06 June 2013

Exam Season

Overheard in the school car park over the last few days:

'how long did Jack study for geography'

'i am so stressed, these exams just kill me and the kids'

'these kids have to learn that if they cant handle exam pressure they wont handle life as an adult'

'these exams are key; if Annie doesnt score well here her self esteem will be shattered'

'this week her anxiety has been at an all time high, the rescue remedy is almost finished!'

(all spoken by parents with kids Gr 5 and 6!)

I have a daughter in Grade 6 in a private school. A very small, friendly and laid back school but STILL she is battling to get to sleep at night and says her hand shakes so badly at the beginning of each exam that she cant write properly. She loves to learn and absorbs knowledge and new concepts with fervour. She is bright and capable and still, EXAMS frighten her to death.

On the flipside I have watched my homeschooled child just go from strength to strength - learning and growing and blossoming. Having these two children juxtaposed is just highlighting critical weak areas in our current system of education.

I keep quiet in the car park at school. I cannot enter into these discussions. I cannot be seen to be questioning the status quo but it makes me sad - the system has to change - our youngsters have so much more to offer if we just remove the Fear and Performance from their learning; without fear our kids know no bounds.

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