Primary Four is a Whole Lot of Hard Work

Edison at the recent Edusave Awards ceremony – his first time

Edison started Primary Four this year, and I’ve been hearing complaints from him about how tough Primary Four is. It’s only February now, how can he (or rather me) endure till Nov?

Well, it’s not like I haven’t been through Primary Four myself, but sometimes I really do pity him. Why Primary Four has to be so tough? During my primary school days, I didn’t study so seriously. All I could remember was playing all sort of games with my neighbours after school. And there was nothing called ‘homework’ or ‘tuition’ back then.

The weekly Chinese 默写 (mò xiě: write from memory) is the real killer. He has to memorize a paragraph as long as 40 characters. This is on top of the spelling list (ting xie) with more than 15 new Chinese characters each week.

Last week, he struggled with his mo xie again. He was so frustrated when he couldn’t get it correct after several attempts. My heart cracked into half when I saw a tear rolled down his cheek. I told him to stop learning and go to sleep early. I’ve never push him too hard for exam, not to mention the regular spelling tests.

I don’t want his weekly mò xiě madness to destroy the joy of learning Chinese. I wish he could have a sibling to walk down the path of schooling with him. Someone who can share knowledge and experience with him. But there’s no one. It was all my fault. 😥

So, I thought of an idea! 💡

Instead of asking him to learn on his own, I sit down with him and learn together with him. Yeah! It’s good that I learn some Chinese words too. Grew up in a national school in Malaysia with English and Malay as the main languages, my Chinese vocabulary is VERY limited. And because I didn’t use the language for so long, I’ve almost forgotten how to write most of them.