The kids are on school holidays and I only worked 2 days this week. Are we having a pyjama party every day and then drinking coffee with friends in the sunshine?
Nope. Firstly, there is no sunshine. Boo. And secondly, my 9-year old has exams in all his subjects next week so every day it’s study, study, study, argue about studying, prepare test questions, go through test questions, argue about test questions. And so on.
Just the kind of fun I thought parenting was going to be like when I signed up for this gig.
(Yes, son, that is indeed what sarcasm is.)
In only 3 subjects did the teachers provide an exam pack to read and study. The rest of the study guidance goes along the lines of “Know what happened in WWII, who fought on what side and what happened at important dates.” Thank the lawd that husband studied history and wanted to be a history teacher – that subject is all his to supervise!
He’s also overseeing geography and maths. I’m doing English (how funny, considering I’m not a native speaker but I know the difference between their and they’re so I’m ok :), science (very helpful study pack), Latin (study pack), Religious studies, music and French (I don’t know any French so I’m not very confident the kiddo will do well, there are no study notes from the teacher and that language just does not make sense to me :|).
Anyway, the kids are actually supposed to study on their own. Their exam guide says useful things like “explore different ways of studying like making flash cards or quizzing yourself” or “prepare yourself a study schedule for the next 2 weeks so that you don’t leave any subject out and study all of them equally and on time for the exam”.
I’m not sure which 9-year-old boy understands these statements.
So we’re spoon-feeding a bit. Husband made a schedule (did I mention he wanted to be a teacher?). We prepare test questions for each subject, let him “study” for 20-30 minutes and then let him answer the questions. Afterwards, depending on how fried his brain is, we go through the answers or give him a break and do it later.
And I’m having to make a lot of hot chocolates as that seems to be the study aid of choice.
And I can’t wait for these exams to be over so he can be just a kid again and I don’t have to play teacher. It is not a profession that I’m interested in and even the husband would rather watch bouldering, Crossfit Games or the Mentalist in the evenings instead of drawing maps of Europe and correcting pages and pages of maths.
At least there’s one good thing that comes out of this experience – we’ll be ready for year 5 exams next spring!
If we haven’t sent him to a boarding school by then.
Tell me – do kids get an insane amount of homework these days? Are parents expected to be pros at tutoring their kids in every subject? And what do I tell the kiddo when the science notes have a part about electrical circuits a bit messed up? :|