Last night both of us were working on the Mathematics International Competitions and Assessments for School practice paper. Don't get me wrong, this is not a school curriculum or a mandatory subject to learn for kids at my daughter's age in school. This is a voluntarily act from Parent to let their kids take this test. The result of this test does not effect on the kids's performance result at all. This is an independent test out of school curriculum. CLICK here to read more about it.
Miza is going for her last test which is Math by tomorrow. She had participated in all area for this test. The reason we took this test for her is to give her exposure and see how comfortable she can cope with the general knowledge on the subject. There is no expectation or anything at all from this test. She is very clear, that this is just an experience for her. That is why when we asked her about this test, she was willingly show her eagerness to join up. We are quite blessed she got distinction result for the computer science with very minimal preparation from our end. All she got as her preparation is her experiences working with computer along with me during our project together.
Based on our previous experiences with the earlier tests, these tests are not easy at all. It requires a deep understanding of the problems and analysis. The questions can be very tricky and challenging for the kids at their age. I guess kids who read a lot in term of general knowledge can survive ..... But honestly understanding ENGLISH is the key here in order to solve the problems.
I saw you some samples of the Mathematics test from 2 years ago, the ones that we worked together last night.
Coming from my background, these things BLOW my mind out. First of all, English is not my first language, I am still struggling with reading and writing myself too at times. My lack of vocabularies can be a real challenge for me to understand and to express better. Second, there is never be in the history of life I score good in Math. I always in the edge of failing for all my Math test subject. Even when I was completing my college, Calculus was the last major that I kept bringing forward in order to complete my study. Until one last summer after long over due, I have no choice to take up summer class and hack it in order to finish up my study and go back to Indonesia. Yes! I passed with a very minimum grade :p
I just hate and hate Math ..... BUT! I can not do that now. I have Miza who look up to me. Agree or Not, I am her role model. She look up to me in many ways, the way I carry myself, my outlook toward life and my attitude toward education too. I don't want Miza to hate math like I did last time. I want her to embrace Math and have fun with it. I had realized big time, to excel in Math is not just about excelling in Number or TEST. Math somehow change your attitude toward life, the way you see life in general.
Last Night, I was a bit depressed as few of the questions on this test were impossible for me to explain to her. We got the answer but that is not enough, We need to know ... Why that asnwer! and That become my homework! I have to find it out myself ... why is that answer etc. It is not easy my friend, especially if you are weak with Math. And being my daughter, she will insist to say NO, I do no understand how you get the answer!, if she really do not understand it. She will never clear me out from that particular topic if she does not understand it.
So Yeah! Here I am cracking my upmost ability to find out the answer. If I can understand it, I am sure she does .... :p And I always share my finding with her be it using a model object or even YouTube screen. Believe me, I solve a lot of my problems from wikipedia, google or YouTube .... :p
And last night I read this from Visa, a friend on facebook, his blog post about mental attitude toward life that is inspired by a mathematician professor in USA. It was an enlightenment for me. Click here to read it. And believe me, with Internet you can study almost every subject out there online. So you know for sure ... which subject that I will take up soon ..... Oh! Well! Let's rejoice the life challenge with positive attitude. Learning keep us young in heart and mind. Cheers all!
p.s : i told you NEVER expect so much from my ENGLISH, I am learning here, though I made many errors that does not mean a bit I will give up on learning or trying. cheers