31 days: After school activities at Dalat International School

31 days of Living in PenangI’ve mentioned before that we’re a home schooling family.  Our children are not enrolled in any of the schools here in Penang, local or.  We buy our school curriculum from the US and ship it here for the kids.  On average, we’re spending $600-$1000 USD per child for a year.  It does cost us, I mean, my wife time in that she has to do lesson planning and teaching and reading to them.  We’ve got multiple kids, so she has to plan and teach multiple levels.

But what about social activities?  What about Physical Education?  First, those are usually not a concern for most homeschoolers.  Those are the questions non-home schoolers ask.  Most homeschoolers tend to be more physically active and more socially adjusted to the children their age range who are forced to sit at desks for hours at a time and interact with only children their own age for hours at a time.



And besides the myriad kids programs and tuition programs that are out there, Dalat International School has a program call the Distance Learning Resource Centre which is for home educators, local in Penang, as well as around the region.

The benefits are huge!  We paid a small annual fee for the whole family.  And that gives us:

  • full access to the Dalat library including online resources
  • full access to the DLRC resource library
  • option of enrolling in single classes taken on campus
  • option of enrolling in online classes through Dalat (Sevenstar)
  • option to participate in after-school clubs and athletic programs
  • academic testing services
  • homeschool/TCK consultation services at Dalat
  • college/career counseling services at Dalat
  • assistance with homeschool record keeping and transcripts

After school activities

I think the word is getting out, because this year there are now over 40 home school students who are participating in Dalat’s afterschool activities.  In the past year, our daughters have been part of gymnastics, soccer, art, choir, gardening, girls scouts, and dance.  There are loads more to choose from, although many of these after school clubs have limited space.

My kids have made some friends too.  It’s been a great opportunity for them to connect and interact with expat children.

That’s another slice of Living in Penang.  Keep coming back for more of our 31 days of living in Penang.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - October 13, 2013 at 9:17 AM

Categories: 31 days, Activities, Kids   Tags:

Paying the bills at the Post Office

Outside of a post office in Malaysia

CC image by Kai Hendry via Flickr

It won’t be long before you need to pay your bills; electricity, water, Internet, Phone, etc.  All these can be done at the Post Office.  Here in Malaysia, the postal service is called Pos Malaysia.  There is a post office in most towns.

The Pos Malaysia website has a branch locator that lists their locations state by state.  Here’s the page for Penang.

The post office is a dreaded errand for me.  I don’t know why, because in reality I’ve only had one bad experience there where I waited in line until I gave up.  Every other time I’ve been there, I’ve been first, second or at most third in line and serviced very quickly.

The process is fast.  Hand over your stack of bills.  If you’re lucky, they all arrived in your mailbox at the end of the month and are due near the beginning of the month.  They’ll add it all together and give you a total that you can pay all at once.  They scan in all the barcodes from the various bills.  Then they mark off the bottom of the receipt as paid and give it back to you as your receipt.  Very efficient.

After a few months of this, you should have a local bank account.  CIMB, Maybank, HSBC and most of the other banks with local branches have online bill pay services.  Not all of the banks cover all of the bills.  For example, I can’t pay my water bill with CIMB.

Automatic deduction from your account is available for some services, like Internet and Astro.  I haven’t attempted to set those up for myself yet.

So that’s the first slice of my life in Penang.  Keep coming back for more of my 31 days of living in Penang.  Subscribe by email or like us on Facebook to get updates of when new posts are up.

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - October 1, 2013 at 10:37 AM

Categories: 31 days, Practicalities   Tags:

Ifix4you iPhone and iPad repair

my iPhone opened up at iFix4you

I recently had a huge problem with my iPhone. The power button stopped working. It was a livable problem, but annoying. Since I bought the iPhone in the US, I didn’t think I could get it serviced at the official Apple service center at Switch. So where to go in Penang for iPhone repair?

I found iFix4You.  Jason is a great guy who does these iPhone and iPad repairs out of his apartment in the evenings.

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2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - September 5, 2013 at 8:35 AM

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Book Giveaway Tiger Hunt by Christy Halsell

We are very excited to be participating in this year’s Best of Summer Kid Lit Giveaway Hop, hosted by Mother Daughter Book Reviews and Youth Literature Reviews

If this is your first time visiting us here at Living in Penang, welcome.  We’re an American family living in Penang, Malaysia.  We’ve got three girls and a baby boy who was born here in Malaysia.  This site is a repository of things we’ve learned from living here and the collected wisdom of those who have lived here longer than we have.  Some posts are about foods that we love here.  Some are bits of practical advice, like whether we should tip, or if we can drink the water.

