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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Mum's Diary: The Pseudo Exams

Transiting to Primary One is a big deal for kids. It's the beginning of formal education in Singapore and for many of the kids, it's their first encounter with serious and intensive studying. Apart from the kid feeling the stress and heat, the parents usually get stressed up and nervous as well, especially if it's the first time for them. I started this series to document the chronological order of events, my intimate thoughts and emotions on this journey, and it will continue until Joey settles down in Primary One. Hopefully, as we go along, the posts would become more and more positive and encouraging. I do believe in that. :)

30 Oct 2013

I've been grossly deceived by my kid's Primary School.

Late last year when I did Joey's Primary School registration, I was briefed that there will be NO examinations until Final Semester in Primary Two. During which, the kid will be assessed based on other areas such as her personality traits, social skills, leadership skills, etc. I thought that was pretty cool - Give the kids time to settle in to a new phase in their lives and get used to the education system before all the hard realities fall into place.

Apparently, even though the school doesn't call them exams, the kids sit through exams anyway. And the best part is they get reflected in Report Books with proper grades and such. When Joey brought home her report book in late May this year, I was taken aback when I saw that there were grades reflected, with banding even! By the grace of God, she did pretty well for all her subjects. But it sent a chill down my spine that I had done nothing to prepare my girl for her "exams". According to Joey, she didn't sit through any exams - Everything was assessment papers. I guess what you call it does make a difference, at least in the minds of the kids.

I was a little upset for a while. Then I forgot all about it.

Now history has repeated itself in the Final Semester of Primary One and AGAIN, I didn't do anything to prepare Joey for her "exams"! I must be the most horrible mom on earth. I am a mother who sent my kid to the battlefield without giving her a weapon or two! It didn't help that the school continued to call it Assessments.

In fact, just the other day, Joey came home and told me casually that she just had her Chinese Oral and Listening Comprehension Assessment. I freaked out for a second before trying to act calm. In my most natural voice, I asked casually, "Oh nice baby, so did you know how to read the words and answer the questions?" I managed an awkward smile.

"Yep, it was ok." was her response. Don't freak out, mom. It was an assessment, remember?

Monday was her school's declared school holiday because of 2014 P1 Registration matters, so we went out to play the whole day. By evening time, the girl casually told me again that there will be all kinds of assessments this week. In layman's terms, that means this week is EXAMINATION WEEK! It's what?! And we just spent a whole day gallivanting at some water playground?!

Nope, I did not make her take out her textbooks and drill her till midnight. She didn't want to because it had been a tiring day. In fact, she watched TV and had an early night. I can only pray and hope that everything goes well, and that she remembers everything she learnt in class.

Before I left the house on Tuesday morning, I couldn't resist leaving her a gentle reminder on her blackboard: "Dear Joey, please take out your Chinese Textbook and practise writing all the words before going to school. All the best for your Chinese Test. I love you."

All I wanted to say was, 'GOD BLESS YOU, MY GIRL. I AM HOPING FOR THE BEST.'


P/S: On the day she comes home with her report book, I'm going to hide under the table.
P/P/S: I promise I will buck up next year.