It is 9 days to PSLE as I am typing now. While many parents out there are pushing their PSLE kids hard for the final 100m on this marathon run, I have decided to stay off the track and be a spectator, but not without conscious effort to be hands-off.

I was like many, counting down the number of days left and ensuring reasonable number of hours of revision put in for each day. However, when school homework took my girl much time and suddenly our planned revision seemed to be put on hold, my girl panicked a little. I panicked a little too but I told her school homework comes first and it is also a revision on its own anyway. Then when weekends come, we expected more hours put in for revision. It did not happen. Missy slept till 11am even though the night before she slept at 10pm. She started her homework for an hour, took lunch, and resumed for 2 more hours before asking to join her younger siblings for a swim.

I knew she could have all the freedom she want when PSLE is over and told her she would not go. Of course she protested. Then my hub reminded me that there is a limit in what one can absorb for the day. I told him she only had 3 hours of revision on a weekend and if she skipped swimming, she could have at least completed one paper! After deliberating for a while, I relented. And that’s when I decided I had better switch back to my laid-back mode.

I was brought back to what I believe all along, not to place too much emphasis on PSLE. I got carried away trying to help Missy achieve her dream school which has a really high cut off point. I was affected by her disappointment when she did not get into that school via DSA. I thought I could help her achieve it judging from her big jump in grades in prelims. I thought perhaps by pushing just that little bit more, she may get into that school that she wants.

But, what really matters to a 12 yo child and her precious 13-16 years of age? Isn’t Secondary School a place of fond memories, a place where we meet our BFFs, a place we giggled and have fun with our peers, a place where after 20 years later, we are still touched by our school song? Is getting into a good school really, really THAT important? Wouldn’t academic ability mismatch demoralise our teen in those supposedly fun teen years? Wouldn’t an unsuitable Secondary School wipe off the smiles from our teen’s face? Does being clad in a top school uniform all that glamorous but without joy? Why are we aiming and placing high emphasis to get into a GOOD School?

Of course, if our child breezes through PSLE and his/her ability is up to the level that he/she does not struggle in a GOOD School, we should congratulate our child and be happy for him/her. But if our child is at a borderline, scrapping through the entry into THAT GOOD SCHOOL, perhaps, we are secretly worrying and hoping for the best. With such thoughts which brought me back to what I had initially set off the PSLE year to be from a mum with NO expectations, I encouraged Missy to do her best, and come what may, we shall choose a Secondary School that suits her. Hopefully, one that will groom her in her talents and one that she enjoys.

Suits” is the right word and that sets our mindset for the remaining 9 days to PSLE.

Missy, I will be there to celebrate with you on the last day of your paper. I will be there to celebrate on the day of PSLE results release. No matter what results are shown on that slip of paper, we will still be proud of you! You have worked so hard and all that matters now and in future is the smile on your face, your laughter and exciting journey to forge good friendship and enjoy your best teen years. You are our pride and joy! All the best for your PSLE! We love you πŸ™‚