I reached the office at 7:32a.m this morning and it's now 9:48a.m.
And I'm feeling REALLY sleepy. Had a mug of very strong coffee just now, AND a packet of nasi lemak with kerang. I think the latter has overpowered my coffee. Time for a short break now.
As Ayah is away in Bangkok, I'm Hanna's supir for the next few days, meaning I had to leave the house at 6:45am this morning, so that she would be in school latest by 7:10a.m! I don't know about your kids, but for Hanna, it's such a sin to reach her school after 7:15a.m (and her school only starts at 7:35a.m, mind you!). It's the same with Hasya, who gets panicky if she were to reach school after 12:45p.m (and her school only starts at 1:10p.m!) Is it a GIRL thing or what?! Because it's not the same with Hilman - he's always oblivious of the time. It doesn't matter when he reaches his school, as long as he reaches his school. Simple.
After sending Hanna, I had to go to my MIL's to send Hasya's and Hilman's school uniforms, etc. Both of them spent the night at their Wan's. They had their mengaji class there last night, and as I knew we would have to leave the house very early this morning, and as such they would be deprived of their beauty sleep, I asked them to sleep with their Wan last night, to which they gladly agreed :). They were still asleep when I went to Mak's this morning, so, I decided to come to office early. And now I'm very sleepy...
Anyway, Hasya and Hilman had their Open Day last Thursday, and both Ayah and I went to see their teachers to discuss their progress in school and also to collect their Report Cards. And we had a very pleasant surprise that day, but at the same time, we felt quite bad...
We already knew that Hasya got No. 1 in her class. It was expected, in a way. Hasya is a choleric girl and very confident, and she knows what she wants. She has always got No. 1 (except once - and she was pretty upset then as she didn't like the feeling of being second best). And she always knows who her competition in her class would be, and she would make sure that she beats them, even without us prodding or pushing her. So, Ayah and I would just give her our encouragement all the way. She thrives on challenges.
This time around, her competition is a boy named I**an I**andar. They had never been in the same class before, and I**an had always got No. 1 in his class all these while, too. And Ayah and I were aware of this fact as we would always see him going on stage every year during Speech Days, etc. And when we knew that Hasya would be in the same class as I**ran this year, we always remind Hasya that she has to work harder to make sure that she stays on top. Hasya being Hasya, she does not need us to tell her that. She knows she HAS to do it.
And us being kiasu parents, after the exams, every time we fetch the kids from school, we would ask her what her marks were. And the next question would be, "What about I**an?" (Hehehe!) And we were not surprised when we found out that Hasya actually kept a record of every single marks that I**an got! There was a panic bout for a couple of days for Hasya, when I**an got 100% for his Maths, and Hasya got 93.5%, and for a few days, I**an was leading by 0.5 markah! And finally, when the marks came for Science, and Hasya got highest in her class, it was official - she beat I**an by 2.5 markah... And we didn't even have to ask her about it when we fetched her from school that day. She told us right after opening the car door, even before she got into the car! Hehehe...That's choleric Hasya for you.
As for Hilman, now...he's one very phlegmatic boy. He does his own thing, and most of the time, he would be oblivious of what's happening around him. And most of the times, he doesn't even know that a test or an exam is around the corner, or even what subjects he would be tested on the next day, etc! But, despite all that, last year he got No. 12 for his Mid-year, and for his Final Exams he got No.5 (and he was the best student for Science for his class).
Knowing our kids' traits and personality, we tend to treat them differently in terms of pushing them to their own limits. And we know what would work for each of them based on their characters and personality. And it is difficult to balance when we have 3 kids with 3 different personalities - one choleric, one phlegmatic and one sanguine (I wrote about this here)
So, for Hilman we didn't really push him that hard, but we know that he's a very smart boy. What works for Hasya may not necessarily work for Hilman. Yes, we prepare them the same way - no discrimination whatsoever in that department. Ayah would come up with the mock papers for Science and Maths for both of them before the exams, and I would come up with the mock papers for BM and English for the both of them. We would give them the same encouragement and love and hugs and kisses and good luck wishes every single day. But, we would push Hasya a bit more, as we know that she thrives on pressure and challenges. For Hilman, we would just ask him to do his very best, and avoid making careless mistakes, and check his work thoroughly. And there was no point to ask him to keep record of his "competition" in class, as he wouldn't even know who they are! That's phlegmatic Hilman for you.
