Saturday, March 21, 2015

backdated: HQ's primary 3 school year @ 2014

HQ was in Primary 3 @ 2014

HQ started school enthusiastically, full of spirit, optimistic and hope. Only Primary 3 kids get to be chosen as Prefect for the afternoon session; HQ was chosen as one and he's mighty excited about it. This year is even more important as Primary 3 students will be streamed into different Primary 4 classes the following year based on their Primary 3 academic results.

Even though academic result is extremely important for Primary 3 students, HQ seemed to be getting very little homework. Art, mek xia, and xia hua on every Friday; that was all. It is not likely that HQ skipped doing his homework as HQ has always been very mindful and careful with his homework. So while QQ was rushing to finish her 5 - 9 primary 1 homework every school night, HQ enjoyed surfing on Goggles and reading story books *shake head*. 

Much to my dismay and anxiety, his Mandarin tuition went downhill as well. We were very happy initially with the center he's going to (since mid year Primary 1), but after the whole group of tutors were replaced (and after my assessment), I had no choice but to switch both HQ and QQ to a seemingly reputable one-to-one tuition center for Mandarin and Bahasa Malaysia. I signed up for both languages as it feels more money worthy and time invested. After about a month, I became sceptical of their teaching method - memorizing. To me, to master a language, it involves understanding and applying the language - speaking, reading, writing, and later learning its culture and slang. To my surprise, QQ was quickly moved on to Primary 2 syllabus after she had "mastered" all the words in Primary 1 Mandarin and Bahasa Malaysia. This is crazy... they didn't even cover making sentences and writing essay, but moved her onto Primary 2 syllabus! In fact, I found out that their syllabus do not cover writing even for Primary 6! Even through all the doubts and skepticism, I still sent my kids to the center for far too long a period - a stretch of 5 months! I initially thought attending tuition here is better than no tuition at all. How wrong I was! Kids were getting very irritable, possibly due to the teaching method? They attended 3 lessons a week at first (again, more money worthy than attending once or twice a week), but we decided not to send them in at all during the exam month. We only finished the last few classes that we paid earlier as deposits after their exams. Big relief after that *wipe sweat*. 

Hubs decided to be the kids' Mandarin tutor for the rest of the year eventhough he works till late. Thank goodness hubs is not a banana like me! The kids were happy having papa tutoring them mandarin, maths and science, and mama as their BM and English tutor. 

Although HQ had a busy prefect schedule and an almost non-existent tuition, I am very glad that HQ performed well in school. He bagged the 1st position in his class for all 3 semesters and was placed into the "jing ying ban" (best class among all 10 classes) for Primary 4 the following year. He also won a trophy for getting 3rd place in English creative writing this year.
Award giving during the last day of school

Prefects recognition on the last day of school

We set no expectations from HQ this year. We just wanted HQ to learn that in any situation that we can't control, we control our actions. Be positive, be strong, and be sure of what he's doing. It is the process that really matters. It is his effort and his positive view on the situation that is important. And in the end, he performed much better than we expected. We are all very happy for him and extremely proud of him :-). 

(C) Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for All images and text cannot be republished without expressed written permission. 

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