PSLE results has got a lot to do with our expectations. Both the child’s and the parents’ expectations. Our expectations pave and pace the journey for our child.
We always hope for the better but we are also pragmatists. Our eldest (Yi: meaning number one in mandarin ) is the last batch for this T-score system and I see the blessing in this.
My second son (Bao: meaning hugs in mandarin) will be the first batch to the new PSLE system. We need a change of mindset that the scoring system is completely different from the old.
I have mixed feelings about it. The blessing I choose to count is how between my sons, they need not compare their scores with each other.
There is no need to.
As this major milestone is still fresh on my mind, I wish to record what matters to us. I hope to review, give thanks continually and walk humbly with God in my children’s future milestones.
Common question- “Is Yi happy with his results?”
I cannot speak for him, but I can say that as a family we are taking it gladly in our stride. To us, the results is not an end. It is just the beginning of a promising future. When it is up to expectations, we rejoice, give thanks and humbly keep up the good work. When it is not up to expectations, we do the same, give thanks, be joyful and humbly work better to improve whatever is necessary. That said, I know of many who have worked very hard but did not perform well up to their expectations under this official exam conditions. My encouragement is to stay steadfast in your worth in God. Because even if your results are excellent, it still shows only limited aspects of you.
PSLE is only a number indicator of an exam-based condition.
It is not an indicator of your self-worth, who you are and definitely not who you are becoming.
It does not reflect the person’s character development nor the experiences gained in one’s life. Most importantly, it does not determine who you will become. The below was an encouragement before Yi took his results.
You are a Child of God, dearly loved. Made for a bigger purpose in God’s beautiful plan.
A few years ago, I would not be as calm about results. Perhaps somewhere inside us, we enmeshed our own parental-worth in how well our children perform in e.g an official examination? Because this is the most convenient and significant way of measuring our success in the eyes of the world?
Our worth as parents is not in the performance of our children, but in Christ alone. It is our privilege to be guardians of His children as sojourners in this world.
Our role is to nurture them for God’s eternal kingdom purposes.
It took 12 years of humbling ourselves before God and man for my husband and especially me, to relinquish the academic pursuits linked to my worth as a parent. I say this even when my children’s grades have outstanding moments. It took even more to stay and walk humbly with God when our kids excelled in their learning. This brings me to my next point.
Along the way, many asked me how and why I resisted tuition for my children.
A dear mentor posed me this question, “What would you have missed out if you had outsourced your children for tuition?”
Our expectations pace and pave the journey for our child.
I have been tempted countless times to outsource teaching especially when the going got really tough. It is not a hard and fast rule on no tuition. We believe in helping our kids grow to be independent unless one is unable to cope with the exams (e.g failing for tests/exams), we choose to defer tuition.
We deferred till Yi was mid year towards PSLE. I was concerned over his weak foundation in his science reflected in his school assessment paper. By God’s grace, we found an excellent tutor and even in this group tuition via zoom, he was able to progress from a fail to a good grade! Of course, on our part, we doubled up efforts in his conceptual learning. It is little wonder why parents choose the tuition route as it proved to be a push factor in getting As, and A*s.
We all have different reasons for tuition and it is not a right or wrong, or better deal. Here’s what our near-to-no tuition route taught me.
1. Honing our parenting skills
We survived ‘fights’, tantrums and gained a deeper understanding of each other. As I learn how to coach my children and train them in their study habits, we developed better ways to communicate with each other by God’s grace. It is always humbling to reflect how conflicts occurred could be better managed and resolved more graciously throughout the 12years of parenting. I observed that because I had spent a lot of time and energy in coaching Yi, I had the consistent time alone with him daily. Be it having conflicts to resolve, problem-solving together, brainstorming for solutions together, counselling on attitude and aptitude, we were actively engaging each other TOGETHER. On the other hand, my younger kids did not have such intense sessions with me in the recent past year. Number one naturally was our priority because it set the tone for the rest to follow.
2. Habits instilled
Do not underestimate the daily habits we powerfully instill in our kids on a daily basis. I saw how the habit of reading the bible, praying before studying, giving thanks to God in every little things, reading Chinese books in the evenings, sleeping early, doing homework and even paying attention in class (because there is no tutor who could teach them the syllabus) became an automatic routine in their tween stage now. I may not have the technical knowledge to answering questions for science, but what I do is training them to think for themselves and establishing good habits and life-skills like checking on their own academic and mindset progress/growth.
4. Harnessing resources and strengths
Because of the hands-on approach we took for the kids’ studies, it harnessed our parenting strengths. My husband would take on Maths for Yi and handle the 2 younger kids’ general queries while I took on the main job of language and science for Yi in view of his PSLE this year. The fact that we need not spend money on costly tuition fees for our 3 kids, meant we could use our money on family outings and some food indulgence for quality family times. Time was also a precious commodity that we guarded conscientiously. We do not need to leak precious time on traveling to and fro tuition centers. Our kids’ enrichment (e.g gymnastic/drum lesson/taekwondo) is our nearby Community Centre.
5. Hearts acknowledged and encouraged
As we journeyed through these 12 years of growing 3 hearts, we have learnt to grow in acceptance of one another’s way of living, working and different ways of communication. In the recent years, I find myself asking this of my children, “Would you extend more grace and be more patient with mummy? Help me understand you better by talking to me about what you really think. Mummy in turn will also try to be more patient and be more understanding. But you must be patient enough to explain to me.” It took a lot of deep reflection and constant prayers, but the Holy Spirit transformed our hearts as we sought to abide in God’s precepts. The grueling process of coaching my own kids compelled us to connect at a deeper level. Our sincere hearts were embraced and encouraged along the years.
Most importantly, it was not just a matter of coaching our kids academically, but connecting with them in our daily lives. We ensured our one-on-one times with each kid was not compromised.
In conclusion, I would not change our approach even if we could start all over again. We are grateful to God for always being our Immanuel. We have also moved on to enjoy and maximise our time with our kids this holidays. We look forward to creating a new future in our son’s secondary teenage life!
’12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.’ Phil 3: 12-14
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I have also written a book on Growing Hearts.
It encourages mothers to grow in their walk with God and grow the children’s hearts in the Lord. It includes postcards consisting of paintings and scriptures. Do click on the link for more details.
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