Chinese Spelling at 3 a.m.

Just before dinner last night, Nicole suddenly realised she has not finished studying for her Chinese Spelling Test which will happen today. As usual, I took a deep breath, and got ready to lash out the infamous and naggy speeches about responsibilities, laziness, and forgetfulness. But I stopped when I saw the spelling list. Take a look!

Chinese Spelling List P3

Now before you start gasping for air, this spelling list was given out three weeks ago, and the kids were expected to learn the words. You can see from the little notes below, that Nicole did her own planning how to study this huge chunk of phrases. Alas, she only followed through for two weeks. I guess expecting a 9 year old to faithfully follow a plan may be a little challenging without any supervision. And that’s how we got to last night’s saga.

Well, back to my response. I just chilled out. I mean, look at that list! It’s horrendous! Oh man… although they are probably so useful for composition writing, but to have them all tested in one go is really quite a torture. So I told her, to finish up in the evening, while I sent her sister for gym class. I did add that she can call me when she’s done, and I’ll test her over the phone.

To cut the long story short, she did call, but I told her I would call her back. And when I did, she was already in bed, asleep. So I thought, saga ends. She’d probably barely pass this spelling and she would just have to learn how to persevere and complete her study plan.

When I got home, I saw this really cute note on my bed.

Sorry Letter 1


Hahahahaha… I really burst out laughing! She wants to wake up at 3 a.m. to revise for 30 min!! It was so funny! And I knew she didn’t adjust the alarm clock, nor did she ask anyone to wake her at that time. I’m not sure why she chose a witching hour to do her revision. I was really quite amused. I knew she wouldn’t wake up, and was prepared that she didn’t. In fact, I wanted to just sleep through the night and see how she is in the morning when we get ready for school.

Surprise surprise! Daddy heard about it and said “Wake her up at 12 midnight, while I’m still awake. We will revise together” I was shocked he would want that. He explained, she must realised she can’t make frivolous promises and get away with things in life. So we will wake her, not at 3 a.m., but at 12, and do what she says–revise for 30 min!

I thought that made sense. It would teach her some integrity, some resilience, and definitely how to be a person of her word.

So at 12mn, I woke her up. She jumped out of bed, washed her face and got ready for me to test her. I was impressed!! And when I saw how she wrote out the words, I was so proud of her! It wasn’t messy writing, it wasn’t bad attitude-I’m-being-punished handwriting. It was a regular, I want to do it right and well type of writing.

Writing at midnight

There were mistakes still, but I told her, it’s ok. Now we know we still have a little bit more to revise. We just do what we can with these 40 phrases. I put her back in bed, and felt really thankful that my little girl is taking responsibility for her actions. That is a way more valuable lesson than passing the spelling!

What would you do? Would you wake your child at 3 a.m.?

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