Wednesday, October 30, 2013
After my rant about the school's efforts on teaching composition writing skills to Primary 3 pupils, I decided even if M were to come home with a marginally passing grade for his Chinese composition in this year's SA2 (final year examination), I would not be unhappy.
I concluded it was not his fault. He tried his best. If the teaching was lacking in the first place, and I did not spot this problem earlier, I could not and would not fault him. At least, not for this round of exam.
Even though it would be reasonable to expect more from his English writing, I figured anything above 15/20 would be a true bonus, given his lack of practice.
So I was at peace. Not at all worried about the final grade. For I knew I did my best to help him in the last four weeks before the exams, when I discovered to my horror how LITTLE teaching took place in the school lessons, especially with regards to writing skills.
I do not believe in memorizing model compositions. Instead, I believe strongly that writing skill can be taught. But we had very little time left.
What followed was my countless nights of staying up to plan and strategize my lessons for M, so I could coach him effectively in the little time I have with him after school. During weekdays, we had only about an hour a day when the toddler was napping, for me to review his mistakes, show him how to write better and get him to practise new pieces, which I marked that night after the kids were in bed and my chores were done.
We could not write daily either, due to his unusually heavy homework load that month (he did more homework in this Sept alone than he ever did the entire year!). In all, he wrote about 6 pieces for English and another 8 in Chinese with me.
It was a tough one month, for me at least, with barely 5 hours sleep on most days. But with the adrenalin pumping, I felt good. I taught him what I could in the little time we had. The rest was up to him.
So imagine my joy when he came home with a 18/20 score for both his English and Chinese composition!! The boy could not stop grinning. Neither could I...
A small victory. YAY!!
Upon closer examination of his scripts, there is still room for improvement. That, we will work on in the coming months. For now, we just focus on showering more love....