Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Exam week

It's exam week this week for C. She didn't study as hard as I would have liked her to. I'm saying that because when I was her age, I was a real goody-two-shoes kid. I'd revise my lessons daily on my own initiative when I was as young as seven years old. And I did my homework immediately after lunch upon returning from school. I also went through the next day's lessons sometimes. Come exam time, I would have started preparing weeks ahead, and later in teenage years, for major exams, I'd have started revision months ahead with a proper schedule drawn up and counted down the days even.

C is different. She refuses to revise daily, and has to be coaxed, persuaded, threatened (and when I run out of ideas, ignored) to do her homework. For the past month, I've tried getting her to revise ahead. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose. Last year, she revised each subject only on the day before or the morning itself of the exam!

I guess I shouldn't be over-anxious or kiasu as she's only in Year 2 this year and most of the lessons are easy enough for her to grasp. Her only weakness is Bahasa Malaysia (and Mandarin). If not for that, I think she'd do better in some of the subjects that are taught in BM. Of course it's every parent's dream for their child to score straight A's but we have to be realistic. Imagine pushing the child when she's not up to it or just not wired to excel in some areas. And I also don't want to send her to all the various tuition classes at the expense of her physical, mental and emotional health.

(These classes also don't come cheap. Imagine how many thousands of ringgit you'd be spending if you were to send a child to Kumon or Enopi, art class, Bahasa, Mandarin, computer, piano/music, ballet, taekwondo, swimming etc etc. And what if you have more than one child? The stay-at-home mother would then just be driving the kids here and there all day, all week. I guess it's ok if you have money growing out of your nostrils and all the time in the world to dedicate to your kids, and when you don't have to cook and clean and have hired help to pick up after you. Maybe I'd go down that road when I'm rich enough too! Pay others to teach my kid then I don't have to be stressed out trying to teach her with love and patience. Haha...)

As for Mandarin, I'm not pushing her too much on that. I'm not one who thinks it's a must to learn Mandarin because we are Chinese or because China is booming as everyone says and therefore it's 'good' and you'd have more 'opportunities' if you know Mandarin. Mandarin is a good language to learn, just as any other foreign language but I personally think it's no point forcing it on the child with a do-or-die attitude. I'm letting her pick it up at her own pace.

C is a self-confident kid. She does not fear tests or exams. I think that's good. No stress, no panic. She even watched tv and re-read a number of her story books yesterday. She also told me she's not over-confident, just 'normal' confident when I didn't even ask or say that she was.

In the past two weeks, I managed to get her to work on a reasonable (i.e. more than last year) amount of practice questions, mainly for Bahasa, Math and a bit of Science. We didn't read through her text books or exercise books. I don't think she needs practice for English. We'll cross the bridge when we come to Mandarin which is scheduled on the last day. And since Kesihatan and Moral are in BM, she did revise but how much she understands and remembers is left to be seen.

This morning she waved goodbye and blew me a kiss as usual as they drove off to school and work. She added "I'll try my best!". That's good, and it's all I'm asking for. I guess we've reminded her enough times for her to know that we'd be happy as long as she did her best.

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