Thursday, July 16, 2009

童书非童书 Book Review

(This is a review on a Chinese book...and I was thinking should I write this in Chinese or English...finally I decided to write it in English so that those who cant read Chinese can at least read I have learned from this book. )

童书非童书 (book title direct translation: children book but not children book) is a good book in introducing how to choose and read children book to children. Even though most of the book the author introduced in his book cannot be found over here in MLY, the principle applied. I believe our church library carry this book.

After this 2 years of homeschooling, I have to say the best way to teach a child is to read to him/her. One of the reason I choose Sonlight instead of other homeschooling program is because it emphasized on read aloud. In fact, parents are expected to continue to read aloud (until Lever 7, which is around 13-14 years old) even after the child learned to read. The child will read on her grade lever but will listen to stories that are way above her reading skill. That way the child will continue to improve on her vocab.

Sometime I see parents wanted to teach their kids to read as early as possible so that they can read book themselves independently. I think that is very sad because then they loose out of the fun and enjoyment of sharing a good book together.

Of cause, reading takes lots of time. It can get rather boring when you have to read a same old story again and again and again. Isn't it better if the kids can entertain themselves with their books while we as parents can do something more productive than reading to them? I used to think of it that way too but after using Sonlight, I changed my mind.

The books that I have been reading to Den is in the reading level of std 2-5. Yet, she has no problem in understanding most of them. I might need to paraphrase on some or explain some words but most of the time, we just enjoyed the stories together. There were so many time, after reading a great story, Den and I just looked at each other and enjoyed the magic moments together. Those are the moment we will treasure forever. I don't want to lose those moments.

The book has listed lots and lots of benefit of reading books - learn to categorize, logical thinking (event sequencing), observation skill, EQ, practical skills, etc, just to name a few. It also explained which type of book can help to improve which type of skill.

It also helped answered some of my questions about reading aloud:

1. should I read straight from book or paraphrasing? - depending on the books.

2. Den always cried after a sad story, should I stop reading story with sad ending for her? -No. The author think the beauty of reading is it can provide different emotional experience for kids, so let her laugh at humorous stories and cried with sad stories. A relief to me, since the next lever of Sonlight due with 2nd world war stories.

3. Den refused to tell story even though I kept encouraging her (she claimed she cant 'read' the words). I even bought books without words to encourage her to tell story and yet she refused - telling story is actually only come in later stage when she is 6-7 years old!! Ok, now , I understand.

That's all for now. Read the book if you have not. Every chapter is very short and very easy to read.

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