We’ve survived Truett’s first exams, somebody pour me a stiff drink!
Post exam happy.
I used to look at moms of Primary-schoolers getting all frazzled over something so trivial as Primary 1 exams(??!) and think that I’d be different. I’d be cool. I’d make learning fun and exciting. I’d help them to develop a love for learning. Hahahahahaha.
Wellllll, I’m not. Turns out that I am the very definition of a tiger mom. More assessment books! More test papers! What break?? Face book and study!! You do not get off this chair until I say you’re done. The concept of relaxed laissez-faire learning is a nice thought but it’s nonsense because Truett will laissez-faire his way to the iPad all day if he could.
We’ve been all about learning through play (code for “here’s some lego, have fun!”) the past 6 years and I wanted to push Tru to see how much hardcore studying he could take.
Truett hitting the books even while we’re out grocery shopping.
On Wednesday, he came home with the results of his English paper.
“I got 28/30 and my teacher gave me stickers!” he said excitedly.
I took a moment to process the information. Ok not bad, 28. Then for a split second, I thought “Why only 28?? Why not 30? What happened to the other 2 marks? That’s 2 WHOLE QUESTIONS WRONG. WHAT HAPPENED HERE??? Did you know that last time, mommy used to get full marks for almost every paper right up till Primary 3?”
Except it was last time. Last time, policemen wore shorts. Last time, mommy was in a school where pooping in your pants in class was considered normal. Last time, getting an education wasn’t this hard. It hasn’t been last time for a long time and now, kids have to answer questions about stupid Cheryl’s birthday that present-day mommy can’t solve without the help of a youtube video.
So I turned on the enthusiasm and said “CONGRATULATIONS!! Great job, Tru!! Mommy is so proud of you!!!”
Yesterday, he got the results of his Math paper.
“How did you do???” I asked when I saw him.
“I got 23…” he said.
It took me even longer to process this information. 23. That’s…mediocre at best. I immediately thought about all the extra hours we’d have to put in during the school holidays, maybe start him on some of those Unlock Your Inner Math Genius type of class. What is the appropriate response to a 23? Maybe dial back on the congratulatory enthusiasm and go with a “Good effort, mommy’s proud of you. We’ll go through the questions together when you get the paper back ok?”
“But not out of 30. It’s 23 out of 25,” he continued.
PHEWWWW!!! I don’t know if he noticed but I was visibly relieved. Very much so. I could work with 23/25. That’s not so bad. We can hold off on the classes; several more assessment books from Popular should suffice for now.
“Awesome job, Truett!! That’s amazing, well done!”
He’ll be getting his Chinese paper back today and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’s ok but I’m mentally prepared for this.
Navigating this world of academic learning is very new to me. I have my thoughts on standardised testing at such a young age (WHY IS THIS NECESSARY FOR 7-YEAR-OLDS?) and academic results aren’t everything, I know that. I certainly wasn’t planning on being so involved. But I’ve pushed him to do well because he has to sit for an exam that will put a label on his ability and I want him to know that he can do this.
More importantly, what I really wanted him to learn was the value of tenacity, diligence and hard work. Or as Walter White would say, “APPLY YOURSELF!”