It is that time of the year soon. The time which I do not look forward to for twice a year. Exam time is coming. Exam for Ethan, that is. In fact, it’s starting tomorrow!
I used to think why mothers get so stressed when their kid’s exam time was approaching. Now I know why. I am getting very stressed myself. Meanwhile, Ethan seem be nonchalant about it.
“It’s just an exam. What is the big deal?” he asked.
“Well, the big deal is that if you do not do well in your exams, it shows that you had not learned anything. And if you have not learned anything, you will know nothing. And if you do not know anything, you will not be able to become a doctor or a lawyer or an engineer or anything that you want to be. How are you going to earn a good living then?” I told him.
Somehow, I don’t think my answer sank into his 7-year-old innocent mind.
So, for the past few weeks, I had been forcing him to finish his homework at night so that he can do his revision at the daycare centre in the morning. It’s not easy as I need to call him 10 times before he actually takes his books out from his bag. And it takes constant reminders for him to focus on his homework instead of getting distracted by everything. Plus, it takes a few more stern warnings for him to remain seated instead of getting up whenever I get up to do something.
It also doesn’t help that Ethan is a super sensitive child. The other day, he took out his Maths homework and stared at it. He said he doesn’t know how to do it – without even trying. I told him to pick up his pencil and start putting some effort in it, at least just try first before saying he doesn’t know how to do it. I also told him that he should know how to do it since he has been learning for almost a year already. My dear sensitive boy then got up and went to his room and cried. When I asked him what was the matter, he said that he was sad because I said that he was stupid! “What? I did not even say or mean that at all!” I told him. All I said was that he was not putting any effort in his work. I told him to focus on his work instead of getting so distracted. Then he said that I am calling him stupid and naughty! I had to spend the next 10 minutes explaining myself to him!
At times, I do pity him as well. He has to go to school from noon till 6pm. Then he reaches back to the babysitter’s place at 7pm for a shower and dinner. At 7.30pm, I pick him and his sister up. Usually, we reach home at around 8.30pm and I tell him to start doing his homework. By the time he finishes, he does not have time to do anything else as I will tell him to get ready for bed. The next day, he goes to the daycare centre to do his revisions before going to school. So that really leaves him no time to play at all.
I already tried not to put too high of an expectation on his exam. I used to think it will be ok for him to score at least a B in all his subjects. But looking at his mid-year exam, I had to lower the expectation. Now, any improvement would be better. He just needs to make sure that he doesn’t fail anything.
I think many parents would think that I am doing such a poor job for my son to be getting such poor results in his exam. Some parents might even be thinking how can anyone fail in their Primary 1 exams? The questions are too easy for the students to fail, they say. Well, if you put your own standard on the exams, then of course it may be easy for you. But for a 7-year-old, I think it is not as easy as it seems to you. Moreover, not every child is naturally good in this studies.
And to be honest, I find it so difficult to teach. I have no idea how to teach. I only know how to give answers – which doesn’t really help Ethan to understand his lessons.
I just can’t imagine when Isabel starts primary school and I have to deal with 2 kids at the same time. I think I would need to increase the dosage for my high blood pressure medication then….