My girl who is doing the KBSR syllabus has tests 4 times a year, my boy who is doing the KSSR syllabus has tests 2 times a year. I hate exam season and exam fever more than them.
I didn't think it would be this way. I used to smirk at the thought of mothers who feel more stressed up than their kids during exam season. Now, I am one of those mothers!
I feel a lot of pressure from my spouse. He expects the kids to do their best and to be their best and he expects me to teach them and to help bring the best out of them from the limited time we have. Of course he is not all talk. He helps out a lot. After a hard days work, he will teach the kids as well.
However, the bulk of the teaching and homework as well as project help has to come from me. We do not send the kids for any tuition class. We are a one income family so we do not have excess funds to send them to private school for their education. Therefore we have to rely on public school. So it is Chinese school for the kids in their primary years. We do not speak or read Chinese ourselves and I find it difficult to continue to learn and teach Chinese beyond Std 3 and Std 4. Not being able to help and support them is a minus point so we do not plan to have them continue their Chinese education in Secondary school. It is also too tough and we want them to broaden their horizons and improve in their other languages.
That leaves Kebangsaan school and how many good schools are there? Only a few and competition is fierce to get into them. Why do we want to join the competition? Because we are worried about uncommitted teachers and lack of discipline in some of the schools. Because we have been to a good school with very committed teachers with little disciplinary problems, no bullying or worse still, gangsterism. The bar of excellence has been set high for us in our current school, it would be harder to settle for less. Although we pay a small sum in the form of once or twice a year donation (certainly not anywhere near what one has to pay for a private school), we can see things moving, there is always some improvement in one area or another.
The spouse continually reminds me of this and the pressure to perform is always there. The pressure for mom to get the kids to perform. If the decision is left to me alone, I would probably just let the kids go to the nearest school there is and drop the pressure to perform but I am part of a team so the decision is not mine alone.
So now the exam season is here and I am gripped by the exam fever. I am tensed and stressed. I have become one of those mothers I once smirked at.