This year is the year.
The year when all parents of Primary 6 kids experience elevated stress and worry levels like never before. All thanks to the infamous acronym - PSLE.
Yes, Ash will be taking his Primary School Leaving Examination (or PSLE for short) this year and after all the CNY festivities, we are only EIGHT months away from the examinations.
To be honest, I remember absolutely nothing about the time when I was taking my PSLE so the first question that came to my mind was:
How on earth do we start preparing Ash for PSLE???
I consulted the wifey and she was clueless as well. The most obvious way to begin is to throng Popular Bookstore to stock up on assessment books but the first thing I realise when it comes to preparing for the big exam is NOT focusing on the child. Rather, it is - surprise surprise - the PARENT who needs to change his/her mindset first.
How often have you said, or heard a parent say, "Just try your best. As long as you tried your best, the result doesn't matter."?
Truth is, the best is never enough if the result does not meet our expectations.
How do we quantify what a child's 'best' is? Is it by sitting by the desk 2 hours every day? Is it by completing 50 assessment books? Or is it by blazing through all other schools' past year papers? How about making that one or two careless mistakes in a paper? Does that mean the child did not put in his/her best?
Nobody can ever put in 100% of their best all the time.
So when parents say "just try your best", what we really mean is "we want the best possible score". If the child comes home with a 73/100 score, parents will think that the child did NOT put in his/her best.
"Why only Band 2? Must at least Band 1! Next time must really try your best, ok?"
I am guilty of it too.
So for this year, I have decided to change my mindset. I have stopped asking Ash to try his indeterminable best.
Instead, we have focused on something more tangible - putting in a reasonable amount of effort in his school work. For a start, the wifey and I are taking turns to sit down with Ash for 20 to 30 minutes every weeknight for revision.
20 to 30 minutes may seem rather short but considering that both the wifey and I work and attention span may dip due to lower energy levels, I feel it is adequate enough to get optimal work done.
Hopefully, the routine will become a habit and it will encourage him to remain self-motivated and enjoy learning. Because let's face it, 8 months isn't exactly long but to him, it will feel like an eternity and the last thing I want is for him to suffer a burnout.
And we are just getting started.
P.S. I will be documenting Ash's PSLE journey and our preparations throughout the year, so do check back next on our preparation efforts.