Kids, Examinations and the Chaos
Yesterday my son finished his exams. I am the one who is feeling the most relieved more than anyone in the house. From today I no more have to go after him telling him to study. It’s such a tedious thing having to constantly go after your children asking them to study for the exams. Sometimes I wish there were no such things as examinations. Even my son was re-sounding the same thought to me when his sister finished her exams and he had to wait for his board exams to start.
Day before last evening I sat with him to revise his last paper-social studies. Before I could finish asking him the questions he would come out with the answers. I was amazed. He had learnt by heart the entire social studies. Such an amazing memory capacity at this age, I thought to myself. But when I asked him to spell some of the words he could not spell all of them right. He learnt the words and sentences by heart but I wonder if he can even explain what he uttered.
A few days back when I went o office I had given him some past question papers in mathematics to be solved. Told him I would check the answers soon after I came back from office. As obedient as he is, he brought the answers to be checked. I went through and noted that he had ticked and crossed the answers. I asked him to solve and show me how he got the answers. He had no answers. He went grumpy when it came to solving the questions.
Now that is where the war between the mother and son starts. I hate teaching this new curriculum mathematics. It’s so cumbersome. And many a times I have echoed this to many of the colleagues working in the Curriculum Department to revisit the curriculum. Whenever I sit down to teach mathematics to my children I turn out looking like Dorji Drolo (the wrathful version of Guru Rinpoche) and my kids like the subdued demons. I hate this feeling of having to put fear in my children. So I stopped teaching mathematics. I shared my concerns with my husband that if I continue teaching mathematics to the children, the relationship between the kids and I will be blemished and I didn’t want that to happen.
Sometimes I tell my husband, why to push him so far at this age. Let him learn at his own pace. We were not even at his grade when we were much older. I tell my husband why we want our two children to mature much earlier than their age. It’s their childhood and let them enjoy their child hood like we enjoyed our childhood.
At one point I was even telling my husband to let my son fail in his class instead of pushing him too hard. Who cares? After all at the end of the day it’s not how much he has scored that determines his values in life. It is what he has learned that really will put him under the test of life. For me education and schooling are two different things. I would never want my kids’ schooling to interfere in their education. Education for me is learning how to lead a better life filled with compassion, kindness, respect, honesty, and all the values that one needs to be a better human being. Whereas schooling is making our kids top the examinations so that they can excel in the professional world. But what if our children excel in academics and fail in personal lives?
Though this world is becoming very competitive which is why there is a lot of pressure on our young minds, I still would not agree that academic is the only thing in life. Many great people in the world are not academicians. They have become great by their sheer creativity, passion and interest. I strongly feel that parents should provide platforms for their children to find out their talents, interest and passions and build up on them. Nothing is better than making money with one’s sheer passion.
Life skills and values should be taught at home. After all home is where everything begins. I have seen children who graduated from the universities and yet not knowing how to cook for themselves. There are children who are not able to identify what they are good at and comb the town in search for jobs. I have heard of children scoring the highest in academics yet committing suicide. There are graduates who have come out of the colleges and universities with colorful results and getting into work place yet not being able to stay on jobs. These are the lack of education and the result of schooling.
Therefore, as parents it’s important to ensure that your children be educated alongside schooling. Education is not the end; it is the means whereas schooling is the end.
Quote for the day:
“No one has yet realized the wealth of sympathy, the kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure.” – Emma Goldman