And in my heart, I’m happy that exam began, because, if it has begun, it will also end. I guess that’s how it is.
My kids love sports and activities, I totally support that. They get good marks, not excellent and I totally appreciate that. I want them to enjoy their school life to the fullest.
As a mother, it’s my part to make difficult things easy for them and make them learn to work hard on the doable things. I help them with their projects, I don’t teach, I facilitate. I believe when it is about creativity, just facilitate and support. I read some where, ‘Children are born Scientists’.
But what do we do about the difficult part, I call it the ‘Theoretical Part.
So we started revision 3 weeks ago. There were weekends when we started studying as early as 8am and closed at 11am. A bit of cartoons lunch and again another subject in the afternoon. Lapse of concentration starts around 2pm, so we shut shop.
While they take an afternoon nap, I start typing the revision question, print copies and staple. If you have ever typed practice questions for your kids, you will understand how insane this job is. It’s not like typing a complicated email at work, it’s not like presentations, not even like the huge excel sheet you work with.
It is lines, underlines for ‘Fill in the Blanks’. Boxes for ‘Choose the Correct Answer’, brackets for ‘Match the Following’. Forget not, it’s cursive writing and larger font. According to your kids handwriting you will have to leave space for answers. And if it is Mathematics, then it is triangle, rectangle, slanting lines and what not. Languages, I will have to write and photo copy, sigh……
These precious papers will take care of the accountability demanded from my 5yr and 7yr olds, I smiled. During week days, a video call in my lunch break will check progress and make up for my absence, I thought, as I logged off the system.
If it is hard work for me, how much more is it for little children. It must be monstrously huge. They are filled with fun and life, how difficult it should be for them to learn and then execute.
I’ve come to understand that there are 3 Big Stressors for a Child, – Ambiguity, Time and Judgement.
Ambiguity: A Clear understanding of the concept or subject is the foundation to learning and remembering. Technology comes to your aid, Smart Class, the latest Education Systems, apps and even online videos. They love to learn visually and creatively. I’ve always depended on them, they are great helpers.
Time: You cannot expect a kid to chase deadlines, so start early. For that matter, a little bit daily. A well scheduled study plan will be make things simpler.
Judgement; I’d like to present one request to all parents. Discipline the child and nurture the virtue of hard work in them, but if for whatever reason, they underperform, do not judge them. We as parents need to find out, why the child has underperformed, or is unable to put it on paper. And if they are disinterested or dyslexic, may be they are a different type of Genius.
But the tough part still remains, the learning of the mind has to be put on paper, we call it Exams!
So, after the nap, it’s playtime for my munchkins. Let me do a quick check, I thought. I asked my elder one, ‘Baby, do you remember that answer, What is the _____ of the ___ called?’.
Which one mamma?
Which one?… My heart skipped a beat, all my hard work gone? Wait, it’s not just not my hard work, he also has worked very hard. I felt….. not anger, but compassion.
I decided to surrender to God for whatever plan he had for my kids. All I know is that if they know how to choose good over evil and do what is right, if they have love, humility and compassion, discipline and hard work, they will be blessed.
At night as I was serving dinner, my elder one, running around the house is making a song out of the answer, ‘The _____ of the ____ is called _________”. He was singing it.
I did not rejoice because, he remembers the answer. I was at peace that he will be Good.