Thursday, January 31, 2008

Are You Smarter than a 4th Grader?

Last week was quite toxic for me as my KiDS had their 3rd quarterly exams in school. It was like I was taking the exams myself. I do not police my KiDS schoolwork and homeworks regularly because they manage to do them themselves. They do have to be reminded and I have to check them when they are done. But other than that, I can expect them to work on their assigments independently.

Exam times are different though. And I think I only have myself to blame. You see, years ago, I instituted a review system for exams. I tell the KiDS to have an hour of quiet time just reading their books and notes, after which I ask them questions, to check if they remember, and most importantly, if they understand what they read. We start by having them stand at the end of the kitchen. Each correct answer, they advance one tile towards the living room. It is like a game show and indeed, I start each question with, "Diego, game ka na ba?" (Now, it's "Quez-tioon," ala Wowowee). I like it cause it lessens the stress of exam week (like Kahlo said, "Exam week - eeek!), and there's the positive externality of the KiDS learning about what the other is learning. Unfortunately, they enjoy it too much, that it has become mandatory for us to do this every exam. Which meant that I had to read and learn, too. And it's not that easy to come up with questions.

I mentioned before already that school children these days are more advanced in their studies. For instance, part of Diego's Science exams was about the Periodic Table of Elements. If I recall correctly, we studied this in high school Chemistry, my junior year. And I must have blacked out during the entire year because I barely recall the noble gases and atomic numbers.

From Sarah's notes, I learned about sublimation. I knew all about freezing, melting, evaporation and condensation (which their grade 2 exams covered) but sublimation? Of course, I had to pretend I knew all about this process of solids turning to gas all along lest my KiDS think they are smarter than their Mama.

I wasn't able to scrap the whole week and I was really looking forward to a whole Saturday of scrapping. For the first-time our mini-EB was going to be held on a Saturday and I was quite excited to attend, too. I have missed far too many sessions, and I miss my scrapper friends. But! It was not to be, as my two eldest had a Recollection in preparation for Sarah's First Holy Communion. So I had to accompany them again and wait until they finished. By which time I already had the beginnings of a headache. A nerve behind my eye started throbbing (must be all those useless facts swimming in my head) and by the time we got home at around 6 pm, it had developed into a full-blown migraine. I could only crawl into my bed and sleep it off as we had run out of paracetamol. Also, I learned the best way to cure a migraine is a dark, quiet, cool room. I slept fitfully as I was awakened sometimes by the silent drummer in my eye.

I wish I can say that after more than 15 hours of sleep I felt better but I think my drummer had an after-concert party. So there were still some twinges of discomfort when I woke up. I read messages from Cabbie and Candy on my cellphone before it died, with Candy promising to bring me medicine and this mystery cure-all called Borherding (tama ba?) Candy and I were to meet Ella Henderson, a PS member who arrived for a visit from the US. I wanted to meet her and I thought the sunlight and fresh air (what little we can get in Metro Manila) would do me good so I hied off to Makati with Candy. I had a fun lunch with them (Mia, Nita, Tin, Aby) in CPK Glorietta. And oh, did I mention the Stampin' Up stamps from Ella?

If you think I am rambling on, then you are quite right. I just miss posting. And my writing about my migraine is bringing it on again (I think I am hypochondriac) so I'm signing off now. Until next...


Benga said...

Hi Lee! Congrats sa Kaya!
I've always been a fan of your blog, so happy to see a post, but the migraine part really s*cks! I hate it when it attacks, restless tlga feeling. I hope u get well soon. Anyway the gameshow style is sooo fun, I watch that game show "r u smarter..." and I am not! hahaha grabe chemistry in primary school? kaloka ha!

C70 said...

i dread the day when my DD Nikki will indeed be smarter than I am! :p I am quite sure it won't be long now, haha!!!

sounds like you had a great time meeting up with Ella in Makati! too bad i wasn't able to send in my order ahead of time :(

Maybelle said...

Lee, I can sooo relate with you because I too suffer from that *!@##%! ailment. I also just try to sleep it off in a totally dark, quiet room. If nothing works, I just stick my finger and try to barf... sorry, it's yucky but it works for me as it releases all the acids in my tummy. Can I also have that magic medicine, pretty please? For my kids' tests, I have a totally dedicated Mommy-friend who gives me copies of test questionnaires she regularly makes. Makes my life so much easier!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lee, your quiz show sounds like fun. Didn't enjoy reviewing my kids when they were in grade school. Will try your method if I ever I have to review Sophia. Haha. Its a possibiliy with her mom working full time.
Migraine's no fun. I also just sleep it off in a dark room. Tell me how the medicine works.