The painful process of passion-finding – stories of struggling teens.

Finding one’s passion can be a long and painful process, because it doesn’t just fall on your lap and be embraced in delightful ecstasy. You need to try and search and fail and get up and try again and fail again, and repeat that process over and over again until you finally are sure that you have found it – your element, your passion. This painful process is what I would like to highlight in my following stories I shall endeavor to tell here. Hopefully, we will be able to learn from them and to better understand how we might be of better help to our children in discovering and nurturing their passions to successful maturity.

Behind the story of Sam

Sam turned 17 on January 21st this year, and I have to admit, my baby has grown up! Her early years of tantrum-filled, emotional roller-coaster days are over – much to our relief! Her story is one that proves the power of unconditional love and the wisdom in allowing children space and freedom to discover their passion and to nurture it to the maximum capacity.  The story of Sam is rarely told but when it does, it gets onto TV (8tv Showdown 2012), magazine (Readers’ Digest 2008 June issue) and book (How to Find Your Element by Sir Ken Robinson).

Here is the long process Sam went through in finding her element.


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Homeschooling Not Holistic?

A response to “Homeschooling may not be holistic after all.”

The Rakyat Post put up 2 articles: Homeschooling: A Good Alternative and Homeschooling: May not be Holistic After All.

Here’s our response to the second article – Homeschooling: may not be holistic after all.

First of all, allow us to put things straight from the start.  There is home-education (or homeschooling) where parents take on the responsibility of educating their own children, and there is center-schooling (popularly called homeschooling centers) that function very much like tuition centers, which is gaining popularity in Malaysia.

When we talk about homeschooling, we are referring to parents who make a conscious choice to educate their children at home, and not center-schooling where parents opt to send their kids to in place of schooling.

Parents who opt for the former, do it out of love for their children’s learning and their desire to be active participants in their children’s education. Because research has shown that parents are children’s first teachers, not “pseudo teachers” as the article claims, simply because of the special parent-child bonding that makes learning, loving and living inseparable.


gardening? playing? talking or holistically learning?

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Homeschooling Not Holistic? Views from Homeschooling Parents

Parents responds to “Homeschooling may not be holistic after all.”

Responses by Haslinda Haslim and Joshua Kam to: Homeschooling: May not be Holistic After All


Respond by Haslinda Halim

First and foremost, to be fair to homeschoolers, people with no experience in homeschooling (HS) should refrain from giving opinion based on assumptions. If you require our input, of course for the right reason, I am sure most of us are happy to contribute.

Secondly, being in the education field, those being interviewed should acknowledge the current gap in our education system. PBS, PPSMI, the current global PISA ranking, just to name a few. And of all people, they should realized in this internet age, learning occurs everywhere. Not just in school.

I am commenting as a mother to 4 kids who have been in the national education system for 9 years. And we have tried both government and private school. After 2 years of homeschooling, I can testify to you, holistically, my kids are doing better out of school.

My #1 aced all his exams but has no interest what so ever in anything. He scored 5As in UPSR and 8As in PMR. On paper it looks good.  In real life, he has no direction. School has successfully kills his interest in learning and life. It is hard work for us to change his mindset and undo the damage. Our aspiration for him is for him to find his passion and contribute to the mankind using his talents.

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“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few. ” (Suzuki Roshi)

This is the quality of mind that is essential for all learners, be it learning about our universe, learning academic subjects or learning about life. A mind that has been structured and schooled will approach learning in a linear way. The unschooled mind tends to approach learning in a more creative and multi-pronged manner. The beginner’s mind is a mind of intense curiosity and clarity, unclouded by conditioned views and thoughts. All young children possess this Beginners’ Mind – until they go to school to have their beginners’ mind replaced with the unthinking mind.

CLiC had the honour of hosting David & Katrinka Chadwick at our center last week from 12th – 15th March 2014. David is a Zen practitioner who had learnt from Master Suzuki many many years ago. Together they have done much work in writing, compiling and editing Suzuki Roshi’s lectures and notes on their website

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Learning is what you make of it

February had whizzed past and we are in mid March already! We started swimming sessions with coaching by Amrita and Samanta, who were in competitive swimming in their younger days. It is so good to see them working with the young kids on getting the basics of swimming. And it is so wonderful to see how happy the kids are, learning their kicking, breathing and stroking in the water!


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Unschooling – Is it For You?

Unschooling 101

The term “unschooling” was coined in the 1970s and used by educator John Holt, widely regarded as the “father” of unschooling.

Unschooling is an educational method and philosophy that rejects compulsory school as a primary means for learning.

Unschooling is a form of home education, which is the education of children at home rather than in a school.

Unschooling contrasts with other forms of home education in that the student’s education is not directed by a teacher and curriculum.

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Adding Meaning to CNY celebrations


The Chinese New Year greeting, Gongxi Facai (“Wishing You lots of Wealth!) is so overtly money-centered, as with a lot of aspects of the celebration that I prefer to teach our kids to say “Xin nien kuai le” (New Year Happiness) and “Shenti Jiankang” (Healthy body) and other good wishes rather than the popular one.

The Lunar New Year is traditionally celebrated to welcome the new lunar year with family reunion dinners, visit to temples for thanksgiving, serving tea to the elders and offering them gifts of food and money. My grandmother used to tell me that life was hard during her time and the hard-working folks who toiled their lands for a living did not have massive shopping malls like we have today. They sewed their own clothes and patched them when they tore. Hence buying new clothes for Chinese New Year was a luxury few could afford to indulge in. But for the rich folks, it’s a different story of course. People now buy clothing throughout the year, following latest trends and fashions. And having good food at expensive restaurants is also a norm for most city folks. So CNY is just an excuse to feast even more!


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