Me: What essay did your teacher ask you to write?
Her: 'My Father' or 'My Mother'
Me: So which did you choose?
Her: My Mother (Me - feeling the pride rise in my chest :D)
Me: What did you write about me?
Her: That you're 46 years old
Me: Aiyo...I'm not that old! What else?
Her: At the end I wrote that I hope my mother will live a long and happy life with me and my father.....but I bet you won't.
Her (giggling and sniggering): Because I'm so naughty and give you so much stress!
This week, C is having her final exams at school. In her three years of formal schooling so far, she has yet to be nervous or afraid of exams. During exam season, she continues life as usual, reading her story books and watching TV.... and after my nagging she would revise by flipping through the pages of her books, reading its contents cursorily. One to two weeks before the exam, the teachers would do revision with them in school so I guess if one is confident enough, one can get through the exam without studying more or cramming at home.
I remind her that although she knows her work, she should study so that she can remember what she has learnt and can do better. So far she's been scoring A's and B's, except for the Malay language which she finds too hard. I think that the standard of Bahasa Malaysia is quite high now compared to my time. During my time, we leart 'simpulan bahasa' (idioms) and essay writing when we were around Standard 5 or 6 (11 or 12 years of age). Now 'simpulan bahasa' is taught in Year 1 (7 years old) and in Year 3, they are already writing essays, informal and formal letters. It is hard to do well in these if your BM vocabulary is weak.
While I nag and keep reminding her that she should study, I've also made her aware that she will ultimately be responsible for the consequences or outcome of her choices. I can only lead my horse (her Chinese zodiac is the horse coincidentally!) to the water, provide her with the necessary books, reminders, words of advice. I can attempt to force the horse to drink but in the big picture, it will not be effective..
So for now, we are letting her learn in her own way. Success is not measured by milestones the world sets for you to achieve, the strings of A's one has collected, the tons of facts one can regurgitate, or the x-figure salary you earn. Of course, there are people who measure success in those terms but I prefer not too.