What is the magic ingredient that most parents, if not all, wish their kids possessed when it came to homework time?
At 7 years old, I was not expected to read full sentences in Math of what would happen if Sumathi had 27 apples and 15 oranges in her basket and while running home at 3.6 km an hour, she fell and sent 2/3rds flying into a pond. At that age, I was running alongside Sumathi and falling beside her and laughing our heads off, after we climbed some Rambutan trees trying to add to our fruit collection adventure.
So, the burning question again is: what is the magic ingredient? Some missing chromosome, some gene x that did not meet some gene y? More importantly, how do I get some for my kids?
When it was just my first-born, and I was a stay-at-home mother, it was a natural progression from learning the ABC’s to additions and subtractions. Then things started to get complicated when fractions and decimal points came into play, ahem! I am referring to myself and not the child…. told you I was out climbing trees that day. Sometimes, I wish I still possessed some of my Std 1 books so that I have an AB comparison. Nowadays, the poor little drooly kid next door, who is barely out of diapers, is learning the multiplication tables. All right, I could be exaggerating a tad, but is it really very far from the truth?
Look at all the tuition centres here in Ipoh. Math, Bahasa Malaysia, Moral, Chinese, Science, English, and Art? Mind you, that is only the primary school we’re talking about. Correct me if I am wrong. I thought Art is a creative subject, and it is something from within and not taught? Yes, some guidelines here and there, but have you seen some of the artwork on display by some of the students from an art school? It reminds me of a production line in some factory.
So, there you go tuition, tuition and more tuition. How did education become so competitive?
It is obvious that I have a bone to pick with the education system here, but that’s another can of worms I do not care to open at the moment. What irritates me is the fact that my kids have a ton of homework and most of the time, I need to send them to tuition for extra help. Why can’t I help them myself you might ask? Very honestly, simply because I do not have the patience to go through all their homework and still remain poised and composed at the end of it all, and I cannot guarantee that my kids will not end up in tears and hate me for life for trying to help them understand the benefits of homework.
At the end of the day, I am saying that as far as I remember, school used to be a lot more fun, where students had a good balance of school work, tuition and a healthy social life. So there is no magic gene, no special chromosomes that will take away the homework blues, just plain old fashioned bump and grind, put your back into it and do your homework, please.
As a parent, what can I do? Be patient, be understanding and finally, be the best cheerleader I can be for my kids. That is the least I can do!!