A Math Lesson

This mid-year exams hasn’t been much different from last year’s. In terms of enthusiasm, mine is still higher than Jason’s. So exam revision is still largely me prodding, him plodding. It has reached a point where I tell him what I think he should do to revise, and whether or not he does it, is up to him. There is only that much hand-holding I can and want to do. He’s already in Primary 3, he has to know the consequences of not studying at some point, and better now than later, I figure.

But because he understands his lessons fairly quickly, he is lazy, and thinks he can get away with it.

“Try some of these questions from the Math assessment book,” I tell him.

“I already know how to do them,” he claims.

I left him alone for math, and concentrated on getting him to revise Chinese and Science. Chinese being the subject he struggles with the most, and science being the new subject this year. English is left aside because there simply isn’t enough time to work on it. His love for reading will have to translate magically into decent scores in exams.

The result? Decent scores in English, Science and even Chinese. The shocker came in mathematics. He scored some 15 marks lower than his previous exams. I was surprised; he was shocked. He never expected to get those marks. It’s the first time since he started school that he broke down and cried over academics.

I was pragmatic rather than angry – and took the chance to repeat all I have said to him: You reap what you sow, hard work gets you everywhere etc. I thought if this lesson hit home hard enough, and became a wake-up call for him, it could well be a blessing in disguise.

Until I saw the exam paper, and saw how his carelessness(2069 became 2096 in his working), over-confidence (not drawing diagram which would have helped) and lack of practice (’nuff said) contributed to his scores. Then I got mad.

I wrangled a tearful agreement from him to work harder the next time round, do some work during the June holidays, and left it as that. That was two weeks ago.

His papa got him a math assessment book from Popular and I suggested he attempt some questions in there yesterday.

“Why must I do it?” was his immediate reply, although he did do the sums in the end.

So now I’m not sure if he’s really learnt his lesson.


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