Monday, 28 April 2014

Exams are kǎo shì (考试)

In the next few weeks, our son will be taking his mid-term examinations, which will include Composition, Reading Comprehension, Science, Math and Moral Studies in Chinese. He enjoys Science and Math but struggles with Chinese composition.

As we do not have a private Chinese tutor, you can imagine how stressful it is for us to review his lessons especially as I am a full-time working mom AND we have a chatty preschooler who demands my attention with,
"Look, Mummy!!! I am drawing you and a house." "Look, Mummy, this is a ball machine! These are all the balls zug-zug-zug going round and round and round. Now, they are marbles!!!"
This weekend, in between:
  • washing, hanging, folding and putting away the laundry,
  • cooking a simple dinner,
  • juggling the 2 extra-curricular activities,
  • going to the wet market for school snacks,
  • shopping for new school uniforms (he has outgrown his "sparkling white" shirts),
  • finishing his Chinese homework and
  • cutting them fruits for a balanced diet - yup, they've been a bit low on fruits this week!
he managed to complete 2 sets of Chinese composition worksheets, which involve filling in the blanks, matching exercises, lots and lots of rearranging words to form complete sentences and basic composition (picture-based). He balked at basic composition and some of the more challenging fill-in-the-blanks, whining that he could NOT do them. First, he was distracted by The Christmas Toy Factory (Geronimo Stilton, No. 27) and Thea Stilton and the Secret of the Old Castle: A Geronimo Stilton Adventure.

Second, his happy-go-lucky preschool sister was chatting and singing as she happily coloured and sketched out some fun stuff.

Of course, Tiger Mom would stand no such nonsense since his composition skills in English are perfectly fine. Armed with a Chinese dictionary and of course, a plastic clothes hanger (rapped on the dining chair) to ensure no wriggling, we managed to work out some new Chinese words and phrases. 

With a bit of encouragement and some weary "Good!" and "Go on...", he figured out some sentences and he could even complete a short passage with the required phrases.

Now, the rascal is enjoying some cartoons with his little sister while I have to fix dinner and get ready for school and work tomorrow! A few whisker-licking-good weeks ahead ;-)

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