Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Aah crap - it's that time again

I spent part of yesterday afternoon converting decimals to proper and mixed fractions. I also spent a confusing few moments trying to fathom the best method to do seventh grade long division systematically. Maths, for me, has always been painful.

Yes, it's that time again. The kids' formal assessments and exams are, once again upon us, bringing along with it the usual stress (mine), tears (mine) and arguments.

Shakeel (13) and Tharaa (10) brought home their test time-tables last week, based upon which, I drafted study schedules - for them to ignore. Because, really that is what has been happening - I estimate how much time each learning area will take to complete and work out at what time they should move on to the next subject. They, in turn, just ignore my suggestions and do whatever they feel like doing.

I felt that leaving the two of them to work in the same area would be a good idea, since they could motivate each other and Shakeel could perhaps help Tharaa should she need it. That was the plan - in theory. In reality, working together has resulted in nothing but arguments, fights and mutual irritation.

''Stop singing!'' I heard Shakeel say irritably during last night's study session. To which Tharaa responded by singing more loudly.

''I'm going to hurt you!'' he threatened. Needless to say, she sang even louder.

He hurled a pencil at her. She tossed it back. He then got up and walked toward her threateningly.

''Mommeeeee! Shakeel wants to hurt meeee!'' she complained.

''She's singing. I can't concentrate!'' he responded angrily.

I had had enough. It was late and I'd been tolerating their shit since they'd come home from school. I snapped.

''If I hear another word from you two I will moer you both!'' I yelled like a depraved lunatic. They went silent, eyeing each other while trying to suppress their sniggers, thoroughly amused at having pushed their ordinarily-well-behaved mother over the edge.

Meanwhile, as usual, poor Nuha (7) fades into the background. We were not given a clear brief on the preparations required for her formal assessments, so I just focus on the weaknesses identified in her last report card, viz, retelling a story she reads - in her own words - to display comprehension.

But, then, as usually happens, Aisha (2) will interrupt the older kids, demanding attention with her bossiness and tantrums. So, sneakily, I have decided to kill two birds with one stone by getting Nuha to read to her little sister - and so doing, she practises her reading while babysitting her sister.

And to think, that in a few years time, I'll have FOUR schoolgoing kids preparing for tests and formal assessments. I can barely wait.

Image obtained here

Image obtained here

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