Monday, January 18, 2016

When the tutor is your sister

Last year was Lesley-Anne's 'A' level year and if I thought that was a stressful experience, I suspect it was just the tip of the iceberg compared to what we'll be going through this year - Andre's 'O levels. Dum dum DUM!

All those years through primary school, then secondary school, of waiting for Andre to suddenly develop maturity of thought and an academic fervour were in vain. Thank you to all the mummies who tried to encourage me by saying boys mature later, but I didn't realise "later" could mean anything from 12 to 45. Or perhaps by "mature", they meant remembering to do homework.

Maybe I exaggerate (or maybe not). Going by Andre's sec 3 results, I wouldn't say they were a disaster. In fact, as I'd posted last year, he did better than expected. However, the element of chance seems to play too prominently for my liking so this year, I'm attempting to increase the odds of him doing well by playing my trump card - engaging Lesley-Anne as tutor.

I'm counting on Lesley-Anne to transfer some of her admirable work ethic to her brother. By drilling, osmosis or qigong, I don't really care, as long as it works. I am hopeful that it will happen because Lesley-Anne is a very tough tutor. During one of the sessions, she grilled him on concepts and sternly made him repeat them ad nauseum until she was sure they wouldn't leak right back out of his head. When I timidly suggested, "Err...could I request that he doesn't lose his love for learning by the end of the year?", she instantly replied, "No! Do you want the marks or do you want him to love learning? This is the Singapore education system! You can't have both!" Keke. Future Tiger Mum.

It's a win-win-win situation for everyone. Win for us parents: Lesley-Anne is much cheaper than any other tutor out there, plus Andre can always call on her during emergencies (it helps that her room is less than 10 metres away). Win for Andre: He'd much rather learn from Lesley-Anne than any other tutor as he has intrinsic faith in his sister to help bring up his grades. Not sure why but I think he secretly believes she possesses super powers. Win for Lesley-Anne: extra income without having to leave the house. 'Nuff said.

Of course she's not able to tutor him in everything. She has long relinquished all her Science knowledge and Maths...well, you probably all know Lesley-Anne's relationship with Maths by now. Tolerated, never loved. Her responsibilities are English and Combined Humanities (Social Studies and Geography). This is quite a tall order as Andre's strength has never been in language or the humanities. But I have faith that determination and sibling solidarity will prevail.

Go, Sista!


Anonymous said...

dear Monica,

Lesley-A is scary!
But she is a great tutor...scary tutors usually get the job done =)))


monlim said...

Grace: Haha, I hope so!

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