Thursday, March 17, 2016

Exam fever!

We are yet again approaching the end of an academic year and it’s the dreaded exam season in most parts of the country…that happens to coincide with the T-20 cricket season, much to the anxiety of ….probably not the kids but their parents! Though the month of March has always brought back memories of my own exam nightmares, I drew comfort from the fact that I still had a long way to go before I start stressing over my son’s tests and assessments. Little did I realize that this comfort feeling comes with an expiry date…..Grade 4 !!!  Most schools today peg Grade 4 as the year of reckoning ….when full-fledged academic assessments are introduced and kids (and their parents of course!) are expected to pull up their socks and catch up with rest of the studious world! So all of a sudden….it’s all about checking up on the syllabus, studying, revising and looking up practice questions…..making me relive my exam days once again and it’s only worse this time! It turns out that you are never free from exams and it was only a temporary respite after all because as a student, you may have been casual towards your exams but you cannot afford to be so as a parent! So whether you choose to wake up early or get off from work earlier than usual, or split the subjects between your spouse and yourself to coach your children, exams are a serious business ….. at least for parents!

So amidst his Maths, Science and Social Science subjects, I had Abhay scale back to reading an Early reader simply because it seemed perfect for the exam season! “The Worry Monsters” by Sally Rippin and illustrated by Stephanie Spartels is one of the twelve titles from the “Hey Jack” series for young readers brought out by Euro books. This is a simple story of how Jack, who is terrible at spellings, procrastinates and forgets to prepare for his spelling test and is thus hounded by what he calls “the worry monsters”. Its only when he opens up to his dad does he realize that playing truant with school is not the best of solutions to deal with his fear of tests. With a little help from his father, Jack not only manages to practice his spellings and drive away the worry monsters but also learned to deal with the worry monsters should they reappear again! So here’s hoping all our kids learn to overcome their own worry monsters too!

Another great read that makes for a refreshing break from the monotony of studies for both parents and kids is a story from R.K.Narayanan’s “Malgudi School days”, the complete collection of Swami and Friends brought out by Puffin classics. In fact, the story of Swaminathan “Before the examinations” couldn’t be any more similar to Abhay’s situation at home! Though we’ve read this book many times and I had featured this classic sometime ago, life and times in the fictional town of Malgudi  as narrated by the one and only R.K.Narayanan never fails to charm the reader, whenever and whatever the time may be! 

From Swami’s grim realization that his father was changing for the worse in the run-up to the examinations ( mother Abhay’s case!), or the highly distracted Swami doing everything possible to escape from studies, including perpetually hovering around his baby brother (baby sister in Abhay’s  case!), or spending hours together mulling over the crooked boundary of Europe during his study of geography ( Ditto, more so when Europe is not a part of Abhay’s Social Science syllabus at all!)  and approaching his father with a list of required stationery just a day before examination( ditto-ditto!) …… it’s amazing how Swami’s tales are evergreen and are relatable even to this day and time, even though it’s almost a century since they were first published!!! Also goes to show that nothing much has changed when it comes to parent-child attitude towards exams! Here’s wishing everyone all the best during this exam season! 

No comments:

Post a Comment