

Anyway, it was months later that it dawned on me that indeed, the GPS turned out to be indispensable and those frustrating days of going round and round in circles getting lost were over!

Beyond these thoughtful surprises, it is the everyday things he does that show his love for us.

Do I get annoyed at him?

Of course. And vice versa. But isn’t it better to focus on the good instead of the irks? Because what you focus on grows.

It is in the ordinary, the mundane, the struggles, the victories, that a contented life is built. The extras, the gifts, the vacations, they are but high bleeps in the big scheme of things. For me, it’s not the extraordinary that dazzle. But the everyday moments that matter.

About MummyWee

Michelle is an Occupational Therapist by day and mum of 6 by night. Besides the already very demanding job of managing 5 teenagers and one 6-turning-16 tween, she is also Founder of The Little Executive, a nurturing centre to develop children in their 4Qs to survive today’s volatile world. She also makes time to volunteer with children and the elderly in her community.

The Stuff I Don’t do

I am constantly asked, how do you find time to do so much for your kids? 

With 6 kids and a business to run, I have to consciously decide what to prioritise and where to focus my time and energy.

I used to try to accomplish too much and ended up running myself to the ground, always high strung and frustrated with everyone and myself.

Now, I aim to keep myself in a zen-like state, where the world can spin around me but I still hold firm and not get sucked into doing what everyone else is doing.

Honestly, I don’t do a whole lot!

I don’t drive them to school.

I don’t even wake up at 6am to wave them up the school bus. Kate comes to me every morning and gives me a goodbye kiss before leaving. Yup, she’s ready to be the mum around here!

I don’t help them with homework in the evenings.

I don’t nag them or test them their weekly spelling.

I don’t send them for tuition.

I don’t coach them for their exams. In fact, I don’t even know exactly when their exam dates are!

I don’t drive them around for enrichment classes. I find it incredibly stressful to be on the road, frantically watching the clock to get everyone on time for classes.

I don’t expect them to win medals or awards. Anything they come home with are always a big surprise and greeted with great claps on the backs and a celebration!

I don’t compare them with other children. Heck, I don’t even bother to know what other kids are up to in their spare time. I’m more interested in how others are bringing up their kids well, not what they are doing or achieving.

I don’t fret if there isn’t a proper dinner on the table some days. Porridge with ikan billis and spring onion makes a complete meal, no?

I don’t pretty up pictures for social media. Too time consuming. I know, my pictures are probably the worst out there!

I don’t worry very much.

I don’t feel guilty about being a lousy mum or not doing “enough” for them.

So, what DO I do?

I take time off to attend all their parent-teacher meetings, performances and important school events.

I guide them well, then expect them to be on top of things in school and to be completely in charge of school-related matters, including their weekly spelling and revision for exams.

I teach them to be independent from a young age.

I encourage them constantly. I am their biggest cheerleader.

I tell them they are good enough.

I guide them to find their strengths and interests.

I support their dreams and passions.

I open their eyes to what is possible.

I love them a whole lot. Unconditionally.

I let them take responsibility for a lot of things.

I allow them to make their own decisions.

I provide a listening ear.

I guide them from afar.

I close one eye when there is a need to.

I let them figure things out for themselves.

I let them fail.

I’m always ready with a hug, and never with an I-told-you-so response.

I don’t talk down to them. I talk with them.

I don’t do things for them. I do things with them.

I teach them to be grateful.

I believe in them.

So, if you are feeling guilty, don’t. We know that all mamas are trying their very best, and wouldn’t our families prefer to have us sane, happy and energized instead of being overworked, tired and snappy?


We are stars in our children’s eyes. Sometimes, all they want is to have us there, sitting beside them, listening to their stories of the day and feeling like they are the most important people in the world to us and we are not looking at our phones or rushing off to the next errand.

And that isn’t too hard to do, is it 🙂

About MummyWee
Michelle is an Occupational Therapist by day and mum of 6 by night. Besides the already very demanding job of managing 5 teenagers and one 6-turning-16 tween, she is also Founder of The Little Executive, a nurturing centre to develop children in their 4Qs to survive today’s volatile world. She also makes time to volunteer with children and the elderly in her community.

To all teachers out there, YOU ARE AMAZING

Every year, my kids plan and make their own teachers’ day gifts. I was delighted to see that despite it being her first teachers day in a big school, Kate had already prepared her own handmade cards and simple gifts and they were all packed and ready to go. She only needed help to write out the greetings for her chinese teacher in chinese characters.

The teens made super yummy chocolate cookies and brownies for their teachers, but what really took me by surprise was how one of them spoke about her teachers.

“I’m going to give to Ms xxx, Mrs xxx, etc…

As for Mr xx, we don’t really like him. He scolds us a lot, can’t teach well and we don’t understand his explanations.”

I was expecting her not to pack any for him.

“But… I know he has good intentions, so I’m also going to make him some.”


Teenagers (and sometimes even us adults) tend to think about how WE have been treated and we react and respond the same way.

To be able to look beyond that, to see the INTENTION of another person and be grateful, that takes maturity and wisdom.

I am so proud of how this child has blossomed in her character.

Now that I am running my own enrichment centre and have gone through thick and thin with my teachers, words cannot describe how appreciative I am for all the teachers out there who are giving so much of themselves day in and day out, to guide, nurture and inspire a whole generation of children.

Being a teacher entails more than just a straightforward task of teaching. It’s not the abcs that children are lacking in. Teachers today have to teach children how to respect others, how to cooperate and work together amicably, how to persevere and not give up when things don’t go their way, how to manage their emotions and even basic manners.

Many a times, parents are asking teachers to step in when they find it hard to understand or get through to their own children (I’ve been there). And we are not talking about 12 year old teens, but children as young as 5 or 6.

It is extremely tough to raise children in this day and age, and teachers are a crucial pillar of the village.

A mum shared with us how she has new-found respect for teachers after sitting in for a period in her P1 child’s class.

She was sitting at the back of the class and a student came up to her to strike a conversation with this new ‘auntie’. She asked the child to go back to her seat and pay attention to the teacher in front. In the span of 30 minutes, she witnessed how children were either chatting with their friends, looking out the window or distracted and in their own world, digging through their school bag or fiddling with stationery on the table.

It is not an easy task for a teacher to command the attention of all the students and to get them to focus on the topic at hand, as well as dealing with all the other issues that crop up with managing a class. Imagine doing that for 10 periods in a day, week after week, month after month. And we are not even talking about the extra responsibilities outside of class and liaison with parents.

When I attended my son’s PTM last week, his teachers and I were discussing how 1 very naughty student was affecting many of the students in class. At the end of the meeting, they lamented that they are really worn out from the year, not only with teaching, but having to deal with disciplinary issues.

Teaching is indeed a calling. To soldier on and give of your best for the good of those entrusted to your care. For the little ones, to do what is right even though there is no one watching and the children are too young to relate what happens in the classroom. For the older students, to never give up on them even though they have a bad attitude and may have given up on themselves. To keep on doing your best for the child even though at times the parents may be giving you a hard time.

The influence of a teacher has the potential to reach far and wide, and to impact a child for life. When I see how my teachers light up when parents tell them how much their child has changed, how motivated and self-intiated they have become, it is clear that this simply is the reward that drives them.

For all the dedicated teachers our children have the privilege to encounter, Happy Teacher’s Day! Please know that many of us appreciate all that you do!

~ www.mummyweeblog.com – A blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~