The above was what I did before their mid year exams.
Post mid year exams, I found myself sharing this to my child.
‘You have put in a lot of effort independently doing your revisions without my help this year. Well done! Be humble, thank God for your progress. Don’t compare with others. Your exam results do not reflect who you are and how much you really grow in this thing called life.
It doesn’t show the attitude you have in life, nor the skills you have learnt in cooking or doing chores etc. Don’t place your worth on your exam results. Your worth is in how precious you are to God. Because if you place your worth on your results, when you fail to get the results you want, you will feel lousy about yourself. Find your worth in Christ alone, You are enough in Christ.’
In fact, it was the teacher who told him to strive for higher grades as she believes in always doing better and aiming for excellence.
This was said to a child who did exceptionally well this mid year.
We were all proud of those achievements but careful not to misplace them for the child’s worth.
To another child, we affirmed the conscientious effort put into improving the quality of work and better attitude shown in revision processes.
After my reflections on What is worth in our academic results in Jan, these 6 months taught me that my heart will most likely continue to struggle back and forth in between the pushing of all my kids towards excellence and pulling myself back from over-pushing. The struggle will not cease but perhaps with experience, may become a tiny fraction less agonising than a year or two ago?
I have been keeping this book’s advice in mind.
‘You know your children need corrections, but at the same time you feel the discipline is taking its toll on the positive environment you want in your home. It may be time to do a relationship check to make sure your family life has a good balance between building close relationships and appropriate correction…..
Children can only take as much as the relationship allows.’
This past mid-year exam, the tension appeared again. This time, my hubby reminded me to be content as there were much visible effort put in by each child. He questioned, ” What kind of grades do you wish to see the child get if a tutor is involved?”
That got me reflecting on how it will escalate to higher expectations and discontent for higher scores. I may be able to push my child for now, but will he or she be ready to cope if let’s say they do go to a ‘better’ school? Will I still be able to push a growing teenager? Do I even wish to push at that wacky stage of life? Or can I accept my children fully and motivate them to do our best? And wait for the Lord’s perfect timing to spark that intrinsic desire to put forth excellence?
After praying and committing to God my struggles, I made a resolution to respect and be content with the efforts made by this child. As much as I desire to see my children reach their ‘full potential’, I do not see wish to compel any of them to have tuition/enrichment against their will at this point. Because this child is not faring poorly, just not up to my expectations of the so called ‘full potential’. Raising the children I have, means accepting who they are while expecting great things from the Lord to move in their lives in His time.
Another case with E, of nurturing to ‘full potential’ or to be contented with the joy of learning?
E only started gymnastic the beginning of this year. Prior to this, she had learnt ballet. In p1, she started to feel unhappy going ballet due to the class dynamics and the timing made her very tired. She stopped ballet for half a year and I found it a real pity because she is pretty flexible even as a baby. So I asked if she would like to go for gym class after she saw some gymnastics at a mall. I encouraged her to take it up or a music instrument. Our rationale is if they wish to learn a hobby or skill, now is the best time before CCA in school and academics take up bulk of the time in upper primary.
She declined the music part and agreed to our nearby community centre gymnastics. After half a year, I felt she could become much better if the program was more focused. Hubs reminded me that she is in it for fun and enjoyment and not for competition. Does it matter if she is not as fast as others who might have been learning since young? She had difficulty doing a technique and wasn’t given the attention to learn due to the big class.
I checked with my girl. She LOVES this class!
So instead of changing her class, I changed my mindset. I showed her YouTube videos on how to do bridge-to-stand technique and encouraged her to practise 10mins daily her moves. She quickly caught it and succeeded in a week’s time. Since a month ago, she is learning the habit to practise daily for her own growth. Not perfect, but definitely growing better!
Indeed, my children’s enjoyment of the sport or hobby is more important then excelling for competition or excellence per say. If a child strives to compete then we will support the child. For now, it is really a case of supporting the joy of learning.
I am not suggesting my way is better, but sharing my struggles in our first world country. You know your child well, and the Lord knows best. Let us stay in tune and in step with what the Lord has in store for the family. It usually means training of both parents’ and children’s hearts to experience Jesus deeper in our lives.
Now, the year end exams are round the corner. Am praying for a steadier heart to grow through this with more grace and peace from the Lord!
Looking back at my journey as a primary-school mum-goer, it amazes me how God knows and guides us to His best way, to become better versions of ourselves as we walk with Him day by day. The goal of education is to be a better man and contribute to a better society.
5 years have humbled a tad of my heart to slowly live not by fear of missing out, but by faith in trusting God to mature and nurture our children’s hearts in Christ Jesus. I say a tad because the parenthood road never ends. Thankfully, our Lord’s mercies never ceases too!
May we not
“.. lay up for (ourselves) treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where (our) treasure is, there (our) heart will be also.
Matthew 6:19-21 NKJV
May we press on towards the goal with the auhor and perfector of our faith!
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