When Gaby met the Brits

First allow me to breathe a sigh of relief….haaaaaaaaa!!!

Sometime last December, Gaby had her day with the Brits. And when I say Brits, I mean the examiners and staff of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music or ABRSM.

The school where Gaby takes voice and guitar lessons is affiliated with the Board and are prompt to refer their “able” music students for assessment. Of the 2 courses that Gaby has been taking, it was in voice that she got a recommendation to take the exams.

This being her first year, the exam she would take was a Prep Exam and was not given a numerical grade. She was, however, subjected to an exam nonetheless. This, in effect, would better prepare her for future exams should she decide to continue with her lessons.

Anyway, as the exams loomed nearer, Gaby, presumably prepared her pieces along with her teacher. I don’t make it a practice to hover when it comes to her music lessons. Not very Tiger Mom-mish, I know…but well, who knows in the future, right.

Back to the exams….

The day before the exam, Gaby was asked to come to school to practice her pieces…or at least the pieces that were going to be given on exam day.

Guess what….she didn’t know how to sing all 3 of the required pieces!!! Apparently, her new teacher felt that Gaby knew the pieces already since she had practiced them over the summer.

Half panicking, the director of the music program asked me to record him while he played and sang all 3 pieces so Gaby could practice them at home. Take note that this was at around 7pm and her exam was the next day. I was almost about to throw in the towel but Gaby assured me that she could do it…with a matching sweet smile that is so her when she wants something bad.

So, I took the 3 videos. And we practiced. The whole night. The whole morning the day after.

On exam day we were at the school an hour before her schedule. The director called her in immediately to have a run through of her pieces. I didn’t see her until after the test.

And….she came out smiling.

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Saved by Worksheet Heaven

When both Hezzies started going to “big school” this school year, one of my problems was how to review both of them come exam time. Despite the fact that Adi’s exams were on a quarterly basis and Gaby’s were trimestral, the first and last set of exams were going to fall on the same date. So how?

I always told myself that I would prepare their worksheets early, like at the beginning of each quarter/semester. But who does that anyway? Unless you’re some sort of manic obsessive parent who doesn’t have anything to do but hover over the kids and what they do, then fine, go ahead. But not me…and I would suppose almost 99% of all parents.

So, when exam review time came, I panicked..big time. Sure we had pointers plastered on all their subject notebooks but those are just teasers. The major part of reviewing was done at home…with Mama.

What did I do? What else, I made reviewers. I had to backtrack. I had to relearn my English and Filipino grade school grammar lessons…fast. My shortcut Mathematics just didn’t cut it anymore.

But you can only do so much. At one point, and this was at 2:30 in the morning, my brain was fried. So I did the next best thing. I went online. Just to refresh. Then I decided to see if I could find websites that gave free worksheets. Let me tell you, there are a ton of sites doing this. But I found one that was tailor made for the Pinoy school system. And this was like manna from heaven. All their lessons were there!!! You just have to go by subject and by grade level (although some of the kids’ lessons were in different grade levels). And all I had to do was sign up and I had access to all these worksheets.

Before I knew it, I had printed out more worksheets than the kids could answer. Yes, I went overboard. My printer ran low on ink and I had to print them on Economy scale just so I could print everything out.

Check it out…Schoolkid.ph

3 More Weeks!!!

Yessiree!! 3 more weeks of waking up early left before we officially declare it Summer extravaganza here in our parts.

But all this doesn’t come without a price. Before we can even think about slathering on our sunblock and catching some sun…we have to study…hard. Exams, of course.

I’m currently making the reviewers for both kids. Its a good thing that I found some websites that give out free worksheets so at least that lessens the load.

So the countdown begins!

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