From School and Back to Peace

Traditional schooling in the Philippines has changed drastically since I was in grade school. To put it simply it has gotten very hard for the children. Topics taught in grade 1 here in the Philippines are only being taught in the 4th grade in the US. I am not talking of course about public schools here but private schools like what my daughter attends. To think, my daughter's school in particular does not really load the girls with school work as much as the other schools do. Still you will see a lot of moms fretting about this homework and that, the art project, the lousy Spanish teacher, the math test, the missing English book and it never ends. I am writing this because next week is exam week. This phenomenon which happens a lot in traditional schools is one of the worst pressure cooker events in a grade school parent's life here.

I, myself have evolved from cool, sweet mom to mad-neurotic mom just over the course of 1st grade to 2nd grade. I have realized that the more I became obsessive about my daughter's studies, the more poorly she performed. Shame on me, that is simple parental mathematics. I don't blame myself though since you do get worried and you want your child to do well and not ever be branded as the slower one in school. What made the task more difficult is that my daughter is so happy-go-lucky. She seems not to care if she has a math quiz the next day or a trimestral exam in Pilipino. Many times, my husband and I have just given up and pray that she would actually flunk a test hard so she would learn her lesson. But she never failed in anything which leaves me and my husband with mixed feelings of disgust and pride. Because of all the worrying and praying, it took us a while to realize that we need to accept her learning and studying style and adjust. How? We simply let her be for a while and as they say today, chill! I guess our worrying made her worried too but unfortunately for all of us she was not ready for the responsibility. A lot of my co-parents have gotten their daughters tutors. Some have made a career out of tutoring their kids. You should see their dining rooms during exam week, comparable to a boardroom deliberation.

But with my daughter, our home is void of the chaos and tension. Sometimes when she reaches home, I know she just wants to play or spend time with us. I know I cannot pressure her to study. So I just trust her. Now she, herself comes up to me and asks me for help with school work, otherwise she is on her own.

She had a good grade two year and was even secretary of her class. She earned great grades and I can only be proud because my daughter is something else; unique , growing in responsibility and of course learning through it all...

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