Even if you don’t live in Penang, Malaysia, you might be interested in the cultural articles like overview of Nyonya culture or the Thaipusam festival.

Our kids are homeschooled so that gives us opportunities to go on more field trips in and around Penang.  We’ve been to Orang Utan Island, a local goat farm, and a local batik factory, just to name a few.

So to celebrate the end of a great summer in Penang, and the start of another school year, we’re going to participate in this book Giveaway Blog Hop.


Best of Summer 2013 Kid Lit Giveaway Hop - Button


Win a copy of Tiger Hunt!

The book we’re giving away is called Tiger Hunt!  We met the author, Christy Halsell, during our time in Bali, Indonesia.  We all really like this book.  My wife reviewed it on her blog, and my daughter reviewed it on the kids’ homeschool blog.  The Tiger Hunt book website can be found here.  Christy blogs at One Fun Mom.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This is a blog hop, so you’ll definitely want to hop around and check out these other great giveaways! Be sure to check out the other giveaways we are hosting. One is at Mommy’s site,, where she is giving away 3 electronic copies of the book Katie Grace Makes a New Friend, written by our friend Julie Merrin. The other is at our kids’ showcase site,, where we’ll be giving away 3 electronic copies of a book chosen by our eldest daughter.

3 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - August 26, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Categories: Kids   Tags:

IP wireless camera to monitor baby

IP Wireless Camera

In the last post, I talked about not being able to find a baby monitor anywhere in Penang.  I even considered doing a little travel, perhaps to Singapore, to find such a device.  But in the end, I found a technological solution in Tanjung Tokong.  I bought a little IP Wireless Camera that will sit in my baby’s crib and broadcast on our home wifi network.

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4 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - July 17, 2013 at 12:15 AM

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Field Trip: Happy Goat Farm in Balik Pulau

This summer we hope to get out an around Penang more, finding cheap, kid friendly activities.  We have some other families that want to get out there with us as well and so for this first time out, we found this goat farm out in Balik Pulau.   Read more…

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - July 2, 2013 at 8:32 AM

Categories: Activities, Field Trip, Kids, Language   Tags:

Field Trip to Craft Batik in Teluk Bahang

sign outside Craft Batik Teluk Bahang, Penang Malaysia

2014 Update: The current price is now RM25 for tourists.  DLRC members can tell them they are connected to Dalat school and get a price of RM12 per painting.

After our successful outing to the Royal Selangor School of Hard Knocks, Our Travel Lifestyle and the Living in Penang kids decided to try another field trip together.  We wanted to do something distinctly Malaysian, and quickly, because we’re about to say goodbye to Our Travel Lifestyle as they travel on to New Zealand.  So the little one and I went on a scouting mission to Craft Batik in Teluk Bahang and arranged a tour and a chance to do some batik painting at Craft Batik in Teluk Bahang. Read more…

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - June 19, 2013 at 2:20 AM

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Paperwork for a US birth abroad

So the saga continues.  The baby is born.  We have a Malaysian birth certificate in hand.  We even got some passport pictures taken of our child. But before we make another trip to the US Embassy in KL to apply for a passport and a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, we need to gather the paperwork that we need to present to the American Embassy staff.  Fortunately, I read the KL embassy web page about registering a birth.  It says that we should call or email ahead and make an appointment.  And, I am glad I did.

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1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - April 30, 2013 at 3:00 AM

Categories: Birth, Documents, Kids   Tags:

Field Trip to the School of Hard Knocks at Royal Selangor

The school of hard knocks at Royal Selangor Visitor Centre at Straits Quay in Penang

As homeschoolers we have the flexibility to go on field trips whenever we want.  For this particular field trip we paired up with the exciting family at Our Travel Lifestyle.  This time we decided to learn about the history of pewter in Malaysia at the School of Hard Knocks at the Royal Selangor Visitor Centre in the middle of Straits Quay.

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2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - April 25, 2013 at 12:03 PM

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Another visit to the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur

The cover of a US Passport picked up at the US Embassy in KL I’m going to wrap up the story of having a baby in Penang with this final story.  To sum up, we’ve delivered a healthy baby boy.  We’ve gotten the Malaysian birth certificate processed and in hand.  We written to the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur and pulled together all the forms and documents they asked for.  And we had a little adventure of trying to get a passport photo of the little tyke.  Now it’s time to get ourselves and the baby to KL and submit the paperwork.  (Of course, since we’re driving, we’ll stop at our favorite rest stop on the way)

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1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - April 20, 2013 at 2:52 PM

Categories: Birth, Documents, Kids   Tags:

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