Life goes on in the PSLE year. I must ensure that. Indeed we are doing that.
I gave ourselves a day off from revision on Good Friday holiday and played board games at home and relaxed on that rainy day. And we are talking about 3 weeks to SA1. We do not stop the piano lessons and the art classes because of PSLE. We still go for kids run events, check out Safra Yishun new pool, go for dinner gatherings, have sleepovers, and Missy will be taking her piano exam in July. Nothing is very much different except that we revise almost daily, doing just #30minrevision. We are fine with skipping a day or 2 of revision and choose sleep over study. When people ask Missy if she is stressed with PSLE preparations, she replied no. With that, I think I have done my part to shield her from academic stress. Remember? I was determined to make PSLE year a not-so UNenjoyable one for her.
But ask me if I feel stressful with my first child’s PSLE year. My answer is a Yes.
I am stressed because I worry that I may not be capable to help her meet her expectations to enter her target school. I put the entire home teaching responsibility on myself since I decided to go the No-Tuition route.
I am stressed because even though I know time is insufficient, I cannot cramp in too much revision time because I advocate balance and play.
And ask me if I have any expectations for her? The answer is ZERO expectations if you are talking about grades and marks and target schools. Expectations on ATTITUDE? Yes, plenty! Don’t bluff! You might say. Believe it or not, the only expectation comes from Missy herself. My role is to help her to get into the school that she targets for. That’s all.
Because I do not have expectations, it guides me a great deal in our revision plan.
I started by focusing on her weakness and basics. Initially, I was alarmed that her foundation was so weak in various subjects. Since I have no expectations for her to go into any top schools from the start, I calculated that we have time to start anew and drill the basics. If I have expectations to target for top schools, then I can bet that our revision will be a super stressful one to cover basics and advance to being able to do any kind of killer questions. Tackling killer questions is NOT our priority nor a MUST to master. If time permits, yes, we shall do that and A* will be a bonus, but NOT a MUST-HAVE.
Once the basics were grasped, which was really quick because of Missy’s good learning attitude, we explored further in depth. Within 4 months from January to now, we are ready to tackle the harder questions in Math, putting more ticks than crosses in English Paper Booklet B, and getting the hang in answering Science Open-Ended Questions.
I do not ask for her to complete all the 10+ sets of top school papers for every subject, nor do I expect her to complete half the assessment books. We try to do revision within our means and time available. There is still much laughter in the house everyday and Missy is still her jovial self. Seeing that she still has a life despite everyone else getting stressed up in this year, I am really happy.
I can’t emphasize enough on how Missy’s change in learning attitude drives her to improve in a short time. It makes revision time so much easier. In the past, we spent much time dealing with tantrums, testing each other’s patience, teaching through gritting teeth with angry tones that refused to enter the ears. And not forgetting the eyes-rolling, head turned away and arms-crossing act. By and by, it took more than a year before she came to an awakening, got motivated, became receptive to my teaching and cooperated perfectly during revision time. I must say consistent love helps a lot in her attitude transformation.
I told Missy:
If there is any improvement in your academic, you are the one to make it happen.
You will certainly do well, it is just a matter of time.
I hope she continues her good attitude which will certainly bring her far in life.
To PSLE, here we come!!
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