Having seen 2 kids thru the dreaded PSLEs and coming through unscathed, I’m now able to look back (though not fondly) and share with parents how we cope as a family.
A – Aiming for A*s, of course. Most schools would’ve asked the kids to set a goal at the beginning of the year and review them at mid-year. You could too, and stick it somewhere visible in the room.
B – Busy. You bet they’ll be busy with loads of practice papers assigned by the school. So, spare them the additional work even if you had already bought extra papers.
C – Chicken essence. Once a week but increase to twice a week during the exams. Thanks tankee, for reminding that chicken essence may cause heatiness in some kids. So please try it out way before the crucial exams to see how your child takes to it.
D – Daddy. Dad played a very important role; he gave them massages when they were too stressed to fall asleep; he drove to different corners to pick up their favorite food and snacks.
E – Exercise. Try to schedule at least once a week for the child to cycle, swim or run..any exercise that allows the child to take her mind off the pressure at least for an hour or 2.
F – Faith. Have faith in the ability of your child and that he will give his best.
G – Gratitude. If life gets you down, give thanks to what you have instead of what you don’t.
H – Hugs. Hugs and wishes from the whole family before he leaves for the battle.
I – Intellect. A child lacking in intellect can more than make up for it through hard work and lots of practice. A never-say-die attitude helps too.
J – Journey. PSLE is just a milestone in the journey of your child’s life. It’s no big deal.
K – Kiasu. Pack 2 calculators/electronic dictionary and for girls, pin up the hair, use a hairband and anything to keep hair away from the face and to keep cool. Let your child wear/bring a religious object with her. It serves to calm their nerves.
L – Love your child unconditionally.
M – Mistakes. Learn from them. Help your child compile a list of common mistakes, especially for Science and English, and use this as a quick reference the day before the exams.
N – Nag. Remember to keep nagging to a bare minimum.
O – Oral. With most kids coming from English speaking families, the daunting oral and listening comprehension most faced would be for the mother tongue. If the school isn’t doing enough, consider signing your child up for oral classes, or for chinese listening compre, try this link.
P – Praise and promises of rewards to spur them on. Rewards can be monetary (not obscenely huge amounts, of course) or computer time or a gadget that the child has been eyeing. Lots of genuine praise for the efforts the child has put in.
Q – Quiet. Turn off the TV to show your support. It isn’t very conducive if the child is trying to study and there’s noise from the TV, radio etc. If this is not possible, signup to use the study room at the CC.
R – Rehearsal. While the prelims are a rehearsal to the actual PSLE, don’t fly off the handle if your child doesn’t do well. Some schools set papers that are way above PSLE standards in the hope of spurring the kids to do well.
S – Sleep. Make sure your child has enough of them. If he still needs afternoon naps, let him be so he can feel refreshed after his power nap.
T – Tender loving care. In the run-up to the exams, be prepared for lots of frayed nerves and tears. Lots of TLCs are needed within the family.
U – Upset. Be there for your child, not to criticise but to encourage if he’s upset.
V – Vegetables, fruits and vitamins to keep the flu at bay. With lack of sleep, their immunity will be affected and some kids tend to fall sick and get exam fever.
W – Worry. Worry is like a rocking chair. It keeps you moving but doesn’t get you anywhere. Better to channel your energy into positive activities.
X – X-hilarating. Feeling of euphoria to look forward to after the last paper. Fulfil your promise of lots of computer time, if that’s what your child wants.
Y – Yoga helps kids and their parents de-stress and through proper breathing techniques, they learn how to calm their excited psyche.
Z – Zzzzzzzzzzzz and lots of them to recover their sanity after the prelims.