But, we had some ideas as to who MIGHT be his competition when he would come back telling us what his friends got for their exams. Different names for different subjects - so it was difficult to assess from a variable of samples. But, we had some ideas. The first few days after getting some of his marks, Ayah and I had a feeling that he could be in the Top 5. And when he got all his marks, we thought that he could be in the Top 3. And Hilman, knowing that the standard question I would ask him EVERYDAY would be, "Have you got your position in class yet?", he would be asking his teacher the same question, "Cikgu, saya dapat nombor berapa, cikgu?", and the teacher would reply, "Tunggu lah... surprise..."
And it was indeed a pleasant surprise for us, when we went to see his teacher last Thursday, and we got to know that Hilman got No. 1, too!
Hilman's teacher told us that Hilman takes his own sweet time to finish his work. When the rest of his classmates have finished 3 pages of work, Hilman would still be working on his first page. And he's forever sharpening his pencils and/or looking for his lost stationeries in class! And he's always dreaming! Otherwise, he's a very good student. In fact, his teacher told us that she was surprised with Hilman's results, too, given his laid-back nature and attitude! (And he got highest for Science and Maths, too :))
And Ayah and I felt quite bad - for not having high expectations of Hilman, or rather, for under-estimating his capabilities. We KNOW he's one of the smarter ones at school, but we were prepared if he didn't get No. 1. But, for Hasya - because SHE wants to be No. 1, we make sure she gets the push that she needs to get it. THAT's the only way we know how to treat the two of them when it comes to pushing to the limits. THEIR limits. THEIR own expectations. Are we being unfair? Ayah and I kept on going and going about this for a few days last week. And it wasn't a nice feeling to have. Sigh...
And as for Hanna, we know from her UPSR and monthly tests results, that insya Allah, we don't really have to worry about her. And she would come back from school and tell us her results without us asking her. She would normally get second to fourth highest in class for her subjects, and given that she's in one of the better/cluster schools around, we think she's doing quite well, indeed. But, being a sanguine that she is, she would blab non-stop (in a good way) as to how close she was to beating XYZ or ABC in this subject, or that subject, and how unfair it is that they take Pengetahuan Agama Islam and Moral into account to determine their position in class (as the Moral students rata-rata dapat A, while the Agama students rata-rata dapat B, etc.), yadda, yadda, yadda...
Hanna has her own way of studying, and it seems to be working with her, and I don't want to change that. She studies with her WalkMan glued to her ears (and she would do some head-banging every now and then while studying!), and she does her homework and assignment, etc in her own time (sometimes after midnight as THAT's the ONLY time she has the mood to do them!) without having me to remind her. And I have to say, she follows her Ayah - she's very good in Maths and Science, but she's struggling a bit with her reading subjects. All in all, even though she's a sanguine, she's a responsible girl when it comes to her studies. And unlike with Hasya and Hilman, I would just monitor Hanna - without pushing, without reminding, without cautioning.
And I was pleased when I went to Hanna's Open Day yesterday, when I got to know that she got No.6! But, according to her, if Agama and Moral were not included, she would have gotten No.4! But, I just want her to realize that the girls who got Top 3 in her class are those who sat for the SAME Agama paper as her. So, I think that is not an issue here? Anyway, it's just a position in your class. Mommy and Ayah are very proud with all the A's (and couple of B's) that you got, okay? You should know which subjects you need to stress on more by now, right?
And maybe, slightly less head-banging would also do the trick? ;)
Syukur Alhamdulillah. Ayah and Mommy are VERY PROUD of you all - Hanna, Hasya and Hilman. Keep up the excellent work, darlings.
We just hope we're using the right (different) approaches to each and every one of you in pushing you all to the limits when it comes to your studies/exams, etc....